Today’s post is a guest post from a favorite Hearts at Home speaker!  Dr. Todd Cartmell always fills a workshop room at a Hearts at Home conference.  Anyone who attends one of his workshops, always walks away with tons of notes and practical tips! In fact, I’m still using some of the wisdom I learned from Dr. Todd years ago! 


As parents, we all need a little help from time to time. Lots of challenging situations come knocking at our door. Sometimes, it seems that they never stop. Problems with mornings, bedtimes, homework, siblings, peer pressure, you name it!

Here’s a good example:

Question: What should I do about my 10-year-old child’s lying?

Here’s a short version of my answer:

Answer: Your response can help your child to learn that being honest is the best approach. For starters, use a logical negative consequence to help your child experience that lying did not pay off. For example, I know a boy who stole one of his friend’s “rare” trading cards. When this was discovered, he had to give it back in person, apologize to his friend, buy his friend a new pack of cards, and he lost the use of his own cards for some time.

Then, the most important work begins. Talk together with your child about the importance of honesty. You can have your child think of reasons why God tells us that honesty is the best way and why lying always makes things worse. Scripture verses that would be good to discuss together include Leviticus 19:11-13, Psalm 15, Proverbs 11:1, 16:11, and Ephesians 4:25.

Finally, turn your focus on the future. Take a look at the situation that tempted your child to lie and use it to help him prepare for the next time he is tempted. Help him identify other ways that he could have handled that situation that would have worked out much better. Contrast the results of handling a situation with lying versus with honesty, so your child can see for himself that honesty actually does work out better. Remind him that he can always come to you when he is unsure about how to handle a situation. And of course, let him catch you being honest when temptation knocks on your door.

Sometimes a little guidance like this can help a parent get their bearings for how to handle an important situation with their kids.

Some of you all know me through my books and workshops. For those of you whom I have not met, I am a child psychologist, who has had the wonderful opportunity of working with hundreds of children, tweens, teens, and families over the past 20 years. (Or as my wife likes to say, I get to play a lot of UNO.)

And I’m doing something new…I want to personally answer your parenting questions.

All you have to do is visit my website at and go to the
Dr. Todd Answers Your Questions” section.

Type in your question at the prompt and I’ll give you a personalized response as quickly as my schedule allows. If you would like, you can follow Dr. Todd Cartmell on Facebook and I’ll let you know when new Q&A’s are added, so you can see what other parents are asking.

After all, we all need a little help now and then.

Now, you’ve got a child psychologist in your corner!

Jill’s note: With Father’s Day around the corner, Dr. Todd has a great book for dads that just came out last year.  It’s called Project Dad!  You can find out more here.

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