Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What Motivates Your Child?- Book Review

Have you noticed that some stages of parenting are easier than others?  I mean, I know that they all have their challenges, but really, I have found that some stages are just harder for me than others.   Like the one I am in now.  You know - the "yes, I want to do that, no, I do not want to do that, you are not nice, I am running away tomorrow, I do not like you, I am not listening to you, no, the sky is not blue, it is red and green polka dot" stage.  Anyone else there?

OK, it may not be that bad everyday, but we are getting close.  Add to that a strong-willed, spicy, adopted child with a Latino personality whose dad is currently deployed, and let's just say I am being challenged.  A lot.  And I feel like I am at a breaking point.  His AND mine!

So, when the opportunity arose to be a part of the book launch team for Motivate Your Child, A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told, I may just have begged to be a part of it.  Ok, I begged. Thank you National Center for Biblical Parenting!

Written by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, Motivate Your Child is 254 pages of parenting wisdom.  Based on scriptural doctrine and years of experience between the authors, it focuses on the concept of internal motivation.  Part 1 discusses the Moral Development in Children and Part 2 discusses Spiritual Development in Children.  21 chapters are packed with discussions, ideas, and sound advice.

What motivates my child?  Right now, I am pretty sure it is NOT internally generated.  Both in the younger child and olders alike at times.  Everyone is good at doing what they are asked to do.  Well, most everyone.  But Dr. Turansky and Mrs. Miller contend that a parent's objective should be to teach a child to recognize needs on their own and be internally motivated to react. Not to simply obey when told or asked.  Mom and dad will not always be around to tell them what to do, when to do it, or how to do it.  They need to be able to get to those things on their own eventually.

This is where the Holy Spirit, scripture, a good plan, and even a guilty conscious come into play. Yes, even a guilty conscious is a good thing sometimes.

One of the things I love about Motivate Your Child is that it is full of real life examples and the recommended solution.  Not just a "you should do this" solution, but a very specific "this is how you can word it" solution.  Complete with Biblical examples.  I am a detail person.  This book gives the details I need.

I am willing to bet you will like the details as well.

Let me give you an example.  One of the things the authors discuss is what to do after a child has done something wrong.  Trust me, I perked up my ears quickly because I have one that likes to throw out a quick "I am sorry, do you forgive me?" and then think all is well with the world.  Instead, the authors recommend working through the following with your child after an offense-

  -Confession - what did I do wrong?
  -Getting to the heart - why was that wrong?
  -Developing a plan for next time - what am I going to do differently next time?

Consider this-

"Repentance isn't just stopping something.  It's a 180-degree turn, choosing to do something right instead." -page 69

YES!  That is what I have been trying to say, but not as well.  I want my child to not only know what he or she did wrong and not do it again, but why they should not do it again!  And how to not do it again.

Have we perfected it?  Not by a long shot.  Remember, strong-willed, yada, yada, yada.

But we are working on it.

"When a child acts out and does the wrong thing, it's because emotions or desires become stronger than convictions and character.  All these things are in the heart.  Much of the work of parenting is identifying what heart quality needs development and then practicing it to increase internal strength." -page 56

So that's where we land right now.  Heart parenting.  A whole lot of practicing, but at least I feel like things are not hopeless.  I feel better equipped.

And I hope that you, too, will feel better equipped as a parent after reading Motivating Your Child! Yesterday was the official release day and already the book is leaping to the top of the charts. For good reason!  If you order by the end of the month you can still take advantage of the FREE resources being offered.  You can also enter our amazing team giveaway for your chance to win a Go Pro camera and more.  Today is the last day, so don't wait on that one!

Whether you are a new parent just starting out or one with teens AND toddlers in tow, Motivate Your Child is a book you need on your shelf.  I highly recommend it!


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