Custom CSS of Section contains Conditional Preview for See Life Campaign Elements

Focus on the Family Broadcast

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Developing Your Child’s Unique Personality

Developing Your Child’s Unique Personality

Julie Lyles Carr offers insights on how you can cultivate and encourage the special, distinct qualities of your child's personality in a discussion based on her book, Raising an Original: Parenting Each Child According to Their Unique God-Given Temperament



Mrs. Julie Lyles Carr: I think every child that God brings to this planet is on a mission, and it’s our job, as parents, to help them understand what that purpose is and to not get in the way of it with our own agenda on what we’re trying to fulfill as being parents. It really is about launching people into their purposes. So I often say, God didn’t call us to raise perfect children. He called us to raise purposed children.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: That’s Julie Lyles Carr, and she joins us today on Focus on the Family with your host Focus president and author Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, you have six children. Uh, are they all alive?

John: Of course they are. No, no, not in the least. And I do not know why that is.

Jim: It’s because we all come into this world with a little bit of a God stamp on us, right? – a little bit of a temperament and not necessarily a temper. But we have pre-positioned – predestined, I think, personality bents – you know, extraversion, introversion, night person, morning person. I think these are things that are in our DNA when we get here. Um, I see that in my two boys. You know, there’s such differences there. Study habits are very different, just the way they relate to people is quite different. And, uh, that’s something that is God given, I think. I’m amazed at the fact that this is a finite box that we play in. In other words, you can do Meyers-Briggs or the DISC test, these personality profile tests, and there’s four, five, maybe seven personality types that we all fit into to where researchers and scientists now can basically say we’re unique, but we have a bent toward one kind of thing or another. And we’re going to talk more about that today and how it applies to your original child.

John: And we want to encourage you because every child, as you said Jim, is unique. And our goal is not to force them into a box but to understand, uh, how God created them. And Julie Lyles Carr can help us do that. She’s a popular speaker and very active in ministry. And she and her husband Michael have eight children, and I’m sure they’re all alike. She’s written an excellent book calledRaising An Original: Parenting Each Child According To Their Unique God-Given Temperament. And, uh, it’s a joy to have her with us today.


Jim: Julie, welcome.

Julie: Thanks for having me.

Jim: On behalf of all moms…

Julie: (Laughter).

Jim: …With eight kids, are you sane? Or what’s happening…

Julie: I guess we’re going to find out.

Jim: …I mean, in terms of your own sanity? It’s great. I love big families.

Julie: Well, we love it. And, John, I know you can attest to this – it doesn’t feel like that many people to me…

Jim: (Laughter).

Julie: …Until I see us in a photograph. And then I think who was responsible for that decision?


John: Yeah.

Jim: Your Christmas photo…

Julie: Yeah.

Jim: …Which I got a copy of is so beautiful.

Julie: Thank you.

Jim: It’s so nice.

Julie: It’s a tribe.

Jim: But it’s interesting. With eight children, you can test your theories here because you probably have a couple that are alike. But by and large, they’re all unique, but they have bents. Describe what I talked about in the opening there – that you have that extrovert, that introvert, that people person, the non-people person, the dreamer, the, uh, you know, person that’s into the analytics.

Julie: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes and yes.

Jim: (Laughter).

Julie: I mean, we’ve got all of it. And it never fails to amaze me that these kids that we have raised together in this home with the conversation and the meals and the family traditions, all of that, can have such different ways in which they express their lives, different paths that the Lord leads them on, different interests and different ways of just how they approach things. I think the thing that still is amazing to me, even 10 years later, is having had the experience of carrying twins and for them to be so completely different from each other (laughter).

Jim: And was that your last pregnancy?

Julie: That was the last one.

Jim: So you had six, and then you had twins.

Julie: Went for a round seven, got a bonus, yes.

Jim: And how did that – when the doctor said, listen, Michael and Julie, you’re going to have twins, what was your initial reaction? Like, wow that’s great. Or oh, my goodness, what?

Julie: I really thought – we were halfway through the pregnancy. And my husband, who has never been able to look at a sonogram with any kind of acuity whatsoever…

Jim: Well, I…

Julie: …Is just like, well, that is a – is that a – what’s the…

Jim: What’s the problem with that?

Julie: Right.

Jim: I’d be in the same camp (laughter).

Julie: Oh, exactly. And so all the kids were actually in there. All six kids were in there. We were with a friend of mine who had a sonography studio. And so she had this big screen up on the wall where you could see the baby. And – and they put that doptone on there, and my husband went, “Is that two?” And in my head I thought, they are so messing with me, right? I would know. This is my how many-ith pregnant – if I had twins on board, I would know. And the kids started screaming and jumping. And finally it dawned on me when my friend the sonographer said, “Let me see if that’s a third.” And that was the moment…

Jim: Oh, my goodness.

Julie: …That I went, oh, I guess it would be unprofessional for a medical professional to, like, try to punk you that you were having twins if you weren’t.


Julie: And we were just sort of in shock. I mean, we were thrilled but…

Jim: So that’s how it soaked in – in that…

Julie: Yeah.

Jim: …Reality moment.

Julie: It was, wow, I’m not on a reality show. I’m about to make my own reality show. It was kind of a difference there.

Jim: You know what I love in your book – you talk about never truly being prepared to be a parent. And I love that because every one of you listening, if you’re a new parent, here is great advice. You’re not going to do it perfectly. Uh, it doesn’t come with a manual. You can read all the books. Even if you do it well, your kids have their own temperament and their own disposition and personality, and the formulas don’t always work – rarely do they work.

Julie: Yeah, there’s a lot of improv. I mean…

Jim: Yeah, a lot of improv, I love that.

Julie: A lot of improv. You know that the borders of righteousness are firm. We know what those are and what the Lord expects of us in terms of raising our kids and to be, you know, valuable members of society and to love the Lord and to give back and to be contributors. We got that. But there’s so much room in the field of grace for how that expresses itself. And so I think sometimes when we all try to come up with the same choreography, and we try to implement that on every single kid, we have kids that adopt it well – that just seems to be a good fit for them – and kids that don’t. And not only those that it doesn’t really seem to fit. It can almost make them a little resentful because we’re not seeing them.

Jim: Right.

Julie: We’re seeing first a template, or we’re seeing first a system. And I think all of us have a deep desire to know that we have been seen for who we are…

Jim: Boy…

Julie: …Not necessarily just the program.

Jim: That is so well said. And I think you look at teenagers today – they’re yearning for that recognition that I’m here, I’m in front of you, Mom, Dad. You know, can we – can we communicate? They don’t always invite you into that conversation like that, but they’re screaming it, aren’t they?

Julie: And I think a lot of times for kids who seem to be resistant in those teen years, I think there’s a lot of saying if you know who I really am, do you really…

Jim: Yeah.

Julie: …Love me and accept me? Or are you only willing to look at me through a filter of your own expectation?

Jim: Wow.

Julie: And for any of us, in any relationship, if we think that people are coming to the table with a filter of expectation, we already feel a hesitancy to really reveal who we are. We have a real ethic in our house that hopefully we’re seeing played out, but it’s keep the conversation going. Whatever I have to do to do my Oscar face, oh, really…

Jim: (Laughter).

Julie: …Is that how you chose to handle that? Interesting. Talk to me about that, instead of the internal freak out, which may actually be how it feels.

Jim: More good advice actually.

Julie: You know, but to just have that, hey, let’s keep the conversation going, stay neutral, tell me more, or talk to me about that. Why was that the decision you made?

Jim: You mentioned in the book what the purpose is, uh, and the real mission of parenting. I think you’re touching on it. But if – if we were to just ask that question, why? What is the purpose to parenting? What would you say?

Julie: I just see all over the word of God that when he makes people, he places them – and the book of Acts tells us this – that he places people in specific times and specific epics and specific places in geography for His purposes. When I look at the different accounts that we have throughout the word of God about people that He announced were on their way, whoever that was going to be, like a Gideon, or a Samson, or Jesus Himself, He always predicated it with this child is going to do this. And this is why I’m bringing this child into the world.

Jim: There was a mission.

Julie: There was a mission. I think every child that God brings to this planet is on a mission, and it’s our job, as parents, to help them understand what that purpose is and to not get in the way of it with our own agenda on what we’re trying to fulfill as being parents. It really is about launching people into their purposes. So I often say, God didn’t call us to raise perfect children. He called us to raise purposed children.

Jim: Yeah.

Julie: And the difference between those two words is pretty significant when it comes to the ways in which you approach your parenting.

Jim: Uh, let me ask you – uh, you and Michael had your grand plan for getting married.

Julie: (Laughter).

Jim: You know, so many young couples do. This is the way it’s going to be. And, uh, you know, we’re going to have 3.3 children or whatever number – in your case, eight. And did your plans get disrupted? Did they come true the way you think they should have and would have? Or take us back to the early decade – the first decade of your marriage. What happened?

Julie: We – oh, our plan was so beautiful.

Jim: I bet it was.

Julie: I mean, Jim and John, we should have had the thing laminated. It should have been framed. It was just so well laid out, and it had all these timelines.

Jim: Professionally done.

Julie: Oh, very, very professionally done.

John: (Laughter).

Julie: Nice borders. It was awesome.And so we had this big, grand plan. I was in television and radio. Michael was going to go to law school and get that first, you know, community citywide or maybe, you know, statewide, you know, congressional or political seat of some sort. And – and at the 10-year-mark, we would go to, I don’t know, let’s say Europe. And while we were in Europe, possibly in Italy or in Greece, we would conceive our first child. And it was all just very…

Jim: (Laughter).

Julie: It was so beautifully laid out.

Jim: That is some detail.

Julie: Yeah, there was a lot of detail. There were, you know, housing requirements…

John: That’s quite a plan, yeah.

Julie: …Yeah – housing requirements that were going to be met – a variety of things. And we had been married about seven months when we learned something that is profound for couples to learn, which is spontaneity can cause people. And so…


Julie: Fifteen months into this new marriage with this beautiful 10-year plan, we had our first child, Madison.

Jim: Yeah.

Julie: And Michael in particular – I always loved kids and – and enjoyed being around kids. And Mike, you know, really, uh, kids…

Jim: That came later.

Julie: Well, we talked him into it, right? Um, but he really was someone who had thought, I don’t know if I’ll ever have kids. And I knew this when we married. You know, I don’t know if I’ll ever have kids. If I do it will be far down the line and maybe one, maybe two – maybe. And over time, the Lord really worked on us. Because it was one of the questions we’d never bothered to ask God. We had asked him about what jobs to take and where we were supposed to live and things like that. But we’d never asked him, oh, yeah, and kids and family, like, got any thoughts? And, um – and apparently the Lord did.

Jim: Kind of a good question.

Julie: And so we – when we opened up that question, we discovered that God had really softened our hearts for the experience of a bigger family.

Jim: Julie, here’s the question – why do we try so hard to be normal as opposed to identifying that originality that God has created? I mean, He’s a creator of life, and He gave us a bouquet, not a single flower. Um, why do we lean toward normal and find comfort in normal rather than let’s raise these kids as originals – all eight in your case?

Julie: I think for a lot of us, some of our greatest hopes and fears have to do with our kids. And if we can find something that we think is going to be guaranteed, then it seems to take some of that fear off; it quells that. I think we all love things that feel like formulas and guarantees and certain ways that we think’ll work. And it’s always fascinating to me when people ask me about the expression of raising our kids – well, tell me exactly. Well, give me the list. And I’m like, whoa…

Jim: Right.

Julie: …We need to talk about your kids. Because what’s worked for some of mine may not work for some of yours. We have a funny story that we tell. One of my children, my second child, McKenna, she really likes things to be plotted out well. She likes to know what’s coming up, what she can expect. And she has a real heart to be compliant and to be on track. She really likes knowing what the parameters are.

Jim: Meet the expectations.

Julie: Correct, she really likes that. So when the oldest kids were young. I was looking for efficiency models. And so I had this chart. Well, if you do this, this is the punitive consequence. So if you do that, it’s going to be this much time out. And if you do this, then it’s going to be I’m going to get to take that stuffed animal. And if you do this – and I laid it all out. McKenna looked at that chart, and you could see her little mind going, OK, excellent, OK, never going to do any of that stuff.

Jim: (Laughter).

Julie: Third child Justice walked up to the list and went, totally worth it, going to do all of it. You know, he’s like, fantastic, I know what to expect.

Jim: These consequences aren’t severe.

Julie: Not a very big deal. I’m willing to pay the price. So I think that some of it is trying to make efficiency models. I think some of it is we want those guarantees. But I tell you the thing that I find over and over – we, to some degree, find a lot of our identity in our parenting.

Jim: Oh, yeah.

Julie: And if we have a kid go rogue, or we have a kid who does something the way that we didn’t like, or we have a kid, I don’t know, speaking hypothetically for a friend, whose child always shows up to Sunday school with two different shoes on and the nastiest shirt you’ve ever seen – that would be one of mine…

Jim: (Laughter).

Julie: …You know, how are people going to judge me? What are they going to think about…

Jim: Right.

Julie: …Me? And what does it say about me? So I think some of it is out of a desire to really do things that are beneficial and good for our kids. But some of it really is to protect ourselves sometimes because we really don’t want people to judge us.

Jim: But, Julie, how do we untangle ourselves from that? First, how do we recognize it? And then B, what is the other way? And is that sufficient to ensure that our kids have the best shot at doing well in life? Because I think it’s all kind of wrapped up in their success and how we measure them by their grades by, you know, what – we all talk about what college our kids are going to, don’t we? I mean, that’s usually it. But not all kids are cut out for college.

Julie: Right.

Jim: There’s vocational pathways. There’s other things that they can do to earn a living. But we do tend to freak out and panic. So speak to that mom specifically who is in that mold of, you know, I’m watching all these things. How does she relax? And where does she find her security and her comfort, even if her kids aren’t doing what she wants them to do?

Julie: One of the questions that I ask myself, if I start bumping up against something where I’m like, ooh, I don’t know that I want them wearing or doing or saying, or what did they just post on social media with my last name on it? – you know, those kind of things. I ask myself this question – who is the ‘they’ I’m worried about? You know, we have this sort of societal, mythological ‘they’, and that ‘they’ tells us things like, you can’t wear white pants after Labor Day. And that ‘they’ has certain expectations about when your Christmas tree can go up and when your Christmas tree can come down. And that ‘they’ actually governs a lot of some of the, you know, little different cattle chutes that we try to put our kids in and we think they’re supposed to work through. Sometimes it’s a ‘they’ that is sort of the ‘they’ – the ‘church’ broadly. Well, what will the ‘church’ think? And if I’m trying to raise Godly kids, what will ‘they’ say if they see this? And does that match ‘their’ definition of Godly kids? And sometimes it’s the ‘they’ that’s within just our own extended family and community. Oh, my goodness, if my mother realizes that I’ve let them do blah, blah, blah, or if they get wind that so-and-so’s going to go to community college first, you know, what – what is my father-in-law going to say? We’ve got this ‘they’ that we worry about. When I identify that ‘they’, it helps me identify, well, is that God’s guidance and voice, or is that me seeking approval or trying to buffer against some kind of judgment?

Jim: Yeah, it’s so true. Let me ask you this – when God sees us, you know, mom and dad and the kids, in your case the eight kids that He’s given you, what is He looking for?

Julie: I think He’s looking for a celebration of what He’s created. I – you know, Genesis tells us that God creates, and He stands back. And He – and He says, “This is good stuff. This is great.”

Jim: Yeah.

Julie: And so I think He’s looking for people to partner with Him in parenting who equip themselves to celebrate His good purpose and what He has designed. You know, I’ve got kids that are quirky. I’ve got kids who behave in funny ways. I’ve got kids who – you know, my 16-year-old who goes to the grocery store without shoes. I know. I know. But I celebrate that now in a way that was hard for me to celebrate initially when I thought there should have been, you know, stronger rules. Or what are people going to think?

Jim: How did you get there though? I got to ask you because, I mean, has he ever looked at the bottom of his feet when he got home (laughter)?

Julie: Have you got – it’s what you pay attention to, right?

Jim: I mean, it’s true though. What – and I’m just thinking of, particularly again moms, but dads, too, that are so wrapped up in, how could you ever do that? I have used those words, unfortunately. And I would love to be more celebratory…

Julie: (Laughter).

Jim: …With the boys and their uniquenesses. But how do you from point A to Point B, uh, to where you can relax, and you’re prioritizing appropriately and concentrating on the right thing so you’re not really doing damage?

Julie: You know, I think for me, part of it – and when people ask about the size of our family in terms of, well, what’s the testimony on that? You know, that means God thinks you’re amazing parents. I’m like, maybe it just took…

Jim: How many kids did you adopt?


Julie: Yeah, I always get asked that, too. Um, but, you know, I think part of it may just be that God’s like, I finally got through to her after eight. Like (laughter), she finally figured it out. I think part of it organically came about for me. Because honestly, when you’re raising this number of kids, there are certain things you just learn organically are not that important. OK, so a kid went to the ballet, and he was wearing nasty sneakers. Nobody died. It’s OK.

Jim: Yeah.

Julie: And so I think some of those things, just in basic survival of, do we have everybody in the car, and is everybody at least somewhat covered? Fine. We’re good. It’s a victory. I think that really resetting what my expectations were for what children can do, who they can be and then just through the process of seeing when you celebrate someone and you honor them, compliance and those times that you need to say, hey, I’m just asking, just for this family wedding, would you please take the blue out of your hair? You know…

Jim: (Laughter)

Julie: …When you really reduce down where it’s not every day you’re hammering them about something else that doesn’t meet your preference – I mean, here’s the reality. I decorate my home based on a preference I have. How would I feel if I had somebody coming into my world and saying, “You must decorate in a certain way.” When really, at the end of the day, it’s a non sequitur. That’s become one of the questions I’ve tried to focus on as well is what is a non sequitur? What really, in the grand scope of things, does not matter in comparison to the health and the joy of this kid’s soul? If that kid wants to wear weird nail polish or wants to wear a ripped whatever, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter because they’re a great, grand person with compassion. Let’s just celebrate that.

Jim: You mentioned Justus, your son, and he seems to be the one that doesn’t like the rules so much, at least that’s how you said it. Give us an example of where that really came to light, where you kind of had to go toe-to-toe with him.

Julie: It’s funny; Justus and I laugh a lot. I adore him. He’s 21 now. And he was…

Jim: He survived.

Julie: …You know, I mean, and he’s living in an apartment on his own. It can happen, people! But you know, part of what is so fun with Justus is now when he comes home, he’s the one who says to the younger kids “You need to be listening to Mom. I’ve been watching you, and she asked you to take out the trash and you just sat there.” And I sit there with my mouth open cracking up because Justus has always been the kid who’s had lots of opinions, and he really needs to know, and he really wants you to know and this is the way things. And so to see him come into a season now where he recognizes oh, that’s why you guys rode me so hard on some stuff.

Jim: So he’s putting the pieces together?

Julie: Oh, he definitely has…

Jim: That’s a glorious day.

Julie: …And hey, that’s a glorious day. It’s a glorious day.

Jim: It’s a home run.

Julie: It’s a home run. But you know, he was one that, a lot of times, his interruption of the rules was pretty fascinating because his had a lot more to do with some of his fears. And he, for example, we would say look, we’re going to put you in bed. You can leave the lights on. We decided that was a non-sequitur. Why fight that fight?

Jim: Right.

Julie: It’s OK. You can read books till whenever. That’s fine. You just have to stay in your room. That’s all we’re asking. And he – because he was so terrified of being separated from us – night after night after night, would break that rule knowing that there would be consequence. And so it was – it’s a small thing, but it was something that we began to identify. It wasn’t disobedience out of some kind of, you know, just a really contrary…

Jim: Defiant.

John: Wasn’t malicious.

Julie: Right. It was not a malicious thing. It was really important for us to get down to the heart of it. And he was scared. And he was genuinely scared. And he was scared enough that he was willing to defy what we had put in place knowing that there would be a consequence for it. That was a real breakthrough moment. And we found that a lot with him, that there were things that he might not follow what we had laid out. And we didn’t use it as some kind of olly olly oxen free. But it was this, OK, talk us through why because you knew – if there’s one thing that Mike and I’ve really tried to bring to the table, we don’t have a bunch of rules, but what we have rules on we’re very consistent on. So you can bet if you break that one, that’s going to be an issue. And he would say well, I was really worried about da, da, da, da. So we had to get to the core of what was really a challenge for him – was that worrisome little nature that he has that comes from a strength. He’s naturally a shepherd. He is naturally someone who realizes everyone in the room is very empathic, is very concerned about everybody’s experience, but it makes him a worrier because all of our strengths have this Achilles heel to them. And so we had to really process that with him.

Jim: And I love that. And let’s get into that personality type, which is what your book is based on, kind of the DISC test of old. But you’ve applied it in a different way and given theDISCacronym different names. But I love it. It’s a way for us to understand God’s hand in our development and how we think. And again, these are broad concepts. You’re probably a mix of all of them or three of them or whatever the way that you see yourself. But let’s go through theDISCacronym and describe it for us, the D ofDISC. What does that represent?

Julie: I changed the word just a little bit because I felt that some of the technical terms that are used in the traditionalDISC- and there are actually even some that preceded that, that were even a little more strong – I wanted these terms to feel victorious and like a win. I didn’t want it to be oh, that’s the bossy one. Or you know, oh, that’s the shy one. You know, I wanted it to feel like from a place of empowerment…

Jim: All positive.

Julie: …Very much so. So with the D, I’ve called that the Director.

Jim: (laughter) I like that!

Julie: And this is the kid, you know, that you just see on the playground, who just seems to organically be able to get everybody in line. And we’re going to do a play here in the playground. And I’m going to do this. And you’re going to do this, this and this. And people go oh, OK. Like, (laughter)…

Jim: (Laughter) Right. Fall in line.

Julie: Yeah, just that vibe.

Jim: They’re leaders.

Julie: They’re leaders. They are leaders. Now, I believe everybody is a leader. Everybody’s leading somebody. But these are the ones who tend to lead the biggest groups in an organized way and in a way that is very, very task specific. That’s a really important designation between the next one I’m going to talk about, which is the I. And I call that one the Inspirer. Now, the Inspirer can get everybody together on the playground, but it’s for audience because they’re going to do a comedy bit. (Laughter) So it’s a little bit different. And theirs is much more about those relationships, and having fun, and being spontaneous, and engaging everybody in that sense of fun. And so that’s the difference between those two styles of leadership, if you will. They’re both very attractional. People tend to flock around. But for the Director, it’s task. And for the Inspirer, it’s more people, relational.

Jim: Relationship, yeah.

Julie: Correct. And then I have what I call the S, the Steadfast. And this is the person who also is very relational, like the influencer, but the steadfast doesn’t need 274 friends at a sitting. They’re great with just a smaller group that they really invest in. What’s also interesting with the steadfast is as much as the inspirer doesn’t really care if things are different and new and there’s no routine, the steadfast really likes for things to be fairly plotted out. They like to know what’s coming. They are an amazing person to come alongside, a great second, if you will. I kind of don’t like that term. It’s a little weighted.

Jim: But a wonderful friend…

Julie: Wonderful friend. They’re the one…

Jim: …A good help mate, all that.

Julie: Yes, all of that. So I love the steadfasts in my life because I just think they help make the world go round. And then we have what I call the Curator. And the curator, that’s the person who labels their label maker. Like, they really love spreadsheets. They really love knowing the data. And they don’t really need people in general. They’re something of a lone wolf. Like, you know what, I got this. You guys are great. Let me go do my thing. We need curators in the world. They’re really important to have. And I think that they lead in a way that is sort of different, obviously, than a D or an I or an S. But they lead in a way by saying, let’s set a standard. And when you’re someone who sets a standard, you are leading. And so I also find that the curators in my world are more task-oriented. So we’ve got the director and the curator who are more task-oriented. The director wants people to organize. The curator wants stuff to organize. The I, the influencer, and the S, the steadfast, are more relational. The influencer likes – inspirer is another way of saying it – also really likes to have lots of people around. The steadfast really doesn’t need as many, but also likes that relational aspect.

Jim: And goes deep.Julie, this has been so much fun. We’re going to have to have you back and talk more about this. In the bookRaising An Original, you do have the assessment for the child. And so when you pick up the book, you can use that with your own kids to kind of identify where they’re at. I think that’s terrific. And this is one of those resources that will help you in your parenting. I so appreciate your attitude, having eight children, just that ability to know what are the important things and what are the unimportant things, right?

Julie: Got to have it. Got to have it (laughter).

Jim: Well, one of the things with eight children, you’re forced to efficiency. You can’t really worry about the things that aren’t important. You got to move on. And that has come through loud and clear. And even for the mom that has one child, and the mom and dad, you know, for both of you, if you’re in that spot where you’re panicking a bit, this is an excellent resource for you. And one of the things that we have as well as is the 7 Traits of Effective Parenting Assessmentthat’s on the Focus website to help you identify your strengths and your weaknesses when it comes to the parenting side of this. So I’d encourage you to take that. It’s free. And there’s also resources there that will augment those, maybe, not as strong areas, right, John?

John: Yeah. That’s absolutely right. I’ve taken the assessment. It does shine a light on what your strengths are and also gives you some ideas on how you can grow. And all of this is available for you at Or call us and we’d be happy to tell you more about Julie’s book, a copy of our conversation and the other helps that we have for you. Our number is 800-232-6459, 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Jim: In fact, John, we believe in this content, Julie, to the point where if the listener, you want to get a copy, just make a donation of any amount. If you can’t afford it, get a hold of us. We’ll get it into your hands. And I’m sure others will help us cover the costs of that. But we believe in it.

Julie, you have really done a great job putting this together and helping us think differently about how to parent with the grace of God, the love of God and the discernment of God. So it is a great resource. Thanks for being with us.

Julie: Thank you so much for having me.


John: And again, our website, or 1-800 – or call 1-800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Coming up on Monday, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs joins us to offer encouragement and hope for moms and dads.


Dr. Emerson Eggerichs: If I’m walking with the Lord, if I’m enjoying my relationship with the Lord, and I realize He’s calling me to do these things, then I do it out of obedience toward him, whether my child responds or not.

End of Teaser

Today's Guests

Raising an Original

Receive Julie Lyles Carr's book Raising an Original for your donation of any amount!

Recent Episodes

Promotional image for Focus on the Family broadcast Teaching Children to Celebrate Racial and Cultural Diversity

Teaching Children to Celebrate Racial and Cultural Diversity

Trillia Newbell and Dr. Danny Huerta discuss the value of our celebrating racial and cultural diversity as an expression of God’s calling upon us to share His message of love and reconciliation through Christ to people of every nation, tribe, and language, and offer parents practical guidance for celebrating as a family.

Promotional image for Focus on the Family broadcast Discovering Your New Identity as a Stay-at-Home Mom

Discovering Your New Identity as a Stay-at-Home Mom

Author Jen Babakhan offers encouragement to stay-at-home moms and women who are considering leaving the workplace to take on this role as she shares lessons she’s learned from her own transition which have shown her why this is one of the best decisions her family has made.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Hope for Every Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Jeff and Cheryl Scruggs describe their marriage journey of infidelity, divorce and restoration, and encourage other couples not to give up on redeeming their relationship. (Part 2 of 2)

You May Also Like

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Avoiding Shame-Based Parenting

Psychologist Dr. Kelly Flanagan discusses the origins of shame, the search for self-worth in all the wrong places, and the importance of extending grace to ourselves. He also explains how parents can help their kids find their own sense of self-worth, belonging and purpose.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Becoming a Clutter-Free Family

Joshua Becker discusses the benefits a family can experience if they reduce the amount of “stuff” they have and simplify their lives. He addresses parents in particular, explaining how they can set healthy boundaries on how much stuff their kids have, and establish new habits regarding the possession of toys, clothes, artwork, gifts and more.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 5: It’s Going to be Amazing!

After a couple has chosen life, hear the heartwarming stories of children that culture would have cast aside, yet are making tremendous impacts in their communities. Whether the diagnosis was adverse or the circumstances were difficult, these stories will inspire you to come along side of families who have chosen life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

Hear real life stories of parents who have made the decision to choose life even though the circumstances were overwhelming. You’ll see why “ALL” life is precious to God and why choosing life is always the right decision!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

So, after all you’ve seen through the SeeLife ‘21 Episodic journey; what can you do now? We’ll share how you can partner with some amazing organizations that are making significant impacts in the pro-life movement! You want to Celebrate Life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!