Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Became Parents

Given that I have been a parent for over seventeen years now you might think this book comes a little late for me, alas it does not. While I think Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Became Parents is a must read for ALL expecting parents, there is also value to be had from those of us that have already been parenting awhile.

Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Became Parents from Starts At Eight. A practical guide for navigating some of the tough parenting moments you might not have thought of. A great parenting help for new and even more experienced parents!

While many of the early chapters in this book deal with early parenting struggles, as the book goes on it delves into important topics for parenting as the years go on. I particularly found the chapter on parents needing to apologize to be a great one! I have found myself in this position with my own children.

This chapter covers two big areas:

1. What should I apologize for?

  • unkind things you say or do directly to your children
  • taking out your own frustration on your children with harsh, loud words, which deliver critical, condemning messages
  • failing to listen or pay attention when a child is talking to you
  • wrongly punishing due to inadequate fact gathering
  • excessive punishment

2. Steps for learning to apologize.

  • Accept responsibility for your own actions
  • Know your actions affect others.
  • There are always rules in life.
  • Apologies will restore friendships.
  • We must learn to speak our apologies in a way that is meaningful to the person we offended.

This just scratches the surface of the solid, practical advice offered up in this book!

About Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Became Parents

From one of my favorite authors, Gary Chapman, comes a new book, Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Became Parents.  {I recently received this book for review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

In this book Gary Chapman and Shannon Warden share wisdom gained from raising their own children and from the many families they’ve counseled through the years. They explore numerous topics like how children change your life, how to accept your child’s uniqueness, potty training (yes!), why kids need boundaries (starting as infants), the importance of modeling, why social skills are as important as academic skills, and why emotional health is critical.

Check out the chapters!

  • Children are Expensive
  • No Two Children Are Alike
  • That Potty Training is No Laughing Matter
  • That Children Need Boundaries
  • Children’s Emotional Health is a Important as Physical Health
  • Children are Greatly Influenced by Our Model
  • Sometimes Parents Need to Apologize
  • Social Skills are as Important as Academic Skills
  • That Parents are Responsible for their Child’s Education
  • Marriage DO NOT Thrive on Autopilot
  • Children Can Bring You Great Joy

Even though there are hints of Christianity (references to church, Christian schools, etc.), this book is mostly a secular book and does not contain any scriptural references or recommendations based on the Bible. I really appreciate this because I feel by leaving many of those references out, parents who do not share a specific religous belief will be more open to reading and hearing the important words of wisdom and actionable items to becoming a better parent that are shared in this book.

About the Authors

Dr. Gary Chapman is an author, speaker, and counselor who has a passion for people and helping them form lasting relationships. He is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages® and the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc. Gary travels the world presenting seminars and his radio programs air on more than 400 stations. He and his wife have two children and several grandchildren.

Dr. Shannon Warden is an assistant teaching professor at Wake Forest University where she teaches in the graduate counseling program. She is also the director of counseling and director of women’s ministries at Triad Baptist Church in Kernersville, NC. As a professional counselor, Shannon has counseled children, families, young adults, women, and couples since 1998 and has served as an assistant to Dr. Gary Chapman since 2003. She and her husband have three children.

Other Books By Gary Chapman



A Teen's Guide to the 5 Love Languages - A Review from Starts At EightCurriculum Review: Discovering the 5 Love Languages At School from Starts At EightGrowing Up Social - Kids & Screen Time from Starts At Eight