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Regret Free Parenting Review by Tony Silva

By Catherine Hickem, LCSW
Thomas Nelson ($15.99)
Thomas Nelson, Inc.
PO Box 141000
Nashville, TN 37214

In Regret Free Parenting, author Catherine Hickem challenges mothers to be "intentional." She has presented the same message in her ministry, Intentional Moms, and now she brings it to life in the seven principles she outlines in the book.

Hickem begins with a look at what she calls the "Motherhood Paradox"--explaining that being a mom is bigger than the mother's children. She contrasts the picture of a mom who focuses on the well-being of her children with how important it is for her to also address her own needs. The rest of the book is a clearly laid out roadmap for achieving both goals.

While the book promises to show you how to be a regret free parent, Hickem makes it clear that it doesn't guarantee you won't make mistakes. We all do. Intentional motherhood is a way of equipping mothers to be confident in this important role. Hickem then lays out the seven principles of intentional motherhood. First and second, an intentional mom must be intentional about knowing her purpose and knowing her children.

The third principle promises a peaceful life through the teenage years if you are intentional in your role as a vision keeper. This chapter alone is worth picking the book up if you have teens in the house. Hickem provides some clear guidelines about parenting teens in terms of recognizing the difference between mistakes and failures, defining value, and creating confidence. It is an important reminder that God loves us unconditionally and that His love is reflected in our unconditional love of our children.

The fourth principle focuses on emotional intelligence--being able to recognize and respond to the feelings of your children. Hickem explains that our role is to recognize our children's emotions and help them "process" their feelings. She points to Christ's unconditional acceptance of people who crossed His path.

The fifth and sixth principles focus on recognizing and maintaining your position of authority over your children and being intentional about your own fears. In the latter, the difference between "control" and "intention" are explained.

Finally, Hickem closes the circle with an exhortation to be God-dependent. The example she gives at the beginning of the chapter will send chills up your spine--demonstrating just how intimately God knows us and "gets" the struggles we experience in everyday life.

Regret Free Parenting, which retails for $15.99, is not uniquely a homeschool resource. However, given the mom-centric nature of most homeschool families, it is an important read for both moms and dads.

Product review by Tony Silva, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May 2011