As part of our year-end “Where Are They Now?” fundraising campaign, we are checking in with families who have been utilizing the Connected Families Framework in their homes. What do these families look like 5, 10, or even 15 years later? Today, we meet the Basulto family and see how Connected Families and focusing on “connection first” has helped shape the culture of their family for years to come. Enjoy and be encouraged!
We first became associated with Connected Families about five years ago when we had two young children. We were feeling frustrated and wanted to figure out some quick answers for how to get our kids to “act better.” But, as we dug into the Connected Families Framework, we quickly learned that parenting well was more about what was going on inside ourselves first. It was a long, transforming process. From the beginning, the framework felt right in our spirit and we committed to learning as much as we could.
In the years since then, we’ve done the DTC online course twice, read the books numerous times, benefited from parent coaching and enjoyed the podcasts and blogs. Honestly, the information just doesn’t get old and it is continuing to help transform us. We also have notecards and the tip sheets all over our house to help remind us of God’s truth when we get stuck and don’t know what to do next.
It’s fun to see our kids utilizing the Connected Families tools. When one of our kids gets upset, their siblings often try to help them get unstuck by recommending they read a book, take deep breaths or walk around, telling them “motion changes emotion.”
Knowing their brains are re-wiring and repairing is hope-filled for us.
Another life-changer in our home has been do-overs. We are often offering our children the opportunity for a do-over when they are disrespectful or hit/hurt each other. You can see their brains working and a softness come over their face as they consider how to do it better the second time. Do-overs have also saved Joe and me, as we are still very human and can lose it or say things we don’t mean. We sometimes ask our children for forgiveness and give ourselves a do-over too! Knowing their brains are re-wiring and repairing is hope-filled for us.Focusing on connection first has also changed the dynamics of our home. Often, our initial reaction when things get tough is to run away or yell. But, working to connect first means persevering and staying put even though everything in us may tell us to get away. Sometimes, it even means that we do the exact opposite of what our head is telling us to do. This has been very hard and we are still learning, but in those connection moments, we have definitely seen God transform us and it is getting easier.
We LOVE Connected Families and have told everyone we know, even purchasing the books and magnets for friends. Additionally, in the New Year, we will be facilitating a Connected Families small group at our church and are excited to go through the course again.
In the years since, our family has grown to three children and our home life can still be chaotic and frustrating. But knowing that we have a framework based on God’s heart has made a huge difference. We now have hope and vision for our family.