How to Put Your Kids on the Road to Character

Teens with arms around each other's shoulders

A father who visited psychologist Michael Anderson’s counseling office illustrates the shift in thinking many moms and dads need to make in their parenting.

The father said, “You wouldn’t believe what my daughter has become. In the last 90 days, she’s changed completely. She’ll do anything her friends tell her to do. She’s smoking. She’s drinking. She’s shoplifting.”

Michael asked him, “What was she like 90 days ago?”

“She was an A-student. She was in the church youth group and would do anything we told her to do.”

That wording caught Michael’s ear.

Four Things Good TV Moms – and Real-Life Moms – Have in Common


By now you may have heard that the actress Florence Henderson died last week on Thanksgiving Day. She was best known as Carol Brady, the “lovely lady … who met this fellow” on the iconic 1970s sitcom “The Brady Bunch.”

The show wasn’t a ratings hit during its initial run, but “The Brady Bunch” found its niche when it first aired in syndication in 1975. It’s been on the air ever since.

Some of that success is undoubtedly due to Henderson’s take on the family matriarch, which made Mrs.

The Surprising Benefit to Teen Virginity


My colleague Glenn Stanton, who’s a noted author, researcher and family expert, has an interesting article out in The Federalist today.

In it, Glenn takes a look at a new, unique study from the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) that examined a wide array of high school students’ health behaviors in light of their sexual activity (virginal, heterosexual active, and same-sex or bisexually active).

The results are telling.

As Glenn writes, “The virginal students rate significantly and consistently better in nearly all health-related behaviors and measures than their sexually active teens,” and “teens who have sexual contact with the same or both sexes have remarkably lower percentages of healthy behaviors overall than their heterosexually active peers.”

And those behaviors range from binge drinking to illegal drugs, from dating violence to even tanning beds!

What to Do When Being a Mom Doesn’t Come Naturally

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Before having children, women might think motherhood is the most natural role in the world. So what should a woman believe about herself when she feels like she doesn’t have what it takes to be a good mom?

The bar can seem impossibly high. Some moms have smooth pregnancies, and their babies might even take to breastfeeding easily. These mothers look completely content and patient with their children, never frustrated, never aspiring to goals or achievements outside of their family.

Eight Simple, Practical Ideas for Raising Great Kids

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If you’re a parent and missed yesterday’s edition of our radio program, I encourage you to grab your iPad to take some notes and get near a radio for part two today (then go back and catch part one online or via our free phone app).

Conversations about parenting often lean toward the philosophical, the “why” of raising children.

Not today.

We’re talking with Todd Cartmell, a child psychologist, about his book 8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids.

Teaching Children the Christian View of Sexuality


Note: Today is Election Day. If you haven’t voted already, I encourage you to do so. I also hope you’ll join me in praying for our country and the election today. -J.D. 


“What expressions of sexuality have you witnessed lately at your junior high?”

That’s not the sort of question I usually ask my son Troy on our morning drive to school, but I did today. He squirmed a little.

So did I.

That’s how the “Talk” with my older son Trent went a few years ago, too.

Halloween Safety Tips for Families


Does your family go trick-or-treating?

It’s one of those issues good Christians can (and sometimes do) disagree on. In previous years, I’ve written about how Christians tend to think about Halloween in one of three ways:

They enjoy it, focusing on the fun and candy part of it.
They amend it, so their children can enjoy activities like a “harvest festival” or “trunk or treating” at church.
They ignore it by not acknowledging the day in order to remain true to their convictions.

What Your Son Needs More Than Love


Mom, God has wired you to love your son. Your soft, nurturing spirit is critical to his development. But as he grows into a young man, love will no longer be his primary emotional need from you.

Let my own high school football days open a window into your boy’s heart. I’ve had more than one coach grab me by the facemask and challenge my performance. Sometimes the whole locker room got it at once. “You guys are great athletes,” the coach would shout.

This is a Parent’s Primary Task


Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip, once asked his fans to describe their job in a single sentence. Here are some of the responses he got:

“Look out the window all day” – Pilot.

“Get paid for answers companies already know to questions they never asked” – Consultant.

And my personal favorite: “Read things that don’t matter then write papers saying they do in order to get a job doing something totally unrelated” – Student.

Helping Your Child Deal with Bullies


Daniel was 13 years old when he wrote that he had a “great life.” Just a few weeks later, he was dead.

According to his letter, Daniel’s “great life” spiraled out of control right after he started junior high. Five classmates had bullied him incessantly. And when Daniel tried to defend himself, fights broke out.

Daniel wrote that he had “begged and pleaded” with his teachers and the school’s principal to intervene, but they “didn’t do ANYTHING!”

The school denied any wrongdoing, but the bullying didn’t stop until … sadly … Daniel ended his own life.