Saturday, April 18, 2015

BookLook Review: Motivate Your Child written by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller

I am so glad that the BookLook Bloggers Program offered me the book titled, Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need To Do Without Being Told to review. This 288-page paperback parenting book was written by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller. It was published by Thomas Nelson. It explores tools for teaching your children about their internal voice and motivation. 

As a parent, I often wish that my child came with an instruction manual - something to guide me as I train her to be a daughter of God. But, it doesn't work that way! We don't have any major behavior issues at this time, but I've been using external motivators lately more than I probably should. My daughter used to do things because of her internal drive, but I've been hearing myself remind her quite often about completing her chores and attending to other daily expectations. I'm glad that I had the chance to read this book, because he gave me the opportunity to adjust my ways and gave me the tools needed to train my daughter using a heart-based approach. I have a strong desire for Alyssa to be driven by her conscience and for her to develop an internal motivation to do what's right without constant prompting.

Author Biographies
Dr. Scott Turansky - has been a pastor and missionary for more than 33 years. In addition to pastoring full time, he also conducts parenting seminars on Saturdays ( He is the cofounder of the National Center for Biblical Parenting ( Turansky is also an author of several books and has co-authored four books.

Joanne Milleris a pediatric nurse with 26 years of experience. Miller is the the cofounder of the National Center for Biblical Parenting. She is also the coauthor of seven parenting books.

Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN, teach parents how to help children form the internal strength they'll need every day as they grow older. Parents have the greatest influence on their children's character. Mom or Dad's words, choices, actions, and reactions mold a child's view of almost everything. It can be a terrifying thought. But there is hope. 

Book Summary (Taken from the Website)
Most parenting approaches end up encouraging children to ask the wrong questions about life: What’s in it for me? Are you going to pay me for that? What’s the minimum I need to do to get by?
But God’s Word gives us a better 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.
Open the book’s pages to learn . . . 
  • How to parent in ways that build internal motivation so that 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 greatest gift you can give your child is strong moral and spiritual development—this book shows you how! Every chapter includes practical examples of families applying the Bible to their current issues.
Book Description
Motivate Your Child is a straightforward guide that emphasizes the idea of the healthy "conscience" and how it should guide your child's behavior down the right path. It gives you practical tools based on Scripture to compassionately teach your children how their actions should be based on integrity and honesty. It teaches them to take initiative to do what's right both inside and outside the home. The book is chocked full of advice from real families and experts applying God's Word to their situations and lives. Would you like to get your children to do what they need to do without constant nagging or being told repeatedly? 

The book is divided into two main sections which address both moral development and spiritual development.

Part 1 covers the following moral development topics:
  • Internal Verses External Motivation
  • Parenting Requires Strategy
  • What is the Conscience? 
  • Helping Kids Choose to Do What's Right
  • When Kids Make Mistakes
  • Learning to Value Integrity
  • Compassion: Thinking Beyond Oneself
  • Kids Taking Initiative
  • What About Consequences?
  • Putting the Conscience to Work Outside the Home
Part 2 addresses the following spiritual development topics:
  • God's Plan
  • Family Time Once a Week
  • Relationship is Foundational
  • Scripture + Creativity=Impact
  • Practicing Faith Teaches That It's Real
  • Prepare for Resistance
  • Leading a Child to Christ
  • Children of the Holy Spirit
  • Connecting Children to the Bible
  • Going It Solo
  • Will You Take the Family Challenge
My Thoughts
Motivate Your Child is an interesting read that reminded me that parent-based training doesn't occur overnight. It'll take time and patience to reap the results I am so desperately searching for at times. It also reminded me that I need to role model appropriate behaviors and attitudes. 

After reading this book, I've discovered that I want my relationship with my daughter to be even stronger. I really don't want to look back in life thinking she only behaved because she doesn't want to face the consequences. I want her to have Godly character and allow her conscience to lead her down the righteous path with regards to her obedience, attitude, and behavior. Not to mention, I've realized that my current parenting strategies aren't working the way they used to work. I was inspired to reevaluate how I approach discipline and make sure that my words are encouraging and uplifting not demanding and commanding. I plan to have a family meeting with my daughter where we discuss the rules, clearly lay out our expectations, and plan our goals for the future.

The "Going It Solo" chapter was relevant to my situation and filled my heart with hope. It's difficult to raise my daughter while passing on my faith when the other parent isn't always on the same page and there's a lack of support with regards to my efforts. My daughter's father is a believer but after our recent divorce it seems to be even more difficult for us to work together in order to teach Godly values. Things changed dramatically even though I was under the impression we had the same goals and beliefs. I will stand strong focusing on my personal, spiritual influence over my daughter and I pray that she'll continue to choose a Godly value system based on the Bible. The author states that, "God works through our weaknesses. He often uses limitations and challenges to fulfill his vision." This statement helped me realize God has a bigger and better plan for our life and how important it is that we trust in Him. I do wish that this chapter contained more advise and suggestions for single parents.

Chapter 5 titled, "When Kids Make Mistakes," discusses the difference between guilt and shame. The chapter also emphasizes forgiveness of sins and wrongdoings while providing parents with scripture help related to the topic. This chapter has great content that will help any parent value correction by giving children an understanding of God's purpose for correction and how they can learn from it to increase their quality of life. The parent is told to have margins in a day for corrections and to develop a plan for correcting behaviors, because these positive, non-reactive conversations are most important and lead to heart changes. The author provides the parent with a memory card game idea that may help the family work on the habit of forgiveness. The book also covers how to discipline with a positive conclusion which consists of three questions and a statement.

I benefited from reading many of the chapters in this book, but I can't tell you about all of my experiences because my review would be too long. The practical ideas found within the book's pages can be immediately implemented into your life. The authors captured my attention with Biblical truths and informative content. I will most likely need to reread this book in the near future to absorb all the practical advice and wisdom scattered throughout the book. I'm not one to mark up the pages, but I sure have a lot of post-it notes peeking out the sides. Skimming my notes will remind me of my action plan and family goals.

Faith Gateway Store $16.99
Amazon $13.48

Note: All prices are subject to change without notice. 

This is one of the best self-help parenting books I've read so far this year! I highly recommend Motivate Your Child to all Christian parents wanting practical ways to instill and teach their child about internal motivation. I believe it is an absolute must read for EVERY parent and grandparent. The Biblical knowledge packed into this book will profoundly impact and deepen the relationship your family has with each other and God.

I received a complimentary, free copy of this book from the publisher as part of the BookLook Blogger Review Team Program in exchange for an honest review on my blog. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

I review for BookLook Bloggers

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