Book Review: Motivate your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told

By on 2/09/2015 12:20:00 PM

Are your kids self motivated?  Do they take the initiative to get things done---or do they rely on mom and dad for constant reminders and prodding?  If your days turn into hours and hours of begging, pleading, arguing, and bribing to get the kids to accomplish the day's simple tasks (getting ready for school, doing homework, cleaning bedrooms, etc.)--you may be ready to approach parenting a little differently.   I recently had the opportunity to read and review Motivate your Child:  A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.    Since raising responsible, self-driven kids is certainly one of my goals--I was excited to read this book and learn more about the authors' suggestions.  Now, I'm excited to share my review of this parenting guide with you. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book for use in my review--as well as a complimentary parenting resource bonus pack (which is also available to my readers who purchase the book via details at the end of this post) .  All opinions and experiences are my own and are not influenced by the publisher. 

Quick Summary of Motivate your Child:  A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told.  Most parenting approaches end up encouraging children to ask the wrong questions about life: What’s in it for me? Are you going to pay me for that? What’s the minimum I need to do to get by?  But God’s Word gives us a better way to parent, one that builds strong internal motivation in children. When parents change the way they parent, kids change the way they live. This practical book explores a theology of internal motivation and then gives parents real-life solutions to equip their kids for life.

Motivate Your Child helps parents help children.  While parents are pushed to motivate the child to learn, to practice sports, to "be" successful--we often fail to realize that much of a person's motivation stems from internal sources.  If a child is not self motivated--the moment parents stop pushing; the child stops "doing".  This book teaches parents to parent a child's heart--encouraging the child to be self-motivated.  We all want our child to have the self discipline and self control necessary for responsible decision making and success.  The suggestions employed in this book help parents help their children find their own motivation without the need for material rewards and punishments.

Motivate your Child addresses parenting the heart from a Christian perspective.  Rather than the "reward system" that so many of us have used (for years) to encourage our children's actions--this book changes our perspective and leads us toward encouraging the child to do what is right.....simply because it is right.  Reinforced with scripture throughout its pages, Motivate your Child looks at development of a child's conscience--and offers advice for parents to parent in ways which nurture that development. 

What will you learn in Motivate your Child?

You’ll learn . . . 
•          how to parent in ways that build internal motivation so that kids don’t have to rely on you to get things done.
•          the four promptings of the conscience and how to coordinate your parenting to take advantage of them.
•          ways to energize your spiritual training with fun and creativity.
•          how to help children respond to mistakes instead of blaming, defending, or justifying.
Every chapter includes practical examples of families applying the Bible to their current issues.

Would I recommend Motivate your Child:  A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told?  We live in a society packed with meaningless rewards for necessary actions.  Turn in homework--get candy.  Behave at dance class--get a sticker.  Sign up for youth soccer--get a trophy.  My husband and I have fairly strict expectations for our children--and aren't quick to hand out rewards.  We have actually practiced many of the suggestions in this book without really realizing it (or knowing that parenting the heart was a term) because we feel it is a parenting style that works.  

This book is intended for parenting the Christian heart and offers many, many Biblical based resources, activities and suggestions for parents and families.   The authors look deeply into the biology and psychology of child development--while incorporating the Bible and practical parenting tips into this guide.  I would highly recommend this book for Christian families.  The book offers real world examples and inspiring stories from families throughout each chapter.  Whether you are a new parent or a seasoned parent seeking to break from the constant reward/punishment cycle--this book offers a faith-based "method" for raising responsible, self-motivated children.
Buy Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told on Amazon

To get you BONUS Parenting Resource Package (worth $150), purchase a copy of  Motivate Your Child from any retailer.  Once you’re made your purchase, follow the instructions below. 
INSTRUCTIONS:  Purchase the book. Send an email with  MYC150 Promo  in the subject line with a receipt of purchase to  gift@biblicalparenting.org. Biblical Parenting will send you the link and a special code to access these downloadable video, audio and written products.

About the Authors

Scott Turansky has been a pastor and missionary for more than 33 years and is an author of several books. In addition to pastoring full time, Scott also conducts parenting seminars on Saturdays around the United State.  Visit the Effective Parenting website for more details about this endeavor.

He is the co-founder of the National Center for Biblical Parenting  and has co-authored four books.

Joanne Miller is the co-founder of the National Center for Biblical Parenting. She holds her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from William Paterson College in New Jersey. 

She has served as a pediatric nurse for over 25 years. Joanne is married to Ed and they have two grown sons. 

About Angela

Angela is a freelance travel writer and lifestyle blogger, blessed with 3 beautiful daughters, 5 moody cats, 1 spoiled dog, and 1 very supportive husband.


  1. Thanks for the great review and quality post. You did a great job Angela. This is one of the most thorough and motivating book reviews I've read. You gave us a lot of info. about the book and the authors. You also told us how this book would be helpful for us as parents.