Why It’s Good that Your Kids Don’t Believe You

skeptical kid dont believe you

Andrew Feinberg | Flickr


When kids melt down, we often counsel parents to respond with empathy. When you truly understand your struggling child, it strongly communicates the essential message, “You are loved no matter what!” Often, communicating empathy in the midst of misbehavior takes the wind out of kids’ sails of defiance or anger.

But occasionally we have parents say, “It didn’t work!” Reading between the lines, this can be translated, “I empathized and said what I thought my child was feeling, and nothing changed. I didn’t get the behavior I was looking for.”

“If My Kid’s a Slob Now, How Will He Hold a Job Later?”

messy room responsibility job

woodleywonderworks | Flickr

When I look at my son’s messy room, it puts a knot in my stomach.”

Joe was insightful and honest as he described his emotions about his son’s room. “Just the sight of his dresser drawers hanging out with stuff all over and I’m thinking pessimistic thoughts: If he can’t even push his drawers shut, how is he going to be responsible to hold anything but a low end job? It even makes me feel like I’ve failed as a parent to help my son learn to be responsible.”

When It Comes to Expressing Love, Timing Matters!

undeserved love parentIf you ask most parents, they would say it’s important to love children unconditionally. But in practice, sometimes that’s harder than it sounds!

What exactly is unconditional love? What does it look like?

One thing’s for sure – unconditional love is not praise for positive behavior. When I express love in any context where children can possibly interpret my affection as conditional (based on their behavior), it loses its power as an expression of love!

What to Do When You Dislike Your Child

dislike your children parentingDuring the very difficult years of early parenting, I would go through long times of despair, as well as periods of dislike for one or more of my children.

I felt horribly guilty as well as angry with my family and myself. I was frustrated because I couldn’t find methods and answers to fix my extremely lively, strong-willed, struggling kids.

I remember one of those dreadful nights: Jim was working. The youngest child was sick, and the other two were overwhelmed with homework. As they continued to ask for me all at the same time, I grew more and more frustrated, resentful, and harsh. Kids fought, whined, criticized dinner, and frequently disobeyed me. I felt like I was ready to pull my hair out — but I was too frazzled to figure out what was really happening.

The Power of Pain

power of pain

Muhammad Taslim Razin | Flickr


When we experience difficult circumstances, or when we begin the difficult journey of examining our core beliefs, it’s not usually a pleasant process. In fact, it’s often quite painful.

Digging into deeply entrenched beliefs and habits can bring up feelings of hurt, sadness, anger, loneliness, abandonment — feelings that we often just want to stop feeling.

Sometimes, it somehow seems easier to ignore the problems created by leaving these issues unaddressed, or to hope and pray that God will somehow just take them away. But even when people try to ignore the pain of recurring problems, it remains a primary factor in their relationships and behavior.

We’re in this with you!

writing - a note from the founders

Dear friends,

We’ve been here with you and for you – encouraging, supporting, educating – for over 13 years. And we don’t plan on leaving anytime soon! We are blessed and privileged to do the work that God has called us and prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).

In a little over a month we’ll invite YOU to encourage and support US through your financial partnership in our largest fundraising event to date. (More on that in the coming weeks!) If you’ve benefited from the ministry of Connected Families and if you’d like to see more families around the world become stronger, we’d urge you to consider partnering with us financially.

If you simply can’t wait until our event launches, you can certainly donate now!

Blessings as you grow a Connected Family ,
Jim and Lynne Jackson

PS – Click here to read our full fundraising letter that we mailed to current donors in June.

PPS – We are currently submitting grants to foundations seeking capital money to develop a library of online course options. If you, or someone you know, has a family foundation and would be open to us submitting a grant proposal, please email Director of Operations Anna Braasch at abraasch@connectedfamilies.org.

Where Do Parenting Reflexes Come From?

parenting reflexes

On the journey of parenting, many of us find that we have some “typical parenting reflexes” that we default to. Some of this comes from instinct — as when we instinctively move to comfort a crying child. But what about yelling? What about sending kids to their rooms? Where do the rest of our parenting reflexes come from? Let’s take a look at the story of Caryn.