Book Review ~ Parenting Unchained by Dr. James D. Dempsey

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I had the opportunity to review Parenting Unchained: Overcoming the Ten Deceptions that Shackle Christian Parents by Dr. James D. Dempsey. This is a 5-1/2 x 8*1/2 soft cover book consisting of 191 pages. It retails for $14.99 but the Kindle edition will be on sale for $0.99 from December 8 – 12, 2014.

Let me start by sharing that I am not a big “Kindle book” person…I like to hold the actual book. So when I got the Kindle version first (while we waited for the real thing) I thought…well, I’ll check it out real quick and then wait for the book to arrive. Well, as it turns out, I liked the book so much that I read over 100 of its pages via the Kindle version. For me, that is HUGE!

So…on to the book…what ARE “the 10 deceptions” he discusses? Let me share them with you:

  1. It’s all about your kids: Your character doesn’t matter
  2. You’re capable; You can do this
  3. God only cares about rules
  4. You can be a parent without investing much time
  5. Teach the right information is enough
  6. Why and how you discipline don’t matter – just make them obey
  7. You don’t need to talk about your faith
  8. Children should choose their life course (You don’t need to help them)
  9. It’s all about consistency (You don’t need to adapt)
  10. Life should be easy

Well, I’m guessing that list is a bit different than you were originally thinking? The reason…it isn’t the normal list you see around but it IS a list of EXTREMELY IMPORTANT things parents deal with as they are parenting children. One thing that has always irritated me as an animal lover – it seems there is more direction provided for taking care of animals than for taking care of children. THIS is a resource EVERY parent can use – even if you’ve already “been there done that” or if your kids are older…there is something for EVERYONE here!

Not only are the topics wonderful but the way the book is written is “easy to digest”. He doesn’t ream us as parents for having incorrect thoughts but he gently instructs what what SCRIPTURE says we should be doing – showing examples from Scripture. AND not only that but he offers suggestions on ways to improve! Are you getting the idea that I love this book? If so, you are correct!

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“I hear many religious people endorse the loving Jesus of the New Testament, while rejecting the vindictive God of the Old Testament. Yet much of Jesus’s teaching was simply the Old Testament rephrased and illuminated;” p. 121

If you want to convey a clear belief system to your children, you must be able to state what you believe and why. p. 112

The beliefs your children adopt will one day determine the children’s outward actions. p. 109

George Barna, America’s statistician and social trend researcher, estimates “that a century ago parents spent about 54 percent of their waking, married hours in activity related to raising children. Today, the estimate is just 18 percent.” Expressed in hours that translates to a drop from 17.28 hours per day to only 5.76 for two parents. Is there enough quality to replace such a drastic loss of quantity? p 57

Once we prioritize parenting at its proper level, only then will our everyday decisions about how to spend our time be appropriate. p 56

As parents we must put a relationship with our children even above our justifiable goals for their obedience. Whatever goals we have for our children, if we want to pattern our lives after God, relationship must come first. p. 38

“The foundation for all things in life, including parenting, is your character, and that’s determined by your relationship with God.” p. 23

As you can see…things aren’t ‘sugar coated’ in this book…so if you are looking for something that is going to make you ‘feel better’ about your parenting – this isn’t the book for you. However, if you are looking for something to challenge you and help you to step-up as a parent – I HIGHLY suggest this book.

If you have time, you may want to join the Facebook Party scheduled for this Thursday (12/11/14) at 9pm ET/ 8pm CT / 6pm PT…there will be lots of discussion as well as giveaways!

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. No compensation was received. All opinions are my own.


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One thought on “Book Review ~ Parenting Unchained by Dr. James D. Dempsey

  1. cemjr1982 December 8, 2014 at 3:18 pm Reply

    And I loved reading your review Dawn. Thanks for taking the time to read this book and tell us about it. You did a great job giving an overview of the topics or deceptions presented by Dr. Dempsey. I too like the way Dr. Dempsey shares Biblical content along with personal stories from his life. It’s obvious that he has also struggled as a parent just like we have.
    I also loved reading about how you’re irritated by the fact that there is more instruction for pet owners than for parents. That was great! Thanks for sharing.


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