Out of Control Nephew; Young Adult Dating- Ask Dr. Leman 95 (Episode 205)

What do you do when parenting your nephew drives you insane and takes a toll on your younger children? What about if your 21 year-old son is dating a 26 year-old, and you really don't like her? These are the questions you asked, and Dr. Leman answers today.

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Question #1 Denise:

One year ago I took custody of my nephew who was living with my uncle. My sister gave him to my uncle at about age 7 and he could not handle him and gave the option of someone else taking him or him going to the state. I took him and have been struggling ever since. I feel like I wake up angry at him… He doesn't listen; I have to tell him the same things every single day.

I have gotten so tired of cleaning up after him that every time I talk to him I can hear the anger and frustration in my voice and actions… I know I need to change my approach but I am trying and failing constantly. The 2 younger kids in the house (my kids 7 &5) are watching his constant bad example. He also has an only child complex, He HAS to be first in everything! We ride our bikes to church and he will run one of the little kids off the sidewalk just to be first.

I have younger kids watching him and doing and saying things he does and says. I don't know how to change my attitude toward him and I need help finding a way to stay calm, be nice and show him love. AND change his behavior because he is driving me insane.

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

You are stepping in quicksand when you bring a child older than your own into your home. You need to ask yourself the serious question: “Is this kid's involvement in our home worth it?”

For the sake of this kid, you may be sacrificing your marriage and your relationship with your kids.
It is time for a tough conversation.

“Things are not working out with you here. I need to see some changes, or you'll find yourself living somewhere else.”

He may say he doesn't care, but he does. You may just see the changes you need to see in him.

One book that you would find helpful is The Way of the Shepherd.

Question #2 Mari-lyn:

Our 21 year-old son has been dating a girl 26 for the last year we have told him many times we do not approve of her. He told us he understands her and why she is the way she is (self centered/know it all). Months back we set major limits for her at our house. We thought this would run its course and end sooner than it has.

Again today I was very blunt with him and told him he was being used and he needed to kick her to the curb. He was sad at what I said, but hasn’t said anymore. How do I get him to see clearly and understand what we see and feel? Thanks.

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

You've said your piece, Mari-lyn. It is time to sit back and let the relationship ride.
Over the years, you have poured into this kid. Let that be his guide now.

There are a couple of things you can do:
1. Back off.
2. Invite them both over for a nice dinner, thereby lessening the friction between you.
3. Give your son lots of Vitamin E in the form of, “We trust you.”

 

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Do My Kids Love My Spouse More? (Episode 204)

Are you having a pity party because your kids have more fun with your spouse? Do you feel like you are always the one having to tow the line, while they get all the credit for being fun? How should a parent deal with this? Is this just reality? Find out on today’s episode with Dr. Leman!

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These differences set you up to be a couple. It is the nature of your marriage.

There will be times when the kids gravitate one way or the other depending on the ROLE you play in the marriage and their need at the time.
If you are the parent who feels that you are always keeping things moving and directing the chores, ask your spouse, “Help me to lighten up a bit. What can I do? What do you see in me that I could work on?”

You will love the real-life conversation Doug and Andrea have in this episode.

 

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Demanding Two Year Old; Lazy Teenagers- Ask Dr. Leman 94 (Episode 203)

What do you do with a demanding 2 year old? Is there more than putting her in her crib when she throws a tantrum? Do you have young adult children living at home and working and going to school? Do you have to nag them to pick up after themselves? Dr. Leman gives us his answers in this episode.

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Question #1 Elizabeth:

What do I do with a 2 1/2 year old, the baby of my three children, who always wants to do it her way. She decides if she wants to go potty, when she wants to get to the dinner table. Everything goes her way or else she throws a temper tantrum. I just carry her to her crib and tell her she stays until she gets happy. Sometimes it doesn't take long. I just think that there has to be something else I could to, but at this point I don't know. Do you have an answer for me?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

A child like this is powerful. These powerful antics are purposeful in order to show you who is in charge.
You are doing the right thing by putting her in her crib.

Here are my tips:
Be consistent
You'll have to do it lots of times
Don't let her see your anger on your face, instead say, “I want you to k now that I am unhappy.”

In the end, you all win! You find peace in the home, and you put her on a healthy trajectory.

Question #2 Christy:

Dr. Leman, I LOVE your books! They are fantastic! Here is our problem: Our boys are 15, 17, and 20. The 17 and 20 year old both work and go to school full time. We struggle with evenly dividing responsibilities. Also, a huge problem is simply cleaning up after themselves!! For example, empty cups and popcorn bags being left on the table in the living room, wet towels on their carpet after a shower… Any suggestions?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

Well, first off, the 15 year old has fewer responsibilities, so he should carry the brunt of the chores. He has more time!

Your action, not words, will make a difference with the boys picking up after themselves. I'd get a box and clean everything up from the living room–including any valuables they leave out. Put it in the garage. When they ask for it, send them to search the box.

This will give you a clean living room, and communicate to them that you are not doing their work. They will have to come dig through it to find their valuables.

 

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How Do You Open the Iron Fist of Parenting? (Episode 202)

Do you want to be less controlling as a parent, but it seems impossible to let go? If you've ever thought, “If I let go of control, I'll get controlled and become vulnerable,” then this episode is for you!

 

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Are you ever worried that you are too controlling as a parent? But does it seem impossible to let go, for fear of totally losing control? “What will happen around here if I let go? You don't know my family!”

Take a deep breath!
You are not going to believe where this podcast goes…

Control comes out of fear. Yes. Fear.

It is a sign that you are:
Insecure.
Lacking faith in God.
Living vicariously through your kids.

It really is a spiritual battle.

In parenting it leads to destructive authoritarian parenting where you are worried about how your child performs, if they show up, or if they let you down.

Two books that I would recommend for this topic are Have a New Kid by Friday and Have a New You by Friday.

 

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Pot Smoking Teen; Interest in Private Parts- Ask Dr. Leman 93 (Episode 201)

What would (should) you do if your teenager comes home regularly every week high on marijuana? Should you be concerned if your eight year old daughter is checking out her private parts? Listen to Dr. Kevin Leman today to find out his answer!

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Question #1 Meagan:

How would you deal with a 17 year old girl coming home high on a regular basis. I feel like I can control what happens in my home but not what is happening outside the home. I've threatened drug testing but not sure if that is the right approach or not. I have talked the issue to death and she feels that since she has finished school and is working that I shouldn't have an issue with it. I don't understand that. Thank you for your help.

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

Yes, you cannot control what she does, but you do have control over
several factors in her life that will have an IMMEDIATE impact on her.
1. Driver's license. GONE.
2. Keys to the car. GONE.
3. Spending money. GONE.

You can cut off her money and her freedom. She is still living in your home.

You stay neutral. Don't come out angry at her.
The key will be that you don't buckle under her barrage of anger.

Question #2 Sara:

My daughter is 8 now and has seemed to have a bit of a curiosity about private parts! There have been a few instances over the past 5 years – playing Dr., you show me yours, I'll show you mine, showing another girl her “boobies, and just recently she showed another girl her butt. I guess I'm trying not to freak out, but I am getting a little worried. We have talked to her every time something like this happens and told her to come to us (her parents) if she has questions, but it hasn’t stopped. We have taken away sleep-overs in order to protect other kids, and as a consequence. Do you have any suggestions? Encouragement?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

This is absolutely common. Most people report doing this at some point.

Don't overreact.

However, most of this should be ending at age eight. At ten, I would
be concerned that she has a sexual fetish.

Ask yourself: does she share openly with me about who she is? Does she
share her emotions? (People with a fetish will be very private.)

The key for you will be to listen well to her. Value what she has to
say. Encourage her healthy bents.

 

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What We Want to Say to Every Parent (Episode 200)

Today on our special 200th podcast, we want to give a message to EVERY parent! You won’t want to miss this great episode! Listen to find out what Dr. Leman has to say!

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For this special 200th episode, we are going to reflect on what we would love to let every parent in the world!

We also share what we have learned from this:

  • Many parents are struggling with their marriages
  • Many parents are struggling with sibling rivalry
  • Many parents are struggling with help at home
  • Many parents are struggling with screen time
  • Many parents are struggling with school work
  • Many parents are struggling with motivation from their kids
  • Many parents are struggling with cold teenagers
  • Many older parents are struggling with adult children who don’t want to be in their life.

What Doug and Andrea also learned:

  • Being on the same page and loving your spouse makes parenting WAY easier.
  • Let kids fight out their problems. They like each more afterwards.
  • Giving up control is a blessing
  • Listening without speaking or correcting is amazing
  • Killing critic or perfection is a must
  • Make the house theirs now is WAY more fun than our house
  • Give the freedom to fail and they thrive
  • Let them fail to gain their own motivation

In this episode we reference two of Dr. Kevin Leman's books that would be great to read and one of his products:

Have a New Kid by Friday

Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours

How to Have Great Conversations With Your Kids

This is a great episode packed full of information that you won't want to miss!

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Snarky Attitude; Immune to Discipline- Ask Dr. Leman 92 (Episode 199)

Do you have children that are great at back talking to you? Do you have a young child that seems immune and indifferent to any type of discipline you use towards them? If so, this is the episode for you!

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Question #1 Rachel:

I have two boys, ages 16 and 7. They have gotten into the habit of replying to me with bad attitude and snarky tones. I’m trying not to raise my voice. What do I do?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

You are a good student!
You used the word, “Respond,” not “react.”
“How much should I tolerate?” is a good question. You are not the punching bag!

Here are two tips for you:
1. When they fire at you, instead of firing back, try this pocket-phrase:
“Oh, really? I'm not sure I caught that. Can you repeat it for me?”
By saying this, you take back the authority.
2. Use the tough love approach. “No, I don't feel like doing anything for you right now. You were disrespectful to me earlier today.”

Question #2 Louise:

I have a young child who acts indifferently to punishment I am using following the book Have a New Kid by Friday. What should I do?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

Remember that this book is directed at 5 year's old and up.

This behavior may be a clue that you have a powerful child. He won't flinch. What he is saying is, “I am in charge.”

I would recommend reading, Parenting your Powerful Child.

 

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Pregnant Teenager (Episode 198)

Just imagine that your 16 year old daughter announces after dinner that she is 3 months pregnant. What do you do? How should you respond? Listen to this fascinating episode as Dr. Leman explains his view on this topic.

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NOW WHAT?

Take a second serving of dessert…
Embrace her…
Think about her anguish…
And tell her, “We will get through this.”

Now, LISTEN to her. Hear her plan. Don't correct her or shame her.

It will take time to hear her plan out. Let her wrestle with the realities, and let her come to the best conclusion after flip-flopping her plans several times.

What are the options?

Some choose abortion, which I am not a proponent of.

Some choose to keep the baby. In which Mom and Dad end up raising the child, and all sorts of family stresses are created.

Some choose adoption. This is the best psychological option for the daughter. She will know, “I did the right thing.”

A great book on this topic is A Chicken's Guide to Talk Turkey with Your Kids About Sex.

You won't want to miss this podcast episode!

 

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Clingy 9 Year-Old; When To Apply Specific Techniques- Ask Dr. Leman 91 (Episode 197)

Do you have a child that you can’t leave because they are too clingy? Are you wondering what age is ideal to start implementing Dr. Leman’s teachings? These are the two questions that Dr. Leman answers on this episode.

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Question #1 Dani:

My clingy 9 year old won't let go of me when I drop him off at school or camp. He will run after me. What do I do in that moment?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

He is using what I call “purposive behavior.” He has a reason for doing it. He knows he will get a response from you.

Next time this happens, you need to simply turn your back, walk away and don't say a word. Don't even try to reason with him because he will just draw you back in.

You can explain to him at another time, “You need to go to school; this is your job.”

Question #2: Kelsey

At what age can I begin to implement your various parenting strategies?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

First of all, there is a danger if you over parent/micromanage your children.

Here are some examples of ages when kids are able to respond to various strategies:
1. Your 14 month old needs to be removed from a scene to a playpen.
2. Your 3 year old can handle you “stepping over her” when she throws a fit.
3. Your 5 year old can understand when you say it once and then walk away.

Have a New Kid by Friday is a book full of good techniques to start using at age 5.
Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours is good for all ages. (New revision coming out this fall!)

 

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I’ve Messed Up My Kid, What Do I Do? (Episode 196)

Have you ever felt like you have accidentally messed your child up? How can you correct the mistakes you’ve committed? Listen to this episode to find out what Dr. Leman has to say!

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You have gotten to know Doug and Andrea a bit throughout this podcast. Here is a peek into a struggle Doug is having with his middle son, who happens to be a lot like him.

It is easy to fall into correcting and expectations of our kids. Ranting when they let you down won't help the situation.

I offer a simple, yet profound solution to Doug's struggle.

Apologize

Kids love us anyway. Despite our rants.

Empathize with that kid. Get behind his eyes. Make a conscious effort to point out good.
Handle the gift of this son with tenderness.
Next time, stop and ask, “What is the new Doug going to do here?”

You will want to consider my book, Have a New You by Friday.

 

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