I was given the amazing opportunity to review the newest book by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN, Motivate Your Child A Christian Parent’s Guide to Raising Kids Who DO What They Need to Do Without Being Told. The two authors are the founders of the National Center for Biblical Parenting and they have authored numerous books.
So What is the Book About?
Parenting experts Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller demonstrate how God’s Word gives us the best way to parent, one that builds strong internal motivation in children. When parents change the way they parent, kids change the way they live. This practical book explores a theology of internal motivation and then gives parents real-life solutions to equip their kids for life.
- how to parent in ways that build internal motivation so kids don’t have to rely on you to get things done.
- the four promptings of the conscience and how to coordinate your parenting to take advantage of them
- ways to energize your spiritual training with fun and creativity
- how to help children respond to mistakes instead of blaming, defending, or justifying.
The book is 268 pages long and divided into two sections. Part one is Moral Development in Children. This section focuses on internal motivation and parenting the conscience. Part two is Spiritual Development in Children. The second section focuses on God’s plan, family time, and connecting kids to the Bible. Throughout the book practical advice is given and experiences from different families are shared. The book is easy to read and scriptures are all throughout the book to back up the advice that is given. It is a simple read and once I started I didn’t want to put it down.
What did I Think?
This has been an amazing book, but before I talk about the book, I want to talk about what occurred right before I applied to review it.
The name of the book alone caught my eye. In fact, when I first read about the opportunity to review the book I had just yelled at AJ for not doing what she was told for the hundredth time that day. I actually laughed as I scrolled through Facebook and the picture of the book came on my news feed. I was sitting with a few family members and I said, “I can’t even get her to do what she needs to do when I tell her, let alone without being told!” I stated that I wasn’t even going to apply because a book couldn’t help. But, every single day the same picture kept coming up in my news feed. It was the first thing I saw when I turned my computer on. It seemed like the more trouble AJ was giving me with “forgetting” to do her chores, the more the picture popped up. Finally, on the last day, I decided that it must be a sign and I filled out the application half heartedly. I didn’t expect to get picked and then the next thing I knew I had an email stating that I was picked to review the book. Secretly, it was a book I just didn’t want to read. How could a book help my situation when we a not your normal family?
I started reading and right away something changed. I read the first chapter and agreed with everything that was said. The first chapter started out with a family who was frustrated every morning trying to get their kids out the door. Sound familiar? It did to me. Mornings are a HUGE hassle. AJ takes forever. I have to tell her to get up a few times and then no matter how many times I tell her to take a quick shower she is in there forever. As I read on and saw the few things that the parents did that made their mornings smoother, I was hooked. They didn’t do anything amazing, but simple switches led to a better morning for them.
I never write in books, I like to donate them after I am finished. That is not going to happen with this book, by the second chapter I was underlining things, circling things, and even writing notes in the margins about things I wanted to try.
As I continued to read a few amazing quotes really stuck out to me:
- What children often need is more parenting, not more space – pg 31
- As children learn obedience, they’re learning to do what’s right. As children learn honor, they’re learning to think about others. pg 87
- Bad attitudes, whining and complaining are honor issues. pg 88
- One of the signs of maturity is when you do the right thing even when the desire isn’t there. pg 98
There are so many more quotes, Bible verses, and pieces of advice that really touched me, but I can’t list them all.
With each chapter I read I learned so many things, and I started to put a few techniques into place. Now, AJ didn’t turn into a saint, and she is not the perfect child, but I have seen some improvements both in her attitude and the way I am parenting. I notice her chores getting done more often without me telling her and that is a big change. One night she even did the dishes, put the food away, and wiped off all of the counters (not her job) just to help me out because she knew I was hurting.
There are many other changes that I want to make and how I discipline is one of them. Today she got in trouble and instead of not being able to use electronics for a set amount of time, I told her she wouldn’t be able to use them until she could show me that she could follow the rules. We have a lot of work ahead of us and it is going to be a long road. This book has given me a lot of tools and techniques to get AJ where she needs to be.
Overall it is an amazing book. It is not going to change your kids overnight, but it will provide you with the tools to parent to the heart, work on their conscience, and help your family become closer to God. I would recommend this book to any christian parent. This is one book that I will be keeping and utilizing when I am having a hard time dealing with a pre-teen full of hormones.