Project Dad Giveaway with Dr. Todd Cartmell

NOTE: My site will be switching servers over the long holiday weekend and may be unavailable for a day or two. We’ll be back early next week. :-)

Congratulations to the winner of the giveaway with Connie Hughey. Here is how she was chosen:

Connie said: “I had John Mark choose a number between 1 and 23 (I excluded Karen’s two comments and one repeat) and he chose the number 5 which is psnichols01.”  Yeah! Send your home address to [email protected] to claim your prize!


If you have a man in your life who is also a father, have I got someone for you to meet! He is a clinical psychologist who will help them be an awesome dad and you’ll want to get his latest book for them for Father’s Day. Who is this helpful and wise man?

No, not Dr. Phil….Dr. Todd!

Dr. Todd Cartmell & I became friends nearly two decades ago when we both began speaking at Hearts at Home conferences. His popular workshops always had excited moms streaming out, ready to apply his concepts in their parenting.

Not only is he top-notch in his profession, but he is also a great sport too. I seem to recall a main stage skit where he donned a baby-carrier and changed a diaper and powdered a baby doll’s bottom, but since I want to stay friends with him and his sweet wife Lora, I won’t post any pictures! :-)

Now, meet Dr. Todd:

Dr. Todd Cartmell is a clinical psychologist who works with children, adolescents, and families.  He is the author of several books, including Project DadRespectful Kids, and Keep the Siblings-Lose the Rivalry.  Dr. Cartmell is a popular workshop speaker and regularly speaks on parenting issues throughout the country.  Currently practicing in Wheaton, Illinois, Dr. Cartmell and his wife, Lora, have two sons.

Project Dad is a humorous, biblically based guidebook to becoming a great dad. With short, entertaining chapters that cover the five key components for “Great Dadness,” this guidebook encourages fathers to take inventory of how they look at, talk to, connect with, act toward, and lead their children.  Dr. Todd’s message to dads is simple: God made you to be a great dad and coincidentally, that’s just what your kids are looking for.

~ Todd, what prompted you to write Project Dad?

I’ve had the chance to work with hundreds of boys and girls and as a result, have had the chance to see the huge impact that dads make in the lives of their kids.  I’ve seen many dads who love their kids and do a great job in some areas, but yet struggle with other areas, such as discipline, anger, or building a strong relationship connection with their kids.

However, I’ve seen many of these dads get serious about becoming a great dad and have been amazed at the impact it has had on their kids.  Boys and girls who had been sobbing in my office because of their dad’s harsh words now were grinning from ear to ear as they told me of their new relationship with their dad.

Bottom line: Every dad can be a great dad.  That’s a big part of who God made us to be.  I wrote Project Dad to be a light-hearted and practical guidebook that will show every dad how to be the great dad his kids need.

~ What do you think is the greatest challenge facing dads today when it comes to following through on their intentions to be a good father?

The greatest challenge facing dads that I see is getting connected and staying connected with their kids.  After all, dads are busy guys, with work demands, things to fix around the house, and NASCAR races to watch.

Sometimes, we just get sidetracked and forget to do the things that keep us connected with our kids.  Other times, we do things that actually disconnect us from our kids, such as yelling, making critical comments, or forcing them to watch the Cubs.

Either way, here are five simple things dads can do to get connected and stay connected with their kids:

-Daily warm physical touch (e.g., hugs, squeezes on shoulders and arms)

-Ask them about their activities

-Point out their positive choices (even the small ones)

-Play with them

-Pray together at bedtime

~ Since most of my blog readers are women, what can wives do to help facilitate the father-child relationship?

First, they should buy their husbands (and all their friends and co-workers) a copy of Project Dad. :-)

Second, wives should be encouraging to their husbands (think puppy training) by pointing out the positive ways they already connect with their kids and times when they handle situations in a strong and caring way.

Third, when a wife does have a suggestion, she should offer it in a positive way.  For example:

-GOOD:  “I think Billy would really love to spend more time with you, what do you think?

-NOT AS GOOD:  “Why don’t you try to pry yourself away from the TV for a split second so you can remind Billy that he ACTUALLY HAS A FATHER!”

Fourth, did I mention that they should get their husbands a copy of Project Dad?

~What do you most hope men who read this book will walk away with?

Project Dad is divided into five simple parts: how you look at, talk to, connect with, act toward, and lead your kids.  Dads will leave Project Dad feeling encouraged and equipped to become the dads they have always wanted to be.

For example, dads will learn how to:

-Look for the positives

-Use their words to shape their kids from the inside out

-Be a great listener

-Build a strong relationship with their kids

-Teach lessons like a coach, not a referee

-Lead their kids through the power of their example

~ You are offering a great giveaway to one of our readers. What is it?

In keeping with my civic duty to help as many dads as possible become great dads, I am going to give away two signed copies of Project Dad, one for the winner’s husband and one for a friend. God bless America!

Okay readers. If you would like to be entered in this giveaway, leave a comment on this post. Tell us a little about a dad in your life or to whom you’d give the second copy. The winner will be announced Wednesday.


  1. I would give it to my husband we just had our 1st baby. the 2nd one i would give to my dad my family just add it 3 more kids to the family so they are starting all over with 3 little one they are now raising

  2. Via email: I have never responded to one of your post before, but am always tempted to. I so enjoy reading them. I’m not even sure if this is how I am to respond to enter the drawing for Project Dad. If not, oh well, I tried and I would never know if I never tried! Right?!? And all I have is time on my hands with not much to do for the next several weeks as I am recovering from back surgery! So here it goes….

    I married the most wonderful man about 4 1/2 years ago and he not only took on me, but my 3 children! At the time their ages were 14, 10, and 4. Now to explain a little, he has a daughter that he hasn’t had the opportunity to raise or be super involved with who is now 19. Point is, this Dad thing (especially step dad thing) was and is sometimes a total SHOCK for him. I have to say, he has given his all to be the best step dad around. We have definitely had our ups and downs and we know there are more to come, but he has never once regretted his decision to step in and be the best Dad around. We are always looking for ways to better our parenting skills, and being a step parent is even a harder job! This book sounds like something he (and I) can gain more knowledge to add to his skills. I think my husband has been earning a few extra jewels for his crown someday!
    That’s it in a nut shell without going into details as my story would never end. Thank-you so much for the privilege of reading your emails Karen!
    Many Blessings to you and your family!

    Amy Cronin

  3. I think my husband could benefit from this book! I would give the other book to my best friend’s husband. Thanks.

  4. I’ve seen Todd at Hearts at Home too and just love hearing him! My hubby is a great Dad…and also willing to admit he has room for improvement (as do we all). I’d for sure give him a copy and the second copy to our best friends. That way my hubby and her hubby can compare notes when they’re done reading it. :-)

  5. Sounds like a very good book; one that the whole family could learn from. I would love one for my husband and also our son, who is a single parent. I think it would be great for me. Thanks for all you do.

  6. what a great book this looks to be! i would give a copy to my husband….he is a wonderful father to our 2 young boys, but we are both always looking for wisdom on improving our parenting!!! I would give the other copy to a neighbor of ours who would love to read it!
    I am SO thankful for Fathers……….both earthly and Heavenly!
    Thank you!

  7. This would be a great resource for my husband who not only is dad to our two babies, but also dad to his own daughter living so far away and step-dad to my three older children, whose father passed away. He is doing so much that is right, I would really like something that would encourage him to keep it up!
    I would also like to give this to a co-worker who is so close to divorce right now. It would be an encouragement to them.
    Thank you!

  8. As the story goes. . . . My girlfriend called this morning frustrated at how her husband and kids relate to one another at times. He is an amazing dad but she sees how improved the relationship can be with just slight changes but feels he needs to hear it from someone other than her. . . I agree . . . It is much easier to learn from the “expert” than your wife with all her many flaws in parenting!!! We would enjoy the book as well. I was privileged to hear Dr. Todd at one of the Hearts at Home conferences and have implemented the “training activities.” Like, line up at the door 7 times in a row peacefully during a non stressful time…That way, when the time comes to actually do this it’s been “practiced!” Rather than parenting out of reaction he encouraged us to TRAIN our children! He’s awesome!!

  9. I am blessed with a wonderful husband, Tim, who is a great dad. We have 4 children and he loves each and every one. But like most dads he often needs a jump start into doing things with his children. He grew up in a home that didn’t always have the hugs, the “I love you’s” all the time. He told me when we married that he would always strive to be better than his father. In turn, my own father is such a godly man. It is because of him I am who I am. My husband would love this book as it is appears simple in its approach. Will you please put my name in the drawing…May you have a blessed day! Smiles, Robin

  10. My husband is a great dad, but I think all dads can use some encouragement, and I would love to give it to him! I also think this would be a great book for my brother, who is going through a divorce and really trying to remake himself as a dad. This would be wonderful to share!

  11. My husband is a great Dad to our 16-month old daughter. I was encouraged to see that praying at bedtime is one of the 5 listed. We do that every night, and at every meal. I would give this to my husband, to encourage him, and affirm his father-figure role.

  12. I would give my extra copy to my brother who has a 10month old. He does a great job spending time and helping out with his son already, but a fabulous resource is always nice as he continues the journey.

  13. My husband recently made a comment that he wished he could spend more time with our boys, but he’s not sure how. This sounds like a great starting answer. I have a friend who recently got divorced and he has custody of 3 boys, 2 that are his ex-wife’s from a previous marriage. These boys need to finally have a Dad that cares and Rob needs as much encouragement on how to be that Dad as possible right now. It would be great to be able to give a copy to him.

  14. Hello Friends :)

    I just wanted to add my name to the hat for the book drawing because I have a Super-wonderful husband (Will), who after being on the road working for the last 10 years, is now the at-home dad. He is doing a great job, but I can see frustration as he learns to do all of the at home parenting and duties(I work away from home full-time). I just know this book would help and encourage him so that he in return has that encouragement to give to the children. And… I am looking forward to reading it with him :)
    Consider yourself hugged!!

  15. My husband is a good dad but sometimes seems to get overwhelmed by it all! I think he would enjoy the book. If I am lucky enough to be selected, I would give the other to my brother-in-law. :)

  16. I would love to win this book for my husband, He grew up in a dysfuctional home where his step father made it clear to him and his siblings he was only there for their mother. My husband never had a relationship with his biological father either, and hardly knew who he was. With this my husband made it clear that he would always be there for his children. My husband is not saved and has had no great example what a father should be like. But I do have to give him credit he is a great dad. I just think the book would be good for him and give him the guidance he needs. The 2nd copy would go to my dad. He was never around us..My mother pretty much raised us alone and then about 4 years ago they divorced and I know he beats himself up over it, it is by the grace of God my sister and I have forgiven him but he too has not fully surrendered his life to Christ so he lives with tons of guilt and regret Since he has remarried and his new wife has a small grandson who has been put in their lives and I think this would be a great book for him as he is put in that little boys life to be a father figure. Thank you and God bless.

  17. My husband is a great dad and this book would be great book for him and our soninlaw to read. Thank you for this post.

  18. I would love to have a copy of this book for my husband. He is always trying to do the best he can with our boys. He likes to read books that help him improve his life. I think I would share the 2nd copy with the dads in our lifegroup.

  19. I know some incredible and not so incredible Dads. I would give one to one who really needs it.

  20. My husband is the father of 4 young boys ages 2,4,6,10. He did not grow up in a christian home. His parents divorced when he was 9. His father was not involved. He said the thing he learned from him was what not to do as a father. I am so thankful he makes it a priority to have a devotional time with them most nights. He always gives when he feels empty. He is self employed, struggling to provide the base necessities for our family. He really struggles with God. I think this book would be a power of purpose in Gods plan for him as a father. I would give the copy to a friend who is a new Christian father of 5 two of whom were adopted after providing a foster home.

  21. I’d love to give this to my husband! He’s a great dad and very involved but uses too much sarcasm. I think this would be a gentle way to instruct!

  22. My husband tries hard to be a good dad, but due to his own harsh upbringing he doesn’t really have the tools to be the best he can be. I would love to win a copy of this book for him!

  23. Sounds like a great book! Love the keeping it simple concept as my husband is not big on reading what he considers “self-help” books. I would give the extra copy to my brother-in-law. He is a involved and commited father to his three young children (Ages 4, 3 and 8 months), always looking for ways to improve his parenting.

  24. My husband is already a great father, but I would LOVE to give him this book to verify that for and encourage him. A copy for my brother or brother-in-law would be great as well:) Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *