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Dealing with a Proud Child

By Joey & Carla Link

April 7, 2021

Do your kids get big heads? Do they think they know more than you do? Do they walk around with their chest puffed out showing a proud, conceited, arrogant heart? Do you have a child who is in the habit of bossing others around, telling them what to do and criticizing them when they don’t do it right? 

This can be common for first born kids and older siblings, to try and boss their younger siblings around, but it’s also the root of bullying and aptly describes a kid who is said to be “strong-willed”. Strong-willed kids have the Choleric temperament, but these attributes are the weak or negative sides of a kid with the Choleric temperament. 

As strong-willed kids don’t have trouble sticking to their guns, perseverance is a strength of theirs. They are dynamic and powerful, thriving on opposition (which is why he/she will wear their parents out when they are trying to correct him long before he gives in). A mature Choleric is determined to do the right thing. They are quick thinkers and quick to act which makes them good in crisis. 

“For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. For there are many who must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.” 

Titus 1:7-14 “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.” Proverbs 16:5 

If a proud person won’t go unpunished in God’s eyes, then we as God’s servants in raising the kids He has given us, need to be sure we don’t let our kids get away with living with a proud heart. We talked about good pride and bad pride last week and the last thing parents should want is for bad pride to take root in their kids’ hearts and grow like an out-of-control weed that will start to take over their family. 

I (Joey) was talking with a mom one day who was always feeling challenged by her strong-willed child. She said it felt like he was never teachable or open to her training. I (Joey) told her you can’t have pride and arrogance rooted in the same heart with humility and a gentle, teachable spirit.” 

Here are 5 signs of a proud and non-teachable child:1.   The Know It All – They think they are equal to you in knowledge, critical thinking and leadership skills, and will tell you what you are missing in parenting their siblings. They point out to siblings how much better they are than them. 

2.   Impatience – They don’t want to wait for you. They think you should serve them and be ready to go when they are ready to go. They are always in a hurry to get to the next thing. If a child can’t wait on you and tells you what to do, you have a proud child.  

3.   Critical – If your child is critical of you, their siblings, their friends, teachers or others, they are telling you they think they are better than everyone else and can tell them how they should run their lives. A critical child is not a teachable child or a grateful one because they think everyone else needs to rise to their moving standard. 

4.   Ungratefulness – Strong-willed kids are not thankful for the simple things in life like you taking them to sports practice several times a week. They expect you and others to be at their beck and call and to follow their lead on all things. They get upset when you forget something that they want or need when they need to be somewhere. Kids today have so much stuff they often don’t appreciate what they have because when you start taking away things they have lost the freedom to do, their room is full of equally fun things to do so they don’t miss what they lost. 

5.   Boasting – Strong-willed kids are proud of what they have and brag about it to their friends. Boastful minds cause them to look down on others because they think they are better, smarter and more talented than everyone else. It can be shown in their attitude towards others or in the words they say to them. 

How do you correct strong-willed kids? In our book Taming the lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think and in the Mom’s Notes presentations “Understanding Freedoms, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2” you will find the answer to this question. Unfortunately, we are out of room to talk about it here. It’s going to take focus, consistency, perseverance, patience, determination and lots of talking on your part to help the strong-willed child see their sin and humble themselves before God, you and their siblings. These kids need to admit they were wrong which will be very difficult for a proud child but is foundational for them to begin changing their hearts and ways. 

Celebrating Jesus

By Joey and Carla Link

December 16, 2020

How do your kids celebrate Jesus’ birthday? It’s one thing to play Christmas songs, have a manager set up in your home, and read Christmas stories to them. It is quite another thing for them to understand this baby grew up to die on the cross to take away their sins so they can live forever in heaven.
To kids, Christmas is all about the presents under the tree. They (and we) get bombarded with this picture everywhere we look. When you go shopping in a store, you see a glistening tree that is all about what you are going to get for Christmas. Rarely do you see a tree that celebrates the birth of our Savior. You can take your kids to see Christmas lights on houses and you might even say “Look! There is baby Jesus in his manager!” But when do you sit down with them to tell them in ways they can understand just what the Christmas story and its importance to them is?
If you feel they already know it, look for something new in the story. This year I (Joey) read this story looking for some fresh new facts about it to encourage my faith in the Christmas story. Carla is going through a Christmas Advent Devotional this month for the same purpose, to get excited about Christmas again. Not because we will see some of our kids and grandkids, but to once again be in awe of what God did to send Jesus to us in human form.
HOW CAN YOU GET YOUR KIDS EXCITED ABOUT JESUS THIS CHRISTMAs?1.    Celebrate Advent as a family. Each week represents one aspect of the Christmas story: prophecy, shepherds, wise men, angles and Jesus’ birth on Christmas Eve. When our kids were little we got candles that represented each of these and assigned one week to each of our children. We had them do research and present that week’s emphasis to our family. They were creative and it was a memory making time for our family.
2.    Read kid-friendly Christmas stories. Around the dinner table a couple nights a week would be a great time to read Christmas story books to your children. We encourage you to add a book about the cross one night too to bring Jesus’ life full circle.
3.    Read Christmas devotional books each morning or before bedtime. The Jotham’s JourneySeries, consists of 5 books about kids that lived during the time Jesus was born. This excellent series follows their lives and adventures as they intertwine with the life of our Lord. Imaginations come to life as they hear a story of a child on a Christmas adventure. Amazon carries these books so be sure to check them out.
4.    Christmas dramas bring life to the Christmas story. Act out a Christmas play in your own home with the parents as the narrator, having the kids play different parts, even dressing up with robes for wise men or shepherds, and getting a baby doll for baby Jesus.
The key to all these ideas is the discussion they should encourage your family to engage in. Get feedback from your kids on what they learned. Just as kids’ minds are stretched learning new math skills, they need to be stretched learning new facts and insights from the Christmas story to encourage their faith and for them to allow Jesus to be the King in their lives.

  • Ask your kids what new fact they heard. If they can’t come up with anything, they likely are not listening intently.
  • Ask questions like:
  • What do you think will happen next?
  • What would you have done if you were in their place?
  • Would you have made a different choice?
  • If you were a Wiseman would you think you were following the wrong star?
  • Would you have followed a star in the sky for 2 years, riding a camel and sleeping in the hot desert?
  • “If you were a shepherd, would you have really left your sheep, which was your responsibility in plain sight to go worship a baby?
  • What if someone came and took off with your flock? What would you do then?
  • If you were Joseph, would you be worried about finding a place for Mary to rest when she was in so much pain? Would you have felt like you failed her when you ended up in a stable with cows and camels?

It’s one thing to celebrate Christmas with your kids, it’s another thing to encourage and build up their faith in God through Christmas every year. May your family be excited about the celebration of our Lord!

How Is Your Child’s Judgement?

By Joey and Carla Link

November 11, 2020

I recently saw a boy riding his bicycle down the middle line of a road because he thought no cars were coming. There was no mirror on his bike and he had his earbuds in so he didn’t hear or see the police car coming up behind him. You may be thinking this boy’s brain wasn’t operating on all cylinders, and we would agree with that opinion, but how is this different from your kid when you tell him to do something and he keeps doing what he wants to do, not thinking or caring about the consequences? When you have to make a decision, whether you are young or old, you are using your judgement. Kids will face these dilemmas when faced with everyday issues: “Should I invite my sister to play with me when she asks if she can or turn my back to her and keep on playing by myself?” “Should I clean my room when Mom tells me to or just shove stuff in the closet hoping Mom won’t check there?” And the list goes on. These issues may not seem like big deals to you but they are big deals to your kids. For kids/teens, using their judgement wisely starts at a young age.

  • Will your kids choose to do what you say?
  • Will they choose to remember to pick up their toys after playing with them?
  • Will they choose to play nicely?
  • Will they choose right friends?
  • When their eyes see something they shouldn’t be looking at, will they choose to look away?

 Many parents will discipline, lecture or remind their kids for their disobedience, but they really need to be teaching them to use good judgement that comes from the teaching and training of God’s Word. This happens when parents hold kids responsible for what the parents have already taught them. You do this by insisting your kids tell you WHY they didn’t do what they were supposed to do in the first place. Before kids are allowed to ride their bike on a street, their parents will teach them which side of the street to ride on, and where the imaginary bike lane is. A wise parent will also take their child for several bike rides showing him/her how to ride on the busy street before they let them ride anywhere alone. When the police follow your son home to tell you he was riding his bike down the middle line of a busy street, it isn’t that he didn’t know the right way to ride his bike, but that he chose to do it his own way. It was a judgement call on his part to see if he could get away with it or not. WHY didn’t he use his wisdom and sound judgement? Many parents let their kids get away with the response of “I don’t know”. Please don’t do this, because we can assure you, they do know! The wise father Solomon wrote this to his sons: “My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve (like canning fruit, put away for future use) sound judgmentand discretion.” (Proverbs 3:21) Dad: Did you use sound judgement when you were riding your bike in the street?Son: No!Dad: Then why did you do it? (Dad is thinking his son was just messing around while riding his bike so he will consider taking away the freedom of his bike for a month.)Son: I don’t know. (He didn’t want to confess to messing around while riding his bike)Dad: Until you can answer that question, you have lost the freedom of riding your bike. And you have lost the freedom of using your earbuds until you are ready to talk about the proper use of them. Dad’s goal here should not be to just punish his son, but that the consequences should give him wisdom. As Solomon said, “Do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight…” What this boy did was let his dad’s wisdom and teaching go in one ear and out the other. When he was thinking about weaving all over the road, discernment should have yelled into his ear, “Dad said…” and his judgement monitor should have kicked in and stopped him. Don’t think about punishing your kids, think about training your kids to right thinking and Godly character. Solomon gives 10 reasons in Proverbs 3:22-26 for giving your kids “wisdom and understanding and preserve good judgment and discretion;
They will be life for you,    an ornament to grace your neck.Then you will go on your way in safety,    and your foot will not stumble.When you lie down, you will not be afraid;    when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.Have no fear of sudden disaster    or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,for the Lord will be at your side    and will keep your foot from being snared.”

5. How To Trust Your Untrustable Child

It drives parents crazy when they cannot trust their child who says “I will never ever do it again.” Yet in the next few days or weeks, that trust is broken once again! Find out how your untrustable child can become trustable again.

Recommended Resources from This Session:
Mom’s Notes: – “Parenting As Partners” CD/MP3 & Notes/PDF Notes

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4. What Do I Do With A Child Who Talks Back To Me?

When kids talk back to their parents it is to question and challenge their parent’s authority over them. Learn what parents can do and how to change this merry-go-round.

Recommended Resources from This Session:

  1. Mom’s Notes: – “Understanding First Time Obedience” CD/MP3 & Notes/PDF Notes
  2. Book/MP3: – “Why Can’t I Get My My Kid’s to Behave” – Book & MP3 read by Joey & Carla
  3. DVD: – “Navigating The Rapids of Parenting”

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