Wiring Kids for Success in Life (a book review)

In my opinion, the title of this book Wiring Kids for Success in Life by Garth & Sandi Smith,  lends to a view of parenting as computer technicians (the parents) who program or wire computers (their children) for a certain outcome in life. So I’ll be honest, for me, the title doesn’t accurately depict the layers of loving wisdom waiting to be revealed in the pages of this book. A more accurate title would have been something like: Arming your children with all the tools they need to be happy and successful in life. But that’s not a very catchy title now, is it? 😉

I heard of Garth and Sandi’s book when I saw their book trailer on Facebook. An American friend of mine who grew up in France had posted the video. She married Garth and Sandi’s son a few years ago and they are now raising a darling little family. Knowing what an amazing person she is, I could only imagine that she also married into an amazing family. My curiosity was piqued. I watched the video and my interest grew and a week later I had a copy of the book in my hands.

I’ve had a chance to exchange a few e-mails with Garth and in a recent email he asked me what, specifically, did I learn that may have been a new perspective or approach to parenting/marriage from the book…

I loved that question, and I thought it would make for a fun book review. So here’s a list of seven perspectives and approaches about parenting and marriage that I learned from the book.

  1. Happy parents make happy children. Perhaps that’s a bit simplified, but it works to illustrate my point. I didn’t expect to read so much about successful marriage tips in the book, but there they were. And this reinforced what I already believed. At the heart of a happy home that produces happy, well-adjusted children is a mother and father who deeply love each other and are committed to each others’ and their children’s happiness.
  2. Obedient children are a product of developed mutual respect between parents and children. Obedience is also primordial in raising successful children, but teaching children to be obedient is not synonymous with parents forcing children to do what they want. Love and affection, sincere compliments and helping children believe in their potential will do much more to help children be obedient than yelling, forcing or spanking.
  3. There are no shortcuts. If you are looking for a book that will teach you parenting shortcuts, this book is not for you! Successful parenting requires a high level of commitment and hard work. Hard work is definitely part of the formula they share. However – and this is a big however – when parents take the time and make the sacrifices required to raise and teach and train their children, these children learn to function properly in society and cause their parents much less problems and heartache.
  4. A family is a team and requires a president, a co-president and team-members. This I love! This is exactly the way I would like to raise my family and their book is chockful of creative ideas. Mom and Dad are president and co-president and the children are the team-members. Families adapt to their unique situations as needed and then organize themselves to determine what needs to be done to keep their home running smoothly.
  5. Education and learning are a priority, but so is work! Starting with teaching children from the youngest age to love learning to helping children develop good study and organizational skills are sound principles that Garth and Sandi explain in detail in their book. But work, and a healthy dose of it, is primordial to helping children learn how to become contributing members of a society.
  6. Teaching children to set realistic goals and achieve them is the blueprint to a successful life. Garth and Sandi show how they started setting goals with their children from the time they started to communicate! They began with small goals suited for young children and as each child learned and progressed, they would help each develop personal goals with a specific plan of action. Children who learn to set and achieve goals are prepared to continue using this tool to be successful in life.
  7. A family who prays together stays together. The book is written from a non-denominational point of view, but Garth is unequivocal. Faith and prayer are powerful tools in successful marriage and family relationships. When we turn to our faith in earnest prayer to seek help in our marriage and in raising our children, we become more focused in our goals and we receive wisdom, strength and endurance that are a precious aid and that will help us achieve all we would not be able to achieve on our own.

How about you? Do any of the above parenting principles resonate with you?

One of my favorite chapters in the book was a chapter about Sandi’s first auction where she went to purchase a cow for the family – “a brown cow with long handles” to be precise. It was the cutest story and I couldn’t stop laughing. It lends an image of a down-to-earth family with a great sense of humor. I also loved flipping to the last pages to see all the photos of their family they included in the book. So fun seeing my friend Rachel in there! 😉

So you see, in my opinion, Garth and Sandi’s book really doesn’t have anything to do with wiring children, but everything to do with lovingly arming them with all the tools they need to be happy and successful in life. And I warmly recommend their book to all who are seeking sound principles to help them in their challenging parenting tasks and duties.

I received a free copy of Wiring Kids for Success in Life from Garth Smith in exchange for writing this review. All opinions are my own. Garth is also a life coach, mentor and public speaker. Learn more about his work here: www.wiringkidsforsuccess.com

This post is part of a blog hop of other mom bloggers who have written their recommendations for parenting books. To read the other reviews, scroll down.

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