What is the goal of Christian parenting? Timothy Smith, in his book The Danger of Raising Nice Kids, suggests that we need to do more than raise polite, well-dressed, nice children. Christian kids need to be prepared to do battle and struggle in this fallen world for the glory of God.
This book is written from the perspective of a child/youth counselor offering advice to parents. Its strength is not as a theological or biblically-driven treatment of parenting. Instead, Timothy Smith offers practical and helpful advice to help parents raise “courageous kids with character.” Smith repeatedly offers practical ideas, checklists, and suggestions that any parent can immediately implement.
Some of the very helpful chapters are those dealing with training your family and children in the areas of authenticity, empathy, compassion, and discernment. One of the best features of the book is found in appendix two where Smith provides an extended list of goals for your children in the different spheres of life (i.e., spiritual, social, mental, etc.).
As a counselor, Smith occasionally includes some thoughts and approaches that appear to be more psychologically than biblically based, such as, “Authentic people can love others because they have learned to love themselves” (p. 65), and “Jesus came to have an authentic relationship with each of us” (p. 71).
On the whole, however, this book will provide parents with much to think through as well as many practical ways to very intentionally disciple their children. Much is at stake as Smith well points out, “Out ultimate goal as a family is to advance God’s kingdom (not be comfortable, or accumulate wealth, or become famous)” (p. 50). – James Billings, Christian Book Previews.com
Nice is not enough.
We are raising a generation of "nice" kids. Nice kids are well behaved and look good on the outside, but they often lack courageous character inside. Offering practical wisdom gleaned from his experience as a parent and family coach, Tim Smith helps you move your kids from simply polite to truly compassionate. He targets nine key qualities children need but often lack and shows you how to build them into your children by modeling core values and biblical practices.
Your kids can be--and indeed, are meant to be--kingdom builders who help bring God's light and life to others through their decisions and influence. "Being nice won't help them stand apart," Tim says. "We need to strategically train our children to engage and challenge the popular views of our culture." Here is a clear, down-to-earth resource that will help you do just that. But be prepared for change--in you, in your kids and in the world.