Monday, April 13, 2015

Book on parenting review: If Jesus Had A Child by Glenn Wilkerson

book-imageIf Jesus Had A Child by Dr. B. Glenn Wilkerson

   You may not have any idea what this book is about, given its unusual name. However, it is simply a book on parenting.

   The book is written in a coherent and organized fashion which I highly appreciated. The text is large and easy to look at, and the chapters are full of interesting thoughts which are never redundant. 
The author is Dr. Wilkerson, who is recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on elevating the spiritual/emotional health and creating positive self-concepts in children. He is a Christian minister and is the President and founder of the ARKGroup, a non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of children and students.
Most importantly in light of the subject of this book, Mr. Wilkerson is a Christian father! He has successfully raised several children who are in turn happily raising their own families. 

Although I am not a parent yet I was raised in a large family and still have several young siblings. I was able to view all the advice, wisdom and suggestions in the chapters of this book practically.
I will begin by saying that much of this book is good. Indeed, we must love our children unconditionally and never treat them wrongfully no matter how our parents raised us or how angry we may feel with our offspring at any moment.
However, there was some confusion throughout this book which would be detrimental to a Christian parent. I actually found this book more useful for a non-believing family. The book neglects to mention God. It neglects to view sin as a major flaw in a child's character. Thus, this book is mostly a parenting help manual- seeking to remedy situations instead of hearts and relationships.
Dr. Wilkerson seems very intent upon this new 'democratic' type of parenting which I don't think will be all that helpful to families. I quote from the author: 

"Misbehavior takes place only when children do not have their needs met."

I really cannot agree with this because every child is born with a sin nature- you can be the most perfect and loving of parents and your child will still sin...even rebel...there is only hope in Jesus Christ and his salvation. This latter subject was never mentioned in the book- I found this very odd.  I suggest you read this other review on the book.

Another quote from the book is: ''There are three basic human needs: the need to be loved and wanted; the need to feel powerful; and the need for life to be meaningful and fun. Dr. Dreikurs says that misbehavior occurs when children try to fill their unmet needs in inappropriate ways. He says that every bad behavior can be connected to a specific unmet need.''

I didn't appreciate some liberties Dr. Wilkerson took with Jesus' character. For instance, in the foreword the author states:
"I have even ventured to 'quote' Jesus, paraphrasing words and thoughts I think He might have in response to a given situation"

At another point in the book, the author takes the liberty of assuring the reader that Jesus made sure he and the disciples had ''a lot of fun'' and proceeds to mention the wedding at Canaa where Jesus was probably ''telling jokes''....later the author also mentions the fishing excursions as part of the fun times. Excuse me? Fishing wasn't what it is today in America! And I am sure that Jesus and the disciples had JOY but their goal wasn't FUN. And smiles yes, but jokes....ouch. 

In short, this book has some good points but too many wrong ideas to be of much value especially to Christian parents.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.