No More Perfect Kids: Love Your Kids for Who They Are

No More Perfect Kids: Love Your Kids for Who They Are

4.9 44
by Jill Savage, Kathy Koch, PhD

View All Available Formats & Editions

Love your kids for who they are.

Mom and dad, your kids are created in God's image, not your own. Jill Savage and Kathy Koch will guide you in truly appreciating your kids. They will teach you how to study and become an expert on your children, because you cannot fully embrace them until you truly know them.

In No More Perfect Kids, Jill Savage


Love your kids for who they are.

Mom and dad, your kids are created in God's image, not your own. Jill Savage and Kathy Koch will guide you in truly appreciating your kids. They will teach you how to study and become an expert on your children, because you cannot fully embrace them until you truly know them.

In No More Perfect Kids, Jill Savage and Kathy Koch equip us with the tools and perspective to:

  • Identify and remove the Perfection Infection from our parenting
  • Release our children from unrealistic expectations
  • Answer the questions our kids are silently asking in a way that gives them the courage and freedom to be themselves
  • Meet the needs of our children, including those with special needs

Written in a passionate, candid, and personal tone, the authors will instill within you hope and contentment. You'll be inspired to apply the practical, realistic, and relevant ideas and tactics Jill and Kathy share.

Product Details

Moody Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.70(d)

Read an Excerpt


Love Your Kids for Who They Are

By JILL SAVAGE, Kathy Koch, Annette LaPlaca

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2014 Jill Savage and Kathy Koch
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8024-1152-5



I stood outside the door of my six-month-old firstborn's room listening to her cry. She d been changed. She'd been rocked. She'd been fed. Nothing calmed her. Finally, for my 3 a.m. sanity, I decided I just had to put her in her bed and let her fuss for a while. My best friend's son slept through the night after only two months. Sweet little girl, why can't you sleep like my friend's little guy sleeps? I was a new mom, and already my expectations for my first child were getting tangled up with comparisons and disappointments. I dreamed of cuddling my adored first baby, not of standing outside her bedroom door, exhausted, weeping along with her in frustration.

I found myself sitting on the sidelines of a soccer field—me, the sports-challenged momma—trying to figure out how to encourage my soccer-loving son. I'd much rather have been sitting next to him on a piano bench than sitting along the sidelines of a soccer game. I'm trying to understand the game and be there to support you. Be patient with me, sweet boy. My expectations were again rising to the surface: I dreamed of a piano-playing boy, not the sweaty, tousled teammate running up the soccer field.

I found myself trying to connect with my twelve-year-old daughter. This third child of mine likes fashion design. She loved to shop, not so much with the intention of buying but rather to see how clothes are designed and put together. I, on the other hand, hate to shop and don't have a "fashion design" bone in my body. I'd pay someone to shop for me if I could. How did this fashion-challenged mom end up with a fashion-conscious daughter? I never dreamed a fashionista could be born from a mom with a complete disinterest in style.

Child number four, who was in junior high, asked, "Mom, will you please help me study for a test?" Taking the study guide from his hands, I walked across the room to my recliner. When I turned around, I saw my thirteen-year-old son upside down in another recliner across the room. His head was in the seat and his feet were hanging over the back of the chair. I stopped myself from correcting him. He answered every study question correctly—upside down and all. Lord, let me see my son through Your eyes. He's unique, one-of-a-kind, and much more than the ADHD label he carries. I never dreamed I would have a child who struggled with ADD.

I found myself visiting our fifth child in his first of multiple hospitalizations for mental health issues. Ten years earlier, God had moved heaven and earth to bring our son from an orphanage in Russia to our loving family in the middle of the cornfields of Illinois. He assimilated well in the early years after his adoption, but as he entered the late teen years, identity issues, attachment and personality disorders, depression, and more took up residence in our home. This wasn't the life I pictured for you when we traveled across the ocean to bring you home. I never dreamed our loving family could be touched by the heartbreak of mental illness.

Every parent does it. Before kids, we dreamed about what our family would look like. We thought about the way our family would interact with one another. We contemplated all the milestones our children would accomplish. We decided—in our mind—who our children would be. We imagined what they'd do. We anticipated what we would do together one-on-one and as a family. We expected everything to be perfect.

And then we had kids.

Parenting is harder than it looks. Even if our lives, our families, or our children are exactly like we imagined, challenges appear around every corner. Developmental stages are unfamiliar and at times, frustrating. We tell a child to "act your age," and then we realize he really is!

For some of us, our kids aren't quite like we imagined. Their temperament is a blend of both Dad and Mom, and we're not quite sure how to manage that. As they get older, we realize they don't have the interests we thought they would have or that we wanted them to have. Their talents are different from ours. They don't like the same things we like. They struggle in ways we don't understand. They don't make the decisions we'd make. Sometimes they don't make good decisions at all!

Some of us may be dealing with even bigger disparities from our vision, like having a child with a medical condition, a mental or physical disability, or developmental delays. Those who are walking that journey are like people who thought they were going to live in Italy, but ended up in Holland instead. Still a pretty place, but very different from what they were expecting.

Most of us have expectations for each child. We expect him to grow and learn. We expect her to do her best. We expect him to behave and be responsible. We expect her to process life well. We expect him to act his age, but sometimes we forget—or just plain old don't know—what is actually normal behavior for a child his age! (And how realistic is this goal when we'd have to admit we don't always act our age?)

Let's face it: Life doesn't always look the way we imagined it would. We wanted a child, but we didn't realize it would mean sleepless nights for twelve months or more! We wanted to play catch in the backyard, but little Joey wants to play piano in the living room instead. We longed to have a child who loved to learn, only to find ourselves in parent-teacher conferences trying to figure out why Susie is barely passing her classes. We anticipated laughter and love and overlooked the fact that tears, tantrums, and tough stuff would also be a part of the package. We love our children with all of our hearts, but we don't always know what to do when our expectations don't match reality. What do we do when our expectations don't match reality?

Over time, thoughts like these may cross our minds: I wish she were more like her brother, or, I never thought I'd have a kid who wants to stay home and read after school instead of getting involved in extracurricular activities, or, I wish my toddler would get on a regular nap schedule. When we are disappointed, frustrated, confused, or even disillusioned, these thoughts are natural ones. However, when we spend too much time thinking or wishing that someone should be different, we can become frustrated and discouraged at the least, and critical, nagging, and even rejecting at the worst.

At some point, every parent comes face-to-face with putting fantasy aside and embracing reality. This is the real child. These are the real circumstances of my life. These are uncharted waters for me to navigate. How do I guide and lead a child I sometimes don't understand? How do I love the infant, child, teenager, or young adult I have right here in front of me and not wish she was any different? How can I delight in how he is created even though it's different from what I imagined? How do I inspire and encourage but not expect perfection from my child? How do I celebrate progress and stay clear of unrealistic expectations?

These are the questions we will answer on the coming pages. Our children are unique gifts from God who deserve to be celebrated. They have been designed by their Creator to contribute to this world in unique ways. They have present value and potential just waiting to be released. The key for us is to see that potential in them on the good days and on the bad days, as well. Let's launch a journey of discovery to embrace who our children really are and to celebrate how they are uniquely designed!


Upon entering the room, you're surprised your child is standing. You realize a big milestone is about to occur.

You don't shout, "Sit down. You might hurt yourself!" Instead, you have someone run to get the video camera while you get in position. You expect progress, and you show that to your child through your behavior and language.

Positioning yourself four feet away with your arms outstretched, you smile broadly and use only an encouraging tone of voice. Focused on the goal, you communicate, "Come to Momma!"

One step. Then another. A fall. A second try will appear as a false start. Over the next few days there are missteps. Attempts. Half-steps. Fall downs.

There aren't "mistakes," though. We would never tell people our child made a mistake trying to walk, even if he fell down on his tenth attempt. Rather, it is more likely we would announce his every attempt. We call our parents, siblings, and friends and perhaps even post it on Facebook: "Jared tried to walk today!" This is our attitude because we're looking for progress, not perfection—for growth, not completion.

We know error-free walking is the goal. It's possible, but only if it's the destination. Perfection can't be the journey. The journey must be built on faith in the possibilities and an expectation for good, better, and then best.

As you've probably noticed, children don't crawl for long. They pull themselves up, walk around things, walk alone, skip, gallop, and eventually run. When they fall down doing any of those things, they almost always pick themselves up and keep going unless we react as if they should be upset. Gasping, looking at them with alarm, running toward them, and asking if they're okay will likely cause the tears to flow even if they are not hurt by the stumble. Our reactions are often mirrored by our children's.

Their goal to walk is accomplished and celebrated. Maybe you expected to reach "your goal." But walking is their goal, too. That's another reason children don't crawl. At a young age, they long for progress. When I watch my ten-month-old granddaughter pulling herself up and walking around furniture, I realize she's not that much different from my teenage sons still at home who look for progress in the form of independence.

What if, throughout their growing-up years, we had a "Come to Momma!" perspective? What difference would it make if we could see progress even in the smallest of ways from our preschooler, grade-schooler, our teenager, our young adult? What if we expected them to stumble along the way and we didn't consider that stumble a mistake? What if we stayed at four feet away, not eight? What if our arms are reached toward our children, not folded in front of us? What if we smiled instead of frowned? What if we had an encouraging, optimistic tone in our voices, issuing a request our children want to fulfill, not demands they can't live up to?

What if our children had a "Come to Momma!" belief system? I can accomplish what my parents are asking me to do. Attempts aren't failure; they are part of life. I can pick myself up to try again. Perfection may never be reached or even necessary because I know my parents will celebrate my progress.

If we want this to happen, it might require us to make some changes in how we think and how we respond. This kind of motivating affirmation might not be something we experienced ourselves when we were children, so we'll have to learn something new and celebrate our own progress along the way. As parents, we hold an incredible power over how our children feel about themselves and their relationship with us.


We know too much of a good thing is not a good thing: too much ice cream, too much laundry, too many phone calls, too many leaves to rake—and expectations that are too high.

Most of us begin parenting with high expectations for our children because we love them and want the best for them. If our children meet those, we set new ones that are more challenging. After all, they've proven they're capable and we don't want them to stop growing or learning. It's all very innocent—at the beginning.

However, this can start the mountain climb. If we're always setting higher and higher expectations, our children can get the idea we're never satisfied. Just when they achieve something, and they think we'll be happy and they can relax, we announce something else we expect them to do. When we don't acknowledge they have met our expectations, they easily assume we're not satisfied.

When asking children of any age why they think their parents expect perfection, answers come easily. Responses sound something like this: "They told me I needed to improve. I agreed I could do better. I did. I got a better grade. They didn't say 'good job' or 'thank you.' They just said, 'You can do better!'"

In her research at Celebrate Kids, Dr. Kathy indicates that some kids comment further. Some conclude simply, "I can never please my parents." That's a dangerous conclusion for kids to reach because they just might stop trying. They may no longer care what we want them to do. They may not believe us when we say, "We just want you to do your best." Some tell us they purposefully don't improve because of the pressure that follows. This is common in both academics and athletics. Other kids tell us they're angry because they feel misled. One high school boy proclaimed to Dr. Kathy, "If my dad wanted a perfect score, I wish he would have just told me that."

When our children do less than a great job on something, we don't want a pattern of sloppy work or mistakes to take root so we indicate we're concerned, unhappy, or disappointed. But, depending on how we respond to their work, children can misinterpret our concerns. They may believe we can never be satisfied and that perfection is what we want. They may not be able to separate their work from themselves, thinking they are their work. If Daddy doesn't like my work, he doesn't like me.

Setting appropriate and fair expectations is a key to successful parenting. This requires us to know our children—really know our kids. If our goals are too low, children won't achieve as much as they might have. If they're too high, children may get frustrated and give up. In either case, they may not achieve what they're capable of. Setting appropriate expectations requires us to really know our children.

Just like Goldilocks looked for a chair, porridge, and a bed that were "just right," parents need to look for expectations that are "just right" for each child. Like Goldilocks, we need to try them out. How does our oldest respond to this expectation? How does our youngest respond to this one? How can I best explain this so he'll understand? Through perceptive, close observations during trial-by-error efforts, we should be able to land on expectations that are "just right." Not too easy and not too hard. Challenging without being frustrating. Achievable with effort. Personalized. Not a one-size-fits-all approach.

What's healthier than expecting perfection? It's certainly not expecting numerous errors and failure. Rather, it's expecting children to fully use their abilities and attitudes to be who they were designed to be. We want them to fully come into their own.

We risk great damage to children when we expect them to be who they weren't created to be. Expecting them to give us what they can't doesn't work. Perhaps you've read the clever story that makes this point using animals. For example, rabbits are good at hopping. If we tried to teach them to fly and even graded them on their ability, they'd flunk. And, using all their energy to try to learn to fly may cause the rabbits to dismiss and no longer value or use their hopping ability. Hopping may no longer bring them joy.

If a child is a musical genius capable of quickly memorizing and beautifully playing complex piano pieces, that's what she should do. Choosing easier music or being satisfied with less than stellar performances would not be right. She wouldn't be honoring her Creator because she'd be dismissing the way she was made.

But expecting this same girl to consistently earn perfect grades in math classes may be unfair. It's not right to assume that because she can do one thing well (memorize music), she should be able to do another thing well (memorize math facts). Rather, we must look for and use evidence when setting goals and expectations for our children. When children see us dismiss evidence that things are easy or hard, they're discouraged.

One sixth-grader bounded out the door, happy finally to be attending middle school. However, his joy was immediately sucked out of him when he heard his dad proclaim as he was leaving, "You're going to have a great year in math." Later that day, this boy angrily questioned Dr. Kathy, "I don't know what my dad thinks happened over the summer to make me smart all of a sudden in math. But nothing happened. Can't he just accept the fact that math is hard for me?"


Excerpted from NO MORE PERFECT KIDS by JILL SAVAGE, Kathy Koch, Annette LaPlaca. Copyright © 2014 Jill Savage and Kathy Koch. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

JILL SAVAGE is an author and speaker who is passionate about encouraging families. She is the author of nine books including Professionalizing Motherhood, My Hearts At Home, Real Moms...Real Jesus, Living With Less So Your Family Has More, and her most recent bestselling release No More Perfect Moms. Featured on Focus on the Family,, and as the host of the Heartbeat radio program, Jill is the founder and director of Hearts at Home, an organization that encourages moms. Jill and her husband, Mark, have five children, two who are married, two granddaughters, and one grandson. They make their home in Normal, Illinois.

DR. KATHY KOCH is the Founder and President of Celebrate Kids, Inc., a Christian ministry based in Fort Worth, Texas. She is an internationally celebrated speaker who has influenced thousands of parents, teachers, and children in over 25 countries through keynote messages, workshops, seminars, assemblies, and other events. She also blogs regularly at Kathy coauthored with Jill Savage, No More Perfect Kids: Love Your Kids For Who They Are, helps parents understand why they must get to know their children to parent them wisely. How Am I Smart? A Parent's Guide to Multiple Intelligences helps parents understand their children's learning strengths. Finding Authentic Hope and Wholeness: 5 Questions That Will Change Your Life provides a solution-focused, enriching approach to real problems. Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World, helps parents make sense and respond to screen time that is rapidly replacing family time, especially among teens.Dr. Kathy earned a Ph.D. in reading and educational psychology from Purdue University. She was a tenured associate professor of education at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, a teacher of second graders, a middle school coach, and a school board member prior to becoming a full-time conference and keynote speaker in 1991.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

No More Perfect Kids: Love Your Kids for Who They Are 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
OhioSarah More than 1 year ago
I had the pleasure of reading another of Dr. Koch’s books, titled How Am I Smart?, and when I met Dr. Koch at the homeschool convention last year, she gave me No More Perfect Kids that she co-authored with Jill Savage. Yes, it’s taken me almost a year to read and review this book and I apologize to both authors for that, it has been a crazy year. One of the things I’m guilty of as a mom is wanting my children to be who I think they should be, aren’t we all? I want them to do this or that or make them do things they don’t want to do instead of listening and learning who they are as individuals, uniquely created by the Lord. In their book Savage and Koch, want to teach moms and dad how to “love your kids for who they are”, often times our children feel unloved and unwanted and devalued because we aren’t learning who they are and if we don’t take the time to do that we can’t fully embrace them and give them the love they need. Using questions that children often ask such as: “Do You Like Me?” “Am I Important to You?” “Is It Okay I’m Unique?” “Who Am I?” “Am I A Failure?” “What’s My Purpose?” “Will You Help Me Change?” The authors use these questions and build on them from a Christian and Biblical worldview, which is what makes this book so good, it’s not based on man’s word but on God’s Word. I think the chapter that resonated with me the most is the, “Am I A Failure?”, I think most of us at one time or another struggle with feeling like a failure either in the eyes of our parents or in the eyes of the Lord. The authors address that as parents we may hear or ask some things like, I think I might be gay, I’m pregnant, your child has dyslexia (that one is mine), or what are those cuts on your arms? They reiterate that as parents we are not failures, our children are not failures and our God is bigger than any of these and more – He’s got this. It is how we deal with it. The authors gives parents the tools to use to help them overcome the toxic idea that our children have to be what we want them to be, and let them be the people that God created them to be, using Scripture. I know I’m going to re-read this book and really begin to implement some of the ideas in our house – I’ve had a hard time in trying to be the perfect Christian parent and trying to get my children to be who I want them to be instead of the creative, active and imaginative children they are. Jill Savage and Kathy Koch have written a fantastic book, it’s not all the answers, even the authors admit they’ve messed up and sometimes still do and through the real life stories of other mom’s we can see how our human-ness gets in the way and until we let God do His job we’re going to mess up. Whether you’re a mom of one or a mom of nine or twenty this book has a lot of helpful information in it to get you loving your children for who they are. **I was given a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.
Theophilusfamily More than 1 year ago
  Jill Savage and Kathy Koch have a theory- every parent has two sets of kids.  The first set is the ones you always dreamed about, the Perfect Kids.  The second set are the Imperfect Kids, the ones you sometimes don't even recognize as your own.  You envisioned a reader, you got a fashion designer. You hoped for an aspiring doctor, he wants to me a mechanic.  You want to pass on your love of people, she's an introvert. You adore music, the stuff screaming from his iPod is a din. "These are mine?" Yes, they're wonderful, but they're nothing like you dreamed of!  So what is a parent to do, when dreams and reality are sometimes far apart?  How do you surrender those dreams and embrace the real live children you've been given?  Thankfully, Jill and Kathy understand all about this. And they've written this little book, packing all 270 pages full of practical wisdom, to help you engage with and love your Imperfect Kids.  This book is framed around seven questions, questions rarely voiced but ever-present in the human heart. Each chapter looks at why children feel this way, and then talks about parental responses that will help the child as they grow.  These basic questions keep reoccurring through life, and you may find that you're still asking them today- openly or unconsciously. One: Do You Like Me? "Of course, I love you!" No. Do you LIKE me? As one girl observed to Dr. Kathy, love was almost a guarantee. They're her parents, after all. But she didn't feel liked. And liking is a combination of being wanted, seen, heard, and received with compassion. Two: Am I Important to You? We spend a lot of time asking this question one way or another, in each relationship we're part of. You know you're important when someone cares about what you're Doing, Thinking, and Feeling. Three: Is It Ok I'm Unique? What makes us unique will often drive us crazy until somebody helps us find a hidden strength in the middle of it.  When Dr. Kathy was young, she didn't want to be tall. It took creative parents providing good opportunities to help her appreciate her height. This chapter reminded me- You have to dig beneath the surface of an annoying complaint to see if there's a genuine concern that the person is afraid to share. Four: Who Am I? {Could have been subtitled "The Scariest Question in the Universe." How the heck do we begin to answer this one?}  Perhaps we've made the question too large and intimidating. Jill and Kathy show that we can help kids by providing positive identity statements often. "You are God's, and you are Loved" is a great start. "You are a loyal friend and a clever problem solver" is a great addition. Whatever you come up with, it all boils down to "You are a unique and unrepeatable miracle!"  Five: Am I a Failure? This question is most terrible when you're afraid to ask it, when it just rolls around inside your head. Everybody needs a safe listener, who can hold a heavy question like that. We can build up the truth that nobody is a failure by learning how to process mistakes in a healthy way.  The purple marker stain is a good place to begin- focus on solving the problem, and if it's unsolvable, give grace to yourself and the kid. This chapter also addresses the Big Stuff- the mistakes no parent wants to see their child make. The ones that change their life. Even then, Jill and Kathy insist, God is present in it all.  Six: What is my Purpose? Again, let's start small and local. You can help your child experience purpose by giving them chances to make a difference. It sounds too simple, but in my experience it works. Whatever chance you have to help somebody or serve somebody, let the kids help meet those needs.  Seven: Will You Help Me Change? If what we see in the kids around us are areas requiring growth and maturity, then we'd better be prepared to help them achieve it. Helping somebody else change presumes that we ourselves are committed to healthy choices, vulnerability, and honesty. As always, coat the process liberally with grace. Neither adults nor children find change easy- children's struggles just happen to be more evident.  Jill and Kathy may have written an indispensable book, here. It could certainly set you on track to "Loving Your Kids For Who They Are." I thank MP Newsroom for my review copy.
Book_Loving_Mom More than 1 year ago
“Children have no control over their ability. They do have control over how they use their ability – and that’s a matter of character” (Savage, Jill and Kathy Koch. No More Perfect Kids, pg. 206). I have been blessed to be a part of the launch team for Jill Savage and Kathy Koch’s new book, No More Perfect Kids. These ladies are phenomenal in their writing and encouragement to parents everywhere. This is not just a book for moms; it’s for anyone who parents children. I think it’s easy sometimes to forget that your children are little people with minds and emotions. We want the best for them, we want them to be so much more than we were, and in doing that, we can have very unrealistic expectations of them. This book answers questions of how to show our children that we love them, that they are important to us, and guiding them to find their purpose in life. Not only are the chapters honest and easy to understand, the appendix gives valuable and usable information that parents can use in practical ways. For example, there is a chapter called “Character Qualities to Develop in Your Children.” How helpful! It puts words to the thoughts and goals we have, but this book provides realistic ways to act. Obviously, Jill and Dr. Kathy have a heart for parents and kids, and it comes through in the material they’ve written so eloquently. This book does not make any accusations of parents’ mistakes in raising their children, but it does cause parents to think about the ways in which they engage with their children. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve made many parenting blunders, and I’m grateful to know that there’s a way to change and repair what might have been broken by my own hand. I wrote an email to Jill after reading No More Perfect Moms, and I was asked if she could use it for this book. I said yes, so my story is written, too. It was a tough time for me, but what healing came knowing I’m not alone. We all have parenting stories of not knowing what to do, but if you will read this book, I can say that if something starts to go awry, or you think, “I don’t know what to do in this situation,” the concepts written here just may come to the forefront of your mind and give you hope, too. I definitely recommend that all parents read this book cover to cover. It’s helpful, insightful, and encouraging.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All mommas, new or otherwise, should read this book. It's a great follow up to No More Perfect Moms. I learned so much about my self as a parent and about the precious babies I am given to raise. Jill and Kathy speak wisdom and truth from scripture to the hearts of mommas!
JuliaMReffner More than 1 year ago
Do you ever struggle with expectations for your kids? Are you looking to your kids to fulfill dreams in your own heart? Do you struggle with being a perfectionist? Chances are you may not even realize some of the expectations you have put on your children. I know I didn't before picking up this book. Social media, listening too closely to the voices of others, and our own misconceptions can stifle the growth of our children into who God created them to become. Most moms struggle with the gap between the imagined and the "real" child. Jill Savage and Kathy Koch attempt to teach moms to embrace who your children are rather than who you wish they were. Each chapter includes stories from real moms just like us who are learning and growing from their mistakes in the motherhood journey. How do we encourage our children when they do make mistakes? Savage and Koch offer practical ideas for offering grace to our children and showing them that they are not defined by their worst moments (a lesson perhaps most moms need to learn as well). After applying this loving acceptance, we can learn to help them with the process of change to live out all that they are in Christ. No More Perfect Kids concludes with an extensive appendix section including: age-appropriate tasks for your children of all ages, Bible verse prayers, a dictionary of character qualities you might be attempting to develop in your children, scriptural blessings you can pray over your children, and a children's reading list with character building books for all ages. There is also a leader's guide with questions. These questions are excellent reflection questions to expand on the book. Practical, engaging, and true to the everyday experience of moms, No More Perfect Kids helped me to realize the expectations I had unwittingly put on my children and showed me the reality of embracing the beauty and difficulties of parenting. It helped me see how Christ is using my children to mold and shape me as well as them. Highly recommended for all moms.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book isn't just for parents..... it is for anyone that has an influence in a kids life! As a new Mom, I am SO glad I read this book as it will help guide and groom me to make sure I am not setting unrealistic expectations for my kids. As I read the book, I couldn't help but think about how I interact with all kids, not only my own - my nieces, nephews, friends kids, etc. If you do one thing for yourself this year, it is to pick up this book and read it, but not only that apply it and constantly remind yourself of the ways to make sure we aren't expecting our kids to be perfec
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is such a great book to accompany No More Perfect Moms. Just likewe cant achieve perfection we need to stop expecting it from our children too. Get rid of the perfection infection today! Get the book and learn to love the children you have!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a follow up to "No More Perfect Moms," "No More Perfect Kids," takes just one chapter and expands it to give you a  wealth of knowledge on how to relate to your kids.  As a mom of young children, I found myself depositing lots of info  in to my parenting bank to use now or at a later time.  The chapter on how the Perfect Infection (the need to be perfect and comparing yourself to others) collides with parenting was the best for me, explaining the difference between perfection and excellence.   A self-proclaimed perfectionist myself, this was especially challenging to me.  I want to know how to help my kids excel and do well, but not hold them up to an impossible standard.  Praise for Jill Savage and Dr. Kathy Koch for giving real life examples that we all can relate to, and for giving us the antidotes to provide our kids with the essential skills to be the man or woman God intended them to be.  
tntcarlson More than 1 year ago
With my oldest starting junior high this year, fears I didn't realize I had about my children in regard to their future have surfaced. The desires I have for my kids is clear. Unfortunately, as they get older, I find that my dreams often clash with their own. No More Perfect Kids reminds me that my children are in the process of becoming. “We would never tell people our child made a mistake trying to walk…it is more likely we would announce his every attempt… This is our attitude because we’re looking for progress, not perfection – for growth, not completion.” Just as it is silly to be disappointed that our child falls when (s)he is first attempting to walk, it is just as unreasonable to expect perfection as they learn and grow. Helping me to better line my expectations with reality, Jill and Dr. Koch equip me to better understand, love, praise, communicate with, and offer grace to my children. NMPK provides me with invaluable insight into God’s unique design for my kids. Thank God that not He is still in the process of growing my kids... and me as well! No More Perfect Kids is a must read!
Pruning_Princesses More than 1 year ago
Modern American culture breeds parents who except perfect from their kids without ever knowing it. It wasn't until I read Savage's No More Perfect Moms that I even recognized my own perfectionist tendencies. And then I didn't know how to stop the cycle. I have some ideas now, some ability to stop my perfect expectations and redirect toward grace. When I have friends who become parents, I always recommend Shepherding a Child's Heart, but over time we forget those principles as our kids grow. The glory of discovering a natural talent or the fear of our children experiencing a heart ache we wish we could have avoided clouds them. This book would be an excellent follow up to Shepherding, giving practical, useful advice to help us reach the hearts the our children, not just their outward behavior. And best of all, the book is friendly, not preachy, and lets parents know that we all fail, that no child is perfect, and that we can always try again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All though none of us want to admit it, we are all disappointed that we don’t have perfect children.  This book really gets at the root of that longing and gives real strategies to raise imperfect human beings.   I was raised in a household where I was expected to be perfect.  When I had children, I vowed that I wouldn't put the same pressures on my  them., but I have found it difficult to escape that cycle.   Full of examples from real moms, and insights  from a  psychologist ,  this book really showed me the “Perfection Infection” that  is present in my life.  Dr. Kathy and Ms. Savage ask us to not only look at our children, but how we were parented.  By coming to grips with my own struggles with perfectionism,  I can see how I’m pushing that same behavior onto my children.    This book tackles real issues that we all struggle with:  Is it OK to make mistakes, to be different?  Are we lovable even if we are not perfect?  Most importantly, this book is helping me to find my own identity as a person and as a parent, while helping my children develop healthy identities as well.  
LauraPratt More than 1 year ago
My kids aren't perfect. I don't want them to be. I feel like they learn from their mistakes and their failures. BUT sometimes my reaction is not what it needs to be to let them know that I don't expect perfection. "No More Perfect Kids" offers parents tons of awesome "techniques" for handling how they react to their children's mistakes and failures, how to let their kids no that being unique is okay, and to let their kids no how important they are to us.  As you go through the book you will notice there are "feeling words", character developments, and even age appropriate chore ideas. This book is a great resource for all ages. A great read for new parents or even the veteran parent who feels like giving up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Before reading No More Perfect Kids I was sick of parenting books that just preach and don’t teach. Or parenting books that paint the picture of how life should be after a technique or philosophy is mastered leaving no room for incremental change. I chose this book because I heard Dr. Kathy Koch speak in person – and I HIGHLY respect her work. She and Jill Savage come together in this book to provide seamless help and hope for any caregiver of kids at any age. The voice is consistent and at times it reads more like a story than a teaching text, and the theory translates smoothly into everyday life. The biggest concept that was a game-changer for me was turning from Perfectionism to Excellence – the “how to” was simple and straightforward. I could start applying the life altering message of the book the same day! Thank you Dr. Kathy Koch and Jill Savage for your teamwork, example, and encouragement! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did you read Jill Savage's last book, No More Perfect Moms? If so, you're familiar with the "perfection infection", a desire to appear like everything is perfect that invades our homes, lives, and parenting, instead of accepting and dealing with "real life" and difficult moments. This time, Jill's back with the help of Dr. Kathy Koch, focusing on how the perfection infection ruins parents' reality and acceptance of who God made our kids to be. Instead of perfection being our guide, the authors teach us how to achieve excellence instead of perfection in our parenting of our kids, foster their character and abilities through love and time, and help them find the purposes God created them to fulfill, cheering them on all the while.  And through all of it, the underlying theme is love for our kids for who they truly are, even when it's not what we expected.  This book is filled with general information on how to parent our children uniquely and in a loving but expecting style.  1 Corinthians 13, known as the "love chapter" in the Bible, is paraphrased beautifully from a parenting perspective.  Furthermore, the book is filled with practical tips on how to go about this sometimes daunting task.  My favorite part, though, are the additional helps given in the index - a list of feeling words to help our children put their feelings into words, a list of appropriate tasks by age, ways to pray for our children using Bible verses, and a list of character qualities to develop in our children.  These bonus materials wrap this book up perfectly with an action plan to carry out after the book is read. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is wise advice to every parent to understand that there are no perfect kids. It is a joyful reminder to love you children for who they are, even as you help them grow into all they can be. Jill Savage & Kathy Koch help parents untangle themselves from false expectations. "No More Perfect Kids" will help you put every fantasy aside and enjoy your kids now.
Wanibug More than 1 year ago
I hesitated when I started this book because I am a mom with two special needs kids. I was afraid that I would feel like our family would be outside of any scenarios in the book. But I actually exchanged emails with Jill Savage and she shared some great words of encouragement with me. I said part of what is so hard for me is that we have no idea what to expect of our special kiddos, even the doctor's don't know. Here is what Jill had to say: I'm sure not knowing what to expect is huge. Sometimes the unknown is harder than the known... Keep focusing on what you DO know. Your children need love. They need limits. And they need you to be their cheerleader in life. Regardless of what they are capable of...they need those things without a doubt. Hang in there, girlfriend! Jill I am now partway through the book and I am so glad that I continued reading. There is much wisdom to be gleaned from this book. The combination of Jill Savage's real life stories and Kathy Koch's expertise really provide a great guide for reprogramming our minds to stop criticizing and embrace our imperfect children (and ourselves) just the way God made them. And there are so many helpful tips of ways that we can move forward loving and encouraging them to be themselves along the way. It's not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can't tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself. -- Joyce Maynard
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a great reminder that we need to love our kids for who they are, not what we want them to be. We need to stop expecting perfection from ourselves as parents, or from our children. By doing so, we are not allowing anyone to live up to their full potential. God has a plan for all of us. Sometimes, we get in the way of His plans by trying to be something other than who/what he intended for us. The same is true for our children. We all have dreams for our children, we sometimes put pressure on them to live up to those dreams without taking into consideration (or appreciation of) who they really are. This can cause children to question many aspects of their lives and who they are. Some questions we or they may ask, make up several titles of the chapters in this book: * Do You Like Me? * Am I Important to You? * Is It Okay I'm Unique? * Who Am I? * Am I a Failure? * What's My Purpose? * Will You Help Me Change? Each of these questions (and many others) is discussed, and an "antidote" to the problem in question is suggested. It helps the reader understand him/herself better as a parent, and to understand their children in a new way. The end of the book has many great resources for parents, including: * Age appropriate activities and chores for children * How to pray for your children using Bible verses * Character qualities to develop in your children * Recommended reading for perfectly imperfect kids * Leader's guide (for leading study groups) I would recommend this book to anyone who has children, or plans to some day have children. It may even help you understand yourself a little!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
efleener More than 1 year ago
No More Perfect Kids - Love your kids for who they are is a book written for both moms and dads and I have to say has changed and challenged me as a parent.  God has given us the honor to parent our children and has given each of those children unique gifts and talents.  It is our role as parents to help discover and develop those abilities and not live out our own lives through our kids. This book is designed to help parents become successful parents, not perfect parents.  Jill describes how we all have imagined what our children will be, look like and do, even before they are born and sometimes we have issues knowing our real children because they aren't like what we had imagined they would be.  "When we can identify the unique design of each of our children, resisting the urge to compare them to ourselves, their siblings, or other children, we set them free to be all they are created to be" - wow, what Jill said smacked me right in the face - so very true, yet so hard to do! The nine chapters in the book give examples, topics, stories and antidotes to challenge the reader to evaluate their current parenting and gives us hope and tools to help us become better parents.  There are SO many topics covered in this book that spoke right to me heart - my book is highlighted, underlined and starred to refer back to different areas I need to work on and implement into my parenting. NMPK was written to challenge and encourage us as parents, but unlike so many other parenting books, I never felt defeated or discouraged like I was doing everything wrong, but rather it encouraged me and gave practical solutions to everyday issues.  Dr. Kathy and Jill take a great deal of time describing the Perfection Infection and give us ways to combat it and antidotes to help keep the Perfection Infection out of parenting, help us resist the urge to compare our kids to others, and help embrace who our kids really are.   I'm not going to tell you what the Perfection Infection is, but I encourage you to read the book to find out - you will not be disappointed! In addition to NMPK, there is NMPK Plus at the end of the book which includes amazing resources including: Character Qualities to Develop in your children Scriptural Blessings to pray for your children Recommended reading for perfectly imperfect kids and...A Leader's guide with questions to guide a book study! NMPK will change and challenge and encourage you as a parent.  If you liked NMPM you'll LOVE NMPK!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't say enough great things about this book! As a mother of 5 kids, ranging from 18 down to 4, I wish I had this in my hands years ago. But the great thing is-it's not too late to become that parent your kids need. I'm so thankful for Jill Savage and Dr Kathy Koch-for their combined efforts that are undoubtedly Spirit-led. This is a book that must be read and ingested slowly. It helps parents not only recognize those damaging perfection-infection traits in their own lives, but also gives some powerful antidotes needed to fight this enemy of families. Friends, perfectionism is a bondage; a bondage that this mom is all too well familiar with. And unchecked, can cause damage every relationship, especially in the most precious...our kids. One of my favorite parts of this book are the core identity questions discussed in each chapter that every child silently asks. Wow-if anything, just putting myself in my child's shoes alone is enough to desire an authentic change for the better in my life as a parent. And what parent wouldn't want to possess the same characteristics of our Father God, whose love is perfect, unconditional, and never-ending. Our kids need to know that we, too, will love them the same way! Full of wisdom and practical advise, I'd highly recommend this book for every parent. Thank you, again Jill and Dr Kathy for this life-changing book!!
Rachel01 More than 1 year ago
If your kid knew about this book, they would be begging you to read it. We all know our kids are imperfect, but this book will help you to parent them effectively no matter what their strengths are. As a mom of five, the one thing I've learned is that as soon as you think you have them all figured out, they change. This book is so practical! There are tons of tips that I look forward to utilizing but the first one that I have been using has been the three pronged affirmations (p.140). It has been tremendously helpful with all my kids (my three year old was just as radiant as my nine year old when she received the affirmation). I also love the helpful chapter on how to effect change in the areas that you need to work on. It includes tips for you and for your children in regards to changing. There are oodles of extra helps at the back of the book ranging from age appropriateness of tasks to character qualities that your child should develop.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a follow-up book to No More Perfect Moms, and is one of those rare occasions where the sequel is better than the original! I was fortunate to be included in the Book Launch for this new release, which means that I received a pre-release copy of the book to review. All opinions are my own. I found myself nodding and agreeing with so much in this book! In No More Perfect Kids, Jill Savage, author of No More Perfect Moms and founder of the Hearts at Home Conference, pairs up with Dr. Kathy Koch, an educational psychologist, former teacher, professional speaker, and founder of Celebrate Kids. So much of the insight in this book pairs with what I have been teaching in family counseling for years! Problems like: •Kids who felt like their parents did not know or understand them •Anxiety and perfectionism in very young children, even though their parents felt that they had not put these expectations on them •Punishments that didn’t work, even when well-meaning parents added consequence after consequence Do yourself a favor and buy this book! The insights are well worth it, and it can save you a lot of heart-ache (and possibly therapy bills!) down the road. I know this is a book I will be recommending regularly!
michellepopewelch More than 1 year ago
As the mother of 10 grown children I can without hesitation say that this book would have made such a difference in how we raised our family.  I floundered around in the early years of parenting and it's a wonder my older kids turned out as great as they did. I was the worst kind of helicopter parent, expecting my children to live up to my expectations of perfection. The stress level in our family was incredible. I wish someone would have handed me this book the day I took my first child home from the hospital.  Jill Savage of Hearts At Home and Kathy Koch,PhD of Celebrate Kids, Inc. have combined forces to write the words that every parent needs to hear. It deals with all the questions that can arise in a child's life from "Do you like me?" to "Am I important to you?" to "Will you help me change?". Their Godly approach to child rearing is much needed in this day of parentless parenting. The sections on allowing children to fail and curbing technology in our homes are so relevant. Jill and Kathy don't just write words on a page. They offer insight from their own lives along with the experiences of other moms who have conquered the need for perfect kids.   One line stood out to me above all others. "Children can feel like projects their parents are trying to finish or problems they're trying to solve--instead of children in the process of becoming."  Sadly this is so true of many parents, myself included. Even with my kids grown and gone, I was able to see ways to change the way I talk to them now.  The book gives you realistic applications to use in everyday life to overcome the Perfection Infection. These steps, along with age appropriate tasks, character qualities to help your children develop, and book suggestions for kids to read will help them become everything God intended them to be. There are scripture verses to pray over your children. It even offers a 9 week study guide for parenting groups, mom groups, or anyone raising children. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a book that every parent should have on hand.  Written for both moms and dads, Jill Savage and Dr. Kathy Koch address the “perfection infection” and the dangers of parenting with that mindset.  They equip parents with simple tools that help them release the perfect expectation and free their children to be the best that God created them to be.   This book helped me to see and change my parenting so that I don’t “stand with my arms folded in front of me, but stretched out towards my children.”  To let them know that mistakes are part of life, their uniqueness should be celebrated and that each of them is important.