As if timed with the global Covid-19 pandemic, several new parenting books from religion publishers are looking at ways readers can maintain peaceful, anxiety-free households, all while establishing strong levels of engagement and connection with their children. With most schools likely closed until September and quarantine orders in effect in many regions across the U.S., millions of adults are struggling to balance their workloads with childcare. In addition to the usual challenges of parenthood, families are now faced with feelings of unease, heightened stress, and limited financial resources as a result of the novel coronavirus. Nevertheless, titles publishing between now and July aim to help parents cope with chaos, worry, and frustration.
Addressing fears of inadequacy when it comes to raising children, Rage Against the Minivan by Kristen Howerton explores the unexpected highs and lows child rearing brings and the pressure from society to be perfect. It gives readers what Random House Group executive editor Mary Reynics calls “permission to practice ‘good enough’ parenting,” especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Parents need Kristen’s uniquely comforting book more than ever while parenting in the age of quarantine,” Reynics told PW. “Families really should give themselves a break in these chaotic times, and Rage Against the Minivan is the perfect comic relief and release now that we are all full time stay-at-home and work-from-home parents.”
Looking specifically at home life, Presbyterian pastor Don Everts draws on Barna Group research to identify what is needed for a healthy and happy family in The Spiritually Vibrant Home: The Power of Messy Prayers, Loud Tables, and Open Doors (IVP, out now). As Al Hsu, senior editor at IVP, points out: “Being at home with our families can either be frustrating or a blessing,” and he calls the book “a resource to help parents and families be more intentional about practices that help us all live together better.”
Greta Eskridge, who speaks nationally about homeschooling, makes a case for how regularly creating new experiences for children and embarking on “intentional adventures”—such as outdoor and indoor ventures—can lead to crucial bonding opportunities in Adventuring Together: How to Create Connections and Make Lasting Memories with Your Kids (Nelson, July 14). Jessica Wong, executive editor at Nelson, tells PW the book is especially relevant today as parents are sheltering in place and looking for creative ways to entertain and engage their kids. Two examples of suggested activities from the book are learning to bake sourdough bread together and taking up running.
"Greta emphasizes the end goal of connection and presence and shows how even walking through times of discomfort together leads to deeper relationship, personal growth, and preparation to handle life’s challenges, both now and into the future," Wong says.
Below, check out more faith-based books that can serve parents during the pandemic—and otherwise.
Midnight Mom Devotional: 365 Prayers to Put Your Momma Heart to Rest
By Becky Thompson and Susan Pitts (WaterBrook, out now)
The mother-daughter team and founders of the Midnight Mom online prayer ministry collect a year’s worth of prayers related to hope, connection, and harmony.
Live Love Now: Relieve the Pressure and Find Real Connection with Our Kids
By Rachel Macy Stafford (Zondervan, Apr. 28)
Hands Free Mama author Stafford explores stressors today’s children face, including isolation and loneliness, and ways parents can help.
The 6 Needs of Every Child: Empowering Parents and Kids through the Science of Connection
By Amy Elizabeth Olrick and Jeffrey Olrick, PhD (Zondervan, June 9)
Referencing psychological research, neuroscience, and personal experience, the husband and wife team cite six relationship must-haves for parents and their children to thrive.