Book Review: Motivate Your Child

I’m always looking for books that can help me on this crazy, fun, exhausting journey called parenthood. I am especially drawn to books written from a Christian perspective, as I seek to share my faith with my kids.

Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN are the founders of the National Center for Biblical Parenting, and have a lot to say about parenthood, discipline, and family faith.

Their newest book, Motivate Your Child, is essentially broken into two parts. The first half of the book focuses on teaching kids internal motivation. In other words, not doing something because they will be rewarded or punished for it (external motivation), but because it is the right thing to do. It gave a lot of practical advice on what a “conscience building” interaction would look like, and how kids can get out of the mindset of “what’s in it for me”, and into the character building “who can I bless by doing this?”

The second half of the book is about incorporating Family Time, or family devotionals into your schedule, why they’re so beneficial, and different ideas for keeping it enjoyable for young children. One thing that struck me was how the authors made sure to encourage the reader to use an age appropriate Bible translation and to follow up Family Time with a shared activity. This was to teach the child that God isn’t just something that becomes relevant once you get to be an adult, but that time with Him should be exciting and anticipated at all ages.

I gleaned a lot of good ideas from this book, and I’m excited to start putting them into practice. I’m hoping that some of the strategies will help Tater from all the whining and dawdling when I ask her to do something. I don’t plan to remove all external motivations…I think her getting allowance, for example, can teach life lessons as well, but at the advice of Motivate Your Child, I’m definitely going to minimize external rewards, and instead work on getting my kids to learn honor, compassion, and integrity.

*Thank you to BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson Publishing for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

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