I picked up this book at the library after it was enthusiastically recommended by a fellow blogger, but after barely sampling the first chapter, I set it aside. Danny Silk had served up a biblical interpretation that makes me gag and I decided I couldn't choke down the rest of the book.
But for some reason I didn't return it.
Then I lost it with my kids, and I was shocked to recognize that I was using the same juvenile tone, attitudes and words as they were. We were either threatening each other or throwing our hands up in disgust. It is pretty ugly when the adult in the situation is rolling her eyes and declaring, "What-ev-a!" and "Right back atcha." When I crawled into bed feeling exhausted and defeated, there it was staring me in the face, Loving Our Kids On Purpose. By that point I figured, "What the heck; he might have a point in there somewhere."
So I devoured Loving Our Kids on Purpose and learned a great deal about peacefully helping my kids discover what's really going on in their hearts when they act sinfully, and how to help them see that it is those heart happenings that leads to their interpersonal conflicts. Instead of nagging or giving orders followed up by, "Or you'll be grounded," I've been trying to help them make good choices based on realistic outcomes. Thankfully God's provided the circumstances. We had a day with one child in the basement playing Legos while the others were diligently doing school work. Well guess who had no time with his friends after they came home from school? I didn't have to get mad; I just pointed out the fact that there is a time for school and a time for play, and he had made a choice. We've had some interesting discussions and I've learned a lot about my kids' hearts in the process. They're really neat little people with real hurts and dreams and fears, and I love them a lot.
While I still disagree with a lot of Danny Silk's psychological take on the Bible, his book has made me take some giant steps back to look at how I parent. I've built my whole doctrine of parenting on a few "cut and paste" verses that give me way too much power. I've put too much personal stock in whether my kids do things my way and haven't considered them as Image bearers, too. And with my "my way or the highway" parenting style I forgot that you truly do catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.
So we're all practicing a bit of self-control around here and are making choices that consider each other as more important than ourselves. It's definitely not perfect, but it's nice.