Janice Shaw Crouse

Parents need practical help and specific suggestions from someone who knows the challenges that they face with hectic schedules that pull a family “every which way.” I especially like the fact that Rebecca recognizes that it is a battle that parents have to face unrelentingly, every single day. I also like that fact that she acknowledges that parenting should be fun and fulfilling, not a chore to endure. Her book walks the fine line that parents have to walk — acknowledging the dangers and pitfalls but also recognizing the incredible opportunity and privilege it is to shape a new life into a happy, well-adjusted and contributing member of society.

I like the fact that she sees parenting as a mission to see that the God-given potential of each child is fully realized and that each individual child will know unconditional love from his or her parents and accept the reality that God wanted that child to be exactly how He planned him or her to be. Most of all, I respect the fact that Rebecca Hagelin’s book focuses on parental involvement, acknowledging the fact that parents have to “be there” both physically and emotionally for their children. Sometimes it is the busiest parents who are “there” both physically and emotionally, so the challenge is not simply a parent’s actual presence (though that is tremendously important). The really essential ingredient is the heart-to-heart, mind-to-mind connection with the parents that the child can rely on as a consistent foundation of their life from earliest memory into adulthood.

Another factor that I especially appreciated about 30 Ways is that Rebecca emphasized the fact that we cannot build barriers around our children to protect them from outside influences. We must help build their inner strength and help them develop character, integrity, and vital, authentic faith that will hold them steady in the midst of and sometimes right in the middle of all the negative aspects of modern culture. The days of sheltering our children from the world around us are essentially gone; we have to recognize that we cannot shield them. We must instead prepare them to let that “stuff” roll off without “dirtying” them. That is the major challenge facing today’s parents, and I don’t envy them. I am just grateful that they have Rebecca’s excellent 30 Ways as a guide to help them succeed in life’s most important job — preparing the next generation of Godly leaders.

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Janice Shaw Crouse

Janice Shaw Crouse is a former speechwriter for George H. W. Bush and now political commentator for the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee.
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