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Your Baby’s First Year: What You Need to Know (Part 1 of 2)

Your Baby’s First Year: What You Need to Know (Part 1 of 2)

Pediatrician Dr. Robert Hamilton offers expecting parents practical advice for approaching their baby's first year with confidence. Topics include the "Four Cornerstones" every parent needs to decide upon, why parents should let their baby "lead the way" for the first month, the importance of bonding, and much more. (Part 1 of 2)
Original Air Date: August 24, 2020

(Sound of a baby laughing)

John Fuller: Oh, is there any sweeter than that? The laughter of a baby and today on Focus on the Family, we’re going to hear about God’s amazing, perfect design for babies and for parenthood. Your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, having kids has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. And I tell my boys, my only regret is not having more children. It always makes them smile when I tell them that. And, uh, I want to encourage young couples today – start your families. Even though the world seems so uncertain right now, it’s always going to be that way and kids bring you so much joy and hope.

John: I would agree, Jim. And of course, as the pandemic continues, researchers are really interested in seeing what effect these stay-at-home orders are having and all of the, uh, uncertainty on birth rates in the coming days.

Jim: Yeah and some say that there will be a baby “boom”, because of all the stay-at-home orders, which makes some sense. While others are saying fewer people will have children, because of all the stress and the economic recession we’re experiencing. Either way, the idea of being responsible for a human life can be overwhelming. So, today, we wanted to share a conversation we had before the pandemic with a pediatrician to give some inspiration and practical help for parents, especially the first-time parents.

John: And our guest is Dr. Robert Hamilton. Bob has been for over three decades a pediatrician. He has even more experience as a dad of six kids and the grandfather to nine kids. And you may have heard of him because, uh, of the “Hamilton Hold.” He’s created this approach to holding a baby to soothe that crying baby and made of video of that. It went viral on YouTube.

Jim: Yeah. Millions have seen it. And, John, Dr. Bob actually taught that hold to one of our staff members who, at the time, had just become a dad. And it was a sweet moment to watch that.

John: We go that on video…

Jim: (Laughter) Good.

John: …And we we’re going to have that on the website and we’ll also have there at the site Dr. Bob’s book, 7 Secrets of the Newborn: Secrets and (Happy) Surprises of the First Year. The video and the book are at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Let’s go ahead and listen in now to the conversation with Dr. Robert Hamilton on today’s episode of Focus on the Family.

Jim: And I want to say welcome, Dr. Bob, to Focus on the Family.

Dr. Robert Hamilton: I am totally delighted to be here. Jim and John, it’s a pleasure.

Jim: I’m so intrigued by, uh, kind of the opening here, that when you and your wife – your wife’s name is…

Robert: Leslie.

Jim: Leslie. When you and Leslie had your first baby, uh, you were still a student. Is that right?

Robert: I – I was an undergraduate at UC Davis, and…

Jim: Medical student.

Robert: I was actually an undergraduate.

Jim: Yeah, studying biology or…?

Robert: Biochemistry.

Jim: Okay. So, there you were. And you have this baby, you and Leslie, and you’re nervous bringing this child home. Of all the people in the world, I’m thinking, this guy should be the least-nervous person.

Robert: You know, I’m not sure I was nervous. I think I was clueless.

Jim: (Laughter).

Robert: And it was a difference. Uh, but, yeah, my son Josh – he did survive, by the way.

Jim: (Laughter).

Robert: But we were young. (Laughter) We were 22. And I think that you probably – you guys know this, that, you know, the frontal cortex of men is not completely mature until they’re about 24, 25. I raise my hand and say, “I was one of those, uh, unformed individuals.” But God gave us a kid at 22. And, uh, you know, listen, fortunately, I have a delightful, wonderful wife, Leslie, who I’ve been married to for 46 years. I’m very proud of that.

John: Mm.

Robert: And she was mature. Her – her brain was more mature…

Jim: Yeah, they’re a little ahead of the game.

Robert: They are ahead of the game. And fortunately, my – my dear Leslie had the major responsibility of taking care of Josh.

Jim: Yeah, and you were a good support person, I’m sure (laughter).

Robert: I – you know, I was a young kid. And I look back and think about our life then. It was a simple life. It was a wonderful life. And yes, I did fall ridiculously in love with my son and my other children when they came. I couldn’t help myself.

Jim: And you’re the father of six.

Robert: Yes.

Jim: So, you have done this well (laughter).

Robert: I’ve done it…

Jim: You’ve done it often (laughter).

Robert: I’ll let you interview my children…

(LAUGHTER)

Robert: …And find out about the well part. I tried.

Jim: Okay, let me get to it in terms of the culture. Here you are, a physician, a pediatrician in Southern California. Your practice is right there in Santa Monica. Um, but you had a friend when you first had your baby – your firstborn – and that friend said something to you that I think is very typical of what is said today. “Don’t you know that kids are a burden? Don’t you know that, you know, this isn’t – what are you doing? What are you thinking?” Speak to that issue. You’re seeing young couples every day, probably in their late 20s and 30s, bringing in their newborns. I’m sure you’re observing that the age of couples having children is moving a little older. So, kind of bundle that into a package with us. What is this fear? And why are people so down generally about having kids?

Robert: You know, it is a phenomenon. And I think that, you know, when you look at children, you think about children – first of all, I think that we have cohorted ourself in our modern world. You know, teenagers hang out with teenagers. You know, older people hang out with older people. We – we have divided our families up into these little cohorts.

Jim: Huh, yeah.

Robert: If you go to other countries, Jim, and I – and I spend a fair amount of time in the Third World in Africa. I just literally got back from Cuba a couple of days ago. And I will tell you that when you go there, there’s an integration of the young and the old.

Jim: That’s true.

Robert: And so, what happens is when you’re in your high school, you’re in college, you’re in graduate school, whatever, you’re not around children, and you don’t really realize the joy and the delight. And I tell people that, you know, babies and children bring a smile to your face every day. Every day.

Jim: Yeah, it’s amazing. I’ve been to Cuba. I had that same observation. It’s kind of like a time capsule, you know, Cuba, because it’s been so isolated. And Dave Dravecky, actually, the former baseball player from the San Francisco Giants, he and I went down to Cuba. He did a baseball clinic, a pitching clinic. And we were talking to, believe it or not, government officials there about religious liberty and access and things like that. But the amazing thing was that integration that you say – people on the – on the porch, old and young, playing checkers, eating a little meal or something. It’s like a time capsule. It’s like the ’40s and ’50s.

Robert: Yeah, you’re completely correct. And I see that in Africa, too.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Robert: And it’s because they really need each other. It isn’t like they have much of an option. They actually – they’re all working together to make the family work.

Jim: Right.

Robert: And – but the result of that – okay? – and to get to your question, Jim, is that why are people kind of, quote, “down” on – on having babies? Because they don’t know. They don’t know the joy, the blessing, that children bring. And you’re right, the demographic is changing. People are getting married later, number one, partly because of, you know, their professional desires and what they want to do. And that’s…

Jim: And commitment issues and all kinds of things.

Robert: All those things. And that’s understandable. But people are – when they do have children, when they finally get to the point where they have a child, they kind of go, “Wow, where have I been?”

Jim: Right, that’s the experience we had. Describe that new-parent attitude that you mention in the book. You call it the new-parent attitude. What attitude is that?

Robert: Well, the attitude is a little bit – first of all, they’re – like I say, they’re older, and so they’ve kind of thought through this whole thing. And they’ve read a lot of books. They’ve been to seminars. They’ve been to their prenatal classes and everything.

Jim: (Laughter).

Robert: So, they’re like, you know, academically, they’re – they’re ready. They’re ready for…

John: They have their plan. They’re ready to work the plan.

Robert: Oh, they – they get it all, yeah. And – and I think, too, that, you know, they’re also looking at other people. And we’re all human. We all do that. And they’re seeing the things that other people are doing. But I think that the attitude I’m talking about is, they can’t mess up. They got to get it right. They gotta get everything perfect. But you and I know we live in an imperfect world, and we all know that our parents are – are not perfect. And…

Jim: (Laughter) And we as parents are not perfect.

Robert: And yes, and we (laughter) are not perfect. And so, but if you’re trying to be perfect, that puts a burden on your back that is hard to actually live up to.

Jim: No, it’s true. I wrote a book called When Parenting Isn’t Perfect. And a friend of mine said, “Why’d you use the word when?”

(LAUGHTER)
Jim: Which was really good. I thought to myself, you know what? You’re absolutely right. I don’t know why I used that…

Robert: It’s never perfect, yeah.

Jim: Parenting isn’t perfect.

Robert: Never perfect.

Jim: Um, the idea of that burden, though – I want to give you 30 seconds, maybe 45 – you take your time – of making the pitch as a pediatrician as to why having children is a good thing. What benefit do we derive from having children?

Robert: Okay, well, 45 seconds, Jim, is not…

Jim: I’ll stretch it to a minute (laughter).

Robert: …Not fair. But here’s why. Children do so much for you. They – they radically change who you are, fundamentally change – I mean, basically, your brain changes. And I can prove that you physiologically and even looking at your brain under a functional MRI and show you that you’re a different person. So, that transformation from non-children to a – someone who has a child is powerful. And if you engage the process, you will look around, realize – and you do this retrospectively – you look back at your life and you say, “I’m a different person.” Now, listen. Not everyone can have children.

Jim: Yes.

Robert: And I – and I don’t mean to speak…

Jim: Exactly right.

Robert: …Uh, you know, and some people have reasons for not having children. God bless them. I – I wish them well. But for those who have children, they – children fill your life with joy, delight. They lead you to new places in life that you would have never gone before. But the point is, is that children enlarge you in a profound and wonderful way.

Jim: They do. And it’s – man, I don’t know. When I’m talking to young people, you know, the 20-somethings, again, I’m trying to encourage them. “Don’t hold back. Man, have children. And don’t be…”

Robert: Have – have children.

Jim: “…Fearful.” Why do you think the culture, though – I mean, that fear thing is gripping so many 20-, 30-somethings? There’s just a fear that they don’t have enough. They aren’t good enough. They won’t do it well. “My parents messed up with me. I’m probably going to do the same thing” – right? – I mean, all those connotations that are running through their heads.

Robert: Yeah.

Jim: Just stop it. It’s amazing how natural it comes to be a good parent.

Robert: You’re completely right. And I will tell you, listen. We come into life with all of the thing – the burdens and the things that who we are, our background, everything. People don’t end up having as many children these days, number one. And so, that – if they only have one child or two children, they have to make sure that each one of them is – they do it right, okay? Not that we – people that have a lot of kids don’t want to do it right for every one of them. But the idea that, uh, you want to get it perfect, you know, you don’t have too many chances, this thing with parenthood, and you don’t want to mess up. The other thing, too, is people – like we mentioned, people are having their children later in life. When we were 22 and we had our first child, Josh, I can tell you that I never thought – I kind of – it was very organic. It wasn’t like I was thinking through all the things I should have been thinking through. I never worried about him getting sick. I didn’t worry about all the things that you needed to do. I wasn’t saving for his college fund.

Jim: You didn’t wrap him in bubble wrap? (Laughter).

Robert: I didn’t know to do that.

(LAUGHTER)

Robert: I suppose if I would have known that, I would have, you know? But we – we loved him very, very sincerely and, uh, very simply. And it – that’s kind of how it was.

John: Hmm. That’s good. Well, we’re talking today on Focus on the Family with Dr. Robert Hamilton. And he’s got this great book, 7 Secrets of The Newborn: Secrets and (Happy) Surprises of the First Year.

Jim: (Laughter).

John: Go ahead and get a copy of the book at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Or call us and we can tell you more. 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Jim: Dr. Bob, I want to pick up on something you briefly mentioned, and that is the brain chemistry changes in a mom. And you in your book talk about that happening for a dad as well. So, let’s look at the two of them. I mean, it’s obvious, I think, for a mom. You see, you know, physical changes for a mom. She’s pregnant, of course, and, you know, she’s having – her body’s response to that is very obvious. I’m not so sure I ever dialed into the fact that a dad’s brain chemistry is changing as well. That’s the first time I’ve heard that.

Robert: It’s very real. And I have to say that part of – part of the research when I wrote my book is, I actually was more aware of that. I kind of thought that, but I didn’t know that. But what is happening is that, you know, listen – God in His glory wanted men and women to have children. And we need to keep these kids alive, and so that bonding phenomenon is happening during – certainly during the pregnancy for a mother because we watch her.

Jim: Oh, yeah.

Robert: We watch her tummy grow. We watch her – all the other changes that happen in the women. And by the way, um, I tell parents this all the time, hormones make the world go round.

Jim: (Laughter) In every way.

Robert: It’s not money. It’s hormones, okay?

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: Spoken like a true pediatrician.

Robert: Well, if you’re a teenage boy, you understand, okay?

Jim: (Laughter).

Robert: And the reality is that, you know, which are being made (laughter) by – in the brain – they kind of infect mothers. And there are things that are going on which are phenomenal. You know, obviously, when you’re pregnant, uh, you’re seeing the changes that are happening, and they’re phenomenal. But mothers are getting ready to be a mother. They’re getting ready to bond intensely with that child. Oxytocin and other – you know, pitocin, these hormones that we hear about, they’re little tiny proteins. I call them little chemical messengers, which are being sent from the brain. They have their effect on – all through the body. And they’re preparing women, certainly, to be mothers. Now, for men, it’s a different dynamic, too. And, um, we’re talking about – by the way, men who are engaging the process of pregnancy with their wife, if you’re not living with the pregnant woman – very odd, and I don’t quite understand – I’m not sure anybody can tell us why – but men who are living – if you simply impregnate a woman and you go on your way, you don’t get this, okay?

Jim: Right.

Robert: But men who are living with a wife and watching her go through the pregnancy, funny things happen. Your testosterone levels begin to plummet. They go down. Your level of oxytocin, usually that hormone which causes letdown in women, begins to go up. There’s another hormone called vasopressin, which is, uh – we call it the monogamy hormone, begins to go up. And that is a hormone which causes you to want to protect your wife and child, ultimately. That begins to go up. Even pitocin. Men have pitocin floating through their blood. So, all of these things which, you know, listen – I don’t remember the phenomenon. It’s been a while since my wife was pregnant. But, essentially, it kind of takes the edge off of men in terms of that testosterone thing.

Jim: Interesting.

Robert: It really is interesting.

John: Hmm.

Jim: Yeah.

Robert: And so, that is happening in men and clearly women, too.

Jim: Yeah, you know, Dr. Bob, something that always intrigues me – and I love science. I did a business degree. I did not do a science degree. My wife, Jean, did biochemistry. But, um, you know, the way so often science does back up God’s design. You know, it’s not in conflict. I’m not sure why the world always tries to convince us that there’s some kind of Darwin thing occurring because it seems like, what a perfect way to go. But why, as a doctor and as a, uh, scientist – why is there this desire to discount these things, uh, even what you described right there, that men become protectors? I know that some in the culture just – they hate to even acknowledge that that is actually taking place. It can’t be right. But it is. You’re saying science is seeing it through MRIs, through watching those, uh, hormones be released in our brain. It matches what God’s design is for us. Why is there this conflict?

Robert: You know, I think it really has to do with the God thing. I mean, people who are given to, you know, atheism or that there is no God in the universe, you know – God bless them – they have to have an answer. And the answer to everything is evolution or natural selection.

Jim: Right.

Robert: You know, I always think about, you know, the number of – we know how old the universe is, approximately. I mean, okay. I think that is a gigantic leap of faith if you want to really kind of discount God or discount, you know, a force beyond evolution and natural selection is okay. Okay? That’s their religion. Uh, I have chosen to look up to the skies and say, “That’s a God who loves us and that is a God who designed a perfect plan for our lives.” And that’s kind of who I am. A good friend of mine – I was just traveling with him in Guatemala. He was an atheist, or he’s an agnostic. I said, “Why did you change?” And he said, “Bob, here’s why. I – the Hubble Telescope is out there and circulating…”

Jim: Right.

Robert: “…And they focused a tiny – literally a pinpoint of – of the sky that we can actually see. And they lit it – kind of – they held that image, that piece of the sky, and they later developed it. And they saw that there were – that one little pinpoint of the sky showed millions and millions and millions of other stars and…”

Jim: Right.

Robert: “…And, you know, constellation.” And he said, “Bob, after I saw that,” he said, “I couldn’t deny it. This is bigger than us.”

Jim: That’s powerful. Bob, let me ask you. You make the case that moms and dads are equally important in a baby’s life. The mom’s role seem self-evident. There’s that connection. But explain why it’s important for dads to be involved because, you know, temperamentally, or whatever issues we’re facing, we can either be engaged fathers or disengaged fathers.

Robert: Well, um, you know, this whole process of a family, you know – and you are Focus on the Family…

Jim: (Laughter).

Robert: …And I – by the way, I love this program. I love you guys.

Jim: Oh, I appreciate that. It’s fun.

Robert: I have supported you for many, many years.

Jim: Thank you.

Robert: It’s been such a joy to be here. Um, parents, you know, dads and moms bring clearly different things to the equation. But study after study has shown that when you have a father engaged in a family, those children do better. They thrive if you have a father who’s – I’m not talking about a father who shows up and is mute and doesn’t engage his kids and goes and watches television after dinner. I’m talking about fathers who actually take an interest. And by the way, I will tell you that I have thousands of wonderful fathers in my practice who really do. They’re people who really – you know, dads love their children as much as mothers do, of course. But when they’re involved, the kids do better and because it’s a complementary thing.

Jim: Yeah.

Robert: You kind of need both. You need a mom and you need a dad. And that doesn’t always happen. Certainly, in our world, I see many mothers who don’t have a partner, don’t have a spouse, and they’re a – God bless them. This is a tough way to go. And you know these people by name, and I do, too. But it’s wonderful to be able to share the joy of children with another person, first of all.

Jim: Yeah.

Robert: And the burden, it is hard to raise kids and all the things that they need. It isn’t for free. But when you have a dad engaged, involved, all I can say is that mothers are happier, children are happier. Life, uh, goes a little bit easier for everybody.

Jim: Yeah. You know, uh, one of the things, even from my own experience with my two boys, I always felt like the early days were tough for me to connect. You know, when they’re breastfeeding, and you’re changing diapers and they’re cute. They certainly are. And they’re great to hear, like we heard, giggles and things like that. And you give them a bath and wash their hair – that’s all fun – and dry them off and put them in the Broncos uniform.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: But, uh, the point is I think for dads it’s a little harder to connect with a newborn or a 3-month-old compared to a 8-year-old.

Robert: Right.

Jim: So, speak to that, the way that fathers can connect to newborns and infants when we’re not understanding how we can.

Robert: You know, first of all, I want to clarify one thing – that the children are happier when you…

Jim: The Bronco part?

(LAUGHTER)

Robert: Yeah…

(LAUGHTER)

Robert: The Bronco part.

John: Yeah.

Robert: Children are a lot happier when you dress them up as Dodgers, okay?

Jim: (Laughter) Yeah, right.

Robert: Just want you to make that very, very clear.

Jim: That may be true (laughter).

Robert: Well, you know, yes, there are years. But anyway, I could tell you that, you know, the reality is, yes, when early on, this is a feminine thing. It’s a feminine thing to deliver a child and have a child and breastfeed and – and love that child. It’s very – and I think that we look at that – men, we look at the process, and I – I remember standing back in awe, and my wife, Leslie, who’s such a great mom, you know, breastfeeding the child – that this is their world.

Jim: It’s unique for them.

Robert: It is. Anyway, that being said, let women be women. Let them do what comes naturally and what is physiologically their role. But we – our role is to really kind of stand back and support them and to be there and, yes, to give them a break from time to time. And to a degree, we – we’re bonding with our kids in a different way. And that doesn’t make it any more important, but it is a different phenomenon.

Jim: What are those things that we can do? Give me two or three examples.

Robert: I mean, I can give you many of them. One of the most important things that new mommies need is sleep, okay? And they need to get that rest because if they’re not sleeping, they fall into postpartum…

John: So, dad takes the child and lets mom get a nap.

Robert: Yeah. And it doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that, John. Basically, what you do is you essentially – you take your child and say, “Honey, take a nap. I’m going to take little Josh or, you know, Noel or whoever” – one of my kids – “I’m going to take them around the block.” And get them out of the house, get them in the fresh air, take them to the park, wherever you want to take them. Take them to the beach. We have a beautiful beach in Santa Monica. Get the out of the, you know – and it’s okay that they’re not – they’re away from their mommy for an hour or two, okay? And the reality is by doing that, you give the mother a break, okay? So, that – that’s that. Number two, I mean, listen, there are chores that have to be done with children. There are – there’s food to gather (laughter) okay?

Jim: No, I love it.

Robert: There’s diapers to change. There’s, uh, laundry to pick up. I mean, I can think of a thousand, you know, chores that need to be done. You do them. If you’re there and you’re a helpmeet – okay? We talk about women being the helpmeet to men. You could reverse several…

Jim: This is the time.

Robert: This is the time. Dr. Bob, I want to end here in – you know, in some ways, some practical help. You mentioned in your great book 7 Secrets of the Newborn four cornerstones of that first year that new moms and dads should discuss. So, why don’t we cover those briefly as we wrap up today? And then let’s come back next time and continue the discussion, okay?

Robert: Absolutely. So, yes, uh Jim, there are cornerstones, which I think really, uh – listen. Our goal – and my goal for writing this book is to encourage families to thrive. And I thought about it. I mean, clearly, I kind of stood back and thought, “What are the cornerstones which really make for a healthy people – healthy lives?” And I mean, I broke them down into four. There are probably a lot more. But number one, what do we believe? Uh, number two, what kind of parents are we going to end up being? Number three, what kind of communities do we belong to? And engaging our children in the community. And number four, how are we going to care for our child’s health? So, those are broad categories. Uh, what we believe? Well, I was raised in a Christian home. I have the fortunate to have had a mom and a dad who loved the Lord Jesus very fervently. They taught me to love God. Uh, it took me a while to engage that and take that as my own. But that foundation was there. And I think it’s important that we engage our children in our faith. And I talk about praying for your child. They’re 1 – they’re 1 month of age. They don’t know (laughter) what this means.

Jim: Right.

Robert: They don’t understand the words. But they do know one thing. They know that caress. They know those gentle words. And frankly, when you pray for your child, you’re talking to the Lord. And when you talk to the Lord, you’re thinking about God, and you’re thinking about the responsibility that you have before the Lord.

Jim: Yeah.

Robert: And so, it’s a profound thing. So, you know, share with your children from the very beginning of their lives that there is a God in heaven who loves them and engage them in your faith because I – listen. I happen to believe that our faith is the foundation, the rock upon which we build.

John: Well, we’re going to have to press pause right there because we’re out of time in this conversation with Dr. Robert Hamilton. We’ll have more from him, though, next time.

Jim: John, I love Dr. Bob’s heart for children and babies. And I love that he encourages parents, too, as they navigate the exciting and overwhelming time of having a newborn. I think that reflects the heart of God and how He cares so much about every detail of our lives from the very beginning. Dr. Bob’s attitude is such a contrast to how the world views children. And that’s why here at Focus we’re so passionate about celebrating life. One way we do that is through Option Ultrasound. This is our ministry that equips pro-life pregnancy centers with ultrasound machines and nurses’ training. We’ve found that when women who are thinking about abortion see their baby on an ultrasound machine, the majority of them are moved to choose life.

John: It’s a remarkable thing and Option Ultrasound is completely funded by pro-life donors. So, thank you to those of you who support this life-changing work. So far, the clinics we partner with are reporting that together we’ve saved over 459,000 baby’s lives.

Jim: That’s incredible! And we’ve done the math with all the numbers and the years to look back on. It takes about $60 to save a baby’s life through the use of ultrasound technology. If you’re passionate about pro-life ministry and share that heart for babies that Dr. Bob has really communicated today, join us. Support the team and help that baby come into this world. Many choose to become a monthly sustainer, while others are able to give a one-time gift. All of it helps. And would encourage you to join the team today. I’ll send you Dr. Bob’s great book, 7 Secrets of the Newborn, as our way of saying thank you.

John: Donate and get that book when you call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. Or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And Jim, it is really hard to believe, but we’re only about a month away from our free big event online called See Life 2020.

Jim: John, I’m so looking forward to that September 26th event. We’ll have pro-life speakers, special music and we’ll show an ultrasound of a pre-born baby. And to the listener, mark your calendar. Be sure to join us September 26th for a great, pro-life, online, event.

John: And you’ll find out more about See Life 2020 at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team here, thanks for joining us for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back next time as we hear more from Dr. Hamilton and once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

7 Secrets of the Newborn

Save a Baby's Life Today!

Your gift will equip pregnancy medical clinics across the country with ultrasound machines, resources and nurses’ sonography training so abortion-vulnerable mothers can see their babies … and be moved to choose life. Every $60 you donate will help save the life of one pre-born baby through our Option Ultrasound program. Give now, and we’ll say thanks with Dr. Robert Hamilton’s book, 7 Secrets of the Newborn!

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Taking Courageous Steps to Save Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Ann White’s marriage was in desperate trouble, but she was terrified to let anyone know. She discusses how God helped her to break through dysfunctional patterns and finally ask for help. Hear this courageous story about a marriage restored. (Part 1 of 2)

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Discovering Freedom In Your Faith

In this inspiring conversation, Gary Thomas describes the joy-filled pursuit of growing in the virtues and becoming more like Christ. Tune in to hear how foundational virtues like humility, surrender, and detachment can shape your family and relationships.

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Taking a Health Journey With Your Spouse

Dave and Ashley Willis offer tips for you and your spouse to get healthy—mind, body, and spirit. With personal stories about Ashley’s journey through anxiety and depression and Dave’s health issues, you’ll see how your overall well-being affects your relationship.

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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.

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Becoming a Clutter-Free Family

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 2

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

Cherishing Your Spouse Every Day

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

Mr. Gary Thomas

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

cherish front cover

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

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.

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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

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

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