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Discovering the Best Ways to Educate Your Child (Part 2 of 2)

Discovering the Best Ways to Educate Your Child (Part 2 of 2)

Author Carol Barnier offers practical suggestions for how parents can help their children learn and succeed in school. (Part 2 of 2)

Original Air Date: August 6, 2015

Opening:

Mr. John Fuller: If there’s one child in the classroom who’s not doing well, who just can’t keep up with the homework, and doesn’t seem to be paying attention – any attention – who’s to blame?  Parents and teachers often have this perspective.

Mrs. Carol Barnier: In fact, you’re the only one who seems to be struggling. And instead of both of us obviously concluding this method is not going to work for you, what we … where we tend to go is, “Well, since it’s working for so many others, you must be broken. There must be something wrong with you. You’re not trying. Maybe you’re lazy. Maybe you’re just not that bright.” You know, we go all these places we go, when the truth is, the kid just needs a different approach.

John: Some great insights from Carol Barnier. She has some profound ideas about kids and education.  And she’s going to challenge your perspectives. Carol is back with us on today’s Focus on the Family and your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller.

Opening Wrap:

Jim: John, last time we featured a wonderful conversation that you and I recorded with Carol a few years ago. And the reason we’re bringing it back today is because so many of our listeners were enthusiastic about her message.

John: Yeah, a lot of response.

Jim: One mom explained that her daughter learns differently from her other children, and this broadcast was really helpful to her. A dad named Jeff said we gave him hope for his young son who struggles with reading. And another mom shared how much she loved the “ditties” or memory rhymes that Carol talked about, and she uses them with her own kids.

That’s exactly why Focus on the Family is here. We want to introduce you to great experts like Carol and offer you resources that will help you and your family thrive!

Carol is the author of The Big What Now Book of Learning Styles, which  identifies 3 basic categories of learning: Visual — which most of us grew up with; Auditory — where you need to hear something to understand it; Kinesthetic — where you need some kind of motion while you’re learning.

Was that you, John?

John: No.

(Laughter)

Jim: And I know kinesthetic learners are the ones who often struggle in a school environment, because they want to tap their pencil or move their legs, or you know…whatever they’re doing. They’re movin’. And some educators (and parents!) see that behavior as disruptive, when they’re using it as a mechanism to help themselves learn.

John: Yeah, that’s really what helps them learn best. And Carol has further insights about figuring out what your child needs and helping them be successful. And let’s go ahead and hear part #2 of this very popular conversation with Carol Barnier on Focus on the Family.

Body:

Jim: Carol, we shared last time about your son, Glen, and how he wasn’t a good candidate for the traditional classroom and so, you homeschooled him, which I think is a great decision. But even that was frustrating because you really didn’t understand his learning styles at the time. Talk about working through those issues with your son. Your heart must have gone out to him as a mom and yet, you were resolved to try to find a way, the key, that would help open up his learning style. What happened?

Carol: Well, in the early days, it was all about putting motion into learning and that worked for him, but as he grew older and I think all kids have some kinesthetic component to how they learn. I think all kids like to move. But as he got older, he developed a strong auditory bent to his learning style and I missed that for a long time. And I’ll tell you where I caught it. We went to listen to a lecture. I paid good money for this lecture and I’m sittin’ there and I’m personally writing all these great notes down. I’m such a visual. I’ve got notes. I’ve got graphics, the white space matters, how it’s laid out on the page matters. And I look over at him and he is not writin’ down a thing and it ticked me off. I mean, I …

Jim: How old is he at this point?

Carol: At this point, he was probably about 12. And I like … I smacked him on the arm and I said, “I paid good money for this. Write somethin’ down.” (Laughter) And he said something that totally changed me. He said, “If I start writing, I’ll stop listening.”

Jim: Ah.

Carol: And it was a moment for me because it was so different from my own learning style. I had to step out of the box of how I learn and realize, this kid is made very, very differently and that’s when I started recognizing we need to incorporate auditory components to how I teach.

Jim: Well, and that can create some conflict between the parent and the child when your styles are different and you don’t recognize it. I could see that creating frustration.

Carol: And a parent’s natural inclination is to superimpose their own learning style on their child and to think, well, this must be how they learn, ‘cause this is how learning occurs and it is for us.

Jim: Right.

Carol: It’s really hard to step away from that, but once you do, you see that light bulb come on. You’re like, okay, all right, they’re different. I own it, now let’s go from here.

Jim: Hm. Carol, let’s give some hands-on help. Talk about spelling. Some children struggle with spelling. This can be challenging for any child but given all the inconsistencies in the English language — I’ve talked to foreign language students; they think English is so horrible and so difficult to learn. Talk about that. How can we equip a child to do well in spelling and writing skills?

Carol: Well, typically the approach that’s used to teaching spelling is to copy a list several times through the week and then they’re tested on Friday, which is great if the kid is a visual because seeing it all those repeated times, they’re gonna be fine. But you’ve got a kid who could see it spelled five different ways and they all look perfectly fine to him, this isn’t gonna be a helpful method.

So, there’s some things you can do. One is to get the pencil out of the child’s hand. A lot of kids just struggle with writing and then it kinds bleeds over into every other subject and they think they’re lousy at every subject, because they’re actually lousy at writing. So, one of the ways to do spelling without a pencil is to use Scrabble tiles. Just have ‘em in front of them and they can, you know, move them around and manipulate them and you can actually test them using Scrabble tiles.

Another one of my favorites is to use the Sign Language alphabet. It’s very, very kinesthetic. It doesn’t use the tiny, tiny little motor skills involved in writing. It’s also, here’s my word, it’s “kinesthetically memorable” because some letters of the alphabet, if they’re doubled, like in the word apple, you actually slide the letter. And so, it’s not a bounced A-P-P-L-E; it’s A, slide the PL-E-. That is kinesthetic memorable. So anytime your child has a double consonant or a double vowel, that’s very helpful.

Another thing with spelling, an auditory click for spelling, is to do it in a way that involves a rhythm. So, everybody I know has spelled Mississippi, has used some kind of rhythm. You can do the same thing if you’re teaching them the word like “sophomore” and they’re all these O’s in it and it makes no sense to them and it should be a U-H instead of an O or whatever. So, you could have a rhythm like, S-O (Sound of snapping fingers), P-H-O, M-O, R-E. S-O (Sound of snapping fingers), P-H-O, M-O, R-E. I know it’s silly and simple, but that’s why it works.

Jim: Right.

Carol: You know, that’s the kind of thing that’ll click, so that’s just several ways to apply spelling.

Jim: Sure, it gives the brain a track to run on. That’s what you’re talking about. You also have tips for writing, Explain why you believe we need to offer more encouragement–I think it’s self-evident–but more encouragement and less correction to the papers our students, our children, are writing.

Carol: I really encourage parents and teachers, as well, to focus on one thing at a time in correction. Don’t give them a page back that’s awash in red. Maybe work on one or two grammar items or one or two writing items and work on those until they’ve mastered it. Then work on another item in the next go round, because they can be overwhelmed by feeling there’s nothing of value. The other thing I recommend is, not just giving them correction, but giving them what I call “an evaluation,” where you tell them the good stuff you found, because if you don’t say this is good stuff, then they’re pretty sure there’s not.

Jim: (Laughing) Yeah—

Carol: And they need to hear it.

Jim: –that’s for sure.

John: And you know the story that comes to mind for that, Carol, is that Dena was working with Zane on a school paper and he does not like writing. And he put some thoughts down and she challenged him and encouraged him, and he reordered some of it and put a little more detail down. And lo and behold, he got a 100 on it. And she used that as positive reinforcement.

Jim: Sure.

John: See, you hated doing more than you had to, but you did a great job there. We’ve gotta pick up on those little accomplishments to give them some motivation, don’t we?

Carol: Yeah, absolutely, because they’re gonna define themselves by their worst test and it’s up to us to help them see the balance in that view.

Jim: Hm. Carol, talk about math. Math can be so difficult. How can we make it more fun? It almost sounds silly saying it that way. How do we make math fun?

Carol: I think math and fun, those words should be in the same sentence regularly!

Jim: Good for you, girl! (Laughter)

Carol: I believe that. I believe that. Well, you can certainly play games. I mean, that’s an easy thing to do. One of the simplest ones is, you know, that card game “War,” where—

Jim: Yeah.

Carol: –you flip over the top two cards. Well, instead of each of you flipping over one card, flip over two and then the greatest sum takes that hand. Of if you’ve got a kid who’s a little bit older, the greatest product. Multiply the two cards together–

Jim: So, it—

Carol: –in that hand.

Jim: –makes them think.

Carol: So, it makes them think. And not only did I have my child tell me what the sum of his card was, I’d say, “Okay, what’s the sum of my cards?” I made him do double the duty. He had to tell me who won and had to take a look at that.

If you’ve got a child who just gets sloppy because they’re in a hurry or they really don’t want to be here, I would hand them some colored pencils or some colored markers and say, “Now I want you to go through this math problem and mark every plus sign with a certain color, every minus sign with another color and so on with multiplication and division, forcing them to stop and pay attention to the operations that are involved in this equation, ‘cause a lot of kids add everything, even though there’s a subtraction sign, just because they didn’t stop and think. And this is just something to add to the process and visually marks it, as well, for them to think through the process.

Jim: Carol, let me talk about your … what you call the “oral review,” ‘cause again, I’m applying this, John. I don’t know if you’re doing this but I’m just thinkin’ through my own children and how this would apply. Talk about oral review and what you mean by that and how that can help a child succeed.

Carol: You can use this method all the way along, from the earliest, earliest ages, where you would say to a child, “Okay, Mommy wants you to go set the table and put the forks and knives out.” Now what is it that Mommy wants you to do?” (Laughter) And then they repeat it back to you. Then when you’re getting into early reading, you start reading them a story and you say, “Now tell that back to me. Tell me what happened in that story.”

It’s actually gotta … there is an education term. It’s called “narration” and narration is just a process of a child learning to verbally put these thoughts together in their head and get them out of their mouths. It’s actually a pre-writing readiness activity. Because if they can think it through and articulate it well, then the next step of writing it down is much, much easier. So, all the way along, we need to have kids practicing that. Now if you’ve got a kid who’s struggling with details, it might be good every night when they came home to say, “Okay, here is what I have to do.” I would add to that, have them stand at the white board and make a list and tell me. I would maybe even add, okay, give me a graphic that reminds me. If you have to run out of the door with your gym socks, then draw some socks for me, something that might be a graphic reminder for a kid who’s more visual.

Jim: Huh. Talk about motivation for a moment though, because I think that would be another struggle that a lot of parents face, making education interesting, that’s … if you can achieve that, you‘ve done a lot. What about the child that is feeling, you know, not invested? They’re not that interested. They like playing with Legos more than doing other things, more academic things. How do you motivate a child to get up at the white board and write down all their assignments? I mean it sounds almost too perfect. ‘Cause some children are gonna say, “I don’t really want to do that, mom.” What do you do?

Carol: I think when a kid is uninvested, that what’s actually happening is, they’re worried they can’t cut it, so they’ve stop investing. And it may be hard to reclaim that investment from them but I am absolutely convinced that if a kid believed that by doing these things, he would ace next week’s test, you could get him to reinvest. So, you’re gonna have to show him, maybe in smaller increments that this stuff works and that he can start becoming the student that you know he’s capable of being.

Jim: Carol, with the end in mind, let’s talk about those success stores that you’re aware of, where children who were failing, weren’t learning, ended up making it. I think a lot of parents are desperate to hear that, so let’s start there.

Carol: Well, one of my favorite stories came from a gentleman who was a headmaster at the local private Christian school in our area. And he was very ADHD himself and we were discussing, you know, some of the struggles of my son and he said one of the best things that happened to him when he was in his PhD. program, he was possibly failing. I mean, he was about … he was poised to absolutely fail. And his advisor took him aside and said, “Stop writing. You are struggling with the act of writing, but you can think. You can articulate. You have great, great reasoning abilities. Take a recorder and just record your work, then later on transcribe it.”

And he said it absolutely saved his career because the process of thinking and speaking and then writing, they’re very different parts of the brain that are at work. And once he was able to separate those, he said, “Transcribing was nothing.” You know, you hit it and then you hit pause. You don’t have to remember what it was; you’re just gonna transcribe it. And he goes, “And now of course, I make enough money that someone else transcribes for me.

Jim: (Chuckling) Right.

Carol: But yeah, for him it was all about getting it in its auditory form. That’s where his strengths were and when he separated it, that’s where he was able to succeed.

John: Hm.

Jim: You talk about the idea factory. Talk about that. What do you mean by the “idea factory?”

Carol: Everybody has this place where they just are kind of open; their mind opens up and they’re able to think and create and they just find all of these ideas. I swear to you, for my husband, it’s in the shower. I’m convinced (Laughter). I mean, he has … I almost think there’s like eight people in there with him, ‘cause he’s havin’ all these conversations and he’s thinkin’ things through and hearing how they sound. And he always comes out of the shower goin’, “I got three great ideas” and he’ll go and write them down. So, everybody has one of those places. And so, try and figure out. Try your kids in different things and try yourself in different things. Maybe it’s listening to music. Maybe it’s taking a walk. For my father, it was gardening. That’s where he got his ideas. He was a gardening guy. And when you find your idea factory, then incorporate that into how you like allot your time, so that you have those creative moments that you need.

Jim: That’s interesting. Where’s your idea spot, John?

John: That’s probably as I drive. Road trips for me—

Carol: Yeah.

Jim: Yeah—

John: –are the moments—

Jim: –I’ve seen—

John: –that I get—

Jim: –that.

John: –space.

Jim: That’s a good one.

John: The miles click away—

Jim: Yeah.

John: –and I just have time to process and think.

Jim: I’d be similar.

John: The big difficulty with that is, I can’t take notes while I’m driving.

Jim: Yeah.

John: So, I’ve gotta remember—

Jim: You dictate.

John: –all those ideas.

Carol: Digital recorders.

Jim: That’s right.

Carol: That’s what I take with me when I drive because I have 30 good ideas. I will remember two, so I have a digital recorder and I’m just—

Jim: Well, that’s a great idea.

Carol: –constantly … in your cell phone probably now would allow you to do that.

John: It does.

Jim: Those are good.

John: It does do that.

Jim: Those are good ones.

John: Well, good idea. This is “Focus on the Family” with Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller and we’re reviewing a conversation with Carol Barnier about how to help your child learn and experience education in fun ways. Contact us about getting an audio copy of this entire 2-day conversation with Carol, and The Big “What Now?” Book of Learning Styles that she wrote. Call 800-A-FAMILY to learn more or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Alright, here’s the conclusion of our conversation with Carol Barnier on Focus on the Family.

Jim: Carol, let me paint a picture for you and speak to this mom, because I think a lot of times moms feel so much more deeply than dads. I mean, dads are kinda like, pick yourself up; brush yourself off; let’s keep movin’, right? And I know this is a generalization, so if you’re not that kind of dad, I get it.

But for moms, and I think for Jean – she would say this is true – they tend to worry more about where their children are at, not seeing kind of that studious child that they hoped they would be, whatever it might be. Speak to that mom’s heart and the idea that you use humor. You talk about the importance of humor in the educational process.

So, there’s all these complex things. Use humor. Be light-handed, but make sure they’re disciplined and gettin’ their work done. I mean these are somewhat contradictions but talk to that mom who’s got a heavy heart. Talk to her, counsel her, on how she can approach a difficult learning situation.

Carol: I know moms are so invested in their kids. I just … there’s no place where our heart is thinnest than when it comes to our kids, you know. So, I get that. What I would recommend to any mom is, you’re dealing with a whole person here. You’re not just dealing with an academic success or failure. So, remember the whole child. Connect to them. It doesn’t always have to be about learning. It doesn’t always have to be about correcting their character. It doesn’t always have to be about, you know, this sin in their life. Sometimes we just need to laugh and tell knock-knock jokes and take a walk in the park and—

Jim: Breathe.

Carol: –and breathe and laugh and remember that God put this child in your family to parent, not just to teach. And parenting is so much bigger of a task. Just … I think loving this child as a whole will pay off when they get older and if they struggle with various things. It’s easy to really focus on the thing they’re struggling with. And that is losing out on the bigger picture of who they are. And frankly, something God does with us all the time. If all He did was remember me by my failure yesterday, I am so in trouble! But thankfully, He sees the whole picture.

Jim: Uh …

Carol: So, we need to remember, too, that God has a plan for this child and that plan isn’t perfected until the day of Christ Jesus. He’s still workin’ on this kid. It doesn’t all have to be put together and fixed by tomorrow.

Jim: Wow, that is … I mean, that is so important for us as parents to know and I think particularly, Christian parents, because we have such high expectations and kids feel it. They feel that pressure. They know that we’re hoping the best for them and we want them to hit those top notes when it comes to academics.  

Jim: Carol, you list at the end of your book, Things Kids Wish You Knew About Learning. Talk through some of that list, those things that kids wish that we parents knew about learning.

Carol: Yeah, this was one of my favorite sections to write about. One of the first items you’ll find there is that slow isn’t stupid and I learned this the hard way. I have this one daughter, who is not ADHD. I … I’ve said for years, she’s the only reason I let the other two kids live. (Laughter) She was so easy. I … I could just … I could’ve thrown the textbooks at her and she would’ve learned anyway. But she thinks very methodically. And I thought for a long time she was gonna be my average kid and that was okay.  I loved her dearly, but she wasn’t a fast talker and a fast thinker and you know, and … and I can come to equate that with being bright. And so, one day we went through the testing that was involved in our state and … and they … her scores came back and she’s like 99th percentile.

Jim: Hm.

Carol: Not just in achievement, but in ability. And I kinda had to sit down and go, how did I miss this? And I needed to start really, you know, upping my game in challenging her. But what I came to realize was, she is an analyzer and she keeps things close to the vest. And she thinks very methodically. And she does not open her mouth and share until she has come to a complete conclusion. And I had mistaken that silence as not being as bright. So, I just recommend that all teachers and parents, watch for that and don’t assume that this is a kid who’s not bright. Assume that they are a uh … an analytical thinker.

Jim: Yeah.

Carol: They’re the …

Jim: You’re talking in terms of temperament it sounds like, too, so you have learning styles and then you have a temperament that your child possesses. Talk about that intersection.

Carol: And … and it’s not that the temperament, it’s a type of intelligence. If you have someone who’s really strong in say the math and sciences, they’re often surprisingly weak in the language and … and those kind of skills—re … spelling and—

Jim: Right.

Carol: –reading and writing. And if you have someone who’s strong in the reading and writing, they often are weak in the math and sciences. And it’s not that either one of them isn’t bright. It’s that there are different types of intelligences at work here. And that’s why an awful lot of doctors have horrible handwriting and can’t spell!

Jim: Right.

Carol: You know, we … we … we tend to think of … of spelling and handwriting as being this bellwether or whether or not a child is doing well and I’m thinking, well, then every doctor I know must be an academic failure and of course (laughter) we know that’s not the case.

Carol: So, there are different types of intelligences. But there are also different types of temperaments and that … that gets into, you know, is your child very social or do they prefer to learn to work alone? Do … do they want to be up and moving? Or do they want to really be focused on … on a … you know, a dot in front of them while they … while they read? And I … I think you do have to like take those things into account. My whole theory is though, try different things.

Jim: Right.

Carol: Try wildly different things. Try things that would never have worked for you. Step so far out of the box that you’re thinkin’, this is crazy and see what works.

Jim: Carol, you talked about that key. Talk about some of the successes in parents that you’ve helped coach. But talk about the keys that they have discovered.

John: Hm.

Carol: One good example is, if you’re working with a child who learns their math facts through flash cards and you know, the kids come along and they’ve got that visual cue and all these need is enough repetition and they get it. And then suddenly you’re dealing with another kid and they are three years into flash cards and they are still not getting’ their math facts. Well, this is where you need to flip and get away from that visual one and maybe go to skip counting where they’re using some kind of auditory, you know, (Singing), two, four, six, eight 10, 12 and 14 …” something like that.

And I’ve heard time and time again where parents get stuck on the flash cards and then when they finally switch over to the auditory skip counting, they’ve got it. And that was exactly what happened in my house. I had a girl three years (Chuckling) we were doing these math facts and I thought, this worked for your brother and sister. It’ll just take a little more time and like year one, I bought that. Year two, I’m thinkin’, okay. Year three, I mean, I just kept going at it with the wrong approach. And finally, I said, “You know, Carol, you know this stuff. You know it’s time to shift gears.”

Jim: Huh.

Carol: And she had (Sound of snap of fingers) it like that.

Jim: That’s amazing and what I’ve heard throughout our discussion is have versatility. Don’t get locked in and don’t wait. You know, if it’s not workin’, make a move. I think I would try to keep plowing the hard ground, rather than find ground that’s more plowable.

Carol: Well, I’ll tell you my favorite response to that is, if I said to you, I mean, typically we’ll say to our kids, three minus two equals one. And if they don’t get it, we’ll say it again. If they don’t get that, we’ll say it louder. If they don’t get that, we’ll say it slower. (Laughter) But if I said to you, you know, that a seven “schnoodled” by a two will “grovinate” into a 16. (Laughter) Now if I said it to you louder or slower or 20 more times, will it get you anywhere?

Jim: I don’t know what you’re talkin’ about.

Carol: And the answer is no. Until I explain “schnoodled” or “grovinate,” we’re not goin’ anywhere. So, sometimes when you keep pounding away with the exact same approach and the exact same wording and they’re not getting it, more of nothing is nothing! We have to come at it from a different angle or this kid’s gonna get stuck.

Jim: Talk about that parental frustration. And we’ve seen it in our own experience at home. You can if you’re not careful, you can lose it as a parent. You do get frustrated and the child’s pickin’ that up. They don’t know where to go with that.

Carol: Yeah.

Jim: How do you better manage that? Coach the parent on how to take that deep breath and say, “Okay, try somethin’ new.”

Carol: It comes back to the keys. I’m going to present to my child my explanation of maybe fractions or whatever it is they’re working and they don’t get it. So, I got … I got one more key in my pocket. So, I pull it out and I present it and they still don’t get it. This is where most parents get frustrated, ‘cause they’re like, “Okay, I’ve explained it to you every way I know how. Okay, if you’re not getting’ this, I don’t know what else to do.”

Jim: And they’re saying in that, the parent is saying that, “I don’t know where to go.”

Carol: Right. That is where they step back and they go, “You know what? I’m gonna find another key. I don’t have it right now but I’m gonna go find another key.” And everybody can take a step back and it says to the child, “We’re not done here. You’re gonna get this. It’s not a question of if; it’s just a question of when and we’re gonna go find the method that works for you.” And you get on the Internet and you talk to teachers and you get books and you ask around and you can find other keys to try with this child. But that frustration point, everybody gets there when they’ve run out of their own keys. Just step back.

Jim: Yeah, that is good.

John: And this is not an uncommon thing. I think too many parents, Carol, feel like I’m the only one who’s struggling with my child in this way. It’s pretty common, isn’t it?

Carol: Very common. In fact, I’m guessing it’s universal at some point in a child’s, you know, upbringing.

Jim: Carol, let’s end with this important question. What is the most important thing we as parents can do to help our children succeed at learning which is the core thing?

Carol: The most useful thing I think is to own the fact that they can learn if we just provide the right key.

Jim: Hum…

Carol: And that once that’s found they’ll be fine. But if we believe that they can’t learn, they’ll believe it, too. They’ll be right behind us in that belief, so it can never be a part of the equation. They have to know that we are fully invested in the idea that when we find the right approach, they will learn.

Jim: Carol, you know that advice is so good in our Christian faith, as well, isn’t it? When we’re talking to people? I mean, that just struck me. That it’s about finding the right key. The Lord has given us a set of keys and He’s just saying, pick the right one in that situation where you can communicate with your children, with your spouse, with your family members. It is always about the right key, isn’t it?

Carol: Right and He’s made us all so differently, so the keys are going to be different and instead of trying to make our kids all look and walk and talk the same, we need to open up the gift that He has put in this child and figure out what He’s got in mind for them in how they learn.

Jim: Carol, thanks for being with us.

Carol: Thank you so much for having me. It was a delight.

Closing:

John: And that’s how we concluded our conversation with Carol Barnier on Focus on the Family.  Your host – Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller.

Jim: Well, it’s my hope, John, that many moms and dads were encouraged by what Carol shared these last couple of days, John. And that you, the listener, will get a copy of The Big What Now Book of Learning Styles. 

Now, it may be that your kids are in a good place, education-wise, and you don’t really need a resource like this.  But I’ll bet you know of a family who is struggling. And what a great ministry, just to keep your eyes open looking for those parents that might need some help. In fact, we hear from a lot of parents who are dealing with some kind of challenge or crisis in their families — hundreds of thousands every year. But thanks to the generosity of friends like you, Focus on the Family is strategically placed to bring hope and practical help to these moms and dads.  And let me say “thank you” to our friends for that valuable support.

And I’d like to invite you to join our family building team. By making a monthly pledge today, you will enable us to reach more hurting families and bring them the resources they need to thrive. Even a one-time gift is helpful for someone in need. So, please, be generous with your giving to Focus on the Family today.

Closing Voice Track:

John: We really are counting on your support, so please, donate online at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Or call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY.

And if you can make a monthly pledge, or a generous one-time gift of any amount today, we’ll say “thanks” by sending a complimentary copy of the The Big What Now Book of Learning Styles by Carol Barnier.

Be sure, as well, to look for details about our Thriving Student podcast. It’s a six-part series where we’ll help you raise healthier kids emotionally, physically, socially, and spiritually. It’s a great back to school resource for your family. And we’ve got details, and a link, at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Now, coming up next time you’ll hear the incredible story of Christian musician, Russ Taff. He’ll be describing his abusive childhood and how God transformed his life.

Mr. Russ Taff: The most damaging thing that happened to me and my brothers daily – “You’re not worth the bullet to shoot you with. You’re not worth the salt that goes on your bread. You will never amount to anything.”

Today's Guests

The Big WHAT NOW Book of Learning Styles

The Big WHAT NOW Book of Learning Styles

Receive Carol Barnier's book The Big WHAT NOW Book of Learning Styles for your donation of any amount! Plus, receive member-exclusive benefits when you make a recurring gift today. Your monthly support helps families thrive.

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Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

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Headshot image of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Patti Giebink

Mrs. Patti Giebink

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Cover image of the book "Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life"

Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life

Unexpected Choice is told from the perspective of a doctor who actually performed abortions through Planned Parenthood. The book chronicles her journey from being a pro-choice physician to someone speaking on behalf of the pro-life movement.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 2

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Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

Cherishing Your Spouse Every Day

Do you love your spouse, or do you truly cherish them? Gary Thomas encourages couples to make a daily effort to go beyond the ‘duty’ of love, and combat the natural inclination to drift apart, by choosing to see the best in their spouse.

Mr. Gary Thomas

Gary Thomas is an international speaker and best-selling, award-winning author whose books include Married SexSacred Marriage and Sacred Parenting. He has also written numerous articles for several prominent national magazines. Gary and his wife, Lisa, reside in Texas and have three children. You can learn more about Gary by visiting his website, www.garythomas.com.

cherish front cover

Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work

“Most marriages survive by gritting teeth and holding on. But marriages can and will not only survive but thrive when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another.” Those are the powerful words of bestselling author Gary Thomas in his newest book–Cherish. And in a world desperate for marriage redemption, it is needed now more than ever. Thomas shows that although there are a countless number of marriages consisting of two people just going through the motions, there are real ways this pattern can be reversed: when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another in proven, loving, and everyday actions and words.

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

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

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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!

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

To be an effective parent, you must be a leader in your child’s life, guiding with a gentle hand and setting a solid example. Dr. Randy Schroeder provides the insight you need to be a leader-parent. As he explores the foundational Rs—relationship, routines, responsibilities, and rules—you’ll better understand the role you play in your child’s life. You’ll learn great phrases to employ such as “Either/Or/You Decide” and “When You/Then You”. While there is no perfect parent, this nuts-and-bolts material will equip you to lead your child in a loving, confident manner.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Randy Schroeder

Dr. Randy Schroeder

Dr. Randy Schroeder has spent more than four decades writing, counseling, speaking, and teaching. For nearly 25 years, he was Vice President of Student Personnel Services, Dean of Students, and a professor of pastoral counseling at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. He’s also led a successful counseling practice helping individuals, couples, and families to thrive in their lives and relationships.

Cover image of Dr. Randall Schroeder's book "Simple Habits for Effective Parenting"

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

Effective parenting is now within your grasp! With this inspiring how-to comprehensive book, achieve extraordinary results in raising a child to be self-assured, self-reliant, and responsible! You will be able to successfully lead and lovingly encourage your child toward a Godly life!

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

God designed marriage to reflect His love to the world; and because of this, the enemy wants to destroy God’s beautiful design. Based on his book, Defending Your Marriage, Dr. Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff share about the reality of spiritual warfare against marriages, and how to combat the enemy’s lies with the truth of God. Couples will be encouraged that they’re not alone in the fight for a godly marriage and better equipped to be a shining example for the world around them.

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

Dr. Tim Muehlhoff is a professor of communication at Biola University in La Mirada, California where he teaches classes in family communication, interpersonal communication, apologetics, gender, and conflict resolution.  Tim and his wife, Noreen, are both on staff with Biola’s Center for Marriage and Relationships  where he is a co-host of The Art of Relationship podcast. 

Defending Your Marriage

Is your marriage under attack? Sometimes it can feel like the world is trying to tear your marriage apart. Internal conflicts or external pressures might make you wonder if something sinister is going on. How can you tell if you’re facing spiritual opposition? And what can you do about it? Tim Muehlhoff provides a straightforward resource for protecting your marriage from the threats of the evil one. He looks at what Scripture says about spiritual warfare and how our everyday struggles have deeper spiritual realities. And he provides practical steps for guarding our marriages with the whole armor of God.

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others.

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others.

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 2

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

As a spouse, you have three roles to play—a friend, a partner, and a lover. On this one-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Pastor Kevin A. Thompson explores those different roles and challenges you to live them out by investing emotionally, physically, and mentally in your relationship. As friends, he suggests we learn to play and laugh together. As partners, he equips us with solid ways to handle conflict and communication. As lovers, he offers some thoughts on how to bring back the sizzle. He shares five keys to saving your marriage: humility, respect, mercy, communication, and resilience. You’ll be encouraged to intentionally invest in your marriage.

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

Kevin A. Thompson (MDiv, Beeson Divinity School) is lead pastor at Community Bible Church, a growing multi-site church with four locations in western Arkansas. Every year he meets with nearly one hundred couples with a range of needs, from pre-marital counseling to navigating the most serious betrayals. A marriage and parenting conference speaker, he and his wife, Jenny, have two children and live in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He blogs at kevinathompson.com.

Cover image of Kevin Thompson's book "Friends, Partners & Lovers"

Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work

With engaging stories and clear, simple language, pastor Kevin Thompson shows how to live out three distinct roles in marraige. Using solid biblical principles, he helps you and your spouse grow your friendship, be supportive partners through the good times and the bad, and develop a healthy and satisfying sex life.

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

You can confidently and lovingly share your faith—you just need to learn some new tactics to do so! In this Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast, apologist Greg Koukl outlines the “Columbo” tactic of asking questions, the “self-defeating argument” tactic to find holes in your opponent’s arguments, and other specific methods for engaging in faith-building conversations with others. Greg pulls from his over 30 years of experience debating atheists and agnostics to help you share your faith with grace and truth.

Mr. Greg Koukl

Greg Koukl is a writer, public speaker and talk show host who’s spent 30 years advocating for and defending the Christian worldview. Greg has written or contributed to 15 books, including The Story of RealityTactics, and Precious Unborn Human Persons. Greg has published nearly 230 articles and has spoken on 80 college and university campuses in the U.S. and abroad.

Tactics front cover

Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions

In a world increasingly indifferent to Christian truth, followers of Christ need to be equipped to communicate with those who do not speak their language or accept their source of authority. In Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition, Gregory Koukl demonstrates how to artfully regain control of conversations, keeping them moving forward in constructive ways through thoughtful diplomacy. You’ll learn how to stop challengers in their tracks and how to turn the tables on questions or provocative statements. Most important, you’ll learn how to get people thinking about Jesus.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 1

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

As a latchkey kid, Wendy Speake turned to sugar for comfort. Every Friday, she would pedal to the candy show and use her allowance to fill her bag with candy. And one day, when she was older and a mom of three young boys, she came to realize that she was still “pedaling” away from her stress and using sugar as comfort, instead of turning to Jesus. She was joyless, worn out, tired, and in need of a change. In this interview, Wendy will challenge Christians to take 40 days to focus on fasting from something they turn to instead of Jesus for comfort. She invited people to break free from a dependence on sugar and taste the goodness of God.

Author Wendy Speake smiling as she holds up her book "The 40-Day Social Media Fast"

Mrs. Wendy Speake

With a background in Hollywood as a trained actress, Wendy Speake ministers to women as a bible teacher by applying the power of drama, poetry and comedy to the study of Scripture and real-life application of biblical truths. She has co-authored two books with Amber Lia titled Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and their latest, Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, Say Something New. Wendy is also the co-author (with Kelli Stuart) of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom.

Cover image of the book "The 40-Day Sugar Fast"

The 40-Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation

Welcome to the 40-Day Sugar Fast, a fast that begins with us giving Jesus our sugar and ends with Jesus giving us himself–the only thing that can ever truly satisfy our soul’s deep hunger. On this 40-day journey you’ll learn how to stop fixating on food and other things you use to fill the voids in life and instead fix your eyes on Christ. Anyone who runs to sugar for comfort or a reward, who eats mindlessly or out of boredom, who feels physically and spiritually lethargic, or who struggles with self-control will discover here not only freedom from their cravings but an entirely new appetite for the good things God has for us.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 2

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life – from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. He’ll share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of life’s toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. W. Lee Warren

Dr. Lee Warren

W. Lee Warren, M.D., is a brain surgeon , inventor, Iraq War veteran, and author of I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, winner of the Christian Book Award®. His previous book, No Place to Hide, was included on the 2015 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Recommended Reading List. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and the CBS Evening News, and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, which is heard in more than 60 countries, helps listeners use the power of neuroscience, faith, and common sense to change their lives.

Cover image of Dr. Lee Warren's book "I've Seen the End of You"

I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

This gripping inspirational memoir grapples with the tension between faith and science—and between death and hope—as a seasoned neurosurgeon faces insurmountable odds and grief both in the office and at home.

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 1

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

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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!