Danny Silk in his book, Loving your kids on purpose : making a heart-to-heart connection (Destiny Image, 2008), brings a fresh perspective to parenting by encouraging us to parent our kids the way God parents us. Danny spends a good deal of his book explaining the relationship God wants with us. God does not use intimidation, anger, or violence to coerce obedience but rather he wants us to obey him out of love for him. Jesus was upset with the Pharisees because they made a big show of conforming to outward observances without any genuine heart response. Likewise the goal of parenting is building a loving relationship with our children not merely teaching them to conform to a list of outward observances.

Danny makes the observation that the problems we face as parents are universal and are generally fall into one of the following categories: disrespect, disobedience, irresponsibility, tantrums, whining, sibling rivalry, back-talking, bullying, low self-esteem, chores or homework. The universal nature of these problems tells us that this is normal childish behaviour and not the fault of the parent. Consequently it is not the job of the parent to “fix” the child but rather encourage them to learn appropriate behaviour. One of the most powerful things we can do for our children when they are misbehaving is to hold onto our peace and not let their behaviour dictate our response, which he admits is easy to say than to do.

Danny’s honest approach to his subject makes this book easy to read and identify with, often telling stories that are funny as well as instructional. This is a very helpful book, even for those like me whose children have grown, as it contains some valuable insights into our relationship with God.

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