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Managing Technology’s Impact on Your Kids (Part 1)

Managing Technology’s Impact on Your Kids (Part 1)

Dr. Kathy Koch offers parents helpful insights and advice from her new book, Screens and Teens: Connecting With Our Kids in a Wireless World. (Part 1 of 2)

Opening:

Teaser:

Jim Daly: Dr. Koch, at what age should a parent buy their child the first cell phone? (Laughter) I see that face.

John Fuller: That’s a hard ball there.

Dr. Kathy Koch: The first cell phone, I really can’t answer that, because it depends on the situation–

Jim: And the maturity of the child.

Dr. Kathy Koch: –and the maturity of the child. But a cell phone that has only three numbers, mom’s cell phone, Dad’s work and 911, if the child is alone a lot, maybe at age 10. But that again, depends upon the situation.

Jim: And not Internet access.

Dr. Kathy Koch: Right, for sure.

End of Teaser:

John: Well, that is a thorny question, Jim, that I know you and Jean are starting to talk about (Laughter) and it’s one that many parents have to deal with and there are a lot of technology and kid questions that come up, it seems every day. And here at Focus on the Family, we’re hearing from you and we’re bringing a program to you to address this matter. Your host is Focus president, Jim Daly and I’m John Fuller.

Jim: John, you know, in preparation for the interview, I read some shocking stats that, get this: in the course of one minute, YouTube users upload 48 hours of new video content.

John: In one moment–

Jim: In one minute—

John: –48!

Jim: –they load 48 hours of new video content. Facebook users share over 680,000 pieces of content. Google searches, now this is in one minute, more than 2 million Google searches will occur in one minute. And then lastly, over 200 million e-mail messages in just one minute.

John: Oh, my goodness.

Jim: On the one hand, it shows you how pervasive technology is and on the other hand, it shows you how pervasive technology is. I mean, it’s right in our face all the time. It’s convenient. It’s useful and today we want to talk about how to parent your teens in this technology rich environment. And we’re gonna do that with one of our great guests, Dr. Kathy Koch.

John: Uh-hm, yeah, she’s been on here a number of times with us and is always one of our most popular guests to have on, because she brings a lot of wisdom and insight and energy to this matter of children. She’s the founder of Celebrate Kids, Inc. and has written a number of books. And I am looking forward to the conversation today about one of her latest, Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World.

Body:

Jim: Kathy, welcome back to “Focus.”

Kathy: Thank you so much. Glad to be here.

Jim: Let me ask you from that title, you get the impression you’re talking about how to help and equip parents to allow and help their teens manage technology. That’s really not what you’re getting at, is it?

Kathy: What I want to help parents understand is how technology is influencing the belief system of their kids and therefore, their behaviors. So, it’s not a book about technology, so much as it’s a book about what technology is doing to their beliefs and behaviors.

Jim: Give me a specific. What is technology doing to my teens?

Kathy: Okay, are your kids arguing more than you thought they ever would or complaining more than you thought they ever would?

Jim: Hm.

Kathy: Many parents are telling me, yes, they’re never satisfied. Teachers are telling me that if the kids are asked to do a 500-word essay in blue pen, long hand, the kids are like, “How about 400 words on the computer due the next day instead.”

Jim: Spellchecked and everything.

Kathy: Yeah, they’re always asking for another option. Well, that’s because their brains are wired for choice because of the drop-down menu.

Jim: Hm.

Kathy: All the technology that we use and many of the platforms we use on the technology is drop-down menu drive, right?

Jim: Uh-hm, yes.

Kathy: TV, cable, DVR, cell phone, e-mail, your digital camera. Many of games that kids play have this menu of all these choices, so their brains are being wired by the technology to believe that choice is their right, where those of us who are older believe choice is a privilege. So, if you’re raising children who are constantly complaining, that’s because of technology.

Jim: Well, I mean, let’s get practical. How does a parent start to deconstruct that “choice is a right and not a privilege.”

Kathy: Oh, my goodness, it’s hard, isn’t it? We have to believe that for ourselves, because how many of us would like a choice, even though our brains aren’t wired for it? So, here’s an example. There used to be one kind of cracker that I liked. This particular cracker now has 12 varieties. (Laughter) When I go to the store—

Jim: Wheat Things–

Kathy: –I want Wheat Thins—

Jim: –Triscuits.

Kathy: –Triscuits. When I go to the store, I want my Triscuit. I want the Triscuit I have decided is my favorite. It’s the old standard—

Jim: Onion, garlic–

Kathy:–one. I like rye. Actually, it’s rye.

Jim: –rye, there you go. I like the original. (Laughter)

Kathy: Well, you know, so when I go to the store, I want rye Triscuits and if they don’t have them, I’m like, they should’ve known I was coming and there should be rye Triscuits on the shelf.

Jim: Okay, now let me ask you this. Is this producing the Ugly American?

Kathy: Absolutely, because now it’s all about me and my happiness is another one of the lies I address in the book. So, first thing, Jim, is we as adults, we need to get real here and we need to discover that we’ve become perhaps more complaining and argumentative and demanding than we know we should be, because what are we modeling before our kids?

And then, you know, I love having the conversations with the kids, where we sit them down and we go, “Look, I have figured out that the reason you’re complaining is your brain is wired for choice. I’m gonna respect that and I’m gonna give you options when I can. But I also am raising you to be obedient the first time, because that’s right and that’s what honors God.

So, I know your brain is wired to expect choice, but I’m sorry; we live in a culture where choice is what I sometimes have, but you don’t have.

Jim: So, you’ve touched on how science is proving that our children’s brains are being rewired through technology. It gives us the indication that we should think all technology is bad. That’s not what you’re saying.

Kathy: Not at all. I think technology’s amazing. We’re using it today, right? You know, and I’m all over social media and of course, I use a lap top and a cell phone and all that. But it is the use of it, if there’s too much of it too soon, too many minutes a day. I know kids who are being nurtured by technology, rather than by their parents. ‘Cause even when they’re with their parents, the technology is still there. And that’s not appropriate. I don’t believe that, that honors God and the fact that our children are supposed to be more important to us than the cell phone, if you will.

Jim: Well, let me ask the hard question, which is, you know, look at the log in your own eye, before you look at the speck in your child’s eye.

Kathy: Uh-hm.

Jim: I mean, it’s a little hard, but so often we’re the ones sitting at the dinner table or maybe at the restaurant with the family and we’re lookin’ at our cell phones and doing e-mails in between ordering. And our boys and girls are watchin’ us do it.

Kathy: Absolutely and then they’re not gonna trust us when we say, “You need to put your phone away.” They feel unimportant in that.

Jim: Well, a double standard.

Kathy: Exactly. So, here’s what I would say. Dad is expecting an important call related to a business meeting tomorrow morning. So, I apologize, but I need to keep my phone on and I’m gonna keep it right here. And as soon as I see that, that’s message has come in, I’m putting it off and it’ll be down in my briefcase. The rest of you don’t have a business call that you’re expecting, cell phones off. One of my favorite examples is, that all the cell phones go in the middle of the table.

Jim: Or a basket.

Kathy: Right and the—

Jim: I like it.

Kathy: –and the first one that reaches for the phone pays the bill. (Laughter)

Jim: There’s a good idea.

Kathy: So, I recommend that.

John: That’s good, I like that.

Kathy: So, I think there’s times when we explain and defend appropriately and you might have a child who is wondering whether or not volleyball practice is gonna be cancelled tomorrow and she gets texts from the coach. Totally appropriate that, that phone stays on for that legitimate reason.

Jim: I’ve been really proud of our kids. You know, they’re of an age right now that many of their friends have phones and our guys have not even really asked us or pressured us. It’s like I think they may think that we would say no.

Kathy: Hm.

Jim: But I guess in some ways, I want to delay that as much as possible. So, I’m not gonna bring it up. But we will need to start thinking about age appropriateness when it comes to that request. I mean, they’ve gotta be right around the corner.

Kathy: Uh-hm.

Jim: Trent particularly, he’ll be driving not too far from now and–

Kathy: And that might be the motivation for the phone.

Jim: –that may be the right time and I like that in terms of the age of responsibility and–

Kathy: Uh-hm.

Jim: –it’s a good security measure. What about the parent that’s giving in maybe a bit too early, like 11, 12? And they’ve made the decision, but it’s already creating some disaster. What can they do to help bring that in a little bit?

Kathy: If they believe they made the wrong decision and gave a phone out of pure pressure or even an e-mail account or even something like social media, which has a legal age of 13, they can step back and look their child in their eye and they say, “I’ve made a mistake and I’m so sorry, but I’m taking your phone away, because I realize that you’re not ready for it.” Or “I realize you don’t need it yet and it’s interfering with your choice to invest in real relationships with real people. So, mommy, daddy made a mistake. It’s not your fault. You haven’t done anything wrong, but we’re taking the phone away.”

Let’s own that, you know, and let’s be mature about it. I can’t tell you how many parents have allowed their kids on social media before the legal age and they’ll say to me, “Well, they need to be able to look at the photo albums that their aunts and uncles are posting.” I’m like, “No, they don’t. They can look over your shoulder when you bring it up on your Facebook account.” “Oh, yeah, but they had to have one, because, you know, their brother has one.” “No, they don’t need to have one.” “Well, I just gave in; it’ll be okay.”

And I look them right in the eye and I say, “What are you gonna do when they’re 16 and they’re asking about something else?” Oh, no, that’ll be different.” (Laughter) “No, it won’t. You’ve started this slippery slope of allowing yourself to be manipulated by the whiny, demanding behavior.” And what I want to say is, “Be the parent.”

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: Say no to the “no” things, yes to the “yes” things. Defend yourself if it’s appropriate. You don’t even have to defend yourself all the time. You’re the parent who knows best and you have a vision for your kids.

Jim: You know, sometimes though, it can be parent-to-parent peer pressure–

Kathy: Yes, it’s true.

Jim: –(Laughing) especially if it’s fairly tight and your kids are friends.

John: Uh-hm.

Jim: And the parents have said, okay and boy, now your kids are saying, “Well, Joey’s got one and Mrs. Joey said it was okay.” (Laughing) And now you got parent-to-parent peer pressure and what do you do with that—

Kathy: You know—

Jim: –without throwin’ the parents under the bus?

Kathy:–well, that’s a really good question, because maybe you’re parenting your kids the way that God’s told you to.

Jim: Well, it’s that moment you’ve gotta differentiate.

Kathy: Absolutely.

Jim: You know, that’s gonna be fine for Joey and his mom and dad, but for us, we’re gonna go a different direction and here’s why. Is it important to explain? I think a lot of parents might make the mistake of not explaining it, so they’re told, “We’re doing it differently” and then the child’s left scratching his head. “Well, why are we different?”

Kathy: That’s a good point and then the child might feel badly—

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: –you know, like I’m a bad kid; therefore I don’t get a phone. So, yes, I do think there’s times when we explain and if you read books like mine, frankly, you’ll understand why the delay because of brain development issues and social issues that come up.

Jim: Ah.

John: We’re talking to Dr. Kathy Koch today on “Focus on the Family” with Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller and you can find some helps for some of these thorny issues and getting a handle on the technology in your life and in your children’s lives, when you stop by www.focusonthefamily.com/radio. You can also call us. It’s 800-A-FAMILY. And then let me just mention, we do have a mobile app. (Laughter) It seems a little inappropriate maybe—

Jim: Hey, that’s okay.

John: –but we’re online and we have a mobile app, so you can get that at the website, as well. Kathy, I’ve observed that my now 11-year-old, I mean, he’s grown up with SmartPhones. He knows what a SmartPhone is. There’s a whole generation being affected developmentally by technology. What do you see comin’ down the road when they’re adults and they’re parents?

Kathy: That’s a great question. I’m concerned, because of the lies that I think the young adults are beginning to believe because of technology. So they’re gonna parent from that perspective, which is dangerous.

For instance, the lie that I deserve to be happy all the time, which is another lie technology is teaching our kids. If you parent so that you’re happy all the time and your kid is happy all the time, you’re gonna not necessarily be saying yes to the correct things and you’re not necessarily gonna say no as often as you maybe should. So, I am concerned with that.

I also see some potential in our culture, where this generation is gonna do a U-turn on themselves and they’re gonna come back to face-to-face relationships, because in reality, texting will not meet their core need for healthy belonging. It will be a relationship like we’re having even here at the table, where we’re looking into each other’s eyes.

Jim and John: Uh-hm.

Kathy: And I have hope for that U-turn.

Jim: Kathy, not only happiness, but you also have the issue of that perfection and I liked in your book what you talked about, when the mother took so many pictures. Describe that scene and it made an impact on me. I think you’re on to somethin’ that’s very important.

Kathy: Oh, I appreciate that. You know, I’m a fan of the digital camera and the phone in the camera’s amazing and I’m not opposed to us using itBut what happened with this particular mom was, it was her daughter’s first day of preschool. So, she did what every good mom does, which is take her daughter’s picture. But now with the digital camera, she was able to take it and look at it and realize that there was a shadow on her daughter’s face. So, she said, “Turn a little bit this way. Oh, now wait; the tree looks like it’s growing out of your head. Take two steps this way.” And then there were all these issues and she kept taking pictures. And by the eighth or ninth picture, the little girl, 4-years-old, stomped off, ran away crying, “Mommy, I thought I was cuter than this.”

Jim: Oh, so she internalized the whole thing.

Kathy: She internalized, not what the mom wanted. The mom didn’t want her daughter to perceive that she was anything but adorable on the first day of preschool. But the demand from the mom for a perfect picture planted the seed in the daughter that she was imperfect. And that’s the danger of some of the technology, because we’re not perfect. Let’s admit it. So, I want to get the best picture I can get. Sure, but sometimes we should just put our camera away.

Jim: You know, when you look at technology and particularly of social media and you think of the impact on teens, it’s almost like the rudest, crudest, popularity contest there could ever be, ’cause they’re talkin’ about how many likes do you have and how many “unfriends” do you have? (Chuckling)

Kathy: Uh-hm.

Jim: And I mean, how do you manage that as a parent with your teen, when they’re coming home crying and saying, so and so “unfriended” me. Hey, what is that all about?

Kathy: Wow. Again, let’s make sure that we have of positive relationship with our kids, so that they do have something solid they can come home to, where they know that we’re going to listen to their heart and we’re going to provide good insight. We’re not gonna dismiss them as just being, you know, worried about nothing. So, I think that’s a really core part of this whole issue, is that if we have a real relationship with our kids and we really know them and they really know us, then they’ll be honest with us and that’s great.

If they do come home disturbed about being unfriended or being bullied on social media, we hug them. We cry with them. I believe it’s really important to respond to emotion with emotion. So, before we fix it, we hear it and we respond and we say, “I’m sad for you. That must have really been hurtful. Let’s talk about that. Did you do anything that resulted and caused it? Let’s own your responsibility here.”

Because one of the things that we’ve gotta help our kids understand is that there are consequences, even though a lot of technology treats them as if there aren’t any consequences, ’cause you can restart anything that quits—

Jim: That’s right.

Kathy: –that quits, right? So, they believe that there really aren’t consequences. So, I think it’s fair to say as a dad or a mom or a teacher or a pastor, “Did you do anything that caused the unfriending? Or did you do anything that caused them to say negative, untrue things about you? And let’s help our kids discern their own behavior and why did they do that? Was it a popularity contest? Were they, you know, wrapped up in the adrenaline moment, which can even happen to adults. And then we say, “Let’s take a break.”

Jim: You know, I don’t have the research right at the tip of my fingers, but over the last couple of years I’ve read a fair amount of research that shows that children want a great relationship with their parents.

Kathy: Yes.

Jim: When they’re asked, they say, “Yes, I want that.” Something though is falling short, because when they become teenagers, that begins to wane. Something’s going wrong in the relationship often. They yearn for it. I think it’s something that God places in a child’s heart, that they want that healthy relationship with mom and dad. And so, I would ask, what’s goin’ wrong?

Kathy: The busyness of moms and dads today can cause children to believe that they are second place. And I ache for that. I’m all about understanding parents have their own lives and they have many of them, careers and major responsibilities and yes, they’re busy.

But children who feel like they’re second fiddle, like they’re unknown in their own families, they’re unimportant there, the dinner’s never on the table anymore and it’s always something else, they begin to doubt the connection. They begin to believe that work is more important, that mom’s friends at the club are more important and that’s sad.

So, we have to maintain that positive real relationship, where we know our kids and our kids want to be known. And we parent from the get-go, Jim. You know when things are easy, when the kids are young and everything seems easy, we’re still parenting. We’re still proving to them that our knowledge matters and that our authority is for them, not against them, that the boundaries that we placed around them when they’re 6, 7 and 8, we don’t allow sleepovers, for instance, that that’s healthy for them, not against them. It’s not because we think you’re a bad kid; it’s because God has placed us in your presence as the parent and we will be responsible for you.

Jim: We’re takin’ our job seriously.

Kathy: Exactly and when we do that from the get-go, then I think teenagers don’t resent the interference. They call it “interference.” No, it’s parenting, it’s parenting 101. It’s my responsibility.

Jim: Let me ask this hard question, because part of that vacuum that’s created when there’s not healthy relationships within the home, I would think it’s exactly when they’ll turn to social media. They’ll turn to technology, to have that need met, to feel connection, to have a sense of identity within that group, to have a sense of purpose.

Is it fair to say that? I know it sounds harsh, but those busy and moms and dads, if your priorities are out of place, it may be that your kid’s involvement may be detrimental involvement in technology. It might be ’cause they’re not getting something from home. Is that fair?

Kathy: I totally agree that, that could be why they’d be in a text and why they’re texting all hours of the day, why they’re gaming with the games where they get to be on a team with real people. And it also can be frankly, why moms and dads are lonely, because they’ve started to text more than is even appropriate and they’re using technology to short circuit the reality of a real relationship.

Jim: Husbands and wives.

Kathy: Absolutely and I understand it’s convenient and it’s quick and we’re busy and I get all that. But it’s dangerous, so let’s call it what it is. So, yeah, if I see that in my family, I would pull those kids aside and say, “We’re concerned and this isn’t healthy for your relationships. We’ve gotta have more heart-to-heart things that are going on there.

Let me say this, that all of us were created for a need for relationship and a need for connection. We were created for community. And if they’re not gonna get it in the safety, if you will, of their family, they will go get it somewhere. We were the same way. If we were raised and our age was an unavailable mom, we joined the volleyball team or we joined a club in school and that’s where we got our fix, if you will. Today they’re getting it on social media.

John: Kathy, we had an experience some years ago. I won’t identify which child, but we were there. We were available, but a technology entered in and that’s where that child was going more and more and more. It’s tough to get a handle on that. I mean, what advice do you have for me, if I’m thinking all right, well, she’s talkin’ about something we’re dealing with, but I mean, I’m gonna ruin the relationship if I take the technology away. I know what’s gonna happen. They’re gonna just absolutely blow up and that’s the end of it. So, give me a script. What might that sound like as I start that conversation?

Kathy: You have proven that you’re not ready yet for the independence I’ve provided you, not “I am taking your phone away,” but the consequence, you have proven to us that you’re not mature enough to handle the freedom that this particular technology has allowed you. Because of the choices you’ve made, we are taking it from you for a period of time, to be determined based on your attitudes, your behavior.

I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m taking it away for two weeks. I’m taking it away because you have proven that you can’t handle it. We made a mistake maybe by giving you a little bit too much. We thought you were ready. You’ve proven you’re not. It’s a factor we’ve observed; we’re taking it away. “Well, for how long?” “That’ll be dependent upon your attitude, your cooperation, what you choose to do, how you choose to behave. You’ll get it back when we decide based on your behavior, that you’re ready for it.” The other key is, in my opinion, what do we do with their now available time? Right? If I have taken away—

John: Yes.

Kathy: –their communication tool, their gaming, their calculator, their watch, their alarm clock, their everything, I’ve gotta do something with that. And that’s where now we read together. We plan games together. We go to the park together. We parent them in conversations.

Jim: That is so good and again, one of the things I’m grateful for Jean, she always emphasized imagination.

Kathy: Excellent.

Jim: And which meant, we didn’t want to place a lot of the artificial crutches there, that took that away from them. So, you guys come up with story. You build the Legos. You do the things that need to be done. And I think that’s been a good parenting approach there and I’ll give Jean credit for that, because she’s done a wonderful job. And I’ll tell you, the kids, their imagination is really strong because of that. We didn’t give ’em a lot of screen time in that regard. And I think it’s been terrific.

Kathy: Uh-hm.

Jim: The other thing that I think is really helpful is, minimizing the time. So, Monday through Friday, we always had a rule where they did not do electronics during the week, during school year. Summer, we’d be a little more easy goin’ about it. But during school, Monday through Friday, you don’t get electronics. And then on the weekend, you get doses of it. And that’s what we’re gonna manage.

And you know what? To the kids’ credit, they’ve really responded well. They haven’t fought that too much. It’s what we’ve done since the git-go and it’s the way things are. And I think those have been things that have worked well for us.

Kathy: That’s excellent. I recommend that parents set digital-free days and—

Jim: Yeah.

Kathi: –digital-free zones, like the kitchen table, the restaurant table. I think the car should be silent, no pods, no hand-held devices; talk to each other, look out the window, just rest, ’cause there’s evidence that the brain benefits from rest and our generation of children aren’t resting enough, ’cause there’s always noise and there’s always something that they’re doing.

And the digital-free days are very powerful, one weekend or one week. I like the idea of no screen time other than homework Monday through Friday. I think that’s very wise for a lot of reasons. The weekends then may be a little freer. I’ve had a lot of parents tell me that they’ve recognized when they’ve taken their kids off a technology, how less angry their kids are.

Jim: Yeah.

Kathi: And they didn’t know that the anger and the aggression and the lack of contentment was being birthed in the use of technology. So, when you take it away for a while, you discover your kids are actually very sweet.

Jim: And again, is that because the games are kind of feasting off of that and it’s putting patterns down in our children, competitive patterns, winning patterns in that way, that aren’t typically healthy?

Kathi: That’s part of it. Technology is teaching them that they have a right to be happy all the time. They can multitask and choose among things that can win every game if they play, if they play long enough. And so, when they’re off technology, they still demand that until they’ve had enough of a break that their brain settles back down, if that makes sense.

Jim: Oh, it does; it does. And we have zoomed through this first day.

Kathi: Oh, my goodness.

Jim: And you know, we’ve talked about adults and how we need to admit our own shortcoming in this area. And we need to rein in our addiction, our own addiction to technology, so we can model it for our kids. And then hold our kids accountable. Don’t be too soft in this area, because you know, these are critical things for our children to learn. Be the parent, as you’ve said.

Technology’s not bad in and of itself. It’s how we use it and how we let it make us who we are. And we gotta be careful about that. Kathy Koch, author of the book, Screens and Teens, I want to come back next time. I want to talk about narcissism, which I’m thinking, what teenager isn’t a bit self-centered? And then how do we begin to give them a bigger perspective of the world? Can we do that? Come back?

Kathy: Can we also talk about what’s great about today’s teenagers?

Jim: Absolutely, let’s do that.

Kathi: Let’s do it.

Jim: Let’s celebrate them.

Kathy: I would love to do that with you.

Jim: Okay, great. Let’s do it.

John: Well, and there is so much to celebrate when they hit that age and Kathy, we look forward to hearing more from you about technology use in the home. And you’ll want to get a copy of Screens and Teens, which covers all the ways that technology is influencing your child and in some ways that you may not even be aware of and how you, as a parent, can set some realistic boundaries when it comes to screen use in your home. You’ll find a copy of Screens and Teens at www.focusonthefamily.com/radio.

While you’re there, be sure you get the free document that we’ve posted there. It’s called “Social Networking Challenges Every Parent Should Know.” Now this is an informative step-by-step guide about how you can protect your child online from cyberbullying, inappropriate websites, predators and more.

And let me share a comment that we received from a listener named Rick, who said, “I enjoy being able to hear your broadcast on my iPhone with the Focus on the Family daily broadcast app. The wisdom you share has been very helpful in my life and God has used Focus on the Family to help bring my life, Laura and me, back toge

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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.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 1

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.

How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

As an abortion doctor at Planned Parenthood, Dr. Patti Giebink believed she was helping women. Later, she began reading scripture and God gradually changed her heart on the abortion issue. Patti tells the story of her long journey from abortion doctor to pro-life and encourages listeners to share the message of life with compassion.

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

Mrs. Patti Giebink

Dr. Patti Giebink is an OB-GYN who serves on the board of the Alpha Center, a well-known pregnancy center located in Sioux Falls, S.D. She also travels intermittently to work in mission hospitals in Pakistan and other countries. After completing her medical training, Dr. Giebink worked for Planned Parenthood from 1995-1997, during which she was the only abortion-provider in the state of South Dakota. She eventually experienced a radical change of heart on the issue of abortion after receiving God’s grace, forgiveness, and love, and she is now a passionate advocate for the pro-life movement.

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

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.

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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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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.

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!