Books on Parenting: Generation NeXt

Long time readers of this site will know that I have rather eclectic reading habits. I read everything from literary novels and classics to mystery and thrillers (from crime to spy to supernatural) and even young adult fiction. On the non-fiction side I jump around just as much: theology, history, politics, sports, pop cultural, and inspirational/devotional to name a few. I just seem unable to focus my attention on one subject or theme for any significant period of time.

GenerationNextCover.jpgWell, another subject that is important to me and has been added to the list is parenting. As the father of a nearly two-year-old daughter, I find parenting to be the most frightening and fulfilling thing I have ever done in my life. As an avid reader, I of course often look to books for insight and help. I thought I would mention a couple of books that have crossed my desk in this area in case any readers are interested in the subject.

Tricia Goyer’s Generation NeXt Parenting: A Savvy Parent’s Guide to Getting it Right brings a unique perspective to the challenge of parenting. It is aimed primarily aimed at “Generation Xers” (born between 1961-81) and those relatively young parents faced with the challenge of raising children in today’s hectic world.

The format is also very unique in that it is laid out almost like a magazine with quotes from other parents, sidebars, and pop cultural references and quizzes all with creative fonts and illustrations. This makes for a very easy read and a conversational style.

Here is a Q&A that helps flush the subject out a little bit:
Q: Why Gen X?

A: More than 44 million Generation Xers live in the United States today. This group is bound to have a strong influence, not only on society as a whole, but more specifically, on the next generation—our children. There’s no denying that the world is a vastly different place from the one we grew up in, and we are faced with a whole new set of parenting challenges our predecessors could never have fathomed. But Gen Xers have proven we have the passion and drive to excel in childrearing. This book is to help with that.

Q: How are Gen Xers different?

A: As a Gen Xer who graduated from high school in 1989, the way I parent is unique from the generations who’ve gone before me. Personally, I want to do it all—find God’s purpose in my life, impact my community, support my spouse, and provide my children every opportunity available to them. My generation is serious about parenting—just look at all we expect from our children and ourselves!

Q: If you could tell people in two sentences what this book is about, what would you say?

A: This book offers solutions to our unique questions and confirms that we can ‘parent right’—even if it looks nothing like the way our own parents did it. More importantly, this book focuses on seeking God’s Word and wisdom for answers to growing a new generation of God-seekers.

Q: Can you give me a hint of why Gen Xers raise their kids differently than their parents?

A: There are plenty of reasons Gen Xers turned out the way we did. Here are some biggies:
• More of our moms entered the workforce.
• More of our parents divorced.
• Either we were sexually promiscuous or we had friends who were.
• When it came to drugs and alcohol, it was pretty easy to get our hands on them.
• We don’t remember prayer as a part of school.
• We do remember every episode of The Cosby Show, and oftentimes we related more to that family than our own.
• We remember the first video we saw on MTV, and musicians like Bruce Springsteen, Tiffany, and Billy Idol were our, uh, idols.
Of course, I could go on, but this book wasn’t written just to reminisce about “the good ol’ days.” It’s about understanding who we are as a generation and why we became the parents we are today. More than that, it’s about taking our good qualities…and discovering how to parent better, for God’s glory.

More information about Tricia can be found at her website and a sample chapter of Generation Next can be found here.

In my next post, I will highlight a couple more parenting books that might be of interest.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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