Monday 25 January 2021

Effective Parenting - James B. Stenson - Catholic Truth Society

Effective Parenting
ISBN 9781860828669
eISBN 9781784694708
CTS Booklet PA19

I have read 15 volumes by James B. Stenson going back to 2006 but seem to have only reviewed one of them. They were recommended back in 2006 when I had just become a Father. This is the first of his works that I have picked up from the Catholic Truth Society, all the rest have been from Scepter. I grabbed this volume primarily for even after 14 years of parenting I know that I can keep improving. Second, I grabbed it because I remember well how good other books from Stenson were. And Third I have been on a real Binge read of books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society. In fact I have read over 175 of the books and booklets from the CTS in the last few years and show no sign of slowing down. This volume was published originally by Scepter, reprinted by the Catholic Truth Society in 2013 and the eBook edition released in 2017. But back to this volume. This book comes in at a slim 50 pages but is it ever worth the read. The description of the booklet is:

“Packed with all the advice, guidance and common sense you need on your journey as a parent. A guide that sets out the importance of the role of mothers and fathers, underpinned by Christian principles.”

And the longer description of the eBook is:

“A practical eBook, packed with all the advice, guidance and common sense you need on your journey as a parent. While bringing up children is a great responsibility, many problems can be overcome through simple solutions. This text sets out the importance of the role parents have and shows how that role must be expressed through nurturing and encouraging one’s children along a path to responsible caring adulthood. 

Giving pointers on such subjects as: the interaction between parents, the setting of rules, the building of a family unit, how to communicate with both small and adolescent children, what the ultimate goal of effective parenting should be, and much more, it will be a great help for even the most experienced mothers and fathers and novices alike.”

That is exactly what you get, a fantastic little guide, and with the size of the book it is one you could return to again and again. Refresh by rereading it from time to time. And that is what I plan on doing, usually I remove the download as soon as I finish an eBook, but I left this on my device so I will see the cover again and give it a reread.

The chapters in this book are:

A Job Description for Parents?
The Vision of Parent Leaders
Rules That Make a Family Work
Discipline in the Family
Parents and their Adolescent Children
Family Health-Check
Effective Parenting in a Nutshell

This book begins with these words:

““I wish I had known all this 25 years ago!” That’s what I’ve sometimes been told after my conferences on successful parent leadership. The words, said in humour but sometimes with wistful regret, came from older parents whose children had already grown and left home.

I have written on parent leadership, the fruit of my 30 years’ experience with families, so that you, a young parent, won’t have to express this same regret in the future. I’ve written this booklet so that you can form a clearer idea of how other parents have lived as great leaders in family life and have succeeded with their sacred mission: to raise their children right. I want to help you form a ‘job description’, so to speak, on how to succeed as a leader to your children.

When I say ‘succeed or fail’, I don’t mean parents’ methods of discipline, or how they keep their children under control, or how they handle the daily challenges in family life. These are short-term achievements, but only part of the whole picture.

Parents really win success with their children only in the long term. Parents succeed with their children when they grow up to become competent, responsible, considerate and generous men and women who are committed to live by principles of integrity - adults who bring honour to their parents all their lives through their conduct, conscience and character. Raising children to become adults like this is what parenthood is all about.”

He goes on to state:

“What I set out for you in this booklet is intended to be descriptive, not prescriptive. That is, I don’t claim to have all the answers about family life, and I don’t know anyone who does. What I’m doing here is describing the kind of thinking and action - the compass of parenthood - that great parents have lived by and taught me in the course of my professional career. If you find something here of help to you, then this booklet has done its job.” 

If you are a parent or expecting I strongly recommend that you pick this book up and read it. Even after reading many books by Stenson years ago I greatly benefited from reading this one. This is a book I wish I can come across earlier. And to be honest I should go back and read or reread many of his other works. But this is an excellent starting place. And I hope the quotes above have raised your interest enough that you give this book a try, I am certain you will not be disappointed!

An excellent resource for all parents from the Catholic Truth Society!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by James B. Stenson:
Father, The Family Protector
Compass: A Handbook on Parent Leadership
Lifeline: The Religious Upbringing of Your Children
To Be a Man: Life Lessons for Young Men
Preparing for Adolescence: A Planning Guide for Parents
Upbringing: A Discussion Handbook for Parents of Young Children
Preparing for Peer Pressure: A Guide for Parents of Young Children
Anchor: God's Promises of Hope to Parents

Spanish Editions:
Filhos: quando educá-los?
Un papa a todo dar
Pais bem-sucedidos

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