What’s In It For Me?
Check out this review of Scott Turansky’s Motivate Your Child.
Parenting effectively is often a challenge. While it may be difficult to imagine, children are capable of displaying initiative and being internally motivated. Imagine a world where our children complete their chores and get ready for school without us having to hover over their every move.
By motivating with bribes, we are making the reward greater than the desire to achieve something. When we appeal to selfishness in a child, we merely compensate the child for doing something he’d rather not be doing. That’s when we begin to hear the question: “What’s in it for me?”
If this is a question you’re tired of hearing, then let’s work to improve internal motivation and your child’s ability to choose to do what’s right. Think of the time you’ll gain not having to nag and plead with your children.
And so it came to me, by mail, the book you may not have known about but secretly had hoped held some answers. Motivate Your Child left a few impressions on me I’d like to share. Consider this, what drives you? And why do you do what you do? It’s an issue of heart. We are driven by the passions and stirrings within our hearts. That’s where we find our desires and values. Our motivation to get things done needs to come from inside of us not from Mom or Dad telling us what to do.
These skills will take your child from relying on your every instruction to complete each task to listening more to their own internal voice, from your nagging of “Did you eat breakfast? Did you brush your teeth? Get your backpack,” into simply “Watch the clock.” Can you see the difference in saying “be careful” and “I like that you’re trying new things”? Listen to what you are repeating and notice if this phrase is uplifting and driven to help the child find his own solutions or if the phrases are demanding and diminishing a child’s ability to use his or her own conscious.
Responsibility will begin to develop as children rely on their own internal promptings to do what’s right. Using the methods and training laid out in the book means a parent successfully transfers responsibility to the child to complete the task well and to remember to get it done. This will include giving your child a cue to help them remember if the task is done. As you build a sense of obligation for a task, you will be asking “What should you be doing instead?”
Finally, here’s a skill challenge. It’s called “the blessing task”. This task helps build internal motivation by adding something to the to-do list for each family member to complete daily. Each morning allow your child to think of one thing that would add to family life. It might be helping a younger sibling, setting the table for dinner, or making someone a card. Regardless of the specific task, the intention should focus on finding a need that isn’t being met around the house and doing it without being asked.
Your parenting potential is limitless when you focus your energies in the right direction. Give it a go and see what works with your family. Try presenting it to the family in a positive way such as “Let’s get together as a family and try out some new ideas”. Please don’t be shy; after you purchase your copy, let us know what you think of the numerous ideas contained in the book Motivate Your Child. Share your stories about how you have been developing strong moral and spiritual development in your children.
This article was contributed by Holly Mitchell, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor in affiliation with ChangePoint Counseling in Forney, TX. This book was provided to me free of charge from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.