The Surprising Power of No, Yes, and Why

tall angry parent conflictWhen our kids do something they’re not supposed to, or ask us for something they can’t have, often our reflexive response is a simple, quick, “No!” And our kids’ reflexive response to “no” can be frustration, resentment, or even a meltdown.

But a look at the Bible gives us another way to respond to our kids — one that still enforces boundaries, but helps kids to grow in wisdom even through the “no”.

How to Help Kids Like Each Other… with Photos!

Ever feel like the moments where your kids actually like each other are few and far between? Or like deep down they love each other, but they forget as their connection gets lost in the shuffle of sibling conflict and craziness?

Lynne was worried about that very thing when parenting her three intense kiddos who fought all the time — so she decided to change the narrative and help her kids remember that they like each other, all with the use of photos! Watch the video to hear why and how she did it:

What to Do When Kids are Focused on Making Money

kids money

Carissa Rogers | Flickr

Can it ever be a good thing for kids to focus on making money?

In response to our post about kids wanting things NOW, a mom posted the following question about how to deal with a young child who is very focused on making money:

My son constantly is thinking about plans to make money. Whether it’s a lemonade stand or whatever the idea might be, I don’t know whether I should encourage him in it or not. He just turned 6 and without even earning any money, he seems quite worried about it. He wants to have it to get things that I won’t get for him. In these cases, would you still encourage a child to go forward with their plans?

Here is my response:

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

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?”

Growing Maturity in Your Child

Joslyn and Mike’s sensitive 4-year-old Tyler had perfected the art of out-of-control meltdowns, sassiness, and occasional aggression. When they came for coaching, they were exhausted from trying to manage this difficult behavior when it occurred. Through the coaching process Joslyn and Mike were learning to carefully teach, encourage and affirm wise behavior, even when it manifested in small ways. In general, Tyler was doing much better at home, but he was still easily over-stimulated in public places and could get out of control quickly. Joslyn shared her story:

The Six Sides of Lasting Success

Ever watch your kids’ moods ricochet like a pinball off the latest circumstance? Ever feel like your own moods are a magnification of whatever is going on in your child at the time?

Charles Swindoll challenged us all with his famous statement, “…life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.”

lemons

How can we each grow our abilities to “make lemonade out of lemons” or learn to persevere through challenges? Answer: focus on our small successes! Even if they are small, when we can value and even celebrate successes, it “fertilizes” them and they grow to become a larger presence for the next challenge.

Compliments that Nourish Kids’ Character

We do it all the time. “Nice work! Great job! You’re so awesome!”

It’s nice to take notice and give energy to the good things our kids do. But throwing kids compliments like this without any substance is akin to throwing them popcorn when they’re hungry. It tastes good and kids want more, but it doesn’t really nourish.

If you really want a compliment to improve a child’s sense of significance and grow wisdom at the same time, give that same energy some substance. Like this:

The Best Plan for Teaching Faith!

We had it all figured out. With strong desire to be more intentional about teaching faith at home, we’d put together a little lesson plan for a family Bible study. Complete with some fun object lessons and activities, it was sure to be a hit!

We gathered the kids, ages 6-10, and played the planned games and did the object lesson. It was fun. Even though we’d done a lot of this and were pretty good at it, getting the kids to sit still for the five minutes required for the planned teaching segment was like pulling teeth. We finally demanded the kids remain quiet so we could make our point and be done.

The kids sat restless and distracted on the couch while we read some verses and did our best to apply the teaching to the earlier activities. Daniel, our eldest, was highly agitated, and more interested in virtually everything else in the room than in the lesson. His feet kicked and his eyes wandered. We prayed and finished, frustrated and uncertain about the outcome of our planned teaching. What did the kids learn from our lesson? Did anything actually “stick”?