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Book Review – Fearless Parenting by George Barna & Jimmy Myers

July 27, 2017

Combining their skills of research (George Barna) and counseling (Jimmy Myers), the authors bring challenging perspectives on the parental task of raising faithful kids in secular culture.

After an opening chapter, each of the next ten chapters begin with a “counseling situation” serving as the introduction to the topic being addressed. They wisely deal with the issue underlying the problem, as well as with the problematic behavior being expressed. Each chapter closes with a section “Five Practical Changes You Can Make Today.”

The authors express their goal clearly at the outset: “to provide you with practical advice to help you effectively influence the mind and heart of your child” (p. 8). The book succeeds in achieving this goal, not only in the concluding section of each chapter, but within the pages of each chapter there is adequate analysis and explanation of the erroneous mindsets and heart attitudes of both parents and children. And they are not afraid to address an issue bluntly and “offend” the reader with their advice. While neither of them are “legalistic” in their approach to issues, they make forceful, draw-the-line here statements that, though possibly debatable, are necessary. In hindsight, the authors did lay out more Biblical principles (ie chapter & verse) than expected. The reasoning and explanations on various topics is clearly in line with Scriptures’ teaching on the issues.

While the book at times felt redundant and unrelenting, as I looked back over the sections, there was a good balance of positive strategies and restrictive guidelines. The final chapter on the importance of parental consistency was superb. It provides an appropriate “reflective stop” to a book that could leave a parent feeling overwhelmed with a list of do’s and don’ts.

I would recommend this book to any parent, certainly for those dealing with teenagers or soon-to-be-teenagers. However, as a parent with children still a few years away from being teens, I find it most helpful to think through these issues now and start setting the expectations ahead of time so that they when the various issues start arising, they already know the standards.

Note: This book was provided to the reviewer by Baker Books in exchange for an unbiased review.





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