Book Review: Motivate Your Child with Internal Motivation

Parenting is a tough job – any parent will tell you that. There are a few of us, even with multiple kids, who flounder and wonder if we’re doing this whole parenting thing right at all when what worked with the older kids no longer works with a younger sibling.

Some parenting books make me feel more guilty than empowered. Turansky and Miller offer practical insight to help parents find attainable ways to motivate their kids with the big picture in mind and not just the crisis at hand. Great blend of challenging us but making spiritual parenting doable.

– Ron Hunter Jr., executive director and CEO of Randall House,
D6 Conference Director, and coauthor of Toy Box Leadership

There are so many times I have felt this way. When they were younger, motivation was getting a snack after a task was completed, or being able to go shopping and buy something they have wanted. Now that they are older though, that motivation doesn’t work as well. The parenting books I’ve read have made me feel guiltily – definitely not empowered – more often than not.

I had the opportunity to review “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. I did receive compensation for my review; however, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own, as always.

Motivate Your Child - Book Review from Life in a House of Testosterone

Internal Motivation vs. External Motivation

Wow, was this an eye-opener for me. I’ve always pushed my kids to do their best, and when they’ve fallen short of my expectations, I’m afraid that my disappointment is clearly written across my face and in the words that I spoke. I’ve provided external motivations instead of focusing on internal motivations. Let me explain.

Turansky and Miller explain that parenting is the process of giving children the tools that they need to navigate life, that the destination is NOT the journey, and parents confuse that quite often. If you think of the different tools that you give your child to navigate life, what would you say that they were? We teach our children morals and values to help them navigate life, but have you ever thought of the internal GPS system that each of us are born with?

God has given us an internal GPS system inside our human hearts, made up of a strong faith and a good conscience. When the two work together, they help your child to accurately navigate the road of life, enabling them to choose the wisest path, not the most convenient path. Your internal GPS helps you make choices based on your internal convictions instead of simply acting to get some sort of reward.

Parents who emphasize the journey are able to help their kids understand life and work through all of the challenges they will face, and help them to read the map. These children, in time, understand how they arrived at their destination and what is important in life.

Turansky and Miller said it best when they wrote:

It is not very helpful to look at a map after you’ve already reached the end of your journey.

As we walk through life with our children, we can teach them “map reading” and “navigation” because there is a lot to learn about plotting the best route to reach your destination. But how do we teach them how to change course to avoid problems? Or teach them how to hang in there until they overcome those problems? Poor navigation leads to ships running aground and cars to go over cliffs. So how do you help your child avoid poor navigation?

Motivate Your Child helps parents to see that teaching their children how to navigate life and anchor their decisions based on God’s signposts and directions, teaches their children to find their way to new heights and uncharted territories. It shows you how to provide the navigation with the destination to your children.

One of the most important items that I’ve taken from this book is that,

In the midst of it all, there must be a core that helps children to change their hearts, not just their behavior.

Faith and good conscience are two internal navigation tools that were designed to maneuver the human heart through the challenges of life. This book defines those two tools and provides the parent with hands-on strategies to develop an accurate and reliable GPS for your child’s heart. Passing on your faith to your children and helping them each develop a clear and strong conscience are strategic for success in life.

Three Levels of Thinking

Finally, I would like to tell you about the three levels of thinking that Turansky and Miller discuss at length that contribute to your child’s moral and spiritual development.

Level One.  Level one thinking is what kids engage in every day, thinking about themselves and their own activities.

Level Two.  Level two thinking advances responsibility in kids at any age. It focuses on other people, other tasks, and time.

Level Three.  Level three thinking considers what God might be doing in the present situation, further increasing a child’s maturity. These higher levels of thinking increase internal motivation.

A Special Gift from Motivate Your Child

If you pre-order or purchase Motivate Your Child from any retailer before January 31, 2015, you will receive $150 of parenting materials absolutely free to help you with your journey.

Once you have made your purchase, send an email with the subject line MYC150 Promo along with a receipt of your purchase to Biblical Parenting will then send you the link and a special code to grant you access to these downloadable video, audio and written products.

If you would like to learn the valuable tool of using internal motivation versus external motivation for your children, I highly recommend getting a copy of Motivate Your Child today!


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