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Right is Right and Wrong is Wrong

Right is Right

and

Wrong is Wrong

Joey and Carla Link

Wrong Way

March 2017

No parent wants to believe they have a rebellious child. We may say our friends and neighbors have a rebellious child but rarely do I speak to a parent who says “I have a rebellious child!”  Actually, few people today use the word “rebellious”. It is more common to say “Their kids are out of control!”

We have a tendency to see the best in our kids therefore it’s difficult to see the worst. What parent doesn’t celebrate when their child on the soccer field kicks the ball to shoot the winning goal and forgets the same child couldn’t remember to get his soccer shoes packed for the game even after you reminded him 4 times, so you had to go home and get them!

Or for some strange reason, this same child that can have so much endurance on the soccer field can’t seem to push through and get his homework done on time without your constant reminders, or get his bed made or take his laundry to his room and put it away.  But they sure can remember when it’s time for soccer practice.

Parents think, “Surely it can’t be rebellion if my child simply forgot to get his shoes packed in his bag.” I think parents fall into this trap because we don’t have a good definition of what rebellion is and ultimately it allows kids to rewrite their parents’ code of what is right and wrong. So, what is rebellion?

“Rebellion” is “knowing and believing what is right and what is wrong and still choosing the wrong.” Many times it comes out in “I forgot” or “I didn’t have time” but what did he spend his time doing instead of getting his responsibilities done? Watching television, playing on the computer or on his phone?

The rich young ruler in Luke 18 very self-righteously asked Jesus what he had to do to go to heaven and Jesus said “Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” This young man knew that he should do this and he chose not to do it. He would never think he was rebellious. Was he? Yes!

Just as Jesus was disappointed when this rich young ruler was unwilling to make the right choice, we as parents need to not only be disappointed, but take action every time our kids choose to be rebellious by choosing to do what they know is wrong.

 

Taking action has 3 sides.

  1. Teach them how to do the right thing even when they don’t want to
  2. Be willing to correct them when they choose not to
  3. Be sure to praise them when they do

Remember: Right is right no matter if no one is doing it, and wrong is wrong no matter if everyone is doing it.

Three things that can help you teach your child how to choose right over wrong are:

1. For kids 4 yrs. and under: After giving them an instruction, ask them what they are to do when Mommy/Daddy tells them to do something. Ask them what they need to do to obey. For older kids: Ask them what the right thing to do would be and what would be the wrong thing to do, then ask them if they are ready to do the right thing.

RIGHT is RIGHT if NOBODY is doing it andWRONG is WRONG if EVERYONE is doing it2. Have a family time where each child (age-appropriate) makes a sign describing “Right is right no matter if no one is doing it, and wrong is wrong no matter if everyone is doing it.”

For younger kids, have pictures cut out showing right things to do and have them glue them to a paper.

3. Read the story of Saul and the rebellious ways he chose. Ask your kids what they would have done if they were in Saul’s shoes. If they come up with good answers, ask them why you can’t count on them to get their chores done and so forth. Point out the consequences he experienced in I Samuel 13-15.

 

 

 

 

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is like the sin of divination,

    and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.”

I Samuel 15:22-23

How to Stop Arguing With Your Kids

How to Stop Arguing

With Your Kids

Mauricio no cree

Joey & Carla Link

March 2017

How do you stop a child from arguing with you? It is very frustrating when you give your child an instruction and they start arguing with you. Every loving parent feels like they should listen to anything their child says. This is how you build trust and relationship with your child.

But how does your child build trust with you? By doing what you tell them to do? If you can’t trust them to follow through with it but they expect you to stop and listen whenever they want to say something to you, who is really in control?

A man we knew was working out in the yard with his 5 year-old son. The boy kept going towards the busy street and the dad kept calling him back, even running to pull him out of the street then scolding him for not obeying him. Dad was in a critical point in his project and didn’t see his son going into the street again. A car hit the child, killing him. Your child doing what you say, when you say, and how you say it is more important than you listening to him argue with you just for the sake of letting him have his say.

When you give your child a direction or expect them to obey you, parents should require a positive, submissive response like “Yes Dad, I will do it.” Or in the above scenario, “Yes Dad I will stay out of the street”.” Dad could follow it up with a boundary like, “Do not go past the sidewalk,” and expect to hear “Yes Dad, I won’t go past the sidewalk,” instead of “But Dad, I only wanted to count how many cars drove by.” Dad takes the bait, arguing and negotiating with his son.”

One day I was in a convenience store buying an item. I knew the lady who was helping me and her daughter came to her several times asking for candy. The mom told her she wasn’t getting any candy but the girl kept coming and asking for it. Knowing what we teach, she finally realized she didn’t have to negotiate with her daughter anymore and the next time her daughter came to her she said, “I will hear a yes mom” and the 4 year old girl said “Yes Mom” and walked away and put the candy back and didn’t ask again.

Did you catch how to stop arguing with your kids? Require them to give you a positive verbal response when you give them an instruction. If you can tell your child is in a bad mood before you give him an instruction, tell him to go sit and get his attitude under control and come back to you when he is ready to apologize for his bad attitude. The best way to stop your kids from arguing with you is to stop arguing with them.

Do you let your kids argue with you? Do you argue with them? Does arguing get either you or them what you want other than putting everyone in a bad mood? Check out Understanding First Time Obedience and Why Can’t I Get My Kids to Behave? Available on our website. www.parentingmadepractical.com

Loving Your Family

Loving Your Family

Joey & Carla Link

Hearts

February 2017

 

February is the month to celebrate love. What do you think of when you think of the word “love”? To me (Carla), it is kind of like a warm fuzzy feeling that wraps around me and gives me a big hug.

We don’t usually like to think of loving or being loved as a command, but that is exactly what Jesus said in John 13:34-35,

“A new command I give you that you love one another as I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Did you catch “you must love one another”? Carla and I are coming up to our 39th wedding anniversary. You can’t be married that long without knowing you must love each other whether you feel like it or not. I don’t think married love is what Jesus is referring to. He is talking about loving people in general.

Where does that kind of love start? It starts at home. One of the best things we learned in the parenting class “Growing Kids God’s Way” was “Couch time”. When Dad gets home from work, he and Mom sit on the couch for 10-15 minutes talking. The kids have to see or know you are having couch time, but can’t interrupt you. It shows them that you give priority to each other. Showing priority is a form of love. When our kids could tell things were tense between us, they would say, “You need to have couch time!”

What about kids? It is hard for a 3 year old to understand why he must love his brother who just hit him. An 8 year old won’t get why she must love her sister who just spilled chocolate milk on her favorite top. A 10 year old won’t get why he should love kids at school who bully him. Your teen won’t get why she should love girls who make fun of her clothes.

Where does it start? You need to require your kids to show love whether they want to or not. Isn’t that what a command is? While you certainly deal with your 3 year old’s sibling who hit him, you also ask your 3 year old how he can show love to him in return. Your 8 year old’s sister needs to be willing to replace the top she ruined, even if it was an accident, but your 8 year old can’t stay mad at her either. One way of showing love is to grant forgiveness when it is asked of you, which means you won’t hold grudges and you won’t allow your kids too.

 

A hard verse for any of us to follow is Matthew 5:44,

 

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

 

In the moment a sibling becomes an “enemy”, teaching them to love him/her is giving them the tools they need to love others. Your 10 year old and teenager can love those who hurt them easier if they have been doing it all their lives. We used to ask our kids to tell us one way they could show them love when they were hurt by others.

The biggest hurdle to a loving family is the tone we use with each other. Parents would be wise to not deal with what your kids say, but with how they say it. A helpful Mom’s Notes presentation is “It’s All About Attitude”. Good attitudes are infectious!

The Video Store

The Video Store

Joey & Carla Link

January 2017

store

 

Our adult daughter Amy came to visit us for a week last fall. After several days of long and hard work around this old house of ours, we all wanted to relax one night. So we went to our local video store to pick out a movie. We walked in and saw the posters of the newest releases and I asked her if anything looked good to her. Personally I was a little surprised at the poor quality of new releases. Out of thirty some movies, only two were of any interest to either of us. So we walked the perimeter of the store looking at all the new release trying to find something to watch. We finally found one and took it home.

 

Did you pick up the most important point of my experience? How did my adult daughter have the same values as I have? How do parents pass their values on to their kids so that when they become adults you have the same or at least similar values to be able to enjoy hanging out together?

 

It goes back to what God gave Moses to teach Israel how to pass their faith on to their kids long before they had a Bible to refer to. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 says parents are supposed to impress on their kids’ hearts what they believe like the impression left on a t-shirt. You are to talk to your kids about this mark when you are hanging out at home, when you drive them around in the car and when you are giving them baths and putting them to bed. You are to talk to your kids whenever you are around them.

 

That is exactly what we used to do when our kids were teens and we walked around the video store looking for a good movie. I knew they would be looking at movies in the future and I wanted to be sure they had the standard of what made a movie good or bad from my point of view. Before I launched them into the world where they would ultimately be responsible to God for the choices they made, I knew it was my responsibility to be sure my kids knew God’s standards of right and wrong including moral choices of what kinds of movies to watch.

 

When I (Joey) took our teens to the video store, I would ask them about the different movies we saw on the shelves. I asked questions to see what they really believed about what they saw. I drew one of my daughter’s attention to the cover of a DVD that had a scantily clad girl on it and asked her what she thought about that and what that said about the movie. Asking questions about the movies gave them a way to talk about what they were seeing and reading about the movies in a non-threatening way. While there is not a verse in the Bible that tells us what kinds of moves to watch, there are plenty of verses that point out how we are to act and one especially on what we should think. Philippians 4:8 says:

 

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

 

Once when we were looking for a movie to rent, I saw a boy around 13 years going for a movie on the shelf to show his mother what he wanted to watch. He grabbed it and took it to her and the look on that mom’s face was of disgust and displeasure. The boy put the movie back. What did this boy learn from his mother’s looks? That it was not a movie she wanted him to see, but not why it was wrong. For our kids to learn from us, parents MUST transfer the WHY to their kids so they not only have the standard, but WHY we believe that standard is right for us to live by.

 

How well are you looking for opportunities to actively teach your kids what you believe and why you believe it in your daily lives? You can get more understanding on how to get your kids to think on what is right and wrong from our book “Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think”. It will help you learn how to ask questions of your kids to get them to think why you have the standards you have and why they should live by those standards too.

Do Your Kids Trust God’s Word?

 

Do Your Kids Trust God’s Word?

kid-reading-bible

Joey and Carla Link

January 11, 2017

I (Joey) was in a store buying a new piece of electronics and I had some questions about it before I purchased it. So I asked the customer service tech my question and he said he wasn’t sure as the box was not clear on it. So he said I will ‘google’ it to find the answer.

 

I thought to myself, do we seek God for answers as easily and the same way as we look things up in google? Today our kids are growing up in such a tech friendly and “immediate gratification” society, I wonder if it’s not easier for people to seek answers from “google” than God. Parents can use google as an opportunity to teach their kids to trust the Lord as much as they trust the things of this world.

 

For instance, at a family dinner (which we highly encourage having on a regular basis) I would ask my kids questions to open up a discussion to make them think and stir their thinking in the right direction. Dinnertime around the table is a great time for intentional discussions during which you can guide them towards Godly thinking or someone else will guide them towards their thinking. In today’s fast paced social media society, parents need to do this even more.

 

I would ask a question like “Why do you trust what you google on the internet? How do you know what you read on Wikipedia is true? How about Facebook or snapchat or the magazines about celebrities you see at the store checkout lines?

 

During the discussion keep asking them questions to clarify their thinking. Ask your kids if they ever think about looking up something in the Bible, and how they would go about doing this. Ask them if they trust what the Bible says to be true and trustworthy. Ask them if they believe they should follow what the Bible says on how to live and why. Don’t let one child dominate the discussion. When you ask a question, start it with a child’s name. Ask them if they put as much faith in what they read in the Bible as they would in what they google on the internet. Ask them what they would believe more, what they read on the internet or in the Bible? Your goal is to get them to trust what they read in their Bibles more than what they read on social media or on the internet.

 

I was surprised when I read data from “The Jesus Survey”, a 2010 survey of 800 teens who attended evangelical Christian churches across the US who went on mission trips. The following are the statements in the survey and the responses they got.

 

  1. The Bible is 100% accurate –historically, factually, and theologically – and therefore completely trustworthy in what it says about Jesus.
  • 45% Strongly agree
  • 41% Somewhat Agree
  • 10% Somewhat disagree
  • 4% Strongly disagree

 

  1. The Bible, though generally accurate, contains some widely acknowledged errors and can’t be completely trusted in EVERYTHING it says about Jesus.
  • 9% Strongly Agree
  • 27% Somewhat Agree
  • 27% Somewhat Disagree
  • 38% Strongly Disagree

 

It amazes me and scares me how many Christian teens growing up in our churches today do not believe God’s Word is the inspired Word of God to us as Paul told us in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

 

All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

 

How well do your kids trust God’s word as a way to live their lives? A good Mom’s Notes presentation that could help you with this is “How to Use the Bible in the Instruction and Training of Your Children. It’s available on CD or MP3 with very helpful notes at the Parenting Made Practical bookstore.