Book Review: Motivate Your Child

1459765_836337089761828_3900440202352696878_n (1)This month I have had my nose buried deep in a fantastic new book from Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller.  I’ve already shared with you some of my thoughts about it here and other places.  It’s just the right book to come along at just the right time. It is called Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent’s Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told.

If it were up to me every single family would be presented with three things at the birth of their first child… a Bible, The Christian Parenting handbook also by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, and THIS book. These books have helped my family just that much.

As parents we spend an incredible amount of our energy getting our children to do what needs to be done and trying to guide them towards become self-motivated, moral, and Godly people. Except learning to how, as a parent, to do this with our children isn’t something we can learn from a textbook.  It is something we learn from the Word of God – the Bible.

This book addresses basic every day life and teaches us how to attach our children’s hearts to God’s Word.  In the pages is help with our days.  Like the morning routine just to get the day started and perhaps out the door straight through to the bedtime routine to end the day.  In between falls homework, chores, preperations for getting to appointments and extra-curricular activities. If you homeschool like we do than there is all of that learning and schoolwork that we have to make sure happens too.  It is never ending.

This book teaches us how to instill great character and a fine ethic in our children along the way.  It’s our responsibility to teach our children to kind, generous, and helpful among other things not because we’ve told them to be but because their internal conscience motivates them.

Anyone else exhausted just by thinking about it we are trying to do as parents? I sure am.  Sometimes it can be maddening can’t it?  We find ourselves having to tell our children repeatedly, daily, 100 times a day what it is they are supposed to do.  My children know that to get to karate for example (something we do 2-3 times a week and have done for 5 years) that they have to have their uniform, bag, shoes, coat, staff etc. etc.  They know what time we leave yet somehow I am always hollering up the stairs to their rooms… don’t forget your bag!  Where is your staff?  We leave at 5:00 why aren’t you in your uniform yet (despite having prompted them forever ago to start getting ready)!  Then someone can’t find something and we are all in a tizzy. Despite all of my promises and vows not to yell the loud Momma voice rears it’s ugly head. By the time I take my seat in the drivers seat I’m ready to rip my hair out sometimes.


I’m going to go out on a limb and guess I’m not the only Mom in the world with kiddos that do this sort of thing.  So how can we stop the madness?  This is where Motivate Your Child comes into play. It teaches us parents how to end the nagging and repair relationships that might be suffering because of it.  We are reminded that parenting is really a long process where we are preparing our children for life by providing them with the tools they need to be self-motivated and people of Godly character.

This book isn’t just full of theory and discussion, it is brimming with real life examples that leave you nodding your head shouting inside… THAT HAPPENS TO US TOO! Followed by not only practical and doable tips and techniques to make real changes AND references to the Bible to remind us why we are teaching and guiding our children.  If you are a family that strives to use God’s word when making parenting decisions and you are interested in what Godly Christian family and parenting experts have learned in their research and their own study of the Bible than this book is absolutely for you.  There is so much to learn about Biblical parenting just by reading all about how Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller teach and guide real families in their ministry.

This quote from the book has lingered with me for a long time…

A parent’s words are important in a child’s life. They linger in the heart and become food for the conscience.

How many times as you’ve grown into an adult have you heard the often repeated phrases your parents used?  My mother had this habit of telling … “NOW!”  I can hear her voice with that word clear as a bell.  In fact when I say it to my own children I can flash right back to being  a kid myself!  Or… “Just do your best! Your best is good enough.”  She said that to me so often that to this day every time I tackle anything difficult I can hear her saying that to me in my mind.

It is true.  The things we tend to say to our children they will carry with them forever.  Our voices will turn into their internal voices and guide long after we are no longer around to help through their days.  I want to use this to my advantage.  If I use positive, encouraging, and motivating words now God willing when they are adults they’ll continue to say those things to themselves and make wise choices.

My favorite example from the books is…. “Brother’s Love Each Other.”  This is near the beginning.  I have four children and it is my prayer that they always remain close to another.  That they are steadfast friends that love on one another in the hard times, celebrate together in the good times, and help each other whenever possible.  I know friends who don’t get along with their siblings at all.  This is tragic in my opinion.  So, as the book suggests, whenever I catch them fighting I now say… Brothers and Sisters love each other so let’s make this right.  And when I see them loving each other and getting along I say… See brothers and sisters love each other and you guys are doing a great job with that right now.  My prayer is when they are all grown and some conflict comes up they’ll remember that brothers and sisters love each other and they’ll do what they have to to make it right.

Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller spend a good deal of time discussing how the conscience develops and they offer practicle ways to positively coach your children towards using it in a positive way.  They dive into handling correction and they teach parents how to use correction as a positive opportunity for guidance. There are even fabulous chapters on spirtual development in children and family fun in connecting with scripture.

There are too many worthwhile things to list. It is simply a goldmine. I can’t fit everything in this space.  This is the kind of book you’ll want to reread as you gain more insights with each pass through and some things that seem to not to pertain to your family in the moment will likely come up at a later time.

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