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A Parents’ Guide to Screen Time During Coronavirus

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Now, more than ever, we need to be mindful of our screens and how we use them. We should always be their masters—and never let them be masters over us.

COVID-19, popularly known as the coronavirus, has sickened hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, and those numbers grow every day. But even if you’re lucky enough to never catch the virus, you’ve been impacted by it. We all have been.

Most Americans have been on virtual lockdown since the beginning of March. Sports have been suspended. Businesses have closed. Restaurants have shut their doors. Even many national parks and hiking trailheads have stopped welcoming visitors, and many state governments are encouraging people to only leave their homes if they have to.

But the coronavirus hasn’t taken our screens. And while those screens provide a window into a broader world and a tantalizing promise of, at least, a temporary escape from today’s scary headlines, they come with their own problems—and, perhaps their own sort of sicknesses. We can grow distracted and dependent on those screens, and the coronavirus increases both that dependence and our need for that distraction.

Now, more than ever, we need to be mindful of our screens and how we use them. We should always be their masters—and never let them be masters over us.

Why to be Wary of Too Much Screen Time

Televisions, laptops, tablets, smartphones and other forms of technology are wonderful tools we can use to connect with others (at a time when connecting with others is more difficult, and more important, than ever), become more informed, save time and entertain ourselves. However, when they become impediments to our physical, social, and emotional health, those tools become tyrants. They may contribute to a lot of wasted time and, in the case of our children, interfere with normal emotional and relational development.

Therefore, some thoughtful consideration is needed regarding how our children may use technology to their advantage and avoid the negative aspects of spending too much time tethered to devices—even now, when the temptation is especially great.

Specifically, paying attention to the relative safety, age appropriateness, and potential health risks of interaction with technology can help parents set some healthy limits for its use.

Paying attention? When do I have time to pay attention?” you ask. We’ve got our own screens to view, whether we’re using them to create another spreadsheet or (ahem) take a mental health  break by checking Instagram or playing Words With Friends. You get the picture. Setting healthy limits starts with us, because our children learn from observing us and are ever ready to pounce at the slightest hint of hypocrisy.

So what limits need to be set? Well, it might be helpful to remember the acronym TO BE SAFE.

Time

The best place to start is to set limits on the amount of time children spend with technology. Your kids will be most likely to stick to the limits you set if you stick to them too. Adults can just as easily find themselves sucked into the online world when the five minutes that was planned for checking emails after work turn into several hours of messages back and forth between friends.

Experts who study the effects of technology on children, youth, and young adults generally recommend no more than two hours of non-academic screen time per day. There’s no asterisk there that says “unless you’re quarantined at home.” This can be tricky, too, because as some kids continue or even finish out the school year online, kids may have all sorts of reasons to be online—and all sorts of ways to sneak in some “non-academic screen time” under the guise of classwork. This means you need to:

Observe

You can’t expect to know how your children are using their “techno time” unless you are observing how and when they’re engaged. While there are many ways to monitor usage, the most effective way tends to be via programs that encourage parents to talk with their kids about safety concerns, be open about the fact that they’ll be monitoring usage and plan times to check in with one another about how things are going. Based on what you observe, you might want to establish some:

Boundaries

Children need and want good boundaries in their lives in order to thrive and grow.

I know, they protest at just about every attempt you make to set a limit. That’s normal. It’s your child’s way of testing you to see just how much you care and what you’re willing to do to protect her. So chat with your child about your concerns and tie some reasonable limits to those concerns. Put some boundaries around:

  • where devices may be used.
  • when devices should be on and off.
  • which social media platforms and web environments may be used.

For example, to prevent family members sneaking off to be alone with their computers and smartphones, make it a family rule to locate all computers in a common area in your home such as a family room. Or, to prevent hearing that familiar buzz or distinctive “ping” that signals text messages coming from your son’s bedroom all night long, designate a certain time for phones to be turned off and put all of them in a central location, away from all bedrooms. Learn about the social media platforms and web environments that are most likely to encourage learning and good social engagement and use white lists or black lists to set some parameters.

And while you are enforcing those boundaries, pay close attention to your kids’ reactions to screen time. In other words, notice their:

Emotions

After your children disengage from technology as the day wears on, do you notice that certain emotions such as anger and sadness seem to linger? If so, tell them what you’ve noticed and ask them if they can explain why there seems to be a connection between technology use and their changing emotions.

It is not unusual for boys to be more aggressive after playing games online and engaging in social media, while girls will often show more signs of depression, anxiety, and dissatisfaction with their lives. If these changes in emotion when they’re plugged in compared to when they’re not begin to look like a pattern, you’ll need to limit the time on technology and encourage more direct involvement with family and friends, as well as healthy physical exercise.

Rigorous activities provide a good outlet for intense emotions and encourage good self-care along with:

Sleep

If you haven’t heard, we have a generation of sleep-deprived youth, primarily because of how hard it is for them to walk away from technology. There is a new phenomenon known as “fear of missing out” or FOMO, which basically refers to anxiety about not being in the social media or other online “loop” while one is sleeping.

Add to that the fact that the lights and colors on screens interfere with normal sleep patterns, and the youth of today have a difficult time getting to sleep and staying asleep. This wouldn’t be so bad if it just meant that we noticed a lot of yawning in our kids. But sleep deprivation, especially over time, can contribute to serious health problems and in extreme cases, psychotic episodes.

Sleep is essential to optimum physical, social, and emotional health. So, hold firm to limits on screen time, encourage your children to turn off the screens at least two hours before bedtime and help them get into sleep routines that encourage at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Of course all of these suggestions make sense only when considered in the context of a child’s:

Age 

In general, the younger a child is, the more limits you need to put on technology use and the hope is that as the child gets older, he or she will begin to internalize those limits and learn self-discipline. If so, growing kids should be rewarded with:

Freedoms Earned

Give some new freedom for respecting the boundaries around technology you’ve put into place to protect your kids and encourage their healthy development. When you reward a son or daughter for being disciplined consumers of technology, this motivates their siblings and friends to comply so they can have some of the same freedoms extended to them.

You can expect some pushback from your children when you attempt to set limits on technology and establish healthy self-care practices for your family. But don’t let that discourage you. You’ll be contributing to their overall health and teaching them some good boundaries they can pass on to their kids someday.

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Good parents aren’t perfect. There’s no formula to follow, but there are ways you can grow every day. Focus on the Family’s 7 Traits of Effective Parenting Assessment gives parents an honest look at their unique strengths, plus some areas that could use a little help.

What To Do Instead

One of the best strategies to keep your children’s screen time down might be to give them other alternative activities. We talked about several on a recent episode of the Plugged In Show (Episode 18: The Coronavirus and Home-Bound Entertainment). Suggestions included:

Reading a Book.

This is a great way to bond with your children and encourage a love of reading. Pick something you’ll both enjoy. The Chronicles of Narnia books are wonderful books to read aloud, but stories with lots of fun sounds— Carl Sandburg’s The Rutabaga Stories or Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, for instance—are made for communal reading.

Playing a Game.

Board games have come a long way since Monopoly. They can be a wonderful way to spend time with your children and even learn something about each other.

Taking a Walk.

Be safe, of course. Practice social distancing where appropriate. But by all means, allow some time to get you and your kids out into the fresh air. Spending a little time listening to the birds and the wind, seeing the trees start to bloom, and the grass start to turn green can be a strong stabilizer in these stressful times—and a subtle reminder that God is good and in control.

Additional Resources

Looking for more? Check out Focus on the Family’s list of “50 Games and Activities to Do With Your Kids.”

Focus on the Family has plenty of additional resources, including how to tackle the subject of the coronavirus with your children.

There’s lots of talk about the virus’ potential effects that could be pretty scary for little hearts. To help you navigate those conversations, check out our article “Talking With Kids About the Coronavirus.”

For those who are working at home, our fittingly-named article “Staying Sane While Working From Home With Kids” offers some concrete counsel for, well, staying sane right now.

One positive change that families are likely experiencing is the ability to eat meals together. That’s a good thing, of course. But we might also feel as if we’re running out of conversation ideas after being cooped up with each other for a long stretch. If so, “50 Questions to Ask Your Kids at the Dinner Table” can be a great conversation catalyst for our coronavirus convocation.

And if your kids are really looking for just some good, old-fashioned entertainment, Focus on the Family’s audio program Adventures in Odyssey has been warming the hearts of generations of fans. To learn more about how you can listen, go to whitsend.org, where you’ll find a link to a free four-week trial to our Odyssey Adventure Club. Oh, and you may not have known this, but Plugged In’s Bob Hoose has been working with Odyssey even longer than he’s been a part of our team, producing and directing hundreds of fantastic episodes of this beloved program.

What To Do If Your Screen-Time Plan Falters

We all know that setting boundaries on screen-time use is hugely important for the sake of our kids’ mental, emotional and spiritual health, even and especially in this season of the coronavirus.

But if we’re being honest as parents, sometimes our grip slips a bit. We implement new habits, we make changes, we see progress with regard to how we’re spending time—or not spending time—with screens. But sometimes, especially now, when screens are oh-so appealing (and, let’s face it, parental nerves may be ever-so frayed), it’s so easy, so tempting and, in some cases, perhaps inevitable that we let our vigilance down. Our kids stumble back into old habits. Suddenly, it can seem like our family’s screen-time usage is spinning out of control again.

In those moments, it can be tempting to throw in the towel, to feel like the hard work of setting limits and making healthy changes is just too unrealistic.

But the fact is, setting limits is hard—in any area of our lives. Anyone who’s ever tried to stick to a diet or a budget knows that redirecting those old ways is anything but easy. And I’d suggest that the same is true when it comes to making changes with regard to our family’s screen-time usage.

So when things spin out of control, it’s time for a screen-time reset. How do we do that? And how do we move toward making changes stick?

Look for a Natural Reset Point

It’s not impossible to make changes right in the middle of your normal schedule. Like, say, starting this Wednesday morning. But in my family’s experience, it’s a bit easier to do that when there’s a natural reset point.

So if things are starting to feel a bit frazzled, you can get out your calendar right now and ask, “What’s the next best spot for our family to reset our media habits?”

Rejecting All-or-Nothing Perfectionism

Some of us have what I’d describe as “all or nothing” personalities. When we make changes in our lives, we go all in—no matter how hard or extreme. But the flip side is often not good: When “all in” starts to erode, to feel too difficult, we can collapse back to our old ways.

So what does that look like? Instead of perfectionism, it means taking a realistic attitude toward making changes in our lives—such as new boundaries for screen time in our families. The goal isn’t absolute perfection. The goal is movement toward what is healthy and good for us. Sometimes we blow it—just like with a diet, or a budget. We don’t quit, but we do reset, regroup and try again.

Perfectionism is a heavy burden for everyone involved, both parents and children. In Adam Holz’s 2014 Plugged In Blog entry “Rebooting Your Family’s Media Habits,” he wrote:

“Our family’s goal isn’t perfection when it comes to media and technology. Rather, our goal is to be engaged and aware of our habits, and to periodically reset them when discipline wanes (because we’re tired or sick or had a bad day … or week), as it naturally tends to do.

It can feel like a losing battle sometimes—a battle that gets even tougher as kids move into their teen years. That said, I believe that if we stay engaged relationally, keep setting healthy limits and keep hitting the reset button when we drift outside those boundaries, it gives our kids a model for relating to others and technology.”

Replacement Theory

It’s hard to eliminate anything we like without a concrete plan for replacing it with something that offers a different kind of satisfaction.

For parents, resetting our kids’ screen-time limits demands something more than just a parental edict that they’re not going to do “X” anymore. When we remove something from our children’s lives that they enjoy and are used to doing, it’s going to create a vacuum that we have a responsibility to help them fill. That requires planning and intentionality. Refer back to the second section of this guide for some possible tips on what could fill that space, or be creative and make your own.

For our family, we’ve tried to find things that we like to do together. There are several games that all of us enjoy (or, well, most of us), as well as certain shared activities. So if I say, “It’s time to get off your Switch,” that instruction is much easier for my son to take if I have a replacement activity in mind: “So let’s go play guitar together,” for instance. My son and I enjoy making music with each other, whereas my wife and daughters are more likely to enjoy doing puzzles, drawings, and various “crafty” things together. Increasingly, they’re cooking together, too, which my daughters absolutely love.

We also sometimes have contests, especially on breaks. Who can read the most pages and/or books over a weekend? Or, let’s have a drawing contest where each family member comes up with a category to sketch out.

Staying Engaged

Your family’s replacement strategies may look very different than our family’s. But the point is, we’re not just dropping screen-time regulations on our kids and expecting them to naturally know what to do with the empty space we’ve just created. Instead, we’re actively and intentionally engaged as parents, brainstorming and modeling non-screen-related activities. And the more non-screen fun you have, the better memories you’ll create. In truth, as scary as the coronavirus can be for many of us, it can be seen as an opportunity to create new, special moments with your children—moments forged over a book or board game, moments they’ll treasure forever. Because in the end, those familial, face-to-face experiences you have with your children are way more memorable than a binge-worthy show.

© 2020 by Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. 

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 1

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

As a latchkey kid, Wendy Speake turned to sugar for comfort. Every Friday, she would pedal to the candy show and use her allowance to fill her bag with candy. And one day, when she was older and a mom of three young boys, she came to realize that she was still “pedaling” away from her stress and using sugar as comfort, instead of turning to Jesus. She was joyless, worn out, tired, and in need of a change. In this interview, Wendy will challenge Christians to take 40 days to focus on fasting from something they turn to instead of Jesus for comfort. She invited people to break free from a dependence on sugar and taste the goodness of God.

Author Wendy Speake smiling as she holds up her book "The 40-Day Social Media Fast"

Mrs. Wendy Speake

With a background in Hollywood as a trained actress, Wendy Speake ministers to women as a bible teacher by applying the power of drama, poetry and comedy to the study of Scripture and real-life application of biblical truths. She has co-authored two books with Amber Lia titled Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and their latest, Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, Say Something New. Wendy is also the co-author (with Kelli Stuart) of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom.

Cover image of the book "The 40-Day Sugar Fast"

The 40-Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation

Welcome to the 40-Day Sugar Fast, a fast that begins with us giving Jesus our sugar and ends with Jesus giving us himself–the only thing that can ever truly satisfy our soul’s deep hunger. On this 40-day journey you’ll learn how to stop fixating on food and other things you use to fill the voids in life and instead fix your eyes on Christ. Anyone who runs to sugar for comfort or a reward, who eats mindlessly or out of boredom, who feels physically and spiritually lethargic, or who struggles with self-control will discover here not only freedom from their cravings but an entirely new appetite for the good things God has for us.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 2

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life – from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. He’ll share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of life’s toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. W. Lee Warren

Dr. Lee Warren

W. Lee Warren, M.D., is a brain surgeon , inventor, Iraq War veteran, and author of I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, winner of the Christian Book Award®. His previous book, No Place to Hide, was included on the 2015 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Recommended Reading List. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and the CBS Evening News, and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, which is heard in more than 60 countries, helps listeners use the power of neuroscience, faith, and common sense to change their lives.

Cover image of Dr. Lee Warren's book "I've Seen the End of You"

I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

This gripping inspirational memoir grapples with the tension between faith and science—and between death and hope—as a seasoned neurosurgeon faces insurmountable odds and grief both in the office and at home.

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 1

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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