published Sunday, February 6th, 2011

Baumgardner: Raising great kids through grace

"When someone is effective at what they do, no matter how complex their responsibility, they can usually distill it down to very simple terms," said Dr. Tim Kimmel, speaker and author of 12 books including "Graced-based Parenting."

So, if someone handed you a piece of paper and asked you to outline your overarching strategy for how you are raising your kids, could you do it in very simple terms? Don't feel guilty if you can't. Most parents would struggle with this challenge.

"It is easy to get preoccupied with thinking that our primary responsibility is our children's health, education and welfare, but these priorities don't seem to matter when our kids have pushed every button (we have)," Dr. Kimmel said. "You start wondering if there is an app on your Smart Phone to get your kids to be quiet and behave!"

Kimmel contends that our culture encourages parents to aim our kids in the wrong direction; at things like wealth, beauty, power and fame. There is nothing wrong with any one of these four things in and of themselves. But it is easy to unwittingly set your kids up to become defined and controlled by them in the process. There's a better plan, he says.

In his parenting seminar, "Raising Truly Great Kids," coming to Chattanooga on Feb. 18-19, Dr. Kimmel will suggest that there is another way to parent children that sets kids up to be better prepared to succeed and gives parents more joy in their responsibilities of raising them.

If you are raising children/grandchildren up to age 18 you've probably asked yourself:

What does it take to raise kids in the midst of busy lives?

Are there practical ways to take the fear out and put the fun back into parenting?

Can you turn heartache to hope with a rebellious child?

How do I bring out the best in my strong-willed child?

For more information about this seminar, visit

E-mail Julie Baumgardner, president and executive director of First Things First at

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