As I have been reading parenting books the last year or so, I feel I end up with more questions than answers.
I have read To Train Up A Child and Home Grown Kids, skimmed James Dobson's Answer Book, and started Parenting Isn't for Cowards.
The James Dobson books were given to me by my mother. I won't go into all of the reasons why I read his work skeptically here, but I have not been bothered by anything I have read so far in these books.
This is my dilemma: I love to be around families where older children are respectful and obedient. I am inspired to be around teenagers who are so much more godly than many adults I know. I crave this for my children. However, in the books I have read where this is the goal of parenting, so much focus is placed on a child's strong will, quest for power, and sinful nature. While I don't dispute that these are facts, I dislike the attitude that this builds between my child and I.
Efrim is 11 mos. old. Can anyone tell me how to train him to follow God and grow in godliness without regarding our relationship as a battlefield? Efrim is very strong willed, already, and so often I find discipline taking over our whole life together. I had a relationship with my mother that looked very much like this, and while I have grown and been blessed by the things she taught me, and we have a good relationship now, I don't want that for my family. I want to have joy in our relationship now, not only in 20 years.
Can anyone tell me how this is possible? I know it has to be, because I know the way that God loves us, and I believe he wants this for us.