Resources to Keep
Strong & Connected
Destiny Community Center
Love & Logic Parenting, Cooperative Parenting & Divorce, Building Hope (raising kids with mental, health, and/or behavioral challenges)
KidsFirst-Counseling & Family Resource Center
Incredible Years, Active Parenting Now, Forever Fathers, Cooperative Parenting & Divorce Classes
Roseville / Auburn
Lighthouse Counseling & Family Resource Center
Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services
Free classes on nurturing parenting, budgeting, health, nutrition, stress management, and more.
Love & Logic Parenting
Early Childhood Parenting Made Fun!, Becoming a Love & Logic Parent, 9 Essential Skills for the Love & Logic Classroom
Family Resource Centers - Sac County
Free parenting courses through First 5 Sacramento
Sacramento, North Highlands, Rancho Cordova
Danny Silk (2009)
Most parenting approaches train children to learn to accept being controlled by well-meaning parents and adults. This book will teach parents to train their children to manage their freedoms and protect their important heart to heart relationships. Loving Our Kids on Purpose brings the principles of the Kingdom of God and revival into our strategy as parents.
Tedd Tripp (2011)
Shepherding a Child's Heart is about how to speak to the heart of your child. Your child’s words and actions flow from their heart. Written for parents with children of any age, this insightful book provides perspectives and procedures for shepherding your child's heart into the paths of life.
Daniel Siegel, Tina Payne Bryson (2011)
The authors explain—and make accessible—the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures. By applying these discoveries to everyday parenting, you can turn any outburst, argument, or fear into a chance to integrate your child’s brain and foster vital growth.
James Dobson (2014)
Is a willful little darling driving you to distraction? The New Strong-Willed Child is the resource you need—a classic bestseller completely rewritten, updated, and expanded for a new generation of parents and teachers. Challenging as they are to raise, strong-willed children can grow up to be men and women of strong character—if lovingly guided with understanding and the right kind of discipline.
Milan & Kay Yerkovich (2011)
How We Love Our Kids offers a unique approach, to help you as a parent transform your kids by making specific changes in how you love. Identify which of the five love styles of parenting you have, get rid of your “buttons” so your kids can’t push them, create a close connection with your kids, and learn the seven gifts every child needs.
Mary Ruth Swope (2009)
In this practical and inspiring book, well-known nutritionist, teacher, speaker, and author Mary Ruth Swope provides detailed instructions on how to minister powerful blessings from God to our children, grandchildren, and other loved ones.
Damsel in Defense
Coupled with the Proactive Parent Guide, the SAFE Hearts series of storybooks and educational materials will give you the opportunity to have the essential kid-versations with your children that count before they are counted among the statistics.
Gary Chapman, Ross Campbell (2016)
Discover how to speak your child’s love language in a way that he or she understands, assist your child in successful learning, use your child’s love language to correct and discipline more effectively and build a foundation of unconditional love.
Dr. Emerson Eggerichs (2013)
Children need love, parents need respect. An unloved child (or teen) negatively reacts in a way that feels disrespectful to a parent. A disrespected parent negatively reacts in a way that feels unloving to the child. This dynamic gives birth to the FAMILY CRAZY CYCLE. This book walks readers through an entirely new way to approach the family dynamic.
Henry Cloud, John Townsend (2009)
Keys for establishing healthy boundaries--the bedrock of good relationships, maturity, safety, and growth for children and adults. To help their children grow into healthy adults, parents need to teach them how to take responsibility for their behavior, their values, and their lives.
Kim John Payne, Lisa M. Ross (2009)
Today’s busier, faster society is waging an undeclared war on childhood. Simplicity Parenting helps parents streamline your home environment, establish healthy routines, and scale back on media to prevent sensory overload for your kids.
Thomas Fitch, David Davis (2013)
Focus on the Family has created this great resource to help parents provide honest answers about sex for kids of every age. This is a comprehensive guide for talking about sex and sexuality with your children.
Andy Crouch (2017)
Making conscientious choices about technology in our families is more than just using internet filters and determining screen time limits for our children. It's about developing wisdom, character, and courage in the way we use digital media.
Victoria L. Dunckley MD (2015)
Increasing numbers of parents grapple with children who are acting out without obvious reason. This book provides hope for parents who feel that their child has been misdiagnosed or inappropriately medicated, by presenting an alternative explanation for their child’s difficulties and a concrete plan for treating them.
Online Parenting Resources
Effective parenting tools including the Loving on Purpose Blog, podcasts, free online resources, and the Parenting Track of the Life Academy.
A thorough guide to so many of the issues facing parents today using videos, blogs, podcasts, and articles. Search by your child’s age group or by issues such as parenting roles, your child’s emotions, kids and technology, effective biblical discipline and more.
Practical, invaluable, and uplifting parenting tools from Charles Swindoll including books, audio lessons and DVDs.
Find Love and Logic educators, classes, and conferences. Love and Logic printed materials, books, and articles. Take Love and Logic online.
Positive parenting programs and workshops for everyday parents. In-person and online classes. Take a quiz to determine your parenting style.
Everyday University is on a mission to develop millions of financially savvy young adults who are good stewards of their money, time, gifts, talents and give back to their community.
Parenting tips on how to talk with your kids, fun and simple ideas to enhance your child's learning, advice to shape your kids TV habits, different options for fun and games, healthy advice on food/fitness, and more.
Tons of resources that help kids (and parents!) with what matters most in young lives: health and wellness, social-emotional skills, and school readiness. All are critical to children’s healthy development…and together they build the foundation for a happy, healthy life.
This guide at DrugRehab.com provides parents with valuable advice for talking to children about alcohol and other drugs. Topics include facts about teen drug use, psychological disorders that often accompany addiction, tips to spot the signs and symptoms of substance use and hotlines for immediate assistance.
Preparing for a New Baby
There are many dangers inside your home that you may not even know about when preparing for a new baby. Here is a great article published on Angie's List with clear steps on making your home a safe place for your new addition.
Mom Junction provides information and advice on myriad issues like Pregnancy, New Parents, Baby Names, Breastfeeding, Parenting, and Relationships. Click here to read a great article on what things to avoid eating while you are breastfeeding.
Every parent is different. Some parents wait a year or more before they leave their child in the care of someone else for the first time. For others, it’s only a few months before they are ready for an afternoon alone or an evening with their spouse. Click the logo to read a great article on what to look for in a babysitter and also use the Local Babysitter search engine to find sitters near you.
The toddler years are full of exploring and discovery. The best thing you can do is offer your toddler a variety of foods from each food group with different tastes, textures, and colors. Click the image to read a great article on food options from the Cleveland Clinic.
Sleep is so important for healthy child development and for parents' sanity. Check out this article by Raising Children that offers simple advice on how to set up a successful nightly routine and manage kids calling out or getting out of bed. Start getting better sleep now.
Playgrounds are a terrific place for kids to get some exercise, have fun, and make new friends. But alarmingly, they can also be a breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria – some of which may have the potential to make your child sick. This article, published by Home Advisor, has some eye-opening information about the germs present in our homes as well as the normal places kids go to play.
While playgrounds are an excellent source of fun, they can also be a leading source of injuries. By following these simple safety precautions, you can lower your child's risk of experiencing an injury at the playground.
Many parents are lucky enough to face the challenge of raising more than one child: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, almost 80 percent of children grow up with at least one sibling. How your child learns to get along with a brother or sister at home will set the pattern for how he'll get along with others. Check out this article on Modern Parenting for ideas on creating successful connections between new siblings.
Local Fun/Activities for kids
Sacramento 4 Kids is a FREE online resource guide for families with kids in the Greater Sacramento area. You can find Events, Things To Do, Schools & Kids Activities, Arts, Music, Birthday Parties, Summer Camps, Child Care, Classes, Deals & Discounts, Field Trips, Health Providers, Kids Eat Free venues, Places To Go, Sports, and resources for Special Needs children.
Hulafrog connects parents to local events and businesses in their community as well as to each other. Spend less time looking for things to do and more time doing them, all while connecting with others in your community.
Traditions are the little things that families do on a regular basis that create a unique culture in each household promoting a sense of belonging and well-being for kids. These rituals, which can range from small gestures to large celebrations, give kids things to look forward to, establish enjoyable rhythms and become the foundation of lasting family memories.
The following ideas are just a sampling of things you could do to connect as a family but be careful to avoid over-cluttering your life. Consider picking 1-2 things in each category to try with your kids and make sure they fit your family's culture! Since connection is always the goal, the number one ground rule for most of these suggested activities will likely be to have ALL family members put away their phones/tablets and focus on each other.
Daily Connection Traditions:
Family Meals - It doesn't matter if it's breakfast or dinner, find a time where the whole family can sit around the same table and talk about their day. Make sure everyone gets a turn to share.
Highs & Lows - This is a great way to learn more about your kids since asking them how their day was often gets a quick "fine" in response. Instead, ask each family member to share his or her "high" and "low" moment of the day. This will give you more insight into the things your child is experiencing and will help them learn more about you, too!
Bedtime Story/Reading - Kids of any age LOVE a good story before bed so pick out an age-appropriate book (or better yet a series of books) and snuggle up to make memories!
Family Hugs - Fill up your physical touch "love tank" by going around to give everyone in the family hugs before school or before bed...or make it a whole family group hug!!!
Lunch Box Notes - Make your kids feel extra special by tucking a little note of encouragement in their lunches along with a special treat (and maybe one to share with a new friend). To make them laugh, try putting the note inside their sandwich. If you know they have a test or presentation that day, make sure they know you're cheering for them!
Evening Walks - Not only can walking help solve problems, but it can also strengthen families. Evening walks are a great time to get some fresh air and digest the day’s events along with your dinner.*
Weekly Connection Traditions:
Family Movie Night - Let your kids take turns picking a movie each week then grab your favorite drinks and popcorn, find a couch and pile on. Or how about a picnic dinner while watching movies or favorite shows. Spread a big quilt or blanket on the floor and eat your dinner "family style".
Family Game Night - What can be better than some pizza, a stack of fun games to play and the full attention of your kids. No cell phones, please!
Weekend Chores - Yes, I did say chores...but if you play your cards right you might end up entertaining your kids in addition to getting your house cleaned. To make chores seem more fun, consider having cleaning Olympics with prizes. Or create a chore game with a point system for completing each task. Another option would be to turn cleaning into a connection time with everyone working together cleaning rooms one-by-one.
Special Saturday/Sunday Morning Breakfast - Whether you have pancakes, homemade cinnamon rolls or eggs and bacon, this special tradition is a great way to spend some extra family time around the kitchen table. Try making one family member the "special guest" and encourage each of the others to share something they like about that one or something nice they saw that one doing recently. A few days before the "special breakfast" announce who the "guest" will be so the others will be focusing on good qualities and the "guest" will be motivated to be more kind and thoughtful.
Family Meetings - Set aside time each week to coordinate schedules and talk about the big things your kids have going on that week. Make sure to schedule rest and FUN during the week! Share things about your life and schedule, too. This can be a way to teach your children to listen, care and help each other in times of need.
Monthly Connection Traditions:
Date Nights - Consider taking your kids out on a "daddy-daughter" or "mother-son" date night once a month. You can set up a rotating schedule so each kid gets their own special time with both mom and dad. Make sure you are also scheduling a monthly date night with your spouse...kids report feeling more secure and happy when they see their parents loving each other.
Outdoor Adventures - We all could use more time outside getting exercise and a healthy dose of sunshine Vitamin D. Find a new sport, a fun trail to hike or bike or just go to a local park. Bring a ball or a Frisbee and have some family fun!
Family Service Day - If creating a culture of service is part of your family mission statement, put that goal into action with a monthly Family Service Day. Dedicate one Saturday or Sunday to serving others. It could mean spending a morning at a homeless shelter, cleaning the garden of an elderly neighbor or sorting clothes at Goodwill.*
Box of Goals - Learning to set and work towards a goal is an important life skill for children to develop. Let your children help you create a special "Goal Box". On the first day of each month, have your family members write down one goal they want to accomplish that month on a piece of paper and place it in the box. At the beginning of the next month have each one read the goal that he or she set out loud. Celebrate goals accomplished or talk about ways to finish those lacking completion. Be sure to write new goals for the month ahead!*
Family Q & A - Want to have a fun connection night? Try one of the many excellent resources which provide thought-provoking, off-the-wall or just plain silly questions to ask your kids. Consider picking up the book "Would You Rather" or one of the TableTopics card decks. Shared laughter is good medicine!
Family Vacation - Let your children help decide where and what will be involved in family vacations. Save up for the expensive destinations like Hawaii or Europe but make sure to get out of town somewhere as a family each year. Camping or road trips to visit relatives can be great fun. Instead of letting them retreat into their cell phones or iPads, teach your kids funny songs or games to play together in the car while you travel.
Super Bowl Sunday - While football might not be your kids favorite sport, make watching the game a fun family tradition. Involve your kids by creating a big chart where everyone guesses the score, best commercial and the game winner. Have a prize or a rotating trophy for the winner. Top off the fun with family favorite snacks and a game of touch football at half time.
Spring Cleaning - Teach kids how to be generous by having them go through their clothes, games, and toys each year, donating anything they don't wear or use regularly. Help them understand that a donation needs to be in good condition by asking if they would appreciate being given something like it. Clean closets and storage cabinets are an added bonus. When the cleaning is done, consider taking the family out for ice cream to celebrate.
Tree Planting - Trees symbolize new beginnings. Consider letting your children help pick out a new tree to plant in your yard for certain milestones in your kids lives (such as starting kindergarten, getting baptized or winning an award). As the tree grows that child will be reminded their progress in life.
Family Time Capsule - Bury a family time capsule when you move into what you think will be your “forever home.” Fill the capsule with some of your family’s favorites things, notes, and items that represent the time period. Then open in it up in 20 or 30 years. Make sure you exhume it if you end up moving sooner than you thought you would.*
Back to School Shopping - Even when my family didn't have a lot of money to spend, my parents made a tradition of a special trip to the mall to shop for school clothes. In addition to money my sister and I saved from our allowances, we were each given some extra money with which to purchase a few new things to wear. This helped us learn to both save and spend our money wi