Wednesday, August 11, 2010
No More Jellyfish, Chickens or Wimps
A blog site wouldn't be complete without its own home-grown book critic. And, I can't think of a more trust-worthy critic than my good friend Jessica Heyworth. Jessica is always chewing on good thoughts and usually found with some book in her hands. If its not curriculum for one of her four home-schooled kids, she's reading something on becoming a more devout follower of Christ, a more faithful wife or enduring mother. I trust her instincts and always enjoy hearing what her mind has been musing on. So, this month (yes, Jessica I expect monthly reports :)) Jessica is reviewing a book called "Nor More Jellyfish, Chickens or Wimps". Ouch...the title already sounds convicting to me. Actually, its more geared towards parents and the ways we raise our children. Enjoy Jess' review. . .especially all you parents out there with young children. I know I'm gonna pick up a copy of this book!
No More Jellyfish, Chickens or Wimps
By Paul Coughlin
A review: By Jessica Heyworth
No More Jellyfish, Chickens or Wimps is a thought provoking book of practical advice, pointing out helpful guidelines on how to raise courageous, assertive children. At the same time, this book points out the dangers and pitfalls of over-protecting parenting. If you are interested in raising children who are strong in their character and confident in who they are in Christ, this book is for you. Don’t be surprised however, if the Holy Spirit starts working on your own heart as you read through the chapters. This book delves into an area of Christianity that is often misunderstood and neglected, meekness. If we as parents teach our children the wrong definition of meekness, (for example; teaching them to be soft, compliant and pleasant), we are on our way to “creating a nation of wimps”. The author Paul Coughlin describes meekness as… “knowing who we are, believing that what God says is true and then submitting to Him in obedience because we love Him.” As he highlight the differences between meekness and courage, he packs a hard punch when he starts talking of the timid living parents are passing down to their children by their so called “protecting”. Paul argues that by keeping our children from the inevitable hardships and challenges in life, we could stunt their emotional growth, never allowing them to recognize their true weakness and strengths. Talking largely about courage and the lack of it in our society, Paul points out the problems of our nation and how we as Christians are raising untold numbers of timid, psychologically fragile, anxiety ridden kids. He masterfully spells out what courage really looks like by saying, “courage was once reserved for the kind of behavior requiring sacrifice and suffering on behalf of a person for the common good, part of the definition of righteousness that’s found especially in the Bible.”
With profound words backed by Scripture, this book brings a bright light on some of the rarely touched subjects in the Christian realm. It dives into the “Dangers of a Nice Christian Upbringing” and gives wholesome advice in “Help for Bullies and Victims”. It teaches a controversial subject asking “Where are the courageous?” in a clear, passionate way. The author relates with parents as he walks us through areas of insecurities that we might unknowingly be passing down to our kids. Some questions we can ask ourselves as we read through the book could be…
1) Are our children able to think intuitively and stand up for themselves?
2) Are they able to courageously defend someone who is being mistreated or bullied?
3) Am I overprotecting my children by rescuing them from every hardship they might encounter?
As a parent realizing the God given responsibility to protect and train my children, the book No More Jellyfish, Chickens or Wimps, has helped me to keep my parenting balanced. It has helped me to reflect on the importance of not leaning too far on the side of over-protection. It also has encouraged me to continue to train our children to be courageous, not just to “be nice”. As we all live life and continue on this journey together, I pray that we can work to raise children that will be bold in their faith, courageous in difficult situations and confident in their God given abilities. This book has been an inspiration to me and I hope it will be for you as well.
Are you timid or way too passive in life? Are you fearful of what people might think of you if you take a stand against wrongdoing? Do you want your children or be able to take risks, connect with others and be tough enough to “wield the sword of defiance against dark forces”? If so, don’t hesitate to read this book!