You? Consequences? Fear? Rewards?
I have to admit, that answer is probably different for all of our children. We have used and seen a little of all of those motivators. Because our children range from 21 years old down to 7, our parenting has changed though the years. Let's face it, so have we! We expected order and obedience from our oldest three at early ages. We got it. We taught parenting classes and sweetly told everyone how easy it was to raise obedient children. It was for us. Then.
But then our fourth child entered our life in a whirlwind and parenting has not been the same.
Peace turned to chaos.
Obedience to struggles.
And confidence to doubt! OURS, not his!
Oh, he is loved fiercely! But, oh, is he a challenge. Daily. Sometimes hourly. And honestly, sometimes the joy of parenting gets lost in the battles we face.
But God never promised easy. He just promised Him. And with His help, and now the valuable insight and coaching of Dr, Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller RN, co authors of Motivate Your Child Action Plan, we feel like we are on a better path headed towards success.
It may be a slow and winding path, but I know it is one worth the travel.
I had the privilege of reading and reviewing Motivate Your Child back in January. It was then that I fell in love with and was sold on the concept of Heart Parenting. This involves putting rewards and consequences and such on the back burner and reaching the heart of the child. The real place that motivates your child and their behavior. Then and only then can and will your child be able to regulate and choose to change their own behavior.
Yes, my son will become obedient while in the direct line of consequences, but then what? Or what if I am not there to be that regulating factor?
The bottom line is that our children, and well as us all quite frankly, need to be able to regulate our own behavior based on our conscious and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We must look in our heart, choose what we know to be right, and then do that right thing. We must teach our children to be internally motivated. Easier said than done for some of us, but make no mistake, teaching character is important!
Motivate Your Child Action Plan takes those basic concepts and more and fleshes them out in a 12 chapter step by step guide. Each chapter builds on the previous one to help you, the parent, identify the problems you feel your child needs to work on, match them with a positive character trait that will help you move forward and then come up with a specific and measurable plan to do so.
- Chapter 1- Change in Forty Days
- Chapter 2- Where Do You Want Me To Go?
- Chapter 3- The Map To Get There
- Chapter 4- Working Together
- Chapter 5- A Place For Firmness
- Chapter 6- Visioning Moves You Forward
- Chapter 7- Teaching Shows The Way
- Chapter 8- Spiritual Energy Provides Strength
- Chapter 9- Coaching Sets Attitude
- chapter 10- Building Motivation From Within
- Chapter 11- Growing Together
- Chapter 12- Good Theology Makes it Work
At the end of each chapter is a section call Have a Meeting with Your Child, that encourages you to have a meeting with your child about where you are in the plan. It involves a lot of positive reinforcement and allows your child to know that you are a team working together to help them move forward. Instead of focusing on all of the negatives, you will be focusing on solution and long term goals. There is then a place for you to write down thoughts and ideas you may have.
I have to tell you, after reading Motivate Your Child Action Plan I was initially discouraged. At the very beginning you are asked to write out specific behaviors and incidences that you identify as a problem in your child's behavior. Guys, my list went on for pages. Seriously, it sent me to bed that night in tears and overwhelmed. But one of the things that Dr Turansky and Joanne repeatedly emphasize is prayer and asking the Lord to help you and your child. So I went to bed praying that night for clarity and a renewed spirit.
I would like to say that it has been clear sailing since, but that would not be reality. What is reality however is that I am far less overwhelmed and much more determined to make this work. I KNOW I believe in the concepts. I just know we have a lot of work to do. That is one of the reasons I love that this book takes the system and breaks it into small steps you can work on a little at a time. Then once you get that step done, you add a little more. Think of it as layering of sorts. Slowly, we are working our way through this plan. Each day we discuss the character traits we are working on and why it is important for us to work on them. Each day we look for reasons to celebrate our progress. And each day God reveals a little glimmer of hope to hold on to!
The other thing I love is that in the front of this book you will find a link to audio downloads that correspond to each chapter. I needed these! While I loved the book and am now re reading every chapter, I also love that I can listen to the authors. There is just something about hearing their own voices and additional comments that have encouraged me to stay in the rink and keep fighting.
If you too see areas of weakness in your child's behavior or character and would like concrete methods to use to work on those ares, Motivate Your Child Action Plan is a great book to help you and one I highly recommend! Did I mention HIGHLY? Plus, until the end of the month it is on sale!
Let me also take a minute to encourage you to check out The National Center for Biblical Parenting Website. I have found, and ordered, more than a few additional resources that I am eager to get started using. You will find VBS curriculum, parenting books and more. There are some great resources on anger, one of the issues we are dealing with, as well as information on how you can get one on one coaching via phone from Dr. Turansky.
There is also still time to enter the drawing to win a copy of Motivate Your Child and Motivate Your Child Action plan, as well as an iPod Touch and many other cool prizes, by going to this link! Quick, it ends tonight and the winner will be announced at the FB party tomorrow night! Don't forget to RSVP!
You can order Motivate Your Child Action Plan at a discounted price using the discount code below!