Here’s my first book review of the year!
I just finished reading Boundaries With Kids, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.
I read these authors’ foundational book, Boundaries, last year and absolutely loved it.
Boundaries With Kids didn’t disappoint!
Cloud and Townsend’s concept of “boundaries” has been life-changing for me, and I believe it would be to anyone who will read the books and take the principles to heart.
Boundaries With Kids explores so many deep aspects of parenting that it’s actually challenging to summarize it in a book review.
Let me share a few of my favorite quotes from the book, just to give you a taste of this read:
The character that creates a life that works must have a healthy respect for reality (from chapter two: “What Does Character Look Like?”).
The first and most fundamental mental picture children have of the way the universe operates is at home (from chapter three: “Kids Need Parents With Boundaries”).
Allow children their own separateness. To teach them to respect yours, you have to respect theirs (from chapter seven: “I’m Not the Only One Who Matters”).
No one can bear the frustration and pain of responsibility outside of relationship. People can only internalize rules and law within a grace atmosphere… so love first: set limits second (from chapter 8: “Life Beyond ‘Because I’m the Mommy'”).
It’s hard for kids to grow when they aren’t around growing parents… you are either the key to the solution or the perpetuator of the problem (from chapter 14: “Roll Up Your Sleeves”).
I think Boundaries With Kids would be a great read for any parent, but it will be especially helpful for parents who:
- grew up with overly passive parents (no boundaries)
- grew up with controlling parents (no personal autonomy or healthy boundaries)
This book specifically addresses these important parenting topics:
- direct communication with your kids (versus manipulation)
- cultivating confidence and proactivity (versus passivity) in your kids
- helping kids identify and grow into their God-given gifts and skills
- helping kids internalize healthy boundaries and motives
- parents taking personal responsibility for their own emotional and spiritual growth
- influencing (versus controlling) your kids
- the role of a supportive community in healthy parenting
- expectations and consequences
- how boundaries apply during different stages of child development
- encouragement for a single parent, or parent with a non-supportive spouse
I’ve read a number of books by Cloud and Townsend, and so far I’ve found that what these authors have to say is extremely helpful, practical and Biblical.
What I love most about these authors is that their perspectives are both educated and God-centered.
Any given chapter in their books is built around a structure of phycological principles, while at the same time strongly supported by Scripture.
If you’re looking for a balanced, Biblically-sound book for parents, I hope you’ll buy yourself a copy of Boundaries With Kids.
(For more parenting book recommendations, please check out my Ultimate Reading List for Christian Women.)
Here’s to living and loving well-