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Is Your Child’s Love Tank Full?

Is Your Child’s Love Tank Full?

Joey & Carla Link
April 29, 2020
No amount of discipline will be effective if a child’s emotional needs are not being met.  Are you having trouble discerning your child’s love language needs?  The following are some examples of how a youngchild would demonstrate his/her love.
  • Is she always telling you she loves you, how nice you look, how good dinner is, etc?  Consider ‘words of encouragement’.
  • Does he bring you pictures he has drawn/colored, or rocks he found in the yard? Consider ‘giving gifts’.
  • Does she follow you around asking what she can do for you?  Is she helpful? Consider ‘acts of service’.
  • Can he not walk by you without giving you a hug, or climbing in your lap? Consider ‘physical touch and closeness.’
  • Is she always asking you to read her a book, or color with her? Consider ‘quality time’.
How can you really know what your child’s love language is? Ask him! Ask your child what it is that you do that makes him feel special or loved by you. Pay close attention to his answer.  It will fall into one of the above five categories. We cannot tell you how many times, when we found ourselves frustrated with the attitude of one of our children, the culprit has not been the discipline we had used, but rather that their emotional ‘tank’ wasn’t full.
Before our son Michael got his driver’s license, I drove him to band every day, about a ten minute drive, and picked him up when that period was over. (He was homeschooled the rest of the day.) Since our office is in our home and Joey was usually home during that time, I often left the girls at home when I made this drive. I didn’t realize how often, until an incident that happened one time when I had the girls with me. I needed to take them shopping for new shoes and decided to pick up Michael and take them all at one time. As soon as he saw us in the van waiting for him, it was apparent he was upset. I asked him what was wrong, and after pressing him repeatedly, he finally blurted out, “What are the girls doing in the van? This is my time with you!” I was surprised at the anger in his tone. I took him home and then took the girls shopping, during which time I thought about how to deal with the matter. I had not put the same value on that time as he had. Michael’s primary love language is ‘quality time’ and having those few minutes with me each day was a way that he was getting it filled. When I got home, I shared with him that I would try to honor that time for just us. However, in return, should I on occasion need to have the girls with me, I expected a better response from him in the future.
If you are uncertain as to what your child’s primary love language is, take steps to figure it

out

. Remember, they give what they need. So look closely at what they are giving you. It is often difficult to tell with little ones as they need your undivided attention, cuddling and encouraging words in large doses to get through their day.
In review – there are 3 good ways to find out your child’s love language.
  • Look to see what he/she gives you.
  • Ask him what you do that makes him feel special.
  • Take 15 minutes a day, every day for a week and work on one of them. At the end of the week sit down with your spouse and give your child a grade on how responsive he/she was to your effort. Trust us, there will be one that stands out.
Keeping your child’s love tank filled is just as important as keeping your car’s gas tank filled for it to run at all. Think about that.

Getting Chores Done

Getting Chores Done

Joey & Carla Link

April 22, 2020

 

Teaching your children to work isn’t the easiest task for parents. While it will determine how successful your child’s future will be, when he/she is whining or arguing with you about doing their chores, all you can think of is next time just do themyourself. Stop reminding your kids to do what they already know they are supposed to do and stop lecturing them when they don’t do it. They aren’t listening anyway.

 

The following are some helpful guidelines for you when dealing with kids and chores.

  1. Keep your expectations age appropriate. Don’t tell a 3 year old to clean his room. He will walk in, look at the mess and not knowing where to begin, sit down and play. Do write down all that needs to be done to get his room clean and give him one at a time to do. Tell him to come back to you when he gets his books picked up. When he gets there tell him you can’t wait to see what a good job he did picking up his books and go with him to check and see if they are picked up. If so, give him another thing on the list you made. If not, ask him if he needs help and when he says he does, help him get them picked up. Then tell him you know he can do the next item without you and you can’t wait to see what a good job he did. Keep at it until everything is picked up.

 

On the other hand, do expect your kids from ages 7 yrs. on up to be able to remember to get their chores and schoolwork done with no reminders from you.

 

  1. Consequences will be needed. Our rule was to get one thing out and put it away before getting another out. Your preschooler doesn’t want to put his toys away? He can’t play with anything else until he does. Your 10 year old is on the computer but hasn’t done his chores? The most effective consequence that works for all ages is to take away the freedom of what they were doing instead of completing the assigned task. He loses the freedom of the computer/phone until he is characterized by getting his stuff done before he has free time. When we say “characterized” we mean more than one time. For a 10 yr. old we would take away the privilege of the computer for a minimum of a week and would need to see him get his stuff done before he did something he wanted to do 5 days in a row. You want to see your children change? Toughen your consequences.

 

  1. Praise and encouragement go a long, long way to getting your kids to be responsible. When your child is responsible, especially without a reminder from you, praise him.Praise is telling him that he did a good job. Encouragement is giving him the courage to do the right thing. When you tell your 3 yr. old you can’t wait to see what a good job he does when picking up his toys you are giving him encouragement.

 

  1. One of the main reasons kids aren’t good stewards of their things and getting their stuff done is because they don’t think you are paying attention. If they are supposed to have chores done before breakfast, when they come to eat, ask them if you need to go check and see if they are done. If they aren’t characterized by doing them consistently, don’t assume they have just because they are sitting at the table ready to eat.

 

Paying attention to what your kids are or aren’t doing and being consistent with encouragement, praise and consequences will give you a calmer home.

 

In the presentation,“Understanding Freedoms” you will learn how to get your kids to take ownership of their responsibilities.
Understanding Freedoms Part 1
MP3  PDF  CD  Notes
Understanding Freedoms Part 2
MP3  PDF  CD  Notes

Enjoying Your Family

Enjoying Your

Family

 
Joey & Carla Link
April 15, 2020
To enjoy one’s family is a desire every Dad has. But at the same time, it’s one of the greatest fears and scariest challenges for a Dad. He constantly wonders what he needs to do to make his family happy and feel like they are being well cared for.  Every Dad wants to have fun with his kids. Dads want to come up with fun things to do, but they may not be creative or havetime to think of things. They don’t have a regular family night because of this worry. The internet is filled with good ideas. The best things we did as a family were activities we all liked to do because no one felt left out.
If your family decides to do something one of your children is not old enough or is too old to do, find a way to make it fun for him/her. Our son often participated in things and events his sisters were fond of doing and they often did the same for him, and rightly so.
The most consistent way to spend time as a family is to have a regular Family Night. For us, this night was scheduled way in advance and was non-negotiable as far as attendance by all family members.
The Link Family Night Rules:
  1. It had to be enjoyable, if not fun for all.
  2. It didn’t need to cost a lot of money, though sometimes there can be special occasions where this will happen.
  3. Dad does not have to plan each family night. Everyone in the family was given one week a month to plan that week’s regularly scheduled night. If you have a little one in the family, ask him/her what they wanted to do for family night and they will tell you. One of our daughters always chose to dress up as princesses and another wanted to color.
  4. Technology was avoided for most family nights.
  5. Mom and Dad’s approval was required.
For a lot more ideas on Family Nights, We highly recommend you listen to our Mom’s Notes presentation
“Building Family Identity” on MP3 or download the PDF. We both (Joey & Carla) share lots of great examples of family nights with things to avoid and things to do.
 
The Link Family Favorites: (Memories)
  • Riding bikes after dinner and Dad surprises all with a stop for ice cream
  • Indoor scavenger hunts during winter months
  • Card games
  • Making up a story with all family members having a part about their favorite superhero – siblings would barter to get to be one of the heroes instead of one of the villains
  • A puppet or stage show all participate in
  • Going to look at Christmas lights then to a special restaurant and have dessert for dinner
Family Night Ideas that are Winners:
  1. Play charades but use Bible characters. Have the “actor” person tell what they remember about that person in the Bible.
  2. Put on a family talent show. Let your kids be creative and you too!
  3. Have a family sing along. Start with silly songs then move to praise songs. Have the older kids write down the songs they like to sing on paper first and see which songs are commonly liked. They have to sing part of the song to make it count.
  4. Read a book together like Little Pilgrim’s Progress or about great Christian men & women of the faith in a version kids would be interested in. The Trailblazer series by Dave and Neta Jackson put an 8-12 yr. old in the life of a great missionary (available on amazon). Have them tell what they learned in the story.
  5. Play favorite board or card games (our family has 3-4 they want to play every time we get together).
  6. Look at old family pictures, albums or videos. While you may be storing your kids pictures on your computer, how often do your kids get to see them? Older kids will have fun remembering what they looked like when they were younger and seeing how they have changed. Have each person point out in a positive way how someone has matured for the good of all.
  7. Go to a Dollar store or mall (when they open again) and give each person $2-$5. Then have them pull a name from a hat and see how they can use that money to buy something that would be special or meaningful for that family member. Remind everyone of 1 Thessalonians 5:11 and ask them how they practice this verse.

It takes work to have a family that enjoys spending time together. If it is your desire to have kids who want to come home for Christmas, who want you to be involved in their lives once they are married, then you need to build memories and family time memories now that will carry over to wanting to recapture those memories when they are adults.

Easter Joy

Easter Joy

Joey & Carla Link

April 8, 2020
Too many times we hear parents say they are too busy to train or spiritually teach their kids because of all the activities and events going on in life. Now that you are all home together, it’s a great opportunity to pass your faith and what you believeon to your kids.
I have always been impressed how Israel, although being enslaved in Egypt for some 200+ years, was able to keep their identity and faith. It was because of these words,
Now this is the commandments, the statutes and the rules that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments all the days of your life.
It goes on to say, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:1-2,5-9 (ESV)
This is what each family was commanded by God to teach their kids so they would not lose their values, beliefs or faith in Him and there is no better time to talk about what God has done for us than Easter.
  • Read the Easter story to your kids and give them some insight into it. Get some nails and a hammer (ages 6 and up) and lay one of your kid’s hands on the table and ask the others if you should hammer the nails in. You want to give your kids a realistic picture of what God allowed Jesus to go through for each of us.
  • Memorize a Bible verse about Jesus dying on the cross and what it means to live in Heaven forever together as a family. If you have older kids, have them find a few verses to share with the family about what Easter means to them on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
  • Watch a movie about the Easter story.
  • Have an Easter egg hunt inside or in your yard. We had one color of plastic eggs for each child and got very creative as they got older about hiding them. Our kids loved doing this through their teen years. Write on slips of paper one thing you appreciate about a particular child and put them in his/her eggs. Put treats in some too of course!
  • Spend the rest of the day playing games together. Let each family member pick a game and everyone plays with a good attitude.
With churches across the country closed this Sunday, it is a wonderful opportunity to teach your kids about the free gift of salvation they have or could have by asking Jesus to forgive their sins and invite the risen Christ to come live inside their hearts. (John 3:16) Talk about what “living inside your heart” looks like or should look like. Be creative!
Wishing you and your family the blessings of God as we celebrate Him together this Sunday.

Living in Fear

Living in Fear

Joey and Carla Link

April 1, 2020

The coronavirus has changed everyone’s life. It has made us look at everyone we come into contact with, wondering if they are infected or not. While urban cities are being hit harder than rural areas, that does not erase the global influence or impact of this event on everyone’s heart, mind and spirit no matter where you live. 
One of the worst things a parent can do is to pass the fears of what they hear on to their kids. We often do this in simple ways when we show our fear of heights, or of a mouse who has taken up residence in my kitchen, or things we can’t change like thunderstorms.
Fear is “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief  that someone or something is dangerous and likely to cause pain.” Simply put, it’s what we believe about something that can cause our fears.
Fear of something or someone, whether the end result is good or bad drives our beliefs which drives our actions.
We heard once that F.E.A.R. is False EvidencAppearing Real.
While this virus is real and is affecting us in monumental ways, the Bible says,
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7). 
I (Joey) had an opportunity to practice this recently. Six weeks ago, I went to our local hospital’s Emergency Room due to pressure in my chest. Things started moving very quickly when the nurse saw my blood pressure was 211.  They admitted me and I spent the night waiting for tests. The next morning we learned that I had 3 clogged arteries around my heart, 2 of which were double blocked. I needed emergency open heart quadruple bypass surgery. There is no history of heart problems in my family and I work out regularly. This was a surprise for all of us!
I remember praying when I had chest pains, and saying, “Lord, If this is it, I am ready to go to heaven with you“. I was immediately flooded with an overwhelming sense of peace. Are you ready? If something happened to you, are you confident heaven awaits you? If so, what is there to worry about? If not, you have a lot to worry about. If you need someone to talk to about this, please email us. We would love to talk to you!
Our daughter Amy was a fearful child. Most children with the Sanguine temperament are because of their overactive imaginations. She feared the lightening that could come through her window in a storm. We have impressive thunderstorms here in the Midwest! When she was 3-5 years old, she would come running to our room with her blanket and would lay down in-between us and we would pray with her. When the storm was over, and they rarely lasted long, she would thank us for loving her and back to bed she would go.
You see, God gave us the way to deal with worry when He says not to be anxious about anything. We are to pray.
Whether or not her fear was justified in our minds, it was a reality to her. We worked with her, comforting her and letting her know we were right there just as Jesus is right there with her all the time. She ended up growing out of it years later, as that is what comes with maturity.
In the same way, as we grow in our faith in God, we don’t need to fear a virus or anything else that comes our way because, as a friend said to me before I went into surgery, “God’s got this!” Which was a great reminder for me that no matter what happens to me, God is in control and Satan can do nothing to us that is not approved by God.
If we, as Christians, are unable to display the peace that is attained through placing our faith and hope in our God, why should we expect the world to want to get to know Him?
As Romans 8:31 says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Faith in God conquers all our fears. From soldiers in a fox hole, to the coronavirus, to a little girl afraid of thunderstorms, God is in control and we need to trust and rest in the fact that He will not let anything bad happen to us that is not for our own good.
“And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28