One of my very favorite marriage books is Love and Respect, by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. The concept that what men really desire is respect and that women really need is love was eye-opening to me. Eggerichs explains that when women don’t feel love, they act disrespectful and when men don’t feel respected, they act unloving. This creates a “crazy cycle” and disharmony in the home.
I was excited to see Eggerechs’ newest book, Love and Respect in the Family: The Respect Parents Desire; The Love Children Need, which extends the concept to the relationship between parents and children.
Eggerechs explains that what parents want most from their children is respect; when they don’t receive it, they tend to react in ways that children perceive as unloving. Children, on the other hand, want love from parents; when they feel unloved, they react with disrespect. He gives tips for breaking this cycle. The responsibility for making changes rests, of course, primarily with the parents.
Eggerichs proposes six parenting guidelines, abbreviated by the acronym “GUIDES.”
- G—Give—Meet children’s needs generously.
- U—Understand—Listen to your child. Try to understand him, and make sure he knows you are trying to understand.
- I—Instruct—Patiently teach children to know and apply God’s wisdom.
- D—Discipline—Help your child correct poor choices.
- E—Encourage your child to find and use his areas of giftedness.
- S—Supplicate—Pray for your child.
This book fell into my lap at a perfect time. I’ve been increasingly frustrated with the increasing levels of disrespect that my child is showing. Now, I have more ideas of how to break this cycle by showing love, and am already seeing some small improvements in her attitude.
To me, some of the most valuable chapters in the book were the ones that validated my observations that children sometimes DON’T make the correct choices. Some children will choose to act unloving and disrespectful despite anything the parents can do. Eggerechs encourages parents to persevere and to imagine Christ standing behind their child, so that everything that is said is said to Christ. Even if the child makes the wrong choices, we are honoring God by making the right choices ourselves. As the author says, “My response is my responsibility.”
I found Love and Respect in the Family to be an excellent parenting tool, full of good advice and real-life examples of how to apply the principles.
I received a free copy of this book from BookSneeze in exchange for my honest review.