Parenting Your Powerful Child Part 1 of 3

Bits of wisdom from Parenting Your Powerful Child: Bringing an End to the Everyday Battles by Dr. Kevin Leman. Excerpted by Jean Matthew Hall.

“Every family has a powerful child…or two.

Some are easy to pick out—

you can hear them from way down the block.

Others you may not recognize as powerful,

but they’re master manipulators.

But you, smart parent that you are,

can learn how to transform your child’s power surges into

positive urges that will benefit everyone in your family

(and a whole lot of other grateful people

in your child’s world too.)


Proverbs 2: 6 (HCSB)

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”


schreienPowerful kids have your number; don’t think they don’t. Yes, it’s easier in the short run to give in. It shuts them up temporarily (until they want the next thing). But neither of you win with that strategy. You might gain a breather for an hour or two before the demands begin again, but you set yourself up for the next situation. You’ve given your child more power—a deep-seated attitude that she has to win and additional confidence that she will win if she follows her plan. (p. 24)


Powerful young kids become powerful junior highers, who become powerful high schoolers, who become powerful adults…

Curbing powerful, attention-getting behavior is critical at every stage. (p. 27)


You, parent, are your child’s best champion. Powerful kids don’t just happen; they’re created…by you.

The good news is, what you’ve done, you can undo with determination, persistence, and willpower.

POWER POINTS (page 32)

  • Powerful kids don’t just happen, they’re created.
  • Give in and you won’t win.
  • Force a blowout, then remain calm.

More POWER POINTS from Dr. Leman next Tuesday.

Encouraging Words Blog Schedule Change

Jean’s Encouraging Words Blog Schedule

I’m changing my blogging schedule from three times each week down to twice each week. That should make your inbox happy.

I’ll be posting Encouraging Words for Parents on Tuesdays and Picture Book Reviews on Fridays.


Thanks for visiting, reading, and commenting.


Picture Book Review – Starry Safari

Starry Safari was written by Linda Ashman and Illustrated by Jeff Mack. It was published in 2005 by Harcourt Books.

In fewer than 200 words Ashman tells us a cute story of a young child going on a safari in his bright red jeep under a starry sky. What could be more fun than meeting lots of smiling animals and rescuing yourself from a … (Don’t want to give the whole story away!)

In my opinion, this imaginative tale bubbles with feelings of security and safety for little ones.

Parents, grandparents, teachers and caregivers can read it with little ones at bedtime, or just any old fun time!


Another winner from Linda Ashman.

You can learn more about Linda Ashman at Picture Book Builders, or at her website.





Interview-Author Amberly Kristen Clowe

Ta-da! Today I share a guest post with Amberly Kristen Clowe, my fellow Little Lamb Books author. We’ll be chatting about her newest chapter book, Teeny Sweeney and the Mustache Cash, and about her road to publication with Little Lamb Books.

Welcome, Amberly! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Absolutely. I live in Texas with my husband and children and have experience teaching both elementary and middle school students. I’ve worked in the publishing industry for about ten years now. I have three published children’s books and my latest chapter book Teeny Sweeney and the Mustache Cash, which will publish next month. Woo-hoo!

Fantastic news. Congratulations! That brings me to my next question: how did you link-up with our publisher, Little Lamb Books?

I enjoy telling this story, because it still seems surreal. I had actually submitted the manuscript for Teeny Sweeney and the Mustache Cash to an agent who represented Christian literature. She and I had communicated back and forth for a few weeks. At the end of the correspondence, she had just decided to no longer represent authors, and instead, focus on her own writing. She was and is completely fabulous, so though I was kind of bummed, I was equally thrilled for her career. Seriously, almost no time later, this former agent shared a reference to #faithpitch on her Twitter page. At the time, I had very little experience with Twitter and especially Twitter parties, but I was completely intrigued with a Twitter party solely sharing and seeking Christian literature. How cool! I didn’t even know that was a thing. I created several pitches, pitched, and received hearts from Little Lamb. I submitted the manuscript soon after that and received an offer of publication.

And what has been your experience working with the people at Little Lamb Books?

I have been beyond impressed with Little Lamb every step of the way. They expect a lot from their authors, from an active online presence to high-quality material. But they are also working just as hard as their authors and illustrators. Not to mention, it is so amazing to have other people feel as passionate about your project as you. Rachel Pellegrino, founder of Little Lamb Books, even prays before our phone conversations. That is everything to me.

Can you share more details about the first book in the Teeny Sweeney series?

ts_smalldata-copyHappily. In Teeny Sweeney and the Mustache Cash, third-grader Teeny is tasked by her teacher to create a business plan. Teeny’s brother inspires Teeny to create mustaches to sell to all the boys at school. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say things don’t go according to plan.

This series is jam-packed with humor. I love to both read and write one-liners, and I think kids do too. The Bible is so dear to my heart, and in this story, scripture helps guide Teeny through some pretty hairy situations (pun totally intended).

I am also so eager for readers to find the pages and pages of goodies in the back of the book. This age group adores activities, and, wow, Little Lamb Books does not disappoint. Readers will discover some of Teeny’s favorites, a tiny entrepreneur how-to, and so much more! Parents will really feel good about getting the bang for their buck. As a parent, I appreciate that!

Well, Amberly, it was a pleasure have you on ENCOURAGING WORDS  today. Best wishes on your new series! Thanks for sharing with us.

Thank you, Jean! I can’t wait to read yours as well! I love seasonal books!akc-profile-pic_sm


You can learn more about Amberly Kristen Clowe at her website, on FaceBook and Twitter, or at Little Lamb Books.

Become Like Little Children

Matthew 18: 1-7 NIV

1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!

Children of the New Testament times were not thought of or treated the same as children in 21st Century America. Children were also different from adults at that time in history.

Children were totally DEPENDENT.

  • They had no legal rights or privileges.
  • They could not provide for themselves.
  • They were in a humbled position, required to be obedient and subject to adults.

In this incident in Matthew 18, the child Jesus referred to trusted Jesus and put herself in His care.

I think Jesus meant that unless we can, like children, surrender our own “rights,” humble ourselves and become dependent on Him we can’t reach a point of fully trusting Him with our lives and our eternity.

What do YOU think? Please leave a comment with your thoughts. Thanks much.

Picture Book Review – Puddles!!!

A Picture Book Review by Jean Matthew Hall

Puddles!!! is a cute picture book written and illustrated by Kevan Atteberry, and published by Katherine Tegen Books of Harper-Collins Publishers in 2016.

kevanwmonster_2-262x300Because Atteberry is a gifted illustrator this little book succeeds with very sparse text. His illustrations tell 99% of the story. The backgrounds are dramatic and carry the plot line along. But the expressions and body language of the adorable characters (one monster and four little bunnies) give us all the characterizations we need.

The story begins with a happy walk in the woods on a beautiful, sunny day.

But that changes quickly to rain, then more rain.

Next come thunder and lightning! Scary! [How do I know it is scary? Those facial expressions and distraught body poses tell me so!]

I don’t want to give away the ending.

But I will share with you the THEMES that I think carry this story along:

  • Into every life some rain must fall.
  • The sun will come out tomorrow.
  • Real friends stick with you no matter what.

You can learn more about Kevan Atteberry at Picture Book Builders and at his website.

Online Resources for Writers–Picture Book Builders

Picture Book Builders is a blog about picture books. It features reviews of picture books by authors of picture books.  Whether you are a writer of picture book manuscripts, or a parent or teacher looking for great picture books to share with the children in your life you’ll find  Picture Book Builders a useful addition to your cadre of blogs.

Their purpose it to study a variety of contemporary picture books and try to determine “how one element of a picture book’s story or art manages to grab us or wow us or strike an emotional chord.”

The contributing picture book authors are:

  • Linda Ashman
  • Kevan Atteberry
  • Jill Esbaum
  • Pat Zietlow Miller
  • Jennifer Black Reinhardt
  • Tammi Sauer
  • Suzzane Slade
  • Mike Boldt

Do you recognize any of these names? If so, any favorite books you’d like to share with us? Just leave a comment below, please.

Over the next two months I’ll devote my Friday Picture Book Reviews to some of the newest books written by these folks. As an author I’m looking forward to learning great things by studying how these multi-published professionals do it.

I hope you’ll join me. Blessings!



I Samuel 16:7 b says:

“Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.”

Luke 16:15 b says:                                                                                                                                

“but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.”

God knows our potential. He knows what He set in our hearts from conception. He knows what we are capable of becoming. He knows the plans He has for our futures. And He knows all of that for each of our children, too.

Do you know your child’s heart? Have you studied it? Tried to plum its depths to understand what makes your child tick? It isn’t an easy thing to do. It takes years of prayer and study. Study as if you were taking the exam of your life—for you are! The results of your exam will be displayed for everyone to see as that child becomes an adult and matures into the person God wants him/her to be—or not.

519c9xnmhdl-_ac_us218_In his book Parenting Your Powerful Child: Bringing an End to the Everyday Battles Dr. Kevin Leman says (on page 16):


You never know who could be in your home right now. The very child demanding a drink of water and a bedtime story as you try to read this book could be the next president of the United States [or the next Billy Graham—my thought added], set to manage multiple tasks. The one you have to coax to interact with others and who prefers to stay in his room might be the next Bill Gates, set to change computer technology as we know it. The one who argues with you nonstop might someday be a state attorney. The kid who thought he could fly off your roof—even though you warned him that all that goes up must come down—might be the next Albert Einstein. The sassy child who is always challenging the system might be the next Rosa Parks. The kid who mixed chemicals in your garage—even when you told him not to—and out the garage door might be the one who discovers an entirely new form of environment-friendly fuel. And the child who is always spelunking in mud, sticking poison oak springs in his pocket (you know because you got the blistery rash when you did his laundry), and leaving streaks of manure from the neighbor’s garden he blew through on the way to your kitchen might be the one who discovers the cure to cancer.

Think of all the energy you have harnessed in your very own power plant—and what it might mean someday.

Your child’s heart.

Learn it.

Love it.

Listen to it.

Labor over it.

Let it grow.

Books for Writers-Writing Irresistible Kidlit

A Review by Jean Matthew Hall of Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Readers by Mary Kole.

Writing Irresistible Kidlit is a Writer’s Digest book. It was published in 2012.

v6501_2I write picture books because I love picture books. But I want to keep learning and growing so I’ve decided to dust off an old short novel-length manuscript and rework it as a Middle Grade book. So, when I saw this book for sale I decided to invest in it. I’m going to need all the help I can get with writing this Middle-Grade story well.

I’ve read the first five chapters of Writing Irresistible Kidlit and poured over the Table of Contents. It includes a paragraph length overview of each chapter. Very handy. So is the detailed index at the back of the book.

Chapters include:

  • “Kidlit Market Overview” focuses on understanding readers and the market
  • “MG and YA Mindset” focuses on the mindset of MG and YA readers
  • “What’s the Big Idea?” focuses on determining if your idea is big enough for a book. It emphasizes premise.
  • “Storytelling Foundations” focuses on beginnings and balancing information and action
  • “Character” focuses on developing unforgettable protagonists, villains, and secondaries.
  • “Plot” focuses on creating a riveting plot to keep kids glued to your story.
  • “Advanced Kidlit” focuses on using imagery that takes advantage of all five senses, and how to develop your voice and a magnetic theme.
  • “A Career in Kidlit” provides practical advice and information needed for pursuing a career in writing kidlit. Covers query letters, finding an agent and more.

These brief statements don’t begin to cover the depth of information in Writing Irresistible Kidlit. I’m already reading concise definitions and explanations of terms that seem to be foggy in today’s publishing world. So far Kole has blown away the fog several times for me, and I’m just getting started with the book.

Of course I’m highlighting every other paragraph! I can’t wait to curl up with this book again tonight to ride the wave of wisdom Kole provides. I must confess, however, that I’m skimming over the sections devoted to YA.

Right now I’m wading into Middle Grade.

That’s probably a deep enough dive for me.


You’ll find more from Mary Kole at the KIDLIT website/blog.

Highly informative and user-friendly!


Encouraging Words for Parents

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