Tips for Budgeting for Back-to-School Spending

Multigenerational family in kitchen

A new school year is just around the corner, and you know what that means:

The annual hunt for school supplies.

Did you know preparing for school in the fall is, on average, a family’s second largest expenditure each year, outranked only by Christmas?

Maybe that comes as a surprise to you, but I’m sure this won’t: The time and cost required of parents to get their kids ready for a new school year can not only put a strain on their wallet, but on their marriage.

Guest Post: Does New Research Prove Kids Do Better with Two Moms?

Newlywed Couple Holding Hands

Today’s post comes courtesy of Glenn Stanton, Focus on the Family’s director of Family Formation Studies.

A new study from the University of Melbourne in Australia on how kids from same-sex homes fare is getting a good deal of press. Perhaps you’ve seen the news stories and wondered if this changes the nature of the debate over the importance of the family?

It does not.

This new study gives the same kind of findings we’ve seen before, coming from the same kinds of studies with the same kinds of serious short-comings and method problems.

How to Balance a Busy Family Life

Multigenerational family in kitchen

Life just keeps moving faster and faster for all of us.

With jobs and kids and all that goes into running a household, daily life can be difficult to balance.

Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to make that task a little easier.

The first idea comes from my friend and former Focus board member, Al Mohler. Like most of us, he leads a busy life. And it was busy in the early years of his family as well.

How to Keep Your Priorities in Order

Pouring Sand into of a Jar

I often hear from folks who want to reprioritize their lives. They just don’t know how.

I get it.

The world is moving faster and growing more hectic for all of us. It’s easy to feel pressured to do it all. From our jobs and the bills to school plays and soccer practice, everything seems important. But all that busyness leaves us with crumbs of time to scrape together for family and friends, and, yes, even God.

The Three Most Common Regrets of the Dying


Every so often it’s good to get little reminders that serve as something of a reset button for what’s truly important in life.

I recently experienced that when a colleague of mine shared some thoughts he found online from a palliative care nurse.

As you can imagine, when each work day is spent caring for folks in the final weeks of their lives, the subject matter tends to dip below the surface to what’s truly meaningful.

Research Suggests Loving Dads Help Pass On Faith to Kids

dad hugs and kisses young daughter

In a previous blog post, I wrote about passing along a faith that lasts to your children. That post focused on the most important thing parents can do: live out a vibrant faith themselves.

Today I want to share with you additional research that suggests another helpful dimension to helping your kids inherit your faith.

As it turns out, that element has a lot to do with Dad.

The power of love and affection

In a New York Times article that ran earlier this year, Prof.

Is There a Right Time to Start a Family?

mother and father's arms cradle newborn

The headline certainly draws you in: “Don’t Call Me Grandma: Births to ‘Older’ Moms on the Rise.” The report from NBC News highlights the growing trend of women over age 35 who are having their first baby.

Delaying pregnancy has become the new normal, and there are many reasons why this is so. First of all, men and women are both marrying at an older age. Another reason is many people – most markedly, women – are pursuing college or advanced degrees that pressure them to dedicate time to developing their careers instead of starting a family.

Happy Father’s Day to All the Unsung Heroes

Father giving piggy-back ride to young son

In my latest book, “The Good Dad,” I spent a lot of time and pages on the importance of dads simply “being there” for their kids.

“Our kids aren’t asking for perfection,” I wrote. “They’re asking for our presence – to show up for the job each and every day. They’re asking us to be there for them, to guide them, to hug them.”

When we’re there with them, accompanying them in the trenches of everyday life, we’re able to serve as a guiding influence over our children.

Did a Teacher Make a Difference in Your Life?

Teacher's apple on stack of books

The title of “teacher” is a great one. It conveys passing along wisdom, knowledge and nurturing.

Most of us, looking back, can identify at least one teacher who poured into us. It might have been the elementary school teacher who comforted us, or the high school teacher who encouraged us to believe that God made us capable of achieving our dreams. Whatever it was, their care made a big difference in our lives.

He saw my potential

I remember my “teacher.” He was my high school football coach, Paul Moro.

Would You Choose a Pet Over a Child?

Puppy sitting on grass

They call them “fur babies,” and many couples in the U.S. are opting for them. One headline aptly described it this way: “Americans are having dogs instead of babies.”

The United States isn’t unique in this trend. We’ve seen for a while now how birth rates worldwide are plummeting and the number of pets are increasing. Japan, a country where sales of adult diapers outnumber those of baby diapers, has a population of more than 22 million pampered pets versus only 16.6 million children under 15.