Catherine Hickem’s Regret Free Parenting: Raise Good Kids and Know You’re Doing it Right, is a laudable effort to encourage and inspire mothers in their monumental job of parenting kids. Citing seven principles, her premise is sound: be intentional about the process of parenting to guarantee the outcome. This book is both a jump-start for raising kids on principle, and a manual to return to when the days seem grim, or the ages change (which happens without warning). Each principle comes with a focal point to put into action, something I appreciate for nailing down the ‘how-do-I-do-that-myself’ question. I found myself hi-lighting a good portion of this book, a rare and positive sign that I will reference the material often. I do note, that dads are rarely mentioned, thus another resource would probably speak to his side better, and I would have liked to hear how their differing viewpoint added to the end result. Her topic of intentional motherhood stems from a desire to imitate our Lord, as He intentionally creates relationships with His people, provides for us, and parents us, despite our mistakes. She clearly stated that we can (and will) make mistakes, but that regret does not follow, if our intent stands on godly principles. I don’t like the phrase “raise good kids”, as though only intent changes the outcome, yet I agree that the absence of intent guarantees disaster. “Good” is one of those non-descriptive words that my Mom warned me about, along with “nice”, or “like” or “cool.” I would also note that the lack of a hyphen in the title led my (non-believing) coworkers to wonder what ‘free parenting’ was, and why did she regret it? The proof of her method is the positive foreword written by both of her children, whose praise of her efforts mean more than the easy cover-compliments of Sheila Walsh.
Several extras are at the end of the book: the concluding chapter, which summarizes our dependance on God’s power in this daily walk of parenting, a “Regret-Free Parenting Plan” which gives space for writing your own ideas, and her web site (thank you for not advertising it thru the book), online resources, books and even a short movie list lauding parenthood. Overall, my support for this book is thorough. Catherine has taken stock of the difficulties of raising little ones with intent, and has given guidelines, direction, and godly principles to work from. I appreciated her honesty, her stories, her therapy side-notes (she’s also a psychotherapist), and her inserts of Biblical promise verses to utilize in this journey. Enjoy this resource of encouragement and purpose.
This review was done for Booksneeze: in which I received a complimentary copy of the book, in exchange for my review. You can do the same: click on the button!