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Sibling Conflicts

A friend of mine with three teen boys once said they never get into fights.  Wow!  I can’t relate to that.  My mom and dad did a good job encouraging me and my two brothers to love one another, and we’re best friends today.  But we still had brotherly brawls and beat each other up on a few occasions when we were kids.  Now, I’m not advocating that, but sibling conflicts do occur.  So try not to get down about it. ...
Jul 29, 2013 / Discipline

How to Be Your Spouse's Teammate in Parenting

My wife, Susan, and I know it’s really important to be on the same team, especially when it comes to raising our kids. But it’s one of those things that’s easier said than done. I’ll confess; we haven’t always been good teammates.  But we’re always working on it. You see, even if you and your spouse have already sat down and agreed on things like where your kids will go to school, what kind of movies they can...
Jul 19, 2013 / Discipline

How to Parent Back Talking Children

If you are a parent, at some point, the answer has probably been a resounding “Yes”!  But, all back talking is not the same.  Identifying the type can often lead to the solution.  There are four kinds of back talkers. First, the impulsive back talker. This is the child who blurts out whatever they think without considering the consequences.  The solution?  Tell them to pause, count to five and say the words in...
Jul 09, 2013 / Discipline

Children and Cheating

My kids have said to me, “Dad, everybody cheats at school!”  Well, it may not be everybody, but a recent survey says three out of four high school students admitted to cheating on an exam at least once in the past year. Their reason? They say that it’s ok to cheat if you need to make a good grade…but it's not. Tell your children why cheating is wrong. First, cheating is stealing…and that’s against the law. ...
Apr 05, 2013 / Discipline

5 Ideas for Effective Discipline

Do you know the power of silence?  I’m Mark Merrill with today’s Family Minute.  Sometimes we think that repeating ourselves over and over again in an angry, raised voice is the only way to get our children to obey.  I’m definitely guilty of that.  But here is a better way… Look your child in the eye.  Say it once in a calm, firm voice, and then be silent.  For example, you say, “Matthew, please brush your teeth...
Mar 26, 2013 / Discipline

3 Phases of Creating Boundaries for Your Kids

Imagine…no rules, no boundaries on the basketball court.  Players can run wherever they want…and there’s never a foul.  Well, you get the picture…it would be pure chaos.  You can’t have a game without boundaries, and you can’t have a sane home without going through these 3 phases of creating boundaries for your kids.  And those boundaries for your children must be decided by you in advance and shared with your...
Mar 29, 2012 / Discipline

3 R's of Effective Discipline

I call it the 3 R's of discipline—remove, reflect and reconnect. First remove. When your child misbehaves, immediately remove him from the situation and send him to his room. When you feel like your child has a calm spirit, move onto the next "R," Reflect. When you and your child reflect, you discuss what happened. Ask your child three questions: "What did you do wrong?" "Why was it wrong?" And "What are you going...
Oct 25, 2011 / Discipline



The Family Minute is a daily radio feature that offers everyday advice on marriage, parenting, and family relationships.

Mark Merrill

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