In her last book, Raising God-First kids in a Me-First World, Barbara Curtis recounts her parenting story from the beginning (a single New-Age mom of two) and brings us along to present day. In the process, we are blessed to observe the journey of her life as she travels to her ultimate vocation as a mother of twelve (including three adopted sons with Down Syndrome).
Mrs. Curtis points out two fundamental truths about today's society: 1. many parents want to be their child's friend not parent and 2. children for the most part are seen as a burden not a blessing. She uses these show how difficult but necessary it is to buck societal trends and raise children to grow up in character and integrity. These traits are essential, not just for the parent and child, but for society as a whole.
She tackles many parenting challenges that are experienced by those coming from a background of little or no faith (although I am sure there will be those raised within a faith who struggle with the same issues). Mrs. Curtis does a lovely job of mixing Biblical references, Christian beliefs, and old school common sense to reveal the path to raising God-focused children.
The book, overall, is a fresh perspective on parenting that looks at children as blessings loaned from God and our responsibility to raise them in the best way possible. The author relishes her vocation, with its successes and trials, and that shows in her writing.
Prepare to find many God-centered, Holy Spirit driven words of advice in this book. Much of her suggestions clearly stem from the many years spent within an Evangelical religious framework. While there are a few mentions of specific Catholic-based issues they are in the minority, which is a pity. Being a later convert (2007) she points out that much of her parenting was done by the time she entered the Catholic church.
Even without the specifics of Catholic parenting, there are many ideas and tools worth considering in this book. I would recommend it to anyone who would like to step away from the "what's wrong with our kids" parenting guides and instead use the time to rejoice in the gift and gain the tools necessary to properly fulfil one's vocation.
This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Raising God-First Kids in a Me-First World. The Catholic Company is the best resource for all your seasonal needs such as First Communion gifts as well as ideas and gifts for the special papal Year of Faith.