|By the Book: Family & Parenting|
|Written by Ken Walker|
|Tuesday, 05 March 2013 11:44 AM America/New_York|
Meeting family needs in a ‘self-absorbed’ era
Authors advise moms and dads on raising children in today’s hyper-connected culture
With 25 million copies sold of his more than two-dozen titles, Family Talk’s Dr. James Dobson remains the most visible Christian parenting author a decade after he left Focus on the Family. While no other authors have assumed a similar mantle, there is a continuing need for parental guidance.
Perhaps the biggest challenge parents face is hyper-connected culture’s “more, faster” effect, said Brian Hampton of Thomas Nelson, now under the HarperCollins Christian Publishing umbrella.
“Many parents find themselves nurturing their families and dealing with the natural conflict and mistakes of daily life on the public stage of social media,” said Hampton, senior vice president and publisher.
Thirty years ago parents didn’t have to grapple with video games, the Internet, cyber-bullying or escalating violence, said Claudia Volkman, product development director of Servant Books, part of Franciscan Media.
“Today our culture is media-saturated,” said Volkman, whose company’s new releases include Winning the Discipline Debates (February) and Raising God-First Kidsin a Me-First World (April) by the late Barbara Curtis. “It’s a much more self-absorbed, secular culture, one where God is all too often ignored.”
Seeing too many young women flunking personal relationships, author Jackie Kendall wrote Raising a Lady in Waiting (Destiny Image, April 30), recalling the title of her previous best-seller, Lady in Waiting (Destiny Image).
Destiny Image offers additional guidance in a pair of upcoming releases. Spirit of Adoption by Randy and Kelsey Bohlender (August) reviews the pro-life movement, and September brings an expanded edition of Danny Silk’s Loving Our Kids on Purpose.
Other new releases aim to educate parents on the challenges they face, including the need to adopt a realistic outlook on what it means to be a parent. Speaker Jill Savage’s No More Perfect Moms (River North, February) and blogger Melanie Shankle’s Sparkly Green Earrings (Tyndale House Publishers, February) both review this idea, while Megan Breedlove discusses stay-at-home mothering in Well Done, Good and Faithful Mommy (Regal, March).
Charisma House adds a sense of humor to mothering with Who Are All These Children and Why Are They Calling Me Mom? by Faith Bogdan, releasing this month. Another April release from Charisma House is Craig Hill’s The Power of a Parent’s Blessing, helping parents ensure their children fulfill their destiny.
Lisa Bergren encourages parents to pray for children in ways they may have not considered in Upside-Down Prayers for Parents (WaterBrook Press, February). With help from Phil Hodges and Tricia Goyer, management expert Ken Blanchard reviews how to Lead Your Family Like Jesus (Tyndale, March), and relationship specialists Bill and Pam Ferrel take on the uncomfortable in 10 Questions Kids About Sex (Harvest House Publishers, March).
What a Son Needs From his Mom (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group, March) is inspirational speaker Cheri Fuller’s review of oft-confusing gender differences, with pastor’s wife Rhonda Stoppe writing about the calling to shape future men of God in Moms Raising Sons to be Men (Harvest House, March).
Radio producer Jay Payleitner addresses men’s need to build relationships in 52 Things Daughters Need From their Dads (Harvest House, March), and pastor James Merritt encourages men to pass along Proverbs’ wisdom in What God Wants Every Dad to Know (Harvest House, April).
Author Rich Melheim addresses how simple, five-minute daily practices can instill faith in children in his mid-April release, Holding Your Family Together (Regal). Pastor and former pro quarterback Randall Cunningham discusses how God can do miraculous things when parents let go of personal tragedies in Lay It Down (Worthy Publishing, March).
The need for parental education encouraged Thomas Nelson to take a major stride in the genre this year with more than a dozen parenting titles. Two new titles are The Christian Parenting Handbook by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller (April 30), which reviews strategies for all aspects of childhood, and Daughters in Danger by Elayne Bennett (June 13), who advises families on rescuing their daughters from destructive cultural patterns.
Thomas Nelson’s “Christian Mama’s Guide” series by Erin MacPherson comprises four handbooks releasing this month to help mothers at different stages of their children’s lives, including the pre-born child and first school years.
“Our authors speak from a variety of backgrounds,” Hampton said. “What they have in common is all of them have a keen awareness of the current social context.”
Such awareness is key to the updated edition of Jill Rigby’s Raising Respectful Children in a Disrespectful World (Howard Books, August). Howard’s senior editor, Philis Boultinghouse, said Rigby’s book and the Oct. 15 re-release of John Rosemond’s Parenting by the Book will help counteract society’s over-emphasis on self-esteem.
“Our culture’s focus on child-centered parenting has produced children with a sense of entitlement,” Boultinghouse said. “In such an environment, children don’t learn to be aware of the needs of others.”
Movie producer and former pro-family movement leader Dennis Mansfield said recent decades have promoted “fear-based” parenting, leading to self-centered and insecure children. Mansfield writes about losing a 27-year-old son to drug addiction in Beautiful Nate (Howard, March).
Volkman thinks author events and book clubs are great ways to connect parenting experts with readers and drive traffic to stores.Mother’s Day and Father’s Day holidays also offer built-in marketing avenues.
Another promotional opportunity is The Love Dare for Parents (B&H Books, July 1). With 5 million copies of its flagship title in print, B&H Publishing Group expects healthy interest in the latest “Love Dare” title.
Also out soon will be The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask About Christianity (Tyndale, August); When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter by Cindi McMenamin (Harvest House, September); Raising Boys by Design by Gregory Jantz and Michael Hurian (WaterBrook, September); and What Every Woman Wishes Her Father had Told Her by Byron and Robin Yawn (Harvest House, October).
The topic’s deep backlist makes for ample inventory, starting with Dobson’s perennial best-sellers from Tyndale Momentum, an imprint of Tyndale House Publishers, including The New Dare to Discipline, The New Strong-Willed Child and Bringing Up Boys.
After becoming over-published in recent years, the category is enjoying a resurgence, said Jan Long Harris, publisher at Tyndale Momentum.
“There is a whole new generation of parents out there who need help and encouragement,” Harris said. “Interest in books about parenting seems to be increasing.”