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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.

Loving Your Family

Loving Your Family

Joey & Carla Link


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!

What is on Your Finger?

What is on Your Finger?

Joey and Carla Link

February 8, 2017
Has your child ever looked at the wedding ring on your finger? Do you have a toddler who holds your hand while waiting for something and starts playing with it? It doesn’t take long for kids to realize that ring means you are married to their mommy/daddy. Have you ever explained to your middle school age child what that ring means and why you wear it?
In today’s world, where marriage and commitment mean less and less and the LGBT is not only becoming more and more accepted as a normal lifestyle but it is talked about in public elementary schools and kids are coming “out” in bigger numbers, biblical marriage is no longer the only definition of marriage anymore.
Your wedding ring is a terrific symbol to use to teach your kids what marital love is as well as what you believe about marriage and alternative marriage lifestyles. Telling your kids what you believe and why is not a onetime event, it needs to be taught in various ways over and over and over throughout the years.
I (Joey) started teaching about dating when I was a youth pastor in Southern California. Although it has been available in CD audio format for a while, we have finally put this material on a DVD. In our “Dating, Courting and Choosing a Mate, What Works?”  DVD and audio teaching, we encourage parents to take their kids out before they start dating and having a “ring talk”. This is a time to pull from all the teaching and reminders you have given them over the years and ask them for a commitment to stay sexually pure until their wedding night. We had each of our kids (when it was their turn for this talk) dress up and we took them to a “nice” restaurant for a special night with us. After we talked with them, we gave each of them a ring.
A ring is like a symbol mentioned in Deuteronomy 6:8, “Tie them as symbols on your hands.” It is a reminder to not only fear the Lord, but to also remind us how to live for God with every part of our lives. Our three kids each chose a different way to give the ring back on their wedding day. Well, I didn’t get my son’s back, his wife wanted it so he gave it to her, and that was good enough for me! I knew they had indeed been faithful to their vow of purity before marriage.
When our first grandchild was born to our son Michael and his wife Rachael, our daughter Amy, a professional photographer who loves taking pictures of babies took a picture that has been overwhelming to me. They took both their purity rings that had their names on them and placed them on the big toes of our grandson’s feet while he was laying in the bassinet in the hospital. It’s a symbol of their love and commitment that bore him out of a pure and holy relationship that they had and will pass on to him as he grows up.


How are you passing on what you believe about Christian marriage versus today’s alternative lifestyles? It’s one thing to say “that is not what we believe” but parents today need to educate their kids and explain to them why God and you believe it’s wrong and share the blessing of waiting. How are you going to communicate what you believe to your kids and help them find a mate for life that shares Godly values and beliefs? Our new “Dating, Courting and Choosing a Mate, What Works?” DVD and booklet can be a helpful tool to teach your kids what you believe as well as help them work through a dating philosophy to use to find their soul mate. The end of the booklet has many testimonies from young people who have used this teaching and are thankful they did.

The Video Store

The Video Store

Joey & Carla Link

January 2017



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?


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.