Not too long ago, I received a copy of Life Ki-do Parenting by Jonathan and Lana Hewitt from the Time with Tracy blog. It contains an interesting approach to parenting. Much of what he says makes sense, and seems very practical. While not written from a Christian point of view, Life Ki-do Parenting conveys a very positive, others-centric strategy to parenting that is crucial to raising our children. Here’s a brief synopsis of the book.
My first question was what the title meant. In the middle of the first chapter, Hewitt explains it: ki means “inner strength or spirit,” and do means “the way.” So, Life Ki-do means “the way of living from your own inner strength and spirit and honoring the same in others.” Hewitt teaches martial arts, which provides a little more insight as to where his teachings and methods come from. This background lends itself to strong discipline as well.
While good, I think his approach stops short. In order to effectively communicate these principles, we cannot approach this on our own strength; we need God as the foundation.
That said, the Hewitts give some solid principles that go a long way to establishing some good parenting habits.
Earlier this week, I had a conversation with a hurting dad. He had taken his family on vacation. They had big plans, and were planning on enjoying a few days away from the routine. But the very first night, his oldest daughter ran away. All of a sudden, vacation turned into crisis.
The family returned home, the police started searching, the next day, the girl was found and brought home. She did it again later that week. Only this time, her parents knew where she went, and were in communication with the parents of the friend she was staying with.
I don’t know all the specifics of this family’s home situation. I don’t have any idea why this happened. Nor do I need to know. What I do know is this: this dad was hurting. His daughter was making some poor choices and it was very painful for the rest of the family.
I had the opportunity to visit with this dad a few evenings ago. I’m not sure anything I said helped him very much. But it was obvious that his daughter’s decisions were hurting him. And he was facing some tough decisions: How should he respond… harshly? or with love? What sort of punishment was necessary? What changes needed to be made to prevent this from happening again?
I don’t know if he was actually thinking all those things. I know I would have been. And I would have been questioning my role as a father. Could I have done anything to prevent this? Did I fail somehow?