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Book Review–Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character. . . in You and Your Kids!

Title:  Good and Angry:  Exchanging Frustration for Character. . . in You and Your Kids!

Authors:  Scott Turansky, D.Min., and Joanne Miller, R.N., B.S.N.

Publisher:  Shaw Books

ISBN:  0877880301

Length:  242 pages

Synopsis: In this book, Turansky and Miller discuss the importance of routines in parenting.  However, these are not the typical routines we usually think of here in this trenches (i.e. wake up, get up, make the bed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, etc.); instead, these are routines to deal with the conflicts inevitable in parenting and family life.  Turansky and Miller urge readers to view anger not as an annoyance but rather as an indicator that something needs to be changed.  Topics discussed in this book include responsibility, wisdom, contentment, perspective, self-control, integrity, and peace.  Each chapter ends with a section entitled “Putting It All Together” which includes discussion questions, Bible study prompts, and even an activity for practical application.

My Thoughts: I will be the first to admit that I am often put off by reading nonfiction, especially when it is of the practical, self-help type.  I usually do not like these books because they are often written in a conversational way that I find patronizing.  However, this book is different.  I found it straight-forward and realistic.  Parenting has been, to quote an old commercial, “the toughest job I’ve ever loved,” so I am always on the lookout for tools for my parenting bag.  When I read about this book on Ann’s blog, I knew it had to be a winner.  I even ambitiously began doing the end-of-the-chapter questions and Bible study during my quiet time when I first began the book (‘though I admit that I was finally glad just to have a spare moment or two to read the end of it).  Each chapter has step-by-step, practical suggestions on how to incorporate new routines in our old “song and dance.”  Turansky and Miller hold out hope to parents who struggle with anger over their children’s behaviors and encourage such parents to not be paralyzed by their anger, but instead to view it as an opportunity for growth.  The book ends with a chapter on forgiveness which alone is worth the cost of the book.  I think this is one parenting book that I will do well to pick up and read again as my children grow older.  I will end my review with an excerpt from this book which captures its spirit:

Angry words might sometimes motivate children to do what you say, but a closer look reveals damaged family relationships.  Short-term compliance comes at the cost of long-term closeness.  Motivating with harshness can keep children in line or get them to accomplish a task but that method robs the family of joy.  In the end, it is closeness that provides parents with teachable moments and the relaxed enjoyment of family life [. . . ] Good correction routines are helpful for both children and parents.  Kids learn godly ways of handling mistakes when parents have a plan.  If you know the routine, you’re less likely to become emotionally upset and more likely to recognize that your persistence will produce character in the end.  (231)

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3 Responses

  1. I am Muslim but am interested in the book. How much of it is Christian based? Do you think it is applicable for all people or is it really only with Christian families in mind?

  2. Looks really good and going on my wishlist right now. Thanks for the review.

    Robin

  3. […] like Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids! (read my thoughts here) and A Mother’s Heart: A Look at Values, Vision, and Character for the Christian […]

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