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The Christian Parenting Handbook: 50 Heart-Based Strategies for All the Stages of Your Child's Life

The Christian Parenting Handbook: 50 Heart-Based Strategies for All the Stages of Your Child's Life

4.9 28
by Scott Turansky, Joanne Miller RN

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With advice on parenting coming from several angles, what do you listen to and what do you ignore? Develop your own biblical philosophy of parenting and use it to filter the many ideas that come your way.

In this book you’ll learn how to:

Identify character qualities to address problems

Build internal motivation



With advice on parenting coming from several angles, what do you listen to and what do you ignore? Develop your own biblical philosophy of parenting and use it to filter the many ideas that come your way.

In this book you’ll learn how to:

Identify character qualities to address problems

Build internal motivation

Transfer responsibility for change to the child

Teach kids to be solvers instead of whiners

Use creativity to teach your kids spiritual truths

Avoid the “boxing ring”

Envision a positive future

And much more!

With these strategies you’ll be able to move from behavior modification to a heart-based approach to parenting. Instead of relying on rewards, incentives, threats, and punishment, you’ll learn how to identify heart lessons to teach your child and implement them in practical ways.

The Christian Parenting Handbook by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, founders of the National Center for Biblical Parenting, compiles fifty parenting principles that use heart-based strategies to teach you how to face daily challenges. When parents focus on the heart, kids learn to ask different questions about life. Instead of asking, “What’s in it for me?” they learn to ask, “What’s the right thing to do?” You’ll soon see how a heart-based approach to parenting looks deeper and brings about greater, lasting change.

The daily interaction you have with your children can impact them for the rest of their lives. With these fifty heart-based strategies, you’ll develop your own biblical philosophy of parenting and gain perspective, greater motivation, and confidence that you’re moving in the right direction. As you envision a positive future for your children, they’ll experience hope and direction and you will too. Start applying these principles today!

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The Christian Parenting Handbook

50 Heart-Based Strategies for All the Stages of Your Child's Life

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2013 National Center for Biblical Parenting, Inc.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4002-0520-2

Chapter One

Parents often feel discouraged because they can't be consistent. They feel like failures. It's time to rethink some of the underlying assumptions proposed in many parenting approaches. In fact, the reality is that ...

Consistency Is Overrated

"My biggest problem is that I feel guilty when I can't be consistent. Every parenting book I've read talks about the importance of consistency, but I'm running from here to there, getting things done, and my husband parents differently than I do. I feel like I'm failing because I can't be as consistent as I would like to be." Charlotte has three children, ages eleven, seven, and four. For the most part, she's doing quite well, but she's plagued with an overarching sense of guilt when things go wrong. The voice inside tells her the problems in her kids would go away if she were more consistent, but is that really the answer?

We've all heard that consistency is the key to good parenting. But many parents believe it's more important than it really is. If you're doing simple behavior modification, then consistency is essential. Giving the reward or punishment every time you see the behavior will reinforce change.

Behavior modification as a science began in the early 1900s. Ivan Pavlov made some exciting discoveries as he worked with dogs. If he consistently rang a bell just before he fed the dogs, he could eventually get the dogs to salivate by simply ringing the bell. This discovery of how to motivate a dog was picked up by John B. Watson in the 1920s, and he began to apply behavior modification to people. In fact, it wasn't long before behavior modification became a primary way to help people stop smoking, lose weight, and deal with a host of other behavioral issues.

In time, behavior modification influenced the classroom as well, and teachers used it to help children learn. By the 1950s behavior modification had also become the primary tool for parenting. Giving rewards and punishment to children worked quite well to modify their behavior. And one of the things parents and teachers all learned was that the key to behavior modification is consistency. The more consistent you are, the faster you'll see change. The problem is that behavior modification embraces humanistic thinking, the belief that people are just a higher form of animal. The Bible teaches something very different.

God created people different from animals. He gave each person a spiritual "heart," and that heart affects the learning process. The heart contains things such as emotions, desires, convictions, and passions. In short, the heart is a wrestling place where decisions are made. A child's tendencies come from the heart. When a child lies to get out of trouble, that's a heart issue. If a brother reacts with anger each time his sister is annoying, that's a heart issue too. Simply focusing on behavior may provide some quick change, but lasting change takes place in the heart. We're not saying behavior modification is wrong. We're just suggesting that it's incomplete and, in the end, lacks the depth for long-term and lasting change.

Parents who simply use behavior modification often end up with kids who look good on the outside while having significant problems on the inside. Consistency can teach kids to appear good, clean, and nice, but to help them change their hearts, other parenting skills must be added to the picture. Because you believe that God has created your child with a heart, you have access to an additional barrel of parenting strategies.

Rhonda, like Charlotte, found this principle particularly helpful. "I used to feel guilty all the time because I can't be consistent. I have four kids and a house to run. Invariably I'd have to sacrifice consistency in an area with one or more of my kids to accomplish my other tasks. When I realized that there's more to parenting than just being consistent, it freed me up to work on bigger goals with my kids. The consistency trap produced a lot of guilt in me. Now I realize that there's much more to parenting, and I feel freed up to use other tools as well. I'm continually asking questions about my children's hearts, and I'm learning a lot about how to mold and influence them to go in the right direction. I'm seeing more change in my kids with this new approach."

If you're training dogs to salivate, then consistency is essential. But you're trying to raise children. You don't want children to do the right thing just so they can get a reward. If you do, then kids learn to ask, "What's in it for me? What am I going to get if I do what you say?" Instead, you want children to change their hearts. You want them to ask, "What's the right thing to do here?" That shift in thinking is "heart work."

Developing a strong, biblical parenting philosophy requires you to embrace a more comprehensive approach that focuses on the heart. Looking beyond behavior modification calls for different parenting tools. When you focus on the heart, another quality becomes even more important than consistency: creativity.

The heart is where children hold their beliefs. It's where they develop operating principles about life. Kids learn through experience, stories, activity, and modeling. Sometimes children develop resistance in their hearts to a consistent approach. The same lecture from Mom or Dad over and over again builds up immunity through patterns of arguing, bad attitudes, and manipulation. Furthermore, when parents simply use behavior modification, kids tend to want bigger and bigger rewards for compliance.

Creativity has the ability to move around children's resistance and allows a truth to explode with meaning inside the heart. The best teachers are those who use creative teaching methods to communicate their point. Ed is mean to his sister. His father, Dave, is trying to help his son develop kindness. Sometimes he uses a consequence to correct Ed. Other times he requires an apology or has his son practice doing the right thing, requiring three acts of kindness before Ed can go. Dave is also having his son memorize scripture, and they've had several conversations about cruelty in the adult world. Dave is helping his son develop compassion for people, and they recently attended a Special Olympics event to gain a greater sense of empathy for others who are different. Dave will be successful with his son. It'll take time, but his commitment to creativity will help Ed develop a better response toward his sister and eventually to others in life.

Please don't misunderstand us. Consistency is important, especially when kids are young. But if you think more broadly about parenting and embrace creativity and strategy in your training, you'll be more effective at molding the hearts of your kids at any age. Your primary task as parent is to teach your kids, and a little work in the creativity department can make all the difference.

Deuteronomy 11:18–20 not only tells parents to train their kids but it tells them how to do it. Notice the creativity designed by God. "Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." If you take that verse apart, you'll start thinking about your own home and your own kids and creative ways to teach them.

Even in Old Testament times, God knew that kids learn best through life experiences. Add creativity to your parenting goals, and you'll enhance your training tenfold. When consistency is unreasonable, don't let a lack of it produce guilt. There are other principles that are more important. Embrace a heart-based approach to parenting and you'll see lasting change in your children.

Chapter Two

When you feel as though you're working on the same things over and over again and your kids aren't changing, it's important to remember the need to ...

Build Internal Motivation

"I wish my kids would do things without me having to prod them along every step of the way. I feel like I'm a cross between a drill sergeant and an inspector. We do the same things every day. Why can't my kids do it on their own?" That's a great question and a common feeling among parents. The goal is to help children manage themselves, but will that happen before they're adults? One mom said, "I'm afraid my kids will grow up and have to move straight into assisted living. They can't seem to do anything on their own."

Developing internal motivation in children is one of the fast tracks to help them toward maturity and being responsible. Unfortunately, too many parents use external motivators to get their kids to move forward. "If you get your homework done, you can go out and play." "If you clean your room, you can watch a video." This approach basically says, "If you do what I say, I'll give you what you want." Unfortunately, children trained this way often develop a mentality that focuses on external motivation instead of developing the internal motivations they'll need to be responsible and mature.

A continual reliance on external motivators takes advantage of a child's selfishness and exchanges a little gratification for a desired behavior. Children raised on heavy doses of external motivation develop attitudes of entitlement, asking, "What's in it for me?"

God is concerned with more than externals. He's interested in the heart. The heart contains motivations, emotions, convictions, and values. A heart-based approach to parenting looks deeper. When parents focus on the heart, kids learn to ask, "What's the right thing to do?"

External motivation isn't wrong; it's just incomplete. When parents use a heart-based approach to parenting, longer-lasting change takes place. Parents still require children to finish their homework and clean up their rooms, but the way they approach the task of parenting is different.

Instead of just getting things done, parents have their eyes on other, heart-related issues. They're looking long term and often focusing on character. It's interesting to see that many of the misbehaviors that a child presents can be boiled down to a few character weaknesses. The job of parenting becomes more focused as parents are able to target specific heart qualities and require changes that adjust the patterns their children have developed.

Many children aren't quite ready to change on a heart level, so parents must be strategic. Sometimes that means more relationship to soften the heart, and other times it requires creating a "mini crisis" to show kids that the way they're living just isn't going to work.

A heart-based approach to parenting often shares values and reasons behind rules. It requires more discussions with kids, helping them understand that their hearts are resistant and that they need to develop cooperation. A heart-based approach is firm but also relational. It's a different mind-set for some parents and looks at the interaction of family life differently. Instead of simply getting the room cleaned and the dishes put away, parents are more interested in developing character, values, and convictions.

As you consider your kids, remember the words God said to Samuel when Samuel thought Eliab should be the next king: "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7). That was a paradigm shift for Samuel and one that many parents need as well.

Unfortunately, you can't force children to change their hearts. But you can do a lot to motivate them in the right direction. We've identified several tools that, when used properly, address the heart. Many of these are shared in the chapters of this book. Here are a few suggestions to get you started in reaching your child's heart.

Use sorrow instead of anger in the discipline process. Ann illustrated this well. She went out her front door to find that her eleven-year-old son had dropped his bike too close to the flowerbed, damaging some of her flowers. Her first reaction was anger, and she started imagining what consequence she'd give him. After taking a few deep breaths, Ann decided on a different approach. She calmed herself, went into the house, found her son, and with a flower in her hand, she said, "I'm so sad. I really liked this flower, but your bike landed on it, and now it's broken." She then turned and left the room.

A few moments later, her son came to her and said, "Mom, I'm sorry about the flowers. I know they're important to you. I'll be more careful with my bike next time." Mom was surprised. Usually her son would brace for her anger and immediately start defending himself. Ann was pleased that this time he was more responsive.

Parents who misuse this technique often lay a guilt trip on their children. The key is to be genuine. If you, as a parent, look past your anger for a moment, you'll see that you truly are sad about what your child has done because you know the long-term consequences of such behavior. Reflect it in a gentle way. Sorrow opens doors of relationship, whereas anger builds walls.

The Scriptures are also very powerful in the heart-change process because the Bible has an amazing quality: the ability to pierce through to the deepest areas of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Don't use the Bible in a harsh way. Instead, reveal what the Bible has to say about being kind, respectful, or obedient. There's a lot of wisdom and conviction that come through the Scriptures.

Another way to help children change is to emphasize the heart during times of correction. "I can see you're angry because I said no. I'd like you to take a break for a bit and settle your heart down and when you're ready, come back and we'll talk about it." A heart approach takes work, and a child may need a long time to settle down at first, but a change of heart is worth it in the end. Resolve the tension by having a positive conclusion or debriefing together. Address heart issues, not just behavior, and help children see things from a deeper perspective.

"What, then, is the place of rewards in child training?" you may ask. Should you reward your child for good behavior, or just expect it to be done? Rewards shouldn't be abandoned, but should instead be used to encourage the heart. Use them sparingly, because rewards often lose their effectiveness over time, requiring that you increase the reward to get the same result. A reward is best used as a motivation to jump-start a new plan, to get the ball rolling in the right direction.

The real issue, however, has to do with the difference between internal and external motivation. Internal motivation comes from the heart, the desire to do what's right. You want your son to be clean or neat as a result of an inner obligation of neatness. When children experience positive internal motivation for accomplishing something, it often makes them want to try even harder.

External motivation comes from the outside and includes things like praise, getting paid, having a treat, paying for a broken window, missing a privilege, or seeing disappointment in a parent's eyes. As you develop your own biblical parenting philosophy, look for ways to build internal motivation, not just rely on externals to get things done.

Here's the principle to keep in mind: external motivations are helpful if they build internal motivation. So even though you may give a star or check mark to a child, talk about character and heart change. "I'm giving you a star for cleaning your room, but the most important reward is in your heart. It feels good to have your room neat, doesn't it?" Or, for an older child, "I can tell you've been working on being responsible with your homework this month. I can see that you are even feeling better about getting assignments turned in on time. Here's the reward, but I'm sure the real reward is the satisfaction you feel inside that you're demonstrating responsibility."

After all, God uses rewards and punishment with us, but he's most interested in the inner motivations of doing the right thing and showing love to others for the right reasons. The Scriptures promise rewards for God's children, but the greatest reward we could ever receive from God is the internal satisfaction of pleasing him.

Chapter Three

Parents sometimes move to consequences too quickly. Children need to change their hearts. Other tools are often more effective, so it's important to remember that ...

Consequences Aren't the Only Answer

"If you don't cut it out, I'm going to ..."

"Do this or you'll lose the privilege of ..."

"Get it done now, or I'm going to take away ..."

If you find yourself typically going to consequences with these kinds of statements, then you may be relying on behavior modification more than is helpful.

Some problems that parents face with their kids are more difficult than others. Children who have annoying habits, who tease relentlessly, or who explode in anger have ingrained problems that can drive parents crazy. Out of frustration, some parents think these children need bigger and bigger consequences. They believe that the bigger the consequence, the faster the change. Then those same parents are disappointed because their kids don't seem to be any different after the correction.

Parenting is the toughest job in the world. It's important that you don't get discouraged. Perseverance pays off, and your determination to hang in there with firmness and love is often what's needed. As you consider consequences for changing behavior, however, there are a few things that will help you get further in your parenting strategies, and you'll want to embrace them in your biblical parenting philosophy.


Excerpted from The Christian Parenting Handbook by SCOTT TURANSKY JOANNE MILLER Copyright © 2013 by 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(http://www.effectiveparenting.org/). He is the cofounder of the National Center for Biblical Parenting (www.biblicalparenting.org) 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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The Christian Parenting Handbook: 50 Heart-Based Strategies for All the Stages of Your Child's Life 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the parenting book I have been waiting for. Every parent should read this. There are not only telling you what to do but also examples how to do it which makes so much sense esp. to new parents. Thanks so much for the team that wrote this book.
PeaofSweetness More than 1 year ago
The Christian Parenting Handbook couldn't have come at a better time! What we had been doing definitely wasn't working, and it helped us to see that what we were doing wasn't necessarily "wrong," but it wasn't "complete." The heart-based approach just makes sense, and I love that it is also the Biblical approach. We have already seen an improvement in our family dynamics since implementing the strategies in The Christian Parenting Handbook, and it's definitely something I'll keep handy as our kids get older and we go through different life stage (and parenting) shifts!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The short chapters make this a practical and easy read for busy parents who still very much care about raising great kids!
knowltonnest More than 1 year ago
The Christian Parenting Handbook: 50 Heart-Based Strategies for All the Stages of Your Child's Lifeby Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller is a practical guide for parents with 50 strategies to implement in the home. Scott and Joanne gathered the most common questions and answered them with true to life stories, biblical principles and hands on exercises to help parents practice ways to engage their children to turn their hearts toward the Lord. Some topics discussed are teaching responsibility, difference between tasks, problems and conflict, how not to argue, teaching kids how to communicate wisely, solving instead of whining, and addressing anger in children. These are just a few topics from the 50 short chapters packed with good information you will refer back to often. I respect and admire Scott and Joanne for their hard work in developing this useful book. I agree with the principles shared in this book. I see where I need to work at managing myself better as a parent and how to relate to my children in a more positive way. This book might be the catalyst to changing both my life and the lives of my children. I was so excited to read this book and share this wonderful resource with you.
JG_ More than 1 year ago
This handbook teaches a different philosophy on parenting.  It warmly presents a biblically sound, heart-based approach to addressing everyday issues that make parenting a challenge.  It's quick reference format gives strategies on how to deal with anger problems, bad attitudes, and blaming others, for instance, by instructing parents on "how to" develop character, teach wisdom, and promote effective communication. 
Hector_Reyes More than 1 year ago
Great resource for parents! Highly reccomended for parents with young children but applicable to all ages. Thanks to Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller for this resource.
PastorLarry More than 1 year ago
As a Children’s Pastor I am recommending that anyone with children, grandchildren, people who plan on having children, or work with children should buy this book. The wisdom packed into each of the short readable sections is an incredible quick resource available when you need it. This a book you need to have on your kindle and several in print so you can keep one in your car and have one at your fingertips when you need encouragement, support and ideas. I love the heart of the authors who get right to the heart of the matter.
RaisingChamptions More than 1 year ago
Great, practical, and implementable ideas! When I first saw the image with the caption "If you find yourself nagging your child for the same thing over and over again, or yelling out of sheer exasperation because the same problem continually surfaces, it's definitely time for a different plan." I knew God had pointed me in the right direction. We have been long overdue for a new plan. I love the layout of the book. Short, easy to read and navigate, and always referenced to the Bible. I have seen not only a transformation in my children's heart in the short time we have been implementing these ideas, but also a change in our hearts as parents. I see situations differently, and can truly see my children differently and begin to nurture them to be the young men and women God intended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The authors give wonderful and useful advice on parenting that is good for parents of all age children. Its never too late to buy this book and get to work shaping the hearts of your children. Biblical foundations to help you shape your childs heart, to create a happier environment, a happier family, less stress- who doesn't want that? You wont be sorry you invested in this book- even your kids will thank you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't wait to own a hard copy of this book so I can mark it up to my content!  All 50 principles gave me something to think about and work on in my disciplinary skills.  Choosing to use these principles WILL make me a better parent to my three beautiful children!
JuleenB More than 1 year ago
I wish I would have had this book when our kids were young! It is full of wisdom and addresses the uniqueness of each child God gives us. Influencing the heart instead of outward behavior has always been the focus of Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller in previous books, which is an approach that I believe encourages lasting godly character. The book has short, practical chapters with real life stories, and it also has an index at the end of the book so specific issues can be looked up easily.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book, aptly titled a handbook, has changed the game for me as a parent.  Short, digestible chapters with content so fresh, common-sensical and straight forward that I've found my mouth a gap more than a few times.  Solid biblical explanations for ways to touch and influence the *heart* of our children for a purpose way beyond themselves.  I can't speak highly enough about this book - the authors have, and share a remarkable insight that enables parents to be effective in making lasting, impactful changes in their relationships with their children.  
StevenBourque More than 1 year ago
When Joanne and Scott say in the introduction, "You're holding a book of ideas," they aren't kidding!  If you're looking for a treasure trove of parenting ideas that goes beyond clever quips and coy research to truly heart transformational truth, you're going to want to pick up this book. As the title says, it's a handbook. You'll want it close by for reference relevant to almost any situation or any question you'll face as a parent. As a parent, you're also looking for more than a plethora of ideas, you're also looking for an overarching way of thinking that breathes vitality into your family life. Scott and Joanne provide the Biblical foundations that are essential for looking beyond the parenting pressures of day-to-day life and into eternally valuable insights that will sustain and energize your journey. The authors don't sugar coat their principles or try to make parenting seem easy. They acknowledge the difficulties, but provide more than adequate inspiration to accompany many truths that will equip parents well. They often suggest things that may take a little more work on the surface, but will greatly improve the results and increase the satisfaction and sense of purpose along the way. Oftentimes, we as parents feel we're constantly in the corrective mode and trying to "get kids to behave." This book offers a refreshing approach that focuses on building relationships, the joy of great character, building on strengths and a life of wisdom leading to success. I feel a sigh of relief coming on and see the sun of hope rising on the horizon! This book is super-charged with practical and easy to find advice and, more importantly, it is infused with a Christ-focused way of thinking about the parenting journey. It is a proactive versus reactive approach that will empower you to be a great parent.
Julianna0415 More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent resource for all parents to use regarding biblical based parenting. Fifty easy to read chapters that allow you to quickly flip to the right topics for the immediate issue in your child's life. You can find wonderful ways to relate to your child, ways to discipline your child, ways to encourage heart-based behavior that will CHANGE their behavior, and scriptural references to be able to relate to. I highly recommend this book to all parents with children of any age!
kbyno More than 1 year ago
This book offers parents a way to keep focused on the goal of shaping a child's heart in very practical & quick chapters! It offers sensible advice, practical examples, and refreshing solutions. It's the kind of book that you can reference often or read through the entire thing to get great parenting tips that you can locate by topic. I know that I will be using it over and over just to help myself stay focused on what is important with my children! Love this book! So helpful! 
TimWC More than 1 year ago
Are you a parent?  Then this handbook is a must have resource for you.  Every parent needs to constantly think about their parenting approach and this book has been the best resource that I have ever found to help do just that.  This book is 50 short chapters (amazing for busy parents like me) and it is very practical.  It is thought provoking and helps you through the planning/implementing process of taking on a heart-based parenting approach.  It is a handbook that can help you now and long term as you move your kids into mature, productive, Christian lives.    
HolliLee More than 1 year ago
Relational Parenting, an encouraging perspective. I've read two other books by these authors; Good and Angry and Say goodbye to whining, complaing and bad attitudes in you and your children. I loved both of those books and learned so much about reaching my childs heart and not only focusing on behavior. This book was no different, but it's layout was very unique. 50 short easy chapters that are easy to read yet full of depth and practical content. I'm going back through the book with a highlighter this time. I've bought and read many parenting books and some are better than others. This will be one you quote to your friends and one that rings in your ears as you parent your children. Loved this book.
Boomer_R More than 1 year ago
Like a cook with their favorite recipe book or mechanic with a shop manual, this a book you'll want to read over and over and keep handy on your shelf for quick reference. The concise chapters and to-the-point advice is perfect for parents needing solid, biblical help at the speed of life. You'll want a copy for yourself and for anyone else who works with children. Excellent!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
swt_angel_79 More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful parenting guide that teaches you how to parent from the heart and reach the heart of your children.  This is a must read for all parents and should be on every parents bookshelf at home for reference.  Love this book!
ebeau More than 1 year ago
I received The Christian Parenting Handbook by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller through the Booksneeze program. Mind you I’ve read SEVERAL parenting books, as a mom of 3 very strong willed children I have had to as a means to stay sane. The biggest thing that grabbed me was the introduction. Not even the ‘meat’ of the book and the strategies offered were these:  1. Begin with Prayer. 2. Build on a biblical foundation 3. Think long term 4. Remember what’s important 5. Watch for variations on a theme 6. Focus on the heart. Of course, why didn’t I think of those? The other thing that struck me was that right off the authors of this book tell you that this book is not the be all and end all of parenting. This book is a book of ideas and ways to implement those ideas as a parent with a potentially hectic lifestyle. Although all of the book was very informative, innovative and just generally well written my favorite chapter dealt with the subject of consistency. It’s an area where my husband and I have beat ourselves silly trying to be consistent and sometimes it just doesn’t work. What a relief it was to hear other parents say, “consistency is overrated.” The reasoning behind this is that consistency is largely based on behavior modification as opposed to teaching your child to resolve an issue of the heart.  Well written and easy to read I will recommend this book to all the parents I know. I’d give it 5 out of 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Disclaimer: I received a copy if this book from BookSneeze  in exchange for an honest review.  The Christian Parenting Handbook by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller is a wonderfully heartfelt book. It truly focuses on the heart of the child and parent. It's wonderful to have a God centered book that has practical guidelines, suggestions and real life examples.  Affirming approximately the right behavior is a great chapter about encouraging children to move in the right direction.  The book also discusses how to help the parent assist the guide the child. For example not yelling at the child is doing their best to do what they have been told. The child has God in their heart as does the parent but its always the journey and the bumps that bring them all together.  Another talking point that is emphasized that we incorporated is meal times are meant to be together as a family. We cherish this time together.  I hope you enjoy this book as much as we did. 
FollowingThePath More than 1 year ago
I recently read The Christian Parenting Handbook by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller. Turansky and Miller are the founders of the National Center for Biblical Parenting and it shows! The strategies in this book are what they call "heart-based" strategies which basically means that the children will be changing not only their behavior but their hearts. I want this for my children. I do not want them following simply out of obedience, but also because it is the right thing to do. I don't seem to get a lot of resistance from my daughter, but I do get some whining so I love the chapter entitled "Teach Kids to Be Solvers Instead of Whiners". I like how the chapters are structured. They are short and to the point. They often have biblical verses to back them up and include some real-life examples. The real work is left to the parents, but these are some great jumping-off points when a parent may be at a loss for what to do. I would recommend this book to any parent who is struggling to parent their child based on biblical principles or just doesn't know where to start.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“Children don’t come with a manual”, goes the proverbial saying.  Well now they do if you purchase the Christian Parenting Handbook.  This book gets to the heart of the matter; pointing children’s hearts back to Jesus.  Laid out in 50 easy to read chapters, the book addresses topics such as communicating emotions, sibling rivalry, punishment vs. discipline and more.  The book inspires hope by turning the parents attention away from annoying behaviors to developing action plans that address deeper heart issues in a way that encourages and motivates the child and parent.  A major nugget of truth from the book is “Instead of viewing discipline times as annoying detours on the path of life, they see them as opportunities to further develop character in their kids.  A small change in perspective can make all the difference.”  Because the book is comprised of 50 different strategies, it does not need to be read straight from over to cover, you can go to the table of contents and find the strategy most applicable for your current situation.  This is a book you will revisit again and again as your children move through their ages and stages of development.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the short chapter format of the Christian  Parenting Handbook.  In just a few minutes I can learn a new tip or be reminded of an idea to improve my parenting skills!  I especially love the flexibility and encouragement to make changes if one particular strategy stops working or doesn't work.  Start with one skill until it becomes instinctual then work on another skill.  Well done!  Kirk Weaver, Family Time Training