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Timothy Sanford

Timothy L. Sanford, MA, LPC

Tim Sanford is a licensed professional counselor and the Clinical Director of Counseling Services for Focus on the Family’s counseling department. He is also a pastor, a public speaker and the author of several books, the most recent being Forgive for Real: Six Steps to Forgiving. Tim and his wife Becky have two grown daughters and reside in Colorado.

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Take This Spiritual Gifts Test with Your Family

When your child gives their life to Jesus, a transformation begins. A spiritual gifts test helps them discover the gifts God then gives them.

Do your children understand Easter?

Do Your Children Understand Easter?

Help your children grasp and understand the depth and importance of Easter. Use our mini-lessons to teach them certain aspects about Easter.

The Real Job of Dads

A dad’s primary, underlying job isn’t control.

A Real Job Description for Parents

Your kids will grow to be more healthy and resilient as you start parenting with a clear understanding of what your real job is.

fathers and daughters. Little girl whispering something important in her father's ear

Importance of Fathers to Their Daughters

Fathers have an important role in their daughter’s lives. Here are some key insights to help dads be great.

photo of a woman in plaid sitting peacefully by the water at sunset. Her spiritual disciplines have led her here and have positively impacted her mental health.

How Practicing Spiritual Disciplines Can Positively Impact Your Mental Health

Throughout church history, people who know Jesus as their Lord and Savior have practiced spiritual disciplines. Spiritual disciplines are habits that help a Christian grow spiritually. These activities deepen a person’s relationship with God so they ca …

Silhouette of mom and young son holding cardboard cutout of incomplete house while dad attaches the roof

The Adoption Journey: An Honest Look at What You Really Need to Know

Welcome, you! We wish we could chat with you over coffee about what brought you here … Maybe the journey of adoption has been on your mind since you were a child. Maybe you just started thinking about it and want to learn more. Maybe you’re already a f …

Finding Attachment Issues

Finding Attachment Issues

I’ve heard that children placed for adoption can have attachment issues, even Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). I know what that is, but what questions do we need to ask the case worker to find out whether the child we’re considering adopting has an …

Talking about what is RAD, child sitting alone

What is RAD?

What is RAD? Find answers about what a Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) diagnosis means.

The Dance of Relationships:
Four Styles of Interaction and Which One Is Healthy

In our previous article on four styles of relational interaction, we looked at basic principles of control and responsibility, and how people interact in any given situation: hold, toss, grab, or fold. HOLD and FOLD are healthy choices; TOSS and GRAB a …

Four Styles of Relational Interaction:
What’s Healthy, What’s Not

For most of us, the question pops up every day: How can I mind my own business and still be responsible to the people I have relationships with? The answer won’t always be straightforward because every person and every situation is different. But we ca …

Child talking with counselor

Therapeutic Interventions for an Adopted Child

Share on facebook Facebook Share on twitter Twitter Traditional parenting techniques don’t always work for a child who has experienced trauma — and most adopted children have experienced trauma. An adopted child and their parents often need more suppor …

How to Deal Wisely With Manipulative People

We’ve all known manipulative people, whether they are friends, family, or our spouse. They’re the people who know how to push our buttons. They might scare, coerce, obligate, criticize, guilt trip, bribe, blame, undermine, intimidate, abuse. Or they fl …

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How to Develop a Resilient Mindset

Resilience isn’t merely surviving. And it’s not about denying the depth of pain and its ongoing impact. Instead, it’s about learning from and growing through adversity — about becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable.

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How to Care for Your Mental Health During Coronavirus

With all the changes going on around you, you can help to support strong mental health during the coronavirus for yourself and those in your care.

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Can Adults Really Have Attachment Disorder?Understanding Adult Attachment Disorder

While the journey toward healing may seem daunting, there are actions an adult with attachment disorder can take.

Teen boy with hat looking down

Parenting Reactive Children or Youth

Parenting reactive children or youth can be difficult but a technique known as Therapeutic Parenting can be helpful.

Sensory Processing Issues in a Child

Some children struggle to process sensory information that they see, hear, taste, feel or touch. They may also have difficulty with balance.

Sad-looking, young African-American girl sitting on a couch, hugging her teddy bear

Parenting a Child With Attachment Issues

Any number of unforeseen circumstances may create a situation in which parent-child attachment is a challenge. In this article, parents can learn principles and strategies for encouraging attachment in a struggling child.

Son hugging his dad

Attachment and Adoption

Adoption may create a situation in which parent-child attachment is a challenge. In this article, parents can learn some principles and strategies for encouraging attachment in an adopted child.

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An Attitude of Gratitude: Going Beyond Please and Thank You

Are your children truly grateful for what they have? Here are ways parents can create a lasting attitude of gratitude in children.

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Giving Your Preschooler a Good Foundation

Counselor and author Tim Sanford offers encouragement and advice to parents of preschoolers who feel a great deal of pressure and stress about ensuring their child’s future success. Focus on the Family broadcast producer Eva Daniel joins the conversation and shares her own insights as a parent in the midst of the preschool years.

How to Cope

Working through the pain and rediscovering joy

How to Influence Your Teen

These two examples show how an influencing parent should respond to a teen.

Two More Relational Styles: Grabbing and Folding

How control and responsibility affect the relationship between you and your teen.

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Why Parents Want to Control Their Teens

Here are 5 things that make it hard for parents to give up trying to control their teens.

What Makes It Hard to Do Your Job

Here are some factors that can make it tough to validate, nurture and keep your fingers off the “control” button.

Two Relational Styles: Holding and Tossing

How control and responsibility affect the relationship between you and your teen.

The Real Job of Moms

A mom’s primary job isn’t cooking dinner, changing diapers or helping a preschooler glue colored macaroni on a coffee can as a Father’s Day gift.

Letting Go of Your Teen

Your teen is separating from you; make this transition easier by understanding what’s yours to control and what isn’t.

How Much Validation and Nurturing?

Every person needs both validation and nurture to fully develop into a healthy adult.

Defining Success as a Parent

Get into the mind-set that everything you do as a parent ultimately is part of validating or nurturing your children.

Defining ‘Successful Parenting’

If every parent’s job is to make sure his or her children turn out “right,” it would mean God messed up.

Father with his hand on the shoulder of his sulking teen daughter

Control Versus Responsibility

Understanding the differences between control, responsibility and liability — and how those nudge parents to try controlling teens.