Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Parenting is Heart Work - Book Review

The National Center for Biblical Parenting is all about encouraging and equipping parents to raise their children with sound biblical principles.  By shaping and training the heart rather than just changing behaviors, this group allows parents to mold their children and point them to the cross.

One of the latest projects for The National Center for Biblical Parenting (NCBP) is the Parent Training Center Initiative. By teaming up with The National Center for Biblical Parenting, churches across the country can commit to becoming Parent Training Centers, coming alongside parents to support them and provide biblical resources for them. Once a church has committed to becoming a Training Center several things will happen.

First, the church must learn and agree with the theology behind the program.  Next, they will identify key leaders who will become parent resource people.  Those leaders will establish communication with and identify interested parents within their church and community. The NCBP will come alongside the church providing resources, email tips, mentoring, online support, and live seminars.  The cost to become a Parent Training Center is $200.00 for the first year and $100.00 each additional year, with many resources included!

One of the resources used by NCBP and Parent Training Centers is the book Parenting is Heart Work and their newest addition, Parenting is Heart Work Training Manual.  Just like the other books I have had the privilege of reading and using in our own family, Parenting is Heart Work is changing the way we parent.  Written by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, this book helps you see the need for reaching and changing the heart of your child, not just their behavior.

We have used rewards and consequences for years in our parenting and yes, it often works.  But what we have seen is that as kids get older, that type of discipline is just not as effective anymore.

 "If behavior modification is the focus...determined children learn to get what they want." p.57

It is easy for a child who is standing next to you choose the right behavior when you are there to monitor them or, even more so, when they think they will get something for their right choices. However, the trick is, will they make that same right choice without mom and dad standing by?  Do they have in their heart the right motives it will take to choose right from wrong?  Have they learned to follow the Holy Spirit's leading rather than just the voice of mom and dad?

That is where Parenting is Heart Work can help you!  In 4 parts and broken into 16 chapters, Dr. Turansky and Mrs. Miller will lay the foundations of their book and then teach you many techniques to help change the way you parent.  One of the things I love best about this book are the many examples given of real families who face the same challenges we do.  Oh, how nice to know you are not alone in the parenting trenches!  Paired with Scripture, stories from the Bible will give you confidence and equip you to become a better parent.  It will help you look at not just your child's behavior, but the heart behind those behaviors and allow you to speak truth into their lives.  Each of the four sections begins begins with a story from the Bible and each chapter ends with a prayer to help you focus on the work at hand!

Sections include-
Understanding the Heart
Connecting With Your Child's Heart
Working Out Heart Change
Touching Your Child's Heart

Personally, I have gathered a lot of new information from this book and am slowly incorporating it into how I deal with our children, especially our youngest.  One of my favorite concepts is that of a "break," rather than a time out.  It is a time of reflection rather than of punishment.  By telling my son "you need to take a break and change your heart and then come back to me when you are ready" we have had a positive change in the way we communicate. It also gives us both a time to cool off and regroup.  Once he chooses to return from his break we discuss what he did wrong, why it was wrong, and what he can do differently the next time.  I had some resistance as we began this new interaction, but he is slowly getting the message that I mean business and starting to better be able to process and take responsibility for his own actions.  We end with a "go ahead and try again" and a hug which I think makes him feel empowered, something that is important for his strong will personality.

I think Dr. Turansky and Mrs. Miller say it perfectly-

"There's much at stake in raising children.  When we take a heart approach to parenting, we partner with God in raising a future generation." p.15

I can't think of a better partner, can you?


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting. I love hearing from you!