Join us for a life-changing workshop near you!

workshop connected families

Consider joining us for one of our upcoming live workshops in the Twin Cities metro area, several locations in the upper Midwest (Winsted, Fargo, Rockford), and in your living room!*

Thursday, Dec 10 – 11 AM to 1 PM – Bloomington, MN
Misbehavior and the God-Given Gifts Behind Them
Hosted by Youth Leadership & Connected Families – Lunch & Learn @ Bloomington Bethel University Campus
Register here!

Saturday, Jan 09 – TIME TO BE DETERMINED – Eden Prairie, MN
Four Powerful Messages All Kids Long to Hear
Recharge Conference at St. Andrew Lutheran Church
Register here!

Thursday, Jan 14 – 10:45 AM to 12:15 PM – Anoka, MN
Peaceful Mothering
First Baptist Anoka MOPS @ First Baptist Church in Anoka
Open to Anoka MOPS mothers

Tuesday, Jan 19 – 10 AM – 11:30 AM – Mounds View, MN
Peaceful Mothering
Bethlehem Baptist North Campus – MOMS Group
No registration necessary. Open to moms.

Thursday, Jan 21 – 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM – Winsted, MN
Four Strengths of Every Great Family
St. John’s Lutheran Church
Registration to come.

Saturday, Jan 23 – 8 AM to 8:45 AM – Edina, MN
The Messages of Your Life Men’s Breakfast
Christ Presbyterian Church
Registration to come.

Saturday, Jan 23 – EVENT TIME TO BE DETERMINED – Fargo, ND
Four Powerful Messages All Kids Long to Hear
Recharge Conference at Bethel Church
Register here!

Monday, Feb 1 – **Your Living room!**
Registration begins for the online course of Discipline That Connects with Your Child’s Heart. The six-module course will be available from Feb 1 through the end of April. This six-session course delivers practical, grace-filled teaching that will help you learn to be the parent you’ve always longed to be.

Tuesday, Feb 02 – 10 AM – 11:30 AM – Minneapolis, MN
Peaceful Mothering
Bethlehem Baptist MOMS Group @ Bethlehem Baptist Church
No registration necessary. Open to moms.

Friday, Feb 05 – 10 AM – 11 AM – Rockford, MN
Entitlement – A Biblical Response to the Cultural Epidemic
Rockford MOPS at Our Father’s Lutheran Church
Open to Rockford MOPS mothers.

Monday, Feb 08 – 6 PM – 8 PM – Waconia, MN
Siblings: From Bickering to Bonding
Waconia ECFE at Bayview Elementary School
Register here!

Tuesday, Feb 16 – 10 AM – 11:30 AM – Burnsville, MN
Peaceful Mothering
Bethlehem Baptist Church, Burnsville
No registration necessary. Open to moms.

How to Find the Good… Even in Misbehavior!

angry child school find the good misbehavior

Yellow | Flickr

“…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute – if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise – let your mind dwell on these things” (Philippians 4: 8, NASB).

Ricky had just been suspended from school for threatening his teachers – an unusual thing for a fourth grader. I was enlisted to help him and his parents learn new skills for coping with his anger. During our first meeting I asked Ricky, “What are some things you’re good at?” He shrugged, unable to give an answer. I probed further, “What are some good things the adults in your life might say about you?” Ricky about hit the roof!

Elf on a Shelf: The Good, the Bad, and 4 Character Building Tweaks

elf on a shelf

KarenBJones |

Many of us grew up with Santa, but his little buddy the Elf on a Shelf has gotten growing attention in recent years.

Just like the Santa story, the “Elf” story can lead your kids toward God, or away. We just like to think deeply at Connected Families, and how we celebrate the birth of our Savior is certainly an important topic warranting thoughtfulness. So let’s take a look at the Elf on a Shelf through the all-purpose Connected Families questions: What’s going on? and What should we do?

How One Family’s Lives Were Completely Changed… by a Stranger

mother and son family change coaching

Gordon | Flickr

At Connected Families, we’ve seen powerful change happen when parents really dig into our parent coaching.

Unfortunately, the ability to pay for coaching is not in everyone’s budget. Thankfully we have generous donors who make it possible for us to provide coaching scholarships to folks who can’t afford to pay. Here is the amazing story of a Navy family of six whose coaching was paid for (anonymously) by another coaching family:

Our family was a mess. A complete mess. There was no respect, there was no deep connections or relationships. We were parenting out of sheer will and just trying to get through the day. The Bible verse “My people perish for lack of vision” certainly applied to us. We were tired and our boat was full of holes and sinking.

What if Parents Talked to Each Other the Way We Talk to Our Kids?

Recently someone sent us this video from comedic mom group “The Break Womb” entitled, “What If Moms Talked to Each Other The Way They Talk to Their Kids…” It’s pretty funny, but it’s also a good reminder of how the way we talk to our kids can be subtly condescending or shaming. Take a look!

Apply It Now:

  • Did you find yourself wincing a little at anything in this video? What was it, and why did it make you wince?
  • Is there anything you’d like to change about the way you talk to your kids? Think about it, then share your goals with a spouse or friend.
  • If you feel it’s warranted, consider an apology to your child. Apologizing can be a great way to model flexibility and growth, as well as to start a conversation with your child about what kind of parent you want to be!

The Critical Cry of Every Child to Their Parents

father-son respect & obedienceI love baseball. Before I ever even thought about marriage, I dreamt about the day I would teach my own children to play baseball.

The first time I went into the backyard with three-year-old Daniel to teach him the game, I was ecstatic.

I vividly remember that first wildly swinging “fat-bat” hit that connected with my well-timed pitch, sending the ball over the garage and into the alley beyond. His first home run gave way to a wild celebration as he ran randomly around the yard and then jumped on the Frisbee placed as home plate – just the way I’d taught him. My dream was coming true!

The only problem is that as the years went by, in spite of my encouragement, it became clear that Daniel didn’t have the patience for baseball. “This is dumb! I stood in the outfield for four innings and never touched the ball!”

Six Ideas for Growing a Culture of Prayer in Your Family

family prayer growing cultureAs parents, and as Christians, many of us place great value on teaching our children to value prayer. But sometimes figuring out how to grow a culture of prayer can be difficult — especially if maintaining a strong prayer life is a challenge for us.

Here are six ideas we’ve used in our family to help move toward a culture of prayer as a family.

Help Your Kids Go from Enemies to Allies!

aggressive kids siblings fightingParents of siblings… did you ever think it would be this hard?

You imagined your kiddos as best friends, being there for each other throughout life, always having each other’s backs. And yet, here they are, yo-yo-ing from best friends to bitter enemies several times a day. Sometimes it seems like the “best friend” moments are becoming increasingly fleeting as you just try to keep the next world war from launching in your living room.

We’ve been there. We feel your pain. And we’re working to develop an online course specifically to address this seemingly impossible challenge.

Donate Now

Connection: Why “Just Trying Harder” Doesn’t Cut It

connection hands parent child try harder edWhen connecting with our kids is a struggle, sometimes it can feel like we have to “just try harder.” But if we’re really stuck, “just trying harder” doesn’t cut it.

What “just trying harder” can miss is that at the root of a struggle to connect can be a host of other issues.

Pretending that all is well will only perpetuate these troubles. In order to make real progress, we need to stop “trying harder” and look under the surface to address the real roadblocks — whether discouragement, exhaustionawkwardness, disappointment and resentment, or even my own feelings of disconnection.

We’ve written about some of these issues, but the important thing to remember is that whatever barriers to connection you’re wrestling with, the starting place is honesty with God and with a few trusted people who will encourage and pray for you.

Once I’ve been “brutally honest” about the situation, there are practical ways that I can build my Foundation for the joy of Connection with my children. Here are a few.

How to Deal with Disappointment and Resentment Toward My Child

disappointment resentment parent child

Pretty Vectors |

When we talk about the difficulty of connection with our children, one of the factors that can contribute is a sense of disappointment or resentment.

Some parents experience deep disappointment with their child — that he or she is not the excellent student, athlete, or social butterfly for whom they had hoped.

Other parents simply dream of having a reasonably compliant child instead of the challenging behavior they often deal with. While parents of children with obvious handicaps usually receive sympathy and support, an intense or behaviorally challenging child is likely to elicit criticism from others, which adds to more guilt and stress for the parent. Parents may deeply resent their challenging child because of the public embarrassment he or she brings.

Disappointment with, or resentment toward, a particularly challenging child may cause parents to not even want to be around the child, let alone to express unconditional love and affection. When this happens, parents are continually frustrated that children won’t change in response to their diligent parenting efforts. Why are they like this? Why won’t they change?