When my wife, Susan, told me we were expecting our first child 18 years ago, I was excited, but I was also terrified. As I was growing up, I thought my dad was a good father, but as I got older, I saw with fresh eyes his addiction issues and his abuse. I had wrongly accepted his behaviour as normal for a father since it was all I had known. And when I was faced with the reality of becoming a dad myself, I had to decide who I was going to be for my children. (You can read my testimony here.)

Many of us, when we become parents ourselves, face this question: Who will we be as a parent?

Parents do the best they can with what they know at the time, but many of us have had to unpack the negative impact of some of our own parents’ choices. And given the chance, we want to be better for our own children. We want to make them feel safe. We want to be a trusted presence in their life. We want to help them be seen and heard in a way we may not have been. We will never be perfect parents but with guidance we can be better.

For 40 years, Focus on the Family Canada has been helping parents learn how to raise children the way God wants us to. It’s our desire to equip moms and dads with tools to help them parent wisely, to follow God’s example, and to break free from parenting patterns of previous generations that may hinder them from being the parent they want to be. We may not get everything right – and we’re not expected to – but there are a lot of biblically based and psychologically sound principles we can learn to help our children thrive.

More than any generation before, we live in a world of information. We can do a quick Google search for anything and everything, but as you are well aware, not every piece of advice we find online is actually helpful or even good.

On our website, FocusOnTheFamily.ca, we have hundreds of articles, video series, PDF downloads and more to help you in your parenting journey. But I know very few of us have the time to read through each and every one. Parents today are busy, and we need all the help we can get. That’s why our team has curated what we believe are the most essential articles to help you raise your children well.

We recently launched a 16-page booklet titled Helping Children ThriveOur team has selected six topics that are foundational for today’s parents:

1. Emotional development

2. Discipline

3. Faith formation

4. Mental health

5. Pornography

6. Bullying

Whether you’re about to become a parent for the first time or your children are getting older, it’s never too late to go back to basics and learn principles that will strengthen your relationship with your child. You can empower them to grow into who God designed them to be. (And if this booklet doesn’t apply to your life right now, you can always pass it on to a friend or family member who could benefit!)

Proverbs 22:6 tells us, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Now more than ever our children need trusted guidance to navigate the world and we want to help you do just that.

I also firmly believe that the best thing we can do for our children is to continually work on ourselves. We cannot effectively teach them self-control and emotional regulation if we are not able to do so. We cannot expect them to grow in their faith if we are not modelling for them what an authentic walk with Christ looks like. Just like on an airplane, we cannot help our child with their mask if we haven’t put our own mask on first. Whether you need help in your own journey or you are struggling in your relationship with your child, I want to encourage you to reach out to our team for help. Call 1.800.661.9800 or email [email protected] to speak with someone, receive prayer, find a resource recommendation or book a free one-time phone consultation with one of our in-house Christian counsellors.

At Focus on the Family Canada, we believe children are a blessing from God and he calls us to raise, shape and prepare them for a life of service to his Kingdom and to humanity. We want to help you fulfill this calling as you raise the next generation. We are here to help you and your family thrive.


Jean-Paul Beran, MA
Focus on the Family Canada