Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Review: Let Them Be Kids by Jessica Smartt

Adventure, Boredom, Innocence, and Other Gifts Children Need
by Jessica Smartt
Thomas Nelson
Non-Fiction Parenting
256 pages

As every parent hopes to raise kids with good manners and values, Jessica Smartt’s practical guide fills the gaps of uncertainty and provides tips on how parents can equip their children in purity, faith, and creativity.
Former English teacher and homeschooling mother of three, Jessica Smartt felt the weight of helping prepare her kids for life, especially with all the outside pressures and influence of the world. She struggled with how she could raise her children with a sense of adventure, self-confidence, manners, faith, and the ability to utilize technology wisely.
Let Them Be Kids is Jessica’s offering of grace and confidence to moms, giving them practical ideas to meet these challenges. Her well-researched, tested methods, woven together with her personal stories and witty humor, deliver wisdom on the tough topics of life, such as
  • family time vs. outside activities,
  • being “cool” or not,
  • boredom,
  • technology usage
  • sexual purity, and
  • showing grace when kids disobey.
Part story and part guidebook, every chapter includes doable strategies and encouragement for the journey.
Let Them Be Kids helps moms feel confident and equipped with ways to provide a safe, healthy, Christ-centered childhood for their children. It leads them to conquer fear and find truth that transforms them and their families as it reminds them how to enjoy and cherish the special memory-making moments of building family values together.


New parents or ones looking for a little advice will enjoy flipping through this book and grabbing some tidbits along the way.

This book is written by a blogging, homeschooling mother who has three young children. I'll admit, I always have to smile a little when I read these. As a mother of four, two of which are already graduating college and on their own, these stages lay in the past. So, my perspective is a bit different than that of the intended audience.

The author is a conservative, religious person (which works well for me), and it is necessary to note this before picking the book up. The advice she offers is sound and comes from the heart. Ideas such as getting the kids outside, listening to your gut, not being afraid to admit being wrong, limiting technology, spending time together, and so on are all tips which have stood the test of time. They are also words of advice often given, which means they don't offer anything earth-shatteringly new. But then, these tips are sound, and there's nothing wrong with saying them again. New parents will enjoy hearing them and be able to incorporate them in their own lives, if they would like to.

The text is written from an open and honest point of view. The author uses her own experiences as examples, and these are easy to understand and connect with. It's an easy read and makes sure to stay positive. The chapters each begin with the words 'The Gift of...', which already keeps an positive atmosphere. The specific tips are placed as bullet points with explanations, which makes them easy to pick out and take note of. At the end, there is a list of resources, which have everything from movie suggestions (which the entire family can enjoy) to things kids should always have around them to game suggestions and even more. Like the rest of the book, these are also a matter of opinion.

The book is nicely done and is sure to offer uncertain parents a foundation to start with or ideas to help them out when they feel they need a little direction. But, of course, many of the things mentioned are the author's opinion and rest on her ideologies and personal perspectives. Especially as a home-schooler, some of her advice doesn't quite match up with what a child attending a public school might deal with. The tips she offers can't be seen as the only and true solutions, but simply make suggestions on what has worked for her. Some of it I agree with. Other things, I do not.

Summed up, this is a nicely written book for newer parents, which offers sound advice, especially for those who carry a more conservative, Christian and traditional mindset. Those who share these values will enjoy reading through it and maybe benefit from the insight along the way.

You can learn more about Jessica Smartt...

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Monday, June 22nd: The Inspired Prairie
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Sherry Ellis said...

This book sounds like it has good advice for trying to keep kids on the right track. But as parents of older children know, sometimes kids end up on a different path. Nothing is black and white.

Sara Strand said...

Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours