Walking the Parenting Tightrope: Raising Kids Without Losing Your Balance

Russ Robinson, Author, Henry Cloud, Foreword by Baker Books $14.99 (223p) ISBN 978-0-8010-6552-1
Robinson, author of Walking the Small Group Tightrope, adopts a business model called ""polarity management"" and applies it to parenting. The model posits, in short, that sometimes two good things are in tension with one another. You want to create a strong family that sticks together, but you also want to send your kids out into the world-the old roots-and-wings polarity. Rather than choosing between them, says Robinson, parents should do both. Here, he focuses on six sets of polarities that many parents face. For example, when it comes to spirituality, Christian parents want to pass on their faith to their children, but they also want to be patient while kids claim Christianity for themselves. They want to support their kids financially, but they also want kids to become self-sufficient. Robinson teaches parents to aim for both goals, even though pursuing two seemingly contradictory objectives might require as much careful navigation as, well, walking a tightrope. The ""polarity management"" lingo is, at times, a bit overdone (and one wonders if it will jive with parents who are full-time stay-at-homes with little connection to the corporate world), but along the way, Robinson gives some good advice: Be willing to share struggles with other parents. When it comes to disciplining kids, ""play to each parent's strengths."" Teach children to tithe. An eye-catching cover and a foreword by Henry Cloud should grab the audience.
Reviewed on: 09/01/2005
Release date: 09/01/2005
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