Ann Benton. Aren’t They Lovely When They’re Asleep? (2003).
I loved this little book.
This brief volume of parenting wisdom grew from a talk Ann Benton was asked to give under the title “Biblical Motherhood in a Child-Centered Society” that resonated with her listeners. She’s very humble about it (which is consistently the way she offers her advice throughout the volume, thus making it clear she is not an American): “Somewhat to my surprise, people seemed to find the talk I gave helpful . . . I have no technique to offer and remain deeply suspicious of any book that includes its own testimonials” (12).
Benton seeks to apply what she has learned from the Bible to parenting, doing so in a way that is both faithful and common-sensical. Her book is divided into six main lessons A-F: Accept the truth about your child and yourself, Beware of common parenting pitfalls, Communicate well, Discipline, Evaluate (the messages and pressures faced by the child), and Fear the Lord. Her style has the rare virtues of clarity, succinctness, and practicality. She in several places interacts with or recommends other helpful parenting resources (Lynette Burrows’ Fight for the Family (67), James Dobson’s Preparing for Adolescence (73), Paul David Tripp’s Age of Opportunity (90)).
I’d love to give you a few tidbits of wise, biblical, practical, helpful advice I gleaned from this book. But I’d have to quote from nearly every page. I’ve asked my husband to read this, I’ll be rereading it often, and it will have a home to come back to on our shelf after every time I lend it out.
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