“Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, & Bad Attitudes …”

Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes … in You and Your Kids is the best book on parenting I’ve ever read!

The authors, Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, propose an honor-based approach to parenting (which is actually applicable to other areas of life, as well)!

In families, it’s easy to focus on behavior, but focusing on the heart goes deeper.

Honor doesn’t just address behavior. It involves the heart. Too often, parents focus only on getting the right actions. But behavior change is not enough. Honor deals with deeper issues in family life. As families practice honor, they experience great rewards. (8)

Turansky and Miller believe, “Honor changes the way people think, the way we act, and the way we treat others”; it “adds that little bit of grace that transforms family life” (13).

I love the author’s definition of honor. We’ve been working on it in our family, and I’ve taught it in more than one sermon.

Treating people as special, doing more than what’s expected, and having a good attitude. (13)

The book has a lot of practical ideas. One example is a key question to ask yourself, especially when you’re upset: “How can I respond with honor here?” (19).

The authors believe, “As individuals learn to honor one another, they begin to see life differently. Every situation is now an opportunity to value others” (20).

Turansky and Miller outline a four-step discipline process …

  1. Identify the wrong behavior.
  2. Identify the dishonoring heart issue.
  3. Identify the honoring heart issue.
  4. The right behavior grows out of the honoring heart issue. (22-23)

The Goal of Discipline

The goal in discipline is to help children not only act correctly, but also to think correctly and to become the people God made them to be. Honor addresses what’s going on below the surface and considers a child’s heart. (23)

Noting that Scripture says “Honor your father and mother” eight times, they assert, “Honor provides a foundation for children that sets them up to be happy, joyful, and to enjoy life.” But, the authors also note that “honoring others doesn’t come naturally. It needs to be taught” (29).

Whining & Complaining

Whining and complaining are manipulative techniques used by children to get what they want. Children must see that their tricks don’t work. They need to learn a more honoring way to communicate. (31)

One of my favorite takeaways from the book, another great practical idea, is the phrase, “Obey first, and then we’ll talk about it.”

But it’s also important for children to learn to give up their agendas and follow instructions—even when they don’t want to. … Sending the message, “Obey first, and then we’ll talk about it” emphasizes obedience. (32)

One of my favorite chapters highlights six ways to teach honor to children …

  1. Teach children to treat people as special
  2. Teach children to do more than what’s expected
  3. Deal with a bad attitude
  4. Create honor lessons in life
  5. Model it
  6. Appeal to conscience

For Parents

I love the title of this book, especially the last part, “in You and Your Kids.” It’s easy to focus on kids’ behavior, but parents must also work on their own stuff.

When parents discipline with honor, they must remove selfishness from their own hearts in order to discipline effectively. This is a challenge, but the results reproduce themselves in their children. (60)

Teaching honor is worth it!

Honor comes back to the person who knows how to give it. … When parents and children honor each other, the family dynamic changes, and joy is the result. (62)

The authors note, “Honor-based parenting does take work” (99). So, they offer some practical skills.

Skills …

  • Be firm without being harsh.
  • Express sorrow instead of anger.
  • Use problem solving and decision making.
  • Enjoy children according to their needs and interests.
  • Envision a positive future for your children.

There are also chapters on how siblings relate with each other, as well as getting teens through “the tunnel years.” There is an appendix with eight “family together times,” or devotions, to help families better understand honor. We plan to use these devotions in our family devotional time.

Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes … in You and Your Kids is a helpful book, and I’m looking forward to implementing more of it in our home!

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