Book Review – Motivate Your Child

Motivate Your Child
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About the Book
Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN, teach parents how to help children form the internal strength they’ll need every day as they grow older.

Parents have the greatest influence on their children’s character. Mom or Dad’s words, choices, actions, and reactions mold a child’s view of almost everything. It can be a terrifying thought. But there is hope.

Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanna Miller have spent years helping parents cultivate a healthy conscience and a vibrant faith in their kids. Motivate Your Child is a straightforward guide to doing this at home. Every chapter includes practical examples of families applying the Bible to their current issues, such as backtalking or being mean to siblings. From the “Integrity Package” to the “The Family Challenge,” they offer words to say, plans to implement, and ideas for working it out day by day.

With God’s help, it is possible to train and direct a child’s internal motivation-motivation that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

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

Joanne Miller is a pediatric nurse with 26 years of experience and the cofounder of the National Center for Biblical Parenting. She is the coauthor of seven parenting books.

My Take on the Book
How many times in your life as a parent have you had to hard on your kids to get things done. I know that I, for one, have had to do this many times in my children’s lives. That being said this book is a great resource that provides any parent with a full array of resources and tips to try with any type of child. From the very first pages you are given valuable insights and things to consider with your own child. I particularly liked the quiz in chapter 3 as it let me see my kids, especially my oldest in a brand new light and it will do the same for you too. The book is written for all families and you will quickly find new strength and energy in your resolve in the practical, down-to-earth ideas shared in the pages of this book!

I highly recommend this to any parent or grandparent, it is invaluable!

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Organize The Coolest Frozen Themed Party Ever! #FrozenFever

Have you been tasked with preparing a children’s Frozen birthday party?

Finding the right theme, cake, and activities can be a challenge – they’re a pretty hard bunch to please.

If you’re struggling to come up with something, I’ve got you covered. Below is an infographic on how you can organize the coolest Frozen themed party going. The infographic covers everything from decorating your home to the food and drinks you need to make!

What’s more, The Vanilla Valley sells a range of products that’ll help you prepare the party!

Using their ready to roll baby blue icing, sugar pearls, and snowflake stencils you can create the perfect Frozen cake. Or, if you would prefer to make some cupcakes to keep the little one’s happy they have snowflake based baking cases, and snowflake plunger cutters.



You could even arrange a fancy dress party. Check out all the Frozen themed outfits they offer here.

It’s Time for Amazon ( @Amazon ) to Recognize The Words Matter #AmazonFamilyUS #Dads4Oren


Some of you may have heard about the petition that has been hitting the internet hard over the last week that is calling for Amazon to change the name of it’s Amazon Mom program to Amazon Family here in the US. I wanted to lend my voice to the cause here because I too believe that this is important and a worthy cause to champion and by the end of you reading this I am hoping that you too will take this up as well.

This effort is not an issue that arose due to a feeling of being slighted as some have mentioned (as many Dads have been championing this). Instead, this effort has been being pushed forward for some time by a large group of people because words matter and because families are so much more than moms today.  Also, in many families the family dynamic has changed dramatically and no longer are mothers doing the majority of the shopping, or even being the main person in the home today.  The initial effort was started by a stay-at-home dad named Jeffrey Harrington, but in the last few years another dad blogger named Oren Miller, who recently passed away, also spoke on this. After Oren’s passing the dad blogging community came together to work to finish the efforts of both these men (among others too).


Amazon started the Amazon Mom programs a number of years ago to coincide with their Amazon Prime program. It is a discount program geared toward families, though the marketing and name is geared toward moms. This seemed strange to me seeing that globally, they call the same program Amazon Family. I really question why CEO Jeff Bezos would start a program that would be different only in the US, especially in a time and age when families are not stereotypical anymore. I mean, we have families where the father is at home with the kids, single parent homes, gay families with kids and so many more combinations. Amazon needs to recognize this in the United States as it has globally.


So far to date, the media, and I, seem flummoxed to the silence of Amazon. Many national media outlets have been covering this effort and the list continues to grow, however Amazon still fails to respond in any way. This silence is strange seeing that almost 7300 people have signed the petition thus far and more are signing by the minute.



As you can see in the image above, I personally would challenge all of you to email Jeff Bezos at his Amazon Email account to tall him that you support changing the Amazon stance on Amazon Mom to #AmazonFamilyUS. I have given you his email address and you can sign up for the petition too. Join the almost 6800 people that have signed already, stating that equality in families matter.

Please remember that this effort is not just a bunch of angry stay-at-home dads on a crusade, but instead this whole effort is about families in general, and working dads, single dads, gay dads, moms and so many more are championing this.

This effort continues to grow, and the up-swelling of support from all aspects of society is a good sign that this effort will not be disappearing anytime soon and sooner or later Jeff Bezos and Amazon in general will have to respond in some manner.

Join the effort, sign the petition and let Amazon know that families matter today!


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MetLife ( @MetLife) Asks What Is Your Dad Story! #DreamForMyChild #DadChat #ad

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As a father I have many dreams for my girls. I want them to grow up happy, healthy and educated. I want them to know love and be loved. I want them to want for nothing, but to be strong and ready for the world around them.

This being said I have to say that achieving this dream for my kids is not easy. You make sacrifices everyday as a parent to make sure that your kids achieve things that you may or may have not achieved yourself. The MetLife Video below is an amazing example of this. I watched this and by the end was very emotional. While I cannot say that I have gone through the same situations that the father in this did, I understand what he was doing and why he was doing it.

Take a moment to watch this yourself, as I would love to hear your own thoughts on what the video says and shows.



As I think about my own kids, there have been times that I have held back the truth. When things were not going right at work and I did not want to frighten them. As a parent you do this. You do what you have to to make sure that your kids are safe, happy and secure in their lives. Sometimes, this means that they do not always know everything. Is this wrong?


I for one, hope that my kids will learn from me that you have to work hard to achieve everything that you want in life. That you cannot expect things to just show up on a platter. Instead you have to work, learn and adapt, which is what I have had to do in my own life. This is something that I try to teach my girls on a daily basis in subtle ways. Through conversations, games and more I try and give them glimpses into my own background and as they get older I know that I will share even more with them so that they can understand everything about the world around them.


For now though, I still hold onto the hope that I can keep them young for a while longer and help them to still see dreams with eyes wide open.


Someday, as I see them graduating from college, getting married (maybe), having a successful career or other such milestones I can look back and say that all of the things that I did were worth the efforts (even though I know it now). In the future I will see the fruit of the efforts coming to fruition.


For now, the smile on my girls’ faces are all that I need!


What about you?



I participated in this campaign for MetLife. I received compensation for my participation, but all opinions stated are my own.

The opinions expressed above are 100% my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of MetLife.


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Replacing “entitlement” in praise and creating self-respect

Replacing “entitlement” in praise and creating self-respect

by Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

No matter where you are, if little ones are around, it won’t take long before you’ll hear “You’re so smart,” “You’re so pretty,” as well as, “You’re the best on the team.”

It’s normal to think your child is  brilliant, better looking and more capable than anyone’s child you know; however, that attitude taken to extreme might be moving us toward creating a society of kids who feel entitled.
Surveys from freshman classes show that kids work less in college than they did 10 years ago, and they think more highly of themselves. The majority of freshman college students score high on narcissism. What did we expect? These kids have been raised by parents who praised their every move. With that praise, they have instilled an attitude of entitlement. Kids actually believe they deserve a high paying job, a beautiful home and exotic trips. When you talk to them in depth, and ask them how they plan to acquire these privileges, they have no plan other than knowing their parents had it, so they will too.
The sad part is, they won’t. In fact, they cannot because they have not suffered consequences of not being good at something. Their weaknesses have been overlooked or brushed aside in an attempt to build their confidence with praise.
Praise doesn’t build confidence; in fact, too much praise makes a

child less motivated to take risks and try new things. If you continually tell a child how well they spell, they expect and are motivated to get more praise for spelling. Forget the other subjects, or sports, because they get praised for spelling well. This narrows the child’s world and they don’t branch out or build confidence by trying new things and failing at some.

A much wiser approach is something we call “process praise.”Process praise means you begin to notice and comment on the strategy the child used to figure something out. You focus less on natural talents and more on effort. You teach them that the brain, just like their other muscles, can grow, which helps the child understand that the more effort they make, the more success they will likely see. This helps children understand that challenges are good, and the brain can learn new ways of doing things.
Here are three suggestions for starting a plan of process praise.

  1. Don’t praise as much as you may have in the past. When you do praise, begin with praising effort or attempts at trying new things. Telling a child you like the way they tried something new is going to be more helpful to them than praising them for something at which they are already good.
  2. Praise their strategy, or thinking. “Wow, you really had to use your out-of-the box thinking to come up with that plan.”
  3. Never lie to them or tell them they are good at something they are not. Kids know the truth. If you say it’s a good job and it isn’t, they will stop trusting you or believing you.
Kids get discouraged and when parents give blanket praise such as “You’re so smart” or “You’re such a good pitcher,” kids begin to think this is what they are, or do. A child can be compassionate, smart, musical, and so much more. When parents teach kids to accept challenges, try new things and risk not being the best, they challenge them to grow and exercise their brain. In a world of entitlement and everyone being a winner, we’ve gone too far. Everyone has natural talents and weaknesses. The key is to help a child feel confident enough in their strengths to risk appearing weak in areas that need more strengthening.
Let’s bring back good old-fashioned effort and teach our kids the value of working toward their dreams.
Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at and more about Rapini at

Kinsights ( @kinsights ) : A Unique Parenting Online Community! #Giveaway

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Kinsights is a site you want to know about! It offers a unique online community for parents that makes getting great parenting advice easier and smarter. Parents often get the most useful advice from each other, and Kinsights makes direct connections to nurture this communication.  Also, Kinsightsworks in a way that answers are voted on by community, so the best, most helpful content rises to the top.


Kinsights’ Parent Community also offers a Personal Health Record Keeper for children. No more keeping track of slips of paper containing your children’s important health information.  And in the event of an emergency, you can have the health records sent to the ER or out-of-town doctor in a snap. Organize your child’s growth and developmental milestones, immunizations, medications, allergies, and more.  This tool is amazing and a godsend to parents.


Kinsights’ Personal Health Record Keeper
We all need a solution now and then to those tough parenting issues and Kinsights has the answers.



How would you like to win this for yourself or for your family? All you need to do is fill out the below form to be entered.  The contest will run for one week and will end on March 14, 2015.

Winner must be a resident of the U.S or Canada.

Kinsights Online Community Amazon GC Giveaway

Winners are chosen at random, if you want all your chances counted, make sure you leave individual comments, not all of them in one!

Winner has 48 hours to contact me or another name will be chosen.



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Yell Less, Love More is a Must Read for Parents#dadchat

Yell Less, Love More
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About the Book
The Rhino: A naturally calm animal that charges when provoked.

The Orange Rhino: A person that parents with warmth and determination and who doesn’t charge with words when angry, impatient, or simply in a bad mood.

Every parent knows the breaking point: that moment where you snap and lose your cool with the kids. It’s a terrible feeling and it can lead to darker thoughts about our parenting style and whether we were ultimately even meant to be parents. It happens to all of us, but it doesn’t have to.

With the new book Yell Less, Love More [Fair Winds Press, November 2014, $21.99 US / $24.99 CAN] parents will learn practical, simple solutions to keep them focused on loving more and yelling less, no matter what the circumstance.

Author Sheila McCraith, also known as The Orange Rhino® (, is a mom to four boys, all under the age of 7. In January 2012, after her handyman caught her screaming at her boys, she made a promise that she would go 365 days straight withoutyelling at her kids. To chronicle her progress, keep herself accountable, and find support, Sheila launched her blog, The Orange Rhino Challenge®, shortly after her promise was made. She successfully met her goal in 2013 and the book was born out of her experiment.

In this guidebook to happier parenting, Sheila shares daily thoughts, tips, and motivational personal stories to help parents toss out the screams and welcome in the peace. In addition it features a 30-Day Challenge to readers which encourages them to at least try not yelling – if only for a few days at a time.

Whether the reader has one child or twenty,YELL LESS, LOVE MORE will strengthen the reader’s relationships with their family as a whole and help each of them to laugh a little more and scream a lot less.

My Take on the Book
This was an open, honest and down-to-earth book that really makes you take a close look at your parenting and re-evaluate how you parent. I can say that I have gone down the path to frustration which can lead to yelling, which is never fun. This book gives you practical tools that will help you to be a more patient and to break the cycle of yelling (not an easy thing to do). In saying this though I felt that the author was there to help me every step of the way, and there were numerous chapters that I re-read afterward as they had a lot to say. I gained a lot from the entire book and highly recommend this to any parent who, link me, has started to yell more than using other mechanisms, you will thank me later! The author also invites you to join her 30-Day Yell Less, Love More Challenge – check it out for yourself!

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9-11 – Honoring the past. Where were you 13 years ago? #dadchat



9-11 – Honoring the past. Where were you 13 years ago?

I think that for most of us we can all remember the moments that surrounded the 9/11 tragedy that struck our nation 13 years ago.


I remember where I was… I was in the my office at the university that I was working at as a Student Affairs Professional. I believe it was J-Mom who called me and told me to turn on the radio because it looked like a plane had collided with one of the twin towers. Unbeknownst to us was all the malice that was behind the first attack, let alone the subsequent attacks within New York City as well as the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.


I remember hearing this and calling my colleagues to fins a television that we could turn on and we watched in our main office as the tragedy revealed itself. I was numb, dumbstruck. Only once before had I felt this way, and that was when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded. I simply had never witnessed such hatred, such a loss of life and later that week we found out how close to home this hit our family.


The Saturday before 9/11  J-Mom and I celebrated the wedding of a high school friend of J-Mom. The wedding was a wonderful event full of love and laughter. At that event I was able to meet a friend of the bride named Kelly Ann Booms who sat in front of us during the wedding. She made a comment that she had to get back to Boston on Sunday because she had a business trip that she had to fly out for (to Los Angeles) early on Tuesday morning (9/11). Later that week we found out that Kelly was a passenger on the first plane that hit Tower 1 (Flight 11). We were shocked that someone we just spoke with could be gone in an instant and it brought the national tragedy to a whole new level of meaning. We now felt a part of this tragedy and not as far removed.


The images of the first few hours of 9-11, the first few days afterward still are burned into my memory and I think they will never leave. For my generation, I think that this even will be the event that truly defines our generation as it may have been Pearl Harbor for my grandparents of the JFK assassination of JFK for my own parents.


So today, 12 years later I take a moment to remember Kelly and the other victims of the 9/11 attacks. May we never again live through such an event.

When my daughters get old enough to understand the significance of this day I will help them understand, but it will not be easy for the to grasp the severity of the events and what it did to the American Spirit that followed. I can only hope that I will be ready for this discussion when the time comes.

So my question for the day?


    • What are your memories of this event in our collective history?


    • How will you tell your children about this event in the future?


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Love between & bday girl #imagelogger #nx300


Ideas for Making #Summer 2014 the Best One Yet

Summer toes

Summer is the best time of the year (IMHO). It’s the time when you and your kids can get outside, enjoy the weather, and do some fun activities (unlike during the winter when you’re pretty much snowed in). It’s also a time when you can start in on new home and yard projects to make some improvements and have some good family fun.

Not sure where to start? Well, here are some ideas to get those creative juices flowing:

18th Engineers Build Deck

Illuminated & Comfortable

The back yard deck will probably become the focal point for your summer nights. It gives you the ideal location to lounge and spend time with family and friends.

There are many guides to building a deck that are easy to follow and won’t cost an arm and a leg. They are well worth their investment since it’ll increase your property value and give you this focal point of activity as mentioned.

But let’s jump forward and list some ways to add some special touches to this area:

  • Consider going out of the ordinary and painting the deck with colors. There are many brands of paint that can handle the weather conditions. This splash of color (even if it’s just the railing) can be a nice addition and even more so if you use glow in the dark paint to give it a neat illuminated look after a bright, sunny day.
  • Consider the lighting and ambiance of your deck and try adding a little flair to it by picking out patio lights online with your family. Have a vote on which ones would go perfectly with the deck. There is a lot to choose from. You could even theme the deck to have a Tiki feel or give it a bit of a mystical look with flameless candles and such.
  • Consider doing a few DIY projects for the deck to add to its fun. You could install small compartments on the side to house yard games. Add a dart board on one end. Build a picnic table for a corner. Make your own hammock. All these projects would be great for spending time with your kids, teaching them a few skills, and having something neat to show at the end of the day.

These little additions can make for a truly enjoyable night. You all had fun setting things up during the day and can now relax. Not a bad idea for the summer (and spending time with the kids), eh?

My First Tree Fort

Forts, Fires, and Smores

I think it’s safe to assume that each one of us wanted a tree fort when we were younger. Building a tree fort isn’t all too difficult actually, as long as you can follow some plans, stay patient during the process, and remember to measure twice, cut once.

This also makes for a great activity to work on a big project with your children. You can do the heavy lifting and the dangerous stuff but then hand it over to them when it comes to decorating the fort, painting, and adding onto the fun.

Once that’s been built you can have nights where you’re all up there telling ghost stories or down in the yard cooking smores over a small fire. It’s really fun!

Fish Fries & BBQ’s

Some chicken, pork and corn in the barbeque

Food brings the family and friends together but it can also be a great opportunity to spend time with your children. Make a day out of gathering up the supplies for the fish fry or BBQ.

You could:

  • Go to the beach or lake and spend the day fishing, then bring it back to cook
  • Go to ethnic or farmer’s markets to find new ingredients and take a vote
  • Go as far as raising your own animals (if you have the property) for food
  • Invest in a nice grill or deep fryer and your next food party will create quite a buzz.
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