Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told

Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told

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by Scott Turansky, Joanne Miller R.N.

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We need a parenting revolution!

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


We need a parenting revolution!

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.

You’ll 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.

Join the revolution!

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Motivate your child

A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told


Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2015 National Center for Biblical Parenting, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-529-10073-3


Internal Versus External Motivation

External motivation has this way of squelching initiative, decreasing creativity, and robbing one of the satisfaction of accomplishment.

Anna and Dave Correra were frustrated every morning trying to get their three kids out the door. It was as if each one of the children needed a personal assistant to keep moving. These parents often joked that their kids needed assisted living as much as Grandma did in the rest home.

Dad and Mom wished their children would be internally motivated to do what's right instead of relying on parental prompters to get things done. Instead, their kids waited for instructions for each task. "Are you dressed?" "Did you eat breakfast?" "Brush your hair." "Get your backpack by the door." "Where are your shoes?" And on and on it went. Dad and Mom realized that they were functioning as the conscience for each of their kids, prompting them forward each step of the way. It was time for a change.

Dave and Anna didn't like the nagging and were frustrated by the patterns that had developed. Their kids needed to learn a better way. In a moment we'll tell you what they did, but first some background to understand their new methodology.

Developing the Conscience

The study of moral development in children doesn't come from a psychology textbook. It comes from the Bible. In order to maximize parenting, it's important to view children from a biblical perspective and understand how they're designed. The purpose of the conscience is to reveal to every person that God exists and that there is a right and a wrong.

In subsequent chapters we'll share with you practical ways to use the conscience in your parent training to build internal motivation. In chapter 4, we'll show you how you can use conscience training to increase responsibility in a child of any age. In chapter 5, you'll learn how to help kids take responsibility for offenses instead of blaming them on others. In chapter 7, you'll learn how to use the conscience to help kids overcome selfish tendencies and consider others. A study of the conscience arms parents with a whole new toolbox for parent training. But before we get to some of the tools, let's continue with some more theology so you can embed your parental activity into your faith.

It's fair to say that God placed the conscience inside a person to provide an internal motivation to find God and give one's heart to him. The conscience is on a mission, and only when it finds salvation through Jesus Christ is it satisfied. After salvation, though, what use is the conscience? Is that the end of its purpose? Not according to the Bible. Paul had been a believer for many years before he made this statement in Acts 24:16: "I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man." Paul knew the value of a clear conscience and understood that work was required to keep it that way.

Parenting in a way that develops the conscience does several things. First, it helps kids know there's a right and a wrong. Not only that, it teaches them how to choose and take a stand for what's right and to wisely deal with wrongs. The conscience values integrity, so it helps children when they're tempted to be dishonest. And the conscience motivates children to think of others, and not just themselves.

The development of the conscience helps children live on two levels of thinking at the same time. Life isn't only about playing with a toy, eating food, or taking care of oneself. When teaching responsibility, every activity has a second dimension. Children learn to watch the clock, monitor their own fairness, and think about how their current action affects others. Unfortunately, some children just live on level one, thinking about the task at hand, and then rely too heavily on their parents to manage level two. Parents are continually living with level two thinking and actually become the conscience for their kids. They tell them what time it is, make sure they have their homework in their backpacks, and are quick to point out when meanness is present.

Children need to develop level two thinking in their own lives, and that can happen when parents train their children to think about more than the task at hand. Level two thinking is enhanced by the work of the conscience. Kids need to always be asking questions such as, "Am I doing the right thing? Should I be helping others? Am I staying on schedule?" Even young children can begin to learn level two thinking as they consider the needs of others, clean up one activity before starting another, and learn to be grateful instead of making others miserable with their whining or complaining.

A strong conscience gives children an internal motivation to be responsible and to do the right thing even when they don't feel like it. Almost any area of parenting would benefit from a conscience approach. Parents can work with their children in a way that fosters this internal compass to help them for the rest of their lives.

God designed the conscience to keep the heart going in the right direction. The heart provides internal motivation; the conscience prompts the heart so the internal motivation stays on the right path. However, the conscience itself is only a tool. It's not the ultimate standard for right and wrong. Paul made that clear in 1 Corinthians 4:4, which says, "My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me." A child who just got revenge might feel a temporary sense of satisfaction and an appeased conscience. That doesn't justify the actions. A person may say he feels at peace about disobedience to God. That doesn't make it right.

The conscience needs training. For that reason, God leaves another space in the human heart to complete the internal guidance system. The conscience is maximized by the presence of God himself living and residing inside us. First Corinthians 3:16 asks the rhetorical question, "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?" When a person accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit takes up residence inside the heart.

Some people mistakenly believe that the Holy Spirit and the conscience are the same thing. They aren't, and many of the verses in this chapter alone indicate the unique identity of each. The conscience is a human element inside every person. It's standard operating equipment for everyone, young and old. The Holy Spirit is a person who comes to live in the heart at the second birth, which the Bible calls salvation. The Holy Spirit doesn't take the place of the conscience but rather further equips it to do the work it needs to do.

The conscience and the Holy Spirit continually send messages to the heart about what's right and wrong. The conscience is a governor for the heart to keep it on track. It's only a human entity and, as a result, is imperfect. Sometimes its messages are misunderstood, misinterpreted, or simply rejected. As parents train their children, much of their work is clarifying the role and function of the conscience so their children, over time, rely less and less on Mom and Dad, and more and more on the Lord in their lives. The spiritual training described in the second section of this book is essential for healthy conscience formation and contributes greatly to level three thinking.

The third level of thinking asks the questions about God, his work in our world, and the ramifications of current actions from a spiritual perspective. Not many people get to level three thinking, but with training even young children can develop healthy patterns. Level three thinking hears about a tragedy in another country and asks questions about the Christians in that area and how the event might affect them. It's following a prompting to pray for someone when you hear about a difficult experience. As kids learn to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in their lives, they often develop more spiritual sensitivity than many adults. Level three thinking takes advantage of both the conscience and the Holy Spirit to build significant maturity regarding events in life.

The challenge of conscience development is to help children become more sensitive to the inner promptings they experience, and then to have the character to evaluate those promptings and respond appropriately. If you ask a child, "Why do you do what's right?" what is the typical response? Most children will say, "So I don't get in trouble." It's then that you can take that child to Romans 13:5, which says, "It is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment [external motivation] but also because of conscience [internal motivation]." Children can learn to be internally motivated, but it often takes a change in parents for that to happen.

Notice we're back to that same word again: conscience. The Greek word used thirty times in the New Testament for conscience is syneidesis and literally means the "self that knows." Interestingly, there is no Hebrew word for conscience, but the idea is certainly taught in the Old Testament, and we'll explore some of the relevant teaching as it applies to parenting.

Many children rely more on externals than they do on internals. To make the change, they need training. Sometimes kids have learned to rely on externals because of the way they're parented. A biblical study of the conscience opens the door for new, practical ways to train children.

A Common Parenting Mistake That Hinders Conscience Development

Most parents were raised on what's called "behavior modification." Ivan Pavlov discovered this system in the early 1900s as he worked with dogs. He learned that he could change the dogs' behavior and make them salivate by giving them food while ringing a bell. After several days of doing this, he would ring the bell without the food and the dogs would still salivate. Thus he trained the dogs to salivate at the sound of the bell. That may not sound too important in the broad scheme of things, but it had significant ramifications for the training of animals. Trainers have since used rewards to get animals to do all kinds of things.

In the 1920s, a man named John B. Watson started using behavior modification on people. It worked. People changed when given a reward. So it wasn't long before many new behavior modification programs became the norm. Smoking cessation systems, weight loss plans, and all kinds of learning programs used behavior modification to help people change. Soon the techniques were the model for working with children in the classroom, and then eventually in the home. Here's what it looks like in a typical home today.

Sandra is four years old. You can often hear her mom make statements like this: "Sandra, clean up your toys so you can have a snack." "Finish getting dressed so you can go out and play." Mom has learned that if she tells Sandra that she'll get a reward, Sandra is more likely to do the task. The problem is that Mom is appealing to Sandra's selfishness to get things done.

It may be easy to get a preschooler to do what you want by giving some kind of reward, but as she gets older, you have to increase the value of the reward to get the same response. You can motivate a preschooler with a quarter, but you'll need a dollar by the time she's seven, and five dollars by the time she's ten, and you'll be paying her twenty dollars at thirteen. If you continue to use the same system, by the time she's in high school, you'll have to promise her a car to get her to graduate.

The reason is clear. Behavior modification requires that you give a reward that's greater than the desire to do something different. You're simply compensating a child for doing something she'd rather not do using something she wants.

Behavior modification works because it appeals to the selfishness in a child's heart. Unfortunately, kids grow up asking the wrong questions: "What's in it for me?" and "Are you going to pay me for this?"

Some parents label their children as strong-willed because of the battle they often experience when they try to get their children to do even the smallest of things. Parents lament, "Nothing works." They say, "He doesn't care if I take everything away; he won't change." "She doesn't care about the star chart, the trip this weekend, or dessert."

Strong-willed children know what they want and are not easily deterred. Why? Because children who are characterized as "strong-willed" already have high levels of internal motivation and are less affected by external motivations. These kids challenge the typical behavior modification system of rewards and punishment. The suggestions in this book are just the tools necessary to guide these kids in the right direction, opening up new parenting strategies for weary parents.

It's amazing how many of us have been greatly influenced by secular humanism. Parents want their children to be internally motivated, but sometimes their strategies do just the opposite. Some parents go so far as to train their children as if they're animals by inadvertently overemphasizing rewards and punishment. When that happens, parents miss the tremendous opportunities that a heart-based approach to parenting offers. In reality, parents who understand their faith realize that there's another large bucket of parenting tools that is heart-related. They help their children make progress more quickly and see them making lasting changes as well.

Children who are internally motivated tend to do things for different reasons. Instead of getting something out of their actions, they ask the question, "What's the right thing to do?" That kind of motivation comes through a different parenting approach. We call it a heart-based approach to parenting. It teaches internal motivation to children and takes advantage of the work of the conscience and the Holy Spirit.

Working It Out in the Correra Family

Let's go back to the morning routine in the Correra family. Dave and Anna's children are five, seven, and ten. Dave leaves for work at 7:05 a.m., and the older two kids need to be out the door by 7:45. The kids are all awake by 6:30, so they have plenty of time to get everything done, but all three of them either dawdle or get sidetracked. If Mom doesn't stay on top of them, the tension increases during the last half hour, and the morning ends unpleasantly for all.

Responsibility is always about level two thinking. The four-year-old who goes over to help a crying baby, the nine-year-old who empties the dishwasher without being asked, and the fifteen-year-old who offers to help cook dinner are all practicing responsibility by thinking about others, not just themselves. Remembering to put away toys, take out the trash, or keep the bathroom neat all require level two thinking. Children learn how to think on a second dimension when parents teach it.

For example, teaching a child to watch a clock in the morning is a lesson in responsibility. Some initial explanation and training are in order so instead of always giving the next instruction, parents are simply saying, "Watch the clock." This approach teaches children to think about level two instead of waiting for parents to instruct them. The same approach happens by pointing to the calendar or the to-do list instead of saying, "Today's the day to take the trash to the street" or micromanaging all the tasks necessary to get things ready for school the next day.

Anna and Dave called a family meeting. Together with the kids, they created a to-do list for each child of all the things that had to get done in the morning. The first one was "feet on the ground," and others included getting dressed, making the bed, eating breakfast, preparing backpacks, brushing teeth and hair, and so forth. In all, they identified nine things that each of the children needed to do.

Dad then shared a verse from the Bible to help the kids understand internal motivation. Colossians 3:23 contrasts external motivation with internal motivation: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." Mom talked about what that meant for their family. She said, "When you do something with all your heart, it means that your motivation to get things done comes from inside you, not from Mom or Dad telling you what to do."


Excerpted from Motivate your child by SCOTT TURANSKY, JOANNE MILLER. Copyright © 2015 National Center for Biblical Parenting, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.


Meet the Author

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

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

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Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In the midst of struggling with having to remind our kiddos over and over and over and over to do their homework/get ready for school/pick up after themselves, I saw a description for a book called “Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent’s Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told” by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller RN, BSN {cue “Hallelujah” chorus}. From the book description: Learn What Internal Motivation is and How to Develop it in Your Child You will learn: -How to build a strong conscience to strengthen internal motivation -How faith changes kids in practical, down-to-earth ways -Ways to help self-focused kids think of others -A strategy to help kids who tend to blame, rationalize, or defend -Ways to use consequences for heart change -Specific heart-based strategies to develop responsibility and initiative “Strong-willed children know what they want and are not easily deterred. Why? Because children who are characterized as “strong-willed” already have high levels of internal motivation and are less affected by external motivations. These kids challenge the typical behavior modification system of rewards and punishment. The suggestions in this book are just the tools necessary to guide these kids in the right direction, opening up new parenting strategies for weary parents.” (p. 10) My oldest is EXTREMELY strong-willed. We learned very early on that redirecting a strong-willed child is very, very difficult. New parenting strategies for these weary parents? Yes, please! Fortunately for us, this book addresses everything from sibling bickering to cleaning up after oneself {even if they don’t feel like it}. Although our kiddos are young, I like that the techniques are for young kids as well as teenagers. Although I knew that disobedience and certain attitudes were heart issues, I didn’t know what to do about them. Motivate Your Child gives practical loving ways to address heart issues in your home. Before I started reading this book, our mornings before school were very, very stressful. I was constantly on the kids’ cases to do the next thing then the next and the next to get ready for school. I have slowly started implementing some of the suggestions for helping the kids to keep an eye on the time and to be in charge of remembering the next thing that they need to do. Our mornings have definitely improved, though there are a few more methods that I need to be better about using. This book is packed with helpful tips and tools built on the foundation of the Bible. The stories are based on families that Dr. Turansky & Joanne Miller have seen in their practice. I’ve already marked up much of my copy of this book, and I highly recommend it for your parenting resources library! I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.
SeasonsofGrace More than 1 year ago
Great Insights for parenting a child's heart Being a parent in today's society is not always easy. There are so many things our children can be doing that occupies their time and becomes a distraction from what they should be doing. Do your children work independently and do their chores without being asked? Do they honor you as the parent and notice things that need to be done and just do it? Do they serve others joyfully? Or must you constantly be reminding and nagging them to get things done? Motivate Your Child is a wonderful asset to any parents library. The insights and ideas it contains are exactly what we as parents need to help motivate our children to work independently, listen to their conscience, be sensitive to the needs of others, develop integrity and character. This book is about dealing with the child's heart; the journey not just the destination. In Part 1, the authors address moral development in our children beginning with the Internal Motivation and Strategic Parenting Skills. They discuss the Biblical approach to conscience, teaching responsibility, dealing with mistakes, integrity, compassion for others, initiative and consequences.  In Part 2, the book focus is the spiritual development in our children. What is God's plan? What does family time look like and how to build relationships. How do we help our children practice real faith. What about salvation, the Holy Spirit, and connecting our children with the Bible?  There is so much information packed in this book, you will want to refer back to it often as well as share it with others.  There is also an Action Plan Manual that can go along with the book as a resource to put into practice what you have learned.  I am planning on using it this summer with my own children and am excited to come back and share the results. This book was provided by TBCN in exchange for my honest opinion. 
eLynda More than 1 year ago
An Excellent Parenting Resource! I am often hesitant to pick up a parenting book by an unfamiliar author, even one that professes to be Christian, because there are too many instances of psychological, new age belief systems that infiltrate these books.  I decided to take a chance on this book because it offered to teach me ways to change behavior by using the conscience and spiritual concepts to do so.  What I found was an excellent book that helped to change how I view several parenting techniques and gave me concrete examples of how to direct my children in mental and spiritual maturity, allowing them to direct their own behaviors in a more positive direction. There is a lot of great information packed into these 250 or so pages.  I found affirmations for a lot of what my husband and I are doing with our own children as well as a few challenges to accepted practices.  For example, instead of the duration of a “time-out” being equal in minutes to the child’s age in years, Turansky and Miller suggest you allow the time needed, and it varies from child to child, for the offense to be processed and a new action plan to be developed. One interesting concept that I am now incorporating into my own interactions with children is that the conscience and the Holy Spirit are not the same thing, but that they work together to direct behavior if we are taught to respond to their promptings.  While a new idea for me, the writing presents a clear case for thinking about things in this way and shows how this works out as we take things to a logical conclusion using real world examples.  That is one of the best things about this book: nothing is left out in some ethereal theory-land, but is brought down to earth with suggestions about how to implement the ideas in our own families and examples of how it has worked in other families. This is an excellent parenting resource and I cannot recommend it highly enough.  It comes from a grounded Christian perspective, makes sense in its suggestions and gives real hope for everyday parenting challenges. I received copy of this book from the publisher through The Book Club Network in exchange for this honest review.
mrskbookstogo More than 1 year ago
Raising children who do what they need to do without being told is the goal of this guide book. Developing self-motivation in your child can be "hair-raising" without guidance. Choosing to "deliberately work on spiritual and moral development" is an investment in their character that will produce a life time of harvested wisdom. As their guardian, we are "giving them the "tools" to navigate life." "Happiness may be found in the destination, but character is built in the journey." Have you considered using a "heart-based" approach to discipline? Instead of using motivators that are externally "rewarded," why not teach internal responsibilities. Teaching strategies of firmness, correction, consequences, and thinking beyond self. What is beneficial with this approach is the instruction that is centered between their heart and their minds: Every day considerations about themselves and their activities (behaviors/choices) Learning about responsibility (focus on others/tasks well done/time limits) Growing into maturity (considering God's instruction and God's will for them).With this "guide book" you can "use areas of strength in a child's life to help them improve areas of weakness." Are you ready to get started? Go for it... MrsK
Maryar39 More than 1 year ago
"Motivate Your Child" is quite simply, the most amazing parenting book I have ever read! It is laid out well, and easy to understand. It does not tell you how to fix your child in three easy steps. It guides you and teaches you about the "heart" of you child. It shows you how precious your child, and your relationship with the child, really is. It breaks down walls and goes deep into WHY our children behave as they do and HOW we can help develop their internal drive as well as their conscience. "Motivate Your Child" will show you how using Scripture, common sense and reality, along with relationship, we can raise our children to be responsible, sensitive and caring. This book taught me more about the conscience and the four main ways the conscience helps us to: 1. Do what is right; 2. Deal with wrongs; 3. Be honest; 4. Care about others; When we do wrong our conscience lets us know by giving us guilt, or moral discomfort. The authors explain each of these things in great detail! They use lots of scripture and real life stories. If you are a parent I would suggest you purchase this book and read it, several times! I am intending to send it to my pregnant daughter! I received this book from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
Homesteading More than 1 year ago
Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told When I first started reading Motivate Your Child I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It’s been a long time since I read a book on parenting. My main reason for requesting this book was because I have read and reviewed a few of Dr. Turansky’s wife’s Christian fiction books, and through blogging have gotten to know her. I admire her godly and compassionate spirit when she talks about her husband and family, and that’s what ultimately led me to want to read this book. That being said, I have been undeniably convicted about my own parenting skills, or lack thereof, as I read Motivate Your Child. My parenting was/is based on a combination of how I was parented and what I didn’t like about it. For the most part, I thought mine was a sound method. We all make mistakes, but wow, when reading this book I could see all the places that I failed miserably. Wait. I still see some of those things and I don’t like what I am seeing. It’s too late for me to go back and start at the beginning, as mine are all grown, but I have begun implementing with our 18 year old who still lives at home the “What’s your plan?” rather than “Please do this or that” method that I had been using. So far, it actually seems to be working. He is taking his responsibilities more seriously and getting to them sooner rather than later. We still have a ways to go as it's easy to fall back into old habits. But, isn’t it the goal of every parent to raise conscientious and responsible adults that don’t have to be told what to do and when to do it? I can see where training them early on to want to willingly and joyfully participate in household activities such as taking out the trash, picking up their toys or making their bed without being bribed or constantly instructed, is a more effective and loving way to parent. This book deals with heart, or internal, motivation and how to instill in your children the proper motivation for doing things without being continually harangued, which causes frustration in both the parent and child. Parenting is a lot of work no matter how you go about it but in order to use the method laid out in this book, you had better be prepared to devote yourself 110% to being a hands on parent! Which, I hope if you have children, you are willing to do so. Not only is there a lot to teach your children but there are wonderful skills to acquire as a parent. I do believe I can use some of these with my grandchildren, so maybe it isn’t too late for me after all. Motivate Your Child is not a complicated read. Make sure you have a highlighter handy because you will find yourself needing one. I believe any parent can glean from this book whether they are Christian or not. The principles laid forth are timeless. I plan on passing it along to my daughter, who has four little ones of her own. I received a free copy of this book through The Book Club Network and Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion of the book. No compensation has been received.
ARS8 9 months ago
Motivate Your Child is a great practical guide. I found encouragement in the fact that I was doing some things right, ways to better meet other needs that have been lacking, and the whys of the advice given. This book really stresses that the parents are the ones that mold and teach the child in everything from relationships, to rules, to faith in God. Being a parent is hard work and takes most of our time and our biggest job as parents is to train our children to do what is right. Not for what they can get out of it or some sort of reward. They are not animals that need to be treated to right behavior. No, they are living souls that have a will of their own and they need to do what is right even if they don’t want to. I really liked their chapter titled When Kids Make Mistakes. This chapter is full of helpful questions to get to the issue at hand: confession (what is the wrong), getting to the heart of the matter (what really is behind the defiance), and the third is developing a plan for the next time (giving them ways to think through the situation and cope). And my favorite part was giving our children hope that they can do better next time. This book is very helpful and I recommend it for all parents. I received a copy for an honest review and the opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every parents wants that encouragement and “how to” book. Raising kids is not easy. “This book explores a theology of internal motivation and then gives parents real-life solutions to equip their kids for life”. What a wonderful answer! Today’s society is all about “what is in it for me”. This has so many options to build that motivation in your kids and help them grow spiritually. The book is separated into two sections of focus: moral development and spiritual development in children. Under each section has many chapters to keep you going and answer those age old questions about “mistakes, consequences, compassion, strategy, God’s plan, scripture, your children and the Holy Spirit” and many more. Many helpful reminders such as practice what you preach, are woven into the material. It is a very easy to read approach and easy to understand. I loved the down to earth suggestions and applications for God’s word in parenting my child. A helpful index in the back is useful for targeting specific questions and going back to review things you have learned. What a wonderful legacy to leave on your children knowing they will leave it with their own children. I highly recommend this as a bookshelf keeper for any parent! I received this book from
loriweller1 More than 1 year ago
Motivate Your Child is not a how to book but an explanation of the why's of your child's behaviors.It shows you how to train your child to function as a more responsible Christian with a strong basis of spiritual examples. The book is jam-packed with biblical examples to demonstrate current issues. As a health care professional that worked daily with children and their parents, I wish I would have had this book to give in my information list for parents. I think they would have benefited greatly from it. I received this book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
ksnapier475 More than 1 year ago
Motivate Your Child, by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, takes both a biblical and educational view on motivation. I have been a parent and an educator, as well as a Christian. So to see this volume which combines all of these was refreshing. They advocate heart-parenting in this book where you look at the important values within your family. Then make these the foundation from which to raise the family. In addition, this book guides the reader to look at each child and discover ways to reach their hearts to motivate them. No matter what the family dynamics are, the ages, behaviors, groups, this book helps to address them to show how to show love and motivation to the family. The authors also show different sources of parental stress and how they are expressed then introduces ways to respond that do not include raising the voice or demonstrating anger. This is an excellent book and I would highly recommend it to any parents, or educators. I was given this book by in exchange for my honest review.
Becky_B More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed reading Motivate Your Child. I feel that the authors have something different to say that adds to the conversation on parenting. They talk about the conscience and how different children react to discipline when they make mistakes. I discovered that my daughter reacts differently than either my husband or myself to learning she has made a mistake. That has made a great difference in my parenting her, and I feel like our relationship has improved since reading this book. I feel for the first time I am making some progress with her, and reaching her. It has empowered me as a parent. My husband said this alone made the book worth reading. Motivate Your Child has many examples of conversations other parents have had with their children to help them become responsible adults. I found this very helpful, and it has given me ideas on how to start good conversations with my kids. I liked the variety of stories and the different kind of families they used in their examples. The authors do a great job painting visual pictures that help clarify their points. Lastly, what I love about this book is that it is a relational book. This is not a get your kids to do what you want in 5 easy steps. The authors talk about working with your child's heart, showing your child how they can change, and how you can guide your child to become the person God wants them to be. I highly recommend reading it. I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review from Book Club Network
Cheri5 More than 1 year ago
How to Motivate Your Child is a great resource - it reads easily in a conversational tone which is appealing to most everyone but has so much “meat” in it, it’s a valuable resource and a book that you will want to reread many times and reference multiple times throughout the parenting years as well. Wonderful book - timely message - great strategies to obtain what all parents want - to raise responsible children and have fun in the process. I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review from Book Club Network and the author.
tmurrell2 More than 1 year ago
Every parent out there has found themselves frustrated with their child because they've been told to do something and are now needing to be told again or disciplined for disobedience. There are a lot of books out there that deal with different aspects of discipline or tell parents how to talk to children when getting them to obey. But these authors have taken the problem to the root and have written a book that shows the parent how to get the child to obey because it's second nature to them. I've never been more impressed with a parenting book. Examples are given of situations that each parent might face. They then not only describe how the parent handled it or how they recommend handling it, but they also give the reasons behind the instructions. The authors have used Biblical concepts to show how to get a child to listen to their conscience and then make wise life decisions. I liked the way the information was presented, each concept was backed by the Bible, and the instructions were presented in such a way that made them seem doable for me. I would definitely recommend this book to parents. I received this book free of charge from Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
dhiggins4 More than 1 year ago
What an eye-opening book! Raising children can be so hard, but in the book “Motivate Your Child”, authors Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller show us how it doesn’t have be that hard. There are many parenting “how-to” books, but this one is a little different in that they show us how scripture can help us be better parents and raise our children in the right way. They show how scripture can be an internal motivation for children. Sometimes it’s very hard to get children to be internally motivated by not using bribery, but it can be done! The authors show us how to do this. One of the things it really reinforced with me was my tone is so important. This sets the mood for the whole conversation. I knew this, but sometimes I have to be reminded of this. This is a very good book to just keep on hand as a tool for real-life situations that we may face as parents. This book is easy to read and very easy to follow. I plan on keeping this book and using it as a reference. I received this book from bookfun for my honest opinion.
grammy57 More than 1 year ago
I requested this book because I have a grandson we worry about. I received the book and I quickly read it. Even though he is at the upper end of the age group this book is meant for, I found it very helpful. Chapter by chapter they cover different things and give good examples on how to implement the suggestions given. All was based on the Bible and just what was needed. I found we were already doing some of the things, but found other areas that need improvement. It also has a mini quiz that helps you determine areas that need help and where you are doing ok. I highly recommend this book, even if you don't feel like the child in your life needs this. Very helpful and highly recommended. I was given this book in exchange for my honest review.
HappyReader50 More than 1 year ago
This was a really, really insightful book and I enjoyed it immensely. I even learned a thing or two. The summary on the back cover of this book says “here is a practical insight to help parents find attainable ways to motivate their kids with the big picture in mind…..” Practical insights—this book had many, many practical insights that were so clearly spelled out it was easy to read and to understand. I walked away from this book thinking I can implement the ideas and strategies that were outlined. And my home can still be peaceful. Part one of this book talks about moral development in children. Don’t we all worry about our children’s moral development? Are we doing things right? Are we teaching them what is important? Are they internalizing what is realy important? Part one answers all these questions and more. Part two talks about spiritual development in children. Again this is an area I struggle with. Are my husband and I teaching our child the importance of family, of relationships, of daily quiet time with God? When my child says he/she has accepted Christ into their heart, how do I help them move forward? Dr. Turansky and Ms. Miller have answered all of these questions in a very easy to read book. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is currently a parent, would like to become a parent or has friends or families with children. Very insightful read.
KatiesDailyLife More than 1 year ago
I received a copy if this book in exchange for a review on my blog. Motivate Your Child is a wonderful book. It is 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. There are scriptures 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. With each chapter I read I learned so many things, and I started to put a few techniques into place. Now, my 11 year old 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 would recommend it to all Christian parents!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Who'd have thought there would be a parenting book that would be hard to put down? This is it, folks. It gives you the tools to help you teach your kids to be independent, self-sufficient, self-controlled, compassionate, willing to help, and think outside of themselves. I'm being challenged to be the calm, non-reactive parent that I started out as and somehow got away from and Motivate Your Child makes it easy to incorporate the tools and techniques to do that.
BookGirl630 More than 1 year ago
A practical book to help parents learn to motivate their children. One of the main premises of this book is teaching your child to be aware of their conscience and how it helps them learn to do what is right, deal with wrongs, be honest, and care about others. Of course, the conscience is so much more powerful with the power of the Holy Spirit, and the authors don't disappoint in showing how to implement the Bible and teaching your child how to have a relationship with God. A motivating and recommended read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is it possible? "Kids who do what they need to do without being told" Maybe, that sounds too good to be true? It is, if we continue to parent only with a consequences driven approach (behavior modification) - dealing with only the wrong behavior in the moment. However, if we focus on the heart and in the process develop the conscience of our children, then we may just find that our children begin to 'see a need and meet a need.' As a pediatric nurse practitioner, I am always in search of tools to assist parents in growing healthy, strong kids - not just physically, but intellectually, relationally, and emotionally. I love that this book helps the development of the intellectual, relational, and emotional growth of children. If this book is read and applied, then Motivate Your Child will help develop children with an internal motivation to do what is right even when mom and dad are not looking - resulting in children who are self-reliant, self-respecting, self-motivated, and who demonstrates self-responsibility. The book is NOT one that beats you down and makes you feel like an epic failure as a parent. Rather, it gives us direct instructions on a big picture level, and follows-up with many scenarios that are familiar to many families, making it easy to apply the information in the book to everyday life. Truly, this book is an invaluable tool for our parenting toolboxes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Motivate Your Child, unlike many parenting resources I've come across, is coming from the perspective of heart parenting. In our family, this means that we as parents teach the heart of the child. We don't just seek to modify behavior. We seek to develop children who will look to Christ as the One Who guides their behavior and who will seek to please him- not us. I was so excited to find a tool that offers practical guidance as well as biblical principles in this area of heart parenting. The book focuses on developing in your child a conscience. There is a great explanation in the book, but, in short, this is not the Holy Spirit's guidance but is an internal motivation to do the right thing independently. That means, instead of responding to nagging and threats and punishment, my children can learn to respond to their internal promptings to do right. That's a nice goal, of course, but how can this really happen in my family? Those were my thoughts as I read through the introduction. But as I read on, I was motivated and encouraged to think that this really could happen in my family. Dr. Turansky and Joanne Miller don't just give lofty principles. They give practical examples. So when they discuss the value of correction in chapter 5, they don't just tell readers that correcting kids and how we correct them can be important, they give practical examples of how real people have used correction techniques in their families to help guide kids' behavior. The first part of the book talks about the moral development of children. The authors discuss topics such as internal and external motivation- which they will come back to again and again-the conscience, correction, integrity, compassion, consequences. The second part of the book talks about the spiritual development of children. The authors discuss topics such as family time, relationships, practicing your faith, and leading a child to Christ. There are so many excellent things in Motivate Your Child. I skimmed it first and am now reading slowly with a pen in hand for marking. I've already processed several things with my husband and am mulling over others that I want to bring up to him. I could probably spend a really long time talking specifics about the book and, in fact, I'm hoping to do a five day series on some of the content that's been beneficial to us; but I'll wrap up this review by telling you what stood out to me, what resonated with me, what made me feel like this book was worth while and I should listen to what the authors were saying. It is the fact that the authors are teaching parents to view their children as spiritual beings. Our children aren't little machines that we can train with behavior modification. That may work for a while in limited ways. Our children are spiritual beings. They are designed by God and made for a relationship with Him. When we teach them that the things they do have a result, that their behaviors can strengthen their relationship with God or hinder it, then they'll make lasting changes in the things that they do. Motivate Your Child is a parenting resource that "gets" that. The principles that the authors give come from Scripture. They use Scripture in teaching children. They focus on discussion and teaching, not behavior modification. And they guide parents to teach the hearts of their children to bring their children into a close relationship with God. That's why it's a resource I can gush about.
Lori03 More than 1 year ago
Heart parenting was a new term to me before reading this book. It is a way of thinking for me now. The emphasis of this book is not really how to motivate your child; rather, it is about how to parent your child's heart so that they will learn to desire to do the right things for the right reasons without any prompting from you. It is how to change YOU and how you parent so that your children will become who God designed them to be. The amount of information in this book is significant and you cannot possibly absorb it in a single read. I am on the second time through and know I will be doing at least one more after this. The authors do a wonderful job of giving you enough information to be able to understand what they are trying to explain and giving you examples to see action points with which to work. One of my frustrations with parenting books continues in this one - the conversations that are shared between parents and children look and sound nothing like mine ever do with my kids so I don't know how to apply their idea from that conversation. I mean, my kids seem to ask questions and want more information and they seldom give the answer to a question that I am expecting them to give. I would love to see more information for each of those conversations and what to do when a similar conversation goes completely awry. The other reason I give this book four stars instead of five is that the information about passing on your faith is incomplete. What I mean by that is when discussing salvation, there is much to receiving the gift of salvation that is left out. The authors state that if you believe and pray, you are saved and the Bible tells us that there is more to salvation than that. No book is perfect, though, so I don't expect this one to be, either. This is a solid book for parenting the heart, full of useful, applicable information for those parents who truly want to make a difference in the lives of their children. I highly recommend this one.
BMelton1 More than 1 year ago
First, I've read all of the books these authors have written and can't recommend them highly enough! Just the subtitle alone was enough to make this book a must have - "A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told" - I mean, who wouldn't want that?! I'm working on my second read through of this book and have already begun to implement several of the strategies with my kids. I love that they focus on using positive strategies because I frequently find myself, like a lot of parents I'm sure, focusing on the negatives, i.e. what my kids are doing wrong, rather than encouraging them to do what's right. Just by changing my attitude and words I've already seen a difference in how my kids respond, as well as an increase in the overall positive environment in our house. I love that they point out that your kids will hear their parent's voices in their heads and you can actually decide what that voice says. I know I still hear my mom's voice in my head so I want the voice they hear to be positive and helpful, not discouraging. I also appreciate the real examples of people they have worked with, they give me great ideas for working with my own kids and help spur creativity in applying the principles. This book talks both about moral and spiritual development. Part 1 talks about internal vs external motivation, parenting requiring strategy, what is the conscience, helping kid's choose to do what's right, when they make mistakes, learning to value integrity, compassion and thinking beyond themselves, taking initiative, consequences, and putting the conscience to work outside the home. Part 2 talks about God's plan for the family, family time, relationships, making an impact, practicing faith, preparing for resistance, leading a child to Christ, connecting children to the Bible, going it solo, and taking the family challenge. I found part 2 to be slightly redundant but helpful for reminding me of the importance my faith and passing that down has to my kids. I will definitely be reading this one over and over to get the most out of it, I know I will pick up new insight each time. I did receive an advance copy in exchange for my review, but the opinions are all my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Until I discovered Turansky and Miller I always felt like there was something missing in our parenting but just couldn't put my finger on it... problem solved!  The doors have been open to "Heart Parenting" and we are so grateful.  Motivate Your Child is a beautiful mix of practical application and Biblical content.  I so appreciate the refreshing view of motivating a child not by discipline, nagging or reminders but by teaching about the conscience and the Holy Spirit... I wish I had learned that at an early age! Early in the book you will be introduced to "tightening your action point".  I didn't give it much thought until I put it into practice and discovered how loose my instructions for my children had been, no wonder they didn't take me seriously. Thank you Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller for motivating us to "Parent the Heart" and teach beautiful principles to our children that will stay with them through adulthood.  We learned the principle of honor in "Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining and Bad Attitudes", the application of the conscience in "Motivate Your Child"...  "Good and Angry" is next on the list.
Greensourcedhome More than 1 year ago
I love that right away, in the opening chapters, the authors dive in to the why behind what they do and teach.  They write in a way that is understandable.  They offer solutions that do not make you feel guilty.  I've read so many parenting books where I walk away feeling either defeated OR that it won't work with my 3 very different children.  This book is encouraging me, humbling me, and teaching me to learn more and more about myself, my parenting and my children, creating a more peaceful home.  I'm very grateful for the insight and wisdom the authors share!