101 episodes

Parent with confidence. Lead with grace.

Connected Families Podcast Connected Families

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.9 • 292 Ratings

Parent with confidence. Lead with grace.

    Ending the Shame Cycle

    Ending the Shame Cycle

    Are you hard on yourself as a parent? As a person? It’s so easy to get caught up in what feels like failure to us. We want so much to be good parents! Though it’s unintentional, we can project our own feelings of shame onto our kids. Then we feel even worse. Shame can be so destructive to us and to our relationships. What does ending the shame cycle look like?

    If you have ever felt stuck in this kind of a cycle, please listen to this podcast. In this milestone podcast (our 100th episode!) we talk about a prevalent and powerful concept that has resounded with our Connected Families community for nearly 20 years: Moving forward from shame to the freedom of living in God’s grace and truth.

    In this episode, Stacy Bellward is joined by Connected Families Co-Founders, Jim and Lynne Jackson.  Together, they share the message that has transformed the lives of thousands of parents and families, and has provided the foundation for an enduring parenting framework. Modeling God’s grace and truth to our kids communicates that we are human, and that when we mess up there’s an opportunity to bring God’s very real mercy into any situation. 

    In this podcast:

    Listen in today to learn about how to embrace and incorporate truth phrases into the messiness of daily life. Phrases such as:

    * “This is a moment for compassion for me, and for my kids.”* “Jesus gives me courage to face adversity and I will grow from this!”* “Everyone is still learning.”* “I can respond without ‘freaking out’.”* “Hope is the fuel for a growth mindset.”

    Was there an encouraging statement in this podcast that resonated with you? Do you have your own hopeful-truth statement that has helped you? We’d love to hear it! Post it on your social media and tag us! FB: @ConnectedFamilies Insta: @connectedfams  You will encourage other parents too! 

    Mentioned in this podcast:

    * Grace and Truth for Moms online course* Connected Families Framework* Bible verses: Psalm 3:3, 2 Corinthians 10:5, Ephesians 1,2, Romans 15:13, Philippians 4:8, 2 Peter 1:3

    Are you ready to parent more peacefully? Do you find yourself feeling angry a lot? Resilience in tough times, anchored in God’s truth, could be the best legacy you leave behind. During the month of May we are offering our a href="https://click.convertkit-mail.com/8ku94g7e6xioh0ezd7ohk/qvh8h7h8w6975nfl/aHR0cHM6Ly9jb25uZWN0ZWRmYW1pbGllcy5vcmcvY291cn...

    • 38 min
    How Can I Identify Anxiety in My Child?

    How Can I Identify Anxiety in My Child?

    Do you have a child who struggles with anxiety? It can be really hard to know how to help them! Anxiety can be a powerless feeling for both kids and adults. Kids especially do not have all the same tools or brain development as adults to know how to manage it well. They need help.

    Add to this challenge that sometimes anxiety doesn’t even look like anxiety. Anxiety can be masked by a variety of emotions and behaviors. It can even present itself as defiance! What do you do then? As a parent, your heart is for your child. They need your help and you want to help, but what can you do? Listen in, because this episode has insight and helpful tools you can use today.

    Today’s episode is the second part in a two-part series about identifying and navigating anxiety. Last week we discussed how to identify anxiety in us as parents. (If you missed it, listen here!) Today we are diving into how to help our kids with their anxiety. Stacy Bellward is again joined by three experienced Connected Families Parent Coaches, Katie Wetsell, Marni Love, and Taylor Irby. Together they talk about the science of anxiety, how to distinguish it from other emotions, and how you can support your child through their anxious feelings. 

    As adults, we can be advocates and coaches for anxious children whether in our home, school, church, or the community around us.  We can get curious about what is going on in kids to determine if they are experiencing anxiety, and come alongside them with empathy, compassion, and helpful tools that bring connection.

    In today’s podcast, you’ll discover:

    * insights to help you discern between your child’s anxiety, defiance, and other difficult emotions* practical ways you can partner with (coach) your kids to bring lasting transformation from a place of safety and connection* a tool called OARS to help you communicate using empathy and support * the importance of your own foundational work as a parent to avoid bringing your own anxiety into tense situations

    We are so glad you’re here! Has this podcast been helpful? Could you please take a moment to rate and review this podcast, so others can find us more easily? Simply click on this link, and click “Listen on Apple Podcasts,” then click on “Ratings and Reviews” in the itunes pop-up. Or, use your Apple Podcast app on your phone! We love to bring you practical insights and biblical wisdom to help you in your parenting journey. Let us know how we can help!

    Resources mentioned in this podcast:

    * Connected Families Framework* Grace and Truth for Moms online course* Window of Tolerance: Dr Dan Siegel* 4 Steps to ...

    • 34 min
    Can I Parent Well When I'm Anxious?

    Can I Parent Well When I'm Anxious?

    You can feel the rising tension in your shoulders and the knots in your stomach again. So much going on around you, and inside you. There is no shortage of things to feel anxious about in our world right now! Current data reveals a huge spike in anxiety in recent years, for both parents and kids. We all face anxiety at some point and it can cause a range of emotions, from mild frustration to feeling really helpless. But can you parent well when you’re anxious?

    Anxiety can show up in big ways in our lives and in our family, but it can also show up in subtle ways that are masked by other emotions and behaviors. This is why it is SO important to routinely pay attention to the most foundational question, “What is going on in ME?”

    Today’s podcast episode is absolutely packed with thoughtful and real-life guidance for how we can understand and navigate parental anxiety. Stacy Bellward (podcast host) invites three Connected Families Parent Coaches to an honest and insightful conversation of how they have encountered and managed anxiety in many different forms and situations in their own lives and in their kids’ lives as well:

    * Marni Love, a homeschool mom of three boys and regular guest in our Clubhouse Community. Marni has experience with adoption, ADHD, sensory processing, primitive reflex integration and highly sensitive children* Taylor Irby, a speaker, marriage and parenting coach, and mom of five children. Taylor is familiar with the challenges of ADHD, autism, anxiety, developmental delays and adoption trauma* Katie Wetsell, a mom of four kids and a pediatric nurse who has personally navigated issues related to adoption, mental illness, and learning disabilities. Katie is also certified in SPACE Treatment, a parent-based approach for helping children with anxiety, anxiety disorders, and OCD

    Join these fellow moms and learn how anxiety can actually be an opportunity to grow in our faith, to better understand ourselves and our kids, and to love each other well as a family. We can be proactive in taking care of ourselves and staying grounded in God’s grace and truth so that we can flourish as God’ dearly beloved children.

    What you’ll discover in today’s podcast:

    * how anxiety might show up in your home masked as different emotions, behavior, and actions * a clinical definition of anxiety, and how it functions to alert us in both healthy and unhealthy ways* the difference between anxiety and fear, and how we can discern and respond * practical strategies and important truths to help you work through anxious feelings

    Do you or your kids struggle with anxiety? Is there something in today’s podcast you found helpful? We would really love to hear from you and to help you navigate these challenges. We invite you to check out the valuable resources on our website, and share them with a friend who needs them too!

    Mentioned in this podcast:

    * Bible verses: Psalm...

    • 38 min
    Teaching Your Child to Navigate "Mean" Kids

    Teaching Your Child to Navigate "Mean" Kids

    “He called me stupid!” “She said she doesn’t want to play with me!” It’s so hard when your child comes to you feeling hurt by someone else’s words. Words matter. And they hurt! You want to comfort your kids and protect them from being hurt again, but unfortunately that isn’t realistic. How can you teach your child to navigate life when kids say things that are mean?

    The truth is, we (both our kids and we as parents) are bombarded with all kinds of negative messages that can be hurtful, and bruise our identity and sense of self-worth. Whether it’s from other people, the culture around us, or even our own inner critic, we hear things that hurt. Sometimes it’s hard to work through it all. We can feel tempted to ruminate and rehearse in our mind the unkind or critical words we hear. 

    So what can we do to help ourselves and our kids? 

    In today’s podcast, Stacy Bellward is joined by Lynne Jackson (Co-Founder of Connected Families) to share with us a super helpful tool Lynne developed to combat the damage of hurtful words and messages. It’s called Trash, Truth, Treasure, and like all of our Connected Families resources, this tool is grounded in biblical truth and based on brain science. 

    The principles of Trash, Truth, Treasure can help us in tough moments to discern what we believe about ourselves, about God, and about our kids. It will allow God’s encouragement to flood us with truth and love. Using this tool as a helpful guide, you can learn to untangle negative, critical messages in your own heart, and help your children to do the same.

    .stk-f4f491c{background-color:var(--paletteColor4,#1e3f52) !important}.stk-f4f491c:before{background-color:var(--paletteColor4,#1e3f52) !important}Download this helpful PDF “Trash, Truth, Treasure”

    In today’s podcast, you’ll learn:

    * practical ways to identify: What messages are coming into my mind, and how are they affecting me and informing my identity?* how you can renew your mind, and do the inner Foundational work by asking, “What’s going on in me?”* the science of how your brain processes negative messages, and what you can do to work through these messages with objectivity and grace* practical examples of how to help both young kids and older ones work through the tool of Trash, Truth, Treasure 

    How have you applied this tool in your family? Has it been helpful to you? We’d love to hear more about your experience, and how we can come alongside you to help you parent with truth and grace. Please check out and share our resources with a friend, and if you have any questions, we’d love to hear from you! 

    Resources mentioned in this podcast:

    * Hurtful Comments: Teach Your Child How to Process and Grow (article by Lynne Jackson)* I Was a Critical Parent: 7 Steps I Took to Find a More Loving Way* Grace and Truth for Moms online c...

    • 33 min
    Doctrine of Grace in Parenting | Ep. 96

    Doctrine of Grace in Parenting | Ep. 96

    What does the Bible really say about parenting? Is there such a thing as a Doctrine of Grace in Parenting? As Christian parents, we depend on the Bible as a necessary guide to help us understand God’s direction in both discipling and disciplining our kids. And yet, there’s not a significant number of verses in the Bible that give specific parenting instructions.

    What we do know is that the Bible tells us that God calls us to love our children the way He loves us, to live out the Fruit of the Spirit, and to pour out the same grace to our kids that we receive from Him. God can empower us through His Spirit to parent with the same gentleness and peace He offers to us.

    In today’s episode, Jim Jackson (Co-Founder of Connected Families) is joined by Dr. David Erickson to discuss the Doctrine of Grace in Parenting. Or, more specifically, a biblical foundation for gentle, grace-filled parenting. Dr. Erickson is a theology professor, and has also served as a preacher and pastor for over 25 years. He and his wife Amanda are the founders of Flourishing Homes and Families, a ministry dedicated to cultivating peace-filled and healthy homes. 

    You’ll want to listen in as Dr. Erickson discusses how the work of God in us can produce gentleness and a renewed mind, so that we can love others–especially our children–as God loves us. We can live out Jesus’ grace-filled spirit in all areas of our life, including our parenting. 

    In this podcast, you’ll learn:

    * how important biblical principles and teachings can apply to your parenting * the big picture goal of obedience, based on trust and connection* the empowering messages of the Connected Families Framework* a clear and powerful pathway of how we can live out the embodied work of Jesus with our children

    Want to learn more about grace-filled parenting? Please go to our Connected Families website, and check out great free resources and helpful podcasts with hope-filled wisdom for your parenting journey. Have questions or want to connect? You can contact us, we look forward to hearing from you!

    Mentioned in this podcast:

    * Flourishing Homes and Families* Helping Kids with Anger (FREE ebook)* Connected Families Framework* Bible verses: Sermon on the Mount, Ephesians 4, Ephesians 6:4, Galatians 5

    Guest Bio:

    Dr. David Erickson is currently a Professor of Theological-Hi...

    • 32 min
    What Do Kids Really Need From Us?

    What Do Kids Really Need From Us?

    Sometimes we get anxious about our kids’ challenges and focus more on their behavior, which can cause further strain on the relationship. Consider this: What we see on the surface in our kids and teens doesn’t always reflect what’s really going on in their hearts.

    Today’s episode is a special and unique conversation. Join Jim Jackson (Co-Founder of Connected Families) as he interviews Michelle Livingston Thorstad (speaker, mentor, and biblical counselor). Learn about Michelle’s work with at-risk youth, the trials in her own parenting, and the hope that gave her a renewed sense of God’s love and grace for her and her kids. This conversation is about the relational transformation that takes place in a connected relationship. Sharing hope with your kids is relational. It’s hearing and understanding what your kids need, whether they express it with or without words. 

    In this episode...you’ll learn about what our kids really need from us.

    Things like: 

    -relationship over behavior management. You’re more likely to have influence and to be able speak into your kids’ lives when they feel a safe and connected relationship with you. 

    -a safe place to land when they share things with you (body language is important too!). The way you respond can either invite more conversation and influence, or cause hesitancy in your kids about future conversations.        

    -your humility. Your mistakes can be a beautiful opportunity for them to learn that you struggle too. Kids don’t feel so alone when they know they are not the only ones who make mistakes.        

    -your physical presence. Being in physical proximity provides a space where organic, meaningful conversations can happen.

    Mentioned in this podcast:

    -Michelle Livingston Thorstad: https://michellelivingston.org/


    -Center for Transformation and Training

    -Connected Families FREE ebook: Helping Kids with Anger

    -Ed Stetzer

    -Proverbs 22:6


    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
292 Ratings

292 Ratings

mjbowdeygarcia ,

Thank you for this podcast!

I first heard y’all on the Fresh Start Family Show podcast. Since I’ve started listening to your podcast after that, I’ve started praying your framework over my kids each night. The latest episode I heard was you interviewing the dad from the Flourishing Families. All three of your accounts are my favorite places to find encouragement on Instagram!

dilorel ,

Amazing teaching

Practical, empowering, and compassionate teaching. As a parent of young kids stumbling my way through the challenges, this feels like a lifeline. For the first time, I feel like I can do this!

Joy | Created to Play ,


I absolutely adore Connected Families and their podcast. The team is so authentic in their work and truly invite parents to grow closer to Christ while learning better ways to connect with their kids and coach them into the people God created them to be. The tools and tips are theologically sound and are also backed by neuroscience. It is so practical and relatable. Thank you for all that you do!

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