Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

The Secret To Building Persistence in Your Child

posted by Linda Mintle

child and screenPersistence is a trait that most parents want to see developed in their children. We know from research that persistent children are less likely to be delinquent and more likely to be engaged in school. What parent wouldn’t want to build this in their child?

The secret to building persistence is dads. A study in the Journal of Early Adolescence concludes that dads matter when it comes to developing persistence.

Brigham Young University researchers studied children from two-parent families and found that a dad’s parenting style, more so than a mom’s, influenced persistence in children. Specifically, dads who used an authoritative parenting style influenced their kids in a positive way when it comes to persistence.


Authoritative parenting is characterized by a warm style of lovingly listening, but also providing rules and structure. Rules are explained and autonomy is encouraged. So there is a nice balance between loving and accountability. This is in contrast to dads who are authoritarian-dictating to children what to do, or permissive-allowing the child to do whatever.

Every child needs a listening dad who sets structure and provides accountability in a way that is authoritative and loving. So dads, consider your parenting style. Are you building resilience and providing the right amount of structure to help your child grow in a way that helps him or her stay in the game and finish? You are a big influence in the development of your children. Use that influence to build persistence.



Reconciliation: The Willingness to Try Again

posted by Linda Mintle

unhappy coupleThe pain of a broken relationship is often difficult to heal. Years of hurt and resentment can feel too big to tackle. And the idea of embracing emotional pain without being able to control the other person means an uncertain outcome.

Reconciliation efforts are usually made because we still have feelings for the person and believe things could change.

Yet, pride can stop us from pursuing reconciliation. Reconciliation is blocked when we don’t admit wrongdoing and continue to blame others for our problems. The longer we wait, the more entrenched and estranged we become. We then begin to organize our lives without the people we once loved.


However, if we admit our faults, accept responsibility, and make every effort to repair the damage done, hope remains.

Reconciliation is possible in even the most difficult of relationships. It is an opportunity to grow beyond the past and the pain, with the hope of creating something new.

In Scripture, hope is referred to as a strong and confident expectation. The strength of that expectation comes because of what God can do in any situation. With hope, you expect without certainty and desire something better. Hope changes how we see ourselves and changes what we value. It affects our decisions to face conflict.

Hope opposes avoidance. It allows us to pursue a courageous life. More importantly, hope brings joy and peace into our lives. It protects us from becoming cynical or giving up. Keep hope alive. Reconciliation may be possible.


Excerpt and adapted from We Need To Talk by Linda Mintle, Ph.D. (Baker Books, 2015).






8 Prescriptions to Resist Taking Revenge

posted by Linda Mintle

We need to talkRevenge is an angry response to being treated in wrong ways, but it is not a godly response. Scripture tells us that revenge is the Lord’s and we need to leave it to him.

Revenge doesn’t solve anything anyway. It only ups the ante for more hate and anger, which negatively impacts the body, only serving to hurt the person seeking revenge. If you find yourself wanting revenge, these biblical prescriptions may help curb that urge.


  1. Be slow to speak and to become angry. “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).
  2. Examine your heart. What do you desire? “A quick-tempered person does foolish things, and the one who devises evil schemes is hated” (Prov. 14:17).
  3. Find the lesson in the anger. Is there something that needs to be corrected, changed, or dealt with better? Look for the lesson. “Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent” (Ps. 4:4).
  4. Observe your feelings. Acknowledge the feeling and then let it go. Practice calming techniques. “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city” (Prov. 16:32).
  5. Don’t allow your anger to escalate. “A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty; rescue them, and you will have to do it again” (Prov. 19:19).
  6. Regroup. “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end” (Prov. 29:11).
  7. Have a big-picture perspective. Is your anger worth the relationship? It is more important to be right than to be merciful? “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips” (Col. 3:8).
  8. Surround yourself with people who exercise self-control. “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered” (Prov. 22:24).


Excerpt from We Need To Talk by Linda Mintle (Baker Books, 2015)


10 Tips to Calm Anger in a Heated Conflict

posted by Linda Mintle

We need to talkOne of the keys to resolving conflict is to keep anger in control, to stay calm and not allow anger to overtake you. Here are 10 tips to help that process:

  1. Use humor to break the tension. Nothing lightens the atmosphere of a fight or argument that an appropriate joke or use of humor. This is one of the best ways to settle things down.
  2. Ask yourself if there is any truth to what the other person is saying. It’s easy to go on the defensive when confronted. But instead of reacting with anger, pause and ask if there is any truth to what the person is saying.
  3. Express some affection or a word of caring during an argument. Adding a positive in the middle of a problem softens the blow.
  4. Use a momentary distraction to lower tension. You can say something like, “Your hair sure looks good today.” Or “I know we are fighting but I’m thinking about how much I love you.”
  5. Agree to one point of positive change. If you stay angry, you can’t think. So slow down that anger emotion and think about a change you could make that would help the situation.
  6. Be empathetic. Empathy keeps anger levels down. If you can see the other person’s perspective, you will better understand the person and their motivation.
  7. Change your negative thought to a positive one that makes you feel valuable. If you really struggle with angry thoughts that come from feeling inadequate or worthless, think about a time you were successful or did something positive. Better yet, think about how God values you.
  8. Tolerate distress and tension, knowing it won’t last forever. This is part of maturing.
  9. Focus on your response as a choice. You can harm or help.
  10. Check your physical and mental states. If you are tired, sick, hungry, anxious, overwhelmed, etc., you are more likely to respond poorly. Wait until you feel better to address an important issue.


Excerpt and adapted from We Need to Talk by Linda Mintle, Ph.D. (Baker Books, 2015)



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