Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)
This verse was one of the key verses at our baby boy’s dedication last weekend. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to read it in a whole new context in the book “Growing Kids with Character” by Hettie Brittz this week, as it showed me a practical way to live out the promise we made. Litfuse Publicity gave me the opportunity to be a part of the blog tour and sent me this e-book, and I jumped at the opportunity as Hettie Brittz is one of my favourite authors.
I have started reading this book in Afrikaans, but the was interrupted by the first few months of surviving with a baby… and now, 6 months down the line I finally had the motivation to complete it.
In reading and writing I love using metaphors, and Hettie nailed the parenting journey with her gardening metaphor. She used four types of trees to describe four temperaments that your kids could have (or any combination of the four). There is an online questionnaire that you can complete to figure out what “tree” (temperament type) your child is growing to be, and then the book teaches you more about the characteristics, strong points and weaknesses of that temperament, and how to parent that child better. Life is full of hard, confusing, scary weeds and other temptations, and we all want our kids to grow into the plan the Father has for them. Based on scriptural principles, this book helps you to reach that goal.
The palm tree conjures pictures of an island, with coconuts hanging from the tree and monkeys playing around the branches, dancing to the beat of the hula… these kids are jovial, fun-loving and live for the moment, but do not like routine and chores.
A rose bush may be prickly but it produces the most beautiful flowers! They require aggressive pruning, but they’re tough… these kids are driven, competitive, and usually very successful, but need to be shaped early in order to grow their beautiful roses.
The boxwood tree is often used as decoration and appears very neat and tidy and controlled. Kids with this temperament thrive in situations with strict rules and regulations, and have high standards for themselves.
The pine tree represents the calm you find in a plantation. Pine-tree kids are deeply anchored, stubborn and not eager to be transplanted. They are peaceful in nature, loyal friends and very attached to their families.
“I am not the whole story when it comes to parenting. God, other parents, life, friends, and influences will parent with me. I will deserve neither all the blame nor all the glory. I will be stretched in the process.” Hettie Brittz, Growing Kids with Character
This book is full of practical tips, but also full of grace for parents. You will feel more equipped to handle discipline, relationships and praise for your specific child. There are even some characteristics outlined that you can start recognising from as young as babies and toddlers, so the book grows with your family. You do not need green fingers to have happy, healthy children!
I really want to encourage you to read this book. (It is also available in Afrikaans as “Kweek kinders met Karakter”). It creates a strong, wise framework for you to build your parenting on. You can also become part of the Evergreen parenting / Tall trees profiles community on Facebook or on their websites (https://evergreenparenting.co.za/ or https://www.talltreestraining.com/).
Hettie Brittz is a South African–born author, international speaker, and a foremost voice in parenting advice and personality styles. She is the author of “(un)Natural Mom,” the developer of the Evergreen Parenting Course, and the codeveloper of Tall Trees Profiles. She heads up Tall Trees Consulting (USA).