Note: I received a free copy of Never Say No by Mark and Jan Foreman from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
Never Say No: Raising Big-Picture Kids by Mark & Jan Foreman
When I began reading Never Say No: Raising Big-Picture Kids, I was swamped with projects and deadlines and wondering why I had committed myself to reading this book. But by the time I finished the introduction (and had underlined at least a quarter of it), I knew that I needed to read this book. I have struggled with being intentional in parenting my children, and this book promised to help me raise kids who find God’s purpose for their lives and say a resounding “Yes!” to what He has for them.
That’s what I want—for my children to find the reason God made them and serve Him and others through the pursuit of that passion. The more I read, the more I realized that this being intentional, this parenting the way my heart longs to parent, is much easier than I thought. The Foremans encourage parents to really enjoy their children, to take delight in spending time with them and to watch how the relationship flourishes (and the discipline problems diminish) as the parent-child bond grows stronger. (While the Foremans advocate saying “yes” to your children, they mean it in the context of taking time to play with them, read to them, etc. when they ask, being involved in their lives. They do not mean “Never Say No” in the context of not setting limits for children.)
There is a lot in the book, from stories the Foremans share about how they raised their children and the struggles they had along the way, to Biblical wisdom and questions to ponder as you examine your relationship with your children. The book is easy to read and would make a great small-group study as well as independent reading, and it covers parenting infants through young adults, which means it will touch a lot of parents.
The book has helped me realize that parenting with intention isn’t as difficult as I thought. It involves praying for my children and spending time with them, enjoying life together. I am looking carefully at my daily activities and priorities, which also involves setting aside certain things, at least for a season, to have more time to spend with my children, showing interest in the things they’re passionate about and really listening to them as they talk to me. I have a long way to go, but I can already see the delight in their eyes as they realize they have my undivided attention.
There is no judgment in these pages, only encouragement and gentle guidance toward a way to parent that creates and respects boundaries for both parents and children. It’s a book that I will return to and will recommend to other parents for a long time to come.