Monday 2 April 2012

Project Dad: The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide for Becoming a Great Father - Todd Cartmell

Project Dad:
The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide for Becoming a Great Father
Todd Cartmell

ISBN 9780800719999

I have read this book twice and am now working through it for my third time. It is amazing; it will be a great tool in your arsenal as a Christian Father. In the introduction Todd states:

"Five key Areas

Let's review the main point so far: God is building a dad, and that dad is you. And God's plan is for you to be a great dad for the kids he has entrusted into your care. Five key areas are essential for becoming the great dad God wants you to be and that your children need you to be. To help you remember each area, I've connected each one with a body part, because as my wife keeps reminding me, guys think with their body parts. Here they are from the bottom:
  • Your eyes - how you look at your children
  • Your mouth - how you talk to your children
  • Your heart - how you connect with your children
  • Your hands - how you act toward your children
  • Your feet - how you lead your children

In the following pages, you will learn how to:
  • look at your children in a way that will help them see the reflection of who God made them to be in your eyes;
  • talk to your children in a way that will nurture them and shape how they learn to think about themselves;
  • connect with your children in a way that will open them up to the lessons and wisdom they need to learn from you; and
  • lead your children along the path God has laid out for them and protect them from the pitfalls and traps the enemy has laid ahead of them."

He does it through the following sections:

Part 1: Your Eyes - How You Look at Your Children
1. Who Are Those Little People? (And Why Are They in My House?)
2. There's a Prize Inside
3. What Are You Looking For?
4. Every Day Makes an Impact

Part 2: Your Mouth - How You Talk To Your Children
5. When Dad Talks, Who Listens?
6. Send a Message
7. Watch Out for Hazards
8. Your Secret Weapon

Part 3: Your Heart - How You Connect with Your Children
9. "Hello, My Name Is Dad"
10. Connect through Respect
11. Listen and learn
12. Connect as a Family

Part 4: Your Hands - How You Act toward Your Children
13. Be a Coach
14. Save the Picnic
15. Find the House
16. Discipline with the End in Mind (Not That End)

Part 5: Your Feet - How You Lead Your Children
17. Follow My Lead
18. The Friendship Factor
19. Draw the Line
20. Wanted: Great Dads (Superheroes Need Not Apply)

As he works through each area, he shows us tools to apply the changes that he believes we need to make to be better fathers. As we work at becoming better fathers we will also become better husbands and better men. There is much that any father can glean from this book and apply to their interaction with their children and with others. The only real drawback is that often Todd is self-deprecating to the extent that it detracts from the book. There were times I put it down rather then keep reading when he started it. I know it was intended as humor and to show that he works on these things also but for me it detracted from the great material being presented. But over all, I would state it is a great book with a lot of good advice and practices.

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