Should Parents Reason with Young Children?

Two male toddlers sticking out their tongues

I think almost every parent can relate to this scenario:

You give your 6-year-old a clear instruction to follow. But instead of doing what he’s told, he looks at you and, with a straight face asks, “Why?”

Believe it or not, how you respond to that question as a parent is more crucial than you might think.

There was a time in our society when a “Why do I have to?” from a child would get an immediate “Because I said so” from the parent.

How To Respond When Your Teen Daughter Announces She’s Pregnant

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Have you ever ridden one of those amusement park rides that spin at dizzying speeds just before the floor drops out? They leave you glued to the wall, holding on for dear life.

Well, if you’ve ever had a teen daughter shock you with the announcement, “I’m pregnant,” I’m guessing you can relate.

You probably felt like your world was spinning, and the floor had dropped out from beneath you.

The shock is understandable.

The question is, how should a parent respond?

4 Tips for Parenting an Adult Child Who Has Made Poor Choices

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Unfortunately, even good parents might one day see their adult children make poor choices. Here at Focus we’ve spoken with many heartbroken moms and dads who are grappling to understand and respond well to their grown kids’ decisions.

Here are four tips from our counselors on how parents can help their child get back on track.

1. Ease your guilt.
Every parent makes mistakes. However, as an adult, your son or daughter is now old enough to make their own choices and to take responsibility for them.

Parenting the Strong-Willed Child as a Team

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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.

Is Your Family’s Schedule Overwhelmed?


I’ve got a riddle for you. “You can spend it, but you can’t keep it. And once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.” Do you know what it is? Here’s a clue:

Let’s say you win a contest. The grand prize is $86,400 wired into your bank account each day at midnight. The money is yours to spend however you want. There’s just one catch. At the end of the day, every penny you don’t spend disappears from your account.

Avoid the Chore War with Your Kids

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Do you require your children to do chores? Many parents don’t bother. They’ve decided it’s easier to do the work themselves. That’s especially true if the kids fight the idea of helping out around the house and getting them involved becomes a chore all its own.

My wife and I have had moments ourselves where we wondered if it was worth all the trouble. But we never entertain the idea for long. As parents of two young, maturing boys, we’ve identified household chores as one of the most obvious and important opportunities they have to prepare for adulthood.

How Would You Answer This Critical Question?

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I decided to sit down with my boys over the Christmas break and have a talk with them.

We’ve already had THE talk about the birds and the bees. Trent is now 14 and Troy is 12. Like it or not, they’re well on their way toward the battles of life.

In fact, we regularly talk about the big issues of sex, drugs and drinking.  We have a mantra in our home which both boys can recite.

How to Be a Good Dad When You Didn’t Have One

Jim Daly and sons

If you want to know how much dads matter in the lives of their children, ask me – I didn’t grow up with a dad.

My biological dad, stepdad and foster dad were all out of my life by the time I turned 13.

It’s tough to go through life with a father who’s either physically or emotionally absent. But don’t take my word for it; just look at the statistics. They’ll show you how things go awry when a dad’s not at home.

VIDEO: This Little Girl’s Life Was Saved During a Football Game

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It was January 2010 when word got out that Focus was planning to air a pro-family commercial during Super Bowl XLIV.

Except many in the media were calling it an “anti-abortion” commercial – and many abortion rights groups were irate. Their condemnation was harsh. Many called on CBS to cancel our ad, despite not having even seen it.

The network ignored the spirited petitions urging them to reject the advertisement. It ran as scheduled in the first half.

Do You Agree with These Parents’ Decision to “Cancel” Christmas?

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When John and Lisa Henderson grew weary of the poor behavior of their three boys, ages 5, 8, and 11, the couple decided upon a radical remedy.

They decided to “cancel” Christmas.

No Santa. No stockings. No presents.

“We have not cancelled putting up decorations, celebrating the birth of our Savior, or any of our other heartwarming traditions,” Lisa explains in her recent blog post, which has gone viral and won the family an interview with “Good Morning America.”

But after months of working with their boys to help them curb a growing sense of entitlement and bad behavior, the parents decided to take the money they would have spent on presents and instead “put it towards service projects and giving gifts to others.”

Their goal?