Dr. John Trent’s Secret to Raising Great Kids

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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.

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.

Why an Unhappy Child Can Be a Healthy Child

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“An unhappy child is a healthy child.”

At first glance, that comment from Dr. Kevin Leman catches you off guard a little, doesn’t it?

But dig a little deeper, and I think you’ll see what he means. There really are times when your son or daughter needs to be unhappy.


Well, maybe they’ve just talked back to you, disobeyed you, or disrespected you. Whatever they’ve done, you need to create an unhappy experience to help them learn that sort of behavior is unacceptable.

The Top Five Fears of Moms: How Do You Fare?

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Moms, what are you afraid of?

Chances are, you’ve got a few things that sometimes keep you awake at night. In fact, with the help of Barna Research Group, Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) did a survey of hundreds of women to find out their greatest fears.

The top five were:

Fear # 1: I’m afraid I’m not enough as a mom. I’m not capable of being a good mom. I won’t have enough money or resources to adequately care for my kids.

Are Household Chores Getting You Down?

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I recall an informal poll I saw once that showed how many people thought the saying “cleanliness is next to godliness” was in the Bible. I don’t remember the exact percentage, but it was the vast majority, something like 80 percent.

For the record, it’s not in Scripture. But the fact that so many people think it is reveals a deeper issue, I think.

There are a lot of expectations placed on Christian women today to keep a household running smoothly.

How to Respond When Your Child Notices Magazine Covers at the Supermarket

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The “sex sells” mantra is obvious at the grocery checkout line where magazine covers featuring sexually provocative images are displayed eye-level to impressionable children.

What’s a parent to do?

That was the dilemma Joann Condie recently faced. A registered nurse and licensed professional counselor with Focus on the Family’s counseling department, Joann was at the supermarket with her elementary school-aged grandson and his friend. As the cashier rang up their groceries, Joann noticed the boys looking at the scantily clad brunette on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine.

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

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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 to Help Your Child Succeed in School

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Here’s the scenario. Does it sound familiar?

It’s a weeknight, and your child has spent most of the evening on the same school assignment. It’s pretty clear he doesn’t understand the information. To top it off, he’s brought home a note from the teacher warning you about a failing grade.

Now what do you do?

Many parents immediately assume the worst. They think their child has a behavior problem, has difficulty learning, or is just plain lazy.