Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel

A parenting book that looks at the bigger picture of raising adults, not children.

Grace Based Parenting really resonated with me. I’ve been a bit frustrated as I read about parenting, because it seems like everything has to be a method, a program, or a way of life. I have really been searching for a framework in which to carve out my own path with Superfast Baby, and this book gave me just that.

Dr. Kimmel is a youth pastor, and I have to admit that I almost didn’t read this book for that reason alone. However, I’m glad I got past my prejudices against the book’s Evangelical* trappings because the lessons here are sound to the core.

Dr. Kimmel breaks things down into three (it’s always three) things kids need, and four freedoms that families should offer.

Kids need:

  • Strength
  • Security
  • Significance

Families should offer:

  • Freedom to be different
  • Freedom to be candid
  • Freedom to be vulnerable
  • Freedom to make mistakes

There is so much wisdom in this book. What I like is that you can use these guidelines within a a reasonable spectrum of parenting styles, and that you’ll be protected from some of the more extreme forms of legalism or permissiveness.

The book is geared towards Christians, but I think that these concepts would apply no matter your family’s belief system. Good stuff.

*I am one of those Evangelicals who wishes there weren’t so many buttheads in our number–or maybe I’m just carrying a ton of baggage because none of the boys in youth group ever asked me out.

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