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Teaching Your Kids to Take Care of What Belongs to Them


Teaching Your Kids to Take Care of What Belongs to Them


Joey and Carla Link

April 25, 2018


Stewardship is a big word with an even bigger meaning. “Taking care of what belongs to you” is a simplified definition. As parents, it can seem like we spend 18 years teaching our kids to take care of what belongs to them. Even toddlers can and should be taught to pick up their toys and put their dirty clothes in the hamper.


So what do you do when you are pulling your hair out because you reminded your child to clean his room one more time and just lectured him because he didn’t?


The following are some helpful guidelines for you.


  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 do. Tell him to come back to you when he gets his books picked up. Give him another thing on the list you made. 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 his chores and schoolwork done with no reminders from you.


  1. Keep it simple. Our rule was to get one thing out and put it away before getting another. 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? He loses the freedom of the computer/phone until he is characterized by getting his stuff done before he has free time.


  1. Keep reinforcing your expectations. When your child is responsible, especially without a reminder from you, praise him. Praise and encouragement go a long, long way to getting your kids to be responsible. When your kids aren’t responsible, especially if they have had one reminder from you, give them a painful consequence. Without these reinforcements, don’t expect your kids to keep track of their stuff.


One of the main reasons kids aren’t good stewards of their things and responsibilities 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 it is done. One of our daughters used to say “I’ll go check” which meant they weren’t. Pay attention to what your kids are or aren’t doing and be consistent with encouragement and consequences and you will have a lot calmer home.


#goodstewards  #takesselfcontrol

Kids Like to Spend Money

Kids Like to Spend Money

pexels-photo-64824Joey and Carla Link

April 11, 2018


Your kids each get a wad of cash from their grandparents for Christmas and birthdays. A few weeks later they ask you to buy them something and you tell them to spend their own money. When they tell you they don’t have any, you look at them dumbfounded. Where did that money go? Money seems to slip through your kids’ fingers and even they can’t account for what they spent it on. Have you ever taught your kids how to handle money?

We were laughing with our son recently as he is starting to work with his son to train him to understand the value of money. We reminded him of the time when he was around 7 years old when we gave him the job of emptying the dishwasher for .25 cents a week (It was a long time ago!) After his mom reminded him for the umpteenth time to get that task done one day and threatened to take the money away, he told her he had decided the .25 wasn’t worth it! We realized the chores we gave our kids had to have value to them to get them to do them, but we never paid them for doing chores again. We told them everyone in the family had chores to do every day as a part of being in the family.

Kids choose to do what has value to them. For our kids to choose to buy something with their own money, it demonstrates the value/worth of that item to them. So what are your kids looking at? What is alluring to them when they walk through a store? If they had their own money would they want it badly enough to buy it themselves?

When our girls were teens and wanted a certain brand of jeans that were more costly than their clothing budget allowed we decided we would offer to pay what we would for the other jeans and they could pay the rest. This caused our girls a real dilemma because what they wanted was to have the expensive jeans and for us to pay for them! What we were doing was challenging them to understand the value of the jeans to them.

It doesn’t take long for kids, even preschoolers to get the “I wants”. It is up to you to teach them money matters and how to handle it. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Have a plan for handling money. We gave our kids 3 containers to use as banks. One was for money to spend, one for money to save and one for money to tithe. Every penny they got for jobs or gifts was divided these 3 ways: 50% savings, 15% tithe and 35% to spend.
  2. Teach them to tithe. We wanted our kids to learn to tithe when they were young so it would be an ingrained habit when they became adults. They loved putting shoeboxes together for Samaritan’s Purse and used their tithe money to buy the items for their boxes. They often gave more money to their tithe account so they could do more boxes. We made sure they saw us put our tithe envelope in the offering plate every week at church as well.


  1. Have them start saving their own money for things they want. This is not to be confused with using money in their savings bank. We opened a savings account at a local bank for our kids and they loved to deposit their savings money in their own account. This account was used to buy their first car and pay for college. The money they would save for something they want to buy is the money in their spending bank.
  • Talk to them about jobs they could do at their age to earn money. At age 12, I (Joey) started delivering newspapers 7 days a week. I learned a lot of lessons from this job I had for 7 years, some of which I liked and some I didn’t. (You can guess which category paying for a window I broke throwing the paper through it came under!) Or getting up early every day before school to deliver the papers even on Christmas Day.
  • Make a list of extra jobs around the house your kids can do to earn money like shoveling snow in the winte These should be jobs over and above their normal chores and other responsibilities.


The downside for parents is, if you have not taught them right from wrong, you may not like what they buy. For instance, if you have a girl who is drawn to tight fighting clothes or a boy who wants to play violent video games and you believe both are wrong for your kids, you need to be sure you teach them what is right and wrong about it. Our kids didn’t have the freedom to spend their money without our blessing.

The last thing kids want to do with money is to be responsible with it. The first time your child gets money for a gift or job such as mowing a lawn or babysitting, they start thinking and dreaming how to spend it and what they can get with it. Their next thought is “how can I get more of this money so I can buy more things?” This mindset is difficult to overcome, but oh so needed in “training our kids in the way they need to go.” (Proverbs 22:6)

Eyes On Kids

Eyes On Kids

Joey & Carla Link

March 21, 2018

Carla and I enjoyed watching the Winter Olympics in South Korea. We were in awepexels-photo-38242at how much control skiers have to have when flying down mountains at 90 mph! That’s crazy fast going down a mountain covered with snow and ice with no protection if they were to fall and hit the ice. How a 17 year old girl can work a 3 foot piece of board in the Half Pike competition, keeping her body under such complete control while doing stunts in the air to come back down perfectly aligned to land without falling is beyond my imagination. I could watch the replay over and over again and still be amazed.

Your kids have the exact same ability to control their hands, eyes, mind and emotions but it takes work for a teen to not lust after a girl he is attracted to, or want a car or really nice outfit she can’t afford. It takes a lot of control for a young child to not hit someone when they have been wronged, or for his older sibling to keep the words in his mouth he wants to spout back verbally in anger. Self-Control is one of the toughest character traits to govern, and yet one of the most essential. This is why we have recorded a new Mom’s Notes presentation titled “Kid’s, Get Self-Control!


In this Mom’s Notes presentation, we go in-depth on 8 areas every child struggles to have self-control in. While there is a section in the presentation for kids under 5 years of age, this is some of the teaching from the section on having self-control of their “Eyes” for kids 6 years and older.


Eyes – Our eyes can get us in trouble in many ways. When children see something that looks good to them, they will find a way to get it. From driving down the road to the internet and social media things are revealed to your kids’ eyes that put inappropriate thoughts into their minds. Your kids will have no idea how to control wanting what they see without you teaching them how to control it.


How to teach it: When a child is in trouble, he won’t look at you. Wait for him to look your way and say “Now that you are looking at me…”


“Eyes on” is a term in government that means government officials are watching a specific case. In the same way, parents need to have “eyes on” their kids, watching to see what they are looking at to know how to train and help them.


The internet has made keeping track of what kids/teens are looking at a huge headache for parents. Parents need to have “eyes on” their kids internet use.

  • What are they looking at?
  • Listen to your kids when they talk to other kids. Are they sarcastic?
  • The comments they make will tell you a lot about what their eyes are seeing.
  • What are they showing each other on their phones?

What your kids see will go into their minds for them to think and meditate on. They will use the things they see to filter what they believe is right for them and that is what will go down into their heart for them to live by. So, if you want your child to learn to guard his/her heart, teach him how to guard his eyes.

  • Be protective of what they watch on TV/Netflix
  • Monitor what kinds of movies they watch or want to watch
  • Be aware of where they go on the internet
  • Know what words and phrases they use in written conversation in texts, snap chats and so forth
  • Know what is in the books they read that aren’t schoolwork
  • Know what his/her friends values are


One of the best ways to teach your child to control his/her eyes is to focus on something other than what has inappropriately caught his attention. Look closely to see what your child is seeing that is so attractive to him/her. They idolize a musician? Ask your child to list 3 things he knows about this musician he should model his life after and 3 things he shouldn’t. Do the same with sports heroes.


Have you asked your 6 year old how he can get the Lego© set he covets? Is he willing to do extra chores to earn money to buy it? Have you asked your 8 year old why he mimics the actions of the kids in school who are troublemakers? Have you ever asked your pre-teen or teen if he/she is tempted to cheat on tests at school and what they do when they are? Have you ever asked this same child if he has watched shows on television he knows you wouldn’t approve of because his friends are watching them? Does he know what he can say to his friends to get them off his back?


When you have conversations like this with your kids let them know in advance they are not in trouble, or they won’t open up to you. The point of these types of conversations is not to find out what your kids are doing behind your back. It is to work with them to find things they can do when they are strongly tempted to do the wrong thing. If they have something in mind they can do instead, chances are good they will.


Your teenagers can learn to control what their eyes see and the best way to show them how to do so is to let them see you controlling yours. In the conversations we just mentioned, tell what you do when you are tempted in the same ways.


The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.

Luke 11:34


This is just 1 of 8 points you will find in the new Mom’s Notes presentation “Kid’s, Get Self-Control!” There are also 3 key points for parents of younger children. Available as MP3/CD PDF/Notes from our webstore

Kids, Get Self-Control!

StockSnap_F6KG0GB23AKids, Get Self-Control!

by Joey & Carla Link

March 7, 2018


When you think about it, it is kind of funny. Kids want to be in control and they want you to give it to them. However, they don’t want to use self-control to gain the freedom (control) they desperately want. Self-control is one of the most needed character traits in today’s society.  Yet it’s one of the most difficult to master. It’s also one of the fruits of God’s Spirit, evidence of His Spirit working in you.


How do you get your kids to work on getting self-control? We answer this in a brand new Mom’s Notes session titled “Kids, Get Self-Control!” It address specifics for younger kids and 8 key areas for kids 7-8 years and up with many ideas for parents to work on with their kids.


If you talk to your friends they will quickly tell you what area their children each need self-control in, whether it is their mouths, hands or feet. A key area we spend a lot of time on is getting self-control of their eyes. If our kids don’t develop self-control with their eyes, they will go after what they want, when they want it because the image won’t leave their mind.


Training kids to have self-control over one’s eyes will help them keep their eyes on their own paper at school, be content with the clothes they have, and make good choices about how they act or where they go and what they do. It would help them learn how to buy only things they can afford and to keep their thoughts pure when looking at members of the opposite sex.


There are so many things controlling our eyes can affect and impact our kids in so many ways.


Wise Solomon said it this way in Proverbs 25:28


“Like a city whose walls are

broken down is a man who

lacks self-control.”


Is your child like a city which has no walls? In biblical times, walls kept the cities protected from those who wanted to attack and take it over for their own gain. A child who hasn’t learned to control his/her eyes will grow into a teen who is vulnerable to temptation and won’t have the self-control to overcome it. Lust can overtake this teen and he goes too far with his girlfriend physically. When driving this teen leaves her cell phone on the seat next to her instead of in her bag and when it beeps, she doesn’t have the self-control to wait until she reaches her destination to look at it.


They don’t have the control to do the right thing when they are tempted with things they see, yet on the other hand this same child/teen can walk right past their bedroom and not see their bed isn’t made and the clothes all over the floor!


Your son creates intricate things with his Legos©, yet uses these same hands to smack his sister when she touches them. Your daughter slams the vacuum cleaner into the furniture and walls when she is completing her chores, yet she creates beautiful hairstyles when playing with her sister’s hair.


Every action our kids choose to do takes self-control. Listen to the NEW Mom’s Notes presentation “Kids, Get Self-Control!” on CD or MP3. You can order the Notes or get them on PDF at You will be blessed!


What Does God Have in Store For Your Kids?

What Does God Have in Store For Your Kids?

Joey & Carla Link

February 21, 2018



As parents do you ever look in on your kids while they are sleeping and simply stop to thank the Lord for them? Do you kneel by their bed, pray for them and ask God to use their lives? We know Psalm 139:13-14 says that:

“For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”


God doesn’t create something for nothing. Everything He creates He has a plan for, including your children and what they could do in this life.


I was impressed with this again when I read the story about Bobby Gruenewald. Someone most of you have never heard of, but someone you are grateful for because of what he did for you.


Bobby started and sold two technology companies before he graduated from college. Obviously this guy is crazy smart.


Bobby started volunteering for the church in his mid-twenties, where he was eventually hired. Although his contribution to the church was extraordinary, he didn’t feel like he was making a difference. Bobby considered quitting and going back into business.


It would have been much easier for him. As a pastor, he still had a lot to learn. Business was second nature to Bobby. But by the grace of God, he decided to stay in ministry. Among his many important contributions, Bobby came up with the YouVersion Bible App, an idea that has done more for Bible distribution than any idea since the printing press.


Around the time my kids were in 8th grade, I would take them out to lunch to begin asking them questions about their future and what God might have in mind for them. I remember my youngest daughter when we sat down said, “If this lunch is about what I want to do in life, I don’t know.” Her older siblings had warned her about this talk. I said that is OK. Let’s keep talking and exploring what gifts and talents God has given you and see how God could use your life for his honor and glory.


Today, I am not only pleased they love the Lord, but they look for ways to serve Him through their busy lives.


What natural skills, abilities, talents and desires did God give your kids that He wants to use in them? One of the greatest jobs of parents is to guide their kids in the way they need to go. How can you help your kids keep their focus on God so He can use their lives for the purposes He created them for?


  1. Make sure they are growing in their knowledge and understanding of God and living one’s life for Him.
  • Family Devotions
  • Personal Devotions
  • Read books on Christian growth
  • Attend Church weekly over other activities


  1. Encourage them to pursue their passion.
  • Understand their “passions” can and will change over time
  • Don’t let their pursuit overwhelm the rest of the family
  • Do be interested in what they are interested in


  1. Make sure they are well-rounded in sports, music, art and other non-academic areas of life.
  • Don’t overwhelm them with too many activities at one time. Other than weekly church kid’s program, one is enough.
  • Give them time to just be kids and play.
  • Encourage imaginative play like dressing up and having pretend dramas


  1. Make serving God a lifetime habit.
  • This starts with the family.
  • Have an area where you serve together.
  • It doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment. Greet newcomers at the door at church one Sunday a month. Work in the nursery as a family. Take cookies to elderly people in your neighborhood or church and play a game with them.


Growing up, it is possible Bobby Gruenewald was considered a nerd. He was likely too smart for others his age. Yet, as an adult he used the skills and talents God gave him to honor God, and God used them for purposes way beyond what Bobby could have thought or dreamed of. Don’t underestimate what God can do with your kids.


* Bobby Gruenewald story taken from “Divine Direction”, by Craig Groeschel