Focus on the Family Broadcast

The Joys and Challenges of Parenthood (Part 2 of 2)

The Joys and Challenges of Parenthood (Part 2 of 2)

Katharine Hill offers practical advice and encouragement to parents of young children. She recommends stop trying to a “superhero” parent and don’t compare your family to others. (Part 2 of 2)
Original Air Date: January 5, 2023


Katharine Hill: I think guilt does come with the territory in parenting. And we can feel guilty if they don’t eat their broccoli, if they pinch their siblings, if they’re not doing well at school, if, um, if we feel that they’re not doing the things that society expects them to be doing at the particular stage or age. So often as moms, um, we, we start looking at ourselves, and we think, “What have I done wrong? What could I do better?” And sometimes there are things that we can do better. But generally, guilt isn’t a, isn’t a good thing. It just holds us back and weighs us down, and God doesn’t want us to go around with that weight of guilt.

End of Preview

John Fuller: That’s Katharine Hill describing some better ways that we can parent our children. And, uh, one of our goals here at Focus on the Family is to help you be the best mom or dad you can be. So lean in and listen in as we have more from Katharine, her insights and her encouragement today. Your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, we had a very practical conversation last time with Katharine. And when, you know, when I’m thinking about it, there’s so much great biblical truth in marriage and parenting. I mean, the Lord has wired us, and when we as Christians can tap into that wisdom, and then, uh, share it with others, it’s such a beautiful thing. And that’s what we’re trying to do every day here at Focus on the Family. Uh, it does have nuts and bolt components to it, but i-it really is about the spiritual impact on your children over the long haul. These kids need to be loved. They need to feel that they’re loved, regardless of how they behave. And that behavior is something you shape over time. And I’m excited to continue the discussion with Katharine. Last time, she explained that we don’t need to be superhero parents.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Did you ever feel like that?

John: I have-

Jim: (laughing)

John: … had occasions to be knocked off that pedestal.

Jim: I did on the coaching side, “Come on, give the ball to Trent. Let me run it.”

John: (laughing)

Jim: The superhero. Uh, but also, she addressed the guilt that many parents feel, especially moms, just that general guilt of, of, “I’m not doing the job right. Look at, they’re crying. Why would my kids be crying?” And then Katharine gave us some great reminders, like, keeping your marriage a priority during the parenting years, because, uh, unfortunately, so many, uh, marriages are breaking up after the kids leave the home. And that is not a good testimony about your Christian faith. Uh, simply put, this is solid stuff. And if you missed the conversation last time, uh, you can tap into our website, or get the smartphone download to reconnect with that episode last time. And certainly, I’m glad you’re here for this episode.

John: And Katharine Hill, as we mentioned last time, is the director for Care for the Family, which is a sister ministry, if you will, to Focus on the Family, in the UK. Uh, Katharine and her husband Richard have four grown children and five grandchildren. And she’s written a number of books, uh, one we’re covering today is, If You Forget Everything Else, Remember This: Parenting in the Primary Years. And you can get your copy when you call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY, 800-232-6459, or stop by

Jim: Katharine welcome back to Focus.

Katharine: Thank you.

Jim: I, uh, I’m so grateful you did Chapel for us. And I heard two staff people saying, “I could listen to her forever. I love her accent.”

Katharine: Oh, that’s so kind.

Jim: Isn’t that fun.

Katharine: That’s so kind.

Jim: That’s so sweet.

Katharine: Translate some of the words, I think. But…

Jim: But it’s just wonderful. I love the way you pour in to not only, uh, those in the UK, but our office in South Africa. Care for the Family’s been a great help to the international network of Focus. So thank you for all of that labor. Let me, let me, before we get into the parenting side, uh, I love the story of your father. And you, you touched on that, even at chapel the other day. But, um, he lived to be a 100 years old.

Katharine: A 100 years old.

Jim: And you had, uh, it seemed like, quite a loving and unique relationship with him. So, let’s just ask that question, what did you learn from your dad?

Katharine: Yeah, he m-, he married my… He was a little bit older than my mother, um, married when he was a little bit older, and, yeah, as you say, lived to be a 100. And honestly, lived life to the full, until a few months just before he died. Actually died on Christmas day.

Jim: Oh, my goodness.

Katharine: Um, had Christmas day with us as a family, and then died that evening. And in many ways, he was a bit of a Father Christmas. He was someone who was incredibly kind, and generous, very gentle, I don’t think… I can’t remember ever having heard him raise his voice-

Jim: Wow.

Katharine: … ever, in all that time. Um, and, uh, he was a great storyteller. So he loved to tell stories of, um, how things were. Because he, um, he was born in 1917, so, you know, he, he was born during the First World War, he had, obviously, lived through and fought in the Second World War. And then, um, became a doctor. Um, and just had lots and lots of wonderful stories. Real people person. He was somebody who was always interested in other people. Um, and I learnt a lot of those things from him.

Jim: It’s so wonderful. And, you know, I can see your zeal for doing what you do, coming from even what you learned from your own mother and father.

Katharine: Yeah. I mean, he had a-

Jim: And that’s great.

Katharine: … he had a very quiet faith, but I, one memory I have is walking down, um, the-the corridor in our house where I grew up, and looking in and just seeing him kneeling by his bed, praying. And that’s, that’s always stayed with me. It was a very, it was a very quiet faith, but very, very real.

Jim: What a great image, though. Let’s turn the corner and move into the parenting content, our of your wonderful book. Uh, a theme you address in the book is communication, uh, between parents and their children. I think you had, uh, kind of a funny story about one of your sons who, uh, I’ve never experienced this, who said, “I’m too sick to go to school today.” (laughing) All of a sudden, every parent’s radar goes up. Okay, now we’re… you got to pass the test, are you really too sick? Right? So what happened in that situation?

Katharine: Well, yeah, he came down to breakfast and said he was much too unwell. He’s been sick, couldn’t go to school.

Jim: Hmm.

Katharine: But he didn’t look that ill.

Jim: (laughing)

Katharine: But he said, “No,” he had, he had been sick. And he took me to the bathroom to show me the evidence (laugh), in the loo, and I said, “Okay, well, in that case, you better go to bed. Don’t go to school.” And then I went downstairs, and was a little bit suspicious, because he didn’t like nuts or raisins, and he would also eat, so, Rice Krispies or something for breakfast, and the table in the kitchen was this open packet of muesli. Um-

Jim: Kind of oatmeal.

Katharine: Oatmeal. Yeah, with, um, yeah, raisins and stuff in it.

Jim: Yeah.

Katharine: And I thought, “I know what he’s done.”

Jim: (laughing)

Katharine: And he had chucked this oatmeal down the loo, and pretended that he’d been sick. And had fooled his mother. Um, so I was mad with him. I was mad with him for doing that, but also mad that now I had him at home all day, and he should have been at school. But you know, it wasn’t till the evening that I sat down with him and went a little bit behind what was going on. And what had happened is they had had a swimming lessons at school, and he’d been put in a group that was much too difficult. And so he was really worried about going to school.

Jim: Yeah, he was afraid.

Katharine: And anxious about it. And so had done this whole thing, with oatmeal down the loo, just, just to, so he didn’t have to go to school. So we managed to chat about it. And, uh, then the next day, it was so easy to fix. I talked to the teacher and she put him back in the class he should have been in, and all was well. But I had missed that, because I didn’t really look behind, and hadn’t made time to, to talk to him about what was going on.

Jim: Isn’t that so true in the parenting effort, y-you know, when the kids are, uh, exhibiting behavior that is, uh, concerning, there usually is something behind it.

Katharine: So right, yeah.

Jim: And if you can just slow down long enough, which really gets to the next question, which is to give your full attention when you’re engaging your children. It’s a bit convicting to a multitasker, whether you’re a mom or dad. Speak to the importance of that and the illustration that you had in the book.

Katharine: Well, particularly in the digital age, I think it’s so easy for us to get engaged in our phone and all our children then see is the back of our phone, you know, when we pick them up from school, if the first thing we do when we come in the house is checking our emails, and they can’t, we can’t engage with them. And they don’t know if we’re fixing up a play date, if we’re looking up a recipe for their tea, or if we’re just scrolling through social media. So that would be one thing. But one time that this really was brought to me, our daughter had been at a friends house, and they’d seen a film, and it was really exciting film, and it involved a princess and a castle and a horse and a dog, a whole load of other things. And she was sitting next to me at the table, and wanting to tell me about this film. Blow by blow account, minute by minute, and it was incredibly boring.

Jim: (laughing)

Katharine: But next to me on the table was a magazine, and it had… the title was 10 Ways to Have a Tidy House. And that particular moment in our family, there was Lego all over the floor, there were wet towels… the house was a mess.

Jim: And that was much more interesting to you. (laughing)

Katharine: It was so much more interesting. So I was just looking and quickly flicking at this, uh, this magazine. And she said, “Mommy, you’re not listening.” And I said, “Well, I am darling. I am listening.” And said, “No, you need to listen with your eyes.”

Jim: Wow.

Katharine: And she was right.

Jim: How old was she when she said that?

Katharine: She was probably about six, yeah. (laughing)

Jim: (Laughing) Oh, my goodness. Out of the mouth of babes, right?

Katharine: So, and giving our children eye contact, i-if their little, you know, we can cup their little face in our hands, and just gives them that, that message that they’re valued, that they’re important, that we’re interested in their lives.

Jim: And, you know, so much of that is awareness. We can be very unintentionally sending them a signal that we don’t care. We don’t see it as that, because, you know, “Mom and dad, we got a lot to do, and, you know, we’re hearing you. Yeah, we’re hearing you.” But they’re feeling like, “They’re ignoring me.”

Katharine: And they’re… the things that are concerning us of, in the day, you know that we’ve got to get a meal on the table, get the washing done.

Jim: Right.

Katharine: We’ve got to get a report in for work, they’re not the things that a concerned… they’re concerned about in their world.

Jim: You know, uh, you shared something at chapel that really caught my attention, and I’ll just tuck it in here, and ask you about it. Because you talked about a father whose young son was trying to get him to go outside to play, kept saying, “Dad, can we go outside.” “In a minute. In a minute.” Comes back, “Dad, can we go? Can we go outside and play?” I said, “In a minute.” And then, again, he came back and asked him, “Let’s go play, Dad.” And he said, “Can’t you see I’m busy?” And he was on his phone. And his son walked away and said, “You were a much nicer father before that phone.”

Katharine: Hmm.

Jim: Wow. That is a convicting statement.

Katharine: Yeah. Yeah. And this dad, he, when he told us this, I mean, he said it was a real light bulb moment, turn around moment for him. And he, he just realized that, um, the message he’d been giving his child was that, what was on the phone was much more important than him.

Jim: You know, one of the things, Katharine, um, we pick up on that. I mean, I would say that we’re sensitive to those things, ’cause of what we do. I mean, we’re in this. We want to see families do so much better, and for marriages to hold together. Sometimes a dad or maybe even a mom, they’ll, they’ll miss that moment. They don’t even hear what’s going on. How do they slow down enough to learn that lesson and what their child’s actually saying to them?

Katharine: Yeah, and it is hard. And life goes on. And there are reports and that have to be submitted by deadlines, but, uh, I think it’s being intentional, it’s making those moments. So when our children were little, uh, we decided on a Saturday morning, one of us would take one of them, um, out for, for breakfast on Saturday morning.

Jim: That’s great.

Katharine: Yeah. The deal was that, uh, they could choose which one of us they went with. And it was, the idea was to give that space and that time that was focused on them. We often didn’t talk about really important things. It would be the latest hair braid or who’d one the, the match or whatever.

Jim: Right.

Katharine: But just sometimes there were moments that are gone before we realize that they’re there. When they could talk about something that was bothering them. But the thing was, they could, they could choose who to go with, and I had been doing this for a little while and found I hardly ever got to go.

Jim: (laughing)

Katharine: And I was thinking, “Well, I’m… What’s wrong? Am I just not a fun mom? Why do they always want to go with Richard?” And so I asked the question. And I discovered that when I took them for breakfast, they had the healthy option of whole meal toast and smoothies. But when he was taking them, they were having chocolate éclairs and cheesy Wotsits and Coca-Cola. So of course-

Jim: (laughing) For breakfast.

Katharine: … they wanted to go with him. Um-

Jim: Oh, man.

Katharine: … and, you know, of course, it’s important to have healthy eating, but that wasn’t about this. And it was creating those moments of-

Jim: Right.

Katharine: … connection. And looking back, there’s just one or two conversations that happened on those Saturday mornings. So I would say to any mom or dad that is really struggling to find that time, just plan it, put it in the diary, and think about what your child… It’s not so much what you’re doing, but just, it’s that space-

Jim: Yeah.

Katharine: … where they can, they can have that time with you.

Jim: Yeah, mm-hmm. That’s so good.

John: Our guest today on Focus on the Family is Katharine Hill. And, uh, we certainly love what she’s sharing. I hope you’re finding encouragement in it, uh, especially, if you’ve got younger kids or maybe you have grandchildren who are in that space. Um, give us a call and ask for her book. Uh, it’s called, If You Forget Everything Else, Remember This. We’ve got copies of that here at the ministry. Our number’s 800 the letter A and the word family, 800-232-6459, or stop by

Jim: Katharine, I’m assuming this is true in the UK, uh, and Canada and the US and other places, but there seems to be, in the parenting approach, there’s this pendulum. On the one extreme it’s kids can set their own boundaries, you know, it helps them to become adults. In some of that, there’s some truth to that, but you’ve got to be really wise as to what boundary they should be setting for themselves. The other end of that is, and typically, again, I think Christian homes tend to have this, a whole list of rules and regulations, and here are the family rules. I remember Jean and I put those up on the wall, there was like 15 of them. I said, “I’m not sure if that’s the way to (laugh) go. You know, let’s get down to just a couple that they can remember. They’re only three.” (laughing)

Katharine: (laughing)

Jim: But speak to that first dichotomy of this permissiveness versus over regulation-

Katharine: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … what’s healthy. And then, uh, what’s a good approach when it comes to the boundaries and the rules for a healthy Christian home?

Katharine: Yeah. So you’re so right, there are the two extremes. One, I think, experts call authoritarian parenting-

Jim: Right.

Katharine: … so lots and lots of rules, if you, as you have just described. And every single one of them enforced. And the trouble is with that style of parenting, our children can feel hemmed in. There’s… Of course, we need boundaries, they’re really important, but there’s no room for creativity or independence. Um, but then the other end of the spectrum is called permissive, and that’s kind of anything goes, no rules.

Jim: Right.

Katharine: And plenty of room for discovering themselves and independence, but they feel unsafe. I, I… Our children need boundaries, if only to push against.

Jim: Right.

Katharine: So the best style of parenting is called assertive, which is, it’s kind of in the middle, so it’s having as few ru-rules as possible about the things that really matter, that are in line with our family values. And then making sure that we follow through and enforce them. And then that gives that freedom, um, for some independence, but also the security of knowing the boundaries.

Jim:  I think a great example of that are the three Ds. I think a friend of yours suggested this or displayed this and you observed it. But the three Ds, that’s kind of what we’re talking about. Not 15, 20 things, but three Ds. What are the three Ds?

Katharine: So for us, they were dishonesty, so if they told a lie. Um, disrespect, so if they were disrespectful to another person. If they were rude to them or damaged their possession or something like that. And then, thirdly, disobedience, so if we asked them to do something and they had, uh, they had not done it, or they’d deliberately done something that was… they were not meant to do. And someone described it to us as being a little bit like a triangle, those three Ds. And they could do anything they liked, within that, but those were the things, if they crossed the line, um, that there would be some consequences for. And we found that that sort of worked well for us, certainly, in these early years of parenting.

Jim: Yeah. And I… You know, it simplifies the parenting role, too. It helps you concentrate on what really is a mountain not what is a molehill, as we say.

Katharine: Yes.

Jim: And that, that’s very helpful. Because, I think… and Jean, you know, Jean and I struggle with this, because I leaned a little more slack, and she was a little more strict. And that’s good balance too. And then we’d talk about it at night, when we laid our head on the pillow. And, uh, but I think hearing each other in the parenting role, too, is good. And I think Jean would say, you now, she’s kind of mellowed from the rules. And I would say, I learned a lot about having boundaries for the kids, and how healthy that is. So it’s good to have that communication within mom and dad’s dialogue, right?

Katharine: Absolutely. So being unified, being on the same page as, as much as possible. Uh, I think if there’s a little chink of light between us, our children are pretty good-

Jim: (laughing) They’re good at-

Katharine: … at getting in between us. So just, yeah, being on the same page. And I think choosing together what are the battles to fight? ‘Cause so often I think we can go after the wrong things and make a big deal of something that’s little, and then we haven’t got anything left for when the big issues do come around. There was one time when one of our children had got a new wetsuit. We’d been on holiday to Cornwall, and we were going out for a evening meal with a friend. And the pizza place we were going to was just across this little bit of river. And they’ve got a kind of little dingy that we all were going to pile in and go across for this pizza. And so everyone got ready to go out for a meal, apart from Ed, who was about six, I think. And he had decided that he needed to wear this wetsuit, because we were going in a boat. And I could not persuade him to-

Jim: (laughing)

Katharine: … uh, get his proper clothes on for going out, uh, for the meal. And I kept everyone waiting. And eventually, I thought, “Does it matter?”

Jim: Right.

Katharine: So off we went. Everyone dressed up for this nice meal, and him in a wetsuit. And remember, we got to the door of the restaurant, and the waitress opened the door, and she said, “Oh, how far have you come?” She said (laughing)-

Jim: (laughing)

Katharine: And he had this meal in this wetsuit. He got really hot.

Jim: Yeah.

Katharine: Every time he wanted to go to the bathroom, um, the… it took ages to peel him out of this thing-

Jim: Oh, right.

Katharine: … and there was a long queue. Um, but you know, it was such a fun evening. And I’m telling you about it now, so many years later, and we’d have missed that if I had made a big deal about what he was to wear.

Jim: That’s funny. I thought you were going to say the dingy tipped over and he was the only one that stayed warm.

Katharine: Well, now that would have been really good. He’d have had the last laugh.

Jim: He’d be talking about that story now too.

Katharine: Yeah. Yeah.

Jim: Uh, you encourage couples to be proactive about finding a community of friends, uh, that can support them through the good times and the bad times. Um, why is that sense of community so critically important?

Katharine: It’s so important. There’s a, a lovely phrase, it takes a village to raise a child, and I think that we just need, we need grandparents, we need sports coaches, we need trusted other adults, uh, in our children’s lives that, that can speak to them. That they can go to when actually sometimes th-that communication isn’t so well, maybe, um, with us. And certainly being intentional and looking out for those relationships as something we can share together-

Jim: Yeah. I-

Katharine: … is really important.

Jim: … I think in the US we’ve, we’ve become very isolated. I’m not sure if that’s true in the UK, but the sense of the village is something of the past. I mean, we’ve put our garage door opener up and we drive in and we close it, and we go about our business in the walls of our home. Some people don’t even know their neighbors. Some people don’t want to know their neighbors. Uh, but that, that is a, a very different environment than 30, 40 years ago.

Katharine: Yeah. I mean, uh, years and years ago, when the family was first started, I would say, um, there would have been family just down the street. So, you know, if a child was having a temper tantrum or a teenager was just having a argument or whatever had happened, a baby had a sleep… you were having a sleepless night with a baby, there would have been, a, an aunt, a grandmother, somebody just down the end of the road that you could, uh, talk to for-

Jim: Yeah.

Katharine: … advice. And that has changed. And I think COVID has particularly-

Jim: Yeah.

Katharine: … changed that for us.

Jim: That feels very isolating.

Katharine: Very isolating. Yeah.

Jim: I mean, that’s… back to the original question, that’s why you want to get out, get community. If you can do that through a church, that’s best, I believe, as a Christian, ’cause, uh, it should be a good experience for you. Um, let’s close with spiritual discipline for children. Uh, this can be a point of despair for so many parents. Uh, ’cause the late teens and the 20s is stretch your wing, uh, be your own boss kind of time, right? They leave for, sometimes for university or vocational training or they get into a job, they leave the home. You’re seeing a very light, uh, expression-

Katharine: Hmm.

Jim: …. on the faith side. So then you get really concerned, “Have we done a good enough job?” Et cetera. But you described, uh, back yesterday with Mrs. M, you know, the behavior thing, when your kids were little and how well behaved her kids were, and how not so well behaved your kids were in church. Fast forward that to when they’re a little older and maybe you’re not seeing the kind of Godly values that you had hoped to. That they would have left the home as pastors and ministers (laugh). Uh, but speak to that, um, area of that mom or dad’s heart that grieving a bit.

Katharine: Yeah. So, it’s so good. I mean, I’ve got personal experience with that. You know, our four children, we have prayed as hard, we have done the same with each one, and they’re on different places-

Jim: Right.

Katharine: … on their journey of faith. So I think one of the things I found really helpful is not to be so black and white that we very readily put them in this prodigal box, uh, just because, just at the moment, they’re not going to church. Now, of course, we can’t go the whole nine yards with that. Um, you know, Jesus died for them, and, uh, we don’t want to become Universalists. But, equally, I think, if we look at their hearts, and we can so often see in the kids that maybe don’t love going to church, but there’s so much of the Kingdom in them and they are showing the fruit of the Spirit in their lives, that actually makes glad the heart of God. But as parents we so easily, I do, go on that guilt trip of, if only, if only, we had had family devotions or we hadn’t had family devotions. We used to try family devotions and it was always a cue for World War III, honestly.

Jim: (laughing)

Katharine: So-

Jim: With boys particularly.

Katharine: Yeah.

Jim: Boys just struggle with-

Katharine: Yeah. Yeah. I can-

Jim: … sitting still and listening.

Katharine: Exactly, why can’t we do this?

Jim: Yeah.

Katharine: So we found, um, in those early years, just praying little and often, as they were going out the door to school, before meals, that worked for us. But just sowing those seeds in the everyday things of family life. But I think, yes, as parents, as our children start to make those decisions for themselves, it can be incredibly painful. But I think we need to hang on to the fact, you know, God Himself has trouble with His children. He ha… You know, the perfect Father, um, in the perfect environment and His children went away. He didn’t want them to go. And so He understands, understands our pain. But also, the prayer that we can pray that we absolutely know, um, that will really, hear… God will hear, is that our children come to that-

Jim: Right.

Katharine: … living relationship with Him. That’s totally his heart for them.

Jim: You know, sometimes it’s that battle, and, uh, I don’t know about all of three of us here at the table, but I’m sure the listeners and the viewers are experiencing this, if they have 20 something children, most likely, or 30 something, children, y-, the kids, the adult kids, they have got to make the faith their own.

Katharine: Yeah.

Jim: They can’t live off your umbilical cord, so to speak, the spiritual umbilical cord. And that is a process. And sometimes they have to go through valleys, they got to experience things. They’ve got to hear the voice of the Lord in their heart for themselves. And those things have to occur. But you’re in that point of desperation. Uh, with that, let me end with this, you and Richard, how do you talk to each other about it as parents? What do you say to one another to comfort each other in that way?

Katharine: Yeah, that’s a really good question, Jim. I think, well, going back, that, that verse, train a child in the way they will go, and they’re older they won’t depart from it, and just reminding each other that that is not a cast iron guarantee, but it is, it is wisdom, and it is how things, generally, work out. And I think, just being able to pray together for… we pray every day for our children, for other things as well, but we pray every day. And our greatest prayer is always that, um, they come back to a living relationship with their Father. And then just not allowing each other to go on the guilt trip, and thinking that somehow we’re in control of our children’s relationship with God. As parents, we so often, um, in all, all the things we’ve been talking about on this podcast, we wanna, we wanna be in control but, actually, we can do our best, and we can put, put… sow those seeds, but, actually, it’s, ultimately, it’s their decision. And I think reminding each other of that, and not allowing each other to sort of spiral downwards, um, that would be-

Jim: Yep.

Katharine: … that would be a good one.

Jim: And a-again, in your case, what’s, you know, what’s real about that is two of the kids are doing well i-in their faith journey. The other two are kind of bumping along. And that’s good, too, and never underestimate the power of the sibling conversation, right?

John: Mm-hmm.

Katharine: Exactly.

Jim: ‘Cause there’s something going on there too-

Katharine: Exactly.

Jim: … that’s out of mom and dad’s control.

Katharine: Yes.

Jim: So it’s beautiful, and… Uh, Katharine, thank you so much again for being with us. This is good. Very, I just love it. It’s just so refreshing to hear these, you know, straightforward truths about what we need to be mindful of. The three Ds, Mrs. M-

Katharine: (laughing)

Jim: … the wonderful 100-year-old father.

Katharine: Yeah.

Jim: You’ve touched on so many good things here. And I hope you have heard Katharine’s heart. And she’s done a wonderful job writing, uh, in this book, those things that you need to remember, it’s called, If You Forget Everything Else, Remember This: Parenting in the Primary Years. Um, just as a little side note, I remember talking to Chuck Colson, and he said, “Your child’s moral fabric is going to be formed by the age of 10.” Think of that.

John: Hmm.

Jim: Th-the foundations are there. You’ve done the job. And if you’re with three, four, five-year-olds right now, be mindful of that. That’s already taking shape. And then the rest is just the bumper guards, right? It’s just the boundaries that they’re going to be going through as, as teenagers. If you would like help in your parenting journey, or if you’re a grandparent that would like to help (laugh) your adult children in their parenting journey, get a hold of us. Get a copy of Katharine’s book. If you can make a gift of any amount, we’ll send it as our way of saying, “Thank you.” If you can do that monthly, it really helps the ministry here reach more families for Christ.

John: Donate as you can, when you get in touch. And our number’s 800, the letter A and the word family, 800-232-6459, and, uh, we’ve got further details about Katharine’s book, If You Forget Everything Else, Remember This: Parenting in the Primary Years. Stop by to get your copy.

Jim: Katharine, great to have you here. Safe travels back to the UK. Thanks for spending time with us.

Katharine: Thanks so much. You’ve been incredibly generous hosts. It’s been wonderful.

Jim: Hmm.

Katharine: Thank you.

John: Well, we’re so glad to have had you with us listening in today, for Focus on the Family. And plan to join us tomorrow, a powerful message about the influence God wants you to have on the world.

Today's Guests

If You Forget Everything Else, Remember This: Parenting in the Primary Years

Receive the book If You Forget Everything Else, Remember This for our donation of any amount! Plus, receive member-exclusive benefits when you make a recurring gift today. Your monthly support helps families thrive.

Recent Episodes

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

The War of Words

In this Adventures in Odyssey drama, a carelessly uttered word from Eugene creates havoc as it becomes the fashionable insult, resulting in a lesson about the power of words.

You May Also Like

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

A Legacy of Music and Trusting the Lord

Larnelle Harris shares stories about how God redeemed the dysfunctional past of his parents, the many African-American teachers who sacrificed their time and energy to give young men like himself a better future, and how his faithfulness to godly principles gave him greater opportunities and career success than anything else.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Accepting Your Imperfect Life

Amy Carroll shares how her perfectionism led to her being discontent in her marriage for over a decade, how she learned to find value in who Christ is, not in what she does, and practical ways everyone can accept the messiness of marriage and of life.