I've told you guys a few stories lately about Ephraim's terrible-two-tantrums, and Nolan's constant need for guidance and discipline. It can be very overwhelming to parent strong-willed children, and I feel like we have two of them. Steve and I try to soak up advice from parenting books. I was given a chance to review 8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids, by Dr. Todd Cartmell, a clinical child psychologist and author in Chicago. He recommends things like listening with your entire body--keeping your eyes focused on your kids when they talk (not on your phone or your book), always pointing out their positive traits, keeping your voice at a normal decibel, and having regular family time.
But, I want to focus on the chapter that stood out to me the most, "See More Than Meets the Eye." In this challenging season of raising little guys, I seem to unconsciously make a list in my head of all of the bad and disrespectful behavior they have displayed throughout the day. Dr. Cartmell calls this "Dirt watching". He says we get in this trap of focusing on all of the dirt: when the kids are arguing with each other, refusing to put on their shoes, talking back, throwing a fit about turning off the TV, etc. It seems we are consumed with the dirt, and always waiting for the next bit of dirt we will have to endure.
We forget to look for the gold.
He says that our kids are "God's wonderful, handmade gold nuggets." As parents, it's our role to brush off the dirt and find that gold on the inside.
Dr. Cartmell lists ways to look for gold nugget behaviors, like when the kids follow your instruction the first time, when they are playing nicely with each other, when they are polite by saying please and thank you. Give your attention to these things, and then give positive praise and verbal appreciation for them!
I feel like this is a hugely important idea for raising kids of high moral value and strong character.
Are you looking for the gold or for the dirt?
I want to give you a coupon code for 50% off of the book. Purchase it from moodypublishers.com and use GREATKIDS16. (Effective April 15 to May 15.)
Hope you enjoyed this little excerpt!