What I Wish I Knew When My Children Were Young
By Cheryl Kaye Wisner
A child is meant to be a blessing, but depending on how he is raised, he can end up being quite the opposite. Reb Bradley, author of Child Training Tips: What I wish I knew when my children were young, has a keen awareness of a child’s potential to be raised up to live a life of maturity or to be raised up to live a life of immaturity. The author goes beyond simple child training instructions; he looks deep into the heart of both the parents and the child and gives good, practical tips on how to raise a child Biblically. When you read this book, you will be enlightened and will see how God designed for a child to be raised. The goal of the book is to show you this: that when a child is raised Biblically, he will be raised up to a mature nature and learn to love God and others.
Bradley shows his readers that, both as parents and as a child, all have a sinful nature. As parents, the goal is to subdue the child’s will into submission. When the child has been subdued, it is time to raise him up to maturity and teach him how to follow the greatest commandment – loving God and loving others. However, the author does not put all of the faults on the child. He does encourage parents to check their “blind spots” and to know where they have shortcomings. He makes the point that parents are human as well, and there will be times that they will make mistakes, but the key to correct discipline is consistency. When parents understand their job more clearly and are aware of man’s sinful nature, they are then able to take practical steps in “train(ing) up a child in the way he should go”.
Some of the practical tips Bradley includes are as follows: requiring respect of the child to their parents at all times; causing the child to be put under the parents’ authority- not the other way around; not excusing the child’s immature behavior; giving the child practical jobs that will help raise them up to maturity; etc. The author not only teaches the parents how to evaluate their child’s sinful behavior, but he also tells parents what to do when it appears. He writes about practical situations that could happen in day-to-day life, and then shows how the situation should be handled. He explains things in a way that are very easy to understand and is constantly giving the Scripture that formed his ideas.
Reb Bradley wisely shows parents how to train up a child Biblically by going to the root of the issues – parent’s and the child’s hearts. He gives you a view into the struggles and joys that can be found in parenting. The struggles come from not understanding the root of the problem or not working to fix that same root. The joys come from consistently following a Biblically based disciplinary system that reaches the ultimate goal- a child who maturely loves God and others. Though there were times that the author used somewhat trite expressions, I would give the Child Training Tips: What I wish I knew when my children were young two thumbs up for a practical child training handbook.
i Matthew 22:37-39 (NASB), “And he said to him, “‘You shall love he Lord your God with all you heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
ii Proverbs 22:6b (NASB)