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Parenting with Grace: Catholic Parent's Guide to Raising Almost Perfect Kids

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  271 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Discover your own God-given instruction manual for creating a highly individualized, completely Catholic parenting plan for your children.
Paperback, 367 pages
Published December 31st 2000 by Our Sunday Visitor (first published January 1st 1979)
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  271 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Oct 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
I read this book hoping to find additional ways to parent better. There are some of those nuggets to be found in this book, but the overall impression that I get is that if you are not spending 12 hrs a day, per kid, you are not parenting correctly. I am tired of reading material made for the one or two kid family. What does one do when you cant take one kid aside and spend time to "settle" them down because the other children still need the parent? Most of the examples in this book stem from ab ...more
Apr 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book is very Catholic (and is not afraid of critiquing other religions, so don't read it if you can't see things from that perspective!). But it really pulled together a lot of parenting thoughts for me, especially how my initial inclinations fit with my religious beliefs. I always thought The Strong-Willed Child was missing something - and this book helped me figure that out.

I read a library version, but I heard they are updating this for this spring 2010. I'm planning to purchase the new
Dec 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2013, kindle, parenting
This is a quality book! One I will use as a reference consistently. It is steeped in both child development research and the wisdom of the church. I felt like I knew a certain amount of the information already (expected in a comprehensive parenting book), but their were definitely also insights that I had not heard before and the permeation of the theology of the body throughout was of great value.

I especially liked the practical ideas and tools provided. The appendix on spanking at the end was
Oct 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Imagine Michael Pearl's very Catholic and very non-abusive opposite. Where one turns to beating babies with plumbing tubes the other teaches loving and patient parenting. Dr. Popcak very logically lays out some great parenting techniques in this book. He even calls the Pearls out in a few places without saying their names.

I picked up this book after hearing a few friends discuss it. We have no major discipline issues in this house, but really this is more a parenting book than a discipline book
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
My wife thought this book was a little rigid in the teachings even though Dr. Greg Popcak did point out that you are not a bad parent if you don't follow everything in this book.

I did appreciate the part at the end of the book that addressed growing a family and the different conversations/topics that need to be addressed when discussing whether or not another blessing in our family is something we can handle.

I think Dr. Popcak does a great job of focusing on teachings in the family in regards t
Oct 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
This book was heavily based in the Catholic Tradition. There is alot of scripture quoting going on, but the advice is sound for any parent who chooses to follow attachment parenting. I am a Catholic and the book was recommended to me by a friend who is Jewish. We both felt that even non-Christians could learn quite a bit from this book. I've only read through the infant and toddler portions but what the authors have to say is very appealing to what I feel as a mother.
Ann Warren
Dec 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book and the concept of parenting as self-donative love. As with any parenting book, you have to pick and choose the things you know will work for your family, and I found a lot of really good nuggets here. Only 4 stars because I lost count of how many times they refer you to buy one of their other books which I found super annoying.
Jonas Perez
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great work, from an intelligent and spiritual author. I love the practicality of the work, with techniques and ideas with examples taken from his experience practicing as a professional family counselor. I'd recommend it to any catholic, parent or not. The prose is not as inspiring as the knowledge, trust, and substantiality of his ideas. Both motivating and inspirational. Great work!
Aug 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Catholics, parents
I love this book! Great for Catholic parents who don't subscribe to harsher parenting methods such as spanking.
Jim Fulner
I think this book was all in all pretty good. A lot of itmes seems to correspond with general "hippie" raising of kids, NVC, etc. returnreturnI had to return to the library before I actually finished (I think I've bee,n spending too much time arguing on the internet lately). I will plan on getting a copy of my own, hopefully second edition, primarily for a reference when things go crazy because as I said the Internet is distracting. returnreturnI can only give 3.5 stars becaue (1.) I didn't fini ...more
Kathleen Kirchner
Apr 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Like a less rigid love and logic but also kind of preachy.
Laura L
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
I did not enjoy this one as much as I have enjoyed some of Popcak's other books.
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2012
I imagine if I were to write a parenting book, it would be a lot like this one. For this reason alone I have given it 5 stars, but there are a few things I disliked about the book.

1) There is no bibliography. He references many, many books by himself and others throughout this book. Many of them I have already read (and liked, see my family bookshelf) but some I had not heard of. It would have been nice to have a bibliography section.

2) Missing love languages. He does talk about learnin
Monica Zeringue
Nov 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Excellent book. A great take on attachment/nonviolent parenting. There are some methods the Popcak's use in parenting that I don't agree with (mainly how to speak with children about sexual matters as well as their methods of prayer etc.), but most of their philosophies are just great and having already adopted many of them (including not spanking), I have already seen a drastic improvement not only in my child's behavior but in my own as well. As the Popcaks say frequently throughout this book, ...more
Apr 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm about 80 pages into this book, and initially, I was offended by the introduction. It is their right, as the authors, to praise Catholicism over Protestantism and other religions, but I found it to be discouraging as someone who was raised Protestant. However, as I've continued reading, I'm really happy that I decided to read this book. They have some great thoughts on the parenting style my husband and I are interested in using. I like their ideas on ways to communicate with your children, t ...more
Katrina Misley
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was my third read of this book, and probably not my last. I highly recommend it as the gold standard in parenting philosophies. Popcak differentiates external control of behavior from the more desirable development of intrinsic motivation, through the development of personal and family mission statements, based on virtues. His theory is that a strong parent-child attachment is the primary motivator of good behavior. This book might not be your thing if you are uncomfortable with attachment ...more
Jan 15, 2012 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
I had to return this to the library before I could finish it. I love their overall parenting philosophy that self-donation is key. It was hard to read and didn't always keep my interest, though. A lot of their examples and stuff in the first section were for parenting older children, and my daughter is only 2, so it just didn't really "fit." I know there are chapters for each age group, I just didn't get to them. I may end up buying this book for myself so I can mark it up. It was overall a good ...more
Betsy Dion
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, parenting
I read most of this book a while back (I just skimmed the section on teenagers). I can't personally speak to the efficacy of the Popcaks' parenting method, but I loved the book. Their focus on generosity and self-giving is beautiful. This book inspired me to be a better human being, regardless of whether I have children.
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a very thought provoking book on an alternative way to parent. I felt like so much of his philosophy was being very intentional with your kids and your relationship with them. I'm not entirely sure I agree with everything but it was helpful to me that he backed up so much of it with Catholic teaching. I think it is a great starting point for us as we embark as new parents.
Apr 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
I didn't agree with everything in this book, and some recommendations just are not in line with how I choose to express faith. But it had great tips on building a healthy family based on virtues, and it served as a good reminder of what's more important than some of the child-raising fads out there -- that you raise your kids to be good people.
Aug 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Good, but their parenting methods and goals seem unrealistic for families with more than one or two children. It was a good inspirational read and motivated me to support attachment parenting. I'll read their marriage book soon, "For Better.. Forever".
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is full of practical advice and tips for parents of kids of all ages. However despite the authors' best intentions, it is clear that they think attachment parenting is the best and parents who've chosen other paths may feel judged.
Lexie Huber
Apr 25, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned, parenting
Read 24% and did not find anything very helpful. This may be a great book for someone else but not our family. This was written for a "normal" child, so if you have any special needs children or delays this is not the book for you.
Nov 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: parenting
I am concerned that Popcak believes that the Catholic Church supports positive parenting as the only legitimate means of 'disciplining' children. The Catholic Church has never endorsed this, either in hagiography, canon law or tradition.
Aug 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Attachment parenting is a very wonderful thing and seems to be commonsense.
Aug 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Was good...he's hardcore but some great suggestions. I like the stuff on virtue.
Nov 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religious, parenting
I highly recommend Greg and Lisa's radio show, "Heart, Mind and Strength." They give such down-to-earth advice that even non-Catholics might appreciate it and their books.
Feb 16, 2009 rated it liked it
Almost the polar opposite approach as the other parenting book on my list by Reb Bradley.
I'll split the difference and be set.
I've read most of this and keep it handy as a reference.
Amy Gholson
Jul 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
This is a big attachment parenting book. Stay home with kids. Let your life revolve around kids. It just wasn't for me.
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Dr. Gregory Popcak is the Executive Director of the Pastoral Solutions Institute, an organization dedicated to helping Catholics find faith-filled solutions to tough marriage, family, and personal problems. The author of over a dozen popular books integrating solid Catholic theology and counseling psychology (including; For Better…FOREVER!, Holy Sex!, Parenting with Grace, Beyond the Birds and the ...more

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“Wow. Those are really strong feelings.” • “You seem really sad/angry/frustrated/disappointed about that.” • “I understand that you are very upset right now. Take a breath and think about what you are really trying to tell me.” • “I know that you feel like hitting. Please use your words.” • “I know you are angry, but you may not speak to me that way. Please say [fill in the blank] instead.” • “You obviously need to tell me something that’s very important to you, but you’re too upset to tell me the way you need to. Please go to your room; when you’re ready to speak respectfully, I will be ready to listen.” 0 likes
“there is no greater inheritance that we can give to our children than siblings.” 0 likes
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