If you’re looking for a book to give you step by step parenting advice on how to handle difficult children, Safe House by Joshua Straub, PhD, is not the one you’re looking for. As a matter of fact, this book basically drew outside the lines of anything all the other parenting books has told me to do. If you’re rather looking for a parenting book that will give ideas and 4 “walls” or boundaries to base your parenting strategies on, then you would want to pick this book up. This is a good book for giving guidance on how to raise your children and to become part of the community you use to raise your children. Dr. Straub has spent 15 years counseling troubled adolescents and is now in the process of raising his own children and so this book is perfect at giving advice on a way to create a safe house within your family, your children, and your marriage.
When I first started reading the book, I felt like a bad parent. I pretty much was miserably failing in providing some even walls based on “grace and truth and exploration and protection”. I am definitely better in some of those areas than others, just like I’m sure most parents are. Dr. Straub realizes that parents definitely have their strong areas and after introducing those boundaries to help raise your children, he acknowledges that as a parent you are probably feeling like you’re doing a miserable job at about that point in the book and tells you that it is okay, you’re not alone, and you can rewrite your parenting story. He delves into how our parental influences in our lives helped shape how we are as parents with our children and encourages you to literally write down your story as you read through the book, complete with thought provoking questions. Due to the precious limited time and space I have for reading without being interrupted by my own children right now, I did not have a chance to sit down and write out my story based on his questions, but in the future when time is more available, I would be interested in writing down my answers to his questions because I am sure there are even things I can learn from myself.
I think the part in the book I got the most out of was regarding creating safe marriages; I think that was mainly because I felt I could relate to Dr. Straub and his wife well in that section. I will actually even be pulling a few of his ideas to use in my own marriage because as he mentions, you have your spouse for life; your kids will eventually move out and when that time comes it’s just the two of you so you need to make sure you’re putting an effort into your marriage now, so it’s strong in the future. Dr. Straub is very relatable throughout the whole book. He shares his insights from his experience with counseling and even relates to the reader by mentioning things his family does and letting you know that even he is not a perfect parent, but that he is working on being the best he can be.
To check out a preview of this book or order a copy, you can click here.
WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided this book to me for free in exchange for this honest review as part of their Blogging for Books program.