Bless This Mess: A Modern Guide to Faith and Parenting in a Chaotic World (Paperback)
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A witty, compelling guide to raising open-minded and morally grounded kids in these crazy times, with an approach that’s rooted in science, psychology, and faith
“Groundbreaking, profound, frank and friendly.”—Wendy Mogel, PhD, author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee
When Rev. Molly Baskette and Dr. Ellen O’Donnell first met, they were both new mothers seeking parenting wisdom. They read a lot of books on the topic, but none of them contained practical suggestions that would help their families psychologically and spiritually while maintaining their progressive values: How do we teach the art of forgiving and serving others? How do we raise kids who are tolerant, curious, and honorable? And what about the sex talk?
Taking matters into their own hands, Baskette and O’Donnell began creating actionable steps addressing these questions and more. This book is the fruit of their many conversations begun long ago during the daycare carpool, from angsty moments to hallelujahs.
In Bless This Mess, readers will gain constructive tools as they learn how to talk to their children about social justice, money, God, ethics, bullying, disabilities, sexuality, and their bodies. Parents will also glean insights on how to serve others with joy, give generously and gratefully, and—perhaps most important—learn how to stop being so afraid all the damn time, even while raising kids in an increasingly chaotic and often scary world. With real-life examples, relatable personal stories, and strategies tailored to the toddler, preteen, or teenager, Bless This Mess guides parents of children at all stages of their development.
About the Author
REV. MOLLY PHINNEY BASKETTE, MDiv, is the senior minister of First Congregational Church of Berkeley, California, and the author of several series of books, including grief workbooks for children and practical how-tos for church renewal. She lives in Alameda, California, with her husband and two children, where she loves to march in the streets, bike the Bay, or read in the hammock, depending on God's agenda for the day.
ELLEN O'DONNELL, PhD, is a child psychologist at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Shriners Hospitals for Children--Boston and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. She has authored numerous articles and book chapters on topics in child psychology, such as learning disabilities, coping with a child's or parent's medical illness, and positive parenting practices to prevent depression and anxiety in children. Ellen lives in Concord, Massachusetts, with her husband and their two boys.
“Groundbreaking, profound, frank, and friendly, Bless This Mess is itself a blessing. While reading it, I laughed out loud and teared up. If you are struggling with how to talk to your child about God, goodness, money, sex, gender, drugs, and death, then Reverend Baskette and Dr. O’Donnell are here to help! They will introduce you to the latest research on child development and best practices in parenting, blended with a spirituality that is both inclusive and particular.”—Wendy Mogel, PhD, author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee