Today’s guest post is provided by popular Hearts at Home author and speaker Dr. Todd Cartmell. Todd is a child psychologist who offered great content as a workshop speaker at our 2016 conferences. He’s also the author of the Hearts at Home book 8 Simple Tools For Raising Great Kids

If you’re looking for encouragement as a parent, Dr. Todd’s post today is very practical and just what you need!


Be a Gold Digger
By Todd Cartmell

download-1I admit this is a risky title for a blog for primarily moms, but I thought I’d go ahead and live dangerously.  I’ll let you know how it works out.  Needless to say, this blog is not about how to find an old rich guy to marry.

But it is about gold.  Lots of it.

Gold digging is actually a great term, because it carries two ideas with it.  First, there is some gold.  That’s good news.  Second, you have to put a little work in if you want to get it.

Here’s a reminder that every parent needs from time to time.  There is a lot of gold in your kids.  In fact, I like to think of kids as God’s gold nuggets.  Corny, but accurate.

The problem is that they probably don’t see the “gold” that God has hidden within them.  An even bigger problem is when mom and dad don’t see it either.  The writer of Hebrews tells us to, “encourage one another daily.”(Hebrews 3:13).One great way to encourage your kids is to point out the “gold nugget moments” that your kids have on a regular basis.

Your kids need your daily encouragement to remember who they are and who they can become.  Your kids are God’s handiwork and we don’t want them to forget it.  They are imperfect, they make mistakes, and they make their share of sinful choices, as do we all.  But no matter how challenging their behavior may be, God is working in them to develop traits that reflect his character, such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

And God is counting on your daily encouragement to help make that happen.

God wants you to be a gold digger.

One day, I asked my youngest son, Luke, to bring down his laundry basket so we could get some clothes washed.  He said, “Sure,” and came down with a basket filled to overflowing with dirty towels and workout clothes.  My options:

1) Say nothing.

2) Say, “Thanks.”

3) Say, “Thanks for bringing your clothes down so quickly.”

4) Say, “Thanks for bringing your clothes down so quickly, that was very helpful.”

Option 2 is okay, and option 3 is great, but option 4 will knock the ball out of the ballpark.  If you think about it, there is a positive characteristic or trait that underlies every one of your kids’ positive behaviors, even if it is in the embryonic stage.  And if you want that trait to grow, there is one thing to do:  Point it out.

You are digging for gold.  Your kids display positive “gold nugget” traits each day.  As a child psychologist, I work with extremely challenging kids and they all have gold nugget behaviors and traits that they display.  The question is whether you are looking for them.

Are you a gold digger?

For instance, if Emma spends thirty minutes working on her homework, what positive traits does that behavior display?

Possible answers: Hard working, diligent, responsible, flexibility, perseverance, self-control.

That’s not bad for half-an-hour of homework.

If Daniel lets his sister choose a game for them to play, what positive traits does that behavior display?

Possible answers: Friendly, flexible, considerate, fair, thoughtful, caring, kind.

Do you see what I mean?  Your kids may display more gold nugget behavior and traits than you realize.

When you point out your kids’ positive behaviors and the character traits that lie underneath, you are reminding them of the little ways that they are obeying God in how they treat others and handle situations throughout the day.  You are helping them to see that a good day doesn’t just happen by accident.  It happens as the result of many respectful and friendly choices – gold nugget choices to be exact.  You are reminding them that when they treat others the way they would like to be treated (Luke 6:13) it helps to make your family a fun place to be.

Let your encouraging words show your kids that you see God’s handiwork in them on a daily basis.  Point out at least one positive characteristic each day for each of your kids.  You will see their faces light up as you show them that you see the best in them, not the worst.  Better yet, your steady stream of encouragement will be shaping them from the inside out and helping them experience the joy in becoming all that God wants them to be.

In other words, be a gold digger.


todds-bookThis post is adapted from 8 Simple Tools For Raising Great Kids and I have good news for you! Right now…for a few more days…Todd’s book is available for $1.99! That’s a great deal that I wanted to make sure you knew about!

Not only that, but Dr. Todd has been featured on the Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast yesterday and today. You can listen to those programs FREE using the Focus on the Family smartphone app or online!


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products, systems, and services I love and use personally so I know you’ll be in good hands! I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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