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Here it is FJ friends - my book review of MGC. The book arrived with a pretty bookmark with a bible verse and a heap of advertising for all the other Maxwell books.

 

The positives first: It is well laid out, simple and easy to read. Each chapter has a lesson and examples and a set of exercises for a parent to do with their child.

 

Ok, now content ...

 

Preface

 

We have trouble talking to others and realised this is because others lack conversation skills. Our children have to be able to talk to non-Christians in order to preach at them.

 

Sarah spent hours proof reading the book. Anna transferred the book from word to publisher. Joseph chose the fonts, did the layout and designed the cover. Aren't they amazing!

 

Chapter 1: Good or Bad Conversations

 

We start with some examples of bad conversationalists: a five year old girl who refuses to speak to an unknown lady in a grocery store, a teenage boy who only gives minimal answers to a doctor, a young man who has trouble asking a girls father for permission to court and a young wife and mother who, when her husband arrives home from work, tells him about her day was instead of listening to him and serving him a nice dinner. THESE PEOPLE ARE BAD. Steve tells us what each of them should have said. The five year old, on being complemented on her hair by a stranger, should have said "Thank you. My mommy likes to sometimes make pigtails for me. My name is Cynthia. What's your name?"

 

The Practical Side

 

Steve gives us lessons at the end of each chapter called "The Practical Side". In this chapter we should (1) read the chapter (2) sit down alone with each of our children and have a conversation (3) evaluate the conversation using the eight questions Steve provides.

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As a mother, I find it horrifying that Steve would suggest a 5yo engage in conversation with an unknown adult. Somebody needs to send him Gavin DeBecker's "Protecting the Gift".

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I found it pretty disturbing advice. Encouraging kids to tell strangers their name? Argh. We receive advice from police never to have kids names embroidered on kids clothes because strangers use it and the kids think it is someone they know. It makes kids more vulnerable.

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Chapter 2: What is a conversation?

Steve has been travelling with his family for thirteen years and has taught his kids to be great conversationalists with children and adults. However "We became concerned about your children."

Steve gives us an example of Anna trying to talk to a sixteen year old girl and only getting single word answers. He says it should be easy for two sixteen year old girls to talk. (In my experience sixteen year old girls do not talk to people trying to sell their parents stuff.)

Steve goes on to explain the difference between communicating and conversing. Communicating is about exchanging necessary information and is appropriate at times. He uses the example of Jesse talking to a dentist. Conversation is a two way interaction and is crucial for parents and children and for Christians who want to take over the world. "Families are in a conversation crisis!" This has come about because we watch tv, use computers, smart phones, text and email.

The Practical Side

(1) Everyone who can write has to fill in a form rating their conversation skills with different people; friends, strangers, siblings, etc. and answering a huge number of boring questions. (2) Everyone has to sit down together and discuss their answers. (3) Read chapter 1 again and see if your kids can tell which conversations are good and which are bad.

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Our children have to be able to talk to non-Christians in order to preach at them.

That, my friends, says it all.

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I found it pretty disturbing advice. Encouraging kids to tell strangers their name? Argh. We receive advice from police never to have kids names embroidered on kids clothes because strangers use it and the kids think it is someone they know. It makes kids more vulnerable.

Doesn't Steve think that a conversation can be considered "good" only if the Bible is quoted and/or DEATH is mentioned? Clearly, that child failed on both accounts!

Looking forward to hearing the re-caps of the chapters, as Steve THE LORD did not bless me with a copy of the book. Thanks, Miggy!

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I remember one blog or corner about Mary and the orothodontist. He was trying to have a conversation with her about her teeth. Teri was horrified. Mary would only say something along the lines of "what Mom thinks is best".

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Holee! That totally clashes with their mindset of sheltering their "children" to the nth degree! I just read about Steve's nice little "conversation" with the boy/young man who was working at the gas station. These things come about from "being out in the world" like working in a gas station. So, Steve, moral of the story, let your kids get jobs in gas stations/restaurants/stores and let them put them into practice as ADULTS. BTW, this boy/young man said his SISTER works there too. So, it's not just for the males, for the females too. Unless the sister was only allowed to work there when her brother does, so he can chaperone her? Sigh. So many mixed messages.

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See I always taught my kids not to tell strangers their name. My oldest had no problem having conversations with strangers the problem was that she wanted to launch into all her personal info.

Stranger: "Oh aren't you cute!"

Daughter: "Thank you! My name is (full name), I am (age), I live(address) my phone number is(phone number) my parents' names are(our full names).

And I had to teach her not to do that. A simple thank you would suffice.

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As a mother, I find it horrifying that Steve would suggest a 5yo engage in conversation with an unknown adult. Somebody needs to send him Gavin DeBecker's "Protecting the Gift".

My first thought exactly. Isn't he the one who is protecting his family from the ebil world by segregating them from anyone not exactly like them because the world is such a dangerous place?

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As a mother, I find it horrifying that Steve would suggest a 5yo engage in conversation with an unknown adult. Somebody needs to send him Gavin DeBecker's "Protecting the Gift".

I'm not a parent. But I too have a problem w/ what Steve had to say about a 5 year old. Most parents don't want their kids to talk to strangers!

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Steve wouldn't even consider the danger inherent in teaching young children to give out personal information to strangers, because Steve's children, even well into adulthood, are NEVER OUT OF HIS SIGHT. There is never any unsupervised interaction, no independence, no free thought and therefore no need to consider teaching children the importance of being somewhat guarded in their dealings with strangers. And since Steve wants everyone else to follow his extreme "sheltering" example, it wouldn't occur to him to consider any other way. It's all about the sales pitch, not conversation, and in smarmy used-car-salesman fashion, you learn names, use them frequently and act like their best friend evah as you try to close the deal.

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Thanks, Miggy, for taking one for the team. Steve is obviously growing more desperate by the day - this just reeks of it.

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I'm not a parent. But I too have a problem w/ what Steve had to say about a 5 year old. Most parents don't want their kids to talk to strangers!

Most parents don't realize that the real dangers to their children are lurking in people they know rather than the random stranger on the street.

I have not and will not teach my children so-called stranger danger. They are at far greater risk of "neighbor danger" and "family danger" and "authority-figure danger." Instead, I have talked with my children about common sense strategies they can use to stay safe rather than making an entire category of people potential predators and villains.

Only a tiny minority of kidnapped children are taken by strangers. Between 1990 and 1995 the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children handled only 515 stranger abductions, 3.1 percent of its caseload. A 2000 report by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs reported that more than 3/4 of kidnappings were committed by family members or acquaintances of the child. The study also found that children abducted by strangers were harmed less frequently than those taken by acquaintances.

In his book Protecting the Gift, child-safety expert Gavin De Becker pointed out that compared to a stranger kidnapping, “ child is vastly more likely to have a heart attack, and child heart attacks are so rare that most parents (correctly) never even consider the risk.â€

http://news.discovery.com/human/psychol ... 130514.htm

But I doubt the Maxwells have a clue in hell about this topic. They're most likely more concerned with politeness and appearances, pushing their kids to ignore their natural boundaries simply to please others. That's a surefire way to end up with a child victim at some point.

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Miggy, you're my hero du week!

Certainly at least some of the followers reading this book have to be impressed (negatively) by the obvious contradictions between what Stevehovah has taught for a decade and this new adoration of a kid (and his sister!) working outside the home and meeting the public without a minder to monitor ... as well as other imponderables.

(I'm trying to think of the 2-word term that describes -- cognitive dissonance! That's it! His readers MUST be experiencing all kinds of cognitive dissonance to see him lauding WOHM children (even girls!) and other stuff in the book.

(Now if he were to write something on memory aids, I might put my name and address in the ring for a free reviwer's copy!) :whistle:

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I remember one blog or corner about Mary and the orothodontist. He was trying to have a conversation with her about her teeth. Teri was horrified. Mary would only say something along the lines of "what Mom thinks is best".

Well Steve, this is what happens when you don't let kids think for themselves. Brings up many childhood memories. Feeling judged for everything I said then my mom embarrassed because I was too shy to talk to people. Part was just my personality but part was feeling like I wasn't allowed mistakes. I'm so glad the Maxwells weren't around when I was growing up. My parents probably would have bought the stupid book and made us do the questions in it. Fun family time. Blah.

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Well Steve, this is what happens when you don't let kids think for themselves. Brings up many childhood memories. Feeling judged for everything I said then my mom embarrassed because I was too shy to talk to people. Part was just my personality but part was feeling like I wasn't allowed mistakes. I'm so glad the Maxwells weren't around when I was growing up. My parents probably would have bought the stupid book and made us do the questions in it. Fun family time. Blah.

Odd1Out -- you and I must have had the same parents (at least the same mother). No mistakes allowed. And my mother would have probably bought right into the Maxwells if presented to her the right way. Dodged that bullet.

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Our children have to be able to talk to non-Christians in order to preach at them.

That, my friends, says it all.

That's a quote from the book? My G-d!

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I remember one blog or corner about Mary and the orothodontist. He was trying to have a conversation with her about her teeth. Teri was horrified. Mary would only say something along the lines of "what Mom thinks is best".

titus2.com/corners/dads-corner/whose-mouth-is-it.html

This was one of the first Corners I remember reading back in 2005 and it still stands out in my mind a real WTF? Not that kids should have the final say, but to not even allow them a voice is so disturbing to me. If Mary had expressed reservations about her treatment and both Teri and the orthodontist disagreed, it would have been an opportunity to explain and discuss and and then decide the proper course of action--an opportunity to treat Mary like a person instead of a thing. The fact that Teri was surprised that the ortho even had the audacity to consider Mary's opinion and that said ortho didn't "pause long enough for Teri to help her understand Biblical authority" speaks volumes.

Why ANYONE listens to these people never ceases to amaze me.

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I totally agree with the five year old talking to a stranger thing; however, the Maxwell world is so different from our world. In the Maxwell world children rarely go out with out a parent holding their hand until they are 25. They don't have to teach "stranger danger" as their parents never let go!!

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Compounding Teri's surprise, the orthodontist continued, “But, Mary, it is your mouth. What do you want to do?†However, she never paused long enough for Mary's answer nor for Teri to help her understand Biblical authority or even the laws of the state regarding the care of a minor.

This is such a dangerous teaching, that a child is not in control of his or her own body and must defer to authority figures no matter what.

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We have trouble talking to others and realised this is because others lack conversation skills.

This level of arrogance is beyond me. "We can't have good conversations with lots of other people. Clearly the lots of other people are all the problem and not the one thing all these conversations have in common, which would be us." I doubt I'd be able to have a good conversation with them either, there is only so much Bible I can quote, and I really don't care to discuss death.

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As a mother, I find it horrifying that Steve would suggest a 5yo engage in conversation with an unknown adult. Somebody needs to send him Gavin DeBecker's "Protecting the Gift".

I think that would make him even more paranoid, which, let's face it, he doesn't need! :shock:

In Steve's world, children (meaning offspring of any age until marriage) are never unsupervised by hovering adult family members, so I guess he figures it's OK.

ETA -- should have read ahead -- I see Sparkles and Brittany beat me to it!

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Miggy, what was the comment that won you this fine piece of literature?

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