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MarynMunchkins 03-14-2008 05:52 AM

SACH review
Since it's so hard to find on xanga, I'm posting this here. It's not finished (I kinda stopped and have been avoiding it since I got to the rod chapters :sick), but I'll work on it. :)

I finished reading SACH today. :neutral I honestly went into the book knowing that he supported spanking, but really interested in what it is about this book that draws everyone in. And, oh boy, did I find it!

I actually *really* liked quite a bit of this book. But there were quite a few passages that I read and went, :hunh "Wait...that's not right. What's wrong about this? It sounds ok..." I had to go back and dissect a lot of it to figure out exactly what it was that I disagreed with. Hopefully, I'll be able to articulate those issues well enough that other people can see them as well.

MarynMunchkins 03-14-2008 05:53 AM

Re: SACH review
Let me just start with a quote that I absolutely 100% agree with from the introduction of this book. :)

"The only safe guide [for parenting] is the Bible. It is the revelation of God who has infinite knowledge and can therefore give you absolute truth. God has given you a revelation that is robust and complete. It presents an accurate and comprehensive picture of children, parents, family life, values, training, nurture, and discipline - all you need to be equipped for the task of parenting.
God's ways have not proved inadequate; they are simply untried. The church mirrors the problems of the culture because we weren't doing biblical parenting a generation ago. We were just doing what works." (pg xix)


I don't think that Tedd Tripp's method is entirely Biblical either, but I do agree with that.

There is a very big emphasis on "authority" in this book. I love another quote defining what authority is.

"God calls you to exercise authority, not in making your children do what you want, but in being true servants - authorities who lay down your lives." (pg. xx)

He starts off the book by emphasizing that the goal of parenting is to focus our children on God and the gospel. The goal is not well-behaved children. The goal is adults who love and serve God. That, I think, we can all agree on - even when we disagree on how to achieve that. :)

MarynMunchkins 03-14-2008 05:59 AM

Re: SACH review
"Getting to the Heart of the Behavior"

The basic point of the chapter, and really the whole book, is that the state of the heart determines the behavior. This has lots of basis in Scripture (Jer. 17:9, Prov. 4:23, Mat. 12:34), and I don't have any issue with this point.

Mr. Tripp says, "[These passages] teach that behavior is not the basic issue. The basic issue is what is going on in the heart. Remember, the heart is the control center of life." (pg. 4) I was actually very encouraged to read his emphasis on the underlying issues that motivate our children, rather than simply their behavior. I agree with him that so many parents focus only on outward behavior and really ignore the "why" of the behavior.

When talking about two children squabbling over a toy, he says, "In terms of issues of the heart, you have two sinning children...The circumstances are different, but the heart issue is the same - 'I want my happiness, even at your expense'." (pg. 6) He tells us that our job as parents is to focus our children on their sin and how short they come from God's standards. "Your concern is to unmask your child's sin, helping him to understand how it reflects a heart that has strayed." (pg. 6)

I don't entirely disagree with him, but I think his point is wrongly focused. It's true that God gave us the law in order to show us how short we fall from His righteousness. But the law has never been the focal point of God's message. It has always been love and grace. The emphasis in this book is more about authority and laws, and submission of the heart - which, IMHO, is entirely impossible without first understanding love and grace.

In fact, the heart of the law, the one that Jesus summed up, can be found in Deut. 6, emphasizes love:

These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

You see, it's not about the sin that flows out of the heart. Recognizing our sin only leaves us hopeless and despondent. The reason the Gospel is "good news!" is because it is about love, grace, and forgiveness. Those are the key messages I want my children to understand, and I want them to experience and grasp those before they understand the depths of their sin. I want them to have an answer for their sin when they are faced with it head on. I don't want them simply stuck with recognizing the condition of their heart, and depending on me to shepherd it towards the Savior. I want them to know who the Savior is and how He loves first.

MarynMunchkins 03-14-2008 06:00 AM

Re: SACH review
"Your Child's Development: Shaping Influences"

This chapter is simply about the things in a person's life that impact and form their character. "Shaping influences are those events and circumstances in a child's developmental years that prove to be catalysts for the making him the person he is. But that shaping is not automatic; the ways he responds to these events and circumstances determine the effect they have upon him." (pg. 10)

This is pretty much a "nurture and nature" chapter. We are all products of what happens in our lives and how we react to them. Frankly, I find that concept so elementary I don't have much to say about it. He does go into some depth about specific things that are influential, but I'll let you look at the book or any basic psychology book if you're interested in the specifics.

MarynMunchkins 03-14-2008 06:03 AM

Re: SACH review
"Your Child's Development: Godward Orientation"

This chapter outline Mr. Tripp's belief that all children are either bent towards God or idols. "Everyone is essentially religious. Children are worshippers. Either they worship Jehovah or idols. They are never neutral. Your children filter the experiences of life through a religious grid." (pg. 19)

There's a lot of ground to cover in order for me to explain my issue with this chapter. Mr. Tripp quotes a few verses to tell us about the sinful condition of children.

"Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies."

"Surely I was sinful at birth, sunful from the time my mother conceived me."

First of all, I believe that being human in and of itself puts us makes us all sinners from birth. It's not the fact that children are born into a sin nature that I argue. The assumption that this sin nature is somehow worse in a child - more selfish, more defiant, more rebellious - is simply wrong. Sin is sin in God's eyes. The assumption that discipline can in any way, shape or form affect this sin nature is also wrong.

Mr. Tripp says, "One of the justifications for spanking children is that "Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him. (Proverbs 22:15). The point of the proverb is that something is wrong in the heart of the child that requires correction. The remedy is not solely changing the structure of the home; it is addressing the heart." (pg. 20-1)

Now, this assumption could easily be dealt with by studying that verse in context, in its original language, rather than proof-texting it. However, I'm going to deal with the general principle here, rather than the specific verse. First of all, the heart of every human being who ever has, is, or will be living has something wrong which requires TRANSFORMING, not correction. Romans 3:23 says "All have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God." Jeremiah 17:9 says "The heart is deceitful above all things, who can know it?"

Read what Paul said when he was talking about Jews and Gentiles - those who knew the law and word of God vs. those who were spiritual infants and ignorant of it.

What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written:
"There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands,
no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one."[c]
"Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit."[d]
"The poison of vipers is on their lips."[e]
"Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness."[f]
"Their feet are swift to shed blood;
ruin and misery mark their ways,
and the way of peace they do not know."[g]
"There is no fear of God before their eyes."[h] Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God."

The problem with the heart of children is the problem with the hearts of all people. The solution is not discipline. If discipline (especially the "rod of discipline") were the answer for this human condition, than the death of Jesus Christ is null and void. It's worthless. We don't and never have needed a Savior if discipline and correction could solve our problem.

That, quite frankly, is the basic problem with the idea that spanking and punishment. It takes what discipline should be - active teaching - and turns it into heresy. It says that "the rod" is the end all be all, and that physical pain and punishment is the catalyst for redemption.

But what does God say? In 1 John, we read, " God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."

How can we punish our children and yet claim to love them? How can we claim that God commands that we punish them? Punishment and pefect love cannot co-exist.

While reading this chapter and preparing to write this entry, I came across several verses in Romans that really jumped out at me. To be honest, they strike me as rather harsh to read to those who teach spanking and punishment as ideal parenting methods. In spite of my bluntness, I do strive to temper my words in order not to offend people. However, these aren't my words. These words are God's, and I believe that they apply to this situation.

"You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?"

MarynMunchkins 03-14-2008 06:07 AM

Re: SACH review
"You're in Charge"

Chapter 4 is essentially about parents being in a position of authority. There were quite a few things in this chapter that I was really happy to hear. On pg. 27, he says "The culture in which we live does not have a biblical understanding of authority. We think of authority as derived either from overwhelming force of consent. Therefore, the only way we can respond is either with rebellion or servility. Our culture has no notion of intelligent, thinking persons willingly placing themselves under authority." I think that this phrase "intelligent, thinking persons willing placing themselves under authority" is perhaps the best definition of true obedience that I've ever heard. True obedience is not simply doing what a person is told to do - it is doing it with a servant's heart out of love for the authority.

It is this simple definition that brings me to the next issue I have with this book. While Mr. Tripp apparently understands obedience in its purest form, he contradicts himself by saying our God-given authority gives us the right to demand that our children obey God's law. He says, "Anger that your child is not doing what you want frames discipline as a problem between parent and child, not as a problem between the child and God. It is God who is not being obeyed when you are disobeyed. It is God who is not being honored when you are not honored. The issue is not an interpersonal contest; it is rather your insistence that your child obey God, because obeying God is good and right."

First of all, even God does not insist that His children obey Him. He gave us all free will, and ability to choose to disobey. Look at Jonah - he clearly disobeyed God, and yet God was gracious and forgiving over and over again. Jonah was the authority on God when he was in Ninevah. Look what Jonah said when he was pitching his fit over the people of Ninevah being saved:

"O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity."

You see, Jonah knew of God's grace and forgiveness, and he wanted Ninevah to be punished for their sin. What was God's response to Jonah? After all, it was God who had been sinned against, not Jonah. "But the LORD replied, "Have you any right to be angry?"

See what David said about God and his anger: " their hearts were not loyal to him,
they were not faithful to his covenant.

Yet He was merciful;
He forgave their iniquities
and did not destroy them.
Time after time He restrained His anger
and did not stir up His full wrath.

He remembered that they were but flesh,
a passing breeze that does not return."

It is not our job as parents to take up offense for God. God sees sin, and has already dealt with it. Our job as parents is to teach our children right, to protect them when we can, to help them deal with consequences of their sins when we can, and to always point our children to the cross of Christ.

Mr. Tripp speaks of repeated conversations in which he told his children that it was not his decision to spank, but God's command. He says, "There is tremendous freedom here for a parent. When you direct, correct, or discipline [read "spank", because that's the context of this quote], you are not acting out of your own will; you are acting on behalf of God."

"For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"[a] and again, "The Lord will judge his people."

I'm pretty sure God can handle punishment for sin (or atonement, since that's the real plan) by himself.

Now, all that being said, I think we've debunked his next point in the chapter. "The righteous life that God desires is never the product of uncontrolled anger. Unholy human anger may teach your children to fear you. They may even behave better, but it will not bring about biblical righteousness. Any change in behavior that is produced by such anger is not going to move your children toward God. It moves them away from God...Correction is not displaying your anger at their offenses; it is rather reminding them that their sinful behavior offends God." (pg. 34)

Apparently, children can't understand this without being hit. :rolleyes Seriously, folks - let's stop looking at it as a matter of "holy" and "unholy" anger. If you're angry and can't discipline your child kindly and firmly - don't. It's that simple, and takes a lot of confusion and guilt out of the equation. If you're constantly angry, seek out a therapist and learn why.

Now, I do want to clarify what it is that I actually believe about authority and discipline. I'm even going to use some quotes from the book, because there are gems in there. God has given us authority over our children - He has placed us over them in order that we made teach and guide them. It's not something that can be taken away by questioning or threatening. My child screaming "You're not in charge of me" doesn't alter the reality that I AM in charge of them. :) I don't need to discipline or correct that statement until they admit that I'm the authority. I am, and that's the end of that story. My actions - helping you follow my directions, insisting that you be respectful, etc - prove that I'm the authority, and I don't need to spank in order to get that message to them.

Mr. Tripp has some profound Biblical insight to discipline in the last part of this chapter. "Hebrews 12 makes it clear that discipline is not punitive, but corrective. Hebrews 12 calls discipline a word of encouragement that addresses sons. It says discipline is a sign of God's identification with us as our Father. God disciplines us for our good so that we might share in His holiness. It says that while discipline is not pleasant, but painful, it yields a harvest of righteousness and peace. Rather than being something to balance love, it is the deepest expression of love."

He also says, "Discipline as positive instruction rather than negative punishment does not rule out consequences or outcomes of behavior. Consequences and outcomes are certainly part of the process God uses to chasten his people." I'd say consequences are the process God uses to teach his children - punishment only applies to those who aren't his children. However, that's a conversation for another time.

Overall, I agree with his assessment of authority and discipline in the home. However, I think we need to be wary of his opinion that we are to take offense for God and punish our children because of their sin. We are not the Holy Spirit in the lives of our children, and it is not our job to convict them of sin. I think we need to keep in mind Tedd Tripp's earlier definition of authority - "being true servants - authorities who lay down your lives."

MarynMunchkins 03-14-2008 06:09 AM

Re: SACH review
"Examining Your Goals"

Chapter 5 examines parental goals for the methodology and philosophy that parents choose to use while raising their children. Mr. Tripp identifies 7 goals which he characterizes as "unbiblical":

1) Developing special skills

We all know who these parents are - stage parents. The ones so focused on making sure their child is "somebody" that they push their child and ignore what they really need. I agree with him that it is not our children being the best at something that should motivate our parenting.

2) Psychological adjustment

This comes across to me as a general bash on modern psychology. Perhaps I'm over-sensitive to it, because my family has respect for and utilizes psychology and psychiatry on a regular basis, but the tendency of the Christian to debunk it proves irritating. :(

Mr. Tripp says, "These gurus promise to teach you how to build self-esteem in your children. Have you noticed that no books promise to help produce children who esteem others?" (pg. 41)

It's a basic tenant of my belief in dealing with people that people who feel well, act well. And people who feel badly, act badly. So if psychology can help people feel better, I'm for it. Particularly those psychologists who understand that self-worth is not rooted in anything other than who we are in Christ and how much God loves us. I wish Christians would leave the poor mental health professionals alone. :no2

3) Saved Children

This section surprised me. I agree with him whole-heartedly, but was a little taken aback to find it. :O Mr. Tripp points out that it should not be the salvation of our children that becomes the sole focus of our parenting. He says, "There are many passages that teach the need to shepherd, to train, to instruct, and to discipline your children. None of these passages has getting a child to pray the 'sinner's prayer' as its focus." (pg. 42) Salvation is the beginning of sanctification, not the end.

4) Family Worship

Once again, I agree with Mr. Tripp. "As valuable as family worship is, it is no substitute for true spirituality." (pg. 42) I don't think I need say anything that this quote doesn't already.

5) Well-behaved Children

Once again, I was surprised to find this here. And again, I agree. The goal is never children who behave - the goal is children who love and serve. However, I'm still concerned by his insistence that we should be dealing with our children's hearts. "If...your parenting focus becomes the behavior...[it] obscures dealing biblically with Junior's heart." (pg. 43) I believe that it is not our place to insist that our children's hearts be focused on God, but rather to lead by example and to let God work himself on our children.

"Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart." (Jer. 24:7)

6) Good education

Pretty self-explanatory...these parents believe knowledge is power, and try to equip their children with as much as they can give.

7) Control

This kind of parent and his goal is frightening. It's a wholly selfish behavior that concerns itself only with the appearance of the parent and their desires, rather than the needs for the child.

Now that I've listed these things for you, I'd like to make one small comment. I don't believe that these goals can truly be called "unbiblical". Surely family worship, education, salvation, etc. are all goals we do have for our children - something we strive towards. I think the problem lies when we focus only on these things or mostly on one. I don't think they are unbiblical - simply incomplete. :)

MarynMunchkins 03-14-2008 06:09 AM

Re: SACH review
"Reworking Your Goals"

This chapter is basically a continuation of the chapter before it. Mr. Tripp examines the motivations behind these goals, and attempts to pull them into their proper Biblical context. It can be summed up in this one quote:

"Teaching your children to live for the glory of God must be your overreaching objective. You must teach your children that for them, as for all of mankind, life is found in knowing and serving the true and living God. The only worthy goal for life is to glorify God and enjoy him forever." (pg. 56)

While we may have our different opinions on the methodology used to accomplish this goal, I 100% agree that our goal is children who glorify God, and our responsibility is to *teach* it.

MarynMunchkins 03-14-2008 06:14 AM

Re: SACH review
"Discarding UnBiblical Methods"

This chapter summarizes several different methods parents use in order to try to accomplish their parenting goals.

1) I didn't turn out so bad

First of all, it's badly. Grammar, people! :P~

I've actually already written about this concept long before I read the book. So instead of doing it again, I'll simply link to my previous opinion, which still stands. :)

2) Pop Psychology

Mr. Tripp sums up psychology in this section in one simple sentence. "Use your power as an adult to make bribes that encourage the behavior you desire." (pg. 60) Once again, psychology gets dealt a raw hand. :mad This is NOT psychology. Psychology is the study of human behavior, and is hugely beneficial to millions. This is sheer bribery. Can we please call it what is and stop bad-mouthing dedicated professionals who have devoted their lives to people who need it? :mad

On a related note, can anyone tell me why Christian so often diss psychology in general, but seem to revere James Dobson? You know what his doctorate is in, right people? PSYCHOLOGY!! :banghead

3) Behavior Modification

There's loads of wisdom in this section. I wish Lisa Whelchel would read it. :shifty "Since the heart and behavior are so closely linked, whatever modifies behavior inevitably trains the heart. The heart is trained to greedy self-interest and obtainingrewards." (pg. 61) He continues, "The system effectively moved this family away from biblical action springing from biblical motives." (pg. 62)

Yet he reminds us that our behavior does often produce rewards. "There is a temporal blessing attached to obedience. The God who knows our hearts calls us to right behavior for the purpose of honoring Him." (pg. 62) Those are logical consequences, folks - when you do right, good things happen. (At least most of the time - we all know this world isn't perfect.)

4) Emotionalism

Guilt trips. Did anyone ever get put on a guilt trip by their parent? Dh has a great example of his mom asking him, as he was standing outside smoking at a cousin's wedding, "What will people think of me as a mother if they see you smoking?" :rolleyes

Another example is shaming and withholding love. I remember a few times when my mom and I had a fight, I would tell her good night and say "I love you". It was a routine between the two of us at night. And she would look back at me, obviously still angry, and say "Good night". :( I still remember wondering if my mom was so mad that she couldn't even say "I love you" over her anger.

I'll be frank (I're shocked that I might be blunt for a change :P ) and say that emotionalism can often become emotional abuse. We need to be careful not to treat anyone this way - especially the fragile egos of our children. Trust me - it hurts. :yes2

5) Punitive Correction

I know, my GBD friends are laughing at the irony of Tedd Tripp pointing out that punitive correction is wrong. Of course, he quickly clarifies, "I am not decrying the biblical use of the rod, but rather an impulsive response of angry frustration." (pg. 64) :doh Obviously, because punishment is only wrong if one is angry - otherwise it is perfectly acceptable.

He seems to equate punitive techniques mostly with grounding. I agree that grounding is punitive, but the fact of the matter is that ALL punishment is punitive. Notice the similarities in the words? The root word in the Greek is "poine". In Latin, it is "poena". It means "revenge".

I'll let that sink in for a moment.

"Perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."

6) Erratic Eclecticism

Basically, this is mom and dad doing whatever they think will work at the time. And like all parenting gurus will tell you, consistency is key.

One more quote from this chapter that I agree with. "...another devastating effect of this approach to discipline [is] Children soon see through the implicit and explicit manipulation. They eventually come to resent the crass attempts to control their behavior. They learn to play the cat-and-mouse game with you, but the depth of relationship and communication is lost." (pg. 68)

I'd only like to add to that children are able to see through our attempts to control their hearts as well. :yes2 We have to lead by example and teach pro-actively. We cannot manipulate or coerce anyone into loving and serving God. Leadership through servitude is true discipline, and it is the only thing that will be effective in pointing our children towards Christ. :heart

MarynMunchkins 03-14-2008 06:15 AM

Re: SACH review
"Embracing Biblical Methods: Communication"

If you are able to eliminate Tedd Tripp's insistence that the rod is Biblical, you will find this chapter full of insight and encouragement. I really liked it. His emphasis on communication, dialogue, and relationship as the keystone of discipline is refreshing. Unfortunately, he insists that it cannot be used alone. :sigh "The rod and communication must always be woven together in the actual shepherding of children." (pg. 72) However, since later chapters are devoted specifically to the rod, I'll save my detailed objection of it until later.

The rest of this chapter is brilliant. His first point is "communication is dialogue, not monologue". In order to discipline our children, we have to talk with them - not at them. People cannot feel valued or respected if they are ignored. We have to be careful to listen to their stories, their dreams, their hopes, their disappointments, and their failures.

This leads us to his second point: "Focus on Understanding". He describes what Crystal calls "reflecting feelings". It's a simple technique that simply involves suggesting the feeling a child may be feeling. For example, if my child is crying after I said "no dessert tonight", I would reflect their feelings by saying, "You sound disappointed". Helping him name and understand his own feelings is the first goal. Helping him realize that I recognize those feelings and consider them valid is the second. Once we have accomplished that, we are able to deal with those feelings and move past them to solve the problem. It's really the first step to any discipline a parent does. :)

As Paul said in Romans, we are to "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another."

MarynMunchkins 03-14-2008 06:19 AM

Re: SACH review
Embracing Biblical Methods: Types of Communication"

This chapter reminds us that parenting is much more about communication than correction and punishment. You have to build that relationship, not just deal with problematic behavior. Mr. Tripp breaks communication down into several different groups.

Encouragment - "Children need communication designed to inspire and fill with hope and courage." This is straight from Scripture - it's our job as Christians to lift each other up. " Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."

Correction - Mr. Tripp references 2 Timothy 3:16-17 to say that "correction is one of the functions of the Word of God." The inference is, of course, the correction is appropriate for parents. The interesting thing about the word "correction" in the Bible is that it is used to speak of verbal instruction. Correction is to verbally tell someone what they are doing is wrong and tell them how to do what is right. Of course, when you think that the Word of God is said to be used for correction, it seems obvious that it is verbal/written thing. :)

Rebuke - According to the book, "a rebuke censors behavior." This makes sense to me. I find that I do a lot of this with 4 kids. It's the "Hey, stop hitting!" that gets said far too often around here. :neutral

Entreaty - "This is communication that is earnest and intense. It involves pleading, soliciting, urging, and even is the earnest pleading of a father or mother, who, understanding his child, the ways of God, and the extremity of the moment, is willing to bare his soul in earnest pleading for his child to act in wisdom and faith." Mr. Tripp says he has used this type of communication in discussing sexual morality issues with his children. My children aren't really at that point, so I've no idea if I will need to use that level on intensity with them with regard to that subject. However, I can say that I have done with most often with my oldest child. When I am seriously worried that I will have to admit him to the hospital if he can't calm down, I would say that I entreat him to breathe and think. :shifty

Instruction - "Instruction is the process of providing a lesson, a precept, or information that will help your children understand their world." This seems fairly obvious. Children aren't born knowing much, and they need to be taught. It's a parents job to do this or oversee those they entrust to teach for them. Mr. Tripp encourages parents to use Proverbs to help children develop discernment about life. Personally, I'm not sure why most Christians who espouse spanking seems to revere Proverbs so much. There are LOTS of books in the Bible, but Proverbs seems to be particularly favored. Of course, I certainly don't discount the wealth of wisdom there; it only seems odd that it's placed at the top of the list so often. :/

Warning - "A warning faithfully alerts us to danger while there is still time to escape unharmed." I certainly think that warnings play a valuable part in parenting. We want our children to be able to recognize and avoid danger.

Teaching - Honestly, I'm not quite sure how he differentiates this from instruction. He does say "It is often most powerfully done after a failure or a problem." I'm wondering if he's thinking of a lecture after natural consequences have already driven the point home, but he doesn't really go into enough detail for me to understand. Sorry, guys...

Prayer - He points out that while prayer is not communication between parent and child, we can gain insight from each other if we listen to each other pray. I know that my kids have gained comfort quite often from listening to me pray for them, and there is nothing sweeter than hearing my kids pray. Even if they are praying that no more boogers fall out of their nose. ;)

MarynMunchkins 03-14-2008 06:20 AM

Re: SACH review
"Embracing Biblical Methods: A Life of Communication"

This is the best chapter of the book. If I were to quote the things I liked from it, I'd just retype the whole chapter.

What Mr. Tripp describes is a relationship based on honest, open communication between parent and child. A relationship where a parent leads by serving, and makes sure that his children that. A relationship where mistakes are promptly apologized for, and plans are made to avoid repeating them. A relationship based upon utter dependence on Christ and unbridled love for children. :heart

He reminds that such a thing take intense, involved effort on the part of the parent. It takes time and energy like nothing else you have done before. It will be overwhelming and exhausting, and at times I'm sure you will wonder if it is worth it. I'm sure you will wonder because I know I do. :yes The fact is that it is worth it, and I know it is because it is that kind of effort that God has put into having a relationship with me. :amen

When we can foster and build that with our children, we gain their trust. We end up, not being our children's friends, but as beloved sisters and brothers in Christ. :happytears I don't know a Christian parent on the planet that doesn't long for that. :)

Can Dance 03-14-2008 07:02 AM

Re: SACH review
I think that is what is most scary to me about this book. You say there is a lot of good stuff thrown in with the punitive stuff. it would take a very wise parent to separate the two, and clearly you can, though others aren't as informed. :(

Chris3jam 03-14-2008 07:57 AM

Re: SACH review
Thanks for doing this, Mary. :heart Now. . if you could move in with me for, oh, a month or two and show me what I'm doing wrong. . . .. . . .. :shifty

MarynMunchkins 03-14-2008 08:05 AM

Re: SACH review
I was honestly really surprised by how *good* a bit of the book was. I can definitely see why it holds such an appeal to so many people. :yes2

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