049: Ask Dr. Leman (Trampoline Parents, Soccer Snub)

Your spouse wants a trampoline and you are 100% against it. What do you do? Your child worked hard and had a great attitude, yet got a soccer snub from the coach. What do you do? In this episode, Dr. Leman answers those questions.



Items from the podcast

Question #1: Audio: My husband is overly safe about what the kids can and cannot do. He is robbing them of their childhood by not allowing them use a trampoline or other things like it.


  • Your husband is cautious. He is a worrier. He most likely a 1st born Male.
  • The Leman family has a trampoline with clear rules, like an adult must be there when the kids are on it.
  • You need move in his direction.
  • Your husband is likely hovering and hindering the kids by being worried.
  • His cautious nature will help you later in life like his concern over retirement, savings, etc.
  • When you do talk to your husband about the trampoline, use these words, “Can you tell me more about your concerns?”
  • Agree with your husband as much as possible.
  • When you do want to share your opinion, use soft statements like, “I may be way out of bounds, but could we think about _________________.”
  • Then ask your husband how he would solve the issue of safety with a trampoline. Men love to be asked how to solve a problem.

Question #2: Audio: My son’s soccer coach said each kid would be recognized for their hard work every week after the game. Every kid got recognized but one, my son. How do I deal with the disappointment?


  • The key is for you the parent to affirm them and their effort.
  • Say, “I know you have worked hard. I am so proud of how hard you have worked this year. Your father and I appreciate the way you handled the situation. We loved watching you play.”
  • Also say, “I am sure there are more disappointment to come your way.” Prepare them for the reality that life will have disappointments.
  • If you child had come home very angry, put his fist through the wall and threw chair around the room, then the discussion would be quite different.

Parenting Tip/ Pocket Answer

Can you tell me more about it?


The next session is on Maturity, Not Age. If you have a question or thought regarding this topic, please leave us a voicemail for the next session. It must be under 30 seconds for the podcast. We reserve the right to use your question on the podcast. (This is NOT a private voicemail for personal counseling.)

 Subscribe Link

btn-itunes   btn-stitcher


Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me. If you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

040: 3 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Get Your Spouse on the Same Parenting Page

“You did what!? I just sent them to their room without dinner and instead you took them out to McDonald's? Are you crazy?! Or do you hate me?” Have you ever had a conversation like this with your spouse about their parenting. You are not alone. This is one of the most common questions we get about parenting. Dr. Kevin Leman gives astonishing insights on how to get on the same page as your spouse.

Sad little boy hearing his parents arguing in a kitchen


Andrea and I grew up in homes that had very different views on eating. Andrea’s family had a value f healthy living. My (Doug’s) family came from a carefree and celebratory view of eating, especially when it came to candy and other sweets. When we got married, we did not agree at all on this issue. Eventually, we found some resolution, but not completely. We still can get into minor skirmishes about it. Andrea has agreed to lovingly come closer to my views. I, on the other hand, need to stop pushing for his way all the time.

Candy and sweets are not a major issue of parenting. Yet, parenting differences play out in fights in many families.

This episode is devoted to giving you action steps for getting on the same parenting page.

Step 1: Recognize why you don’t agree.

When we say that our spouse is undermining our efforts to parent our kids correctly, we are really saying that we have not submitted to each other. We aren’t going to give in to the other person.

It is like saying, “I am right and you are wrong.”  Here is the key: You must realize that you may be wrong. Or. . . you might be making a mountain out of a mole hill.

Competitive parenting never works, because someone is winning and someone is losing. Competitive parenting leads to a competitive marriage–which often ends badly.

One reason you may not be on the same parenting page is because you refuse to agree with them. Try opening yourself up to listen and consider the possibility that you may not be right.

Step 2: Get on their page.

Once you open yourself up to listen to them, try getting on their parenting page. In fact, get on their parenting page EVEN if it is the wrong page.

By getting on the same page, you do three things. One, your child no longer can run wild between your differences. Secondly, you will stop fighting with each other and start looking at the behavior of the child. Lastly, your spouse can no longer blame you for parenting incorrectly. Their parenting style is now on full display.

You may need to will yourself to their page. You will likely need to bite your tongue.

Remember, if their parenting style is abusive or they have destructive behaviors like alcoholism, then don’t jump over there. Be reasonable, and of course, keep your kids safe.

Step 3: How to talk about parenting issues

Now that you are on the same page with your spouse, when a behavior problem arises, ask your spouse for their input on how to solve it. Use the words like “maybe” and “we”.

If your spouse grounds your son, Bob, and doesn’t realize the effect on you, try asking them this, “Dear, thanks for engaging Bob. Do you think MAYBE we could talk about grounding him before you ground him? This way we could explore options together and consider the ramifications.”

Now that you are using their play book, when your kid behaves really badly, feel free to walk away and let them deal with the consequences. Go to the bathroom or leave for a short walk. By letting them deal with it, they will likely realize this isn’t working.

When it gets bad enough, ask if maybe the two of you together could explore different options. Ask them to find the solution. If they don’t have time to research other options, ask them if it would be okay if you did some research and brought a summary of what you found.

Build the plan together. It won’t happen overnight, but being on different pages is destructive on many levels. Work to get on the same page.

Action Steps to get on the same page:
Be open to their different opinions
Get on their page, even if it is the wrong page.
Wait and be silent as you parent on their page.
When things get bad enough, ask if there is a different option to explore together.

Parenting Tip/ Pocket Answer

Get on their page, even if it is the wrong page.
Parenting is not a competitive sport.


The next session is on Ask Dr. Leman. If you have a question or thought regarding this topic, please leave us a voicemail for the next session. It must be under 30 seconds for the podcast. We reserve the right to use your question on the podcast. (This is NOT a private voicemail for personal counseling.)

Subscribe Link





Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me. If you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

Podcast by: Dr. Kevin Leman with Doug & Andrea Terpening Post by: Doug Terpening

Love is all you need…or is it?

For every newlywed or new parent, the question must be asked, is love enough? If I love my spouse enough, can we make it last a lifetime? If we love each other enough, we won’t fight or get sick of each other, right? If I simply love my child, that will be enough to raise him, won’t it? Will he turn out okay?


But the truth is, after years and years of working in counseling, raising five children of my own, and being married to a wonderful who is very different from me I can tell you love is not enough. By itself, love wears thin. We are free to think, if I love my child enough, everything will turn out okay, but nothing is further from the truth. If you just love your child, you’ll end up with a little monster on your hands. Love and discipline are inseparable. If you love and discipline your child, then you’ve got a much better shot at raising your child right.


As for love in marriage, I can say that love is not two young lovers entwined in each other’s arms, gazing moonstruck at the lake on a summer night. If you simply love your spouse in this way, it’s not enough for the long haul. All the experts agree that the moony-eyed love—the honeymoon effect—lasts about two years. So what do you do between then and 48 years later, when you get your picture in the newspaper for your fiftieth anniversary and you both look wrinkled up like raisins?


I’ll say this: in both marriage and in child rearing you must choose to love. You must be faithful to love. It’s easy to love when the person is lovable. But the blessing is in loving the person even when he or she isn’t lovable. It happens in both marriage and in child rearing. There will be times when your spouse or child will be difficult or almost impossible to love. They’ll butt heads with you and drive you up walls and maybe even hurt you. But if you commit to love your spouse and children, no matter what they do, then you won’t be broken by any hardship. You’ll keep divorce at bay and you’ll rear a family that isn’t split and divided. So this year, remember to make the decision to love. As Proverbs 3:3 says, “Don’t let love and faithfulness ever leave you.”


For more ways to live wisely, check out one of my newest books Way of the Wise. Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christian Books and Dr.Leman.com

Why you should never ask “why”

Women are always asking me how they can get their husbands to talk. “He just won’t talk to me, Dr. Leman. I just can’t seem to make out what he’s thinking and he won’t tell me.” Women love to talk. They’re wired to be verbal. In the average day woman use about three and a half times as many words as men. To put it another way, women could write novels with their conversations while men prefer the CliffsNotes version. That’s quite a difference.


However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get your husband to communicate with you. But it may not happen in the way you think. And I can tell you this: getting your husband to talk isn’t going to start with interrogation. Let’s start with what not to say to your husband.


Never ask your husband “why.” Why you ask? Because it instantly puts your husband on the defensive. If your husband is trying to communicate with you and you ask him “why,” you’ve effectively killed the conversation. Asking him that is like saying, “Explain your reasoning to me because I think you’re pretty stupid and you obviously can’t figure this out without my help.” This may sound extreme but male egos are much more fragile than they appear. “Why” is a challenge to your husband, and the defensive walls that will rise from this question can make you feel as if you’re actually talking to no one.


So why not try statements instead? This may sound counter-relational, but your husband won’t hear it that way. When your husband is talking to you try saying, “Hey, that’s really interesting. Tell me more about that!” Take an interest in what your husband is talking about (even if the subject isn’t thrilling to you). If he’s into baseball he would love it if you asked him how his fantasy team was doing! Even if your husband is presenting an idea to you that you’re not crazy about, stick with the “tell me more about that” vein. Don’t ask him why he would want to do this or that. It will only clam him up.


Men and women are different creatures. But communication is possible! Let your husband know that you care about what he cares about and he’ll be more than happy to open up. Just remember—you don’t always need to know why.


To learn more about the way your husband communicates, purchase Have a New Husband by Friday. Available at all bookstores and online at Amazon, B&N and Christian Books.

Valentines Day Ought To Be Every Day | FREE Have A New Husband By Friday (eBook only!)

Love makes the world go 'round. Or so they say. And “they” also tell us that once a year we're supposed to do something really nice for someone we love.

Who are “they?”  You know, Hershey's and Hallmark and every florist in the land. And that is one of the things I really dislike about Valentines Day. Out of 366 days you get this leap year, there's only one little day for love? Call me hopelessly romantic–you wouldn't be the first–but I think every day should be Valentine's Day.
Before I go on and semi-eloquently describe Valentines Day, let me show you I can be practical.

If I were to get my wife a heart-shaped candy box from Walgreens, she'd probably hit me over the head with it.  My wife's idea of Valentine's Day is a nice dinner out, just the two of us. As our children became adults I can recall double-dating for Valentine's Day dinner.  You are supposed to get smarter as you get older!

This year, I will take Mrs. Uppington out to one of those restaurants that I call, a 4 forker!  But I don't do it on Valentines Day, I will do it  tonight, on Feb 13th.  As for the flowers, once again she will get those sweetheart roses and, in all probability, they will be pretty pink. On Feb 14, prices aren't inflated, reservations are easy to make, and well, I just like to do things differently!

If you take up my offer to do dinner on the 13th then some of you are asking well what do I do on the 14th?

Why don't you do something you know your husband or wife would love.  Maybe it's hiring a babysitter to watch the kids so she can have a day to herself…a day without any demands upon her!

Or, think about what your husband would really like to do on Valentines Day.  Guys are SO much easier to shop for that way. We like it free, fun, and frequent…if you catch my meaning.

But back to my point, Valentines Day ought to be every day in marriage.  How could that be possible? Isn't that terribly unrealistic?

Listen up, it's the little things that count.  You keep a marriage alive by:

> Tucking a little card in your husband's luggage right before he leaves for a business trip.  

> Writing a note in soap on the mirror where your lovely gets dressed in the morning.  

> Being thoughtful and considerate everyday.  You are at the grocery store — You got a cell phone!  How much effort does it take to make a call “Honey, I am at the store, is there anything you need”.  

> Washing her car for her…complete the job by vacuuming it out

> Putting a little money in her purse with a note attached to it.  

> Making sure HE knows that you need him and want him.  

> Going away for a night together!  

> Sending a Valentine email that says, “Great news, the kids are at Grandmas house!  I am waiting for you to get home!”

If your marriage is rocky right now, you might dread Valentine's Day. As you look for that perfect card you are probably not going to find one that says “I am not sure we are going to make it, and I am fearful of what lies ahead.”  But maybe you could be strong enough to find a cute little card that has no words inside of it.  And maybe you could write a heartfelt handwritten message that says you wish things were different and you are willing and you to meet your spouse halfway, and that you want to try to make this week, month and year much different than last.

That would be a better than Godiva Chocolates, flowers, or boxer shorts with hearts on them!  A lot of people are counting on you to stay married!  As I have said many times, marriage isn't easy, but it is simple… The truth of the matter is, it's not a 50/50 relationship it's 100/100!

So, I know it's past Jan 1, but wouldn't a good resolution be to make an effort to affectionally love your wife? You could love her better just by to listening to her and honoring her by looking her in the eyes while she's talking (psst! No interruptions, eye-rolls, heavy sighs, etc.)

And wives, wouldn't it be an equally a good idea to make sure that he feels needed and wanted by YOU?

When was the last time you looked in your husband's eyes and told him how much you need him? Maybe you never have. But your husband needs to hear you tell him that you need him and don't want to live without him. It probably doesn't make as much sense to you, but guys need this stuff. It makes us feel respected and important in the eyes of our wives. Yes, that's part ego, but you're speaking to your man's deeper needs.  If you can't say that very easily, maybe you need to look inside of yourself and see what the hang up is.

So go have a nice dinner on the tonight!  Rekindle your marriage and focus on what is important… not only on Valentines Day, but every day.

Oh and one last thing…today, I have a little freebie for you that I think you will like!  

You can get the eBook Have a New Husband by Friday for free TODAY ONLY!  Download yours now for Nook and Kindle!

Click HERE for Nook

Click HERE for Kindle



RELATIONSHIP TIPS FOR A STRESS-FREE 2012 (or as close as possible!)

Hi Everyone!  Welcome to my new website!  We worked hard to make the site user friendly and we welcome any of your comments.

We had a great Christmas, all of my five kids were home!  And in typical Leman style, we had fun.  It's great to have kids who love each other and love us.

Can you guess who is who?

At this time of year everyone is talking about resolutions for the coming year.  So I thought I would take time this first blogpost to give you some suggestions to make sure that your relationships with those you love most are strong and healthy!  I am sure many of you made a resolution to be a better parent or spouse… If so, leave a comment, tell me your goals!

Tips for parenting: 

1. Watch your expectations, make sure they are positive and not negative!

2. Make sure your kids get enough Vitamin E (encouragement) and some very essential Vitamin N which is No! Remember, if you love your child, you will disciple them

3. Rules are important but not the only thing that is important, relationships matter most!

4. Have fun with your kids, laugh at yourself, use the words, “I am sorry”

5. Finally, to put it bluntly do not take any disrespectful act from your son or daughter without significant consequences!

Kids have a need to please you.   They don't like it when Mom and Dad are unhappy.

As important as relationships are with our kids, the more profound relationship is with your spouse!  Now, realizing that many of you are single, stay with me because there are tips for you to come. For those of you who are married, here are some thoughts to make this year as close to stress-free as possible.

Tips for your marriage:

1. Ladies, remember he is the SIMPLE one!  As I have said many times, think of him as a four year old that shaves! His needs are simple.  He needs to be needed and wanted by YOU!

2.Guys, understand that your wife majors in relationships and communication.  She has the need to hear from you.  She wants to know your feelings that you have about, well… almost everything in life!  She needs to feel like your lovingly affectionate at all times!

3. We spend money on everything under the sun, I wonder how many of us invest our time and our money in our marriage? Want to do something for your family this year, take time to be a couple, enjoy a date night, consider joining next year's Couples of Promise Cruise! Those kind of investments play dividends for generations.

4. Do your marriage a great favor and make sure that your spouse and your relationship take precedence.

 Tips for relationships (including those of you you are single!):

1. Don't “should” on yourself — When you “should” on yourself, you are really putting down the masterpiece that God created in you. You truly are a one-of-a-kind!

2. If you have a critical eye– that is to say that you can spot a flaw, especially in the ones you love, in less than 10 seconds…. give it a rest!   And rather than pull up the negatives, look for the positives and use the words, “Good job!” “Nice going” and “I bet that makes you feel good inside!”

3. One more thing, if you want to see a relationship with someone you love improve dramatically, in less than 48 hours, stop asking questions!  It's like magic.  On that note, tuck the “why” word away and watch the relationship change before your eyes!

Two of my favorite scriptures come from St. Paul — Where in Ephesians 6, he says “Children obey your parents, it is the right thing to do!  Because God has placed them in authority over you.”

And in the preceding chapter, Paul writes these profound words, for those of us who are married, “Honor Christ by submitting to one another.”   These imperfect people that surround your life are God gifts for you!  Handle these relationships with care.

I have said many times that marriage and parenthood is not easy, but it is simple.  God does have a simple plan for our marriages as well as for the journey of being a good parent.

As a welcome to my new website, I thought I would start with a Giveaway! This one is simple. There are only TWO things you have to do to enter.

1.  Use the buttons below to share this post with your friends on Facebook and/or  Twitter.  Invite your friends, help us get the word out about this new site!

2. Leave me a comment on this post!  Tell me your resolutions this year.  How you are going to strive to be a better parent, husband, wife, son or daughter…etc.. Or just tell me what you think about the new site!

Friday afternoon I will select a winner, at random, to win 3 autographed books (Now, the books need to be in stock!) Don't forget to give your email in the comment section so I can get a hold of you! 

I wish you all a great  2012.

What Your Husband Really Wants From You

I received this letter a few years back from Tina in Colorado:

I have never knew how much my husband needed me until I heard you talking about friendship.  Then it hit me.  Rob doesn't have any personal friends– None. He's not even close to his brother or his two sisters. He doesn't talk to anyone–except for me. Wow. As you pointed out, that's an awesome responsibility.  Whoever thought about being a good friend to your husband?  It made me realize that I have to let him know how much I need him in my life (and I really do) and how much I respect him.  I know I don't always do it right, but my trying has made a difference. He's not only coming home on time from work, but he just got a raise on the paycheck he brings home every two weeks.  He's been a salesperson, kind of a middle-of-the-road in his sale, but all of a sudden his sales volume has leaped. He seems so much more confident.  Thank you. 

Men are simple creatures compared to complex females.  There are only THREE things your husband desires from you, in this order.

1. He needs to be respected

2. He needs to be needed

3. He needs to be fulfilled.

Respect is a huge issue for all human beings.  But it is crucially important to men, especially in today's society. How can you make your husband feel respected, needed and fulfilled this week?

7 Things He’ll Never Tell You

Studies reveal that about 50 percent of those who marry today will end up divorced. And of the other 50 percent who stay together, only half of those are satisfied with their relationship. No wonder the average marriage lasts only seven years. So let me ask you: How satisfied are you right now with your relationship? — from 7 Things He'll Never Tell You, but You Need to Know Dr. Kevin Leman

I like being a man.

It takes a woman an hour or two to get her nails done at the salon. But I can do my nails at a red light in 10 seconds or less with my front teeth. I even make it a game to see how many times I can hit my speedometer with my fingernails.

(If you're saying, “Eww, gross,” you're definitely a woman. If you were a
man, you'd be saying, “All right, score! I've got a whole pile on my dashboard.”) I could wear the same pair of Bermuda shorts day in, day out. It would never dawn on me to change them, unless I saw another pair waiting for me on my bedroom chair . . . or unless my wife, Sande, handed a new pair to me, told me to put them on, and whisked the old pair off to the washer.

I think I'm dressed up and ready for anything when my shirt has only
one spot on it, and I'm in my standard T-shirt, shorts, tennis shoes, and
baseball cap. It's how I dress 95 percent of the time.

The other day, as I was taking my wife a cup of coffee in bed, as I do
every morning, my daughter Krissy showed up with my two grandkids, Conner and Adeline. I was so excited to see them that I sloshed a few drops of coffee on the kitchen floor. So what did I do? I took my sneaker and rubbed the drops around on the floor a bit, so they would dry faster.

“Daaad,” Krissy said, rolling her eyes. “That is so male.”

And that's exactly what I am. A male.

I don't like to share my food with anybody. But I get first right of refusal
on anything on Sande's plate.

I am as color-blind as anyone can get.

I never ask for directions.

I get antsy when you launch into a really long story. I can't help thinking,

What's the point?

Sometimes I act like a four-year-old who has to have everything now… including all of your attention. Other times I am my wife's hero.

When I say things, I mean them. I like to say what needs to be said
plainly. But when I'm quiet, I'm hoping you get the drift that I'm not crazy about what you're saying, but I don't want to hurt your feelings.

I'm a tough guy . . . but I'm tender underneath, especially where my
family is concerned. (Just ask Krissy sometime how many times I cried when I found out she was engaged, when she tried on her wedding dress for the first time, when she walked down the aisle, when she told me she was pregnant with grandbabies one and two, and when I saw her holding those babies for the first time.)

Truth is, I'm no big puzzle. And neither is any man. The path to our
heart is well-marked, but it's also narrow, for there are few that we trust with it. And somehow, someway, we've come to trust you.

But let's face it. When you date someone, you always put your best foot
forward. Then you hook him, or he hooks you, and you decide you're both “keepers.” You want to be in this relationship for a lifetime. You can't wait to never have to say good night and drive off to separate locations ever again. You envision romantic evenings together, wrapped in each other's arms, in front of the fireplace of your very own home.

Once the wedding is over, you concentrate on living life together.
Settling into your careers, deciding who will do what around the house, who will keep track of the car's oil changes, pay the bills, etc. Somewhere in the midst of all this finagling is when you, a woman and a natural problem solver, get your first notion: I don't remember that bugging me before. Did he always do that? How can I stop him from doing that?

All of a sudden, there is a chasm between your expectations and the
reality of living with your man. Does he expect me to be his maid? you wonder when you find the heap of dirty laundry under his side of the bed. What's more important to him — hanging out with the guys or spending time with me? And if he likes “guy time,” why does he act all hurt when I go out with a girlfriend?

I thought we talked about our budget. I've been sticking to it. And then
he went and bought that plasma TV. We can't afford that. What was he

If he's an engineer, how come he never gets around to fixing our leaky
faucet? The list can grow. You're the Energizer Bunny of communication. He's the rabbit on his side with a dead battery. If you're not aware of the true needs of a man — what he dreams about, thinks about, and what motivates all he does — disillusionment can set in. Misunderstanding can grow to anger and bitterness. You can begin thinking, This sure isn't what I signed up for.

Most people in relationships live with an expectancy that they can
change the other person. That if they just work hard enough, long enough, and if they nag enough, the other person will eventually change.

But that's a little like trying to rub the spots off a leopard. Sure, you can
try to make that critter all one color by scraping his skin with a Brillo pad, but you won't wipe off those spots. You'll just irritate the leopard.

Makeovers work great with clothes, hair, and houses, but they don't
work well with leopards or the men in your life.

A woman who sets out with a Brillo-pad personality won't get very far
before she irritates the man in her life enough to shut him down. No one likes being told what to do . . . especially a man. If you want to catch a mouse, you have to put cheese — a mouse's favorite — in the trap. You can try pineapple, but all you'll be left with is an empty trap.

In the same way, you need to understand the male species before you
try to change him. Otherwise you may have good intentions, but you'll be going about it the wrong way.

No matter how much society tries to make the two sexes androgynous,
men and women clearly are different. Are they equal? Absolutely! But they are not the same.

When women talk about the man of their dreams, they use words such
as rugged, protective, handsome, and strong. Yet the media is trying hard to turn the image of a man into a feminine, wimpy man-child. Someone who will be your girlfriend, who will go shopping with you, always see eye-to-eye, and give you the verbal and emotional strokes you long for.

But a happy marriage is one in which both partners understand, accept,
and celebrate their differences. They enjoy relating to each other and seeing the world through each other's unique eyes. They cut each other some slack during pressured or tough times. (Before you get annoyed with your husband, just think of how annoying you are during that “special time” of the month. It'll put a lot of petty grievances into perspective.)

Your guy isn't like you. He shouldn't be like you. If he was, why would
you have found him interesting? Those differences can drive you crazy — or they can drive you together. Understand a guy's basic needs, and all of a sudden you're talking his language. The paycheck at the end is huge. Think about how many close friends you, as a woman, have. Now, how many do you think your guy has? If you answered 0 or 1, you're right on the money. Your guy needs just one intimate friend — you. He wants to please you. So don't underestimate yourself. You rate much higher in his life and thoughts than you could ever dream. He'd take a bullet for you. He really would.