I first heard about this book at a church function where the author came to speak. I enjoyed her talks and radio show, and bought the book.
I will start off by saying that I do not endorse absolutely everything Diane Moore, the author, teaches. That said, I do believe that she has a lot right. She is a Christian, and this fact is obvious in her book, which is something I appreciate.
In spite of the cover, this book is not so much for parents with small children as for parents in general of all ages. It takes you through the stages of what motivates us as people, starting with fear of punishment and anticipation of reward, on to less self-centered focuses. Ultimately, the goal of a parent should be to help their child to reach a maturity where they do the right thing for the right reason, regardless of personal feelings or what everyone else thinks they should do.
One thing I really like about this book is that her focus is more on character and less on behavior. For instance, sure you can motivate a toddler to do something by promising a cookie for doing it. That might even be appropriate at times (if you eat your veggies, you can have a cookie!). But by the time they are teenagers, you shouldn’t still be operating at that level. Teens should have progressed in their character development to where they will eat their veggies (to continue with the previous line of reasoning) because they know that they are good for them, will give good health, and because they know it’s the proper thing to do. It’s about teaching kids to do the right thing for the right reason.
An example that I appreciated from the book was when the author asked her teenage daughter to do something and offered a reward for doing it, and the daughter said, “Mom, I’m way past stage 2! I’ll do it for nothing.” This is the kind of thing this book is promoting.
I wish I had time to give a better review, but it’s been a while since I read it (a few months), and I don’t have much time right now. Kids need to be got ready for bed and I need to make cornbread for my husband’s supper. In summary, I do recommend this book. It’s not going to tell you what to do when your toddler throws a tantrum (in fact, I do not agree with the author on this topic), but in looking at the overall picture of parenting, and helping parents be proactive in raising mature, godly young people, I think this book has a lot to offer.
You can get the book here: Parenting the Heart of Your Child: Teaching Your Kids to Make Good Decisions Even When No One Is Looking