The next book I’m recording my notes from is Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers. I read this book probably three years ago and just ran across my notes I took a week or so ago. Actually, finding those notes written on yellow legal pad paper is what inspired me to share my notes from my reading here at The Littlest Way. I have no idea how those few pages of notes have not gotten lost…well, they kind of were or thrown away. I almost tossed them this last time I found them but decided I would share the notes here so I would have them somewhere, not just floating around. For more great parenting book resources, check out my Book Notes page.
Book Notes: Hold on to Your Kids
—to “collect your child” get in their space in a friendly way–eye contact, smile, nod…
—morning collection is very important This is something I used to struggle with especially with my older children. They have alarm clocks. They don’t use or they ignore their clocks. I resented this. But in reading Sally Clarkson, and I don’t recall if it was a post or book in particular, it seemed like she took great joy in waking her children.
So now I wake my children most mornings. Right now, Leo and I go door to door and say, “Good Morning. Happy Monday (or Tuesday…) Time to start getting around.” I’ve put this in the perspective that sooner rather than later those rooms will be empty and my children will have to wake up on their own. Sooner, rather than later, I will be waking up without a full house.
—rebuilding the bridge is always our responsibility (children are not mature enough to understand the need for it) This is something I must repeat to myself constantly. When disagreements arise, feelings can and do get hurt. If a child has been ugly in word or deed, my first instinct is to recoil and wait. This one quote made me realize, it is my responsibility to try to restore that bridge between us.
—make a child feel invited to exist in our presence exactly as he is–express delight in his very being How many times do my children come into a room and first of all, I may be doing something else and so I don’t greet them (ouch, that was tough to share) or when I see them I say something like, “Go wash your hands…that skirt is too short…have you finished your chores…where’s the baby…” I am really working on greeting my children each and every time they enter my presence with a smile and a hug if they are close enough. I want to note, I also need to greet them with a smiley voice too.
—invite dependence…our refusal to invite them to depend on us drives them into the arms of others
—Act as the child’s compass point. (This is the plan…3 days until…next is…) I know some of my kids need to know what’s coming. We tease that they are just nosy, but rereading through these notes, I need to consider myself their compass point.
—Orient them about their identity and significance…(You have a special way of…You are the kind of girls who…You have a real gift for…You have what it takes to…) I believe this is so important especially for Chris and our girls. Of course, this is important for me and the boys to, but if our girls–teen girls–do not hear they are awesome from Chris, some teenage boy will tell them exactly what they need to hear and he may not have the best intentions.
—We need to come at the task of collecting our children with an air of confidence and not let ourselves be put off or distracted from our mission. The more defiant and impossible to be around children are, the greater their need to be reclaimed. This reminds me that parenting is a selfless work intended for life and also a holy work meant for the salvation of ourselves and our children.
But a woman will be saved through having children, if she perseveres in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.
†1 Timothy 2:15
—Peer-oriented children have high attachment needs. We need to create an attachment void by separating the child from his peers and then place ourselves in the void as substitutes. This is not saying peer friendships are bad, but they can get out of balance. I see this with children who are only interested in communication with their friends via texting, email, Facebook…while completely oblivious to the family life going on around them. It’s sad to see a family sitting at the table at a restaurant waiting for their food to be delivered, all the while staring at their respective devices.
—Focus on the relationship, not the behavior. There have been some issues that have come up in our family that my one-time hard stance has needed to soften in order to reach or keep my child’s heart. If I would have continued to hold my firm stance, on an issue, not sinful mind you, my child’s heart would have been completely closed off to any other instruction or wisdom I had. My child’s heart would have been completely closed off from me.
—Children do not experience our intentions. They experience what we manifest in tone and behavior. This goes back to the point above about wanting our children to feel accepted in our presence. I may be concerned about a child getting sick from dirty hands but if that’s the first thing I say to them in a disapproving manner, they think I disapprove of them. If my daughter walks into a room and the first words out of my frowning mouth are, “Your skirt is too short,” she doesn’t know I think she’s beautiful and her clothing should reflect that. She thinks I don’t approve of her. This will cause a separation between us and she will look for approval somewhere else.
What has been one of your favorite parenting books?
*Repost from the archives