We've all had them as parents, haven't we? Those moments when frustration, hopelessness and sundry other less-than-appealing emotions infiltrate our homes.
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It was just such a series of moments that I had been experiencing when I was offered the the opportunity to review Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told. Needless to say the subtitle of the book caught my attention.
Children doing what they need to do without being told to do so. That would be awesome, I thought. But is it even possible?
(Yes, I was in quite a sour place!)
We sure could use some help with motivation around here...
Shortly thereafter, I began reading Motivate Your Child with a a highlighter in hand and prayer in my heart:
Lord, please help me hear what you want me to hear and act upon what I most need to act upon right now in order to change my heart and that of my children's.
And, so it is that I sit here several weeks later paging through a book now decorated with copious yellow lines and margin notes while my heart brims with gratitude:
Lord, thank you for this day. Parenting is not for the faint-hearted. Challenges abound. But, hope does, too. Today was so ideal. It nourished me, much like the wisdom of your Word and the words of Motivate Your Child have been doing.
What Makes Motivate Your Child Different
Go to the parenting section of any library or book store and you'll find armloads of books that pretty much say the same thing in different ways, almost seeming to treat the "symptoms" of challenges with children instead of the "prevention" and "cure" .
Open Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told and discover a different angle. Recognize a truth: You're a parent for the long haul and true change can take time. That said, if you change the way you parent now, you can change the way your children live.
Through applying the Bible to current issues in your parenting journey which involve your children's moral and spiritual development, you can see profound short- and long-term effects. Motivate Your Child offers you both theology and practical strategies and solutions for doing so.
Written by Dr. Scott Turanksy and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN, Motivate Your Child aims to get to the heart of parenting: the heart of your child. In doing so, it discusses how just because something comes from the heart that something is not necessarily good. Rather, a strong conscience and the working of the Holy Spirit can keep the heart going in the right direction.
The tips, ideas and strategies in Motivate Your Child can help you discover:
- strategies to build strong conscience to strengthen internal motivation
- practical, down-to-earth ways to change kids' hearts, habits and behaviors
- ways to get self-focused kids to think about others
- tips for using consequences to change hearts (as well as behaviors)
- heart-based approaches for developing responsibility and initiative
- ways to energize spiritual training, making it a regular family event
- suggestions for helping children respond to mistakes instead of defending, blaming and justifying
Moreover, Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told offers hope!
Hope AND practicality. Now, that's what I am talking about...
Strategies in Action: Happy Endings and New Beginnings
Let me offer an example.
When I was reading in Motivate Your Child the other day, words about obedience and honor struck me:
"As children learn obedience, they're learning to do what's right. As children learn honor, they're learning to think about others." ~ p. 87
"We define honor in simple terms for children... honor is treating people as special, doing more than what's expected, and having a good attitude." ~ p. 88
"Honor builds the conscience because it increases the internal sense of obligation to treat others kindly." ~ p. 90
I realized that I've been focusing so much energy on obedience and responsibility lately, that I have been neglecting to weave in honor. I decided I needed to begin consciously honoring my children, my husband and others a bit more and, also, helping my children to honor others, too. I also recognized that the actual word "honor" needs to come into play more in my home.
Well, lo, tonight, it did!
My heart was warmed when my daughter approached me, beaming, with a toy computer in hand. She said she had a message for me:
Her brother had sent me "mail" saying he loves me and she was delighted to deliver his message. I was equally delighted (and surprised!) to receive it.
"Thank you," I commented. "What an honor. You were so kind to be a messenger of such sweet words, Nina. And, wow, Luke, it means a lot to Mom to read this message. You've honored me by taking time to write me like that. Thank you."
And so began a deluge of similar notes written on white boards and paper.
In fact, my children bubbled with excitement as they shared their love and gratitude through simple "gifts" that honored me. Whereupon, I took advantage of verbalizing how honored I felt and, subsequently, my son asked what I meant. That opened up an informal chat during which I explained that he and his siblings were treating me so special, with such great attitudes and in a way I did not expect. They were honoring me just as the Bible tells them to do.
Yep. It was one of those awesome moments when the Spirit was moving us all in the right direction! It was also one that evidenced for me how growth continues in my children's hearts and my own.
I pray the same happens for you and your children and encourage you to read Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told as a catalyst for such growth. If you're anything like me, you'll find yourself picking up a highlighter as you nod with affirmation at some times and "ah has" at other times.
Pre-Order and Get a Helpful Bonus Package!
If you order a copy of Motivate Your Child today (January 30), you an still take advantage of the awesome offer to receive $150 in Biblical parenting resources FREE from The National Center for Biblical Parenting.
To get this helpful FREE package, with video, audio and print items, pre-Order Motivate Your Child from any retailer and then email the receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do so through January 31, 2015, the NCBP will send you a link and a special code to access these downloadable products.
So, pre-order now at Amazon or from the National Center of Biblical Parenting!
A Note for Fellow Catholics
As might be expected from a Christian book, Motivate Your Child contains strong Scriptural references, passionate promptings to listen to the Spirit and an unabashed emphasis on leading children to Christ. It also discusses confession and communion. However, it does so without touching upon the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.
Although I would feel remiss not mentioning that some details within Motivate Your Child are not fully in union with Catholic understanding, I can also attest that there is much that is true and right within the book. In fact, I was astounded with how many times what I was reading in the pages of the book dovetailed with Daily Mass Readings and Sunday homilies offered by local pastors.
The nexus of the book, readings and homilies emphasized for me how Catholics and other Christians are all one faith family and how it is vital that we look to the Word and the Spirit to strengthen ourselves and our children. Motivate Your Child aims to do just that. It seeks to focus parents and children on what is excellent and praiseworthy and, in my opinion, does so well.