HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: What My Parents Did Right!: 50+ Tips to Positive Parenting
Author: Gloria Gaither
Publisher: Howard Books, republished in 2002
ISBN-13: 978-1562330255 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 156233025X (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-1582292564 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 1582292566 (Paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Teens and adults
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Gaither, Gloria. What My Parents Did Right!: 50+ Tips to Positive Parenting by (originally published in 1991 by Star Song Pub. Co.; revised and republished in 2002 by Howard Publishing Co. Inc., 3117 N. 7th St., West Monroe, LA 71291). I first read about this book, originally published as What My Parents Did Right – Discover How the Nurturing and Vital Role of Parenting Molded the Lives of Over 50 Renowned Christian Leaders, back in 2003 when John Clayton recommended it in the Sept./Oct. issue of his Does God Exist? magazine. Therefore, when I recently saw it on the sale shelf of a college bookstore for $1.00, I snatched it up. Gloria Gaither is perhaps best known as a singer and songwriter of gospel music along with her husband Bill, but in this book, she puts together articles by 55 well known personalities about important lessons which they learned from their parents and wish to pass on to others.
Some of the writers are generally famous people, such as Senator Richard Lugar, Janette Oke, James Dobson, and Frank Peretti. Others will be recognized primarily by those who are interested in modern Evangelical theology and especially Contemporary Christian Music. As one might imagine, there are minor references to various denominational concepts with which not all believers will agree, such as receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit, modern-day miracles, “Biblical feminism,” and the rapture. One of the writers, Dr. Anthony (Tony) Campolo, though supposedly an “evangelical,” is a former spiritual advisor to U.S. President Bill Clinton and has associated himself with the Democratic Party and several “left wing” groups and causes. Also, we recognize that every person’s upbringing and family life are different so that some of these “tips” may not apply in all cases, but there are many good, general Biblical principles that tie all these stories together.
One of the biggest objections I saw was that John MacArthur writes, “I was never abused by either parent–only loved, affirmed, encouraged, and trusted,” yet goes on to say that he was “spanked hard and often with belts, wooden coat hangers, spoons, sticks, and hands,” and once “tied to the clothesline pole with a long rope” because he kept getting into dangerous situations. The reviewer noted, “Everything he’s describing here sounds like child abuse, and possibly neglect.” When I read his piece, I saw nothing that implied any actual abuse or neglect. Of course, there are those who think that any spanking whatever or even saying a firm no to a child is abuse. The thrust of this book is explained in the Epilogue. “Through the life profiles represented in the pages of this book, you’ve been introduced to imperfect parents who have raised successful men and women with love and a fierce commitment to family. The good news of these stories is that you don’t have to be a perfect person to be a good parent.” I enjoyed reading the book, and concerned parents who want to raise godly children should find it useful.