In this provocative history of parenting, Harry Hendrick analyzes the social and economic reasons behind parenting trends. He shows how broader social changes, including neoliberalism, feminism, the collapse of the social-democratic ideal, and the "new behaviorism," have led to the rise of the anxious and narcissistic parent. The book charts the shift from the liberal and progressive parenting styles of the 1940s through the '70s to the more behavioral, punitive, and managerial methods of childrearing today, made popular by so-called experts like Gina Ford and Supernanny Jo Frost and-in the United Kingdom-by New Labour parent education programs. This trend, Hendrick argues, is symptomatic of the sour, mean-spirited, and vindictive social norms found throughout society today. It undermines the better instincts of parents and, therefore, damages parent-child relationships. Instead, he proposes, parents should focus on understanding and helping their children as they do the hard work of growing up.
'Too long we have stood apart as a church and looked at children and teens and said, "We love you, we value you, but we don't need you."' Our churches have the power to establish a community of purpose that all people participate in. We can be the place where children feel most powerful, most seen, most discipled and most released. We can be the church that God designed. Parenting Children for a Life of Purpose is a practical and tested handbook exploring the possibilities for helping children to discover their specific gifts for what God is calling them to be, and how parents might partner with churches to enable children to discover their true identity and purpose in life and walk alongside them on the journey. Addressing issues of identity, relationship, purpose, power, love, calling and response, each chapter includes true stories and questions to help us to reflect on our own experiences.
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