Have you ever met the parents of a child everyone considers an absolute terror? And then listened to them for fifteen minutes as they shared the virtues of their wonderful, free-spirited child? Admit it now. Have you caught yourself thinking something along the lines of, “Are you crazy? Your kid is a terror!”
The truth is, most of the people in the world today are walking around with highly inaccurate perceptions of themselves. A lot of these same people also have inaccurate perceptions of others. So how do you know if maybe you aren’t seeing the world quite accurately? What happens when someone’s perception of your parenting skills or your child’s behavior is radically different from yours? Despite past trends that suggested otherwise, you can’t both be right. There is an objective truth and it will help both you and your kids to figure out what that truth really is and make choices based on it.
The problem is – we all have biases. Our experiences and our backgrounds color how we interpret the world. That doesn’t mean your view (or “truth”) is accurate merely because it’s your view. A quick watch of television talent shows will help you understand that principle’s reality. Just because a contestant believes he/she is a phenomenal singer, doesn’t mean he/she is. In fact, some who believe they are super talented actually couldn’t “carry a tune in a bucket”!
So I was interested when offered the chance to review the book, Insight by Tasha Eurich. Although it’s not a “Christian” book, I believe it provides a lot of helpful information for the Christian parent. Christianity is based in part on the idea that there are absolute truths. It’s important for both you and your kids to learn to be objective when assessing yourselves. Otherwise, how will your kids understand they need God? How will you know in what areas your kids need more of your guidance or correction? A skewed self-assessment may cause you to believe you or your kids have totally “mastered” (I realize we are never truly perfect or master these skills) a godly character trait or command. Yet, your self-assessment is skewed by your biases and in reality, you or your kids still have a lot to learn.
Eurich does a great job at assembling a lot of the research done in the areas of insight and self-awareness. She breaks it down in ways that are easy to understand. As she sifts through the information, she points out old theories we have been taught, which are now believed to be wrong. She shares information on new studies with which we may not yet be familiar. Along the way, she also shares tips the reader can use to improve their own self-awareness.
Perhaps the biggest gift she gives parents is to carefully walk readers through the entire history of the self-esteem debate. Honestly, reading her description made me aware of how easily our entire society can turn around on totally fabricated or misinterpreted information. It’s also a scary example of how your kids can be sent off in a wrong direction by allowing modern culture to interpret the Bible, rather than allowing the scriptures to speak plainly for themselves.
There are several dozen pages of quizzes, plans, notes and references. Although the book itself is not difficult to understand – and to me was extremely interesting – there is a lot of information to process. You will be tempted to rush through it, but at least mark the spots you want to spend more time processing or practicing later.
I love this book and highly suggest parents and even your teens read it. It can save readers a lot of future heartache as they attempt to process their own perceptions and those of the people around them.
This book was provided to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.