Have you heard the phrase “little kids, little problems, big kids, bigger problems? When our kids were little we could easily resolve their issues with a simple hug. As they grow problems become more complex. With the things that have come up lately with my 8-year-old, I miss being able to just kiss his boo-boo and send him on his way.
Solving Kid’s Big Problems
When our kids start exhibiting difficult behaviors or experiencing hardships you may find yourself needing to refer to parenting resources for extra help. There’s no shame in that, seeking guidance shows you want to learn how to love and take care of your child!
But where do you turn? In this information age, there is a lot of stuff out there. Some of it is fluff. Some of it is useful. A lot of it just covers surface level things. Try this technique. Implement that plan. But does it really address the heart issues?
I’m not talking about irregular heartbeats, I’m talking about things like bad attitudes, lying, insecurities, or selfishness. These types of things and related issues all begin brewing in a child’s heart and spills out in their behaviors, choices and how they treat others.
Instead of looking for “band-aid” solutions that are often found in parenting books I’m sharing with you 3 books that I used as a parent and a therapist that get to the heart of the matter. To effectively help our kids solve their big problems it is essential to look at their heart.
If you’re wanting to learn how to address your child’s heart or if you’re tired of parenting books that don’t give you lasting solutions then keep reading my review for solving kid’s big problems with 3 parenting books that that help you raise your kids with heart.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to amazon.com and affiliated sites.
The Best Parenting Books That Help You Raise Your Kids With Heart
The foundation to solving kids big problems is through having a good parent/child relationship which is cultivated through effective communication and listening skills. The first book I’m reccomending covers that topic.
The next book helps address kids hearts by exploring grace based parenting, which is gospel oriented, rather than rules based parenting. The latter method is done out of love whereas the other method is more authoritative.
The final book in this roundup discusses how to connect with and nurture our kids despite the battles we get into. Rather than look at issues as a
So let’s get to it! Here are the 3 parenting books that help address kids issues of the heart.
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk By Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
I was first introduced to “How To Talk So Kids Will Listent…” when I started working as a therapist with kids with autism. We used this book to help parents communicate with their kids, but it can be used for any child. If you are looking for a book that helps you communicate and listen to your child, which in turns helps nurtures your relationship with him or her, then this book is for you!
This book is written in a heartwarming and easy to follow way. It is full of practical tips too. The parents I worked with were able to implement these strategies right away.
For example, there is a section in the book that coaches parents to describe what they are hearing and seeing from their child. If a child is upset over having to clean up toys parents are instructed to say “I hear you are upset.” “I see you don’t want to clean up when you cross your arms.”
This method communicates to the child that they are being heard and understood. I’ve used to this with my kids too. Both I and the parents I worked with can testify that making these simple statements helps diffuse a heated situation. Parents and kids can work through the disagreement. Parents can learn why their child doesn’t want to clean up and kids can learn why it’s important to do what is asked of them.
To give you a better ideas here is a great description from Amazon:
The ultimate “parenting bible” (The Boston Globe)
Internationally acclaimed experts on communication between parents and children, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish “are doing for parenting today what Dr. Spock did for our generation” (ParentMagazine). Now, this bestselling classic includes fresh insights and suggestions as well as the author’s time-tested methods to solve common problems and build foundations for lasting relationships, including innovative ways to:
· Cope with your child’s negative feelings, such as frustration, anger, and disappointment
· Express your strong feelings without being hurtful
· Engage your child’s willing cooperation
· Set firm limits and maintain goodwill
· Use alternatives to punishment that promote self-discipline
· Understand the difference between helpful and unhelpful praise
· Resolve family conflicts peacefully
Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus By Elyse Fitzpatrick
If you find yourself feeling like more of a rule enforcer or dictator of perfection, but not sure how to turn things around or if your kids are not living up to your expectations of behavior, perhaps “Give Them Grace” can help.
This is a wonderful book as it discusses how we as parents often tell our kids to do this, obey that, follow this rule. We also drive home moralistic values and teach our kids to be good and do good. While this is all well and good this approach to parenting stresses perfection and lawful living which is not possible if you are a Christain.
“Give Them Grace” instead teaches parents a different kind of method, grace-based parenting. Rather than being a law enforcer grace-based parenting transforms parents to be a Gospel teacher and grace-giver.
Here are some great quotes from the book to give you a better idea:
*Give them Grace differentiates between moralism and the Gospel: “Mormons, Muslims, and moralistic atheists all share the belief that law can perfect us, but Christians don’t. Christians know that the law can’t save us; what we need is a Savior.”
* It warns against formula parenting: “Giving grace to our children is not another formula that guarantees their salvation or obedience. Grace-parenting is not another law for you to master to perfect your parenting or your children.”
* It encourages going back to the what Christ has done
* It keeps reaffirming the centrality of the Gospel in all of Scripture, in all of life, “Parenting methods that assume or ignore the gospel are not Christian. The gospel must hold the center in all we think, do, and say with our kids.”
* It reminds us that we, as parents, need the Gospel, too: “In our hearts we know that’s true because the law hasn’t made us good, either, has it?”
* The questions for reflection at the end of each chapter really ARE good for reflection, not just “learn the answer, fill in the blanks”.
* Appendix Two: Common Problems and the Gospel. This is an excellent resource for helping parents re-frame their thinking and answer “What does it look like to reflect the Gospel in our parenting relationships?”
This is a beautifully written book that not only provides fabulous parenting advice but also shows areas in your own personal life to improve. It’s changed so many areas in our lives for the better. All of these points transforms our hearts and the way we teach and discipline our kids. When we look at our hearts and share love with our kids we can reach our kid’s hearts.
I have found when I applied these principles to issues with my kids the lessons sink in deeper and it has a positive effect on them. We have meaningful conversations, which reaches them further rather than me yelling and punishing (guilty of doing that!)
Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens By Paul Tripp
Do often find yourself dreading meltdowns or arguments and just do what is necessary to put an end to the fighting? Or do you pick certain battles over others just to lighten your load? “Age Of Opportunity” can help you change your approach as you face issues with your kids.
I don’t have teens yet, but I heard teenagers are like tall toddlers. I have a toddler, so I thought I would check it out this book because the battles are frequent. In all honesty, the principles from this book can be applied to any age. And if anything reading this book definitely will prepare me for the teen years.
I feel the description on Amazon sums up this book the best:
The argument over the last donut. The cry of nothing to wear a half hour before school. The “I’m the only one whose parents make them . . .”
Teenage hassles that disrupt parents’ lives? Or prime opportunities to connect with, listen to, and nurture our kids? Paul Tripp uncovers the heart issues affecting parents and their teenagers during the often chaotic adolescent years. With wit, wisdom, humility, and compassion, he shows parents how to seize the countless opportunities to deepen communication, learn, and grow with their teenagers.
“Age of Opportunity” was written for hurting parents of teens by someone who was himself a hurting parent of teens, to give hope and help in the struggle. Paul Tripp knows exactly what it’s like to be down in the trenches doing battle with our rebellious offspring, and he paints his pictures in stark, real-life terms, but with a godly wisdom
The book opens with a call to stay in the fight, to shed the world’s “if I can only survive until they reach age 18” mentality. God has uniquely positioned and equipped every Christian parent to model Christ and shape the hearts of their children. The real battle starts when we get a correct perspective on our role as parents, and who our kids are in the sight of God.
From there, the author backs up the dump truck and unloads heaps of great scriptural advice on how to recognize where your teen is spiritually, and how to go for the real prize — his or her heart. We can regulate or suppress their outward behavior until we’re blue in the face, but if we don’t go for our teen’s heart we really accomplish no permanent change. The goal is less to steer them away from the world, and more to steer them toward a hunger for Christ.
These are themes parents can relate to no matter what the age of their child. For example, the battles Tripp describes of not having anything to wear reminds me of the battles I get into with my 2-year-old about wanting to wear shorts when it’s 20 degrees. Like a
I hope these 3 parenting books help and encourage you on your parenting journey. They are worth every moment of your time. When you order one you will see for yourself how they are very effective at helping you solve kid’s big problems because they help address kid’s issues of their heart.
If you’re looking for more encouragement for tackling issues that arrise with raising kids check out these related posts: