Parenting with Heart

How Imperfect Parents Can Raise Resilient, Loving, and Wise-Hearted Kids

Cover Art

Where to Purchase

More Options

About

Your kids don't need perfect parents

Much more than parents who always get it right, what children need is authentic, engaged parents who make mistakes but still keep moving forward. In this freeing book, respected therapists and bestselling authors Stephen James and Chip Dodd invite you to let go of perfectionism and micromanaging as you learn to parent from a place of emotional honesty and intimacy. With their help, you'll learn how to

· accept your flaws
· resolve issues from your own childhood
· tune into your feelings and the emotions of your children
· be present with your family through both the good times and the bad

"A radical and compelling book. This brilliant resource will give you a path for joy and rich relationships with your children. You (and your children) will not be the same after reading this book."--Dan B. Allender, PhD, professor of counseling psychology and founding president of The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology; author of Healing the Wounded Heart and How Children Raise Parents

"Stephen James and Chip Dodd have created a safe space for you to grow as a parent--to learn, to laugh, to be honest about your vulnerability and imperfection, and to discover. You will finish this book with more hope, more understanding, and more grace--for both your child and yourself."--Sissy Goff, MEd, LPC-MHSP, director of child and adolescent counseling, Daystar Counseling Ministries; speaker; author of Are My Kids on Track?

"Every beleaguered parent who reads this book is going to let out a massive sigh of relief. Finally, a book that is not telling them what to do and how they are not measuring up. Stephen James and Chip Dodd do a masterful job of defining God's high calling in the life of a parent without adding to their collective sense of regret and guilt for not being 'perfect.'"--Jimmy Myers, PhD, LPC-S, coauthor of Fearless Parenting: How to Raise Faithful Kids in a Secular Culture


Stephen James, MA, LPC-MHSP, NCC, is the founder and executive director of Sage Hill Counseling in Nashville, Tennessee. He is the bestselling author of five books, including Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys.

Chip Dodd, PhD, LPC-MHSP, NCC, is a teacher, trainer, counselor, and the bestselling author of several books, including The Voice of the Heart. He is the founder of the Center for Professional Excellence, now in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.


Endorsements

"Parenting with Heart is a radical and compelling book for parents and grandparents, who know in their heart parenting is not easy. It is foolish to believe something as important as parenting can be legislated into a few steps or principles. James and Dodd offer a map to guide your engagement with your children and the wisdom to do so humbly, even in the face of inevitable struggles. Parenting changes us all, but often it turns us more toward guilt or worry. This brilliant resource will give you a path for joy and rich relationships with your children. You (and your children) will not be the same after reading this book."

Dan B. Allender, PhD, professor of counseling psychology and founding president of The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology; author of Healing the Wounded Heart and How Children Raise Parents

"Stephen James and Chip Dodd have invited you into their counseling offices in this book. They have created a safe space for you to grow as a parent--to learn, to laugh, to be honest about your vulnerability and imperfection, and to discover. You will finish this book with more hope, more understanding, and more grace--for both your child and yourself."

Sissy Goff, MEd, LPC-MHSP, director of child and adolescent counseling, Daystar Counseling Ministries; speaker; and author of numerous books, including Are My Kids on Track?

"Every beleaguered parent who reads this book is going to let out a massive sigh of relief. Finally, a book that is not telling them what to do and how they are not measuring up. Stephen James and Chip Dodd do a masterful job of defining God's high calling in the life of a parent without adding to their collective sense of regret and guilt for not being 'perfect.' I had to laugh out loud when I read the subheading, 'Clumsy is as good as it gets!' And all the parents said, 'Amen!'"

Jimmy Myers, PhD, LPC-S, coauthor of Fearless Parenting: How to Raise Faithful Kids in a Secular Culture

"I trust Chip Dodd and Stephen James. I trust and value their work as counselors and teachers. More importantly, I trust them as people and as fathers themselves. These wise men are inviting us into a more sustainable way to parent the kids we love, whatever ages they may be. Chip and Stephen are showing us how to be clumsy and courageous at the same time. I will recommend this book to countless parents, and I'll be revisiting this rich content as a dad myself."

David Thomas, LMSW, director of family counseling, Daystar Counseling Ministries; coauthor of eight books, including Intentional Parenting

"Chip Dodd and Stephen James understand the intricacies of the heart better than just about anyone I know. Interweaving the relationship with one's self, one's child, and with God into the process of parenting is the foundation of this book. Through their writing, Chip and Stephen elevate relationship over the technicalities and product of parenting."

Amy Graham, MTS, pastor of spiritual care, The District Church, Washington, DC

"Stephen James and Chip Dodd's newest book, Parenting with Heart, is truly an outstanding endeavor! Besides being very informative, it provides an interesting and unique perspective on what it takes to be a successful parent and to raise healthy, happy children. It's one of the best parenting books I've read in a long time. Every parent needs this book in their tool bag!"

Rick Johnson, bestselling author of That's My Son; Better Dads, Stronger Sons; and 10 Things Great Dads Do

"This book is a wake-up call to stop striving for perfectionism and instead become the parent who can win the heart of your child. This is a challenge to lead with vulnerability and to allow your weaknesses to be turned into strengths. You will not regret going on this journey with Stephen James and Chip Dodd, who are such respected leaders in their field. If you are like me, camping out in this book will impact not only your parenting but also your soul."

Aaron Graham, DMin, lead pastor, The District Church, Washington, DC

"As Stephen James and Chip Dodd so effectively articulate, parenting with heart is infinitely more wonderful--and more challenging!--than trying to control our kids' behavior and future. While we may think having happy, successful children is the highest goal, that's a poor substitute for raising kids who can love and learn from life on life's terms. Stephen and Chip share vulnerably from their own parenting journeys, guiding those of us who long to embrace the adventure and freedom of being full-hearted parents. In reading this book, you will grow and be transformed, which means your children will grow and be transformed too. Don't settle for endless striving to be a 'perfect' parent. Follow Stephen and Chip and be a gloriously clumsy, fabulously good-enough parent instead."

Dr. Jeramy and Jerusha Clark, authors of several books, including the award-winning Your Teenager Is Not Crazy: Understanding Your Teen's Brain Can Make You a Better Parent

"If you are looking for a parenting book that allows you to gain insight into your children's future, then read Parenting with Heart. The book guides you, the parent, to first look at your heart and identify your imperfections. When you shift inward, seriously considering your own flaws as a parent, you begin to move to a posture of passion and surrender to be more fully known by your children. Stephen James and Chip Dodd have put in the 'heart' work and energy needed to make this book a challenging read. Looking inward can be heart wrenching and difficult, but through their coaching and your own 'heart' work, you will find that it is definitely worth it."

Rhonda W. Smith, MEd, middle school head, Christ Presbyterian Academy

"If as a parent you wonder how much of your past and upbringing comes to bear when raising your own children, read Parenting with Heart. We all carry the baggage of our childhood experiences forward into how we parent our children. But taking the time to look back and examine our own 'junk'--as painful as that may be--allows us to take a fresh view of where we are now and where we want to go with our children. Take the time to read Stephen James and Chip Dodd's thought-provoking book, and use it as a guide as you make the journey inward that will propel you and your family forward. You won't regret it!"

Nate Morrow, MEd, headmaster, Christ Presbyterian Academy

"Every parent who wants to full-heartedly love their child needs to read this book. This wise resource will encourage, confront, guide, and challenge you to engage your child in ways that are both gratifying and transforming to you both."

R. A. Dickey, Cy Young award-winning MLB All-Star and father of four; bestselling author of Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity, and the Perfect Knuckleball


The Authors

  1. Stephen James

    Stephen James

    Stephen James, MA, LPC-MHSP, NCC, is the founder and executive director of Sage Hill Counseling in Nashville, Tennessee. Before starting Sage Hill Counseling, Stephen worked in private practice for more than a decade. He also works with professionals, C-suite...

    Continue reading about Stephen James

  2. Chip Dodd

    Chip Dodd

    Chip Dodd, PhD, LPC-MHSP, NCC, is a teacher, trainer, author, and counselor who has been working in the field of recovery and redemption for nearly three decades. He founded the Center for Professional Excellence at Journey Pure in Murfreesboro,...

    Continue reading about Chip Dodd


Resources