The Heart of Anger: Practical Help for the Prevention and Cure of Anger in Children
We don’t use a rating system on this blog (yet), but if we did, this parenting book would receive my highest rating. I don’t know about you, but reading a really great, biblically based parenting book helps me “get back in the fight.” I’m not referring to fighting against my children and making them bend to my wishes; no, I’m talking about fighting FOR my children–for their souls, for their training in godliness, for their heart condition. Sometimes this involves conflict between us as parents and our children; it should involve much more, though, and books like Priolo’s Heart of Anger cover that “more.”
So what makes this particular parenting book so great? There are others out there (and I hope to review some of them, too!). But I really appreciate Priolo’s approach and wisdom:
- Examine YOUR heart first. Are you provoking your children to anger? (even unwittingly)
- Praise and encourage your child. (in addition to discipline–basically, don’t overlook the importance of the positive)
- The Gumnaizo Principle (train, train, train–practice makes permanent)
- Call a spade a spade: If it’s sin, then label the behavior/attitude/word as sin, not a “phase” or some other nonsense.
- KNOW YOUR BIBLE and USE it–just reading this book makes you realize how much more you need to read your Bible.
- Recognize manipulation in your children–you’d be surprised!
- Strategies for getting at… you guessed it… the heart of anger.
Priolo does advocate spanking in the right context. I know some parents who don’t believe in spanking. But I know others who err too much on the side of spanking and don’t sprinkle in enough positive. Priolo seems to balance both. I found his approach unstinting in regard to truth, but gentle and affirming at the same time.
Bottom line: This book will challenge you to examine your own heart, to look for opportunities to discern your child’s heart, and to spend more time in the Word.