God knew your strengths and weaknesses when you signed up to be a parent, and He still hired you. So if He doesn’t regret giving you the job of raising His children, then you have nothing to feel guilty about. You are free to be yourself. You know your kids and what they need, so trust the insight God has given you. He assures us in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 that He will be strong where we are weak. All we have to do is depend on Him.

– Lisa Whelchel

Parenting is not for the faint of heart. There will be days so hard it will rock you to your core and then days where you didn’t realize you could feel such pride.

Book Recommendations

Here are a few book recommendations to get you through these years. No two children are the same, so I am starting with the books that I think can be helpful no matter your child’s personality. 
 

Power of a Praying Parent

Every chapter addresses a different challenge that your child is going to face at one point or another. Often times as a parent all you can do is pray. At least that’s the way I have felt at times, no matter how much I want to intervene. There were other times I was unsure how to pray and I appreciated the guided prayers. 
 

Love and Logic 

So, I am big on Love and Logic. Sure you can micromanage your kids, but it’s exhausting and in the long run, you really are not doing them any favors doing this. My take away was: pick and choose your battles. Sometimes, of course, you have to intervene, but there are a lot of times that they are better off facing consequences. 
 

Creative Correction 

This book got a bad rap a while back, but I read it and found it quite helpful. Each child is different. The way you deal with one child is not the way you deal with the other child. I liked having a ton of ideas to work with. 
 

The Five Love Languages of Children

I think knowing your child’s love language is extremely important. For example, what if your child’s love language is touch and you are spanking them. You are essentially using their love language against them. That child needs a different form of punishment that doesn’t hurt their soul while learning a lesson. 
 
Here are the five love languages and ways to use each of them to love your child. 
 
Ways to Show Love Through Physical Touch: 
  • Brush their hair
  • Cuddle
  • Gentle shoulder squeeze as you walk past.
  • Holding hands as you walk.
  • Sitting close enough to touch.
Ways to Show Love Through Words of Affirmation: 
  • Leave a note of encouragement for them in their lunch.
  • Let them overhear you talking positively about them to someone.
  • Say affirmations with them each day.
  • Call or text them out of the blue with an inspirational quote.
Ways to Show Love Through Quality Time:   
  • Engage 100% in a one of their favorite activities.
  • Set aside time once a week to have one on one time together. Plan throughout the week what you will do together.
  • Be present in their room doing some work (on the phone, cleaning, etc) while they play.
Ways to Show Love Through Gifts:  
  • Surprise them with their favorite snack when going grocery shopping.
  • See something special in nature and offer it to them.
  • Wrap-up a forgotten and cherished toy with a note sharing a specific memory of them and the toy.
  • Gather wild flowers to present to them after a walk.
  • Start a fun collection of something that you bring home after each trip just for them.
Ways to Show Love Through Acts of Service:  
  • Do one of your kids’  chores such as taking out the garbage, doing the dishes or making the bed. 
  • Fill-up the gas in your teen’s car.
  • Help your child with a large task after they’ve started it on their own. 

More Parenting Book Recommendations:

Parenting – 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul Tripp

Praying Circles Around Your Children (Mark Batterson), Shepherding a Child’s Heart (Ted Tripp)

Parenting (Paul David Tripp)

How To Love Your Teenager – Dr. Ross Campbell

Bill Gothard’s material on Chain of Command.

How to Catch a Dragon (has a new title now),

Tough Guys and Drama Queens

The Connected Child

Whole-Brained Child

Anatomy of the Soul

No-Drama Discipline

Out-of Sync Child

Captivating and Wild at Heart by Eldridge and his wife.

Parenting beyond your capacity- Carey Nieuwhof & Reggie Joiner.

Orange wrote a book called Its Just a Phase- it has really helped me understand what’s going on in my kids at the specific age they are at.

Age of Opportunity – for preteens and teens

Dare to Discipline

Boyhood and Beyond by Bob Schultz