Sunday, December 23, 2012

Matthew Kelly's Building Better Families

I have been afforded the luxury of extra time to read lately, because of this I just finished Matthew Kelly's book Building Better Families A Practical Guide to Raising Amazing Children. I've listened to a few of his talks on CD and DVD and loved them, I was sure the book wouldn't disappoint and I was right.
He delivers a practical common sense approach on parenting in the twenty-first century. He encourages the reader to have a vision for their families, to know what you are up against, to lead by being a great example, to persevere and inspire.
What are your children listening to? They hear stories through music, books, video games, magazines, the Internet, television -- and they are becoming the stories they listen to.
Is there any question of this truth? I started the book a few months ago and finished it days after the horrific events in Newtown, CT. I couldn't help but look at all the things I underlined in the book and see a connection to what we as Americans are teaching, or letting be taught, to our children and how that is impacting current events.
Matthew Kelly encourages parents to help children understand the value of making mistakes, to find the answer when they don't know it and for us to set forth good examples and mentors.
Celebrate who and what you want your children to grow to be and become. We become what we celebrate.
I couldn't agree more. Comments like these made me stop and think about what my husband and I celebrate and how that will affect our children and their behaviors.
Teach and encourage them to develop and nurture their spiritual side. Most people are very uncomfortable in the silence and solitude. For this reason, they have to be around people all the time and have noise on all the time. Until we are comfortable in our own company we are at the mercy of our peer group and wherever they may lead us.
In addition to my desire to teach this to my children, I liked this for myself. Until people are comfortable speaking the truth, we will be at the mercy of those who are against the truth. Yes or yes?
I picked up a number of tips that we will incorporate into our lives as goals for 2013. One goal suggest in the book that we will do is to add value to society in the form of some type of service or charity work. We will hold fast on keeping violent television and/or games away from our children. We will also add another form of prayer together as a family.
Additional suggestions of the book we will keep at the fore front are to ask the right questions, balance work and rest, spend more time with our kids and remind them constantly how much we love them.
I highly recommend this book regardless of the stage of raising children you are in. First time parents will glean tremendous pearls of wisdom and it's a great refresher for any parent.  Matthew Kellly is a devout Catholic however the book doesn't teach any Catholicism, just smart parenting!  Enjoy!

I wrote this review of Building Better Families for the free Catholic Book review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods. Aquinas and More is the largest on-line Catholic bookstore. I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.


  1. I'm a huge fan of Matthew Kelly. Anytime I can gain pointers in parenting I'm game!

  2. I agree! I am now reading his book, Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic. :)


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