How I Helped My Baby Sleep Without a Sleep Method

Did you find this blog because you Googled, “How do I get my baby to sleep through the night?” Well then, my friend, soak in this moment of knowing…this is NOT your magic bullet to deep nourishing sleep. At Connected Families, we don’t believe in quick fixes. We believe in lasting change. We believe in seeking the Holy Spirit, and the hard work that brings rich connection between parent and child.

If you have been following our work for a while, you are familiar with the Connected Families Framework. Over the last two years, while working behind the scenes I couldn’t help but memorize and internalize these four levels of parent/child connection. I assumed it would come in handy in my parenting journey, but I was not expecting to apply it so early!

Back to School

Equip your family for a great school year!

No matter the type of school – preschool, public, private, home-school, or alternative school – the transition from summer activities to educational studies generally has a few bumps in the road for both parents and kids. Because of feedback from parents just like you, we know the following four articles are worth the read to equip your family for a great school year!

Prep Your Kids for a Responsible School Year

6 Ways to Combat Back to School Anxiety

How to Get Kids to Care About School and Grades – Without Nagging

Make the Homework Battle a Win for Everyone!


From all of us at Connected Families, we wish you a school year full of growth, joy and connection!

From Pandemonium to Purpose:

Finding Your Family’s Super-powers

Pandemonium to PurposeSometimes family life can seem like a crazy collision of everyone’s challenges and weaknesses. In our family Jim could get impatient and snippy, Lynne tended to nag, Daniel liked to dominate and demand fairness, Bethany was over-sensitive and cried easily, and Noah sometimes told fibs to avoid conflict. On a bad day it was mayhem! It was easy to get stuck in a negative pattern, making life pretty miserable. But fortunately as we gained insight into what makes for strong, caring families, we learned not to get stuck focusing on our weaknesses.

In this journey there were three important principles we learned.

1.) Each person’s challenge area has a corresponding strength.
Our strengths that corresponded to these weaknesses were:

  • Jim was passionate and expressive
  • Lynne had good attention to detail and follow-through
  • Daniel had a gift of leadership and justice
  • Bethany was compassionate
  • Noah was easy going  

3 Steps for Success in Holiday Chaos!

3 Steps for Success in Holiday Chaos

Holidays and other gatherings can be a lot of fun — but they can also be chaotic and overstimulating for kids! Rather than punish your children for misbehavior, be thoughtful ahead of time about how to prepare them for success.

Whether your child loudly proclaims Gramma’s sweet potatoes are YUCKY!, gets out of control when opening presents, or shuts down and withdraws when talking with adults, make a thoughtful plan and weave in plenty of encouragement.

[To ease holiday mealtime stress, read 7 Practical Tips for Picky Eaters.]

With the three simple steps below, you can set your child up for success and create a truly enjoyable holiday gathering!  

Instilling Identity and Character In Your Child

10 minute audio clip

Instilling Identity and Character in Your Child

On Tuesday evening, September 20, Lynne spoke to a packed house at the Discipline That Connects book launch party about the most important messages that parents convey to their children in discipline.  This four-level framework is the foundation of intentional, grace-filled parenting. Follow the link below to get a 10 minute audio clip of the message that Lynne shared with the crowd that evening.  Listen to learn about building identity and why it is so biblical, and so crucial to character development in your child.

What you’ll learn: 

  • how Jesus lived his own life out of his identity
  • how Jesus built identity in his disciples
  • how we can build the same identity in our kids


How the Peace Process Can Guide the Whole Family

Read how the Sibling Conflict Online Course impacted Eric & Heather's Family

Erik and Heather took our Sibling Conflict Online Course and were kind enough to share with us some of the things they learned and implemented with their own family of seven.

“The Peace Process” is the method we teach to encourage kids to resolve conflicts with wisdom. Erik and Heather especially loved how they were able to use The Peace Process and see positive results in their own home pretty quickly. Heather notes, “we are still a work in progress,” but how inspiring to see a family who is growing together in peace and connection! Actually, part of raising a family is being willing to be a work in progress! So, we applaud families like Erik and Heather’s for their willingness to keep learning and keep trying new things.

Connected Families asked Heather to share about their experience

How to Help Tattling Kids

Finding the "Gift" in Tattling

How to Help Tattling Kids

“She called me a name!” “He hit me!” When one child “tells on” another, we call that “tattling.” It can be difficult to confront the kid who feels the need to expose all the other kids’ misbehaviors. Actually, tattling tends to be pretty irritating for all of us. What is the best way to address this issue?

It’s easy to resort to unhelpful responses that keep everyone stuck in the tattling cycle:

  • Whether it comes as sympathy or annoyance, the tattling child gets lots of attention.
  • The tattled-upon child gets increasingly resentful and determined to pick on their sibling while Mom or Dad isn’t looking.

Instead, we want to share four helpful approaches to tattletale behavior, and how one family succeeded and overcame negative relational patterns.

Connected Families Book Review

52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid by Jonathan McKee

Connected Families provides resources for families to thrive.   We love partnering with others who share our vision.  Recently, Lynne Jackson wrote an endorsement of  the book, 52 Ways to 52-Ways-to-Connect-MONEY-PRODUCTConnect With Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid by Jonathan McKee.  She shares her impressions of the book below:

“Jonathan McKee deftly leads parents to find their way into rich connection and deep influence with their kids, while avoiding common defaults of either giving up or attempting to control kids’ screen use. The practical, inspiring wisdom in this book will help you raise kids with strong character and good judgment, prepared to wisely manage their smartphone use as they launch to independence. And the added bonus – they’ll want to come back and visit because of the quality of your relationship with them!”

More information about the book from the publisher:

Are you tired of battling your kids about screen time?

In a world where most kids age 2 to 12 have access to mobile devices, parents are searching for ways to pry their kids’ eyes from their devices and engage them in real, face-to-face conversation. Author Jonathan McKee–drawing from his 20-plus years of experience working with teens and tweens, studying youth culture, and raising three teens of his own–provides an abundant supply of useful tips and creative ideas to help you bond with the Smartphone Generation in his new book, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid. Jonathan offers you just the help you need to have meaningful interaction with your kids instead of always overreacting to their unhealthy consumption of technology and media.

Are little kids able to resolve conflict peacefully?

A family's game plan for little people to handle big emotions.

Our mission is to help families find “peace and connection at home.” Sarah Donatelle, mom of two, took the Connected Families Siblings Conflict online course, and told us about how she was able to teach her children to reconcile with each other with the techniques she learned.  We just had to share her story with you.

I still get choked up at the image of my son and daughter beaming with their little hands clasped, so excited that they were like “THIS” again! What a gift to see them rejoice in reconciliation, and for my daughter to feel the freedom of being forgiven!” -Sarah

Connected Families:  Sarah, will you share with us about your experience with the online courses you took through Connected Families?

Sarah:  We did the DTC online course (as well as reading the book and going to a seminar), so we have been practicing and making progress on a lot of the principles. When we started the Sibling Conflict course, in the 2nd week, the homework was to think of something that would help resolve conflict more calmly.

Connected Families:  How did you apply what you learned in the course?

Announcing our new tagline!

Big changes at Connected Families.

Hey friends,

We’re excited to introduce our new tagline to those of you who helped form it. With your fantastic suggestions regarding the value you find through Connected Families, we condensed and interpreted what you told us.  Here it is:

Connected Families
Your guide to peace and connection at home.

We LOVE the themes you identified because they resonate so well with our vision. The four key words each have special meaning to us, and we thought you’d like the significance of your cumulative choice. The words:

Guide – We count it a privilege to share with you our experience with thousands of families over the years. We’ve paid close attention and learned from our own struggles and from many different parents. We continue to learn about the unique ways God’s timeless truths work from parent to parent.  We don’t just teach theories, we want to walk with you through the challenges of parenting as guides who have personal and professional experience.

Peace – Kids long to know that their parents are calm, reliable shelters in the storms of growing up. For parents, maintaining peace in their families is not dependant on circumstances alone, but on the peace of God that transcends understanding in Christ Jesus. Parents who cultivate peace through growing in their relationship with God are models of true and authentic faith their children can rely on.

Connection – A connected family is defined by the following: 1)  joyfully connected with each other, 2.) connected in life-giving relationship with God, 3.) and connected by reaching out together to a world in need. When kids grow up well-connected, they grow up confident in who they are and why they’re here.

Home –  Home is the place your kids will come to understand what it means to be human, to follow Jesus, and to be a part of the Church. When God’s grace, peace and truth are alive in your home, even in the messes of daily life, God is honored in the midst of your family.

Whether Connected Families has been guiding your parenting journey for weeks or for years, YOU are part of the story. Over the next several months you’ll see several changes in the look and feel of our website, the emails you receive from us, additional product offerings and more. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback!

Most importantly, we want to hear your story!  How did you hear about Connected Families?  How have we been helpful for you in your parenting journey?  Tell us a little bit about your family. Share your story here, and we may use your story to spread the word about Connected Families.  We believe that every family should have the chance to thrive.  Your words may be the encouragement someone needs to hear.  Thank you for your support of this ministry.  

Jim and Lynne Jackson