Love & Respect in the Family by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
Dr. Eggerichs’ first book, Love & Respect, was published to immediate acclaim in 2004. His simple, Biblical prescription for marriage spoke to many in a clear, practical way that few other self-help programs have done before or since. His most recent version of the formula is an application to parenthood. How many of us, as children, have longed for a love we missed, and how many of us, as parents, have wished for real respect from our children? Eggerichs addresses both sides of the equation in a thorough but easy-to-read style which is sure to hit home in many Christian families.
The book is built around a forgettable acronym which nevertheless incorporates most of the questions and problems every parent must face. Covering topics like discipline, putting your spouse first, parenting the genders differently and understanding a teenager, the chapters come in manageable, even encouraging bites. Eggerichs not only deals with common parental mistakes but delivers positive strategies to head off future problems. He offers plenty of good advice in a practical style with stories and examples for creativity-challenged parents like me.
My only criticism of the book is its slightly outdated feel. The book assumes a nuclear, biological family situation much closer to the Cleavers than the Pritchetts. There is no helpful presentation of strategies for two working parents with a blended set of kids enduring the over-scheduled, media-hyped existence most of us really live.
That said, I think this is the best, all-around book on parenting (rather than a targeted approach for a distinct subset of ages or problems) that I have seen since Ross Campbell’s How to Really Love Your Child (first published in 1977). I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to my daughter who is awaiting the birth of my first grandchild. And I hope it finds its way into a lot of Christmas stockings this year.