Book Reviews

Book Review: Are My Kids On Track?

By Heather Westfall

How can you raise courageous, compassionate, resilient, and empathetic kids?

Are My Kids On Track: The 12 Emotional, Social and Spiritual Milestones Your Child Needs to Reach by Sissy Goff, David Thomas, and Melissa Trevathan was a book that I had picked up after stumbling onto Daystar Counseling Ministries social media account. I appreciated their posts and blogs, finding them useful and timely. You can find them at As an avid reader, I have read an abundance of parenting books. I am generally able to pull a few nuggets I find useful out of most books but I have never found a book that I would recommend to everyone that I knew. Are My Kids on Track is now that book.

The book is divided into three major sections. Within each section there are four topics that are addressed. The topics are addressed separately between boys and girls. The authors make generalizations here, based on their years of counseling children, describing building blocks and stumbling blocks girls and boys face. The Lord has blessed me with kids that do not always fit within stereotypical gender personalities. There were often times, while I was reading, where suggestions for boys would actually work best for one of my girls and vice versa. I found all of the tips and suggestions useful so I applied it to which kid it would best fit, regardless of gender.

The first section of the book is Emotional Milestones. This section addresses emotional vocabulary, perspective, empathy, and resourcefulness. I wrote all over the chapters in this section. I found myself wishing this book had been out while I was raising my little ones. Teaching the littles to have these emotional milestones, I believe, would enable both child and parent to navigate the teen years a little easier. It’s not too late, by any means, but I would have found this section especially useful when the kids were young. The second section is Social Milestones. It addresses issues such as awareness, reciprocity, ownership, and boundaries. The final section is on Spiritual Milestones. This section speaks on identity, mercy, meaning and foundation. At the end of each chapter there are practical suggestions that parents and caregivers can use. Honestly, I was a little surprised at how useful those suggestions were. Too often I read parenting books where the suggestions are not practical at all.

I would recommend Are My Kids on Track to parents with little ones, elementary age, and teens. It is a book that will speak to you no matter what stage your children are in. I also believe there is value in mentors, grandparents and teachers reading this book. Please seek me out if you want to borrow my copy. I am happy to loan it out. You can also find it on Amazon for about $15. It is worth the investment and I think you will refer back to it often as the children grow.