Arnold paints a terrifying picture of a hostile world out to get our kids, but he doesn't leave parents hanging. Arnold suggests thoughtful approaches parents can take to help their children survive, and thrive in, today's society. He doesn't offer 3 Quick Steps or Seven Easy Rules of Parenting: scattered throughout this extended meditation on parenting is enough insight to last a lifetime.

Raising children, says Arnold (echoing his writer and educator grandfather), is about "helping them to become what they already are in the mind of God." That is to say, parents shouldn't focus on hierarchy; they shouldn't focus on coercion; they shouldn't focus on control. Instead, they should strive for a loving, open relationship, in which all family members respect and esteem one another, and parents discipline their children with care, when necessary. (He sees corporal punishment is an unmitigated evil.)

Some parents, Arnold says, are selfish, and hesitate to give the "patience and energy" that kids require. But nothing, he says, is as rewarding as parenting. So, next time you're tempted to curl up with a novel, curl up with your child (and maybe a good children's book, too) instead.

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