Creating a Nurturing Home for Your Child: 8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids by Dr. Todd Cartmell

Parenting doesn't come with a handbook, and quite frankly it shouldn't. There are many different parenting styles out there, so you just have to choose the one that's right for you and your children. As a parent, I personally enjoy reading parenting books and magazines, although I don't particularly seek them out for parenting advice, per say. I simply enjoy reading wisdom from the point of view of other parents. One of my most recently read books on the subject, is 8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids by Dr. Todd Cartmell.

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. 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.

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 and follow him on Facebook.

Dr. Cartmell offers insight not just from a child psychologist' point of view, but also as a parent. 8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids includes practical tips from a professional perspective, as well as from someone who's actually been there. Many of the topics of discussion involve breaking down communication barriers. Such examples, include changing your speaking style by thinking of the conversation as a game of catch. This can be done by keeping the discussion going back and forth between the parent and child, without either one "holding the ball for too long"– in other words, hogging the conversation without letting the other person chime in.
8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids: 

Other tips include incorporating positive body language and showing your child that you're interested by asking more open-ended questions. Instead of asking a child how their day was. Ask them more specific questions that can keep the discussion going: What did you have for lunch? Is that something that you enjoy? Did you learn anything new at school, today?

I'm the kind of person who has a difficult time stopping a book right in the middle of a chapter. I prefer to complete the chapter in one sitting, which allows me to not lose sight of the main point, especially if I don't immediately get back to reading it. Sometimes this doesn't always work out. I may get interrupted in the middle of reading. One of my favorite aspects of this book is that it's actually written for the busy parent in mind. The main theme is comprised of the "8 tools." Each of those tools are broken down into five short chapters (a total of forty chapters). When I say "short chapters" I mean they are very short and sweet, so it only took a few minutes out of a day to read each one. I was able to finish a chapter (and sometimes more) without having to stop in the middle.

Another feature that I really appreciate is the handy Summary of Tips in the back. This area is basically a list that highlights the topics previously discussed in the book. If you're the kind of person that only reads short bits here and there over a longer period of time, then this is definitely helpful. If I happened to step away from the book for a longer stretch of time, this list offered me a nice little refresher of what I had previously read.

Communication, encouragement, and leadership–these are just a few of the topics that are discussed in 8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids. I really enjoyed reading the practical tips that Dr. Cartmell had to offer. All of the topics of discussion in this book can be used as building blocks to a solid relationship between parents and their children. I definitely recommend this as a great read for parents with children of all ages.

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