I almost want to quote George Santayana every time I post a review about an historical book, but for Faith Of Our Fathers compiled by Eric Buehrer it is especially appropriate. So allow me to quote two sage pieces of wisdom from Santayana—
I am flabbergasted at how little time is spent in public schools educating our kids on the founding of our country. And frequently when it is taught, the lessons seem to go out of their way to not mention the biblical principles that went into crafting our nation’s founding documents.
I have become a big fan of Gateways To Better Education. The founder of Gateways, Eric Buehrer, has put together a very helpful book for parents to help their children learn about the Christian faith of our Founding Fathers.
Eric has given us a very short biography of our Founders, a quote attributed to them, Bible verses that undergird that Founder’s quote, and then some discussion questions for the family. Parents, please make full use of this great resource!
And best of all: You can download the PDF version of this book FREE by clicking this link.
Dr. Kathy Koch has some great insights in her book Start With The Heart for anyone who works with children.
“Rather than using the words ‘rewards’ and ‘punishments,’ I recommend using the word ‘consequences.’ This small change helps children own their responsibility in changing negative behavior and maintaining positive behavior. Rewards and punishments are things we give children. Consequences are what children earn because of their choices.” —Dr. Kathy Koch
Dr. Kathy Koch has given parents—and anyone else who works with children—a marvelously helpful resource in her latest book Start With The Heart. Be sure to check out my full book review by clicking here.
“God created you and your children with five core, basic needs that must be met. These needs are interrelated. The health of one influences the others:
“Children who know their purpose will often choose to look for peers with similar goals and interests. They will want to hang out with people who affirm them and their purpose and be willing to end relationships that are not joyful and purposeful.”
“When you parent so your children believe three things, their hearts will be impacted and they will be motivated to succeed. This translates into less stress and anxiety and more peace. … Children who believe these things don’t want to be average. They are willing to work for more. … Children’s character will be more Christlike. They’ll want to be more others-centered than self-centered. They’ll be compassionate, brave and able to stand up for themselves and others.
“Which is better: ‘Be on time!’ or ‘Don’t be late!’? Do you hear the difference? Which one is positive? ‘Be on time’ communicates ‘I believe you’re capable of this.’ It’s more hopeful. It’s about what you want your children to do. ‘Don’t be late’ reminds them of how they’ve frustrated you.”
“Carol Dweck…has consistently found that children praised for using effort tackled more challenging tasks than those praised just for ability or for the quality of their work.”
“Sometimes have children tell you what they think they did before you offer your opinions. If they are relatively accurate, affirm them specifically. When they’re not, have the conversation.”
“Working to provide feedback that can be described with the following attributes will serve you and your children well—specific, believable, helpful, and thoughtful.”
You can also check out the first set of quotes I shared from Start With The Heart by clicking here.
Kathy Koch has given parents, teachers, and anyone who works with younger children, and excellent resource to improve your relationship with your kiddos and empower them to greater success. Check out my full book review of Start With The Heart by clicking here.
“For your children to want what you want for them, for changes to occur, and for improvements to remain, your hearts must be intertwined. Your motivational power and influence over their obedience comes out of the love you have for each other.” [see Proverbs 23:26]
“Affirm your children when they do use the character qualities you’re emphasizing and correct them when they don’t. … Specifically, look for gratitude and joy. The lack of one or both of these emotions causes children (and adults) to use character qualities inconsistently.”
“Here is my list of understandings that can secure children’s hearts and increase your influence so you’ll be able to motivate them to be responsible, brave, and so much more.
“Children are even more susceptible to the influences around them. We should have and model solid character so our behavior, attitudes, and decisions glorify God. We should also prioritize our character so we don’t lead a child astray. Making every effort to use these qualities ourselves matters. And, of course, apologizing when we don’t is key to maintaining a positive relationship.”
“The desire to develop self-control is birthed in self-respect. Self-control makes it possible to use other character qualities successfully.”
“Do we choose to see our children’s circumstances and respond appropriately? Although consistency is usually appropriate when raising and motivating children, if we don’t have compassion and individualize our reactions and decisions when it’s appropriate, why would our children? Modeling this character quality matters tremendously.”
“Initiative: Children may never develop this quality if you remind them of everything they must do. Rather, it’s birthed when you help them grow in appropriate independence. … Is it possible that your children may not be motivated as you’d like because you rescue them to early, too often? … I know you value the things you worked hard for. Don’t rob children of that same satisfaction. Allow them to persevere.”
“Prayer is a powerful tool—use it! Your personal and specific prayers for your children communicate your deep love for them and your dependence on God. Your prayers are a significant way your children learn who you hope they’ll be and what you hope they’ll do. Pray they’ll develop a heart for Christ. Model and teach what they need for their heart to be transformed into His likeness. This will change their character and, therefore, their motivation and motives, too.”
“Just making statements like these can be empowering:
“This might surprise you, but all children are motivated. … It doesn’t help to ask, ‘How do I get my kids motivated?’ Rather, we need to ask, ‘How can I redirect their motivation?’”
Stay tuned: more quotes coming soon…
Dr. Kathy Koch has parenting insights that are unlike few others. Her ministry is called Celebrate Kids, and that’s exactly what she teaches parents and teachers to do in her book Start With The Heart.
Not only does Dr. Kathy lean into her formal training in education—as an elementary teacher, a middle school coach, and a university professor—but she supports all of her instructional insights with an unabashed reliance on the wisdom found in the Bible. This is a winning combination!
Dr. Kathy explains the rationale behind the title and message of her latest book, “Capturing your child’s heart and parenting to keep it may be more important than anything else you do. Your love for your children and your desire for them to trust Christ for their salvation matters greatly. For you to have motivational power to help them make that commitment, mature in their faith, and love God more fully, you must start with their heart.”
Start With The Heart isn’t about manipulating children or coercing them into a more desirable behavior. The focus is on your child’s heart so that he or she will be internally motivated to make good choices even when you aren’t around.
Every chapter introduces a new concept which is built on the chapter before it. As the book progresses, you will begin to see how each parenting principle is interdependent and reinforcing with all the other principles. The close of each chapter turns the mirror back on us parents as Dr. Kathy asks, “What about you?” She also shares some helpful “Things To Do” and “Things To Think About” bullet points to wrap up each chapter.
I would recommend Start With The Heart for parents and teachers of younger children. And not just the book, but check out the Celebrate Kids website for ongoing insights from Dr. Kathy.
I am a Moody Publishers book reviewer.
Tim Elmore has fantastic insights for those who work with today’s youth. Whether you are a parent, a teacher, a youth pastor, or a coach, you are always guaranteed some great content when you study what Dr. Elmore presents.
YouVersion has a reading plan based on Tim Elmore’s book 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid. The reading plan has three advantages over the book—(1) Daily Scripture readings which augment the material covered each day; (2) A video message from Dr. Elmore explaining how we can avoid these mistakes; and (3) A place to have an honest dialogue with another parent/coach/teacher, if you are doing this reading plan as a shared plan.
There is also one huge advantage the book has over the reading plan—lots more content, including warning signs, and ideas for recovering from past mistakes.
So the real winning combination is not either-or, but both-and. You should both read the book (you can check out my review by clicking here) and do the YouVersion reading plan along with another adult or two (or three or four…).
Don’t get blindsided by these 12 mistakes. After all, they are all avoidable and correctable!
(You can also check out some quotes I shared from the book by clicking here.)
[Each chapter in the Book of Proverbs contains thoughts that fit into a theme; they are not just random thoughts gathered together. In this “Saturday In The Proverbs” series, I will share a theme that I see in each chapter. But the cool thing about God’s Word is that you may see an entirely different theme. That’s great! If you do, I would love for you to share it in the comments below.]
…they are deceptive food (Proverbs 23:3).
Jesus said, “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly” (John 7:24). That means we have to look beyond the surface; we have to see things as they really are, not as we want them to be.
…the outward appearances of wealth aren’t the same thing as true riches (vv. 1-3, 6, 8)
…overwork doesn’t mean it’s good work or a noble work ethic (vv. 4-5)
…just because someone hears you doesn’t mean they are truly listening to you (v. 9)
…just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do it (vv. 10-11)
…children may grumble in the moment of correction, but they will be truly thankful in the end (vv. 12-5, 22-25)
…sinners aren’t “getting away” with their sins (vv. 17-18)
…people who “party hardy” aren’t necessarily enjoying themselves (vv. 19-21, 29-35)
…pornography and other sexual sins aren’t victimless crimes or “no one is getting hurt” activities (vv. 26-28)
As the Holy Spirit to show you the truth. Ask Him to show you the ultimate consequences of your activities. Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.