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So far, 2009 has been rich in spiritually driven child-rearing guides. The most scriptural and perhaps least helpful for the anxious parent is Craughwell's, which, like a biblical Goops book (see Gelett Burgess's Goops and How To Be Them: A Manual of Manners for Polite Infants), retails with some glee a double handful of the more nightmarish stories of the Old and New Testaments-Amnon, Adonijah, and Berenice, to name just a few. As he did in his Saints Behaving Badly, Craughwell retells these stories in narrative and then follows each story with a brief reflection.
The Parent Adventure, by Rodney and Selma Wilson, longtime contributors to Homelife magazine, with Scott McDonald, associate director of LifeWay Research, is a more conventional guide for the believing Christian parent through the trials and tumults of a child's life. Its central assertion is that children's lives ought to be "more about knowing God than anything else."
Elliott's guide shrewdly addresses the persisting challenges of raising boys in today's culture, frequently without fathers. Like Wilson and his coauthors, Elliott sees the principal duty of children as the duty to God but offers Jesus as a kind of male role model for the growing child.
Jungreis-Wolff (The Committed Life), daughter of Rebbitzen Jungreis, brings a Jewish perspective to bear on the child-rearing question. She shows the reader how to instill not simply Torah principles but simchas hachayim(true joy) in children. Not surprisingly, given Judaism's focus on the home as a source of spirituality, she recommends the home as a sanctuary of peace and spirituality for thechild.