I talk to a lot of dads, and I’ve come to the point where I make a bold claim: I can answer all your parenting questions to your satisfaction. This page is a blatant attempt to convince you to put my claim to the test.

If you are already convinced, click this link to schedule your free dad talk.

You are still reading, so either you need more convincing, or you are just curious about what more I have to say. Fair enough. Dads talk to me for various reasons, and I’ve created customized responses for the most common reasons. Click on the reason to see the response.

My spouse told me to talk to you

If your spouse sent you to this page, then it is likely that one or more of the reasons below also apply to you, but let’s stick with this reason for the moment. When spouses are not parenting from the same playbook, the result is usually conflict, frustration, and discord. And when your spouse tells you to talk to me, it is likely to come across feeling like you are going to be ganged up on and beat into submission.

Allow me to make this clear – I am on your side. And I am also on your spouse’s side. My desire is to help you and your spouse find consensus and unity. I want you both to win. If you want to see how I can help you achieve consensus with your spouse, click this link to schedule your free dad talk.

I am so frustrated with my child’s misbehavior / nothing I do is working

Frustration is the feeling that occurs when your attempts to get your needs met is being impeded. When the source of your frustration is your child’s misbehavior, that frustration exists because your responses to the behavior are not generating the results you desire. And yes, when your attempts to intervene and correct your child’s misbehavior are unsuccessful, the frustration is real. It is easy to become stuck in this place and not know what to do to get unstuck.

A successful intervention has three attributes:

  1. You and your child are more connected than before the intervention.
  2. You and your child are both content with the outcome of the intervention.
  3. There is changed behavior.

If would like to get unstuck and have successful interventions, click this link to schedule your free dad talk.

I don’t buy into this connected parenting thing

I get it. I was a traditional, old-school, authoritarian parent for 15 years, and many of the things that routinely come out of my mouth today would have sounded like insanity to me back then. I like science and hard facts, and I had a nearly three decade career in software engineering. I am skeptical by nature, and I don’t accept new ideas without subjecting them to rigorous examination.

Here’s the straight truth. There is solid science behind this kind of parenting, and solid research, too. Furthermore, there are good reasons to question the assumptions and rationale of traditional, old-school, authoritarian parenting. The best argument, however, is the results, and I’ve got some pretty good stories to share. If you would like to hear them, click this link to schedule your free dad talk.

I am frustrated with my parenting. I want to parent differently, but…

I’ve been there, and I’ll tell you right now the two most important things to know when you are stuck in this place. I learned these two things in my own journey, and I have seen them hold true for countless parents in my coaching.

  1. There are valid reasons why you are struggling, and those reasons are almost certainly not your fault.
  2. Although they are not your fault, it is your responsibility to identify those reasons and overcome them.

In other words, don’t be ashamed because you struggle to parent the way you want to parent. Struggle is normal and the reality is that being a different kind of parent requires personal transformation. That is hard work, and there is nothing wrong with needing help to do it. But make no mistake, the hard work is yours to do. I had lots of help, and I still seek out help often. If you are ready to figure out the reasons behind your frustration, and identify what to do about it, click this link to schedule your free dad talk.

None of the above apply to me

Well then, you’ve got me curious, and I’m hoping you’ll call me just to tell me what I’m missing. But if you still need reasons to convince you that talking with me will be worth your while, here are three things I can promise you:

  1. I will ask you questions that will require you to think about your situation from new perspectives.
  2. By the end of the call, you will have a greater awareness of your situation.
  3. You will walk away with some concrete next steps that are simple, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.

You really have nothing to lose but 90 minutes of your time, so click this link to schedule your free dad talk


I’m getting married next spring, and my fiancée’s four-year-old adopted son has been diagnosed with FASD and sensory processing disorder, plus he has anger management issues. A consultation with Mark Vatsaas on the topic of connected parenting was revelatory and has helped me better understand how to relate with my future stepson. Now I can focus on building a relationship with him based on trust and safety rather than fear and punishment, as my generation was taught back in the day.

-- Thomas P.


Mark Vatsaas is a very informative man who helped me understand a better way to parent my child in a loving way that honors God.  He put things in a way that was simple and very helpful for application in helping me to better understand alternative ways to help re-direct my child's outbursts. This also helped me learn how to best parent my children and show them how to be obedient and respectful. It's not an overnight change but in time Mark's advice helped me and my children get along better and allowed my children to show respect for one another. He is a wonderful testimony of a father who loves his children and cares about their direction in life. I'm thankful for his desire to help other fathers learn to love their children more and guide them in a way that will allow their children to grow.

-- Kelly C.




I can't thank Mark enough for the time he spent with me during a recent call. I was struggling and trying to cope with my responses to some difficult behaviors from my child. I felt like a broken dad.

We spoke for more than an hour coming up with what was driving my responses, possible strategies to try and immediate measures to take when I felt "triggered."

I have a lot of pride and it was hard for me personally to ask for help. Men don't like to admit to their weakness, but if it faster to get help than to struggle on your own why not get the help? If you consider how long you'll be a dad and the amount of time on a call with Mark, I'd call it a no-brainer decision. I don't want any dad to ever feel like I did: approaching a crisis without any resources.

-- Derek B.


In just an hour discussion I was able to unlock parts of my childhood that molded me and specifically linked them to how I handle situations now as an adult and a parent. This consultation helped me realize why I was reacting negatively to certain situations when I could have been making them learning situations for my son. I still have work to do in order to create a better atmosphere for my son, but after the conversation that we had, I am more willing to do so now that I have a total understanding of how my reactions were molded from early on. I want my son to know how to handle his emotions properly so he can use them correctly when he becomes an adult and a parent. 

-- Daniel E.


The time I spent talking to Mark was very insightful.  Not only did I get a better appreciation and understanding about connective parenting, I also got a better understanding of how I can be a better parent. He gave me the understanding of how to connect with my daughters and tools to use to help.  This was the best 90 minutes I could have spent.

-- Tim S.