Earlier this year I reviewed Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller's book, Motivate Your Child. I loved it, as I've loved all of their books! So when the National Center for Biblical Parenting gave me the opportunity to review the Motivate Your Child Action Plan, I might have jumped up and down in excitement!
The Action Plan is a workbook, of sorts to help parents very practically get started with the ideas presented in Motivate Your Child. The Action Plan also comes with 12 30 minute audio downloads, so even if you're an auditory learner, or a mom of little ones who doesn't have time to sit down and read a book, but could listen to audios while doing housework, in the car, or nursing babies, you have that option as well! The audio and the book together are ideal! AND through the end of May, the book is 25%, making it only $29.95!!!
I have to admit, when I first got this book, I dove in . . . I wanted to develop an action plan with all three of my children, but because it's a very child-specific approach, I would need a separate action plan for each child, and I found myself feeling very overwhelmed. Add in a busy season of life (aren't they all?) and I felt overwhelmed. I decided to take a deep breath, step back, and start with one child. I fully intend to use this plan over and over with each of my children as different issues pop up in our lives. Perhaps most importantly, and one of the things I always love about the National Center for Biblical Parenting every time I attend one of their seminars, listen to one of their audio or video products, or read one of their books, is the reminder that God isn't finished with ME yet. That often when I come up against parenting challenges, the change has to start with me. And this book is no exception. I have been convicted repeatedly, going through this book, of things I need to pray more about and do differently. Working through this process has also reminded me of all the amazing things my kids do and are! (and for those parts I did step back and go over those portions as it relates to all 3 of my children, I wanted the chance to be reminded of EACH of my children's amazingness! And I will likely revisit those pages often, especially when I'm struggling.
After the first couple of chapters, about the same time that I realized I needed to focus on developing a plan for one child at a time, I also realized that as I continued through the book, I wanted to go back and change some of my answers. At that point I decided that, for me, it would work better to read through the entire book before I started actively developing a plan with my child. I also had to let go of timeframes and deadlines (exceptionally hard to do when I'm doing a book review . . . I desperately want to get through the book, and be able to say "this works" (or it doesn't) and here's how I know that! Here's the RESULTS!) There is sooo much in this book, so much to think about and pray about and truly take time at each step along the way. I had to give up my initial idea of "finishing" during the review period. Instead I took time to read through the whole book and now I'm going back through it, and working with my child. Another challenge for our family right now is that each chapter encourages having a "meeting" with your child. Most of the time I love that our family does things together, the girls share a bedroom, much of our school is done together . . . I love that togetherness and have been intentional in encouraging it and fostering it over the year. However, it does make it challenging to find time for lots of one-on-one time with one child, without the other children questioning it. I'm still working on figuring out that part. . .
So, I'm moving slowly with this one. I'm digesting it, praying a LOT . . . praising God for all the positive things He's reminding me of through this book. I can't tell you the end result of it, but I CAN tell you that it's already helped me so much, and is continuing to do so. I strongly recommend it to parents at all stages!!!