What Your Middle Schooler Needs from You

Teens with arms around each other's shoulders

The middle school years are a critical time in a child’s development, but it can be a difficult time for parents.

Middle schoolers are leaving behind elementary school and entering a larger environment with more classes, more students to rub shoulders with, and more responsibility. They’ll also face pressures they’ve never had to deal with before.

Helping your child through these changes is no easy task, but with a little guidance from our guest on today’s and tomorrow’s programs, Dr.

Estimated 100,000 Students Prepare for “Bring Your Bible to School Day” Tomorrow

Young girl reading the Bible

When we launched “Bring Your Bible to School Day” last year as a way to empower and encourage public school students from kindergarten to college to express their faith freely, we had no idea God was going to do so much with the event in such a little time.

An estimated 8,000 students celebrated their religious freedom and shared God’s hope in the program’s inaugural year. Tomorrow, we’re expecting an estimated 100,000 to participate!

Students all across the nation have already signed up to take part in “Bring Your Bible to School Day.” On our Facebook page, we’re reading story after story of excited students getting ready to stand unashamed for their faith.

Hope in the Face of Violence


The stories and scenes from Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, have become tragically familiar. Once again, a calm and peaceful setting is disrupted by violent gunfire, a massacre wrought by an individual targeting people of the Christian faith.

From Columbine High School and New Life Church here in Colorado, to churches in Charleston, South Carolina, and Fort Worth, Texas, and now, a school in Roseburg, Oregon, a chilling pattern has emerged. Innocent and unassuming people, many of them young students for whom their love of God frames everything else in life, are increasingly becoming the casualties of a red-hot abhorrence of Christianity.

Dr. John Trent’s Secret to Raising Great Kids

A loving family reading the Bible outside

If you’ve just recently discovered our ministry, welcome to Focus on the Family.

As our longtime friends will agree, if you explore our websites, read our magazines, or listen to our radio programs, you’ll find a wealth of practical, everyday advice for parents – things like strategies for effective discipline and tips for helping kids thrive with their siblings or at school.

But there may be no more important wisdom we share with parents than the kind of topic we’ll be talking about on our broadcast today.

WATCH: Exclusive Debut of Newsboys Video Kicks Off “Bring Your Bible to School Day”

Still from Newsboys' music video for "Guilty" promoting Bring Your Bible to School Day

Last year’s inaugural “Bring Your Bible to School Day” was huge, and this year’s event on Oct. 8 promises to be even bigger.

Just like last year, all 50 states will be represented. But where last year we had about 8,000 students participating, we’re expecting that number to be exponentially higher for the 2015 event.

Think about what God can do through multiple thousands of students, from kindergarten to college, bringing their Bibles to school as a visual way to celebrate religious freedom and share God’s hope with friends!

Teaching Good Manners to Your Kids


Sometimes parents think of a child’s manners in the most basic of terms, like table etiquette or how polite they are when guests come to the house. But the benefits don’t end there. Manners actually equip your children for success in their adult life.

To that end, a few years back, my wife and I enrolled our boys, Trent and Troy, in something called Cotillion. It’s all about teaching manners and preparing kids to interact with others as maturing young men and women.

The Best Thing A Man Can Accomplish

A loving family reading the Bible outside

To be a good father, you have to be a good man.

Not perfect. After all, there are no perfect dads or men.

You just have to be there.

Sadly, there are too many dads who aren’t. Twenty-five million children in the United States go to bed each night without their biological father in the home.

Statistically, these children are more likely to grow up in financially difficult circumstances and more likely to drop out of school.

Guest Blog: Why Homeschooling Was a Great Option For My Family

Walking family

I have, in my house, a rising Tiger. Our second born, Seth, begins his college career at Clemson this fall. He has always been, and remains, an amazing young man.

He is filled with both passion and compassion, he loves learning, reads voraciously, is strong as a bear and is an outstanding musician. He makes our parental hearts swell with love and pride. Oh, and for the record, he looks like me and is thus incredibly handsome.

How to Prepare for Middle School

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If you’re the parent of a middle schooler, I have a suggestion for you: buckle up.

This may be the most tumultuous time in childhood.

It’s like a prism that focuses a remarkable amount of life change into a short time span. Our two boys are smack in the center of their middle school years, so we’re witnessing it firsthand.

The physical, mental, and hormonal changes alone are intense. But many kids also face the added stress of leaving behind elementary school and entering a larger environment with more classes, new friends to meet, and more responsibility to bear.

How Does Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Impact Our Schools?

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We’re about to enter the first school year after the Supreme Court’s sweeping redefinition of marriage, a decision that will deeply impact our children’s schools and education. Today I want to share a Q&A with Focus on the Family’s Education Analyst, Candi Cushman, where she’ll help explain how the legalization of same-sex marriage will affect the way we educate our children.  –JD


Q. Give us the big picture: How will this court decision change the environment in our schools?