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Raising Respectful Children in a Disrespectful World Review by Ruth Hoskins

By Jill Rigby
Good Year Books
PO Box 91858
Tucson, Arizona 85752

I am so discouraged when I look at the behavior of many children. With all the talk nowadays of self-respect, loving others, and tolerance, I would think children would be more loving and kind. What I see, though, is the opposite of kindness and love, and it saddens me. How can I keep my children from heading down that path? How can my children be a blessing to the world around them? Raising Respectful Children in a Disrespectful World by Jill Rigby answers those questions. This 186-page, easy-to-read book is straightforward, and it provides insightful, useable information in instructing children to be respectful.

Rigby opens by discussing what she feels could have happened between the days of "May I help you cross the street, ma'am?" to "Move out of my way, lady!" She says that at one time "teachers were teachers. So teachers taught. Parents were parents. So parents trained. Kids were kids. So kids obeyed. Respect for authority was paramount." How did the world become so disrespectful? Rigby asserts that we've substituted self-esteem for self-respect and in the process lost our manners.

This book provides hope for parents who have at any time thought the key to their children's behavior issues was a lack of self-esteem. (I once did.) Before you travel down that road, read this book.

Rigby encourages parents to enroll their children into the "school of Self Respect." She says that parenting for self-respect instead of self-esteem is what will ultimately yield children who are joyful, grateful, humble, confident, content, well-mannered, others-centered, and persistent. These are qualities that I would like my children to have.

There are twelve short chapters, each ending with a reality check that will have you take a critical look at your parenting style and search for areas that you may need to improve. The chapters are filled with Scripture quotes and other wise sayings. Rigby stresses the need for you and your children to have a relationship with the Lord. I really like the fact that she encourages you to show your children your relationship with God, as opposed to just telling them. Let them catch you reading the Word of God and praying, she says. Included in the appendix are a note to single parents, A Family Protection Policy (which is a prayer for your family), and a list of must-read books for parents.

I know that God determines the outcome, so this book will not ensure respectful children, but it is a step in the right direction. A great gift for a new mom, a mom of teens, or anyone in between.

Product review by Ruth Hoskins, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2007