Book Report: Have a New Kid by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman

I'm hoping to be diligent about writing up a quick blog post as I finish books this year. This is mostly for my own sake, but I hope that this can be a source of help, encouragement, and/or comfort for those who read it.




by Dr. Kevin Leman

::Number of Pages  304
::Genre  Nonfiction - Parenting
::Publisher's Description


"Want a kid without the attitude? Without the behavior that makes you slink away in the grocery store and pretend you're not the parent? A kid with character who isn't a character? If you're tired of defiant attitudes and power struggles with your little ankle-biters or the disrespectful hormone group, read this book and follow the simple principles, and you'll have a new kid by Friday. Guaranteed!

"Have a New Kid by Friday is your 5-day action plan that really works! With his signature wit and commonsense psychology, internationally recognized family expert Dr. Kevin Leman reveals why your kids do what they do and what you can do about it--starting right now.

"Anyone can do it. All it takes is you deciding to stand up and take charge. Want a great kid? Want to be a great parent? Then take the 5-day challenge. Someday your kid will thank you for it"

::Would I recommend this book to you?
No. While there were plenty of helpful pieces of advice, I personally prefer parenting books that cover the most important aspect of parenting, which is (in my opinion) discipleship. There were also several things that Dr. Leman wrote that left a bad taste in my mouth. For example, he frequently calls children "little suckers". He also suggests telling a child who disobeyed earlier in the day, "You did such and such, so now I don't feel like doing this or that." I'm all for consequences and taking away priveleges because of disobedience or disrespect, but I don't think wording it that way is Biblical. One other thing he kept mentioning was that children disobey or act out because they're vying for attention. While that can be true some of the time, I think that many times children make their mistakes because they're sinners, they have built a bad habit, or they are exhibiting the overflow of whatever negativity they are experiencing in their thought life. And finally, he made references to "going to war" with your children. I don't think this is a helpful (or Biblical) way to view parenting. We are not enemies with our children. We are on the same team, battling against the same Enemy. 

Now that I've got the criticisms out of the way, I would like to share three quotes that I thought were positive and encouraging.

"If you want your child to take you seriously, say your words once. Only once."

This is something with which I have struggled. Years ago, I went down the "one...two...three" path, which is essentially training my children to delay obedience. And isn't delayed obedience equal to disobedience?

"My personal view is that you should never promise your children anything. Promising them is saying that (1) your car will never break down, (2) every day will go exactly as you’ve planned it, (3) you are perfect, and (4) it won’t rain."

I agree with this wholeheartedly. I see no problem with telling children that we will TRY to make such-and-such happen at a certain time, because even if it can't happen, that is a good life lesson for children to learn that life doesn't go the way you plan. But when we make promises that we have no guarantee of being able to keep, we risk becoming untrustworthy, and we also set a poor example for our children.

"Every child will fail, make mistakes, and embarrass you. But you don’t need to hold those failures over your child’s head for a lifetime. Correct the behavior and move on."

I'm afraid I've held a grudge towards each of my children at times. They are so quick to forgive me, yet sometimes I have to give them attitude when they mess up. This is not what grace is supposed to look like.

One of the best books I've read on Biblical parenting is Shepherding a Child's Heart by Ted Tripp. I haven't read it for years, so I will be re-reading it this year if I can.


Have you read this book or any others by Dr. Leman? If so, are there any you would recommend to me?



1 comment:

  1. I have mixed feeling about Dr. Leman's advice. I find him entertaining, but I agree that his verbiage is a bit crude. It is clear though that he loves his children and is passionate about the family. I think his advice can bring a little balance to the child centered garbage that the world is trapped in. I sometimes wonder if he is target audience is not just believers and that is why he doesn't focus on discipleship.
    I hated Shepherding. I know everyone loves it, but I couldn't find any grace in it. I never finished it because it didn't seem to me to operate on principles. I was frustrated and didn't finish it. I should probably pick it up again now that I have a few years of parenting under my belt. I think that I tried it 7 years ago! I will put on my book list for this year! :)

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