**This is a review for Family Christian. I was compensated for this post, however all opinions are my own**
How to Ruin Your Child in 7 Easy Steps was an incredible book! It’s rare to find a book that discusses how to transform your children into well-behaved, moral, and intelligent children of character ALL by addressing and dealing with your own personal flaws. The book provides a chapter dedicated to each of the 7 deadly sins, along with a Top 10 list at the beginning of each chapter dedicated to how to ruin your child through each sin, and then he discusses how to avoid making all of those mistakes through revelation, prayer, and submission of that area of your life to Christ.
Patrick M. Quinn begins the book by discussing his own personal struggle with pride, and proceeds through each chapter with the same level of transparency. It’s encouraging to read books like this when so often it feels Christian parents are in the minority, fighting an uphill battle to keep our children from falling prey to the sways of the mainstream world we live in. This book is filled with wisdom and insight and support in all the areas we struggle with, and why our own struggles directly influence how we handle those issues when our children face them.
The author doesn’t just address each sin in the blatant area, but also in how each sin can have an effect on small children. For example, in his chapter regarding lust he talks about the need for instant gratification rather than keeping our children on a schedule (i.e. giving them an unhealthy snack instead of encouraging them to wait for the healthy meal they’ll be eating soon). Or how we, as the examples, need to show our children how to make choices that are beneficial to them, even if they aren’t the easiest or most comfortable. Exercising instead of laying on the couch would be a great example for your children – and it’s great quality family time too!!!
Mr. Quinn ends the book by discussing the seven cardinal virtues: Humility, chastity, kindness, charity, temperance, diligence, and patience, and how we, as their parents and guides, can also ruin our children by distorting those virtues. Rather than teaching them how important each of those is to your child’s walk with Christ – as well as to their own character – you can easily give them the wrong impression that they are “no fun”. As I was reading these, I kept imagining if your child were Sandy and you, the parent, were Rizzo (forgive the Grease reference, but it paints a clear picture!) Your children are pure and innocent, with a simple expectation that the world is the same. Imagine if we taught them that their innocence was silly or dumb, that chastity and patience are lame and they should be like everyone else to be cool. *THAT* is the perfect way to ruin your child!
An excellent read! An encouraging read! And also a wonderful way to let parents know that we aren’t fighting the moral battle alone, but that it does – as with most changes – begin with us! If you’re looking for How To Ruin Your Child in 7 Easy Steps, it is available at Family Christian, and you can get free shipping by clicking here!