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SHEPHERDING A CHILDS HEART
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50 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2011
OK, first off. If you don't want to bring your child up according to Biblical principles, you won't like this book. If you think smacking is always bad, you won't like this book. If you think children are naturally good and delightful and just need a little bit of shaping in their behaviour from time to time, you won't like this book.

But if you want to take seriously what the Bible says about raising kids, this is probably the best, most helpful and most practical book you'll come across. The big difference between this one and everything else I've read, is that Tripp deals with the heart issues, rather than just external behaviour. Most parenting books focus on discipline/reward as a way of modifying behaviour. (E.g. if you tidy your room, you can have a treat. If you refuse, you won't.) To an extent, this works; at least in the same way that you can train a dog to fetch a stick. The problem is that it doesn't deal with the question of why the child is refusing to tidy their room in the first place.

This is what sets Tripp's book above everything else I've seen. He deals with the heart-issues. Why do children misbehave? Why are they selfish and unthoughtful and uncaring? His conclusion is the same as mine: they are by nature sinners like the rest of us, and need the gospel of Jesus just like the rest of us do. They need to understand sin, forgiveness and redemption just like us grown-ups.

Tripp sees parenting as a series of opportunities to teach your children their need of the gospel, and to show them how it works in practice. Highly recommended!
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on 21 November 2014
This is a superb book, based on biblical truths. It was easy to read, very clear and thought provoking. The bible clearly states smacking as the main way to discipline. It must not be done in isolation though or in anger but as an integrated part of daily life. The book emphaises that smacking must be done in love, with clear communication and honesty. A great book.
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54 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2011
Let me preface this review by saying that I am a committed conservative Christian, who has studied theology at Bible college and completely committed to the authority of the word of God. I am also not, per se, against smacking as a form of discipline.

What Ted Tripp advocates in his chapter on discipline is abusive. I'm trying to think of another word, but I can't possibly soften it. He suggests spanking every time a child disobeys, on any level. The method for spanking, as highlighted by other reviewers, aims to hurt and humiliate- spanking must be done on the bottom, with clothes taken down, and hit as many times as will bring real pain (he explains that some children appear to be less sensitive to the hitting, so have to be hit repeatedly). I wish I was exaggerating! He really says this! I am baffled as to why my conservative evangelical friends think this is good handling of scripture.

Not only this, but I have a problem with how he defines disobedience. According to Tripp, any questioning of the parent (eg 'why do I have to go to bed now?') is disobedient and must be punished. The reason for this is because parents are in the place of God, and so they have God's authority over them.

As another reviewer has pointed out, although Tripp (rightly) identifies children as sinners, he seems to forget parents are too. Parents are given responsibility to children, but they do not replace God. Questioning a sinful parent is not the same as questioning God. Given that David wrestled with and railed against God in the Psalms, I find it alarming that Tripp is suggesting that children cannot question even sinful parents. It is hugely important that children are able to distinguish between relating to parents and relating to God. This has the potential to be incredibly spiritually damaging.

I was left wondering where in Tripp's book, trumpeted by so many as the 'biblical' way of parenting, was the gospel of grace? Good exegesis must lead to good praxis, and I find both severely lacking in this book. I would love it for Christians to write a book on parenting that talks about God's grace and love as a foundation, and I am dismayed that so many Christians have been taken in by this book.
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64 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 1999
I am a pediatrician with 21 years experience, and this is the book that I give young parents to provide them with the truth about raising children. It provides them with the proper world-view of parenting. It gives them a strategy that works, not pop psychology. Raising children is about influencing an eternal soul, created by God, it is not just changing behavior. Raising children is the most important job that a parent does, and 99% of parenting books totally miss the point, even many "Christian" parenting books, miss the point! I wish I would have had this book 25 years ago! Thank you Tedd Tripp for your ministry!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I read this book as I desired to raise my daughter by biblical standards and not worldly ones. Having read it through I feel there are some good points, particularly the importance of dealing with issues of the heart but I felt uneasy about some aspects of the book, such as the suggestion of smacking. My husband and I spent time discussing and praying about this and when we looked in to some of the Bible verses Tripp refers to, found that he has been misguided in his use of them. The word 'child' in the Old Testament can refer to different Jewish words for infants through to teens and although I can not speak with authority on this matter my research suggests that the use of 'the rod' refers to older teenagers. It has had a positive influence on my parenting as my husband and I have been able to discuss our parenting and faith in depth but I am sure there are better reads out there.
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45 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 1999
My husband and I are very impressed by this book. It is unlike anything else I've read because it is totally biblical, not just the opinion of a psychologist or doctor. I am a teacher with a Master's degree in Special Ed., currently enrolled in a Counseling Credential program, so I have an extensive background in child psychology. This approach is simply superior to anything else. I highly recommend this book for all Christian parents. I'm so thankful to have found it before my sons got any older (I have a toddler & a baby). The focus of this book is turning your child's heart toward Jesus, not on making your child conform to society's expectations. It is very challenging! I am buying 2 more copies to give to friends. I would love to see all Christian families use this book - what a difference it would make!
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47 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2002
I agree with what the other reviewers have said - this is the most helpful, Biblically based book I've read on child rearing - and I've read quite a lot! I'm no expert on children, just someone who found herself with a baby so thought she'd better try to find out the best way to bring him up!
It also translates well culturally for us Brits, which some American books don't. I'm buying several copies to give to friends with young children.
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33 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on 28 May 1999
I have read many books on child rearing, But never have I read one on changing the heart first. This book not only helped me get back in control as a parent, but it also opened my eyes to a lot of the problems in today world. My husband and I have applied what God gave us to use in the first place and again as always God is right and God is good.
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10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 11 November 2013
It sickens me that abusive behaviour can take on a mantel of respectability by virtue of being published and sold on Amazon. People can use this book to justify really disgusting abuse, and in the name of God/ religion so they don't feel bad about it at all. Oh if anyone is sinning in this it is the parents. The most evil acts in the world can be performed with good intentions and this makes them more chilling. These people are somewhere on the same continuum of religious outlook that at a further extreme advocates honour killings.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2012
This is an absolutely brilliant book. If you're reading reviews trying to decide whether to get it and confused by the total polarisation of opinions, please do just read it for yourself. I really don't think there is anything near child abuse suggested in this book and that other reviewers are very unfair in what they have said about Tedd Tripp. This book is full of the grace and wisdom of the Lord Jesus and it has been one of the most helpful parenting books I've ever read (next to his other book Instructing a Child's Heart and Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic). I've bought it for a few friends and passed my copy around to many others. Get it and read it for yourself.
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