Sometimes we as parents have good intentions, but we’re low on follow through. Life gets in the way, before we know it, we’re sliding into old patterns and rhythms quite by accident because we haven’t planned ahead. So, when I had the opportunity to review the Motivate Your Child Action Plan by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, I knew that it would finally be the spur that I would need to help me put some of the new things that I learned in the book Motivate Your Child into action.
Details on the Action Plan
The Motivate Your Child Action Plan is a 12 chapter (40 day) plan to help you as a parent identify specific character issues that your children are having difficulty with and come up with a plan to move them from having difficulty with this character issue to having built a strength in that area. Not only do you receive a book, but you also receive a link to download 12 audio sessions where Turansky and Miller go explore and explain the concepts in each chapter of the book in more depth.
The chapters/topics of this book include:
- Seeing change in 40 days
- Figuring out where you want to go
- Creating a map to get from point A to point B
- A place for firmness
- Visioning moves you forward
- Teaching shows the way
- Spiritual energy provides strength
- Coaching sets attitude
- Building motivation from within
- Growing together (a change in your child does involve a change in the parents too!)
- Good theology makes it work
There are continual references to chapters of Motivate Your Child to expand on the ideas in this action plan, so I really don’t think that it’s feasible to use it without a copy of Motivate Your Child. If you don’t have a copy, make sure you pick one up before you delve too deeply into the Action Plan.
Some of my Favorite Teachings From The Plan
One of the first things that really hit me with the plan was the idea of building a teamwork atmosphere where you’re coaching your child to try to make him better. I won’t belabor the point here, and in fact, I’ve dedicated a blog post to this topic, but I was operating on a paradigm of my children vs. me. In my head, they were trying to best me and I needed to defeat them. I hadn’t really thought about the fact that it’s so much more effective and respectful to coach children than it is to put yourself in a position where you’re fighting against them.
This is where one of the keys of the plan really comes into play with me. There’s space in the workbook dedicated to parent-child meetings, and in those meetings you are given tips to help you guide and strategize with your child help make the course corrections that they’ll need to be successful in developing virtues.
Another key element that is related to the idea of working with your child that I truly love is the idea of transferring responsibility for change to your child (That’s an idea that is at the heart of Motivate Your Child.). This is the idea that the behavior problem, the ensuing consequences and the responsibility for changing the behavior patterns belongs to your child. Let’s be honest for a moment. You can make things uncomfortable enough for your child to force them to change their behavior. However, these changes are going to be full of resentment from your child, and will in all likelihood only be a temporary fix for the problem. It’ll be a product that comes up again.
Another key element that I loved what that of a road map mentality, I’d been operating on more of a justice mentality, and it’s exhausting. You feel like you must give your child a punishment or a consequence for all the little, often childish, things that they do. This not only takes a toll on your relationship with your child, but leaves no room for grace in their lives. Instead, Turansky and Miller urge you to move to a map mentality, an idea that you’re trying to make progress (and not perfection) from point A to point B. With a map mentality, you’re proactively trying to change things and to help your children perform a work in their hearts, even when you don’t have a specific behavior problem to look at.
In our house, with the child that I’ve chosen to work with right now, this looks like trying to move from selfishness to being loving. That means that instead of focusing on “not being selfish,” we’re focusing on ways to be more loving. I’m going to be sharing a little more on this in a blog post tomorrow, and I’m going to begin to allow you to see how we’re putting this plan into practice in our house.
There’s much more than I can share with you here that I’ve learned and that I’m carrying with me from the way that we’re working through the action plan in our house. I’m excited about the progress that we’ve made and are making in our home in working towards making our vices into virtues, and I’m excited by how I’m growing as a parent because of it. I can highly recommend that you pick up a copy of this action plan, and start moving towards your (and your child’s) goals for your child today!