8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids  -     By: Dr. Todd Cartmell
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8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids

Moody Publishers / 2016 / Paperback

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Product Description

Designed with busy parents in mind, 8 Simple Tools breaks each tool into five short chapters, perfect for when you only have a second. Plus, each chapter ends with a practical "Tip" section that summarizes the main point and helps you apply it right away.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: Moody Publishers
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 0802413870
ISBN-13: 9780802413871

Publisher's Description

Finally, a practical book for busy parents!

Whether you find parenting intuitive or impossible, we could all use a hand here and there. And we could use it quick! In 8 Simple Tools, child psychologist and father Todd Cartmell walks you through the nuts and bolts of healthy, effective parenting.

Using examples from his home and 20 years of professional practice, Todd gives eight essential and practical tools to help you:

  • Listen well and respond wisely
  • Use affirmation to influence your child
  • Develop a nurturing home culture
  • Correct behavior in lasting ways
  • Maintain a healthy relationship with your child

Designed with busy parents in mind, 8 Simple Tools breaks each tool into five short chapters, perfect for when you only have a second. Plus, each chapter ends with a practical "Tip" section that summarizes the main point and helps you apply it right away.

Use even half of the tools in your parenting, and your family dynamics will thrive. Your relationship will be built on love and trust, providing you with fertile ground for planting God’s wisdom in your child's heart and, ultimately, seeing your child flourish.

Author Bio

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 and follow him on Facebook.

Product Reviews

4.3 Stars Out Of 5
4.3 out of 5
3.8 out Of 5
(3.8 out of 5)
3.8 out Of 5
(3.8 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
3.8 out Of 5
(3.8 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-4 of 4
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  1. 3 Stars Out Of 5
    Book Review: 8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids
    November 21, 2016
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    In "8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids," Todd Cartmell focuses on eight areas which parents need to be aware of as they interact with their kids daily. Each of the eight areas is comprised of five small chapters which illustrate how parents can practice these tools effectively. Those who have read many parenting books will be familiar with most of the concepts that Cartmell discusses such as choosing right words to encourage children towards positive behaviour and spending quality time together by learning a new instrument or sport. The author begins each chapter with a personal example or illustration before explaining how parents can pragmatically utilize the tool in their own households. At the end of each chapter, there is a short summary paragraph and reflection questions to help parents consider how to implement those changes. One of the book's analogies that were especially helpful to me is to view our children as little gold mines. The author asserts that most parents spend much of their time noticing the "dirt" (negative words, actions, and attitudes) instead of spotting the small specks of gold (positive words, actions, and attitudes) in each child. However, if we change our focus to dig for gold instead of feeling defeated in trying to clear up the dirt, we will gradually begin to see and dig for more and more gold. Cartmell emphasizes that the analogy is not intended to mean parents should refrain from correcting or disciplining their children. Rather, parents should place their focus on what God is doing in the hearts of their children and see how they can continue to help these positive traits and behaviours blossom. As a whole, the book is fairly accessible with many useful strategies for parents to employ in helping their children grow and mature into responsible followers of Christ.

    A weakness that I found with the book's overall message is that it fails to acknowledge those parents who do use the right tools but still have kids who remain obnoxious and unyielding. Being sinners ourselves, we know that the rebelliousness of our children lies in the depravity of their sinful hearts and even using the most proven parenting techniques will not cause that sinful heart to respond in obedience permanently. At best, we end up raising a child who is superficially obedient and will quickly turn from God's ways once they reach adulthood. Thus, the most vital tool to the transformation of our children's hearts is to be found in Christ who is the only One that can redeem and recreate a new heart willing to submit to God and their parents as His ordained stewards. Naturally, younger children and toddlers would require more intentional instruction and discipline until they have the capacity to understand their heart's sinful disposition. However, the gospel is not only for adults and even infants should be taught that the only hope they have is found in Jesus alone.

    I would recommend this book to all parents as the author provides valuable advice on how to approach parenting with small, implementable steps. Parents need to be prepared and equipped to take advantage of any opportunity to nurture their children. However, despite our best efforts, we need to keep in mind that true heart change can only take place through the renewing power of the Holy Spirit which indwells each of us who put our faith in Jesus. As parents, our first priority is to display and preach the gospel to our children so that they can see Christ as the answer to their unyielding hearts.

    In compliance with Federal Trade Commission guidelines, I received a review copy from Moody Press in exchange for a book review.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Practical & powerful book to help you invest in your kids
    June 10, 2016
    A.S. Lester
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5

    Having the right tool on hand is far more important than just a matter of convenience. Just ask any carpenter, teacher, plumber, engineer, or nearly anyone else! We all have learned, sometimes through success and sometimes through failure, the value of being equipped with the right tool. Likewise, parenting presents us with various circumstances, in various settings, requiring various approaches and responses. In these moments having the right tool, at the right time, to be used in just the right way is invaluable.

    Child Psychologist Dr. Todd Cartmell has done parents a great favor in composing 8 Simple Tools For Raising Great Kids. Dont let the title mislead you. There is nothing simple about these tools. One might say they are simple to understand, but consistently using them in a productive, encouraging, and God-honoring way will take a lifetime of practice. This is part of what makes 8 Simple Tools For Raising Great Kids such a good book. Its not about an easy, or generic, sweeping formula to help you turn out the perfect kid in every circumstance (10). Instead, the book largely focuses on helping parents connect with their kids in an effective and influential way.

    As the title suggests, the book is divided into eight tools, with five short & concise chapters under each tool. The chapters are not comprehensive in nature (building one upon another), but instead read more like differing aspects of the same tool. For example, the first tool is Talking, and the five associated chapters are: Control Your Volume Knob, If Unsure, Press Pause, Start with You, Be Easy to Listen To, and Play a Game of Catch. Each chapter is only about three pages long, making this book doable for even the busiest of parents. The other seven tools include: listening, influencing, connecting, teaching, encouraging, correcting, and leading.


    There is much to like about this little book. First, the structure is powerfully simple. Its as if Cartmell compacts years of experience into eight tools parents would be wise to give attention to. To aid the parent, he then provides five different ways the tool can be used in helping foster a connection with his child. The reader will not find himself lost in side issues, contemporary debates, or meaningless ramblings that are void of everyday application. There is something powerful about focus, and Cartmell stays true to his task of equipping parents to connect with their children in normal situations. Moms and dads everywhere will appreciate his efforts to get to the point!

    The eight tools highlighted by Cartmell are extremely useful, and parents will have little trouble finding opportunities throughout the day to put these tools to practice. One of the tools I am trying to be intentional about working on right now is related to talking. Being a parent who is easy to listen to is a key aspect to talking effectively with your children (29). Cartmell notes: The strongest relationships all have one thing in common: The kids feel comfortable talking (and listening) to their parents. If you really want your kids to be able to talk with you about anything, then I have a suggestion for you: become an easy-to-listen-to parent (30).

    Every parent knows the reality of growing impatient and losing ones cool, especially when little junior has been a pill all day and is paying little attention to your request for the millionth time! In those moments the volume knob often goes up, the tone level often increases, and soon you realize that you are speaking to your kids in a way that you would never want anyone to speak to you. Such behavior begins to shut down your kids instead of open them up (31). Deep down every parent desires for their kids to feel comfortable enough to talk about anything, but does our communication reinforce that desire or negate it? Cartmell offers great advice for helping moms and dads become parents that are easy to listen to.

    Special Features

    As a pastor who often finds himself offering encouragement and instruction to families, I appreciate all the practical pull-outs in this book that could easily be shared with others. The Family Respect Rule, the Flexible Thoughts exercise, and STEPS to problem solving are three tools Im sure to share with other parents (pages 106, 114, and 118 respectively).

    Other special features include tips for remembering the main point, as well as follow-up questions, at the end of each chapter. These are instrumental in helping the reader remember, reflect, and ultimately put into practice each of the eight tools. The follow-up questions are very pointed, which helps one think through and personalize the content, thus greatly increasing the odds of actually using what one has learned. At the end of the book is a comprehensive summary of all the tools, as well as the five tips for putting them into practice. The reader is also directed to a free online parenting assessment to help identify areas of strengths and weaknesses as a parent.


    Parenting can be the best of times and the worst of times (and sometimes one can experience both of those times in the same day)! Parenting is a great joy and a weighty responsibility. I would gladly recommend 8 Simple Tools For Raising Great Kids to weary moms and dads who are struggling with the never-ending challenges of parenting, and for those parents who are just looking for some practical ideas on how to strengthen family relationships.

    Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
  3. Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Simple and effective tools for all parents.
    April 15, 2016
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Your child is only small for a short while...before you know it, they are all grown up and moving out to live their own lives. I pray every night that I am raising them to be great people, it's my most important job. Sometimes I'm confident that I'm doing it all right, then there are days where I'm not so sure.

    "8 simple tools for raising great kids" by clinical child psychologist Dr. Todd Cartmell. As the title suggests, it offers 8 simple tools to help parents build a healthy relationship with their child, develop a nurturing home and ways to correct behaviour that are lasting and meaningful.

    The book is designed with busy parents in mind. Each "Tool" is broken down into short chapters. I like how the authors uses every day words that I can understand. Each chapter has a "Tip" at the end which is a short summary of the already short chapter. There is also a "Consider" section that poses questions for the reader to reflect on.

    Since each chapter is short I can not only read it quickly, but I can immediately begin to practice the new skills I have learned. They are never anything complicated and you don't need any special training or tools.

    The book isn't just about raising great kids, I find it's also about becoming a great parent. The tools aren't just about fixing issues with your child, but about reflecting on your own parenting style and things that may need to be changed.

    While it is a faith based book, you are not hit over the head with scripture references. While the book does contain scripture references, anyone would take something away from this book. There were two big takeaways for me from this book. One for me, and one for my children.

    The first was on listening. I always believed listen was with your ears, but I soon learned differently. You listen with your whole body. Your eyes, ears, mouth, neck to your knees and feet are all involved. Who knew that your feet were involved in listening? I sure didn't.

    The second thing that I took away from this book was teaching my children problem solving steps. Using the acronym "STEPS" both the kids and I are able to work through problems in a logical fashion.


    S - Stop

    T - Think of possible solutions

    E - Evaluate the solution

    P - Pick a solution

    S - See if it worked

    Such a simple way to remember how to work through any issue. This really works for adults and children alike. Stopping for a moment to gather your thoughts and feelings really helps put any issue into perspective. Knowing that you have a plan to solve any issue helps you feel empowered.

    Parenting can be a challenge, even with the most easy going child. The book really points out several common sense solutions to effective parenting that can be used by anyone. Each tip can be easily put into practice, some will require more work than others.

    The website for the book contains two parenting assessments to discover how effective your parenting is and what are your parenting strengths.

    "8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids" will give parents the right tools to help build a great relationship with their child. Even if you don't use all the tools in the book, even implementing a few will help your child, marriage and family thrive.

    *Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of "8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids" in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% my own.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids - Every Word Counts
    April 6, 2016
    Just Commonly
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    "Every Word Counts." (67)

    Simple. Straightforward. Easy to understand. Easy to read. Yes, those are the thoughts when you see 8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids by Dr. Todd Cartmell from a "book" perspective. With 8 "sections" (tools), and 5 chapters of average 3 pages each chapter for each section, simple is as simple gets. It is well outlined and points well presented. And once you read it, you will see it as so much more than a "book to read".

    8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids, is simply as the title suggests. This book is designed with busy parents in mind, I think it can relate and apply to grandparents, teachers (in principle), aunts, uncles and anyone who have interactions with kids in general. Yes, it's about raising kids, but it's also about listening and teaching and communicating with kids today. With 8 tools of talking, listening, influencing, connecting, teaching, encouraging, correcting and leading, we as adults are able to understand the goals of parenthood and how we influence the youngsters in our lives. And in some ways, I see some of these tools reflective of relationships in general. Take tool #1, Talking. First chapter is titled, "Control Your Volume Knob". Now tell me that's not something that can be reflective on adult relationships as well as talking with kids?!

    Dr. Cartmell shared his wisdom in this area with insightful tools and steps that we can take for raising great kids, but as make us better adults. God blessed us with families, why not "pay it forward" with the blessings of the next generation - let His goodness shine through for generations to come?

    This review first appeared on Just Commonly Blog.

    NOTE: I received a complimentary copy of this book through Flyby Promotions for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.
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