Winning The Heart of Your Child: 9 Keys to Building a Positive Lifelong Relationship with Your Kids
By Mike Berry
As a mom of four children (ages 9, 5, 3, and 9 months), I have to confess – I have no idea what I am doing. Quite often I feel like I am unintentionally messing up my children in some way, shape or form. Parenting is possibly the hardest job in the entire world and to make it even more challenging, you won’t know how good or bad of a job you have done until your precious baby is all grown up. Even then, your child could still be living in your home or living a life that mirrors that of a teenager rather than a responsible, untethered adult.
Regardless, a parent must be constantly reminded of the task at hand – raising adults, not raising children. Likewise, parenting is an investment. We put in the time now and may not receive a return on our investment until years, or more likely decades, down the road.
In my seemingly clueless mind and overwhelmed soul, I am so grateful Baker Books gave me the opportunity to read and review a very insightful and practical parenting book – Winning The Heart of Your Child: 9 Keys to Building a Positive Lifelong Relationship with Your Kids by Mike Berry.
Berry is the adoptive father of 8 children and in my opinion he is well qualified to be the author of this book. He is vulnerable in sharing his personal struggles along with the trials his family has endured and overcome. He is real, transparent and honest in his encouragement of a parent’s fight to win their child’s heart.
The main concept behind this book’s title is to help parents train both their minds and their hearts to focus on winning their child’s heart instead of winning the argument, discussion or debate. This little change of focus can make all of the difference in the cherished lifelong relationship between a parent and a child. Truthfully and selfishly, I am guilty of concentrating on the temporary moment of the present and the opportunity to be “right” rather than prioritizing the future and considering how the outcome of every action, decision and discussion will shape my child. Needless to say, this concept blew my mind and has encouraged me to be more intentional and more engaged when parenting my children.
Berry rounds out the book by offering 9 different keys to unlock a lasting parent/child relationship. These 9 themes address:
- Blending love and discipline together in order to gain influence
- Understanding and embracing the parenting “shift” of influence
- Supporting other voices in your child’s life
- Using your time wisely
- Staying involved in your child’s life
- Committing to being consistent in your parenting
- Loving your child no matter what
- Listening to what is true about you
- Leaving a legacy behind
Winning The Heart of Your Child is targeted mainly towards parents with tweens and teens but is also applicable to new parents, parents with elementary-aged children, college students, and grandparents. No matter what season of parenting you may find yourself in, it is never too late to invest in the child(ren) in your life!
My two biggest take-aways from Winning The Heart of Your Child are:
– Prioritizing the quantity of quality time together with my children (NOT simply focusing on the quantity of time together or being limited to merely a few moments of quality time as a family)
– Focusing on being intentional in the direction I am traveling (both in my relationships with each child and in their personal life journey guided by God).
I enjoyed this book because it made me realize I am not being purposeful in parenting my children. It was a rude awakening but left me feeling inspired nonetheless. Time is of the essence and there is no better time to start winning your child’s heart than right now.
*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review