Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Taming the Lecture Bug

Many of the products we review are geared toward the kids--new curricula, fun games, books, and online resources--but every now and then, I get something for me. Presents for Mom are great, right? But what about when those new things just for Mom are humbling and sting a little?

I'm sure that wasn't exactly the intent of Joey and Carla Link when they wrote the book Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think and then created the accompanying instructional DVD. Their goal in these resources is the same as the name of their company: Parenting Made Practical. They aim to "encourage and equip parents to practically raise obedient, respectful, and responsible children in today's world." The couple has been ministering for over two decades including youth groups, family services, and social work. More than helping others though, they have raised three children of their own and have had much personal, hands-on experience.

Taming the Lecture Bug is a book to help parents stop lecturing their kids, and instead, get them to think. The Links explain what a lecture is, why parents resort to them, and how they are harmful. They don't just leave you there though; they replace that useless behavior with positive, beneficial solutions. The book is filled with personal examples and biblical teaching. You can get an idea of their teaching style by the choice of chapter titles:

  • Blah, Blah Blah
  • Kids Need to Think
  • Responsibility = Ownership
  • How Parents Stop Kids from Thinking
  • Why Kids Don't Think
  • The "Me, Myself, and I" Syndrome
  • Re-Training a Stubborn Heart
  • The Art of Asking Questions
  • Put Your Child's Thinking Cap On
  • The Why Questions
  • Children Can Escape Temptaion
  • Getting Your Child to Own His Behavior

The Taming the Lecture Bug video is a condensed version of the book. The video is part of the Links' "Parent's Night Out" series and was recorded live. The audience can be seen engaged and taking notes through the 53-minute session. The teaching is not scripted, but real. Joey seems comfortable in front of people and is a natural speaker. Carla is more reserved. I get the idea that she prefers to work one-on-one to help people, instead of being in the spotlight. That is in no way a negative in the video as it shows how passionate she is about this subject. She's willing to step out of her comfort zone to teach the truths that she and her husband have learned over the years. 

The video often shows what looks like notes on the screen. It lists key points with blanks that are filled in with a text of a different color. I'm assuming they are part of the night out series, but could easily be jotted down on your own. There is also an example situation with one of their daughters. First, Joey shows how not to respond when your child does something she should not. Then, they go through the scene again, but with a proper discussion between the two. It's one thing to read advice, but even more helpful to see it put it action. 

The Links have filled their resources with much practical knowledge. I am not normally one to mark in my books, but I have highlighted many portions of this one.

"The lessons we learn from poor choices are memorable."

". . . not just about disobeying their mother, it is about determining the character of who they are going to become as they grow and mature."

"When kids don't learn to think, process information, make decisions and be responsible, 
they are dependent on others to do it for them."

"Parents need to be more concerned with the motivation behind their kids choices 
than what the choice actually is."

That's just a sampling of the wise council that can be found in their teachings. One thing that they stress is asking your child questions. Those questions help you understand your child, expose the sin in their heart, get them to think, help them to take ownership of their choices, and strengthen the bond between you both. This is something that my husband and I have been doing for a long time. It's encouraging to see when you are doing something right.

Even though the principles described in this book are ones that we try to implement in our home, it's easy to slack at times. Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think helped me to be more consistent in training and understanding my kids. The Links have a conversational style that makes the book easy to read. Some other Crew members were able to review some of the Links' other books, like Why Can't I Get My Kids to Behave? and What Every Child Should Know Along the Way along with a few of the videos. If you have kids or work with kids, I'd encourage you to check out some of these resources for practical parenting help.

You can connect with Parenting Made Practical on the following social media sites:

If you'd like to see how other families use these resources or some of the other products offered by this company, please read the reviews on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

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