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

Choose the amount you'd like to give.
$
Choose the amount you'd like to give.
$

Focus on the Family Broadcast

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

Understanding the Root of Your Child’s Misbehavior (Part 2 of 2)

Understanding the Root of Your Child’s Misbehavior (Part 2 of 2)

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. Featuring Jean Daly (Part 2 of 2)
Original Air Date: May 13, 2021

Preview:

Dr. Kevin Leman: When kids fight, they know exactly what to say to escalate the battle, and furthermore, they know how to engage you in the battle. You need to stay out of that battle. So, you don’t react, you respond, and you’re authentic, and you learn to say things like, “I’m sure you can handle it.” Turn your back and walk out of the room.

End of Preview

John Fuller: That’s really wise advice from Dr. Kevin Leman, and this is another Best of 2021 episode of Focus on the Family. Thanks for joining us. I’m John Fuller, along with your host, Focus president and author, Jim Daly.

Jim Daly: John, I’m excited to revisit part two of our encouraging conversation with Dr. Leman, and if you missed it, I’d encourage you to get the CD or the digital download. Uh, last time, we discovered how certain responses can actually encourage your children to misbehave.

John: Right.

Jim: And, if you’re like me, uh, when you hear Kevin’s common-sense advice, you wonder, why didn’t I think of that earlier? Uh, he has a great sense of humor and describes struggles every parent can relate to. Now, I know today’s program will encourage you.

John: Absolutely agree with you, Jim, and, uh, as a listener, get a copy of the conversation we began last time, and find out more about Dr. Leman’s book, Why Your Kids Misbehave: And What to Do About It. We’ve got all the details at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. All right, let me just quickly add that, uh, Dr. Leman has been here numerous times. He is one of our most popular guests, and he’s a prolific author, a well-known psychologist, speaker, and TV personality, and he’s lots of fun, as Jim said. And let’s go ahead and revisit this Best of 2021 episode on today’s Focus on the Family.

Dr. Leman: We, we’re really getting to the crux of this book in our second broadcast, because this book really speaks to why kids misbehave. Well, why do kids misbehave? Number one, they’re attention getters. All kids are attention getters, you know. They come out of the womb, they’re completely dependent upon us, and as they grow into infancy toward that year old, you begin to see this little spirit. You just begin to see this little personality develop. I always tell mommies of young kids, when that child hits 18 months, circle the calendar, because you’re going to see a test of wills start about 18 months in a child’s life.

Jim: Well, and, and you elaborate on that, because you say both good behavior and bad behavior is both a, a yell for attention.

Dr. Leman: Absolutely. So, again, I go back to all kids are attention getters. Just follow me for a second. So, if the kid gets positive attention for positive behavior, they’re on a right track. As soon as they don’t get positive attention, they still need attention, so what kind of attention are they going to get? They’re going to get negative attention. And a kid tells himself, well, I’m still getting attention. It’s still working, but that runs its course. So, as the kid gets more discouraged in life, believe it or not, I’m saying a little ankle biter, 18 months to 3 years old, can get discouraged. Life isn’t working out the way they think, even at that age. They become powerful. So, why the attention getter says they only count life when I’m noticed, and I put people in my service, the powerful kid says, I only count life when I control, when I win, when I dominate. So, these are the kids who throw temper tantrums, and how we respond to those temper tantrums is really important, because that kid throws a temper tantrum for a purpose. Now, purpose is just a word. Purposeful is a psychological word that comes from the psychology of a guy named Alfred Adler. We won’t go into any detail there, but let’s just say that all social behavior serves a purpose in a kid’s life. So, the powerful child is saying, “I am in authority over you, parent.” There’s a guy named Saint Paul who said something very different. He said, “Children, obey your parents. It’s the right thing to do, because God has placed them in authority over you,” and I love that translation. That’s a living bible translation. That’s what I try to preach to parents. You need to be in authority without being the authoritarian to deal with this powerful child, because you need to remove your sails from that child’s wind, because if you don’t, and you come on with, “You can’t, I am your father,” or “I’m …” they’re going to blow you right against the wall.

John: Yeah.

Dr. Leman: In a power struggle, you lose, so you need to way, to develop ways of circumventing that powerful child where they realize that, wait a minute, these powerful ways aren’t working. These parents are a little smarter than what I’m giving them credit for.

John: Hm.

Jim: Well, and that’s the obvious question. Uh, when you have that confrontation, what should you do with that three-year-old?

John: Yeah.

Dr. Leman: Well, you know, the kid who’s going to throw the temper tantrum, you simply step over the child, walk away. If there’s no audience, that kid’s not going to [crosstalk]-

Jim: So, don’t give them the attention that they’re craving in that way.

Dr. Leman: Right, yeah. If you want to make a fool of yourself, honey, you go ahead. Uh, the point is, you’re going to separate the child. You pick up the child, remove them from the scene. That’s the principle I want to teach. And it just says, hey, it’s not going to work.

Jim: Yeah. Kevin, let me, uh, pick up on that, because in the book, you, you do describe parents’, uh, responsibility to make sure their child is getting enough of your time. That can be so difficult, and we can, as parents with busy schedules, we can justify all of our busyness, but you’re saying in the book, your child needs you, and needs you to spend time with them. So, sometimes this misbehavior is rooted just in they’re not getting enough of you.

Dr. Leman: Well, let’s start with this anti-American statement. Activities are not good for your children.

Jim: Now, let me ask Jean. Does that cut against the mom feeling of keeping the kids busy is a good thing?

Jean Daly: Yes. It does.

Dr. Leman: Busy hands are happy hands.

Jim: (laughs) And, I mean, I can remember-

Jean: It does.

Dr. Leman: Hey, it’s better than selling crack cocaine-

Jean: Well-

Dr. Leman: … on the street. I get it.

Jim: Right.

Jean: Well, and even, you know, I felt when our kids were young, I did not want them to spend too much time in sports, and I, I recognized that that wasn’t positive, and, and putting that pressure on them at such a young age. However, as they got older, I wasn’t sure that was the right decision.

Dr. Leman: Well, now we have team soccer. We have city soccer. The whole weekend is geared around the kids’ soccer, or softball, or whatever. I’m telling you, it’s crazy. Uh, kids, families don’t go to church on Sunday, because they’re off playing in a softball tournament. Uh, again, it’s all … So much is just directed toward the children. The children are the centerpiece. We bring up kids to feel like they’re the centerpiece of the world. I’ve said it many times, and I’ll say it again. If you do that, where is the room for almighty God in a kid’s life?

John: Hm.

Dr. Leman: And I’m here to answer my own question. There’s no room for God in that kid’s life, because you got them so busy, and you’re so busy. So, when we talk about time, where’s the time? The dinner table’s a great time to talk-

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Leman: … but other than that, I mean, and I’ve heard on Focus on the Family studies from other authors who have said dads will spend 37 seconds a day talking to their kids, things like that. It’s outrageous. So, the mantra that imprinting, whatever you want to call it, in this book, I call it the three basic … There’s four, but the fourth one, you don’t see very often, so the other three, attention getting, power, and revenge are mostly the motivation behind the poor behavior, the maladaptive behavior that you see in your home with your children. But you need to understand that message that the kids are feeling like they need more parent, they need more love, they need more acceptance, and that’s, that’s the art of being a parent is making that kid feel special.

John: Hm.

Jim: No, that’s a good way to look at it, and that’s part of what you’ve included in your book there. Kevin, uh, you’re known as the birth order guy, and some people may not be familiar with that, believe it or not.

Dr. Leman: Really?

Jim: How many millions have you sold-

Jean: (laughs)

Jim: … of that book?

John: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: Many trees died in its honor.

John: (laughs)

Jim: (laughs)

Jean: (laughs)

Jim: A- and it’s a great concept. It’s one of those, you know, rare thoughts that you were able to grab and put into a book, The Birth Order book, but just lightly, tell us how that functions and how that helps to shape who we are. I’m sure we’re not locked into that, but you generally learn certain behavior patterns depending upon where you are in the pecking order, uh, of your birth, right?

Dr. Leman: Well, firstborns are the movers and shakers in our society. They’re our leaders, our political leaders. They’re our senators, our congresspeople. They’re our presidents of the United States. They’re our astronauts into outer space. If there’s something technical, the engineers, the accountants, you’re going to see an inordinate number of firstborn and only born children. They’re psychological cousins to each other. They do very well in life. The child right beneath them is at disadvantage. If that child’s a middle child, they’re going to end up a mediator, a negotiator, a compromiser. They’re going to be good at seeing life from both sides of the fence, which is pretty good. I love to tell middle children they’re the peanut butter and jelly of the sandwich. The babies of the family, if you name a comedian right now, in all probability, you’re talking about a baby of the family. Just name one. They’re babies, across the board. Very few exceptions. All the late-night TV guys, I don’t think they’re very funny, quite frankly, but they’re all youngest children.

Jim: Why is that? What, what, what action is in play there that makes them predominantly come from-

Dr. Leman: The achiever role was filled by you firstborn children, okay. The next child in line is the opposite of the, of that first born.

John: Hm.

Dr. Leman: So, there’s two roles, whatever they are. So, that baby of the family is, that humor guy, he can’t compete, and that was true in my life. I couldn’t compete with my-

Jim: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: … sister and brother, so I became the best of the worst. I graduated fourth in my class in high school from the bottom.

Jean: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: I mean, I was taking consumers mathematics, that’s bonehead math, as a senior in high school. I couldn’t get it in college. I finally did get in college on probation. I mean, most of you know my story. I mean, uh, it’s terrible. But, you know, along came this woman when I was 19 years old, after I was thrown out of college, and she was the one, my future wife, who I met in a men’s room of a hospital, believe it or not. She was the one that God used to turn my whole life around. And God gave me motivation. And I’m thankful for those years I struggled, but, um, we are a product of our environment, and you, as a parent, you’ve taken whatever you’ve gleaned from mom and dad into that role of parenthood. It can work for you, but it can also work against you.

Jim: So, what do we do, uh, knowing this and its predictability? Because that’s what’s genius about it. It’s, it’s generally true. It may not be absolutely true in every case, but I think you’ve done enough research and talked to enough people that you understand it the way you do. But, uh, how does a parent help augment that firstborn child to actually maybe not be as uptight, or rules oriented, etc. Is there, do you want to do that, or is this just the way God has planned it, and this is why kings and princes tend to be the firstborns, and leaders, as you said. Is it wrong to create a leader out of a last-born?

Dr. Leman: Well, I tried and failed to, with my firstborn daughter, I tried not to make her a firstborn. I’m here to tell you, I failed.

John: (laughs)

Jean: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: She is a firstborn. She was an English teacher. She knew what a dangling participle was.

Jim: So, high achiever.

Dr. Leman: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I mean-

Jim: So, do you just roll with it? I mean, is there a reason to, to, to, to try to augment that-

Dr. Leman: You know-

Jim: … or just let it go?

Dr. Leman: For all you firstborn and only born children listening to our broadcast today, you know that you might have a tad bit of perfectionism in your life. And perfectionism is slow suicide. That’s what you have to understand. And, I think the smart parent, when the kids are little, and you’re tucking them in, and this is the kid who’s got to line up everything, you know, everything’s got to be just sort of perfect. Um, kids love stories. Tell them stories. Make up stories. Embellish stories about your life. Share with them about the time you were embarrassed in school, about the time you got picked on, about the time you failed. Whatever it is, let the kid see the imperfect nature of you. I spoke in a church just three weeks ago, and I gave a talk on the title of my book, The Way of the Wise, which is Proverbs 3, verses one through six. I gave a very simple altar call about the imperfection of all of us. I had over a hundred people respond. I mean, I was sort of shaking my head. I, I was taken back by how many people responded to that. We’re all imperfect.

Jean: That’s right.

Dr. Leman: We need each other. Kids need to understand that we have their back. We love them with all their flaws. To our schoolteachers that I have some influence over, and we’re talking about a fourth-grade spelling test, why would you write minus four at the top of that? What’s wrong with plus 96?

Jean: Yes.

Dr. Leman: What’s wrong with looking for the positive ways of expressing, hey, good job. Good job is what I think I call Vitamin E. It’s encouragement.

Jean: Hm.

Dr. Leman: Not, we’re not praise. Praise God. All others pay cash, as someone once said. God’s worthy of our praise. Your kid isn’t, but your kid needs encouragement. Encouragement says, “I got your back. I see how you’re doing life. I’m proud to be your parent. You’re doing good, and if you get stuck, I’m here to help you. If that message comes across to your son or daughter, they’re going to go out in life, and they’re going to be a winner.”

Jean: And, Dr. Leman, isn’t it important with, let’s say, that firstborn, the high achiever, to, to acknowledge something other than just their performance? To acknowledge, to encourage something about them, their personality, their heart.

Dr. Leman: Oh, you’re the smart one around the table, Jean.

Jean: (laughs)

Jim: She is, actually. (laughs)

Dr. Leman: That, that’s, that’s the diamond answer, right there, because, as I’ve said to my kids, it, it’s not what you do. It’s who you are.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Leman: And, uh, my little daughter, Lauren, was talking to a kid on the phone for about 30 minutes, and I asked her who that was. I said, “Gee, I haven’t heard that name. Is he a new kid?” “No, he’s just a kid nobody likes.” And I said, “What?” “It’s a kid at school nobody likes.” And she called him and talked to him about 30 minutes. And, this little daughter of mine, the youngest, she’s very sensitive to other kids, and she’s the one in, in the lunchroom at school would see somebody sitting by themself, and go over, and sit next to them.

Jean: That’s beautiful.

Dr. Leman: And, if, one thing I’m proud of, all my kids have a sensitivity to other people, and they’ve learned it. My wife is super wonderful human being, wouldn’t hurt a fly, would give you the shirt off her back. A lovely lady in every sense of the word. A much better person than I am. And I see those attributes that we have successfully passed along to our kids, and I think what I’m most proud of is that they care about other people. Wow. That’s pretty cool.

Jean: Hm. Yes.

Dr. Leman: I reminded yesterday when I talked to the Focus administrators about, you know, God hates the arrogant. He hates the proud. I think all of us have to do that homework to make sure that we understand that other people are important. We come to a stop sign or a red light, we stop. Why? It’s the law? Yeah. Get a ticket? Yeah. Get in an accident? The best reason why stop is so we don’t hurt somebody else, but notice, that’s not our first response.

Jean: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And those are heartfelt, good things about-

Dr. Leman: Yeah.

Jim: … parenting, and, and seeing your kids do the beautiful things, and you go, great, okay, they caught that lesson. And I think that happens as your ch- your children get older. You see more of that, um, hopefully. That’s the goal. Uh, in the book, you describe Discipline 101, and in there, you, you said, “Discipline goes hand in hand with misbehavior,” so, what’s the difference between discipline and punishment?

John: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Leman: Well, see, and this is sort of framed in our society today, because if you just come across as I’m punishing you, let me tell you how a kid thinks today. They don’t think of us on a different plane. They see themselves as social equals, so in their head, okay, if you have a right to punish me, I have a right to punish you back. And, discipline, I think, takes on a little different color that we acknowledge that mistakes were made. We turn things into teachable moments. I love to tell a story about … Our high school invited me to be on their wall of fame, and, and I jumped at the opportunity to do it, because I was such a little cut up in high school, but on the way up, I was talking to my mother, who was 90 years old, at the time. And I said, “Mom, we fooled a few people.”

Jean: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: You know, “Honey, I’m so proud of you.” And I reminded her about the time the police brought me home.

Jean: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: I’ll never forget what she said. She said, “Oh, I do remember that, but you were such a good boy.”

Jean: (laughs)

Jim: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: And so, somehow, we still have to come across with the fact that, you know, we love you anyway, and we accept you, flaws and all. So, discipline is, hey, you take the kid behind the closed door, and you have a little talk, and you give them the look, and they get the message that what happened at dinner or what happened at school was not cool at all, and my expectation for you is that we see a change in your behavior.

Jim: Hm.

Dr. Leman: It’s a teachable moment. And you ask the kid, what are you going to do to change that? We talked about rules afterward. All the Leman children wrote rules governing the use of the family car. I didn’t give them the rules. They wrote the rules. I didn’t ask them to write the rules. How’d that happen? They must have assumed that they realized it was a privilege to have that key to that car. You give a key to a car to a kid that’s not responsible, that’s on you. You’re a dummy parent. Don’t do that. Have expectations for your kids that are reasonable, not unreasonable.

Jim: Yeah, and what I continually hear from you, Kevin, is put that on your child to give you the boundaries. I mean, you’re pretty consistent with that.

Dr. Leman: Mm-hmm.

Jim: I like that idea, although it’s a nail biter for some parents-

Jean: Oh yes.

Jim: Especially firstborn parents.

John: (laughs)

Jean: Yes, but it, but it helped reinforce the goal, are you raising a child, or are you trying to raise an adult?

Dr. Leman: Again, that’s a gold star observation, but you know what? As you were speaking, I was thinking of my sister, Sally. I was speaking to a Christian education group in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in an auditorium of 6,000 people. I’ll never forget this moment, because we had breakfast together this, that day, and she was doing a workshop at the same event. And she says, “Kevin, what are you speaking about this morning?” It was an hour and five minutes away from the time. I said, “Well, I don’t know yet.”

Jean: (laughs)

John: (laughs)

Jim: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: And she looked at me, and her eyes narrowed. And you could see it. She said, “Well, you must know what you’re going to be speaking about. You’re going to be speaking in 55 minutes.” I said, “Well, when I look at them, I’ll decide.”

Jim: Hm.

Dr. Leman: And, she said, and she said, “You are making my stomach turn.”

John: (laughs)

Jim: (laughs)

Jean: (laughs)

Jim: We’ve never had that discussion, have we, Jean?

Jean: Yes.

Dr. Leman: And what you have to understand is-

Jean: Yes.

Dr. Leman: … that the Jean’s in life, if she’s going to speak to a woman’s group, that sucker is going to be organized. She’s going to have her PowerPoints.

Jean: Oh, yes.

Dr. Leman: It’s going to be lockstep.

Jean: Oh, yes.

Dr. Leman: And yet, and yet, if Jim was going to speak, uh-

Jim: It’s the same thing as you. (laughs)

Jean: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: He’d, he’d show up and say, “Well, it’s great to be here at the rotary club,” and say, “Actually, it’s not the rotary club. It’s the Christians of, uh …” “Oh, excuse me, yes, but here’s the …” You know, he’s, he’s like I am-

Jean: Yes.

Dr. Leman: He’s just going to go in there and do it.

John: Yeah.

Jean: And he’s a much better speaker than I am.

Jim: Ke- Well, that’s generous. Kevin, let me ask you this.

Dr. Leman: Yeah.

Jim: Uh, parents, we can emotionally overreact, obviously.

John: Hm.

Jim: And I think it’s really critical, as we wind down the time, we’re going to take some questions in a minute, but, uh, one of the things that we trip on as parents is that we can get sucked into the emotional argument, and we end up, I mean, I did this with the boys when they were younger. I mean, I’d get right down at their level, emotionally. I’m going, oh my goodness, who’s the adult in the room?

John: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: Yeah.

Jim: You know? And I, I, the question I have for you is just, how do we as the parent remember we’re the parent, and don’t be tricked, getting into that game with your kid?

John: Don’t take the bait.

Jim: Don’t take the bait.

Dr. Leman: Well, don’t take the bait. Well, remember, fighting’s an act of cooperation. When you fight with your husband or your wife, you know exactly what to say to escalate the battle, okay. Same thing is true of kids. When kids fight, they know exactly what to say to escalate the battle, and furthermore, they know how to engage you in the battle. You need to stay out of that battle. So, you don’t react. You respond. And y- and you’re authentic, and you learn to say things like, “I’m sure you can handle it.” Turn your back and walk out of the room. If you see blood 20 minutes later, I’d get involved.

John: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: But, let the kids have a track record, so to speak-

John: Yeah.

Dr. Leman: … in their own home that they’re going to solve their own problems. And so, I would say, don’t panic. Don’t overreact. Be a listener and listen again. If you can listen without judgment, if you remember this, judgments will separate you from your child. Judgments will separate you from your husband or your wife.

Jim: What’s a judgment sound like?

Dr. Leman: You’re wrong.

Jim: Oh, yeah.

Dr. Leman: Being prescriptive.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Leman: You know, where-

John: You should have done, that kind of thing.

Dr. Leman: Yeah, yeah. Any, any t- thing along that line. So, if you learn to listen without judgment, okay, just hear them out. Lots of times, the situation will calm down by itself. So, we make things worse. It’s like we throw kerosene on the fire. It just flames up.

John: Yeah.

Dr. Leman: But just remember, fighting’s an act of cooperation. And, some people are listening right now and saying, “Boy, my kids sure cooperate.”

Jean: (laughs). Right.

Dr. Leman: Because they fight over everything.

Jim: Right.

Dr. Leman: Well, if you have a trouble getting a kid out the door to school, and maybe you’re in a carpool. In fact, I have that example in this book. Do you want that to change? I can tell you how to change. It’ll change in one day. Leave your 11-year-old home. Don’t call them. Don’t get them up in the morning. Take the other kids to school. He’ll be waiting there in the carport. He’ll be out in front of the house. He’ll be mad. He’ll be angry he’s late for school. Honey, we’ve had this talk so many times. I’m not your alarm clock anymore. From now on, you’re either up, you’re on the train, or you’re not, and I’m not real happy, because now I have to drive you back to school. But be smart. Send an email or call the principal. Have them call that kid in and talk with them about being late. It works beautifully. Action, not words.

John: Hm.

Dr. Leman: You’ve already used words. You use them every day, over, and over, and over again. It hasn’t got you the results. You want the kid to be up in the morning and on the school bus? Use action, not words. That’s why the little Why Kids Misbehave is such a good, practical book, because the back part of it is what to do about it, and those are some of the things you do about it.

Jim: Yeah, and you have a whole host of time-tested strategies in there, Kevin, and it’s a great resource, but let’s open it up now. Let’s have a couple of questions from our guests here today, and, and see if they can stump the expert.

John: (laughs)

Evan: Hi, Dr. Leman. My name is Evan. Uh, you talked about the importance of training children, and like with a puppy, starting when they’re young. For those of us who may not have done well at that when they’re young, uh, is there hope for us, and how might we, say, with elementary school children, um, start to be more intentional about that training, uh, without causing a shock to the family?

Jim: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: Well, I love your question, Evan, but, you know, I think one of the real joys of parenting sometimes is blindsiding those little suckers.

John: (laughs)

Audience: (laughs)

Jim: It’s a spiritual truth, right?

Jean: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: It really gets their attention. And see, you have the heart of a parent. You’re saying, “Hey, Leman.” Okay, I’m with you. I understand, you know, maybe you got a kid still sleeping in your bed, for example, and Dr. Leman says, “Don’t start habits you don’t want to have continue forever, so get that little sucker out of bed,” and you’re saying, “Well, I’m looking at my life, and, you know, there’s some things that we need to change, but how can I change them without being injurious to little Buford?”

Jean: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: And, I’m saying, “No, Evan, let’s try it a different way. Let’s blindside that little sucker, Evan.”

Jim: (laughs)

Dr. Leman: And really get his attention. And then say, “You know something? Mommy and daddy have done some real heart searching, and we think that things have to change here in the family. And you’re going to see some changes in us that you’re probably not going to like, because we’re all creatures of habit. We’ve all learned to do things a certain way, but there’s some things happening soon. You’re going to see that, and you’re going to have to deal with it as best you can.”

Jim: That’s good.

Dr. Leman: Now, I prefer that over trying to make this a soft, easy transformation into a new world for that son or daughter.

John: Hm. Isn’t that great advice from Dr. Kevin Leman? Uh, we’re concluding our two-day conversation with him, um, talking primarily about his book, Why Your Kids Misbehave: And What to Do About It. We highly recommend that book. Uh, it’s a wonderful resource. We’re making that available today if you can make a donation of any amount to the work of Focus on the Family. It’s our way of saying thank you for joining the support team and enabling us to do ministry literally around the world. Donate and get your copy when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY, 800-232-6459, or you can donate and get the book at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: And, let me encourage those who can, uh, please, help us share the hope of Jesus Christ this Christmas. Thousands of people will reach out to Focus on the Family for help in this coming year. Even more will hear our radio programs and our podcasts. We rely on your partnership to share the good news of Christ with millions of listeners, including many who flip to our radio program by happenstance and hear the gospel for the first time. So, please, join us in ministry. Be generous with your gift to Focus on the Family today.

John: We look forward to hearing from you, and, uh, once again, the number to call is 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY, or you can donate online at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And, coming up next time on yet another Best of 2021 broadcast, the powerful story of Dr. Patti Giebink a former abortion doctor who became an advocate for life.

Preview:

Patti Giebink: And, I just intensively was studying the Bible with direction, and understanding it, and at some point, and I, I don’t exactly know when, but it became so clear to me that, that God is the god of life. That’s his character. That’s his heart. There should be no question.

End of Preview

Today's Guests

Why Your Kids Misbehave , and What To Do About It

Receive the Why Your Kids Misbehave, and What To Do About It resource bundle for your donation of any amount! And when you give today, your support will be DOUBLED to Give Families Hope!

Recent Episodes

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

From Prodigal to Pastor

Raul Ries grew up with an alcoholic father who physically abused him and his mother. Raul himself became a very angry and violent young man. After his wife had threatened to leave him, he intended to kill her. Raul was bent on a murderous rampage when he had a dramatic, life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ. In this broadcast, Pastor Raul share his fascinating story about the amazing grace of God and its power to transform even the most hardened hearts.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Rediscovering Faith in a Culture of Chaos

Dr. Os Guinness shares deep insights into the current chaos in the United States in what is a cultural revolution. He inspires believers to be agents of justice and compassion, offering solutions for the restoration of true freedom, which leads to peace and order in society.

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Listening to the Heart of Your Kids

Becky Harling offers practical ways you can intentionally listen to your child. From learning to give her a voice to the importance of non-verbal communication to teaching him how to make wise decisions, you’ll see how listening is one of the most important components of parenting.

You May Also Like

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Avoiding Shame-Based Parenting

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

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Becoming a Clutter-Free Family

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

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.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

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

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

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

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

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

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

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

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

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

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

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

Play Video

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

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

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

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

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 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.

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.

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 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.

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.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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

Thank you for committing to pray for the pre-born!

Sign up below for your free seven-day prayer guide. This daily guide will help give direction to your prayers for the pro-life movement. We will be praying with you! 

Focus on the Family

Thank you for submitting this form. You will hear from us soon.