Amazing…profound…scary…these are just a few of the words I would use to describe this book.

I truly figured when I read this book I would not be learning anything new. I arrogantly entered into it with the thought I would just be confirming I am “doing it right”.

Wow did my eyes become opened. There were moments I felt confirmed and reassured I was on the right path of raising our child, yet there were moments I found myself feeling sucker punched. I realized there were some things in raising a child just really don’t matter. Yes it is nice for your child to keep their room picked up, but in the long run does it really form who they are morally? I want her to excel academically, yet just because she can spout out facts about math, science, or history does it mean she is going to make a moral/ethical decision when faced in a difficult peer pressure situation?

Does my child have Godly character? Because THAT is much more important; it is what truly matters in the whole big picture of life. This is what she should be living for. This is what my job as a parent is all about. Not if her room is perfect every day, but if I am raising a soldier for Christ; if I am disciplining her for God.

Thus this was another one of those books I felt I have to give you, the readers, direct quotes and page referencing, chapter by chapter. There is just so much to glean from this book I didn’t want to take the risk of you missing out on any of the great details that stood out to me. Why mucky it up with my paraphrasing or summarizing when you can read the direct quotes from the author.

Thus let’s began this journey into “The Dangers of Raising Nice Kids”.


Page 12: “One Danger of raising nice kids is that they will end up too delicate.” “We live in a culture that is not child friendly. It is increasingly becoming antifamily.” “…this isn’t just another parenting book. This is a guide to take you to the next level of parenting, where you actually disciple your child.” “…discover how to grow a child with passion.” “…capture your child’s heart and ignite her God-given passion.”

Page 13: “…how to develop nine critical qualities that most parents fail to develop in their children. Qualities that will help them survive and prevail into challenging times in which they are coming of age.” “…become warriors…” “…nine forgotten qualities…vision, authenticity, listening, empathy, compassion, discernment, boundaries, contentment, passionate love…”


Page 25: “Christian parenting is less like a cotillion and more like book camp. It’s not simply about manners and proper decorum in public; it’s about being conditioned and prepared to take on life’s challenges.” “Tim Stafford highlights:…We live in an era when traditional beliefs have been tossed aside and when popular culture –television, movies and music – displays terribly corrosive morality.” “As our children mature, our style of parenting has to flex, particularly when it come to making the mind.” “Discipline introduces the ideas of personal responsibility and choices through consequences as a means of training.” “…introduce logical consequences – consequences we set up in advance with our child, aiming to help her make wise choices and know what results her choice will bring.” “Punishment doesn’t always teach our kids.” “It requires a moral judgment…you made a mess go to your room! Consequences help the child learn moral responsibility: you made a mess. Clean it up.” “Punishment tends to focus on the pas and on behavior. Discipline tends to focus on the present and on our child’s will.”

Most parenting books stop here, content to show parents how to stop the misbehavior, fix the strong-willed child or help the child take personal responsibility for his choices.” “We need to move beyond punishment and discipline to discipleship.”

“That’s right, we are to disciple our kids, just as Christ discipled his followers.”

Page 27: “Discipleship is an intimate, personal relationship designed for growth an learning through imitation, dialogue and observation.”

“…we are to understand parenting as discipleship, the primary goal of parenting isn’t teaching, it’s modeling.”

Page 28: “Parenting, like discipleship, is a teaching/learning relationship.” “Children are the disciples of their parents, for better or worse.”

“Discipleship focuses on the mentoring relationship between parent and child. It focuses on what the child learns, not simply changing his or her behavior.”

“A focus on discipline generally creates compliant kids, but it rarely produces courageous ones. No, I am not advocating a permissive style of parenting; I am calling us to a more demanding style of parenting – one that requires us to change and grow and provide the examples. Discipleship calls on us to set the pace, knowing that our children are most likely to absorb the values they see lived out in our lives.”

Page 30: “…discipleship means that both the child and the parent mature.”

“If a child, particularly a teenager, sees his parents growling and working on the same issues she is trying to develop in him, he will be more open to the values transfer and les likely to rebel. Why? Because growth is something we do as a family. Growth does not simply mean ‘changing the kids’ behavior.’”

“Some of the most difficult teens…are the ones who play the compliant game.”

“They look nice on the outside…masks an interior that is morally weak and two-faced….learned how to play the game…aren’t prepared for life.”

“…80 percent of U.S. high school graduates graduate from the church when they go off to college…eight out of ten kids who were active in their church stop attending church when they hit the university campus.”

“…main reason…first year college students stop attending church is because they weren’t disciple in high school.”

Page 32: “’Shouldn’t we all be mentors of one kind or another?’ It resonates, doesn’t it? Why not start at home? Why not start with your child?”

“Our culture is suffering from a huge disconnect.”

“This lack of community has caused teens to feel devalued and forgotten.”

Page 33: “How can children learn from their parents if they aren’t available?”

“If a parent is not available or is emotionally tuned out or burned out, that parent is actually contributing to the emergence of an immoral child.”

“It may be unpopular to demand certain ethical standards of our kids, but it is necessary.”

Page 34: “Sadly, the current generation of parents generally does not seem interested in going to the trouble to have conversations about morals…have delegated that responsibility to the Sunday school teacher…we are missing out…we should not ‘outsource’ their moral and spiritual development to another.”

Page 37: “…tend to avoid dealing with the issues in our kids that remind us or our own…shouldn’t assume that our child understands something just because she says she does …test, observe, try again.”

“…in a discipleship-oriented home both parent and child can grow and learn…emphasis is on the process, not perfection.”

Page 40: “Vision is seeing life from God’s point of view. It will give you perseverance when you need it. Vision gives you perspective. It will help you spend your time and energy o the right things.”

“A 2005 nationwide survey of parents…only 4 percent…thought it was important to help their kids develop moral values.”

“…over a third described themselves as ‘born again Christians’.’…most Christian parents are not sure how to raise their kids in a way that is distinctive from families that don’t claim any faith.”

“We are putting too much emphasis on things that in the long haul won’t matter.”

“If we are seeking to disciple our children, the goal isn’t their happiness but helping them prepare for life and make wise choices…imparting a vision to their child…helping her discover her purpose and see herself as a significant member of a larger community, contributing to a greater cause.”

“…most parent…reason, ‘I need to work long hours to provide enrichment for my kids.’…it’s easier to work long hours at the office than come home and deal with the uncertainties of intimate relationships.”

Page 42: “Education, love and happiness for our kids are noble goals, but they shouldn’t consume 90 percent of our time, energy and emotion…there is something more important.”

“I want them to know and love God…that is a big one, actually the most important one. If a child receives Christ, he becomes a new creation in Christ…our children need to become more like Christ.”

Page 43: “THE TARGET…What we want our children to be like at eighteen years old…spiritual: faith in Christ…social: wise decisions…physical: good health habits… emotional: feel capable, confident…mental: prepared for opportunities…character: honest, just, compassionate…life skills: develop skills…”

Page 45: “Each element…becomes a measurable goal.”

“It is your vision of what kind of person you want your daughter or son to mature to become. Your children are more likely to become persons of vision if they have grown up in a home that believes in and reinforces vision.”


“Are you modeling the values you want your child to emulate?”

Page 46: “Ask God to help you remember your vision for your children and to have his creativity and consistency to help your children progress toward the Target.”


“The psalmist compares children to arrows: Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man, whose quiver is full of them, (Psalm 127:3-5 NIV)”

“…children aren’t a curse – they are a reward. They are seen as assets that help us in battle.”

Page 48: “If…like arrows…need to be aimed in the right direction…toward the target…an unaimed arrow is a dangerous thing…a child without direction is just as dangerous.”

“…our role…is to aim our children toward the bull’s eye of righteousness and wisdom, create tension by pulling back on the string, then release. A failure to release will have the same result as not aiming: we will miss the target.”

“The point of Christian parenting isn’t keeping the arrows in the quiver; it’s using them, which means releasing them. Yes, there are hundreds of things that could go wrong…but you have to let go…for an arrow to fly, you have to release it.”


“Point your kids in the right direction – when they’re old they won’t be lost (Proverbs 22:6).”

Page 50: “As we look tour children’s future, we should focus on the things that we can influence and hold loosely those we can’t…But we can model what’s important to us and train them in the skills that they will need.”

Page 51: “Our kids are desperate for vision. They are craving purpose.”

“Vision breeds motivation. Kids’ key motivations can be summed us as AIM: Adventure…Intimacy…Meaning.”

“Our kids want to be part of an adventure – a movement or a cause.”

Page 52 and 53: “Our children are eager for intimacy. They want to be part of a caring community…desperate for meaning…want to know why they are here, who they are and what they can contribute.”

“It is our job to help them see beyond what they can currently see…with a clear vision of who they are in Christ, your children can handle a variety of temptations, assaults and detours.”


Page 72: “To Jesus, performance wasn’t as important as relationships. After the miracle, Jesus didn’t push the team for ‘excellence’ or even ‘working up to your potential.’ …Jesus sent them to their boat, while he dismissed the crowd…he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray…then he joined his crew…walked out on the lake…another miracle…it wasn’t simply to prove his deity; it was to be with the ones he loved.”

“Grace and truth in relationship. Authentic friendship.”

“Kimmel captures this concept: ‘This kind of grace makes all the difference in the world when it’s coming from God, through you, to your children. Children brought up in homes where they are free to be different, vulnerable candid, and to make mistakes learn firsthand what the genuine love of God looks like.’.”

“What would an authentic family look like? If grace and truth infiltrated all the relationships in a family, what kind of impact would that have?”


“If our child feels heard she will feel honored and appreciated…when we listen…investing our time and attention…don’t always have to have a solution…be a good listener…”

“Best way to develop listening skills in our children is to model them ourselves.”

“We show our love best when we listen.”


Page 100: “…parents…lower …expectations for grades but raise…expectations for…involvement in helping…focus on others…he (the youth) became less argumentative and moody and more cooperative and he managed to raise his grades in all of his classes….learned to concern himself with the needs and feelings others…learned empathy.”


Page 104: “There is a profound link between convictions compassion and courage. Growing compassion in the lives of our children is difficult because there are so many forces that oppose it. But our kids can learn to be caring and compassionate at home.”

Page 113: “When we show compassion to the least of these and teach our kids to be compassionate toward those without a voice, we are being the hands and feet of Christ.”


Page 120: “when your child is born, you have 100 percent responsibility for her, but as she matures, you give her more freedom and more responsibility to make choices. You say, in effect, ‘I want to work myself out of a job – the job of controlling you and making decisions for you. I want to give you more freedom as you assume more responsibility. Are you interested?’ “

Page 121: “You are helping your child do more as you do less. In this setup our kids have to think. This is what helps them learn discernment.”


Page 143: “when we really believe that God is with our child, we allow her to make her own choices we empower our child when we train her to courageously set her own boundaries.”

“This is difficult, because sometimes our children make the wrong choice. We want to rush in and rescue them from the pain and hassle, but we shouldn’t.”

Page 145: “There are costs to boundaries…but…courage and setting of boundaries gave…a lesson for life.”


Page 146: “Mix a little foolishness with your prudence; it’s good to be silly at the right moment…HORACE.”

“…we are preparing future adults who are preparing for future families. Why not send them into the future smiling? Let’s make our homes dens of laughter. Let’s model contentment to our kids. Let’s show them how to be joyful.”

Page 147: “to embrace contentment, you have to have the freedom to be different, a preference for humor and a default setting of gratefulness.”

“An unhappy home focuses on what we don’t have.”

“Contentment isn’t necessarily comfort. Don’t make things too easy on your kids; if you do you may be robbing them from a genuine contentment…”

Page 150: “It seems to me that the more fun we can have with our children, the more influence we will have on them. And in some cases, we may have more influence with the fun stuff than the serious stuff.”

“…if you are friendly…you can teach them moral and spiritual truths. But you can’t skip the fun and go straight to the heavy stuff.”

“When kids laugh, they open their hearts. When kids laugh, they open their minds. When kids laugh, they relax and feel a part of the group or the family. So let’s laugh!”

Page 151: “One of the equalities of a healthy family is the presence of laughter, usually with plenty of inside family stories to swap.”

Page 156: “Contentment is a choice. It’s not something that happens to someone; it’s something that a person chooses… decides to be content.”

“We can embrace what is given us and make the most of it…each day is a gift…with that alone we should be content.”


Page 159: “We may be raising the most disconnected generation.”

Page 168: “…love really does make a difference, and we should not leave our family’s moral and spiritual development to others. ‘Each of us who has the privilege of relating to young children these days shares a special goal: to help transform those children into spiritual champions. It is will not happen by accident…We have no right to complain about how our children develop if we are not heavily and purposefully investing in those outcomes.”


Page 171: “As parents in the new millennium, we are preparing our kids for battle…we are modeling for them the virtues we want integrated into the fabric of their character….to grow courageous kids, we need to see the home as a boot camp rather than a retreat.”

“Tim Kimmel says it well…’the real test of a parenting model is how well equipped the children are to move into adulthood as vital members of the human race…raise their families in the most hedonistic communities and yet not be the least bit intimidated by their surroundings.”

“We have not done this well. We are better at the extremes, because they demand less of us. We either abandon our kids to the culture, figuring kids will be kids, or we isolate them in the Christian sub-culture, seeking to protect them from the ‘secular humanists’ and other bogeymen out in ‘the world’.


“…the Great Commission to parenting:…make God-followers of our children…focus isn’t protecting our kids; it is preparing them to be disciples…priority is given to God’s timeless commands and principles…God is with us at all times…”

“It seems to me that we Christians have abandoned the culture to itself. The less we engage with the culture, the more it is left to its own devices and the default setting of our society is secularization. The more we withdraw, the less influence we have on the lost world around us. We need to be in the world, but not of it.”


“This book is about growing kids who can positively influence their world. It’s about more than stopping ‘bad behavior’; it’s about growing leaders for the next generation. It’s about making disciples of our kids to affect the culture for the sake of Christ. It’s about being and training our kids to be salt and light.”

Page 174: “Too many of us parents have been the bucket when we should have been the light stand. We’ve been hiding the light, protecting the light, isolating the light, thinking that it is up to us to keep the light. It isn’t. It is up to us to share the light.”

Page 175: “We want to make our kids thirsty for what we have.”

Page 177: “When we focus on character, not performance, we are being salty parents.”

Page 179: “We must disciple our children in definable absolutes in a world that does not believe in absolutes.”

Page 181: “We can influence our world, one child at a time.”

Page 184: “We all make mistakes, but we need to live in ‘no matter what’ homes…homes where kids are allowed to be kids and parents don’t have to be perfect and nobody will be written off.”

“Raising nice kids is not enough; we want to raise courageous kids with character…our emphasis is on growing courageous champions, they come wise and discerning, making them actually safer.”

“Preparing your child to change his world means focusing on his heart for than his behavior, looks or accomplishments…if we get our child’s heart right, we don’t get sidetracked by the externals…when she learned to focus on the internals, their relationship improved…”

Page 185: “You are not alone. Raising stand –up kids in a lie-down world requires God’s power. A faith-based, grace oriented approach to parenting affirms the unique personalities of our children, and is alert to the corrosive cultural elements, but is focused on confidence in god rather than the worries of the world.”

“We don’t need to be afraid of the culture for our children. We simply need awe and respect for God. He is our fortress. He is a refuge for our kids. With his strength, they can change their world.”

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