Building a True Domestic Church: A Review of ‘Parenting with Grace: The Catholic Parents’ Guide to Raising Almost Perfect Children’

“Love is shown by little things, by attention to small daily signs which make us feel at home. Faith grows when it is lived and shaped by love. That is why our families, our homes, are true domestic churches. They are the right place for faith to become life, and life to grow in faith.”–Pope Francis

Review and Comments

This is the second book I have read by Greg and Lisa Popcak and I am once again in love!  After spending so much time reading parenting advice from every online article and opinion piece someone writes on their blog, I have found something I can get behind and learn from.

The Popcaks begin with a lot of statistics and research that indicate the difference between parenting and “Catholic” parenting to help lay the foundation for why we should listen to their advice.   They explain the difference between punishment and discipline and the effect that can have on children (and there is a difference!).  It provides numerous examples of children who were raised through “punishment” and how, as adults, they became great rule-followers, but not empathetic caring people.  These people often followed the rules to their own detriment and the detriment of others.  After reading this intro, though it was very long, I was convinced that they had done their research and were going to give some great advice. 

Greg and Lisa spend a long time talking about discipline.  I loved this section of the book.  My kids are still relatively young, so it was helpful to hear about ways to set up daily discipline for my family.

The authors also share great ways to change some behaviors with your kids you might be particularly upset with.  I found the section on hitting to be particularly helpful with my own kids.

The next section of the book breaks kids apart by age groups and discusses what kids are dealing with developmentally and how we, as parents, can help them continue to grow and flourish.

What made this book particularly stand out was that it encourages relationships.  At every phase in development and every opportunity for discipline, they encourage talking and spending time with each other.

One of my biggest worries as a parent is that I won’t provide my children with a good faith foundation.  I found this book to be so helpful and encouraging in this area.  It gave me confidence in what I’m doing and hope for the future of my kids.

Whether you are just starting out or you have run into some issues with your children, this book is wonderful.  I absolutely recommend it to all parents!

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