A Quirky, Fun Joy Builder for Your Home

Are you “happy of yourself?”

Life is fast these days. The hectic pace can be stressful, and sometimes parents and children alike can get impatient and maybe even snippy. This sure was true for us.

As parents of young kids, we often felt burdened by the logistics of making life work and solving all the problems that arose. We struggled to notice what went well, or connect joyfully with our kids. We were often discouraged, in spite of our good intentions to bring encouragement and joy into our home. We wish we’d have seen back then this delightful 1 minute video of a young boy learning how to ride a bike:

No crying over spilt milk

Connecting with a pre-schooler

Two-year-old Sam asked for milk while waiting for breakfast. His mom, Rebekah, was happy to oblige and poured him a small cup. Sam was at a curious, exploratory stage of life. He didn’t want the milk so much for drinking, but for a little science experiment about liquids and gravity. So he poured it all out. Onto himself.

Does Your Family Pray BIG Prayers?

Building a culture of prayer in your home

Growing a Culture of Prayer (1)Do you ever feel like praying as a family is just “going through the motions”?  

As parents, and as Christians, many of us place great value on prayer. But sometimes figuring out how to grow a culture of prayer can be difficult — especially if our personal prayer life is consistently a challenge. If we do not value prayer it is unlikely that our children will. God wants us to pray. God calls us to pray.  Are we prepared to PRAY BIG as a family?  

When Kids Don’t Listen

Breaking into your Child’s Focus Bubble with Grace

When Kids Do Not Listen (1)

“How do I get my child to listen?!!”
Listening when you’re addressed by someone is a great life skill, but one that often our children don’t seem too eager to learn! Frustrated parents often say, “I hate it, but I just have to yell, and then they’ll
finally listen.” What we’ve learned through decades of coaching parents is that a little connection and creativity goes a long way in helping kids tune in when they hear, “Time for dinner!” or “Pick up your toys, please!”

Libro Grátis: Disciplina que conecta: El manual

Spanish Translation DTC (1)La familia es importante para Ud. (sino fuera cierto, no estaría visitando esta página). En el día de hoy el criar hijos que sean respetuosos y responsables es más difícil que nunca y si los padres no están preparados, sus hijos a menudo pierden respeto y niegan los valores y la fé de sus padres.

Para ayudarle a ser el mejor padre que pueda ser, Connected Families ha creado su primer libro electrónico en español llamado Disciplina que Conecta. En el libro, Ud. aprenderá cuatro principios poderosos que le ayudarán a mantenerse estrechamente conectado a sus hijos cuando los disciplina con confianza y amor. Los padres que aprenden estos principios nos dicen que:

  • Las relaciones con sus hijos son más fuertes que nunca
  • Sus hijos son más respetuosos y responsable
  • La gracia y la verdad de Jesús son una parte más natural de la vida familiar.

Si esto le parece bien, entonces descargue y lea este libro grátis. Una vez, Ud. haya llenado este formulario corto, Ud. recibirá instantáneamente acceso a este manual. También Ud. será añadido a nuestro correo electrónico semanal en inglés que se puede traducir fácilmente al español usando “Google Translator”. ¡Dios los bendiga en la crianza de una familia conectada!


The Powerful Role of Empathy in Discipline

The Powerful Role of Empathy in DisciplineCould it be that one of the main reasons Jesus is so appealing to us, a reason we want to follow him, is that we see throughout scripture that he “gets” people?

He knows us. He understands us. He meets us where we are. Hebrews 4:15 essentially tells us that we have a high priest (Jesus) who empathizes with our every weakness. Following in Jesus’ example, we represent his character to our kids when we empathize with them in their weaknesses.

Practical Help for Families Struggling with Separation Anxiety

Practical Help for Families Struggling with Separation Anxiety

“Nooooo, Mommy, Noooooo! Don’t GO!” screams the little fighting octopus fastened to your legs. It can be heart wrenching and embarrassing to pry your child away from you, and inconvenient when you’ve got a time constraint. (Why is my child the only one who gets hysterical every time we try to leave childcare to go to the church service?)

Top 10 Most Viewed Posts in 2016!

Top 10 of 2016

We are so honored to serve you and equip you in your parenting journey. Thank you for trusting us! We always welcome your feedback and stories from how you are integrating our resources into your family. We pray there is a little something for all of you to challenge and encourage you every time you read our content.

Without further ado, here are the Top 10 Most Viewed Posts of 2016!*

10. Don’t Punish Your Child’s Nervous System – Understand It!

9. Can Family Meetings Really Work?

8. 12 Misbehaviors and the God-Given Gifts Behind Them

7. An Open Letter to the Cincinnati Zoo Mom

6. How I Got My Kids to Obey Immediately…and Why I Stopped

5. When Kids Want it NOW!

4. The New Problem of Entitlement

3. Restitution Consequences

2. Your Kids: Responsible or Spoiled?

1. How a Pipecleaner Can Stop Your Child’s Meltdowns!

*In descending order, based on number of page views on our website.

How to prevent misbehavior – in 30 seconds or less!

Three Secret Ingredients (1)

“My child is determined to push my buttons.”
“She just acts out to get attention.”
“I get so tired of his misbehavior, I just don’t enjoy my son any more.”

Misbehaving kids are often discouraged and looking for a strong emotional response from their parents. They want to know they matter to their parents!  But in the blur of family life, they often get that energized response when… they misbehave. “Carson James Smith! Stop that right now!” delivered with intense eye contact and furrowed brow.

Ah, zing. Reward. Connection made. Cycle reinforced.

Carson just got lots of attention for misbehavior, strengthened his identity as a pain-in-the-neck, and is even more likely to repeat the behavior. Soon. Parents often resent this repeated misbehavior and connect even less with their child.

Changing this pattern starts with realizing: My kids have a God-given need for my intense attention! It’s an important part of bonding. This is especially true of more challenging kids. They are looking for an “intensity match” to their big emotions.

Anxiety and Control: Partners in Parenting Crime

Will my kids choose good friends? Will they do well academically? Will they make wise choices when I’m not around to guide them? It’s normal to consider questions like these. However, if the answer is “no” to any of those reflective questions, anxiety can begin to rise and often a parent’s effort to control their child rises right along with it. It’s the brain’s natural coping response – when feeling internally out of control, we try to take charge of the situation to feel less anxious. This kind of reaction can become problematic, because we are not wise or helpful parents when we’re anxious and controlling. (Imagine how it would feel to have a boss at work engaging with a dip in your performance by anxiously reading your emails and checking every report!)

Anxiety and Control
The Anxiety and Control Cycle

Anxiety and Control are partners in crime. They rob us of joy, contentment and peace. They rob our kids of encouragement and independence. In my parenting, and as I’ve coached parents over the years, I’ve noticed the spiraling impact of anxiety and control:

The more anxious I am about my child, the more likely I am to project a negative future for them, and the more likely they are to begin living out that projection. This makes it easy it is for me to rationalize doing things for them that they ought to be responsible for themselves, which builds their resentment and resistance towards me, which feeds my anxiety… and the beat goes on.