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Review: Motivate Your Child

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.

 

 

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Review: The Mindful Child

I am Stressed About Being Stressed

Is stress causing your child to feel overwhelmed? Check out this review of Susan Kaiser Greenland’s The Mindful Child.

mindfulchild

Available on Amazon

 

What is Mindfulness: Mindfulness can be described as paying attention to the moment. When I stop to take a break and become aware of my self, my thoughts, my feelings, and my surroundings, I am being mindful. Wikipedia describes mindfulness as a meditative practice that has gained worldwide popularity as a distinctive method to handle emotions. It is when we purposely bring awareness to our experience.

Mindfulness can help your family to not get too caught up in the past or future. It switches our attention to what’s happening in the present helping to reduce emotional reactions such as tantrums or panic. Learning mindfulness can help you or your child gain peacefulness and control as opposed to feeling stressed out.

 

Review of The Mindful Child: This book offers practical and applicable skills for parents to teach mindfulness to their children. It begins with learning breathing techniques that can be taught to your child through activities and scripts you read aloud. After mastering breathing techniques, Greenland’s book helps you practice direct, focused attention which is especially useful for an overactive mind.

Further, the book is a tool to gain compassion and control over our emotions. For example, in learning to choose our emotions, it includes a quick story about a farmer whose events are not predictable so overreacting would not help his situation at all. Lots of times we are causing our own distress due to our reaction of an event and it doesn’t always fit what happened. The Mindful Child can help your family learn to let go, use your imagination, and practice as you teach!

 

Practice Breathing: Ask your child to get comfortable in a sitting position and to close their eyes. To draw their attention to their breathing by putting their hand on their stomach as they feel it gently rise and fall with every breath. After completing several cycles, guide their attention to any thoughts or feelings that come up. Ask your child to visualize letting their thoughts or feelings go and retain focus back to breathing. Continue and repeat as many times as feels appropriate.

For another way to practice deep breathing this summer, have your child be aware of their breathing rhythm while blowing a pinwheel.

 

The Best Part: My favorite application of The Mindful Child includes “A Radical Act of Kindness” script that allows children to take a moment to be compassionate and kind towards themselves and let go of worries or struggles. Instead, allow room to embrace and be conscious of your inner beauty. Our acceptance of our passions and abilities allow us to better contribute and find purpose.

 

Put It Into Action: Check out these resources to practice your new skills! This link will take you to a Friendly Wishes visualization useful for children ages 6-10. Then, try Stargazing!

 

More About The Author: Susan Kaiser Greenland began learning and using mindfulness practices after her husband was diagnosed with stage four lymphoma. She developed the Inner Kids Mindful Awareness Program for children and families as a result of her passion about using breathing and mindfulness techniques.

 

Visit Greenland’s Upcoming Event In Dallas: May 29th- May 30th 2014 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm at the Crow Collection of Asian Art $25 for the public

 

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Picture Source: danipupani.tumblr.com

 

This article was contributed by Holly Mitchell, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor in affiliation with ChangePoint Counseling in Forney, Tx.

Hollypic

Holly Mitchell, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor

 

 

 

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Review: Dreams and Visions

Dreams and Visions by Tom Doyle

Non-Fiction. Published 2012.

Read: April 2013, 272 pages

★★★★☆

Book Blurb:

What would you do if Jesus appeared to you in a dream? What if He came to you in a vision and told you to follow Him? What if these visions continued for over thirty days? would you believe? Would you put your trust in him? Would you devote your life to him?

Would you if you were Muslim?

Pastor Tom Doyle has spent eleven years as a full-time missionary in the Middle East and Central Asia, spreading the word of Jesus Christ. Throughout his journey he has encountered a staggering number of Muslims who were first introduced to Jesus through a vision or dream so powerful that they eventually turned from their lifelong religion of Islam and embraced Christ as their Savior. Despite living in a culture where converting to Christianity can result in execution, these former Muslims have found hope, peace, and inspiration that comes from knowing Christ. Their stories will amaze you. Jesus is reaching out to the Muslims and they are responding. Did you know that Iran has the fastest growing church in the world?

Dreams and Visions is a remarkable collection of stories directly from the world of Islam. Doyle not only relates these stories, but also addresses the questions: Why would God use dreams to reach the Muslim world? Can dreams be trusted? What happens after these dreams or visions occur? Travel to the heart of the Middle East to meet new believers who have truly been touched by Jesus in the most miraculous way, through their nightly dreams.

Impressions:

Although it is very dense, this book delivers an interesting trip through the Middle East. You will meet many individuals who are experiencing dreams and visions of Jesus, moving them away from Islam and closer to Christianity. It describes how learning more about Islam can deepen your discipleship to Muslims and how God is working to help them receive the message of Jesus. I received Dreams and Visions through booksneeze. I recommend it to people who want to know more about the Muslim culture and are interested in discipleship. It may take you a while to get through the book but it’s well worth it.

Thoughts:

Dreams and Visions is completely fascinating. Foremost, it explains how Muslims are receiving dreams of Jesus and coming to Christianity. It explains how these dreams break down barriers and create questioning for them. The book explains Middle Eastern culture and the dangers of converting. It is a way for the author to explain how to be empathetic and disciple Muslims.

In chapter 16, Doyle explains that Judaism focuses on knowledge, Islam focuses on power, and Christianity focuses on love. People are more willing to come to Christ when they feel and see the difference that Jesus loves them. He points out that Muslims have built-in presuppositions. Understanding how the Qur’an depicts Jesus versus statements that are backed/not backed by the Bible are critical in any Christians ability to explain their faith to Muslims.

Quotes:

Minutes after she clicked Send for the last time, Fatima’s brother entered the room. He beat her cruelly, breaking bones and rupturing skin. Finally, he cut out her tongue and dragged her outside where he burned her alive. -p61

The Bibles sewn into my hijab are uncomfortable. But I get twenty Injils each trip to Jordan. -p68

I resigned myself to thinking, God just doesn’t work that way today. But I was really, really wrong. -p126

Dreams and visions break down barriers that keep Muslims from embracing Christ. -p241

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Review: More Hot Stuff to Help Kids Chill Out

More Hot Stuff to Help Kids Chill Out by Jerry Wilde

Non-Fiction. Published 2000.

Read: February 2013, 85 pages

★★★☆☆

Book Blurb:

This is a follow up to the popular original Hot Stuff provides children and adolescents with new ideas to cope with anger and hostility. This book also contains ideas to help manage stress, which is an important component of any anger management program. More Hot Stuff is filled with more illustrations, more activities, and more ideas to help kids learn to handle their anger before their anger handles them.

Impressions:

I do not own the original Hot Stuff so I cannot speak to it’s comparison. This little book is packed of starting points for kids to grasp how anger and stress interact. It has an anger survey at the beginning and end to show your improvements in each area the book covers. I would recommend this primarily for late elementary or middle school ages. It is a workbook style and has illustrations to break up monotony.

Thoughts:

More Hot Stuff  points out that we are in control of our anger. It addresses our self-talk.. what are we telling ourselves about anger?

Importantly, the author added several facts and information on the seriousness of stress and ways to reduce stress- the always important positive coping skills such as calling a friend, exercising, listening to music, being artistic, mediating, playing a musical instrument, and reading. I really like this book and use the concepts regularly. It would be great for a take home assignment. Anger causing beliefs, errors in thinking, and managing anger are included as well.

Quotes:

You, and only you, control how you feel. -p24

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