I love books! I am always reading something, or at least trying to. I must admit, parenting books have been a popular addition to my reading list lately. And I’m so excited to share my latest read, Motivate Your Child by Dr. John Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN.
Let me start by saying I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to read Motivate Your Child, What a truly timely and relevant book for our family.
When I was first afforded the opportunity to review Motivate Your Child to review I was excited because I was hopeful it would be a good book for my husband and I. Like most parents, I’m pretty sure, we struggle with motivating our children to complete chores and be obedient without being nagged. We struggle with giving them responsibilities and expecting them to contribute without incessant reminders.
We had been through all the traditional reward charts and basic bribery methods. And, quite frankly, we were guilty of passively rewarding everything with frequent statement like “clean your room if you want to play with your friend or “help with the dishes if you want movie time.” We did this without even realizing we were establishing a pattern of behavior that resulted in the kids expecting something for every task completed. Yikes! What had we done?
Reading Motivate Your Child really was an eye-opener. It showed me the pattern of behavior we had established. However, it also showed me we were not alone in our journey and there was another way. A way to motivate our children without constant reminders, threats, and nagging.
Whatever you do, work it with your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. –Colossians 3:23
Parenting the heart
Motivate Your Child does a great job at explaining what it means to parent the heart of your child. When working on your child’s heart, you are instilling in them self-motivation by working on their heart and turning them to God. It was such a simple reminder but so true.
The book also does an amazing job at explaining the conscience, thinking on various levels, and how children think but not on all the levels to help them be the most obedient. It was very interesting and I was shocked how often I was nodding, thing “yep, been there.”
I was encouraged that we have been trying to do some of the things mentioned in the book to positively train the heart of our children. For instance, we always discuss when a child is given a “time out,” asking why they are in time out, if they understand, and what they need to do to right the wrong. We don’t use the “5 minutes for a 5 year old” time out method but a “come back when you can calmly discuss what happened” method. This is a method encouraged in Motivate Your Child.
Integrity is a big discussion in our house and I was pleased to see the level of emphasis it was given in the book. The Biblical references to integrity as well as advise on how to speak to, teach, and instill the important of integrity was very thoroughly covered.
I really appreciated all the Biblical references. This is a definite help when trying to have family discussions about changing in our parenting approach and trying to drive behaviors back to God in training our children’s hearts.
The book is easy to read and full of excellent, real examples or real family situations that Dr. Turasnsky has seen in his practice. This was really my favorite part. As I mentioned before, it made me realize we are not alone in our journey and that there is most certainly hope for change.
The book ends with an invitation to take the “Family Challenge.” Dr. Turansky challenges us to take the challenge to parent the hearts of our children. To pass our faith in God onto our children and help them grow into mature, faithful, integrity filled adults. He challenges us to build relationships, share Scripture, and practice faith with our children. In doing this, we will arm our children with all they need for a successful life. You want to help them achieve the goal – the goals of moral and spiritual development that will prepare them for life.
Parenting is an awesome responsibility. You love your kids and desperately want them to grow in their walk with the Lord. You want them to love God and serve him with all their hearts. You likely see weaknesses that frustrate you, and even scare you at time, but you look for ways to challenge your kids to move forward. One of the things that can help you do that is to keep your focus on the goal. —Motivate Your Child, Dr. Turansky
Overall I was very pleased with the book. The real examples and the tools Dr. Turansky provides are what every Christian parent will likely find helpful. We have already begun to implement some of the tools that Dr. Turansky suggests in the book and are already seeing results.
I also love that the authors are real about the results. They don’t promise to “fix” your child in 5 days, they don’t promise that there will be no setbacks, and they don’t judge where you are and what you have done until now with your parents style. They give real suggestions, helpful tips, and explain that it will take time to change your current household dynamic and that there will probably be push-back on the change and setbacks along the way. The book doesn’t set you up for immediate failure.
Though we are taking baby steps, beginning first with working on our children’s initiative and integrity with the little things like the morning routine and ownership of their rooms, we know that these practices will result in a carry-over of obedience and confidence that will continue to work on their hearts and build them up to be prepared for everything that life brings them.
Working on our children’s hearts makes sense. I believe we were working as parents on them already; however, just a few small investment into our daily parents styles is already reaping dividends that I feel will be lasting and rooted deep to provide the best case return on our investment.
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to read Motivate Your Child and every little change we have started has already shown us that there is hope for a change in many of the behaviors we are working on. I think Motivate Your Child is an excellent book for any parent and, as a Christian, I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to find this book and begin working on the hearts of these beautiful little blessings that God has entrusted to my husband and I.
If you have the opportunity be sure to read how Motivate Your Child has worked in other Christian families by reading some of the other reviews on their Facebook page. And be sure to visit Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller’s website at the National Center for Biblical Parenting and, if you have the opportunity, be sure to pick up a copy of Motivate Your Child and see the many blessings this book may have for your family.
Be sure to check out the National Center for Biblical Parents on the web: