Adjust your parenting to your unique child. There are no one-size-fits all parenting styles. Get to know your new child’s personality well, and ask God to give you the wisdom you need to develop a parenting style that will be effective for your child distinctively.

Teach your child how to succeed from God’s perspective. True success isn’t a list of accomplishments like good grades or sports trophies. Success, in God’s eyes, is developing good character, healthy curiosity, and common sense. So focus on teaching those qualities to your child.

Connect with your child’s heart. Your child needs an emotionally warm relationship with you to be motivated to follow the rules you set for him or her. So spend lots of time talking with your child and enjoying fun activities together. Also, be sure to apologize whenever you hurt your child emotionally, so anger doesn’t fester in his or her heart and lead to bitterness that can poison your relationship.

Teach your child about Jesus and help him or her grow spiritually. You must be intentional about teaching biblical values and modeling a dynamic relationship with Jesus to your child, or the culture will simply fill the void and your child will learn a hodgepodge of information about God that may not reflect the truth. So don’t leave your child’s spiritual training to chance. Join a church and actively participate in it, read Bible stories to your child, pray together, and make your own relationship with Jesus your highest priority so you can be the kind of role model your child needs.

Adapted from First-Time Dad: The Stuff You Really Need to Know, copyright 2011 by John Fuller with Paul Batura. Published by Moody Publishers, Chicago, Ill.,   

John Fuller is vice president of Audio and New Media at Focus on the Family and co-host of the daily “Focus on the Family” broadcast. He leads the team that produces more than a dozen Focus programs reaching millions of listeners around the world. Many of these features and podcasts are also available at media veteran of more than 30 years, John writes and speaks about creativity, media trends, influential leadership, excellence, and social media. As a father of six, he writes and speaks about strong marriages and effective parenting. John and his wife Dena are also advocates for orphan care and adoption. John has a M.A. from the University of Northern Colorado, and serves an elected member of the board of the National Religious Broadcasters.

Paul Baturaserves as senior writer for Focus on the Family President Jim Daly. He is the author of Good Day! The Paul Harvey Story, the bestselling biography of ABC's legendary newsman, Mentored by the King: Arnold Palmer's Success Lessons For Golf, Business and Lifeand Gadzooks! The Highly Practical Life and Leadership Principles of Dr. James Dobson. Paul also runs a full-service writing shop designed to provide articulate, creative and spirit-filled material for corporations, organizations, celebrities, politicians and other professional entities. A veteran of 63 marathons, he now lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with his wife Julie and their two sons Riley Hamilton and Will Connolly. Visit

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a contributing writer and the editor of’s site on angels and miracles ( Contact Whitney at: send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience.