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“Me, Me, Me!” Kids

“Me, Me, Me!” Kids

Joey & Carla Link

May 20, 2020

The “Me! Me! Me!” epidemic is bigger than the pandemic ever will be. Parents get frustrated when they have to constantly tell their kids to share, to be kind, and so on. Kids think about what they want and they think what they want should be thepriority in yours and their siblings minds.
This can be seen when:
  • Your children have to play a game they don’t want to play and they sulk, pout, and complain throughout the entire game.
  • Your kids don’t appreciate the meal you made for dinner. They demand what they want to eat and refuse to eat at all if they don’t get it.
  • One of your kids doesn’t like the movie someone else in the family chose to watch and even though it was their sibling’s turn to choose, this kid tries to talk him into watching the one he wants.
Children 3 and under don’t understand why they shouldn’t demand what they want. You get to teach them that life doesn’t work that way by being consistent in not giving in to their demands and being willing to deal with the fit that will come.
How can parents work on their kids when they are focusing on themselves?
  • 3 Good Things – From the time our kids started public elementary school, Carla would ask them on the walk home to tell her about their day. Most of what they said was always negative. So she told our kids they had to tell her 3 good things that had happened that day before they could tell her anything negative.

Our kids got into the habit of sharing 3 good things and they did so all through their school years including high school. We started asking them for 3 good things that happened after any event they went to as well. Often, after they shared the good things the bad things didn’t seem so important to them anymore.

  • Others First – Both our moms used to say, “When your friends come over and they don’t want to play what you want to play, as guests in your house they get to choose.” That is just the way it was when we were growing up.

3 questions to put others first: When our kids were being selfish in their interactions with their siblings or us, we would ask them this question: “Who are you thinking of right now?” They had to reply they were thinking of themselves. We followed that up with “Who should you be thinking of right now?” Their response would be the person they weren’t being kind to. Our next question was, “What can you do to show him you are thinking of him before yourself?” If they couldn’t come up with something they could do, they had to sit and think about it until they could. These questions backed them into a corner they could not squeeze out of.


At dinner each night, go around the table and have each person share one way they thought of someone else more than themselves that day. If your kids can’t come up with anything you can share something you might have noticed they did for one of their siblings. If Dad is consistent about asking each night, your kids will start to do things for others just so they will have something to share!

“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this:
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no other commandment greater than these.
Mark 13:30-31
Love God first then everyone else.
Where does loving yourself come in?

Teaching Kids to be Patient

Teaching Kids to be Patient

Joey & Carla Link
May 13, 2020
What parent hasn’t told their kids they need to be patient? For a lot of you that could be a daily mantra. Let’s face it, no one is patient all the time, but if you have a problem in this area, and most people with the Sanguine and Cholerictemperaments do, then teaching this to your kids is an even bigger dilemma. It’s best to work on your own need for patience with your kids.

If you tell your kids to be patient, what exactly are you asking them to do? It is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay without getting angry or upset. So if you promise your children you are going to a waterpark this weekend and your husband gets called in to work, this definition says if they are patient your kids will accept the delay without getting upset or angry.

To be patient takes self-control. So why are you expecting your kids who aren’t consistent in showing self-control to be patient? Teaching your child to have self-control is a building block in the foundation of teaching them to wait. Patience is “waiting” and that is how to describe it and refer to it to young children.

How can parents teach kids to learn to wait? Here are 3 key ways to accomplish this.

1. Use opportunities that occur during the day to teach them what “waiting” looks like. When you are getting ready to go somewhere, this is a great time to teach patience. Ask them to get their shoes on and wait by the door. Ask them to tell you what “waiting” looks like. Then ask them if you can trust them to wait in the way they just described to you.

2. Use tasks and skills to teach them nothing comes easy. I (Carla) taught piano for many years. I would warn parents of beginning students if their child couldn’t play their assigned songs right away they would ask to quit lessons. Patience is necessary to learn to play an instrument, a sport or learn any academic subject because many steps have to be learned well to produce the desired result. Learning patience in tasks and skills is key to a child’s emotional growth.

3. Use chores and homework to teach them to take the time to do it right. Once you tell your kids how you want the chore done, if they didn’t do it right or completely, instead of lecturing them, tell them to sit to get their heart right. When they come to you to apologize, to make it right they should be willing to do the chore or schoolwork correctly, with a good attitude. After the chore/schoolwork is done correctly, give them the consequence of doing more chores during their free time that day.

In Galatians 5:22-23 patience is listed as a fruit of the Spirit of God. This means when you and/or your child are working on it you can always pray and ask God to help you wait. Ultimately, the biggest reason everyone needs to learn patience is so we will be able to wait on God for His timing which is rarely our timing.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
Galatians 5:22-23
For more information check out the Mom’s Notes listed below!
“Understanding Character Training, Pt. 1 Laying the Foundation”
MP3  PDF  CD  Notes
“Understanding Character Training, Pt. 2  Getting to the Heart of Your Child”
MP3  PDF  CD  Notes
“Kids, Get Self-Control”
MP3  PDF  CD  Notes

Take Time for a Mom Recess!

Take Time for a Mom Recess!

Joey & Carla Link
May 6, 2020
When Moms are in the trenches with their kids, either all day or after work, it can sometimes seem like plowing through 6 feet of mud. In these times it’s easy to lose perspective, especially when you’ve hada bad day either at work, with a friend or with a child who has tested your patience.
You can feel melancholy and discouraged not knowing if you are doing what is right or even making a difference in a child’s life, let alone being a good wife. What can you do to regain perspective?
Take a Recess! When kids go to school, they go out for recess. We often think this is only for kids, but it’s also for the teacher. Teachers need a break from their students in-between subjects to take a deep breath and refocus their energy on what’s next on the schedule. Mom’s need recess too; even if it’s only for 10-15 minutes to catch a break, refocus and if necessary, to regain perspective. How can you take a recess when you have little ones running around?
Put young kids in a playpen or on blanket time in their rooms and give them something they like to do to play with. Older kids can finish morning chores or be assigned to do something that will keep them occupied for that time. Have them go to separate places so they aren’t interacting with each other. Let them know you can’t be interrupted until the timer goes off, and keep the door to your bedroom ajar to hear if you are needed. Just as kids don’t come in from recess until the bell rings, 10 -15 minutes of uninterrupted time can be like taking a shower in the morning. It can and should be a time to settle down your emotions when you are having a bad day, and a refreshing break when your day is going fine.
What can you do in 10 minutes?
  • Make a cup of tea
  • Read 1-2 chapters of a book
  • Have your devotions
  • Catch up on social media
  • Take a shower
  • Pick up a room so you feel like you have your house back.
LIFELINE: Every person has a lifeline friend. Whether it is your mother, sister, mentor or a special friend, contact the one who seems to have the right words to say to give you perspective when you are blinded by hurtful or negative emotions. Sometimes you just need to vent and that is okay too.  Give them a quick call or text to share your burden, craziness of life or the funniest or silly thing your child did or said that day. See what words of wisdom or laughter they might have to encourage you along the way.
GOAL: Remember your calling and the goals you have for training your children. God called you to be a mother, just like He called Mary to be Jesus’ mother, when he allowed you to become pregnant with each child you have. When He created each of your children He decided you were the very best person in the entire world to raise him/her. God has a plan for each child He chooses to give you. Your job is to share with your kids how to live for Him here on this earth so they can bring glory to His name and others will come to know Him as a result.
HOW? You do this by living out these words – “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”  (I Corinthians 11:1) Your kids will pick up so much more from what they see you do versus what you tell them to do, so live like Christ so they will see Christ in and through you. Even on your bad days.
Tell your kids, “I do this because this is how Jesus wants me to live.” When you are having a bad day, tell your kids “I shouldn’t have done that and I have already confessed that to Jesus and asked His forgiveness and now I am asking for yours.” This will teach them what true repentance is more than anything you can show or tell them to do.
Being a mom may not always be easy, but it is one of the most rewarding roles in life. When you are in your senior years of life, the relationship you have with your children and grandchildren and the joy in seeing them raise their own kids with honor and purpose will mean more to you than any task you completed, book you read or time you spent on your phone.
When Mary saw her son Jesus, the Son of God hanging on the cross for the sins of the world, I am certain her heart was in pain and agony knowing He was suffering such a painful and public death for something He didn’t deserve. But she also had fulfilled satisfaction knowing her son did what God wanted Him to do and He changed the world forever. Because of what Jesus did for us, we have eternal life.
Pray and thank God for your children and the blessing and privilege you have to be a Mom. Then ask God for wisdom on how to train your kids so they will want to bring favor and glory to Him.

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


. 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