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I have good kids! Yet, I see where I could've done so much better with my teens. I wasn't the perfect mother, but nobody really ever is, right?!? Here I am raising a third child. It's almost like I get to use my wisdom and experience from the my two (now ages 17 and 19) to raise the last one (now age 3). Raising great kids is possible!
While it didn't make me feel like a terrible mother, reading 8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids by Dr. Todd Cartmell has enlightened me on some things I could've done better (and can still do) to raise great kids.
While there are 8 tools covered in this book, I really want to focus on the ones that I ‘scored' low on. (No, there's not a test at the end of each chapter. It's just a self-evaluation.)
Listening: A Tool for Raising Great Kids
The author stresses the importance of listening with your whole body. I found myself distracted many times with the kids were trying to talk to me. Did I really hear them? Are you really hearing your children? Put down the phone, dust mop, or whatever it is that is taking your attention away from your child. I've learned as they get older, they tend to quit talking to you if, especially if you were never really listening to begin with.
Also covered in this section: listening first, listening to understand, listening often and listening to everything. All good stuff!
Influencing: A Tool for Raising Great Kids
“Your words show your kids who you think they are.” – The author's words. This is so true. What you say to them reflects to them what you think of them and in return has an affect on what they do with their lives. Name calling can really shift a child's direction toward bad life choices. Don't do that to your child. Every child has great potential and needs mentors (hopefully their parents) who will steer them with kind and uplifting words.
Also covered in this section: remember who they are, be a fountain of life, see more than meets the eye, find the lesson
Leading: A Tool for Raising Great Kids
“Practicing your faith with your kids” is such an important aspect of parenting. I started out reading the Bible with them, doing fun Bible games and taking turns praying. Yet, the world got a hold of me and I let our faith practices fall. My oldest kiddos were already saved when this happened, so I'm not worried about their salvation. Still, I regret not being the example they needed or keeping them close to God with the means I had to help them establish these important faith habits.
Also covered in this section: do right right, do wrong right, be a personhood leader
5 More Tools for Raising Great Kids
While those three sections really spoke to me about the changes I can make with my teens right now, I am going to implement 85% of the book with my youngest child. It's good stuff!
Other tools covered in this book: talking (and controlling your volume knob), connecting (and getting into their world, teaching (and finding the solution), encouraging (and looking past the failure) and correcting (and helping your kid bounce).
About the Book:
“I love my child, but parenting is hard.”
Whether you find parenting intuitive or impossible, we could all use a hand here and there. Let child psychologist and father Todd Cartmell walk you through the nuts and bolts of healthy, effective parenting.
Using examples from his home and 20 years of professional practice, Todd gives
~ Maintain a healthy relationship with your child
~ Develop a nurtu3ring home culture
~ Correct behavior in lasting ways
Designed for busy parents, 8 Simple Tools breaks each tool into five short chapters that include a summary tip and application questions. Use even half of the tools in your parenting, and your family dynamics will thrive. Your relationship with your child will be built on love and trust, providing you with fertile ground for planting God’s wisdom in their heart, and ultimately, seeing them flourish.
About the Author
Todd Cartmell is a child psychologist who practices in Wheaton, Illinois. He received his doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary and is the author of several parenting books, including 8 Simple Tools. His parenting workshops have been enjoyed by thousands of parents throughout the country. Visit Dr. Todd's website at www.drtodd.net.
Disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this post for your convenience, at no additional cost to you, if you decide to purchase this recommended book.