Parenting

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Developing Christian Character in Children

How can I raise my kids so that they will grow up to be genuinely godly adults? Most of the parenting materials I've seen have a great deal to say about discipline, mental and emotional health, obedience and order in the home. Unfortunately, there isn't much out there on the subject of character development, especially from a Christian perspective. Do you have any suggestions?

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Dad Who Grew Up Fatherless Needs Advice and Guidance

What does it take to be a good father? I grew up without a dad. Now I'm married with kids of my own, and I'm not sure I'm leading my family in the way God intended. Do you have any advice?

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Working Mom Struggling to Make Time for Kids

With everything it takes to work at the office and run a household, how can I find quality time to spend with my children? It seems like there aren't enough hours in the day to do everything that needs to be done. Do you have any suggestions?

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Leaving Job to Become a Stay-at-Home Mom

Do you have any advice or suggestions for a mother who wants to make the transition from full-time career woman to stay-at-home mom? What can I do to make this change as smooth as possible for the entire family?

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Tackling Adolescent Rebellion

How do we deal with a defiant teenager? For some reason, our son has recently gone off the deep end. He's skipping out on school, drinking, smoking, and making all kinds of dangerously bad decisions. Nothing we say makes any difference in his behavior. The last straw came when we had to bail him out of jail on a charge of drunk driving and disturbing the peace. Where do we go from here?

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Understanding Adolescent Anger

Can you help me figure out where my teenage daughter's anger is coming from? A few years ago I would have described her as a soft-spoken, contented, happy-go-lucky little girl. Now she seems disgruntled most of the time and lashes out in fury at the drop of a hat. Sometimes I have no idea what I've said or done to aggravate her. Is this normal? What can I do about it?

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Anger Management for Teens

How can I help my adolescent son deal with his anger? It's easy to tell that he is very angry about something, but I have a sense that he's trying desperately to squash his feelings and keep a lid on his emotions. Try as I might, I can't get him to talk about it. What should I do?

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Mental Disorders in Kids

What should I expect from a child with a mental disorder? How can I know which behaviors he's capable of controlling and which behaviors I should simply accept and make allowances for? We're facing this situation with our teenage son, and we have no idea how to handle it. Can you help?

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Special Needs of a Compliant Child

How is a mild-tempered, cooperative child likely to be impacted by the presence of a defiant and strong-willed sibling in the home? My oldest daughter is a model child – pleasant, cheerful, and agreeable. Her brother is the exact opposite. I may contact you about him some other time; believe me, there's plenty to say. But for the time being I can't help feeling concerned about the effects his behavior and personality may be having on his sister. What do I need to know about the unique needs of a quiet, compliant child?

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Bullying in the Family

Do you have any ideas on how to stop my older kids from picking on their younger brother? I intervene when I can, but all this bullying is causing the youngest one to play the victim, and I don't want to encourage him in that attitude. How do I handle this situation?

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Adopting an Abused Child

What do we need to know before adopting a child who has been abused? We're considering adopting a child under the age of 2 who was removed from his birth home due to abuse when only a few months old. He has been in the foster-care system for the past year. What kind of risks are we facing?

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Parents Dealing With Grief After Adolescent Child's Suicide

How can we possibly get past the guilt, shame, confusion, fear, and pain that have overtaken us in the wake of our teenage son's suicide? Not only are we blaming ourselves and wondering where we went wrong. We're also dealing with the toxic effect this is having on our entire family. Can you help us?

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Tools for Passing Faith on to Children

What tools does Focus on the Family make available for use in passing the Christian faith along to our kids?

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Setting Boundaries With a Mentally Ill Adult Child

How do we establish behavioral guidelines for a grown child who suffers from mental illness? Should our boundaries be the same as those we'd set up with any other child? Or do special considerations apply in a situation like this?

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Helping Kids Deal With Bullies

How can I tell if my child is having trouble with a bully? Are there any tell-tale signs? And if he is, how can I help him deal with the situation?

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Parents Sharing Past Moral Failings With Kids

How much do my children need to know about my past? I'm a strong Christian and a dedicated parent, but during adolescence and young adulthood there was a time when I chose to "walk on the wild side." Is there any reason to be completely open with them about the moral failings of my early life?

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Adjusting to the Challenge of Fatherhood

Do you have any suggestions for a new dad struggling to get used to the lifestyle changes that accompany the birth of an infant? I love our child very much, but whenever my wife asks me to help with the baby I become frustrated and angry, especially when I'm in the middle of something else. I know I'm being selfish, but how do I overcome it?

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Teen Falling Behind in School

What should we do about our teen's sudden academic struggles? He's always been an excellent student, but since entering high school his grades have dropped significantly. When we ask him what's going on, he just shrugs his shoulders and says, "My teachers don't like me." How can we get to the bottom of this?

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How to Talk to Kids About an Absent Dad

How do I answer my child's difficult questions about her absent father? I broke up with her dad almost eight years ago – when she was just a baby – and she has never met him. But lately she's been asking things like, "Do you still love Daddy?" and "Why doesn't he call – doesn't he love me? " and "Can I try to find him someday?" What do you think I should say?

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Parent Concerned About Tomboyish Tendencies in Daughter

Should I be worried that my daughter might be "transgendered" because she likes to dress and act like a boy and spends a lot of time playing sports with her dad? After watching a television talk show on this subject, I've begun to wonder whether there might be something more to her behavior than mere "tomboyishness." Do you think she needs counseling?

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Parental Pride vs. Sinful Pride

Is it wrong for me as a parent to feel proud of my child and to tell him so? I understand that, from a human perspective, it's normal and natural to feel this way. But as a Christian I know that the Bible has some very severe things to say about the sin of pride. I'm worried that I may be instilling a false and worldly value system into my son when I say, "I'm proud of you." What are your thoughts on this?

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Concerned About "Middle Child" Issues

Should I be worried about having a third child? My husband has concerns about what he calls "middle child syndrome." Do you think his misgivings are justified?

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Avoiding Extremes in Child Discipline

How do I know when my disciplinary methods have crossed an inappropriate line? I was disciplining my five-year-old last night and feel that I got out of control in the way I handled the situation. I'm terrified this morning that I may have gone too far. How can I know for sure? What should I do to prevent this from happening?

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Child Uses Profanity

How can I stop my child from swearing and using "dirty words?" It's a bad habit he's developed, and I've confronted him about this several times. But the problem only seems to be getting worse. I'm frustrated. Do you have any advice for me?

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