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Playbook for Dads

To begin with, I think the concept of writing on parenting within the game of life is a great idea.  The metaphor of a game encapsulates much of what happens in parenting, the ups and downs of life including the struggles.  Yet, as I finished this book it was more geared towards a look at the football days of Jim Kelly.  No doubt, Jim Kelly was a great quarterback who took the Buffalo Bills to the Super Bowl three times and was handed three defeats.  Yet, it seems like the book is more about the glory days of a great quarterback than a book on parenting.

Even in my criticism, I want to offer some good wisdom about parenting that was gleaned from the book.  On the chapter on Respect, Kelly writes, "As a parent, it's much more of a challenge.  You have to gain your kids' respect by being consistent...Your children need to know that you're trustworthy and capable of keeping your word.  And most of all, by loving and caring for your wife.  Kids have an innate sense of these things" (43).  Consistency in parenting is so easy to forget when the business of life is crashing down upon you.  Yet, consistency provides our children a sense of this is the way a home is run and demands a sense of respect.  I really enjoyed that Kelly included the point of relating respect to loving one's wife.  I can't tell you how much this means to children, especially in their early years.  Why?  Loving one's wife shows your children that you go to great sacrifices to love another person, to show her that in concrete ways and in turn reflects upon your love for your children.

The prayer sections to his late Son Hunter and to his two daughters were very touching.  On page 72, Kelly writes, "Prayer also prepares me to face the many uncertainties of life.  I think Hunter taught all of us how to pray.  We always had to be prepared because we never knew what each day would hold for our little soldier."  The tragedy and heartbreak of losing a son so early in life is a pain that is unbearable, yet the legacy of his strength shines through in Kelly's words about Hunter.

Much thanks to Faith Words for the review copy of this book.


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