How Mental Illness Impacts Families

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Depressed Woman

Many of you commented on and shared my recent blog post, “Could Robin Williams’ Faith Have Prevented His Suicide?”

That’s not surprising because mental illness directly impacts about one in four individuals… yet sadly, it sometimes seems that the Christian community doesn’t talk about the issue as often and as thoroughly we should.

Focus on the Family is hoping to help change that by helping families and churches better understand topics related to mental health – things like depression, bipolar and schizophrenia.

Guest Post: Is Spanking Child Abuse?

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Upset toddler boy

It seems like, more and more, the use of spanking as a form of child discipline is being questioned by parents. Focus on the Family recently had an opportunity to address the issue in TIME Ideas. Dr. Jared Pingleton, the director for our counseling department, wrote the piece. –JD

Spanking Can Be an Appropriate Form of Child Discipline

NFL running back Adrian Peterson’s recent arrest for allegedly abusing his 4-year-old son has once again sparked the debate over whether spanking is an appropriate form of discipline.

How to Overcome the Potty-Training Woes

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It’s one of those lighthearted list-type articles that make for fun reading:

NPR’s recent “Global Parenting Habits That Haven’t Caught On In the U.S.” shows just how much culture impacts childrearing. I can only imagine that most American parents’ jaws will drop at the second item on the list – a claim that Vietnamese parents potty-train their babies by 9 months.

9 months?

Pretty hard to believe, yes? Apparently the secret lies in the Pavlov-like trick of whistling when the baby starts going to the bathroom.

Are Youth Sports Coddling Our Kids?

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Two children watching a sports practice

You’ve likely seen the nostalgia-laced posts comparing life as a kid “back then” to life today, from school to the playground and everywhere in between.

For example, a recent list contrasted a 1970s school lunch with the typical fare of a child in 2014:

1970s: “Spread yellow mustard on bread. Slap baloney on bread. Unwrap American cheese slices and put on top of baloney. Put top on sandwich and wrap sandwich in tin foil or wax paper.

17 Pearls of Wisdom

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Grandfather laughing with grandson

I asked several of my colleagues here at Focus for their best dose of homespun parenting counsel. It should be a given that we’re to introduce our children to the Lord and disciple them throughout their childhood and beyond. I was mainly asking them for some very practical nuggets of wisdom.

Here is what they told me they regularly tell their children:

It’s never as good as you hear or as bad as you feel.
Learn to remember names.

Too Busy to Rest?

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Exhausted woman pausing to rest while doing the laundry

I often feel like I’m burning the candle at both ends. I imagine the same may be true for you.

No matter how much we get done, there’s always one more thing to do.

And rest? There’s hardly time for that, is there?

I confess I’ve had moments where relaxing seemed like a waste of time. It felt like the absence of something – like an empty space where productivity ought to be – rather than an active and beneficial component to my life.

Race, Resentment and the Pathway Towards a Colorblind Society

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Man holding Bible

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a day I don’t remember, but a day that’s had an impact on my life, and likely on yours, too.

I’ve been thinking about August 28th, 1963 – exactly fifty-one years ago tomorrow, in fact.

I was just two years old and living in West Covina.

Life is simple for a two-year-old, but 3,000 miles away in Washington D.C., a dramatic moment was underway. There, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Does Your Child Have a Bad Attitude? Try These 3 Things

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Child folding arms in defiance of his dad

With school back in session in many parts of the country, it might be necessary to tweak our child’s attitude. After all, going from a life of leisure to the rigors of the classroom can be a bit jarring.

According to our counselors here at Focus, a common motivation for a child’s negativity is simply to get attention.  If you suspect this is your child’s goal, there are a few ways to teach him or her not to complain.

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.

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.