Written by a father of three daughters and a grandfather of three, “Becoming Childwise: Discovering the Heart of Parenting,” comes from experience, knowledge and inspiration. John Kie Vining, a licensed professional counselor, has given scriptural principles to help parents guide their children in practical ways.
Dr. Gary J. Oliver Th.M., Ph.D., calls “Becoming Childwise” a parenting “tool-kit.” After reading this encouraging books, he explains, “you will not only understand yourself and your child better, you will also have a larger and more useful parenting ‘tool-kit’ to help in every state of a child’s life.” He says it is a book you will read more than once.
The book is dedicated to grandchildren Dalen Davis Hood, Cola Leese Hood and Olivia Grace Parker, who, Vining says, “make their grandparents very proud.”
The book’s contents takes the parent through the steps from “Becoming Childwise” in Chapter 1 through “Understanding Your Child,” “How to Really Love Your Child,” “Healing Damaged Emotions,” “The Divorce Murmurs of the Heart,” “Provoking Children to Anger,” “Love, Sex and Intimacy,” “Discerning the Actions of Your Child” and “Failure to Launch” to “How to Bless your Child.”
Oliver says in the foreword, “‘Becoming Childwise’ is a kind of one-stop shopping for parents of young children who want to ay a great foundation for their children, as well as for parents of older kids who need help in making some mid-course corrections.”
Vining, in the prologue, reminds the reader that every child needs a momma and daddy — but, sadly every child does not have a committed momma and daddy, who are active parents. In today’s culture, children have become expendable and once that happened, so did parenthood. As a result, he explains, untold misery is created in what is often referred to as our “greatest treasure” — our children.
He says he has attempted to address this material from a non-clinical vantage point, making it as plain and simple as possible. The examples and scenarios have been gathered from more than 20 years as professional counselor and from several states and countries. Contrary to parenting books, which focus on getting children to “act right,” “Becoming Childwise” addresses the parent-child relationship —the fundamental context of the connection between behavior and heart issues.
Chapter 1 gives the two fundamental imperatives necessary for developing an emotionally healthy child. In Chapter 2, 10 primary needs of the emotional heart are listed which must be met in the parent-chid relationship. Chapter three presents four types of touch parents must employ to nurture the 10 needs.
Chapters 4, 5 and 6 focus on healing and discerning pain and anger. A guide to parents in helping their children understand love, sex and intimacy is presented in Chapter 7. Chapter 8 focuses on the theme of “acting out” to help parents gauge their children’s maturity and growth. Chapter 9 asks “Why?” concerning the adult child who suffers failure to launch. And the last chapter reveals what only parents can give (so important) — “How to Bless Your Child” — children who feel blessed are free to become their own person.
Before starting with the first chapter, be sure to read “A Child’s Plea: Please Listen to What I’m Saying.” It is the groundwork for the “Discovering the Heart of Parenting.”
An ordained bishop, Vining, who has mental-heath service provided certification in Tennessee, has served as the director of counseling and testing at Lee University and director of counseling at the Church of God Center for Ministerial Care and director of family ministries for the Church of God.
He presently serves as the director of the Center of Relational Health and oversees Youth Counseling service. He is a regular adjunct professor of counseling and assistant clinical coordinator of master of arts in counseling at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary. He is married to Dr. Su Ann Vining and they are the parents of three daughters.
EDITOR’S NOTE: John Kie Vining is author, editor or contributor to more than a dozen books including “Spirit-Centered Counseling,” “When Home Is Where the Hurt Is,” “Covenant Marriage,” “Family Ministry Foundations,” “Fire, Faith and Family: A Portrait of Spirit-Filled Families,” Servant Church,” and “Limboville: Life and Times in the Age of Whatever.” He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at 423 Central Ave., Cleveland TN 37311.