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“What’s going on in ME?”

Meet the Bakker Family from Texas

Parents all over the world are experiencing “aha” moments of grace when things begin to change. Change in their hearts, their parenting motivation, their long-term parenting goals, and the way they see their kids. And, ultimately, their relationship with Christ.

Each week, we are excited to introduce you to parents who are able to finish the sentence, “Things began to change when….” These stories of transformation are made possible because of the ongoing generosity of our Donor Team. This week, meet the Bakker family from Texas.

Bakker family YE Profile 1

Before I took the plunge into more peaceful, conscious, connected parenting, I was authoritarian, expected first-time obedience, used time-outs, and saw tantrums as behavior-related. I did see reasons behind behavior, such as food allergies, sickness, hunger, and sensory needs, and met those needs, but there was a disconnect when it came to emotions and defiance.

There were some missing elements in our toolbox, such as understanding brain science, supporting emotional regulation, and understanding what’s going on in us. We started peeling back the layers and continued to dig deeper.

I first learned about Connected Families on Instagram through Flourishing Homes and Families, where I really began to understand the brain science behind sensory needs, co-regulation, and being a safe space for our kids.

When I discovered the Connected Families website, I began digging through the resources. I learned about coaching opportunities and prayerfully inquired about becoming a Connected Families Certified Parent Coach. Coming from a background of pastoring kids and their families, I felt that God had been sowing seeds in my heart long before I knew there was a different way to parent.

He led us to heal the shame of generations by choosing to be a safe place where our kids could grow in wisdom while feeling loved no matter what. We began to understand the importance of what’s going on in us; we then took it a step further from managing ourselves in those challenging moments to renewing our minds with God’s word and understanding grace as an antidote to shame.

I grew up in the church and have been taught the Bible. I have gone to bible college and have spent most of my adult life in some form of ministry. But I did not truly understand how to receive God’s grace in moments of deep shame. Though I knew about renewing my mind with God’s Word, I never understood it as something I could apply in the challenging moments when I was experiencing toxic thoughts about myself or my child.

I have been able to dive deep into Connected Families and learn how to live out the framework while also feeling safe and loved by the coaches and staff. The Connected Families Founders, Coaches, and Team live out the framework, and I’ve been able to be vulnerable and share some of our hardest moments as parents. I have always been met with empathy and grace while having opportunities to grow as a parent. At times, I have come onto coaching cohort calls with discouragement and even shame, only to have been met with grace and truth.

I hope and pray that God continues to grow Connected Families, where the Framework teaches not only how to interact with kids but also within marriages, ministries, and businesses. The Connected Families Framework is where brain science and biblical truths, mixed with grace, intersect to heal the shame of generations. And ultimately… where Jesus is enough for even the tiniest humans and their parents.

The framework has become part of our daily story

Things began to change when I became curious about “What’s going on in me?” during the most challenging moments of misbehavior when we were feeling stuck in perpetual shame. I could have all the right tools that emphasized love over fear, but my child’s identity was being formed by what my heart was full of…which was, “Child, you are difficult and frustrating.” When I exchanged those thoughts with God’s grace-full truths about my child, grace became the antidote to shame… and it began to draw out the poison in my family. When my child felt safe and loved no matter what, his heart became open to Jesus, and we could grow wisdom in him over time.

We have seen so much growth in our family! Is every day perfect? No. Does it still look messy? Yes. Are there times when we blow it? Yes. But as we continue to receive God’s grace and apply biblical truths (while also understanding what’s going on in us and our kids), we continue to progress toward breaking generational patterns and leaving a legacy for generations to come.

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