Have you missed the workshops at Hearts at Home Conferences? (For those of you who were part of those!) That’s one thing I hear all the time, and to be honest, I do as well. But friends, today’s conversation will feel like a full-blown parenting workshop packed into 50 minutes. So much wisdom!

(By the way, Hearts at Home’s legacy ministry Ignite the Family is bringing back workshops at their event this year. You can learn more here!)

If you’ve noticed that all this togetherness at home has increased family conflict instead of connection, this conversation is for you. Even if you only have one child, this is one you’ll get a ton of value from.

Dr. Todd Cartmell is a long-time friend of mine and a child psychologist who received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the author of six faith-based parenting books, has been married for over 30 years, and has two sons. He’s so knowledgeable and passionate about equipping parents to lead their kids well.

Today’s episode is PACKED with wisdom. Todd shares about what he’s seeing from kids during COVID-19, how to actively listen to our kids, practices we can put in place to increase connection with them, practical ways to promote positive behavior instead of constantly calling out bad behavior, how to create intentional family time, and so much more. Parents, listen in!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

[Book] Keep the Siblings, Lose the Rivalry

Dr Todd’s Website

[Book] No More Perfect Kids

My Key Takeaways:

1) Our tendency is often to tell our kids what to do instead of invite them to problem-solve with us. love this shift Todd shares. We are usually so quick to tell our kids what to do or offer our opinion, when we actually have an opportunity to engage and lead them. Asking questions is a great way to start with this. (Ex. “It’s really frustrating that we can’t change COVID-19. What do you think is something we could do today to make our time at home more fun?”)

2) Intentionally engaging your kids doesn’t happen by accident. Plain and simple, it requires our focus. There’s no parenting hack that can make this effort-free. But it pays off. One of Todd’s favorite practices is consistent “family time” to reconnect, have fun, and encourage meaningful conversation.

3) Reinforcing good behavior is just as important as addressing poor behavior. We need to remember that we, as parents, are leaders, and how we lead our children matters a lot. One way to start leading our children is to be intentional about calling out good behavior. Todd shares practical strategies (like putting our kids on a team where they can earn points for good behavior) that make this a little easier. We have to address bad behavior, but it’s always a good reminder that there’s much more to meaningful parenting than that.

About Todd:

todd-cartmell-29Dr. Todd Cartmell is a child psychologist who has been working with children, teens, parents, and families for over 20 years, with most of that taking place in a group practice in Wheaton, IL. He is the author of six faith-based parenting books, has been married for over 30 years, and has two sons. Todd also enjoys reading, running, and playing jazz piano any chance he can get. Connect with him at DrTodd.net!


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