Thursday, March 13, 2008

Grace Based Parenting

Tim Kimmel’s Grace Based Parenting details an approach to parenting that meshes nicely with Charlotte Mason’s philosophy.  Kimmel’s approach, like CM’s, holds out high expectations for children but expects parents to help children meet those expectations with graceful guidance rather than brute force.  I see no indication that Mr. Kimmel has ever read CM’s works, but their thinking follows along the same lines.  Kimmel outlines the primary needs children have, then shows how parents can meet those needs by showing children the same grace that God has already shown us.  He recommends that parents examine their children’s strengths and weaknesses, looking for ways to hone the strengths and help the child overcome the weaknesses, in the same way that Charlotte Mason encourages us to use habit training not only to avoid the child’s natural flaws but also to avoid the pitfalls in their virtues.  He suggests that parents follow the child’s natural bent rather than imposing our own vision, just as CM says that "children are born persons" and we must respect the persons they are rather than trying to make them into the persons we want them to be.

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