In parenting circles, there's a lot of information about behavior modification. Personally I've used MANY different behavior modification systems. And you know what I found? With each sticker, card, and ticket positive change does occur...but it does not last! How exhausting!
The key to changing bad behavior is to get at the heart. The heart of your child that is.
Motivate Your Child
If your looking for an easy, light-hearted "I'm ok, you're ok" read to help with child rearing, Motivate Your Child is NOT for you!
However, if you're willing to roll up your sleeves, whole heartedly read and digest Biblical truths to inspire moral and spiritual development in your children, this book has your name on it!
"Moral and spiritual development increase internal motivation. Amazing thing happen when you teach and train your child in those two areas. Specific parenting strategies will adjust common relating patterns, and you'll watch the changes take place in your child's heart."
Motivate Your Child's heart-based approach consists of 21 chapters that instruct you on how to move your child through three levels of thinking: themselves, other people and considering God and His word. The ultimate goal is to develop the conscious to do what's right because it IS right over the gain of a physical reward.
"Why do you do what's right?", what is the typical response? Most children will say, "So I don't get in trouble."
"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."
"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 of children and takes advantage of the work of the conscience and the Holy Spirit."
In addition to identifying poor behaviors, practical real life family situations are presented. I appreciated reading these as it made the ideal of a heart-based change seem attainable.
"The conscience gives four promptings: do what's right, deal with wrongs, be honest, and care about others."
"A trained conscience feeds off of the Scriptures."
The section on correction also instructs parents on the goal of having their children not fear correction, but embrace it! That may seem a bit contradictory, but looking at the process of restoration it makes sense.
First Question: Confession "What did you do wrong?"
Second Question: Getting to the Heart, "Why was that wrong?"
Third Question: What are you going to do differently next time?
End discipline times with hope
It's easy to see this model of training seeks to restore and edify the child instead of knocking them down.
This leads into the next topic of honesty and how it builds "The Integrity Package." (I wonder how many adults even have this!) Plus honor, compassion, initiative (without yelling)....and that's only the FIRST part of the book!
The second half of the book will guide and help you "encourage and stimulate spiritual development in your children....as you build relationships, share scripture and practice faith".
Authors Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN also encourage intentional, weekly family time and share example from three VERY different families. I relate so well to the family with the wide age gaps!
"Always remember that your job isn't to produce results. It's to be faithful and allow God to produce the fruit. You want to have a clear conscience before God in your own life regarding your parenting. Where you've failed, ask forgiveness from God and from your children."
I have to admit that this book has been a godsend in this season of life. There's a tremendous amount of information to sort through in each chapter. I found myself needing to move slowly to absorb each nugget and prayerfully apply it to my family. Due to this fact, I feel it's best to have my husband read this book too. Since we are on the same page spiritually, we plan on going through it chapter by chapter to present a unified front in the journey of parenting.
You can also order Motivate Your Child from Amazon!
The National Center for Biblical Parenting was birthed in the early 90s in the hearts of Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN. Their families worked together in church ministry but it because clear that they had a powerful message that reached the hearts of families. Although they had no idea how big the ministry would develop,they knew that their heart-based, practical, biblical approach was strategic for helping Christian familes reach their full potential.