Sometimes family life can seem like a crazy collision of everyone’s challenges and weaknesses. In our family Jim could get impatient and snippy, Lynne tended to nag, Daniel liked to dominate and demand fairness, Bethany was over-sensitive and cried easily, and Noah sometimes told fibs to avoid conflict. On a bad day it was mayhem! It was easy to get stuck in a negative pattern, making life pretty miserable. But fortunately as we gained insight into what makes for strong, caring families, we learned not to get stuck focusing on our weaknesses.
In this journey there were three important principles we learned.
1.) Each person’s challenge area has a corresponding strength.
Our strengths that corresponded to these weaknesses were:
- Jim was passionate and expressive
- Lynne had good attention to detail and follow-through
- Daniel had a gift of leadership and justice
- Bethany was compassionate
- Noah was easy going
Holidays and other gatherings can be a lot of fun — but they can also be chaotic and overstimulating for kids! Rather than punish your children for misbehavior, be thoughtful ahead of time about how to prepare them for success.
Whether your child loudly proclaims Gramma’s sweet potatoes are YUCKY!, gets out of control when opening presents, or shuts down and withdraws when talking with adults, make a thoughtful plan and weave in plenty of encouragement.
[To ease holiday mealtime stress, read 7 Practical Tips for Picky Eaters.]
With the three simple steps below, you can set your child up for success and create a truly enjoyable holiday gathering!
It’s tempting when kids experience rejection, to want to protect them and be a buffer to keep their feelings from being hurt. Our blood boils, our God-given Mama or Papa Bear instincts kick in, and we may well go after the offending teacher or student. Sometimes this is a wise course of action, especially if a child is experiencing abuse or extreme rejection. But many times the best strategy is to be thoughtful about strengthening the child instead of protecting them. This prepares them for other inevitable situations in life when rejection threatens to redefine their sense of identity.
Cara’s kids had different classes with the same teacher. Mr. Benson may have been a well-intentioned guy, but the methods he used in his class were laden with shaming, critical messages.
In Jaden’s class, Mr. Benson decided to prepare the kids for the teasing they were sure to get next year in middle school. He projected each student’s picture from school photo day, one at a time, for the class to laugh at. Jaden’s anxious, deer-in-the-headlights mugshot brought a chorus of laughter and comments from his classmates. He ran off the bus sobbing that day, traumatized by the humiliation.
Connected Families provides coaching for parents all over the world. Meet Chad Hayenga, one of the Parent Coaches and our director of Coaching who makes a difference in the lives of the people he serves.
When did you become a Parenting Coach for Connected Families?
I began coaching with Connected Families in 2012. Previously, I had worked as a marriage and family therapist for Connected Families. After a number of years providing therapy, often times to teenagers, I became frustrated that I was mostly teaching coping skills to teens rather than changing the family dynamic. It was at that point, I shifted to working almost exclusively with parents. Parents have such an enormous impact on their kids and when parents change, kids usually change as well.
Can you tell us a little about your background?
I’ve been married 23 years and have three daughters (22, 19, 15). I have a masters degree in counseling psychology and a certification in life coaching. I spent 10 years working with a ministry to at-risk teens before coming to CF.
What is your role as a coach for Connected Families?
I am the director of the coaching program at Connected Families. I am actively coaching a number of parents at any given time, but I’m also working to train other coaches who believe in our parenting model so they too, can become parent coaches using our life-changing framework.
What is your greatest passion when it comes to coaching families?
I absolutely love the time in a coaching session when a light bulb turns on for the parents. Often times it is the Holy Spirit showing them something about how God sees them as a parent or how God sees their children. When the parents’ perspective changes and they begin to focus on things they can control, amazing things happen.
What is the best part about coaching?
The best part about coaching is seeing parents develop a plan for becoming the parents they want to be and hearing how that plan has changed the direction of their family. It’s just awesome!
Learn more about Connected Families parent coaching.
On Tuesday evening, September 20, Lynne spoke to a packed house at the Discipline That Connects book launch party about the most important messages that parents convey to their children in discipline. This four-level framework is the foundation of intentional, grace-filled parenting. Follow the link below to get a 10 minute audio clip of the message that Lynne shared with the crowd that evening. Listen to learn about building identity and why it is so biblical, and so crucial to character development in your child.
What you’ll learn:
- how Jesus lived his own life out of his identity
- how Jesus built identity in his disciples
- how we can build the same identity in our kids
There are few things more frustrating to a parent than an outward sign of disrespect coming from their children. You know it: the eye-rolling, door-slamming or long sighs of disdain that kids utilize to get their point across with aggravating success. In an attempt to regain control over disrespectful children what often jumps out of our mouths is,“You MAY NOT disrespect me!” (or some variation). We may demand their respect, but do we get to the bottom of what’s going on in their heart? How do we cultivate respect in children with grace?
Discipline That Connects is going to be re-released on September 20 through Bethany House Publishers! The 2nd edition has been expanded to include more practical advice for families that long for peace and connection.
The James family (not their real name) took the Discipline That Connects (DTC) Online Course together. The curriculum in the online course arose out of the content of the book. Read the following testimonial to hear how God’s grace-filled transformation helped their family find peace for their family – especially their 5 year old son who struggled with aggressive outbursts.
Erik and Heather took our Sibling Conflict Online Course and were kind enough to share with us some of the things they learned and implemented with their own family of seven.
“The Peace Process” is the method we teach to encourage kids to resolve conflicts with wisdom. Erik and Heather especially loved how they were able to use The Peace Process and see positive results in their own home pretty quickly. Heather notes, “we are still a work in progress,” but how inspiring to see a family who is growing together in peace and connection! Actually, part of raising a family is being willing to be a work in progress! So, we applaud families like Erik and Heather’s for their willingness to keep learning and keep trying new things.
Connected Families asked Heather to share about their experience
“She called me a name!” “He hit me!” When one child “tells on” another, we call that “tattling.” It can be difficult to confront the kid who feels the need to expose all the other kids’ misbehaviors. Actually, tattling tends to be pretty irritating for all of us. What is the best way to address this issue?
It’s easy to resort to unhelpful responses that keep everyone stuck in the tattling cycle:
- Whether it comes as sympathy or annoyance, the tattling child gets lots of attention.
- The tattled-upon child gets increasingly resentful and determined to pick on their sibling while Mom or Dad isn’t looking.
Instead, we want to share four helpful approaches to tattletale behavior, and how one family succeeded and overcame negative relational patterns.
Connected Families provides resources for families to thrive. We love partnering with others who share our vision. Recently, Lynne Jackson wrote an endorsement of the book, 52 Ways to Connect With Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid by Jonathan McKee. She shares her impressions of the book below:
“Jonathan McKee deftly leads parents to find their way into rich connection and deep influence with their kids, while avoiding common defaults of either giving up or attempting to control kids’ screen use. The practical, inspiring wisdom in this book will help you raise kids with strong character and good judgment, prepared to wisely manage their smartphone use as they launch to independence. And the added bonus – they’ll want to come back and visit because of the quality of your relationship with them!”
More information about the book from the publisher:
Are you tired of battling your kids about screen time?
In a world where most kids age 2 to 12 have access to mobile devices, parents are searching for ways to pry their kids’ eyes from their devices and engage them in real, face-to-face conversation. Author Jonathan McKee–drawing from his 20-plus years of experience working with teens and tweens, studying youth culture, and raising three teens of his own–provides an abundant supply of useful tips and creative ideas to help you bond with the Smartphone Generation in his new book, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid. Jonathan offers you just the help you need to have meaningful interaction with your kids instead of always overreacting to their unhealthy consumption of technology and media.