Discipline That Connects With Your Child’s Heart

2nd Edition - Book Release on September 20!

In the winter of 2012, I was desperate for help. My kids at that time were five and seven. We formed our family through adoption, and I wasn’t prepared for the struggles we were having with our then seven year old. Since he had turned three we had been throwing “fixes” at him – hoping that something would stick. (can anyone relate?).

On a particularly difficult day, I was sharing some really hard moments with our adoption group during one of our regular gatherings. One of the moms, who was familiar with Connected Families, encouraged me to check out their resources. I went home, ordered Discipline That Connects With Your Child’s Heart (which had just been released!) and How to Grow a Connected Family – both from Connected Families.

I remember they day they arrived. I carved out a big chunk of time and devoured Discipline That Connects. It was exactly the hope that I so desperately needed.

I was so profoundly impacted by the content that a few months later during a job transition, I contacted Connected Families to see if a position was available. At that time there wasn’t, but I met Jim and Lynne – instantly felt camaraderie with them – and then, the fall of 2013 I was hired by Connected Families.

One of my very first convictions was that Discipline That Connects NEEDS a larger audience! There are so many parents desperate – just like me! Moms and dads crying out for help. Knowing that what “worked” for them as a child, isn’t “working” as they raise their children.

And so I encouraged Jim and Lynne to seek out a publisher for Discipline That Connects rather than self-publish. Fast forward to today…..on September 20, 2016 (two months from today!) Bethany House Publishers is going to release the 2nd edition of Discipline That Connects With Your Child’s Hearts!

Online Gaming Addiction

The Long Road of Recovery from an Addiction to Minecraft

Problem of Online Gaming Addiction

Online gaming addiction is real.  If you read the post about creative ways to nurture healthy boundaries around screen time for younger children, you may be shaking your head saying, “My kid is beyond that point…he is addicted.”  Perhaps anytime you attempt to corral efforts at managing online gaming, you run up against a wall.  Maybe your child or teenager is moody, sneaking time online or is lying about her online use.  These and other symptoms are typical of an unhealthy online gaming obsession, according to WebMD. You need help with the battle to help your child break a habit that may have started out innocently enough, but now has turned into a full blown craving by which they seem to be enslaved.

You are not alone.  
Signs of video game addiction:

Here’s how one family started to help their son break his online gaming addiction as it had spiraled out of control:

Some kids can regulate their computer use with fairly minimal guidance. Dillon was not one of those kids. At fourteen, he was extremely intense, and obsessed with online interactive video games, especially Minecraft. He also played an empire building game that wasn’t as time-consuming but needed frequent daily attention.

Respond to Sibling Conflict with Wisdom and Confidence (Video link)

Connected Families' Four-Level Framework

Kids fight. Sibling conflict is a reality in just about every family. It is hard to know how to parent with wisdom and confidence in the middle of a battle over who has the most space in the backseat or who got the bigger piece of cake.  These kinds of fights seem to happen every day and wear parents out the most because they seem to ramp up so quickly.  Suddenly, the fight is no longer about the seat space or the cake but about bigger issues–like selfishness or your child’s character.  Things can get out of hand pretty quickly and it is hard to know how to respond to conflict in a way that promotes growth and peace instead of hurt and anger.  Many parents feel stuck in defeating patterns when their kids are fighting.  Perhaps it is time to think about new ways to help with sibling conflict.  

Connected Families developed this 4-level framework to help parents rethink about sibling conflict from a place of wisdom and confidence.

Take a look at this 5-minute video which teaches about a helpful approach to look at the ways that conflict can be an opportunity to build wisdom.

Some highlights from the video:

  • Attempts at solving sibling conflict by implementing a formula of “Apologize, go to your room, and don’t come out until you are ready to be nice,” often are counterproductive.
  • We learned to change our perspective about misbehavior and began to think of things like conflict as an opportunity to build long-term skills and wisdom in our kids.
  • We began to realize that our homes and our families needed to have connection in order to thrive.
  • In order successfully create peace and connection at home we needed to spend some time thinking about how we could build skills and wisdom in our own lives as the parents.

Sibling Conflict Online Course is now in session. Register today! (Registration closes August 22, 2016)


3 Secrets to Grow from Screen Time Madness to Gladness This Summer

How One Family Began Managing Screen Time

 

3 Secrets to Screen Time Madness to Gladness

Are you feeling a little fear and trepidation about your kids’ free time this summer and the issues it brings?Summertime means long stretches of downtime. It also means that computer, television, and smartphone screens are an appealing way to fill that time for most children. Maybe you are a little worried about the seemingly inevitable clashes over technology and screen use. It can be hard to know how to pull little (and big) eyes away from the draw of the flickering screen and how to create some memories that will last and be more meaningful than anything an online experience can offer.  Managing screen time is a challenge for many families.

Brenda is a mom of three who follows our teaching closely. She shared this great story about how she dealt with technology obsession with the kids in her home.

Two summers ago we had such conflicts over screen time in our home it drove me crazy. My kids were determined to get their hands on some manner of glowing device – no matter what. I was equally determined they not rot their young brains with it, and the battle was on. So last summer I tried something bold. I told the kids there were no specific technology time limits for the summer. (Could that really work?!) You may even have a knot in your stomach reading about such a reckless plan. But it did indeed work incredibly well, and it’s our plan again this summer!

What were the secrets that made for such an amazing turn-around in this family’s screen time power-struggles using such a counter-intuitive approach? They are listed here in order of increasing importance:

The Power of Defiance

defiant jesusJesus was defiant.

He defied Satan’s temptation. He defied the religious structures of the day. He defied legalism. He even defied death.

One of our problems as parents is that we treat our kids’ defiance as if it is entirely bad. We then seek to make it go away – sometimes at all costs.

What if instead of a thinking of defiance as a problem we saw it as evidence of a gift God put in our children, coming out in unrefined, selfish,  or sinful ways?

After all, it takes boldness, conviction, strength of will, and a plan to be defiant.

What if our job was not to make defiance go away, but to affirm and re-purpose those talents after the pattern of Jesus’ defiance?

Apply It Now

The Big Do Over

 

 

Recently we received this story from Joel and Amy Nelson, parents of two sons, who have previously shared their story here. Enjoy!


Parenting may not come with a manual, but I sure have read a lot of the parenting books out there! One common message that I encountered in my reading was, in all that you do, “be consistent”.

This logic was all well and good, except when I was not in a good place to address the situation calmly because of what was going on inside of me – exasperation, frustration, or just plain being tired and worn out from a day. If one of my sons challenged me during these times, it was “game on”.

It typically would start with me giving a consequence just because I was mad. “If you do that one more time, you will lose (insert favorite item here) for one day.” Then, if there was any whining, it was, “OK, that’s two days!” Then after the pouty huffing, “OK, one week, do you want more?” Then after the slammed door, “OK, A MONTH!!!” And then, there I was — stuck in the consequences I had given, having to “be consistent” and follow through.

It’s Not Defiance — It’s Science!

Not Defiance- SciencePretty much every kid loves to experiment with chaos: dropping food, smearing things, investigating cupboards or containers, throwing toys — you name it, a toddler has probably gotten into it.

It can be easy to get aggravated when your child gets into yet another mess. But if we expect kids to just stop when we say “stop,” we’re probably not going to get very far.

Why? Because we’re fighting their brains.