The Joy Of Letting Go

My oldest child is going to turn 15 in a few months, so I thought Vicki Caruana's new book, The Joy of Letting Go: Releasing Your Teen into Real Life in the Big World would be a helpful read. It's a 52-day devotional in a small, attractive package. The pretty front cover and small size make it a perfect gift book. The back cover says:

"Embrace Your Child's Journey to Independence

Your "baby" just passed his driving test. Your little girl is moving into a college dorm. Your role as a parent is changing - but your heart toward your kids only grows. The truth is, letting go of your children doesn't just happen at the big milestones. It happens day by day, beginning the moment your child enters your family.

With inspirational reading and quotes, this weekly devotional helps you equip your children for independence at whatever age they are now. You've already loosened your grip more than you realize! Discover new encouragement to continue to let go in life-giving ways."

Each of the 52 devotionals begins with a quote, a story and small lesson/takeaway, a "Thought Poke" which is a question to reflect on, and then a closing Scripture. They are extremely short (about 2 pages) and can be read in just a couple minutes. They were mostly applicable to older children, 18+, but many applied to younger teens as well. I did take away some good thoughts from this book. However, it was just missing a little something. I was expecting a more religious book, I guess, considering it was a devotional. I didn't really get much from this book in regards to spirituality, it was mostly focused on school, college, jobs, money, etc. She blows off her sons walking away from church after leaving her home almost as an "oh well, no big deal" type of thing, when their eternal souls depend on it. Me personally, I'm much more concerned with my children's souls than I am with what prestigious college they go to or what wonderful, high-paying career they end up in. Vicki has a bit of a pretentious or condescending tone throughout the book. She seems to know everything about everything - which girlfriends were terrible for her sons and why they shouldn't marry them, what career her son would eventually choose because of his behavior in first grade (and why he wasn't enjoying his college options and major), what books are beneficial to read (classics, not Harry Potter), the "right" way to teach, discipline, and deal with picky eaters, and more. I came away with the feeling that she was telling us all about her perfect life, perfect parenting, and perfect choices as opposed to walking along beside us and commiserating and sharing her mistakes and foibles along the way. I prefer authors who are open, transparent, and real about the joys AND hardships of parenting. I would recommend this book for parents of older teens and young adults (17-25).

I received a copy of this book from Litfuse in order to provide an honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own.


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