Friday, January 30, 2015

Motivate Your Child - Book Review

Parenting seems to be an area of perpetual growth for me.  How to parent more effectively isn't really something I thought I'd be thinking about at this stage in the game.  Now was to be a time of exploring subjects that I was interested in learning more about like photography and psychology, or maybe gardening and natural medicine, but certainly not how to be a better, more effective parent.  Well, we all know the old saying, "We make plans, and God laughs".  I'm pretty sure he's had a few good belly-rolls to my credit, and that was just yesterday.  Am I alone on this?

Yes, we have 10 children.  Yes, we made mistakes.  (eh, hem...still make mistakes)  What's different now with these three that remain in our charge than the seven that went before them?  Us.  Simply put, we are different.  Although we found ourselves a little blindsided with the idea of raising not one, but three more children after our, let's just say, prime child rearing years, one gift we've discovered is the gift of conscious decision making and real planning.

If you've been around here any length of time you know that stepping into the big things in life with a plan and an idea of how we'd like things to turn out really isn't what we do around here.  However, with hindsight being 20/20, and stronger faith base present in our lives, books like Motivate Your Child finding their way into our clutches is a little more than happenstance as far as I am concerned.  Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN, have done a wonderful job equipping parent with the knowledge of the conscience, it's importance in the development of our children, and the relevance it hold in our faith walk.  Despite my becoming more conscious about the way I parent these past five years, I can honestly say that I had never once given thought to helping my children develop a strong conscience.  It just never crossed my mind.

Motivate Your Child is a two-part book written in a practical manner that first addresses the moral development of our children, and then addresses their spiritual development.  The insights given are simply stated, and plenty of real life experiences are present to illustrate the concepts at work in real life families.  What I like most about the real life families is that so many different types of families are represented.  That spoke to my heart.  Often times when we read a book on parenting it seems to be written to the "normal" family.  You know.  That nuclear family with a mom and dad and four children.  Families of all types are represented here, even homeschooling families.  This is something I noticed right away, because we are anything but normal in our makeup.  The fact that step-families, adoptive families, foster families, single parent families, as well as two parent families are all represented indicates to me that the unique challenges faced to each of us do not exclude us from the ability to implement the ideas shared within the pages of this wonderful book.

After reading Motivate Your Child I feel empowered.  Parenting to the heart is something that I've always felt instinctively, but my instincts on how to actually pull this off have been a little faulty.  With the responsibility of ushering three more young people into adulthood I have never taken my role as parent more seriously.  Never before have I known how to so effectively remove myself from the circumstance and not take things so personally.  Never before have I had the tools to empower my children through teaching and discipline.  Praise God I am figuring these things out more and more.  With a book like Motivate Your Child in my tool belt things are certain to continue to improve for my family.  Something that I was taught within the last year is reiterated within these pages, and that is that truly effective parenting begins with disciplining myself.  It seems so simple now that it's out in the open for me, but it really has been a real lesson for me to learn.

My view of my role as a parent has really morphed over the years.  Motivate Your Child is a book that met a lot of my hi-lighter, and I will be sure to reference it time and again as we implement more of what we learned through its teachings.  This resource really fills a gap for me.  I have always struggled with how to impart biblical teaching on the hearts of my children.  Coming up with awesome parables for all of life's circumstances has never been my gift.  BUT, with the teachings on building internal motivation and the promptings of the conscience, as well as the spiritual lessons, I am better equipped now than ever before.  The knowledge imparted through the pages of Motivate Your Child has put me in a better position than ever before to raise thoughtful young people with a strong spiritual walk that see their mistakes as learning opportunities rather than failures.  For this I am thankful.

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