Be The Parent – Seven Choices You Can Make to Raise Great Kids by Kendra Smiley Book Review5 min read

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Be The Parent - Seven Choices You Can Make to Raise Great Kids by Kendra Smiley

Recently, I finished reading the book “Be The Parent: Seven Choices You Can Make to Raise Great Kids” by Kendra and John Smiley. I had gone to a conference called The Parent Challenge and they were the keynote speakers. I got so much actionable advice from them that I decided to purchase one of their book bundles. This is one of those books.

Book Length

The overall length of the book wasn’t bad, coming in at 140 pages. I thought the chapters were broken up well enough that you could sit and read each chapter in about 15 to 30 minutes each. I could have read this book much faster, but found that I was able to implement the content from each chapter better by reading daily chapters.

Is The Information Digestible?

Be The Parent: Seven Choices You Can Make to Raise Great Kids by Kendra and John Smiley is broken down into seven choices that we as parents should be thinking about as we raise our kids on a daily basis. Here is the list:

  1. Choose to Be The Parent
  2. Choose to Be a Role Model
  3. Choose to Be Present
  4. Choose to Be an Encourager
  5. Choose to Discipline in Love
  6. Choose to Allow Failure and Success
  7. Choose to Pray

Each chapter goes into depth and provides around 5 action steps to implement for each choice. They are repeated and built on as you go through each chapter as well. I found this to be a great reinforcement of the information very helpful in retaining it.

I caught quite a bit on my first read through. Although, I believe that I would definitely benefit from re-reading it from time to time to soak in the concepts and implement the strategies further.

I found the information encouraging because they didn’t make it sound like raising kids was supposed to be easy. But, they do hit on how to do it well and back it up with enlightening examples.

At the end of each chapter, there is a nice summary and note from the dad, John. Since the rest of the book is written by Kendra Smiley, it’s nice to hear both perspectives on the topics at hand.

Be The Parent - Seven Choices You Can Make to Raise Great Kids by Kendra Smiley with John Smiley

My Favorite Parts

Throughout the book, there are constant reminders of how our children are blessings given to us. I love that they show even in daily life that we can walk, talk, and pray with our children while still getting great things done.

I felt convicted to slow down and enjoy the journey with my kiddos more as I’m going through my daily to dos. I’m more of a mark it off the list kind of guy when it comes to chores and yard work. By including our kids in what we’re doing, it will take a little more time and not get done the same way we would have done it. But, we are getting to spend more quality time with our kids and teaching them valuable lessons at the same time.

I’ve started allowing them to partake in more of the activities around the house and the yard and they are enjoying the extra responsibility. We are learning more and more about each other daily. Plus, they are starting to learn how to do more things, so, eventually they’ll start doing the stuff themselves!

Another thing about Be The Parent: Seven Choices You Can Make to Raise Great Kids by Kendra and John Smiley is it’s more about how parents are to act versus how the kids behave. This is the second parenting book I’ve read where this occurred. I’m starting to see a trend! We need to make these choices daily and stick to them for the kids to follow suit. I find this encouraging even though it puts more pressure on the parent. However, that just makes it more doable.

Things that could have been done better…

Unfortunately, I don’t have much to say in this regard. The book is well laid out, an easy read, and gives great, actionable advice. I know reading it once, I won’t put all the steps into play each day. As I work at it, I know it will get easier. I wish there was an outline of the seven choices and action steps, but I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary.

My Recommendation of Be The Parent: Seven Choices You Can Make to Raise Great Kids by Kendra and John Smiley

So, should you read the book or not? If you have kids and battle on a normal basis, the action steps in here will really help. If you don’t have kids, probably not so much! 😉 I think they give great steps to shake things up and get better results with kids. However, if you are the type that just wants to read it but not implement what’s inside, don’t bother. This book is to be used as a guide, not just entertaining reading.

Be the Parent: Seven Choices You Can Make to Raise Great Kids by Kendra Smiley with John Smiley

Where to find the book

Be The Parent: Seven Choices You Can Make to Raise Great Kids by Kendra and John Smiley is published by Moody Publishers. You can get it on Amazon here.  Buying through my Amazon link will net me a small commission for referring you at no extra cost to you.

You could always borrow it from a friend or check it out from your local library if that’s your thing.

Have you read Be The Parent: Seven Choices You Can Make to Raise Great Kids by Kendra and John Smiley? 

What did you think about it? Have the choices helped you get results?

I’d love to have a conversation about it below in the comments!

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Steven Goodwin

Owner/Blogger/Consultant at MyFamilyOnABudget
Steve Goodwin, a stay-at-home dad of two girls is passionate about finances and is helping others just like you get out of debt and build wealth handling money God's way. His goal is to inspire people like you to gain control of their finances by destroying debt and building wealth using their cash flow.
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