Parenting with Courage


Parenting with Courage is a fresh and contemporary book on raising children. Written by a South African mom and author, Mandi Hart.

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About this book

This book will guide you through the ages, the stages and provide you with valuable tools. Raising a child is the most important job you will ever have. With practical tips, illuminating Scripture verses and inspirational real-life stories from around the world, you will grow in confidence as you raise your kids.

It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced parent or a parent-to-be, this book will become a great resource for you.


Some of the topics covered include:

  • Values-based parenting,
  • The role culture plays,
  • Ages and stages of development,
  • Discipline and
  • Mindful parenting

Chapter 5: My Personal Parenting Toolkit

The family should be a closely knit group. The home should be a self-contained shelter of security; a kind of school where life’s basic lessons are taught; and a kind of church where God is honored; a place where wholesome recreation and simple pleasures are enjoyed. – BILLY GRAHAM

If I had a toolkit to parent my kids, I would include these ten tips in my box. These aspects have been invaluable to us as we raise our children.

1) Parenting with a Funnel View Parenting can be daunting. When our children were toddlers, we quickly discovered that when we allowed certain freedoms beyond their ability to navigate, we would undoubtedly encounter problems. As a child grows, two processes continue to dominate: growth in biological areas and learning in their mental and spiritual processes. You cannot rush these stages. According to Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam in On Becoming Childwise, “Allowing a child to progress into his new and expanding world in an orderly fashion greatly enhances learning and decreases the need for correction.” For my toddler, temper tantrums were often the result of not getting their own way and when I thought about it, I realized that I had sometimes inadvertently caused it. My son, Matt, was almost two and loved tractors. One day, while walking through the shopping mall, I took him into a toy shop with no intention of buying a tractor. He saw one and wanted it but couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t let him have it. Much to my embarrassment, I carried him out of the shop screaming. Suddenly, the penny dropped and I realized that if I hadn’t taken him into the shop we would not have had the tantrum. I needed stricter self-control and consistency in my actions and I realized that this decision would affect his behavior, too. I started to apply that principle to a few areas and saw a positive change in his behavior. As my husband and I discussed this incident and few others, we realized that we were giving our children too much freedom. The result was frustration and a form of insecurity in their lives. We decided not to grant too many decision-making, verbal and physical freedoms beyond their current ability. This decision has really helped us over the years. It was then that we decided to adopt what we call “funnel-view parenting” as one of our tools as shown in the diagram on the right. As our children grew, so did their freedom and our trust in them. This has helped us to avoid a few minefields as we have not had to go back on our word. Now that our children have matured into teenagers, we explained to them that trust is a like a tightrope. We will give them more and more latitude as they get older, but with it comes a greater responsibility on their side. Wisdom from the Lord is key as we parent like this. We release more and more freedom as our children grow older and as we impart our values intentionally into their lives through open and honest conversations about difficult topics. Openness, vulnerability and trust are part of the foundation of our relationship with them. This aspect brings freedom to our relationship, and with it, joy.

  © Excerpt - Mandi Hart

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