Tips for Budgeting for Back-to-School Spending

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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?

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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.

Testifying to the Gospel of God’s Grace

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The Daly family on vacation

Our family is visiting Mt. Rushmore this 4th of July weekend. In the visitor center Tom Brokaw narrates a film about Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor who carved the four Presidents’ images—Washington, Jefferson, T. Roosevelt and Lincoln—into the granite. Brokaw says of those who worked on the mountain, “… these were ordinary men accomplishing extraordinary things.”

It made me think of our Christian faith. Yes, we are ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things through Christ. In fact, this testimony came to us this week.

Research Suggests Loving Dads Help Pass On Faith to Kids

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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.

Happy Father’s Day to All the Unsung Heroes

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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.

Would You Choose a Pet Over a Child?

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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.

What Do You Do for Family Fun?

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young boy swimming in ocean

While we’re still a few weeks from the official start of summer on June 21, the Daly Family already has a summer kind of mind.

My wife Jean snapped this picture of the boys and me after we had enjoyed some time boogie boarding in Corona del Mar, California and were at the Shake Shack to watch the sunset.

We make it a point to spend some family time just having fun every summer – after all, laughing and playing together is a great way to make some treasured memories.

Parenting the Strong-Willed Child as a Team

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Three kids laying in fall leaves

Let’s be honest: Parenting isn’t for the weak – especially when you’re raising a strong-willed child.

It’s not fun when a pint-sized little one defiantly refuses to obey or when a 14-year-old talks back. Our natural instincts want to kick in. It’s all too easy to respond in anger.

My wife, Jean, and I know this well. We have two teenage boys, and one of them is a strong-willed child. It’s interesting to look back over the years and see how he’s impacted Jean and me in different ways.

Should 2-Year-Olds Be Given Medication for ADHD?

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Two male toddlers sticking out their tongues

It’s an unsettling trend that’s quickly gaining speed: toddlers are increasingly being prescribed drugs for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

A recent article from the Today Show cites the number of U.S. 2- and 3-year-olds receiving the medication at 10,000.

Are these drugs necessary?

Let’s be honest: toddlers can be a rowdy bunch. It’s not easy to parent during these years and keep up with the constant running, screaming, climbing, and curiosity that’s characteristic of this age.

But when you think about it, toddlers are active because it’s their “job” to play.

Santa Barbara Killings Remind Us of Violent Video Games’ Role in Culture

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Profile view of a young man

Video games are in the news more and more – and usually, it’s not for good reasons.

Gaming is sometimes blamed in the growing trend where young men are finding it increasingly difficult to achieve major life milestones like moving out of their parents’ house, going to college, getting married and starting a family. Some of these men are stuck in a prolonged adolescence; one stat says 18-to- 34-year-old men spend more time playing video games than 12-to- 17-year-old boys.