Discipline that Connects with Your Child’s Heart

Help your kids feel safe, loved, capable, and responsible for their actions.

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“When our family gets out of sorts, we go back to the four key messages. It has become a trusted lifelong guide for our family.”
-Steve, Dad of Two
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“It has calmed storms, drawn us all closer and gives our heads a place to go to when family life feels overwhelming.”
-Ashley and Kerry, Parents of Two
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“We changed from a control and fear-based home, to a grace-filled and loving home.”
-Michelle, Mom of Five

Summary

What kids learn when they are disciplined will last a lifetime. But well-intentioned parents miss their kids’ hearts during discipline. It happens all the time. Instead of building the wisdom and respect they hope for, parents inadvertently build discouragement and resentment, which drives their kids to misbehave more. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Workshop Outline

FamilyLife Canada speakers share their own stories — both humorous and impactful — on their journey toward learning to parent from four powerful messages that all children long to hear:

1. “You are SAFE with me.”

Before parents ask, “What should I do?” it’s important to ask “What’s going on?” As we take an honest look at what’s going on in us in the heat of the moment, we can work to be emotionally safe parents. Our kids learn best when they feel safe!

2. “You are LOVED no matter what.”

The next step is about communicating to our kids that they are loved no matter what! This can happen anytime, but the “golden opportunity” of connection comes where you’d least expect it — in the middle of misbehavior! Effective empathy when kids are struggling communicates love in a powerful way, calms defiance, and paves the way for wiser choices (on everyone’s part!).

3. “You are CALLED AND CAPABLE.”

Once we’ve built a strong message of safety and love into our kids, we can find and build strengths in kids, even in misbehavior! We can ask thoughtful questions, guide their choices, and even help them use the intensity and gifts that contributed to the misbehavior for more honoring purposes. This builds their identity as capable of doing good things!

4. “You are RESPONSIBLE for your actions.”

Often parents want to skip right to this message — “I need to hold my child responsible!” But this message builds on the other three. This fourth message is more about helping kids take ownership of their life and their actions than simply enforcing punishments for bad behavior.

The workshop equips parents with practical tools for effective discipline and ends with an uplifting call to action: Let go of your primary (and exasperating) goal of trying to manage your kids’ behavior. Start mentoring their belief, empower them to manage their own behavior, and watch kindness and wisdom grow in your family! This isn’t a quick fix. But it is a lasting fix. What will you do to take the next step toward becoming a more grace-filled parent, even in the midst of discipline challenges?

Target Audience

The target audience for this workshop is parents of kids ages 2 to 18 who want to discipline in a way that changes hearts, not just behavior.

Workshop Format

Usually this workshop is delivered as a single session running from 60 to 90 minutes. However, we have also adapted it to be delivered in two parts, given as a full-morning workshop, spread over a day-long or weekend-long retreat setting, and more.

Goals and Outcomes for Audience

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Audience members will be able to identify the typical parenting mistakes that are keeping them stuck in unhelpful discipline patterns.
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Audience members will learn a simple but powerful framework to help them be thoughtful about the messages they’re communicating to their children through their parenting.

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Audience members will leave inspired and empowered to embody God’s love to their children — even in the midst of discipline challenges!

Workshop Presenters

This workshop is presented by FamilyLife Canada staff across upon request. Our speakers have been trained by Connected Families, the creators of the Discipline that Connects workshop model and parenting principles.

Are you interested in hosting this workshop in your church or community?