Sunday, October 30, 2016

Book Review: Raising an Original

The word original can branch off into a few slightly different meanings.  When something has become a template, to base all others off of, it has become and "original" work.  A person who is apparently eccentric or unique they are often referred to as "original".  Something that is created with time consuming perfection to the tiniest of details by its artist is an "original" work of art.  Our children are all these things and more.  Created out of the template of humanity God originally designed, they are uniquely woven with personality, temperaments, and talents with greatest of care by the One who knew them before entering their mother's womb.  Our kids our originals- so why do we try to fit them in the squarely small box society expects all to fit into?  We are not in the business of raising cookie cutter kids- but rather embracing the unique and original people God has entrusted us to grow into adulthood and steward faithfully.

Julie Lyles Carr is a homeschooling, Christian mom of 8 Originals herself.  Her candid examples of life in raising each of her unique people were part of what made her book Raising an Original so impactful.  This transformational parenting book has won a place in one of the top ones I will not recommend to fellow parents.  This is not a manual of how to 'get your kids to behave' or 'chore checklists that work', or even a 'discipline that matters' type handbook.  It is getting to the heart of who God created each original person to be and how to encourage them to embrace, use, and adapt to the unique strands God has woven into their lives.

One of the most profound sections for me was the section on parenting 'successful' children.  While our children are a long way off from college and career choices (but it will happen in a blink, I know), it is powerful and encouraging to see how the world's definitions of success are not necessarily in line with God's, nor do they fit the way our children have been woven to be success in their Creator's eyes.

The must read section I will come back to again and again is the ROPES assessment.  A wonderful took mimicking the DiSC survey to help understand personality temperaments, strengths, and weaknesses of each Original.  Getting a glimpse of understanding into what makes my children tick, enthusiastic, or drained of life will help me parent them better.  It has provided valuable insight into the children whose personalities are very different than my own and therefore require stewardship that conflicts with my natural instincts.

This book is a must have for parenting shelves.  New parents may find it overwhelming, but those who are in the midst of the elementary years will find incredible connections and value.  It will also never be too late to get your hands on this book and make an impact in how you relate to your own original.

*I received a copy of this book for free in return for my unbiased and honest review.