My child doesn’t believe in God. Now what?

Many discouraged parents have asked us this question: How should we respond to our child who doubts the reality of God?

When children suggest “there is no God” it’s natural for parents to immediately try to convince them otherwise. It’s a good intention, but one that often deepens the chasm between kids’ doubts and their movement toward God. If this is your reality, understand that there is probably little you can say, (because they’ve probably heard all the arguments before) but much that you can DO to make it safe for your kids to struggle back toward Jesus when they have doubts.

The Awesome Thing about Your Kid’s Misbehavior…

The Awesome Thing about Your Kid’s Misbehavior

The rough-looking teen’s tough veneer had softened. I detected tears in his eyes.

“No one has ever said anything like that to me.”

Just minutes before, I met this teen in a line at our local amusement park. After a brief conversation, I dug a little deeper and asked Jared what he was good at. “Are you kidding?” He seemed angry. “Look at me.” Violent tattoos, tattered dark clothes, a defiant countenance and multiple piercings on his ears, nose, eyebrows and lips were suggestive of a hard life.

How to Get Kids to Care about School & Grades

Without Nagging

Over the years, Lynne and I have worked with many families who struggle with the same issues. Time and again, we see how a change in perspective can transform a parent-child relationship from one of tension to one filled with grace. When it comes to school, grades and performance, there is often a minefield of conflict over expectations. Parents often believe that they need to create change in their child to see improvement in work ethic and performance when it comes to grades. The truth is, change best starts with the parent.

How to get kids to care about school and grades

Read on to learn how one mother and daughter set aside conflict and embraced grace for homework success without nagging:

Misty anxiously told me about her seventh grade daughter, Greta.

“Her grades are tanking! She’s sassy and defiant most of the time! I know she is capable of so much more, but she won’t dig in and live up to her potential. I check her grades every day. I’ve withheld privileges, created charts, offered rewards, and constantly reminded her. But it keeps getting worse. Our fights get louder by the day!”

When you’re constantly fighting with kids who don’t live up to their potential, we suggest a new approach, a new fight: the fight of faith to walk in the “fruit of the spirit.”

Prep Your Kids for a Responsible School Year

Getting an education is a tremendous privilege. Most parents recognize that future opportunities are built on many layers of learning that happen during the school years. That’s why when kids make poor choices at school, either behavioral or academic, parents usually get pretty upset. If we are honest, it’s mostly because we think our kids’ bad judgment or irresponsibility reflects poorly on US! But really, their behavior is THEIR “report card” and not ours. As school approaches, take some time to prepare your children to be responsible for themselves this school year.

Prep Your Kids for a Responsible School Year

Powerful Strategies to Fill Your Parenting with Peace and Confidence [podcast]

headphones parenting peace confidence podcast

Recently Jim and Lynne sat down with the folks over at the Positive Parenting podcast to talk about how to discipline in a way that actually connects with kids.

The full podcast is 30 minutes — Listen or download below:

Download: Positive Parenting Ep39 Audio – Connected Families

In this episode…

  • Why methods matter less than the messages you communicate
  • How to help kids make wise decisions — even toddlers!
  • Questions you can ask to de-fuse volatile situations
  • How to find the good stuff even in kids’ misbehavior
  • What to do when teens feel distant and disconnected
  • Four powerful messages that all children long to hear

What to Do When I Don’t Approve of My Child’s Friends

friends parents don't approve ofPeer relationships carry increasing influence as children grow up. And sometimes, these relationships can be reason for parents to feel increasingly anxious.

Kids may choose good friends or they may not. Parents, wanting what’s best for their kids, have a tendency to over-control their children’s choices. I was one of those.

As Daniel entered elementary school, he had a friend Lynne and I did not particularly care for. Because they shared common interests, they gravitated toward each other. The fact that the friend was in our neighborhood also made it almost impossible to fully monitor their interaction. We tried to convince Daniel that while this friend needed God’s love, we didn’t think their friendship was a good idea. But even as a seven-year-old, he was resistant to our control.

Is Asking Questions When I’m Upset Actually Feasible?

Most Important Tool for Wisdom (3)

Teaching the art of asking good questions is a favorite goal in our daily work with parents. Why? Because we’ve learned that lectures and answers often shut kids down and build walls between parents and their kids, while good questions build wisdom, strengthen connection, and lead to kids taking more responsibility for their lives.

To illustrate this in real life, we’ve invited Joel and Amy to write about their journey to learn to ask good questions and build wisdom with their two teenage sons.


I remember the feeling of cluelessness one day when my husband and I were sitting in a session with our parent coach, Chad.

We’d been learning from Connected Families’ resources about how to communicate to our two teenage sons that they were safe and loved. While we were growing and our hearts were changing, we still had many unsolved problems and felt stuck. After we described an issue with one of our sons during a coaching session, Chad asked, “How does your son feel about it?”

Dead silence. We were totally clueless. We said that we thought he felt a certain way, but really we had no idea. Then Chad asked, “Well, have you ever asked him?”

The Art of Asking Good Questions

Most Important Tool for Wisdom (2)

Questions are a simple and powerful tool. Asked well, questions can open hearts -did you know Jesus asked over 300 questions?.

Consider the question, “What happened?” The lilt of voice, the facial expression, the tone and even the sincerity of the question can either open or close the one you’re asking. Just because there is a question mark following a sentence doesn’t mean it is a good question, does it?  There is an art to asking good questions!

There are a number of things to keep in mind when asking our kids questions. Here are a few to consider, in the form of — yep — questions!