Strong And Kind, And Other Important Character Traits Your child Needs To Succeed, by Korie Robertson with Chrys Howard and with stories and wisdom from Willie Robertson
[Note: This book was provided free of charge from BookLook/Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review.]
Without any particular intention of doing so, I have acquired a fair collection of Duck Dynasty related items, including two decks of playing cards, a choose your adventure book , and this parenting book. It is remarkably amusing for me to see the sophistication of a family whose regional origin marks them as a subject of good-natured jibes about eccentric and not particularly bright Southerners. Yet this book demonstrates not only considerably savvy, as well as more than a dollop of old fashioned traditions like family loyalty, self-discipline, and parental unity, but it is actually a solid parenting book from a woman who speaks honestly and openly about her own struggles to raise five kids, two of whom are adopted, under the harsh glare of a reality television culture that they appear, at least at present, to have managed very successfully and with their personal integrity intact, which is more than can be said for many of their contemporaries . It is therefore in a spirit of encouragement that I read this book, despite not being a parent myself.
In terms of its contents, this book is bite-sized, with short chapters about the most important qualities that parents need to instill in their children, full of witty and humorous stories about the Robertson and Howard families and with pictures as well. The book’s 24 chapters fit into three parts: the importance of good character, identifying the character traits one wants to see in one’s children, and how to parent children of character. The first part emphasizes biblical advice as well as the need for parents to take responsibility and have a vision for the qualities they want their children to possess. The second part of the book focuses on qualities of importance: strength, kindness, self-control, honesty, compassion, patience, joy, loyalty, and humility. The third part gives straightforward but sometimes difficult to apply advice on how to inculcate children with these important qualities, such as: being confident, being consistent, being loving, being truthful, being real, being unified, being creative, being intentional, and applying and doing what what knows, even if one is imperfect and under a fair amount of stress. The book manages to blend telling details of a personal life that was not always glamorous or in the camera, with one humorous story of an incident with a police officer pulling over the author because he thought she was drunk when she was dealing with children throwing nerds around in the back of the car, with stories of how the family deals with the need to encourage very diverse children to develop their God-given gifts with the busy schedules of people deeply involved in wide-ranging businesses.
So, what will one find in reading this book? For one, one finds a well-written book that encourages biblical family-rearing, encourages openness and honesty and demonstrates it, and manages to work against the modish sort of parenting advice one often receives in contemporary reading. This book makes no apologies for its approaches, which may strike many as old fashioned, which some will appreciate and some will not. The book shows the family to be a loving one, committed to following God as they understand him, with imperfections and plenty of quirks but with a consistent approach that applies across all areas they are involved in. After the book is done there is a solid set of acknowledgements as well as a Howard Family Legacy of Principles for Living. This is a book that demonstrates that the Robertson family is not content to make money off of selling duck calls and related memorabilia, but that they have serious aims of helping to encourage positive cultural change and closer family ties. Here is hoping they are able to encourage many readers with this excellent book, and with whatever other books the family decides to write while they have the visibility to do so profitably.
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