Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Their Name is Today- Book review

Despite a perfect storm of hostile forces that threaten to deny children a healthy, happy childhood, courageous parents and teachers can turn the tide. Yes, we can reclaim childhood, says Johann Christoph Arnold, whose books have helped more than a million readers through the challenges of education and family life. In Their Name Is Today, he highlights drastic changes in the way our society treats children. But he also brings together the voices of dedicated parents and educators who are finding creative ways to give children the time and space they need to grow. Cutting through the noise of conflicting opinions, Arnold takes us to the heart of education and parenting by defending every child’s right to the joy and wonder of childhood.
When I read that introduction to the book Their Name is Today - Reclaiming Childhood in a Hostile World, I was intrigued immediately.  Yes, I believe that the world has turned into a hostile place.  And yes, I believe that our children are losing their childhoods at an alarming rate.  How else do you explain kids half-dressed like the "stars" of today, high suicide rates and middle schoolers stressed out over test results?  We are robbing our children the chance to just be kids and, like author Johann Christoph Arnold, I believe it is time that we do something about that.
In this 192 page, softcover book, Arnold dedicates 10 chapters to how he thinks we can do that.  Some of his ideas are as simple as allowing kids to spend their time playing and not overscheduling them.  Others include reminding ourselves that all children are gifts from God and need to be treated as such.
"Parents need to slow down and savoir the precious years with the children God has entrusted to them.  The years do not come back." (p 38)

Through personal stories from his own childhood and from many people around the world, Arnold encourages parents and teachers alike to not only value children but to enjoy them as well.  His often heart-tugging words will make you want to put all other things aside and embrace your children.
Chapters include-
  • The World Needs Children
  • Play is a Child's Work
  • Great Expectations
  • Screening Out
  • Material Child
  • Actions, Not Words
  • Guidance to Grow
  • In Praise of Difficult Children
  • Discovering Reverence
  • Tomorrow Comes
My favorite chapter?  In Praise of a Difficult Child!  This chapter is for you moms and dads who are raising a spirited child or children.  It will speak to your heart as you nod your way through each word, I assure you. "...instead of envying the ease at which our neighbors seem to raise perfect offspring, we will remember that rule-breakers and children who show their horns often make more self-reliant and independent adults than those whose limits are never tried." (p 127)  I do not know about you but that is a refreshing reminder and one that I needed to hear.
To conclude with the author's words...
"Let's put our smartphones away and tune in to the living, breathing wonders who are waiting for us to look up and notice them."  (p 60)
Yes, let's!


About author Johann Christoph Arnold - A noted speaker and writer on marriage, parenting, and end-of-life issues, Arnold is a senior pastor of the Bruderhof, a movement of Christian communities. With his wife, Verena, he has counseled thousands of individuals and families over the last forty years, as well as serving as an advisor at several innovative private schools. Arnold’s message has been shaped by encounters with great peacemakers such as Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Dorothy Day, Cėsar Chavez, and John Paul II. Born in Great Britain in 1940 to German refugees, Arnold spent his boyhood years in South America, where his parents found asylum during the war; he immigrated to the US in 1955. He and his wife have eight children, forty-four grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. They live in upstate New York.

You can enter to win a copy of this book, but leaving me a comment! We will draw a random winner next Friday!

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

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