Congratulations to Parenting: It Isn’t Hard If You Keep Your Eyes on the Mentor, God, our Heavenly Father written by Elizabeth Len Wai for receiving a RECOMMENDED rating from the US Review of Books.
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“It is important that parents be good prayer warriors on behalf of the children and when seeking help with them.”
An experienced parent offers inspirational advice on childrearing in this sincere, gently amusing, Christian-themed manual. When parents make poor choices, family breakdown will be the result; but by setting one’s sights high and taking biblical teaching into consideration, author Len Wai believes that we can and will become caregivers to “a new generation of God’s children.” Most people begin to consider their role as parents after they have conceived, or are planning to conceive, their first child. The role of parent and protector of our offspring will ideally reward us with the protection and care we receive from our children as we age. The generations can share with one another, giving and receiving energy and vision.
Len Wai has created a job description for a parent. Duties include caregiving, nursing, and fashion advisor as well as “leader, confessor, comforter.” Benefits include years of emotional ups, downs, challenges, and rewards. God, the law, society, teachers, bosses, and mates will all have expectations on our child. We as parents supply the basics and more, and, in all these endeavors, make the child “the center of our world and the focus of all our attention,” a phrase the author stresses through repetition. A parent can expect to have moments of doubt and fear. Len Wai describes her own feelings once she brought her firstborn child home. Initially quite confident, she had a sudden surge of pure panic and called her own mother for reassurance. She gives the reader some ideas of what to expect based on her own experience of diapering, playing simple games, feeling frustrated at times, and taking a much broader view of her surroundings seen from the aspects of safety, space, and time management. Parents must learn to forgive, to understand and teach the difference between right and wrong, honesty and dishonesty, and to present themselves as examples of virtue and love, dispensing discipline when required.
Len Wai writes with apparent ease about a subject that is evidently very important to her, important enough to share with others. Her narrative is peppered with relevant quotations from the Bible, a resource that, she believes, can guide us at all stages of our role as dutiful and caring parents. She willingly makes fun of herself, quoting some of the silly things she has said without thinking. This serves to illustrate that parents are not perfect; parents will make mistakes, but it is important that we think about what we say and what we teach our children.
Parenting continues into our older years as grandparents, as the author well knows. In our later years, she suggests, we get to “revisit old friends like Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Winnie the-Pooh…” through the eyes and ears of a new generation. Traditional activities like dress-up, hide and seek, drawing pictures, and building sandcastles have not gone out of style, and grandparents can be called on to engage in such playful exercises. Len Wai shares fond memories of growing up in a multigenerational home atmosphere and learning from her elders. These reminiscences, combined with observations garnered from her early challenges with parenting, contribute to her current role as author and advisor. Len Wai conveys a comforting sense of calm and wisdom to her reading audience. She constructs a clever comparison of parenting with kite flying: both require determination, control, and a wish to see our aspirations take flight. Her book appropriately concludes with the challenge, “So let’s go fly a kite.”
RECOMMENDED by the US Review