Book Review of Start with the Heart by Dr. Kathy Koch

Start With The Heart: How to Motivate Your Kids to Be Compassionate, Responsible, and Brave (Even When You’re Not Around) written by Kathy Koch, PhD

Through years of experience listening and working with children and their parents, Dr. Koch is able to pass along some nuggets of information to help you unlock your child’s potential. She guides us step-by-step in specific areas so we can exchange the negative with something better through practical real life examples and strategies. Parents who want to motivate their kids to be compassionate, responsible, and self-motivated plus have a close life-long relationship with them will glean much by learning how to Start With The Heart.

This amazing how-to book teaches parents (and other caregivers) how to raise our kids to have great character qualities and what to do when they don’t. It all starts by connecting with our children heart-to-heart. And to do that we have to really get to know each of our children through careful observation, listening intently, and responding in the most appropriate methods. The result is trust, better and effective communication with less complaining and negativity.

Through specific methods and strategies, Dr. Koch (pronounced “Cook”) helps us truly understand our kids, and in the process sometimes ourselves. With practical ideas, specific methods, and time tested strategies, we can improve our parenting and therefore motivate our children of all ages including our teenagers and young adults. There are even additional downloadable printables online at

Kids’ misbehavior and bad attitudes can leave us feeling frustrated and stuck fighting the same battles repeatedly. Did you know our children can begin to feel like problems we’re trying to solve or projects we’re trying to finish? That they get discouraged and even feel unloved. Through conscience effort and change, we can all develop better habits and our children can learn to make right choices with positive behaviors. It is a win-win for everyone involved!

Start With The Heart teaches us important life-skills such as:

  • How to really understand your child and be able to establish and maintain a healthy life-long relationship.
  • That beliefs cause behavior and how to erase lies children tell about themselves to be able to embrace truth.
  • Three things for heart changes and motivation to succeed.
  • What every persons 5 core needs are and how we try to meet those needs in unhealthy or unwise ways when any of those needs are not being met.
  • When not to immediately offer solutions or try to fix all of your kid’s problems.
  • How not to depend on reward/punishment habits and how to implement natural and logical consequences instead.
  • What kinds, how, when, and how often to use consequences, bribes, and treats.
  • Parental roles: Teacher, Coach, Cheerleader, and Referee. When and how to use each role appropriately.
  • Choosing and using the appropriate tone and words for better communication and less frustration so you are heard and can influence your child.
  • Effective power phrases to use, when, why, and how.
  • How to get more valuable information from your kids by inviting rather than directing.
  • Complimenting and correcting – what we speak and don’t speak changes lives.
  • How to teach and recognize initiative, effort, diligence, and perseverance.
  • When and how kids like to talk about the tough stuff going on in their lives.
  • Using effective feedback so kids know who they are, their goals, and your goals.
  • A variety of methods to help your children learn to their best capacity.

Dr. Kathy Koch’s hands-on approach has led to this well thought out and written guidebook. Each chapter even ends with “Things To Do” and “Things To Think About” for immediate reflection and application. We learn how to recognize and use our kids’ strengths. When and how to effectively correct while not criticizing. And how to help each of our children become people of positive character. The end result is long-term change and life-long healthy relationships when we Start With The Heart.

If you have already read Dr. Koch’s book, drop us a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts!



I love God, family, friends, and encouraging people. I enjoy helping others in the education world from my experience in my job and from when I homeschooled my kids. As a wife, Mom, soon to be Grandma, and the Education and Homeschool Web Merchandiser, I hope my blog articles are helpful to you as we live life together.





2 comments on “Book Review of Start with the Heart by Dr. Kathy Koch

  1. Sharing this with my children for some great insight on handling the grandchildren.
    Starting with the heart ❤️

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