As a mom of five, ages 8.95 (she wanted me to express how she is really, really close to being NINE now) to 17.75, I have to say that I don't generally bother reading general parenting books. I'll occasionally find something on parenting teens to be worth reading, and I'm always up for a book on parenting dyslexic kiddos.
But general parenting books are always saying things I already know, or they are speaking with authority about theoretical parenting (as the author's either don't have kids, or only have one), or they are guilt-inducing. It boils down to -- they just aren't worth my time at this stage in my life.
Motivate Your Child appealed to me because I have seen other resources from National Center for Biblical Parenting, and I liked those. I cannot say that I went into this book launch with a lot of excitement though. I was explaining to friends yesterday that right at this moment, we're at a pretty comfortable point in the parenting gig. My kids are mostly getting along with each other, they are mostly getting schoolwork done, they are helpful and cooperative at the moment.
So right at this moment, I don't have a high desire to be reading about how to be a better parent.
But that will change. I'll be back to a point where the kids are at each others' throats, where I feel like they don't do anything unless I yell or nag, where school isn't happening and chores are not being done.
Of course, after I joined this launch team, I started questioning why I was doing this. Until I started reading.
The basic premise of the book is that parents should be working to build faith and a good conscience into our kids. Self-motivation, instead of the kids being motivated by externals (like Mom harping on them, and those are my words, not theirs). That parenting is about the journey, not the destination.
Early on, there is plenty of encouragement that this is something you can start where you are. Whether your children are teens or preschoolers, there are things you can do now. And assurance that as you read through the book, you will probably find things you are already doing.
What I haven't seen is a lot of guilt-inducing junk about how I've messed up my kids. Just encouragement on some things I can change, some things I can tweak a bit, and some things I can continue to do as I have been.
A big thing that I need, with my teens in particular, is solid suggestions about encouraging them in making choices that are "the right thing" as opposed to just the short-term, I want it now, options. My kids do a decent job of that, a lot of the time. I need to not take that for granted, and I need to encourage them to continue and to do it in other areas as well.
I need practical. Not theoretical.
Motivate Your Child has both. And I confess that I do need a bit of the theory too, to encourage me to follow through.
There is a Facebook Party going on tonight at 9:00 pm EST, where you can learn more about this book. And of course, the deal with getting extra resources is only good through January 31. Click the banner above for info on that.