Bright Minds, Poor Grades book review

Confession: My approval idol is keeping me from reviewing and recommending this book.

Okay so I’ve never reviewed a book before so I have no idea if I am going to do this correctly or not.

I’ve gone back and forth about how to review this book. Should I review it and let people know I am reading a book geared towards parents with kids who struggle with their education? Should I just keep the info to myself and if someone asks then recommend the book? I don’t want people to know I am reading a book like this! BUT I am finding this book insightful and I am sure other people would benefit from the read as well.  You see the progression of my self talk? Ultimately, the part of me that wants my life to be useful wins out…so far. I still have to click on “Publish Post”.

This book, so far, has been incredibly insightful. It is not based on faith and is not gospel oriented…HOWEVER…it isn’t a far stretch to apply the gospel to this book. It deals with the classic “underachieving” student. Parents who hear such phrases like…”he’s so bright, if he only applied himself a little more”…or “he could be a great student if he just had better study habits”, might gain some insight into the whys behind their lack of motivation.

When I say that the gospel can be easily applied to this book I mean this: if you replace the word “underachiever” with “sinner” you can start to see your child in the light of the gospel. If you replace the words “low self esteem” with the words “lack of identity in Christ” you begin to see that our child isn’t aware of his value to our Heavenly Father.

The first 12 chapters are spent discussing what he perceives is the problem. He discusses the fundamental principals we need to have as parents, which I found insightful. We found we were practicing some of the principals but not all of them. We found them all helpful so we plan on upping our parenting with this skills. He then covers disciplines for change. Honestly, we haven’t gotten to that yet. We just skipped forward to the next portion of the book. We wanted to be sure we could agree with the ten step program outlined before we continued.

The last four chapters discuss his proposed solution. He offers a ten step program to use in helping you work with your child. He outlines the ten steps he recommends in good detail. He spends a chapter with the focus of getting to the heart of the problem. He then spends some time covering the true goal we parents have which is freedom for our children and a sense of destiny in their hearts. The final chapter is spent reminding parents that it will require persistence and faith to get through this season of their life.

This book seems to be really focused on how we as parents play a role in teaching our children to move beyond the fear of responsibility and into freedom from that fear. He calls parents to see their children differently. Parents tend to see children who struggle as lazy, or defiant, or disrespectful. The author calls us, as parents, to look beyond those labels and see children who may be terrified of the future and unsure if they are strong enough to face said future. He calls parents to be sympathetic to their plights, while maintaining a posture of leader, educator, and mentor.  He asks parents to be patient and understanding with the work that must be done in an effort to win the child’s heart. How can we not soak that in the gospel. God calls us to freedom through Him. He calls us to freedom from fear and into the destiny He has set in our hearts.

It isn’t written from a Christian perspective, so please do not assume that this is a Godly book. Rather, read it and apply the gospel to the areas you deem fit.

As we read through this book, we realize that there are areas where we, the parents, have underachieved and how we may be passing that tradition on to our children. YIKES! No thank you. So, we add this tool to our arsenal and put our hands to the plow. We look ahead to the work that needs to be done and we move forward, with a little fear in hearts, but with the confidence that HE who has begun a good work in us AND our children, will be faithful to complete that good and perfect work.

Until another confession…


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