Friday, April 22, 2011

Candid Confessions of An Imperfect Parent


When I listen to sports talk radio, I sometimes forget I don't like commercials and listen to a promo for adopting teenagers. The voice tells me that if I ruin the punch line of jokes, make runny eggs, or wear stripes with polka dots, I could make a great parent for a teenager who needs a family.

That's probably true, which means I must be a super parent because I tell great jokes, make great eggs and I can rock those polka dots and stripes like nobody's business.

But if you're looking for someone to be a bit more honest than I just was, you need to pick up a copy of Jonathan McKee's book, Candid Confessions of an Imperfect Parent. If you can see the cover you can see a plate with burnt toast on it. That plus the title gives you a decent idea of what you're in store for here.

There's no happy family with pasted on smiles to make you give up before you even read what Jonathan has to say. It's burnt toast, which has to be about the easiest thing to make...and the simplest to burn, if we're being honest.

And honest is what we see over and over again from Jonathan. From start to finish we get the idea that Jonathan and his wife are in the trenches, along with the rest of us, in this parenting adventure. In 10 easy to read chapters we get everything from building relationships to seeing those teenagers leave the home. Jonathan gives his opinion to you without apology and backs it up with plenty of stories and research.

Just like the title might suggest, those stories don't always end up with him winning, not even in the Charlie Sheen delusional fashion. He's not claiming a perfect style, in practice or philosophy, but he gives us all plenty of tools to figure out our best style.

For churches who are interested, this is a great tool for small groups or parenting classes. Each chapter ends with great discussion questions and chapter 8 even gives a great exercise for figuring out what kind of parent you wish to be. As I'm thinking ahead in my own ministry schedule, 10 chapters can easily fit into 1 chapter a week, making this something even the busiest parent can make time for. (Was that too much? Did it sound like a commercial? If I had more time, I'd have written a jingle...)

For the sake of full disclosure, I'll let you know I got this book from the man himself, Jonathan McKee. I agreed to blog but Jonathan did not use any coercive tactics to make me say anything. I may not have anything bad to say about the book, but that's just because it's a good book. (Enter music and voice over...Buy your copy today!)

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