Why I Don’t Want Perfect Children

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Two male toddlers sticking out their tongues

These first few days of school remind us that our children grow up quickly. In the midst of those early years, the long nights, the crying and the diapers, to name just a few passages of early life with kids, it seemed like it would go on forever.

But then you’re walking your son or daughter by the hand into school, or dropping them at the bus stop, and suddenly you realize just how fast the seasons come and go.

Guest Post: 9 Things You Can Do to Prepare Your Child for a Great School Year

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Little girl raising her hand during class

It’s that time of year when parents are hustling to get the kids ready for the start of another school year, and to talk about a few back-to-school points I am turning to my friend Gaylen Kelton, MD, as my guest blogger today.

Dr. Kelton is a family physician and clinical professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. He is also the chairman of the Physicians Resource Council, a panel of physician experts who generously lend their time and talents to assist Focus on medical and health-related topics.

The Funny Things Kids Pray

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Three kids laying in fall leaves

Some time ago, a colleague tacked up the following sign above his door here at Focus:

Live Well (Philippians 1:27-28), Love Much (John 13:34-35), Laugh Often (Proverbs 17:22)

There is so much to say about each of these, but if laughter is truly good medicine, I thought I’d end the week by sharing something sweet – and comical, with you.

Riley was five years old. His father is on our team here at Focus, and he and his wife have made a habit of recording some of the more memorable comments the little tyke makes, especially at bedtime.

Pursuing Passion in Your Marriage

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Married couple standing forehead to forehead and smiling

I tried this little exercise once and found it revealing. Maybe you’d find it helpful as well.

It works like this:

Write down everything you do in a typical week. Among other things, your list might include working at your job, enjoying a hobby, or tinkering with projects around the house.
Next, place a check mark by the items you do out of obligation, and a heart by the activities you do from a sense of passion.

12 Suggestions for Loving a Prodigal Child

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teen boy looking out in distance

The following is excerpted from a previous post (which can be found here):

I recently came across an excellent article from Abraham Piper, the son of author and pastor John Piper. For parents who are currently struggling with a child (of any age) who has either strayed from their Christian faith or never professed Jesus as Lord of their life, this will serve as practical guidance to help you manage what is a very difficult reality.

This Secret Can Change Your Life

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Girl pondering the Word of God

Over sixty years ago, Earl Nightingale, a former United States Marine who had been one of only twelve survivors of the bombing of the U.S.S. Arizona at Pearl Harbor, struck upon an idea.

At the time of his epiphany, he was an announcer at the legendary Chicago radio station WGN. Residents of the Windy City were drawn to his soothing, sonorous voice. But it was off the air, while reading a book by Napoleon Hill, a well-known motivational writer and speaker of that era, that Nightingale’s revelation came to him, like “a bolt out of the blue,” he said.

How to Help Help Your Child Thrive in the Middle School Years

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Teens with arms around each other's shoulders

By the time kids enter middle school, their march toward independence is well under way.

But let’s face it – it can be a confusing time for parents.

When a child spreads his wings, it can feel like he’s turning his back on you instead. But that’s not really the case. Your middle schooler needs you as much as he always has.

In some ways, more.

He just needs you in a different way than he did in his formative years.

Did You Know This Influences the Success of Your Marriage?

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Husband doing the laundry

When you ask couples which household issues influence the success of a marriage, things like kids and finances usually rise to the top.

But did you know that chores rank third on that list?!

How can something as simple as housework fuel conflict in a marriage?

Rather easily it turns out. As we all know, life gets busy. Not long after the “I do’s,” couples tend to get focused on (or maybe I should say, “distracted by”) the household tasks they care about, while forgetting the burdens their spouse is carrying.

What Andy Rooney Thought Every Child Should Have

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Toddler in a cowboy hat

Although he struck many of us as something of a curmudgeon, I enjoyed watching and reading Andy Rooney over the years.

Mr. Rooney lived a long and colorful life before passing away at the age of 92. Many of his newspaper columns were compiled into various books.  The following essay that I’m going to excerpt, “What Every Kid Should Have Growing Up,” comes from one of his best-selling works titled Sweet and Sour.

Reading over this list, I have to admit that I wish I had all these things growing up.

How to Know If You’re Making Healthy Food Choices for Your Family

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Little girl eating a hamburger

It’s up to parents to show their family how to live a healthy lifestyle. But as you’ve probably discovered, that can be easier said than done. The labels on packages can be tricky. And just how many grams of fat and carbs should be in our diet anyway?

If you’re wondering how to help your family make good food choices, we hope you’ll join us this week for our three-day broadcast series titled, “Sound Advice on Healthy Eating,” with our guest, registered dietician David Meinz.