Addressing your toddler: #1 the uh-oh song

Addressing toddlers tip #1: The uh oh Song

This tool is used to address toddlers as they make poor choices. Often times you don’t have enough time to teach your young kids everything that they can and cannot do before they start doing it all. This is a great way to begin showing them what you allow in your home and what you don’t.

UH oh song steps:

When they make a poor choice you respond with “Uh-oh looks like someone needs some time in their room.”

This is said with a calm and empathetic voice. This is not said with anger, sarcasm, or disrespect as a parent. You can learn to sing it if that helps you respond nicely and calmly.

Then ask them a few key choices that empowers them. Toddlers thrive off of choices. 

“Do you want to walk to your room, or do you want me to carry you?”

Most every toddler will choose to walk on their own.

Then when they get to their room ask them:

“Do you want the door open or closed?”

If they don’t choose one of these two options when you are giving choices then you choose for them which will most likely look like carrying them and closing the door. Remember this is not angry. You are genuinely sad that they made a poor choice and you are happy to hep them learn for next time. 

If they decide to leave the room before the set timer is up then you simply respond with:

 “Uh oh looks like you chose door closed after all.” You can nicely close the door after placing them in their room for the remainder of the timer.

When the timer is done you can let them know:

“Feel free to come out when you are ready to be nice.” 

This is not a time for you to now lecture your toddler. They will learn to tune you out at an early age if you do so. During this time explain to your toddler what they could do next time that would not result in time in their room. 

Example: If they had thrown their food on the ground and you walked through the uh oh song steps then when they come out you could let them know that next time when their done eating they can say to you “Mama/Daddy I am all done eating, can I get down?.”

This sets them up for success next time. Your toddlers don’t know what to do until you teach them. Sometimes we jump to punishing them for things they just don’t understand how to do yet. Process before you act. Consequences are needed at times and explanations would be more helpful at other times. 

The uh oh song removes the pressure from you trying to have to come up with new ways to teach your toddler when they make mistakes. It also allows you to stay calm. Parents that are able to stay calm raise children who are able to stay calm even when they are upset. 

This tool also empowers your toddlers, helping them to learn what the repercussions of their choices good or bad will be. They grow up in a home where they are equipped to know right from wrong at an early age.

This is much different than sending your children to their room out of anger and frustration. Separation can cause fear and we know that there is no love in fear. 

Having our kids take some quiet time in their room teaches them that deep breathes, thinking through their actions, and processing calmly are good ways in the future to handle all kinds of emotions and situations. 

Be consistent with this. If you are consistent then your toddler only needs to hear uh oh and they will know exactly what comes next. Consistency will bring the breakthrough in their identity. 

Remember that the goal is not to punish them for their mistakes. It is to call forth their identity and help them walk in who they were created to be. When this is your approach you will always be able to speak and act with grace and love. 

Want to listen to this on podcast? Here’s the link:

Want a free e-course on this topic:

How to gain obedience through choices

What are choices?

They are an empowering way to give your kids some control and some freedom in the relationship. You might be thinking that this sounds crazy. Why would we as parents want to give any control to our kids? Aren’t we supposed to have all the control as parents?

We see this answered in the beginning of the Bible when God created Adam and Eve and the two trees. One to eat from and one to leave alone. He was giving them the freedom to choose Him or to reject Him. Meaning that God doesn’t want us to be robots, He designed us to be able to have freedom to follow Him. 

We still have authority as parents, but we don’t need to have all the control. Learning to model after the culture God created will change our home. We want our kids to be raised in an environment of freedom. 

Taking all the control is like drawing a line in the sand and then daring them not to cross it. We’ve all seen it when our kids seem to only want to do the very things we have asked them not to do. This is because they are screaming for some freedom in our relationships!

This is applicable for all ages and all relationships. I don’t tell my spouse what to do all day and if I did we wouldn’t have a very healthy and connected relationship. It is the same with our children. Nobody wants to be in a relationship with someone who is telling them what to do all day long. 

Why will choices benefit your home?

It teaches your kids to use critical thinking. They begin to think for themselves and take responsibility for their own actions. Rather than just being told what to do their whole life they are being offered choices that equip them to think for themselves. You get to empower your kids to become respectful and responsible adults! When they leave your house and you aren’t around to tell them what to do and what not to do they will know how to think for themselves. You want to raise them in a way that they don’t need you as caretakers after they leave.

Don’t worry you still get some of the control in the relationship when you offer choices, yet you are also giving some of the control. Allow the Lord to stretch you and make you uncomfortable in this. 

You still get the obedience and outcome the you desire. You pick option A and B for your kids and then they get to choose from there. Your kids won’t be allowed to run all over you they actually will begin to have more respect for you. Kids tune out parents who just order them around with demands and commands.

Kids that have deep connections with their parents will obey them. We see this correlation with our relationship with Jesus. When we fall in love with Him we can’t wait to listen to Him, to follow Him, and to obey Him.

The more you foster your connection with your kids the more they will love, respect, and obey you without you even having to require it. 

This is huge as your kids get older and have relationships, phones, and jobs. You’ll know you can trust them because you have built a connection with them. That connection  leads them to honor and respect you even when you aren’t around.

How can you begin implementing choices?

Always give two options that lead to the same outcome. There is a third option that isn’t said but is known. The third option is that if they don’t choose or if they don’t pick one of your two options then you get to pick one. 

“You choose or I choose.”


“Do you want to walk to the car, or do you want me to carry you?”

“Do you want to do your homework before dinner, or after?”

“Do you want to unload the dishes, or take out the trash?”

“Feel free to watch your TV show after you’ve unloaded the dishes.”

“Feel free to go out with your friends after the homework is done.”

This engages them, allows them to think for themselves, and figure out what they want to do. 

It also removes you from having to be the bad guy because they are now choosing for themselves meaning that they pick the consequences. If they choose to listen then they will receive the rewards at the end. If they don’t choose option A or B then they will receive the natural consequences the come with that. It will always lead to obedience.

Remember to never introduce sarcasm or anger. This will ruin your connection and it will also ruin what you have started doing by implementing choices. Watch your body language, eye contact, and tone of voice. Be loving and empathetic even when you are discipling them. 

Try it out and let us know how it goes!

If you have specific questions email us at

Want to dive in more to this topics? Take this FREE eCourse:

What to do after you yell?

It’s a lot more simple than you may realize.

You apologize. 

Yes, it really is that easy.

It doesn’t matter if you yelled at your 6 month old, 6 year old, or 16 year old. Get to their level, meet them wherever they are, and apologize.

Things to consider after you yell:

1. Mean it when you say sorry.

Don’t just say sorry because you know that’s what you’re supposed to do. Really take time to reflect, process, and then address things. Your kids will be able to see straight through you if they know you are faking it. Mean what you say when you say it. Let the apology flow from your heart. 

This will also show your children what they are to do when they apologize to you and others. 

2. Tell them why you are sorry.

People long to feel understood, especially when they feel hurt by your actions. Let your kids know why what you did was wrong and acknowledge how that could have made them feel. Apologize from that place. 

3. Ask them to truly forgive you and restore the standard.

When true forgiveness is offered it completely restores the standard. This means your kids can’t hold this situation over your head anymore. It also means that you don’t need to live in the past regretting that choice you made. Let yourself walk in the freedom of forgiveness. 

“You’re okay!”

“You’re okay!”

This is a common phrase in almost every home. A kid falls down, gets a scrape, drops their food, messes up on their project, breaks a toy, or starts crying out of sudden sadness. The parent meets the child in their moment of distress and responds with “You're okay”.

The truth is that most of the time the child is actually just fine. They typically are okay. Culturally we feel like we need to teach our kids to be tough and to get up and move on. In some regard being tough and resilient is good, but as a culture we have also been known to throw aside vulnerability believing that it’s weak.

When we are constantly meeting our kids pain and sadness with the same response that they are okay we can only assume that they will grow up to push aside all their emotions that link to fear, pain, and sadness. They will begin to stuff, numb, and hide those feelings because “they are okay”. 

Kids don’t need to be told that they are okay. They don’t need to be told that their emotions are unnecessary, exaggerated, or invalid.

Kids need to be asked “Are you okay?”. This gives them the opportunity to analyze their own situation, think for themselves, and come to their own conclusion. By switching the language of this phrase around you empower your kids to think for themselves and you teach them to become emotionally aware children. They will not be afraid of pain and sadness, (like most adults are nowadays) nor will they stuff their emotions away. They will be confident to express, feel, and deal with every emotion. 

Vulnerability is the key to raising healthy and confident children. 

3 reasons why kids lie

1. Fear of punishment 

Parents often overlook their responses to negative behavior and don’t realize that it can foster dishonesty for future situations.

The usual series of events is this: 

Child acts out with a negative behavior.

  • Your child will act out. They will make mistakes and mess up. This is unavoidable. It is how you treat them in this process that sets them up to feel no need to lie. 

Parent responds with intensity.

  • Parents respond this way to reveal their extreme dissatisfaction in hopes that this response will keep them from doing it again. The thought process being that if you scare them or punish them hard enough they won’t make that same decision again.

  • When your child is younger it is harder for them to lie and cover things up. As they grow older and learn that you are a not a safe person to come to when they have made a mistake it’s easier for them to lie, and hope you don’t find out. 

  • Yes, they know they will have to deal with your extreme dissatisfaction and frustration if you do find out. But the reason they are indifferent to this is because to them it seems that whether they came to you initially with the truth or you find out later your response will be the same.

Solution: Respond gently even when a seemingly big event has taken place. It’s okay to address negative behavior and help them correct it, but this is much different than shaming/punishing them for it.

2. Fear of being misunderstood

Your kids may desire to tell the truth but the fear of being misunderstood outweighs their ability to show honesty. They are afraid of you as the parent, afraid of your reaction, and your response. Show them that you can listen and choose to understand. Set out to hear their heart and see where they are coming from. 

Your kids need to know that your goal is to always seek to understand first and address second. This way they feel comfortable to speak honestly with you moving forward. 

Solution: Tune into your children. Express that you long to listen to them before moving forward to discipline. Affirm you are available to understand what they want to communicate. Be patient, sometimes this takes time and intentionality.

3. False beliefs about right from wrong

It’s your job to impart strong core values to your children about who they are and how they ought to carry themselves.

They could be lying to you about their internet use, screen time, talking to a girl or boy, homework, etc, because they have come to believe that you think _____ is wrong and they think it’s right.

This causes them to withhold the truth from you because of an internal belief that you are trying to keep them away from good things rather than them seeing your heart and knowing you have good intentions for them. 

Solution: Have the hard conversations. Impart core values that will help your children navigate the complexities of life and decisions they have to make. Make it your goal to point them towards the fullness of God’s design for each area of their lives.

Conclusion: It may seem like your children are bent towards dishonesty. This doesn’t have to be your story. Create an environment in your home where all things can be shared and where your child can be directed into the truth of who they are in Christ.

3 things to do instead of watching TV

Are you tired of feeling like TV, Netflix, and video games is your only hobby? Do you want your kids to unplug from technology and get creative?

As a family we don’t own a TV in our home. Meaning we don’t want shows, movies, or play video games. This might sound rather intense and somewhat crazy to people. We have found it to be the most refreshing and enjoyable decision we could have made as a family. What do we do instead?

1. Talk more

As newlyweds people would come over to our house and find that we didn’t have a TV and get confused at what we did together every evening. It’s been simple since the beginning; we just talk. How often do marriages fall apart because there isn't the joy of knowing each other and having fun with one another? When you learn to spend time with the one you love talking you will see a beautiful friendship blossom with your spouse. 

This is relatable as a family too. When the TV is turned off for a few nights of the week (or for good if you want to try it for a season) your family will get to know each other a lot quicker and better. You’ll have time to engage, play, and connect with your children. Your relationship with your kids will be strengthened. There will be a new connection that grows from a place of learning to talk more. It’s all about plugging into the right sources. Relationships are more valuable than entertainment. 

2. Play around 

There is a constant flow of demands coming at us everyday. It can be tiring, overwhelming, and draining. You need time to play! Play isn’t just for children, you need it as an adult too.

Take time each week to get outside, play a board game with the kids, go for a walk as a family, or eat dinner at the park. Get some fresh air and a change of pace to your normal day. What are your hobbies? Do you like reading, biking, walking, shopping, catching up with friends? Make sure these thing are added to your schedule. When TV/technology isn’t the only way you take a break from work and the demands of life you will find more time to do the other things you enjoy

3. Worship and pray

A lot of people will say that they want to pray and worship daily but simply can’t find the time. Do you find yourself in this dilemma? What if TV/technolgy wasn’t a routine but worship was instead

You could come home from work, eat dinner as a family, and turned on some music to engage with Jesus. This is doable. It’s actually what our family does most every evening. It’s different than what culture does, but it’s better. Entertainment isn’t bad, but it isn't the priority and its not to be replaced with time with Jesus

4 Signs of a Healthy Family

What does a healthy family look like and act like? Often times we believe the lie that we have to be perfect and have it all together. Perfection doesn't equal healthy family. Having it all together doesn't mean your family is flourishing. Cultivating a home where both the parents and kids are thriving is a lot more practical. It’s messy, authentic, and vulnerable. 

There are four signs to be looking for when gaging the health of your family life: Does everyone feel known? Do they know that they have a voice? Are they able to express all of their emotions, even the painful ones? Is love abounding in the home?

We want to dive into these four topics a little more. 

1. Everyone feels known and accepted.

In a healthy home everyone feels understood and knows that they are allowed to express who they are without any hindrances. There isn’t personality traits or characteristics that are better or worse. There isn’t competition, striving, and performance to be loved. Everyone has a special place in the home

Everyone is invited to wear their hearts on their sleeve. You can’t feel known if you aren’t allowed to express all of your emotions. Creating a home where every emotion is allowed whether it be a good one or a bad one will allow a space for everyone to feel heard. Everyone will feel understood, and they will know that they have a place where they belong even in their pain

No matter what anyone is thinking or feeling they are always going to be known. Nobody has to hide when they are feeling angry, depressed, frustrated, or anxious. There is no shame or condemnation. Home is the safest place for our families to come into. When every emotion is allowed to be felt, addressed, and handled in a healthy way everyone will begin to feel known and understood. 

2. Everyone knows they have a voice.

This means that it isn't only the parents who have the voice and the say in the home. You don't want to diminish your children's voices but rather teach them that everything that they say and do is so powerful. It isn't about silencing them, it’s about teaching them. Everything that flows from their mouth is powerful and you want them to know how to use their words rightly. You want them to understand that their words can bring forth life

When they know that they can have a voice and that their voice is powerful they will begin to express themselves in authentic and creative ways. They will dream, write, and give to this world from what God has gifted them to offer. 

Your children can hear from God no matter what their age is. Teach them that everything that they say will offer the world either life or death. From early on you want them to understand that they have the opportunity to hear Gods voice and speak out truth and watch beautiful things take form with their words

3. Everyone prioritizes vulnerability.

Create a home centered around vulnerability. This means that every relationship values intimacy, meaning “into-me-you-see”. You can’t have intimacy without vulnerability. To allow someone in to see all of you is extremely vulnerable and it’s through that process that we foster intimate relationships. This is with your spouse and with your children. Allow your family to see you on the good days and the bad days. When our children see you walk through stress, turn to Jesus, and overcome they will have a framework for how to handle their own stress because they watched you first. When they see you walk through a trial season keeping your eyes locked on Jesus they will do the same. Or maybe you make a big mistake, mess up big time, and your kids see it. What do they learn? It’s okay not to be perfect, it’s okay to make mistakes, it’s okay to have questions.  

There is no stuffing and hiding. Everything is out in the open and everyone in the family is able to support, encourage, and lift each other up through thick and thin. Vulnerability is the best thing you can teach your children about. When you choose to express rather than stuff you rid yourselves of the temptation to numb out with substances, addiction, and bad habits. You get to walk in the freedom that Jesus paid a price for

4. Love is abounding.

Love is overflowing in the home. Everyone has their cups full of love from one another. 

Philippians 1:9-10 “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ”

It is only going to be through love that your children grow up knowing who they are and what God has in store for them. They need to be introduced to God’s everlasting and unconditional love and they also need to be invited into your overflowing love for them. 

It is only through love that Christ will be cultivated in your home. Your kids won’t turn out the way you desire through controlling them, raising your voice, and handing out demands. It will be through love! When their is love in your home your kids will be able to take that out into the world and have the capacity to give from what they have received

Your kids long to be loved! Find out which specific ways your children individually receive love the best. Whether that be physical touch, quality time, acts of service, or words of affirmation. Meet these needs in small intentional ways each day. This might look like a snuggle and story before bed, driving them to their sports game and cheering them on, or making them dinner after a long day at work. It’s not about the quantity of time you spend with each child, it’s about the quality of the time you give them. Turn off the television, put your phone down, and let love abound. 

Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable

When we are uncomfortable in life we often force ourselves into the familiar where we feel safe and comfortable once again. 


It’s in the stretching, the unknown, and the uncomfortable that we see growth and change. It’s in this place that we learn more about ourselves and we learn more about God. 


There is no forward movement in the familiar. We must step outside what we know and adventure with God into the wild pursuits and callings He has on each of our lives. What if you jumped into your dreams that seem so unattainable and out of reach? What if?! 

Your daughter isn't sassy

Your daughter isn’t sassy.

She’s lively, creative, bubbly, and full of life. 

The nickname sassy is often used when referring to our daughters who are full of attitude. We call them sassy almost as a joke. You’re so sassy.  We think it’s a funny name until they start acting sassy. When the attitude comes out we discipline them for it. Didn’t we just affirm over them moments earlier that they were sassy? Aren’t we speaking over their identity that they are full of attitude? 

It’s confusing. In one moment you label your child as sassy and then in the next you discipline and scold them for being the very thing you just called them.

What if that isn’t how God speaks about them? What if He uses words like lively, and bubbly. What if we partnered with their identity rather than their flaws?

If they show attitude (which they will) discipline with love. But don’t affirm behaviors by giving your children nicknames that you don’t like. Sassy, stubborn, snotty, whiny, etc. 

That isn’t who they are, and those things aren’t qualities they were created to have. Pull out the gold and speak life over them. Watch behaviors change as your words do. 

It's okay to apologize.

We need to be willing to apologize as parents. We need to be okay with saying sorry when we mess up.

Often times as parents we believe the lie that if we let our kids know that we made a mistake then they won’t respect us. We think that if we raise our voice at them because we are stressed out and overwhelmed and later regret that decision but choose to apologize then our kids will run all over us. We think they’ll take advantage of us knowing we are weak and we make mistakes too. That’s just a silly belief system to live under.

Your kids will only respect you more when you’re willing to own up to your mistakes and apologize. You might think you don’t owe your kids an apology because you’re the parent. Don’t be surprised if your kids don’t feel like they owe you apologies later on. You will have taught them well.

When you’re vulnerable they will be vulnerable. When you respect them, they will respect you. When you apologize for the ways you wrong them, they will apologize when they wrong you.

You set the standard and the culture of your home. It’s a lifelong game of follow the leader.

Need some encouragement?

Take a listen to our most recent podcast here:
or on Itunes "Raising our Champions"