“Spread Yourselves THICK!”

Are you giving your kids the best opportunity?

“Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial.”
I Corinthians 6:12

Our oldest child, Daniel, made a grand pronouncement one morning upon learning that we all had to go to church early, and stay through three services, because of our ministry commitments. “You are spread way too thin! You people are like good jelly that’s wasted by being spread too thin on a big piece of toast. Nobody can taste how good you are. Why don’t you work on spreading yourselves THICK!”

Wow! Out of the mouths of babes… (Well, not exactly a babe at fourteen, but wise beyond his years.) We made a decision to “spread ourselves thick” and prayerfully simplified our lives over the next few months.

Teaching Children To Wait Well

Build a lifelong skill….Patience!

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Colossians 3:12

Instant gratification has become a hallmark of our culture. Many parents we coach believe they have failed to teach their kids self-control and self-discipline. Dr. David Walsh, a national expert on media and cultural influences, has coined a term for what he believes is a widespread problem among young people today: DDD – Self-Discipline Deficit Disorder, resulting from our culture of “more, easy, fast, and fun.”  What is the point of teaching your kids to be patient when they have answers and enjoyment at the tip of their fingers? (Literally!) How do you teach your kids that there is joy and strength in learning to wait well?

Words that hurt

Parenting both the name-caller and name-called

In this Q & A, Jim and Lynne take 4 minutes to respond to a question from a mom and dad regarding their son’s hurtful words to his siblings.

“Our son constantly criticizes and teases our daughters – and anyone else that he sees as weaker than himself. It hurts them. While we want to lovingly correct our son, we also want to show our daughters that we are for them and want to protect them. We find it hard to do both. What should we do?”

Sometimes I Cry About My Parenting Mistakes

There are some mornings when I wake up with a knot in my stomach and questions on my mind. Maybe you’ve been there too. (Or questions and worries nag you while you’re trying to sleep at night.) The questions go something like this: “Am I doing this parenting thing right? Are my kids going to choose to follow Christ? Are they going to be OK?”

Raising Kids Who Say “Thank You” and Actually Mean It

We talk to many parents who tell us their kids are not grateful. Not only do their children expect to be fed and clothed, but they expect to eat whatever they want and be clothed with the latest brands. They also expect to be given computers and phones, and signed up for (and “taxi-ed” to!) all the extra-curriculars they want to participate in.  In the midst of all this there appears to be no sense of gratitude!

WHAT-EVER!! Ideas for responding to sass with class

What-EVER! (with an eye roll)

You’ve seen it a hundred, maybe even a thousand times. Your child doesn’t like what you’ve said and responds with a head tilt, and eye roll, and the grand pronouncement, “What-EVER!!!!”

What do you do when this happens? The tendency is to shut it down, NOW!  But your angry response communicates to your child that she is in control of your emotions. This gives her the “powerjolt” she needs to pull this behavior out again the next time she’s frustrated with you.

In this Q & A, Jim and Lynne take 7 minutes to respond to this question from a mom who is tired of her 8-year-old daughter’s sass. You’ll hear some quick pointers for how to respond with grace while keeping a child accountable for better behavior.


As you respond, you’ll learn to communicate:

  1. You’re SAFE with me: Stay calm as you take a deep breath. Your kids are not your report card.
  2. You are LOVED even if you sass: Express empathy. “This is really hard, isn’t it? If it’s hard for me, I’m sure it’s hard for you.”
  3. You are CAPABLE: Ask a question. “You don’t like how this is going. What would be a better way?”

We hope as you listen to this audio you are encouraged in your parenting!  As you learn to follow these three steps to decrease the “sass-level” in your house, take joy in the small victories.  We are here to help you in any way we can as you seek to grow your connected family.

Frustrated by constant discipline challenges? Take 15 minutes to read our free ebook 4 Messages All Children Long to Hear: A Discipline That Connects Overview.

Are We Raising Animals?

A more thoughtful approach to addressing manners with kids.

There are so many little things our kids do that drive us crazy!  Often in an effort to get the behavior to stop we react quickly and without thinking.  We use body language and words that convey messages like, “You are a big problem!” or “You embarrass me!” Read what one dad had to say about an interaction with his son that combined correction with connection simply by changing his posture, facial expression, and choosing his words carefully.

“Are we raising animals??”

I glared across the table and asked my wife this question.

After you disconnect, it’s time to really connect!

Fun campfire questions you can use anytime.

Summer is here!  While it may seem like you are constantly battling the screens at your house… it doesn’t have to be that way.  Sitting around a campfire, going on a long road trip, or heading out on a challenging hike are just a few of the opportunities you have to connect better with those you love.  So sit back, shut down the screens, and watch the stories, laughs, and jokes roll when you bust out these fun (and thoughtful, and serious) questions Connected Families has compiled just for you!

5 Ways to T.E.A.C.H. Your Kids Values

There are lots of things we want our kids to learn, from how to ride a bike to how to be a faith-filled, responsible adult.

Some things (like getting dressed) are easy to teach. But as a follower of Christ, how do you teach your children the values they’ll need to walk with God and fulfill their calling? We’ve found the T.E.A.C.H. principles are a helpful tool for passing faith and values. Consider a value you’d love for your children to embrace, and apply these principles as you make a plan to proactively nurture what matters to your family.

Talk with your children

The Four Strengths of Every Great Family

D6 Podcast

Jeremy Lee, from D6 Family Podcast, interviews the co-founders of Connected Families, Jim & Lynne Jackson.

During this 20 minute podcast, Jim and Lynne share the Connected Families parenting framework, which focuses on building a strong parent-child relationship.

If you want to be encouraged and challenged in your parenting journey, listen in! We are SO EXCITED to partner with you as you lead your family with grace.