I enjoy reviewing products and services for TheBetterMom.com because I never know what will come next! The variety is fun and I enjoy the wonderful companies and individuals who have something unique to offer families! Every once in a while something surprises me or even answers a prayer!
Not long ago, I received a copy of the book “Overcoming Toxic Parenting; How to Be a Good Parent When Yours Wasn’t.” I was unfamiliar with the author, but I was looking forward to learning what this book had to offer!
I grew up with two loving parents. I am very thankful for their caring instruction and consistent provision. Although I had nurturing parents, I didn’t question whether there would be beneficial lessons between these covers. Every book, sermon, person, and article has something good to offer us, if we are willing to listen, wouldn't you agree?
I wasn’t halfway through the introduction before I rummaged around my office for a highlighter and started marking up the book. By chapter 2 I was using stickers to point to information I needed to remember.
At that point, I realized exactly why this book was in my hands.
I am a youth pastor’s wife. We serve a church on the west side of Grand Rapids, MI in a small town. On Wednesday nights our church bus travels to surrounding communities to pick up kids. Many of these kids have disturbing home environments. Wednesday after Wednesday I have found myself praying on the way into church, “Dear Lord please give me the words to say. I can’t bear these burdens, buy you can. I don’t know how to help some of these kids.”
I desperately desired for God to give me a restorative response to these kids’ prayer requests. God did me one better, though! He gave me this book to educate me and equip me on how to identify abuse (along with wounds, brokenness, neglect, etc.) and how to help.
This book tackles tough subjects. I needed that, though. May I say, "we" need it?
We need to talk to our children about inappropriate touching and bathroom safety. We need to talk to them about who is safe to talk to, what bullying is, how to deal with anger. We need to be clear on boundaries and this book is an excellent resource.
In this book, author Rick Johnson covers some of these crucial subjects:
· The family system of abuse
· How toxic parents cope
· Mental illness
· How trauma changes the brain
· Action steps to healing
· Confronting abusers
· Stages of grief
· Overcoming fears
· The difference between discipline and punishment
· Healthy relationship practices
This is not an exhaustive list, but just some of the topics that stood out to me.
Several quotes are highlighted, but these quotes are a few that are yellow in my copy of this book:
“Research shows that the shaming of a male child by his father is the single biggest contributor to that boy becoming a man who abuses women.”
“Statistically one in three girls and one is six boys will suffer unwanted sexual experience before the age of eighteen.”
“We may have been powerless when bad things were done to us as a child. But we are not powerless as adults. In fact, we are more powerful now than our abusers.”
“The quickest way to continue to heal your pain is to use it to start helping other- to bring good out of your pain.”
“The parental care a child receives makes a big difference in the lives they lead. For instance, just by observing the quality of care a child receives at 42 months, researchers can predict with a 77 percent accuracy rate which children will drop out of high school.” (Moms, your work is priceless!)
“Sex offenders work just as hard at deceiving adults as they do at seducing and silencing children. They are often people we trust and our children love. Their tactics work so well that fewer than 5 percent are reported and successfully prosecuted.”
“One of the chief predictors of a young person’s success is their perception of their parent’s image of them. Speak encouragement and it builds your children up, empowering them for life.”
“Don’t allow your past to keep you from giving the powerful gift of physical affection to your children. If you didn’t have it growing up, you know how much you missed it. Like everything in this book, it takes courage to overcome this barrier. But your children deserve a loving parent and the opportunity to start out on a healthy platform.”
This book has a lot to offer.
I appreciate the work of Rick Johnson. I am thankful to God for his own redemption story. He gives snippets of his life experience throughout the book. I found myself internally cheering at how someone from such a tragic background could write such a different legacy for his own children. God is so good!
As my childhood pastor, Doug Schmidt used to say, “God is still in the business of changing lives.”
May this book equip you, your husband, and/or your church leadership to tackle tough topics with confidence and hope.
By the grace of God, I’m becoming increasingly prepared for those tough conversations,
Lindsey Feldpausch :)
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. Opinions are 100% my own.