About Keep Connected
Keep Connected Resources Include:
Information and Resources for Parents
KeepConnected.info offers free quizzes, discussion starters, family activities, and other ideas to help families explore and strengthen their relationships and help children and teens grow up responsibly. This online resource complements in-person Keep Connected family workshops that can be offered by schools and other organizations. If you’re part of a school, community organization, faith community, mentoring program, or other group that would like to bring families together to learn and grow, check out the opportunities for these groups.
Whether you seek to engage families through a school, youth-serving organization, mentoring program, social service agency, faith-based organization, or other setting, a focus on healthy family relationships can refocus and strengthen your efforts. Learn more about what we have to offer.
A key resource is Keep Connected: Strengthening Parent-Youth Relationships in Middle School Families. The Keep Connected Institute for Strengthening Family Relationships trains and authorizes family engagement leaders to offer this workshop series to families in their communities.
Current Keep Connected Subscribers
The Key Ideas Behind Keep Connected
Keep Connected is a resource for families from many different backgrounds and in many different situations. Here are some key ideas that guide the information and resources we offer:
- Family strengths. All families have strengths, regardless of income, race, or ethnicity. Strengths exist in families with two parents, a single parent, multi-generational members, straight and gay parents, and others. And the vast majority of parenting adults—even those with serious challenges—are deeply committed to their children. Keep Connected identifies, celebrates, and builds on these strengths.
- The power of relationships. Keep Connected is based on Search Institute’s developmental relationships framework. Research shows that the quality of the relationships in families is critical for kids’ development and family resilience.
- One size does not fit all. All families have strengths, and all can build strong, healthy family relationships. However, families shape their lives and relationships together in different ways based on their culture, history, context, challenges, and unique qualities. Keep Connected seeks to create opportunities for families to explore and share their own strengths, stories, values, and cultures—all of which shape how they connect and grow together.
- Learn together. Many families crave more meaningful time together. Keep Connected focuses on shared family activities and conversations, rather than just giving advice and parenting strategies. This approach is grounded in a belief that parenting is, first and foremost, a relationship.
- Learn by trying things. Learning and doing something new can be hard. Sometimes quick tips aren’t enough. Families need to try something together, talk about it, and try it again until they get used to it and it becomes a (good) habit.
- Families continue to matter, even as kids grow up. Too often, parenting resources focus only on early childhood. Yet families are important throughout childhood, adolescence, and beyond. Keep Connected emphasizes strengthening family relationships in middle school and high school, recognizing that many other resources focus on families with younger children.
- Connect with other families. Keep Connected online resources can be used by families on their own. But families need to be in community with other families who they can share with, learn from, and rely on. So we offer guides and programs for organizations to bring families together for learning and mutual support.
What do we mean by …?
Parents: When the term parent is used in Keep Connected, it includes any parent or guardian who is raising a child. This includes biological, adoptive, and foster parents. It also includes grandparents in parenting roles. Other adults who invest time in the lives of children and youth will find the site useful, but our focus is on those who have primary or legal responsibility for children.
Children’s ages: Most information on Keep Connected is relevant for families with children of all ages (birth through high school). However, the activities will be most helpful for families with children in upper elementary grades and middle school. Many activities can be adapted for younger and older children.