Book Review: How To Build Children With Integrity

How To Build Children With Integrity, by Karen Budzinski

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by Adams PR Group.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

In reading books like this one [1] I am often concerned about the broader context.  As someone who has no children yet, nor is likely to have any in the near future, a book like this is not immediately practical for me in the sense that it is for many readers.  For those readers who have children or who are planning to have them very soon, this book offers a great deal of useful insight into what qualities of good character need to be trained within one’s children.  For adults (or even more mature teens) who have no families of their own yet, though, this book still offers something, and that is the encouragement to be a model of these good behaviors whether or not one has any children of one’s own.  The author comments that people can influence a large number of other people through their example and this applies also with regards to how we live.  And if this book is primarily aimed at parents who want to do a good job, the book as a whole provides a lot of sound advice as to what it means to be an adult of integrity, and that is something well worth studying on its own.

This book has a fair amount of material–over 300 pages of it, and a large amount of it is in both the book’s extensive introductory material as well as its numerous appendices.  The book begins with a dedication, acknowledgements, introduction, and preface.  After that the book is divided into ten chapters that discuss the behavior parents should model and that children should be intentionally trained in, including such matters as contentment (1), family (2), consciousness and concern for others (3), making a difference (4), responsibility (5), self-discipline (6), continual improvement (7), persistence (8), sociability (9), and joy despite the world’s imperfections (10).  In addition to this the author has seven appendices that are well worth reading as well that look at our lives as a parable (A), describe various noble character attributes and how to teach them (B), provide ways of developing spiritual strength in children (C), discuss family traditions (D), provide biblical examples of mentorship and mentoring (E), give some facts about homeschooling (F), and provide some of the author’s favorite resources for training children (G).  Throughout the book the author blends personal experience, sociological insight into the importance of good parenting, and relevant biblical insight.

There is no mistake that this book is one that is written from the point of view of someone who is serious and intentional about raising godly children in an immoral world.  The author reminds readers that children mimic not only what behavior is taught verbally but what is also modeled through one’s example, and encourages parents to have a backbone when it comes to resisting the demands of little ones, reminding them of the consequences of children being spoiled brats that can last long after childhood ends.  The author models the approach of being a stay-at-home mother with an intact family that is focused on homeschooling education as well as spiritual education at home and in one’s local church congregation.  While urging children to be aware of others and sensitive and considerate to others, the author appears at least implicitly to urge Christian parents to be a countercultural force for good as a way of overcoming the negative culture, which the author denigrates in terms of the frequent screentime that children and teenagers have in most families.  This is a pretty tough-minded book about parenting, and not one that is likely to suit everyone, but for those who are able to take it seriously, this book has a lot to offer its readers and their children, as building children with integrity in the contemporary world is not something that is likely to happen by accident.

[1] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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