Raising Them Right
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As a parent, we want to become the best parent we can be. We want a successful household which bears successful children. We always search for that step-by-step guide that we can run to when things are new, tough, or even confusing. As parents of faith, we tend to look towards the church and the church fathers. Sometimes, what we find isn’t really right for our particular situation, isn’t aimed towards children or we can’t find it at all. We can talk to our priests, some of whom are raising their own children. We can talk to other laity and receive guidance from those more experienced than ourselves. This type of advice can be good for particular situations but what about raising children in the whole of the faith. How do we keep the consistency from one issue to another? How do we inspire the growth of the faith in their hearts? And how do we feed that faith and keep it growing throughout their lives, especially in an age of so many distractions?
In Raising Them Right: A Saint’s Advice on Raising Children, Theophan the Recluse walks us through the path of parenthood, starting with ourselves, and where we must work to be, and right through to adulthood of the child. While there are no specific cases or examples given, and ideals seem lofty or above our reach, the advice and strategies, when broken down and really studied, are very practical and easy to apply, even in this day in age.
One of my first thoughts/feelings about this book was How is it going to be relevant in this age? I, honestly, also thought How did a recluse know anything about raising a family? After reading this book, I now understand the wisdom and heart he had. He was obviously a child himself once and he worked in a number of academies, was a priest, then bishop for some time and it wasn’t until he was 51 that he started to withdraw from public life. So you can imagine how many families and children he worked with.
I received a free audio copy of this book, in exchange for a review. The audiobook was published by Ancient Faith Publishing and narrated by Kristina Wenger. It can be found here. I felt like she did a great job at narrating with the same passion St. Theophan would have. She really drove home points and it was like having a friend read to you while you worked, cleaned or just relaxed.
I wholehearted recommend this book to any parent, at any stage of parenting. I would also recommend it as a gift for new parents. I know that I will be referencing it and my husband and I will better our parenting because of it.
Yours in faith, and some sanity,