After hours in the car, on the 2nd day of a road trip, my boys’ behavior was expectantly wild.

And no amount of threats, harsh tones, or stern looks helped me control them.

I knew our hearts were far from connected.

But I didn’t know what else to do.  So we stayed stuck in a negative cycle of misbehavior-threat-consequence-more misbehavior. . .

The next day I recorded this interview with parenting experts, Jim & Lynne Jackson (from Connected Families).

((Remember their wonderful back-to-back episodes? Episode 80 and Episode 81))

Jim asked me, “How do you think things would have gone differently if you had made your primary goal mentoring belief instead of managing behavior?”

Um, everything?

If I had focused on the truth about our situation, had shown my boys empathy, and had given them a healthy energy outlet then our evening would have gone drastically different.

I know stressful times will continue to come over the next month of holiday busyness.  Thankfully after chatting with Jim & Lynne I feel more prepared to connect with my boys in any circumstance.

Pursuing connecting in the way God perseveres to pursue connection with us. -Jim & Lynne Jackson

In this episode we apply their 4-layer framework (see below) to my stressful holiday travel situation. We also talk about how to connect with a child you don’t like well. And what to do if your efforts to connect are not being received.

What we chat about:

  • The busyness of the holidays and how it inhibits connection with our kids.
  • Showing yourself self-compassion.
  • What phrases are you repeating in your mind that fuel anxiety.
  • How to apply the Connecting Families framework to a stressful situation Heather experienced.
  • Why kids can behave better at school/other places and fall apart at home.
  • Working with your kids in challenging scenarios.
  • How to connect with our kids when we don’t even like them.
  • Dealing with your need to get parents’ approval (the grandparents) when kids misbehave.
  • When the lies we believe about our kids impacts our ability to connect.
  • What to do when you are trying to connect with your child and they are not responding.
  • An easy way to connect with your kids on a regular basis (holidays included).
  • Working with your kids to prepare for the holidays.

Connect with Jim & Lynne:

Connected Families Site :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Pinterest

Links Mentioned:

How to listen to the podcast:

1.Listen on the blog. Click through to and click the play button at the beginning of this post.

2. Listen on your smartphone, iPad or iPod Touch – There are a lot of great podcasting apps. Apple has a free one (that I mentioned) in the app store, there is also one called Downcast. It allows you to search for shows, subscribe to them and even speed up the audio. If you don’t have an iDevice, you can listen via Stitcher.

3. Subscribe to the Podcast – access the podcast in iTunes (Click here to access via iTunes). You can also search for it on your smartphone app (like the ones listed above) and subscribe.