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How Children Raise Parents: The Art of Listening to Your Family
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How Children Raise Parents: The Art of Listening to Your Family

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  179 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Parenting with Humility...We often realize that we learn as much from our children as they learn from us. So why don’t parents approach the task of child-rearing as a learning experience, rather than a mandate to make sure their kids succeed in life?

To reduce the pressure and enjoy greater closeness in your family, turn your parenting upside-down by allowing God to use yo
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 15th 2005 by WaterBrook (first published January 1st 1900)
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Mar 22, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it
Shelves: therapy
This is a typical Allender book where every sentence deserves a life time of pondering...I loved his two basic questions children ask parents - Am I loved? and Can I get my own way? Ultimately we are all asking those questions of God.
Nov 02, 2009 Angela rated it it was amazing
Still one of the best books I've read on parenting - it's not a how to be the best parent book instead it is encouragement and teaching how to learn and enjoy and live and love freely. Reading it made me thankful again that God has given the gift of our boys to us. Parenting is HARD but oh so RICH!
Christa Connerat
Apr 11, 2012 Christa Connerat rated it really liked it
This was one of the best parenting books I have read. Not a "how to" guide for producing perfect children but a nitty gritty examination of how God equips imperfect parents to raise imperfect children. It is honest, encouraging, helpful and hopeful.
Jul 15, 2012 Kristen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: we-own, parenting
A great framework for thinking about parenting. (9/10)
Oct 11, 2016 Sara rated it really liked it
Solidly encouraging, challenging and helpful parenting book. I read and discussed this with a group of parents and we all appreciated the author's thoughts and ideas. Basically, he advocates giving kids love and structure, while taking advantage of your relationship with your child/ren to mature as a person.
A.C. Bauch
I vacillated between giving this book two and three stars. Two was the ultimate choice, because I wanted to like this book more than I did. The book has a strong premise: children can help their parents grow into the people God created them to be. However, I think this primary message often gets lost in the meandering content, which I often found disorganized and felt could have benefited from some editorial tightening. I started skimming some of the chapters toward the end, because the philosop ...more
Catherine Gillespie
Feb 08, 2015 Catherine Gillespie rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
In his thoughtful book How Children Raise Parents: The Art of Listening to Your Family, Dan Allender posits that while we think of parents as raising children, in fact children often “raise” us by showing us our weaknesses and faults and challenging us to examine our thoughts and beliefs in deeper ways.

Allender believes that at root children are asking parents “Am I loved?” and “Can I get what I want?” and that parents have to navigate the answers to those questions through the lens of the Gospe
May 09, 2014 Jimmytetley rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-books
A challenging thought provoking read about what we are learning from our children in who we are. That children are asking 2 fundamental questions. Am I loved? and Can I get my own way? and how parenting is a navigating through the need for deep love but also the recognition that getting their own way often does not lead to the best for them. That a fundamental part of being a parent is to reveal the character of God who both deeply loves us but also calls us often out of getting our own selfish ...more
Aug 29, 2014 Angela rated it it was amazing
in my opinion, this was a ground-breaking book. There are only 2 other books about being an effective underling that i know of (from a business standpoint): Courageous Follower and Called to Serve. Now i consider this the third: how our kids--even and especially those who act out and have issues--can and do form character in us. It is about allowing the experience of having children that can teach us to also become better and more effective followers ourselves. It is an invitation to let others ...more
Jul 13, 2012 Kelli rated it really liked it
I haven't read a parenting book in years, but this one is refreshing in many ways, esp. the two questions Allender points to as those kids most want answers to: Am I loved and Can I get my way? Good parenting deals with these head on and constantly...and should show our kids that, yes, they are madly loved, by both us and God, and, no, getting their way is not going to happen when it is a bad idea.
Jul 28, 2010 Rayshelle rated it liked it
Allender addresses the idea that God uses our children to "grow us up" in Him. He acknowledges that we will never, despite all our good intentions, be perfect parents. Failure is simply a part of parenthood. But we can learn how to hear our children's voices as they point us to Christ. Not much of a practical parenting guide for sure, but food for thought and something I will definitely come back to again as my children get older.
Sep 11, 2013 Christen rated it liked it
The author does not have a "10 Step Plan" for being a better parent. Instead, he tells us some stories of when he got parenting right and when he got it wrong. I have just begun my parenting journey, and I am already seeing how I'm doing things right in some cases and wrong in others. It was a good encouragement of how to continue and get better.
G Walker
Part of this book are great, others are very frustrating. Overall worth the time and the effort though. Not much really out there like this. Helpful in provoking more intentionalality in how I am raising my children and how they contribute GREATLY to my sanctification.
Jul 13, 2011 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
This book is one of the best parenting books I've ever read. Especially concerning your spirituality and how it affects your children's lives and their spiritual journey. I recommend it to every person who is or will be a parent!
Digger's Mom
Mar 05, 2013 Digger's Mom rated it really liked it
Good stuff. Read it in our small group, so there was some good conversation, too. The basic premise questions (what our kids are constantly asking) 1: Do you love me? 2: Can I have my own way? really spoke to me.
Feb 06, 2008 Elimoore rated it liked it
Recommended to Elimoore by: Michelle Bachman
This book will shake the foundation of your parenting, especially if you are like me and enjoy rules and lists. Parenting is impossible, he says. Amen! But through relationship and engagement, we as parents grow and love our kids well.
Aug 13, 2011 Jill rated it it was amazing
was NOT a parenting "how-to" as much as an encouragement to KNOW your children and parent them as well as you can... I'd recommend this to anyone with kids!! (it is from a Christian perspective, but useful stuff for any parent, i think.)
It was a refreshing change of pace from the typical parenting book full of principles and how-to's. He addresses how your children affect you and are given to be part of God's story for your heart as much as you are a part of shaping theirs.
Jane Coleman
Jan 04, 2012 Jane Coleman rated it really liked it
Worth reading even though kids are grown. Lots of wisdom yet to be gleaned from Dan Allender that I can use as a grandparent. Wish this book had been around when I was a young parent.
Rob Sharpe
Aug 03, 2016 Rob Sharpe rated it did not like it
Shelves: parenting, 2013
When I came across this book I felt the idea mirrored much of how I see parenting. This may have been the reason I found it so terribly boring.
Nov 15, 2010 Kim rated it it was amazing
This book is not a how-to on parenting, but talks about how parenting is an impossible job to do. Children really do help us in our sanctification process. Awesome book!
Mar 15, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it
A fresh look at parenting and how the unique bent of our children shapes us, and not the other way around. Lots of wonderful insight and wisdom to be gleaned!
Dec 17, 2016 Amy rated it really liked it
Read portions w/ Jaimie & Krissi in 2010

Referenced in Scott Sauls' "Jesus Outside the Lines" pg 85
It's been over a year and I'm still reading this bit by bit because it's so dense with good thoughts.
Shea Fox
Jul 08, 2013 Shea Fox rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite parenting books! It's helpful for a long-term vision, which the parenting journey requires.
Patti rated it it was amazing
Aug 13, 2012
Jennifer Brukiewa
Jennifer Brukiewa rated it really liked it
Jul 14, 2014
Kristi rated it really liked it
Jun 30, 2012
Andrea rated it it was amazing
Dec 30, 2015
Cara rated it liked it
Jul 24, 2016
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Dan B. Allender, Ph.D, is a fly fisherman who also serves as president and professor of counseling at Mars Hill Graduate School near Seattle, Washington. He is a therapist in private practice, and a frequent speaker and seminar leader. Dan received his M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Michigan State University. He is the author of To Be Told: ...more
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