Along this path, I've reach for inspiration in friends and books, desperate to learn from those who have gone before me. And through the years i've found that there are a handful of books that have both challenged me and changed the way I parent. These are the books I reference again and again and learn from in each reading.
Here's a quick run down on those that are worth their weight in gold:
Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp
Several years ago, we did a book club series on this book and I was really challenged with the idea of capturing my child's heart in their growing years. Discipline is addressed as restorative and the goal is a change of heart, not just a change of behavior.
Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas
This book was much less a how to parent and much more a how is parenting changing you book. The focus isn't on the child, but rather on how God uses children to "grow" parents. What type of child am I hoping to raise? And how can I lead them where I haven't dared to go?
Love and Respect in the Family by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
This book sits at the top of my list for how I want to parent. It really opened my eyes for how males and females communicate, and developing my relationship with my sons. Again, this book reminds us of the fact that we are here to "guide" our children, not control them. And that requires a development of relationship and communication.
The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell
This book focuses on how we give and receive love. Taking the idea of 5 Love Languages and putting them in the context of our children, Chapman and Campell give practical advice for communicating love to our children in a way that they can understand and receive it.
Strong and Kind by Korie Robertson and Chrys Howard
I had my doubts about this book when I first picked it up, but it's become my most recent favorite. Robertson encourages parents to focus on what kind of family culture they hope to create and begin developing that culture one trait at a time. It's not a one size fits all book, but rather an encouragement to seek the Lord in discovering how he sees your specific family.
So what about you?
What books have influenced your parenting journey?