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Jun 10, 2015

Motivate Your Child Action Plan {Review}

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I recently had the opportunity to read and now review another National Center for Biblical Parenting product.  This follow up book, Motivate Your Child Action Plan, has just been released.  Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller have co-authored another convicting parenting guide.  You do not need to have a copy of Motivate Your Child to use with the MYC Action Plan, though it is helpful.  It was an excellent resource and I reviewed it as well.  Motivate Your Child is referred to frequently in footnotes throughout the MYC Action Plan, letting you know when it would be a good time to read a specific chapter.


In identifying conscience prompters, I found a long list of traits of good character.  Each is to be marked Already Strong or Needs Improvement.  This section was a bit disheartening, and I know I wasn't the only reviewer who felt this way.  While it was encouraging to know others are in the same boat, I also hated to hear how many good people are struggling with their kids. The enemy is dangerous and these are troubling times. This book really brings to mind the very real war we are engaged in for our children's eternities.


Thankfully, we were able to get some clarification from Dr. Turansky who said, "If you have a lot of things and wonder which direction to go first, just choose one that the Lord impresses on your heart. The interesting thing about the heart is that when you work on one area often you'll see other areas of the heart change as well."  You are also encouraged to group like issues together.  Fifteen traits which need improvement can easily become four general issues to tackle.  That simplified matters so much when taken in smaller bites.  

"Meetings" have become more frequent.  I hold a conference with one boy or another every few days.  Sometimes we just chat about our concerns and sometimes we have an all out brain storming session.  The boys still tend to not be especially helpful here, I get a lot of "I don't knows."  Something that has helped give me insight into their minds and hearts was when Daddy asked them some of those interview questions you sometimes see.  How do you know Mom loves you?  What is something Mom is not very good at?  How old is Mom?  (OK, that last one wasn't relevant, but the replies really cracked me up!)  Some of their answers were eye-opening and gave me plenty to think about!

One of the things I've needed to do during our chats is try to remember to change up my vocabulary.  The boys have heard "obey" and "be kind" so much, they just tune it out.  I know they need more clear instruction and to hear words they aren't already sick of hearing.

I've been using far too much reactive parenting.  I don't respond well to issues that arise, mostly because it's the same issues again and again.

Likely, the change in your child will require change in you.
                                         page 14

I've found very clear encouragement and assistance in the MYC Action Plan in the form of dialog examples and fill-in sections for my own thoughts on each boys' specific needs (as well as my own!).  This isn't a book that was written as a "one and done" read.  I will be able to use the information to map a route to our character destination at each phase of their time with us in the family home.



Motivate Your Child Action Plan includes 12 audio session downloads which correlate with each chapter of the book.  The chapters are
  • Change in Forty Days
  • Where Do You Want to Go?
  • The Map to Get There
  • Working Together
  • A Place For Firmness
  • Visioning Moves You Forward
  • Teaching Shows the Way
  • Spiritual Energy Provides Strength
  • Coaching Sets the Attitude
  • Building Motivation from Within
  • Growing Together
  • Good Theology Makes it Work


If you've never heard Dr. Turansky speak on radio shows or at a conference, I think you'll really enjoy listening to him and to Mrs. Miller.

Motivate Your Child Action Plan is a 162 page paperback published by The National Center for Biblical Parenting.
List Price $39.95, is currently $29.95 (a savings of 25%)

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May 3, 2015

Not So Clean

Step 1.  Sit on the kitchen floor.

Step 2.  Pray hard.

Step 3.  When you open your eyes, look around before you get up.

You will be amazed by all the hidden dirt you can't see when you aren't praying.

Feb 15, 2015

Two Left Feet ...or, Something Like that

Did your kids ever struggle figuring out which shoe goes on which foot?  Mine have, and sometimes still do.  They would be struggling to cram a foot into the wrong shoe, I'd correct them and that same rebellious shoe would miraculously slide right onto the right foot.  Sometimes, they'd get both shoes on wrong.  I'd get them to switch while they bemoaned that they'd never get it right.  Sometimes, I let them stay wrong-footed.  No harm in that, I thought.

Today's high temp is below zero F.  It's "wicked cold," as the New Englanders like to say.  I ran out to care for the chickens.  Normally, the water stays warm enough with a lightbulb for heat that I can just knock the frozen ring off the surface of the water.  Not so today.  I brought the waterer in to thaw and refill, which meant kicking off my clunky winter boots.  You see where this is going, right?

Armed with fresh, warm water for Fluffy, Fluffy, Fluffy, Fluffy, and Fluffy (Xav named them.  Don't look at me like that.), I wrestled on a boot.  Immediately, I knew it was wrong, but I just wanted to get out and back as quickly as possible.  With both boots on, I headed down the back stairs.  It felt so wrong.  Then I went out front to grab the newspaper and I realized what a bad decision it was not to take the time to fix the problem.

When you are walking on soft snow or even semi-packed snow, walking is difficult enough.  Add in wrong-footed shoes and you are just asking for trouble.  There is NO support under the outside edge of your foot.  Zero.  Your ankles roll.  A lot.  Uphill.  In the snow.  Both ways.  (I crack myself up!)



I advise correcting your child's shoe placement every time.  And maybe watch yourself.  Sigh...  Someday I'll be all grown up.

Jan 31, 2015

Parenting the Heart and Motivating Your Child

This post contains affiliate links.

I was invited to read and review the book Motivate Your Child by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller.  If you aren't familiar with the National Center for Biblical Parenting (NCBP), I recommend you check them out.  At the website, you can commit to Parent the Heart of your child (nearly 1,000 people already have), listen to the weekly podcast, sign up to receive email tips, and read a great blog.


The newest release at NCBP is the book, Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told.  That's a long title.  It's also a great book.  Authors Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN have collaborated on another practical work which includes real-life conversations between parents and children or that he has had in his counseling sessions. All of the conversations in this book were realistic and very doable.  I didn't once read a dialogue and think, "who talks like that?" or "do other four year olds really respond like that?"

I may not have ever mentioned that one of the reasons I did not reapply to The Schoolhouse Review Crew this year was because of my conviction to free up some time to be more intentional about discipling (and disciplining) the punks.  See, I love my boys so very much and I want to be doing my best to raise godly, self-controlled, motivated children.  Dave was so easy to raise (thank God, because I did it alone), I thought I was an amazing parent.  My parenting skills would be like a shining beacon and all who saw my children would be amazed.  Ta-Da!
And then I had Malachi.
And Xavier.
And Merrick.
See that child tantruming in the produce section?  My kids will never do that.  Oh, and look at that little cherub there, throwing a toy train at his brother.  My kids...  Oh.  Wait.  They do that.

Oh how The Lord must laugh at our human prides.

Not one of these last three has been an "easy" kid.  They all have different personalities, which I expected.  I did not expect the range of "issues" we'd experience parenting them.  I learned, very early in this book, that children who are characterized as strong-willed actually have a lot of internal motivation.  I have one child who frequently tells me, "I want what I want when I want it."  Well, that kind of attitude certainly doesn't sway me, but I can see how very strongly he feels.  Motivate Your Child is providing me with valuable insight and plenty of tools to place in my parenting toolbox.

I found several wonderful bible illustrations and activities smattered throughout Motivate Your Child.  The first one in the book and the one I knew the boys would really love, is what Dr. Turansky refers to as "the stupid verse."


We *aren't supposed to* use that word (among others) in our home.  Xav was practically giddy to read it for me several times.  Sigh...  There was a great conversation in the book and I took it a bit further with some thoughts I had.  We have one boy who is incredibly hard on himself and every mistake makes him stupid or bad.  I wanted to begin a more thorough discussion with him than just saying the usual things we say, which don't seem to help.  I talked to Mal and Xav about how my whole job is to teach them.  Some things they just haven't fully learned yet.  We talked about babies and how little they are able to comprehend and how much they have learned in their lives and how very much they will still learn about later.  We had a wonderful conversation which I hope implanted some new thoughts about themselves.  Hopefully, just the first of the many heart parenting conversations we will have.  MYC provided a great jumping off point to develop a real training session about something very important to us.

"Too many kids say unhelpful things in their hearts.  
Parents can write the script of things that are more appropriate."
page 22

The advice in Motivate Your Child applies to all of us, every single person.  So many times I read "children" and knew that I would benefit from the information myself.  We've slipped into many bad habits of relating with each other in negative ways.  One thing I've noticed about myself, my tone of voice is sometimes harsher than I mean for it to be, even when I'm not irritated with anyone.  Habits get so deeply ingrained they are difficult to break.  I'm learning all kinds of valuable tips and actual steps to take to break free from my own attitude and build new relationships with each of my children.

Motivate Your Child sounds like the title of a book to get your children to do their chores and help around the house, but it's really about relationships and getting our hearts right.  Developing the heart qualities described in the book, will help us be caring, helpful, self-motivated people.  The people who will be the godly leaders of the future, people who can make an impact.

By becoming self-motivated, there is no longer a need for a reward system.  Children who are rewarded for good behavior and cooperation expect larger, more expensive rewards as they grow.  We've often punished by taking away a toy or privilege.  Usually, in our home, that means someone loses the one TV show they get each day.  Often that threat gets a response, but they are angry.  We're angry, too.  With Motivate Your Child, I'm learning better ways.  Parenting the heart means to train your child to consider the needs of others, use their time wisely, and to see what needs to be done and do it without being told.

"If you want your child to fly straight, teach them obedience.  
If you want them to fly high, teach them honor."
page 85

Our new rules when asked to complete something are
  • Do your best.
  • Have a good attitude (happy heart).
  • Make it better.
We're cutting down on grumping and stomping when given an assignment.  The boys are being reminded that we're all part of the family and everyone gets the privilege of contributing. What I mean by "make it better," is taking a look around a room or finishing a task and finding one more thing you can do.  It's sort of like the cherry on top of a job well done.

Micah told me his mother taught him that if you borrow something, you return it in better condition than when you took it.  He once told me about borrowing a baking pan.  It had the usual stuff baked onto it.  The kind of stuff that just seems to become part of the pan.  When he returned it, it was shiny again.  That's a great example of doing that "one more thing."

The second part of the book is a wonderful guide to spiritual development of children.  This section is also greatly encouraging to parents to help us be the main spiritual guide for our children.

"Send your child to church - spiritually feed him for a day.  
Live it out at home - spiritually feed him for life."
p 241

This section covers when you encounter resistance from your children, preparing children to face the challenges of life, how do train your children when you're going solo, and many other topics.  To be 100% honest,  I haven't finished this half of the book.  I have found myself reading, re-reading, and highlighting like a madwoman.  Or at least a mom who is tired of the status quo.  This mama is ready for the joy and peace we are promised in Romans 15:13. 

If you're dealing with anger, rebellion, or just plain laziness, I think you will really enjoy reading this book, implementing your new heart parenting skills, and seeing the changes in your family.

Motivate Your Child is a 266 page paperback published by Thomas Nelson.

National Center for Biblical Parenting on social media
NCBP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/National-Center-for-Biblical-Parenting/116883041645
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Motivate Your Child Pinterest Board: http://www.pinterest.com/edmiller1955/motivate-your-child/



Jan 12, 2015

Motivate Your Child Book Launch and Ginormous Giveaway(s)

We're partying all month in honor of a great new Christian parenting book.  There are giveaways and freebies through all of January!  Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told is being released later this month and if you preorder any day through January, you will receive $150 dollars worth of free bonuses from the National Center for Biblical Parenting simply by providing your receipt via email to gift@biblicalparenting.org.  Authors Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN have been writing parenting books together for ages.  They are committed to teaching parents #heartparenting strategies.  Learn more about heart parenting and the authors.

You can join the facebook party on January 29th at 9PM est.  You don't want to miss the fun!  Someone's going to win...


Do you hear angelic voices?  Perhaps Bach Cello Suite No 1?  Or maybe the Beer Barrel Polka?  I know.  It's music to your ears, right?

But wait!  There's more!  Enter the rafflecopter giveaway below for other sweet prizes.

To celebrate the release of Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told,  members of the Launch Team are sharing a wonderful giveaway filled with a Go Pro Camera, $50 Mardel Gift Card, $25 Amazon Gift Card, and book bundles from both the National Center for Biblical Parenting and Thomas Nelson Publishing! Three winners will win prizes with a total value of nearly $800!

motivate your child giveaway

Here’s what you could win: 

GRAND PRIZE  ($500+ value)

Go Pro HERO3+ Silver Camera ($300 value)

HERO3+ Silver captures gorgeous, professional-quality 1080p60 video and 10MP photos at speeds of up to 10 frames per second. Built-in Wi-Fi enables you to use the GoPro App to control the camera remotely, preview shots and share your favorites on Facebook, Twitter and more. Compatible with all GoPro mounts, you can wear it or attach it to your gear for immersive POV footage of your favorite activities. It’s waterproof to 131’ (40m) and built tough for all of life’s adventures. Combined with stunning low-light performance, high-performance audio and an ultra wide-angle glass lens, HERO3+ Silver makes capturing and sharing your life easier than ever.  

NCBP Book Bundle ($115 value)

 The Christian Parenting Handbook  and Companion Guide Parenting is Heart Work God's Awesome Story Hero Training Camp Children's Curriculum

 

Thomas Nelson Book Bundle ($90 value):

The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst  Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson   Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine  All Pro Dad by Mark Merrill  The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill 

***

FIRST PRIZE ($165 value)

$50 Mardel Gift Card

 

NCBP Book Bundle ($115 value)

The Christian Parenting Handbook  and Companion Guide Parenting is Heart Work God's Awesome Story Hero Training Camp Children's Curriculum

***

SECOND PRIZE ($115 value)

$25 Amazon Gift Card

Thomas Nelson Book Bundle ($90 value):

The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst  Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson   Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine  All Pro Dad by Mark Merrill  The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill

 Disclaimer

To enter, use the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway dates: January 12, 2015 @12:00am ET through January 28, 2015 @ 11:59pm ET Terms and Conditions: This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Void where prohibited by law. Must be at least 18 years of age. This giveaway is in no away associated with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Amazon. No purchase necessary for entry. Odds are determined by the number of entries. Selected winner will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn.  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jan 10, 2015

New Math for the New Year

I was able to snag Life of Fred at a discount.  Trust me, that isn't terribly easy to do.  With a "deal" on educents.com and a discount code at Christmastime, I decided to try the first three books with the boys.  I ordered Apples, Butterflies, and Cats because buying any three was the best price offered.

I have stopped expecting miracles of math curriculum.  I keep hoping for The One Math Miracle.  I've tried many of them, several through the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  Some of those we have hands down loved and Xav is on track, but Mal is still struggling along.  There.  It's out there.  He's having a rough time with math. 

So far, we've read and "played along" for six chapters.  We have laughed and giggled our way through Fred's life story, well part of one random, snow-filled day in five year old Fred's life.  The boys love the illustrations and Fred's artistic doll, Kingie.

Xav loves how every animal Fred draws has Fred's head on it.

Mal likes not doing any worksheets. 

The few questions in each chapter are done in a notebook.  Right now, we aren't learning anything new, but the practice is fun and I'm using Life of Fred daily, in addition to other math work.  I can't think of a single kid who wouldn't love these stories.


Jan 4, 2015

I'm back for 2015!

After a most wonderful bloggy break, I'm back on the interwebs.  I have lots of new stuff to share, as well as some catching up to do.

Many people are talking about their new word for 2015.  I've been selecting a word for five or six years now and I always seem to not quite live up to the word I've chosen.  I have even forgotten half of them now.  This year, I'm doing something a bit differently.  Micah and I were talking about an idea for my next chapel (*next* school year!) and that reminded me of something else, which led me down one of those rabbit trails we tend to go down around here.  I ended up selecting a Bible verse for the boys and myself to study, discuss, and memorize.  I chose Ephesians 4 26,27.




I hope and pray you all had a wonderful Christmas and are on the cusp of the most wonderful new year yet!