Never say no is bad parenting advice, right? Not according to Mark and Jan Foreman the authors of the parenting book, Never Say No: Raising Big-Picture Kids. The Foremans don’t really think you should never say “no” but encourage parents to consider saying “yes” whenever possible.
Mark and Jan Foreman are the parents of Jon and Tim Foreman of the band Switchfoot. They have advanced degrees and have pastored several churches and add a unique voice to the parenting landscape. They will be featured on the Awana podcast, which is launching soon. You can get a taste of the podcast now by listening to Awana’s full interview with Mark and Jan.
The first part of the book helps parents identify the map they were given from the family they grew up in and how that is impacting their parenting. There are helpful insights into how not to get stuck in the past but to be aware of it and chart a new map. Why is it so important to chart an intentional path in parenting?
“We are shaped by our closest relationships. Our personalities rub off on each other as we practice new traits through time spent together. During these critical close encounters, our children observe and absorb who we are. This brings the question back to us: Do we enjoy our children? More importantly, do we know the delight of God’s love for us so we might purely enjoy our children for who they are?” pg. 65
Part two gives great concrete ideas for fostering and nurturing your children towards who God created them to be. “It’s important to expose our children to a variety of interests: You never know what will stick. Then when we, as parents, notice a pattern, we can gently encourage those passions.” Pg. 111
This book tackles hot parenting topics like spiritual formation, discipline and raising kids in a digital age. Each chapter is encouraging, inspiring and practical in the advice and information offered by the authors.
“Children are unbaked cookie dough. As parents, we have the weighty responsibility of determining who and what will shape them.” pg.233
Finally, Mark and Jan tackle how to launch our children at the end of their time living in our homes. Sending our kids out into the world to serve God and live with purpose is ultimately our goal as parents. Part three helps us do this well.
If you are looking for a parenting book to read I highly recommend that you consider this one.