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 Angela Ramsperger and see how Connected Families has helped her see the blessings in her daughter’s gifts gone awry. Enjoy and be encouraged!
It was ten years ago that I first began working with Lynne Jackson through coaching. I was trying to parent a painfully difficult nine-year old daughter. Friends would tell me, “You must have a strong-willed child!” and I would think, “Strong-willed? How about inflexible (couldn’t play well with others), defiant (wouldn’t conform to social norms), argumentative (insistent on her own way) and oppositional (disobedient to authority figures)? For those parents who are “hanging by a thread,” keep pushing through!
Lynne taught me two lessons that were game changers:
The first? To intentionally connect with my daughter.
Up until this point, our relationship was focused solely on Correction and not Connection. Lynne challenged me to affirm good behavior, however small, and to find connecting points every day.
The second lesson was to look for “the gift” in the behavior.
(Yes, the gift!) As the high school years unfolded, I began to see how God’s unique wiring made for an amazing teenager. One blessing of my strong, non-conformant, child was that she was unwilling to fall into the typical teenage temptations, but would stand firm in her convictions. She was not swayed by her peers in order to fit with the crowd. I’m not sure if you’ve been in a high school lately, but this takes a (God-given!)suit of armor. My daughter’s personality – which never changed and only matured – blossomed into something beautiful. I didn’t see that coming!
Libby is now a college freshman, and our relationship is one of my biggest delights. Thank you Connected Families!