The First Seven Years

I'm pretty sure this is the thickest book I've ever read. Thicker than any of my college textbooks (I was an Education major, remember? =D). All 671 pages chock full of parenting wisdom. What an accomplishment! And the same recognition goes to the other seven ladies in book club who read it right along with me.

This book is now MINE. Highlighted, written in, personalized. Peter has even had his mark in it when the highlighter managed to get into his hands. I'll be referring back to it for years to come. A valuable piece of literature.

I really enjoyed the last five chapters -- all about self-concept. The author's illustration seems fairly accurate. She calls it the Jawbreaker Model of Self-Concept. There are five layers to the jawbreaker, starting on the inside with self-image, then self-esteem, self-confidence, self-respect, and finally the protective outer covering of God's value. I like what she says on page 637:

When children feel good about themselves, they can risk helping others feel good about themselves. They can afford to give the gift of self-esteem to others. This is an important goal for you to have for your children during the first seven years. Teach them to look for the child - or older person - who looks sad, who doesn't have anyone around them to talk with, or whose love cup seems to be empty. Encourage your children to be their love-cup fillers.

If this were a book report, I would conclude with the words -- "I can't recommend this book highly enough". It is meaningful for parents, teachers, grandparents...anyone who wants to have a positive influence on children.