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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.


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



Picture Source: danipupani.tumblr.com


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


Holly Mitchell, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor




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Review: Why Did I Lose My Job If God Loves Me?

Why Did I Lose My Job If God Loves Me? by Rick Pritikin

Non-Fiction. Published 2013.

Read: October 2013, 208 pages


Book Blurb:

Help and Hope when you need it most. If you are one of the millions of Americans in the midst of career transition, chances are that you’re discouraged by the difficulty of finding work. Rick J. Pritikin, a former business executive and founder of Christian Fellowship and Placement Ministries, understands firsthand the feelings of hopelessness and despair that typically accompany the loss of a job. Writing from personal experience, Rick has authored 31 daily biblically-based meditations that address the unique challenges faced by anyone who is unemployed. Practical, intimate, and always inspirational, each daily reading will help you find rich personal growth and intimacy with God during this time in which God is preparing you for your next career opportunity. As you spend 31 days reading through Why Did I Lose My Job If God Loves Me? you will rediscover that you can depend on God no matter what the future looks like on the surface.


Why Did I Lose My Job was easy to engage in and connected to the author’s personal story. It provided support and scripture references. This book was provided to me by Booksneeze.com in exchange for my review.


Sometimes we feel God isn’t on our side when bad things happen. Career transition can be positive if you are able to take this time to grow in spirit, courage, and grow in all areas in your life through hardships. We all experience the evils of this world and God never leaves our side.

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Review: Undaunted

undauntedUndaunted by Christine Caine

Non-Fiction. Published 2013.

Read: July 2013, 201 pages


Book Blurb:

Part inspirational tale, part manifesto to stir you and your small group to lives of adventure, Undaunted shows the way to redemption that is found when faith becomes action. Using her own dramatic life story, Caine shows how God rescued her from a life where she was unnamed, unwanted, and unqualified. She tells how she overcame abuse, abandonment, fears, and other challenges to go on a mission of adventure, fueled by faith and filled with love and courage. As Christine tells of how she realized the significance of her own life and choices, she will inspire you and your small group to grasp lives that bring hope and create change for Christ.


Undaunted was impressive because of Caine’s story and her generosity to give back through A21. A21 Campaign which strives to  prevent trafficking through awareness and education, protect those who have been trafficked by building shelters and transition homes, and prosecute traffickers and strengthen the legal response to human trafficking. No one can do everything but someone can do something. You can make donations and get involved through this site. This book was provided to me by Booksneeze.com in exchange for my review.


Undaunted is broken into four sections: God Knows My Name, God Knows My Pain, God Knows My Fear, & God Knows My Destiny. The book provides examples and compelling testimonials to help overcome the challenges, but also to grow from those experiences and be equipped and empowered to help others. Christine tells you about her abuse, finding out she is adopted as an adult, and her mission for the future. She is driven to help others because of the heartache she has experienced and her devotion to God. This book is inspiring and insightful. She wants to help others pursue their passions of aiding others and live for God.


Hurting people hurt other people in turn.  -p76

Joy and happiness are not the same thing. Happiness is based on circumstances. Joy is based on God. -p95

Whoever saves one life saves the entire world. -p158

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Review: Bound Together

boundBound Together by Chris Brauns

Non-Fiction. Published 2013.

Read: May 2013, 208 pages


Book Blurb:

We are not just isolated individuals. Instead, our lives are woven together with others. We have solidarity with other people—the choices one person makes affects the lives of others, for good and for bad. Because much of the pain we endure in life is in the context of relationships, this truth often strikes us as unfair. Why should a child suffer because of the choices of his parents? And on a grander scale, why do we all suffer the curse of Adam’s sin? Why should anyone be judged for someone else’s sin? In Bound Together, Chris Brauns unpacks the truth that we are bound to one another and to the whole of creation. He calls this, ‘the principle of the rope.’ Grasping this foundational principle sheds new light on marriage, the dynamics of family relationships, and the reason why everyone lives with the consequences of the sins that others commit. Brauns shows how the principle of the rope is both bad news and good news, revealing a depth to the message of the gospel that many of us have never seen before.


Bound Together lacked personality and doesn’t quite keep your attention. It provides information on the topic and biblical principles. This book was provided to me by Booksneeze.com in exchange for my review.


I’ll share with you parts I did enjoy of Bound Together. It explains how we are tied together with others in good and bad. Page 25: ‘Today a couple of kids in my class got in trouble. So none of us got to go out for recess.’ Page 60: Why does God allow Evil? ‘We live in a world that is fallen and corrupt because of the sin of one man. Great evil exists in this world because we are evil.’ Page 80: But we cannot blame our choices and actions on the sins of others. Page 87: We can use the principle of the rope to bring others closer to God by demonstrating Christ-like behaviors. Thankfully the power of God is greater than the weight of our sins.

If good and evil were in a tug of war with you.. where would you be?

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Review: Like Dandelion Dust

Like Dandelion Dust by Karen Kingsbury

Fiction. Published 2006.

Read: March 2013, 368 pages


Book Blurb:

When Joey Campbell’s biological father is released from prison, four-year-old Joey faces a life no one could’ve planned. His father wants custody, and a judge’s quick decision deals a devastating blow to the Campbell family. Joey must be returned to his biological parents. In a haze of grief and disbelief, the Campbells watch their adopted son pick a dandelion and blow the feathery seeds into the wind.

And in the days following the ruling, Jack Campbell conceives a desperate and dangerous thought. What if they can devise a way out? What if they take Joey and just disappear? Both families will learn that sometimes the greatest love is in letting go- Like Dandelion Dust.


The topic was intriguing but delivered only a moderate and lacking presentation. Like Dandelion Dust felt like it was hastily created  with no personal meaning or emotional toiling from the author. This book is mildly recommended if you enjoy the author already.


Like Dandelion Dust is a ‘Christian/Religious’ section fiction novel. Karen Kingsbury has written many novels that are in series and although I have not read any other books by the author, it appeared her writing was not passionate or meaningful. It felt like she was trying to sell a book versus telling a good story.

Joey is taken away from his adopted family when his biological father reports he did not give away his rights. His adopted family plots to disappear with Joey after he starts visiting his biological parents. His biological father is abusive and the Campbells fear for Joey. In the end, the families learn about letting go (well someone learns this lesson twice).

I did enjoy Beth’s unrelenting faith and young Joey’s new relationship with God. He comes to know God through his confusing family arrangement and has someone who is always with him and keeping him safe. The book was made into a movie in 2010.


“That’s ’cause God made it happen.” He grinned. “I asked Him.” -p358

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