Thursday, April 14, 2016

8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids -- book review and discount!

Anytime anything has to do with parenting or raising kids or marriage-of-people-who-have-kids comes across my path, I jump at the chance to get my hands on it. I feel like no one is ever a perfect parent, but believe that the more information I take in, I can refine my philosophy so that IT is as perfect (and God-directed) as I can get it. What do I mean? Well, I just mean that I want to be raising my kids the way God would want me to raise them. I don't expect myself to execute said way flawlessly--I know I'll lose my temper, I know I'll forget something, I know I'm not a perfect person. However, if my set of goals and my methodology aligns with what I believe to be God's heart, then I'm ok if I mess if up every once in a while. That doesn't bother me as much since I know the foundation I'm standing on is a good one. (Not that I am dismissive of me messing up, I just have more grace for myself in those moments.)

Enter 8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids that FlyBy sent me.

This book seemed like a perfect fit for us right now for several reasons... "simple" because we're up to the brim busy these days raising these boys, "raising" because I believe there is a distinction between "parenting" and "raising" (I'm not just parenting children, I'm raising adults.), and "great kids" because who doesn't want their kids to be great??

I was immediately excited when I got it in the mail because this is book is SMALL. It's essentially the size of my hand and about a half inch thick. It has 190 pages and the chapters are itty bitty (three pages sometimes... a front, back, and next front). The great thing about short chapters and the physical size of this book is that I could carry it with me in my purse and catch a chapter here and there while waiting for the boys to finish xyz... when I arrived a few minutes early to something... a quick snippet before bed when a few pages was all my eyelids would allow me. It's perfect for a parent who wants the information but doesn't have a bunch of big chunks of reading time. (I mean, I would LOVE to have hours on end to read, but most of the time my reading time comes in tiny segments.)

I've included pictures of the contents pages below because several people have asked how there could be 8 tools and more than 8 chapters. I can understand the confusion and wanted to help clear that up. Each tool actually has 5 little chapters associated with it which is why they are so short.

The writing style was very easy. I've never heard of Dr. Todd Cartmell before (though the information packet I received and book jacket would make you think he's John Piper or something), and I loved the easy breezy style. Most chapters would start with a story, either from his personal life or from his counseling practice and I could immediately understand the point he was trying to make.

The tools, I would argue, aren't exactly "simple." I mean, "simple" is a very debatable word! What's simple to you might not be simple for me and vice versa. The first two tools are "talking" and "listening"--those things can be very complex! The information contained in those two sections weren't much of anything new to me and are things I try to do already, but it served as good reminders. (I think when you have a MA in Counseling, those are skills you have researched and studied and practiced maybe more than the average person. Which makes me very curious to have y'all read this book and give me feedback about that!)

Having said that, though, I think the tools that are presented here are the nuts and bolts of parenting and are presented in a way that is very relatable/understandable and I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I truly think the way everything is presented raises my opinion of the book (physical size and chapter length) not only because I could get more of it read in a timely fashion but also because it allows time between topics to marinate on them each by themselves. If you're looking for an easy-to-read parenting book that will talk you through different important aspects, this book is for you!

In short, I love it!

If you want to try the book for yourself, I have a discount code that can be used at for 50% off the retail price. Just ender "GREATKIDS16". Please note! The coupon code expires May 15, 2016, so you only have about a month to use it. If you end up reading, please let me know what you thought!

 the contents

ps. Does anyone else think the way she's leaning away from the kid in the cover picture seems weird? I can't stop staring at it wondering why she's pulling away from his leaning on her. ?