There are parenting books and Christian parenting books. Some are fine and some are frankly a bit horrifying. Rarely do I find what I would consider a great parenting book. Parents Rising by Arlene Pellicane might just be one of those great Christian parenting books. (Really any parent would greatly benefit from this book.)
Pellicane has a wealth of books and television appearances already on her resume. Most of what she shares though, she learned from her own three kids.
Usually as I read books I’m reviewing, I mark passages I find particularly insightful or helpful to parents. This book is full of those passages. The author’s style is one of my favorites – lots of story telling, scripture references, practical tips, explanations of why God’s instructions work and even a few recipes thrown in for fun.
She breaks the book down into eight strategies, although principles is probably a more accurate description. Ranging from “Amusement is not the highest priority” to “Launching adults, not babying children”, each is a sound parenting principle – especially for Christian parents. Pellicane covers in depth some of my favorite Christian parenting topics including boundaries, Bible reading, time together and strong marriages.
I appreciate that she quotes other experts as she writes, particularly on topics with which she is perhaps a little less familiar. Which honestly is also one of the only weaknesses of the book. The author still has pre-teen children at home and appears not to have a lot of experience working with teens. While the advice for parenting teens wasn’t bad, it perhaps wasn’t as strong as the rest of the book. The expert she quoted on teens was a bit off base from the author’s style of Christian parenting – which Pellicane doesn’t know yet because of her lack of experience.
There are a couple of other places I could quibble, but most would be to add a bit more – not necessarily disagree. For example in a discussion of modesty, she focuses on clothes and girls. Boys can also be immodest and a girl wearing “modest” clothes can be extremely immodest by her attitudes and how she holds her body, facial expressions, etc. Had the author more experience with teens, I believe she would have strengthened these sections on mostly teen issues. In a few years when her kids are teens, I hope she revisits and edits those teen sections to make them even stronger.
Which is my only other critique of the book. How much time can the author really be spending with her young children, doing all of the things she is suggesting while writing books, making tv appearances, etc.? She may just be promoting the myth that women can do everything well. Maybe she has a lot of paid help or only works while her kids are at school. Secular studies are showing though, that it’s impossible to do everything well. Something is sacrificed when you are expected to do multiple full time jobs at peak performance. It’s unfortunate she didn’t really address that issue.
Otherwise, this book is amazing! The tips are great and the stories and scriptures help readers understand why she is suggesting you do these things. In fact, this is one of those books that is easy to read, but hard to digest because there is just so much good information in it. She does end each chapter with a question, a prayer and an action step. Personally, I would have eliminated the prayer and added more questions and action steps instead.
Read this book and pass it on to other parents you know. The sections talking about doing the hard parenting work when kids are young and spending time with your kids in ways that really matter alone, make the book worth reading. This is definitely one of those parenting books that should become a classic.
This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.