How Do I Help My Kids Navigate Changing Friendships? (Episode 182)

Have your kids ever felt left out by former friends or felt ranked below another friend? Have their friendships ever changed and therefore brought tension to their life? If so, Dr. Leman will greatly help you on this episode!

#182 -How do I help my kids navigate changing Friendships?

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How do I help my kids navigate changing Friendships?

There was a recent situation in the Terpening household where the kids were struggling how to navigate when they were rejected by former friends. They had two sets of friends that eventually turned away from them and became friends without them. What should they do?

Kids can be mean, hurtful and spiteful. Growing up can be hard.

Friendships will change.

What do you do when this is your kid on the receiving end?

1. Be a sounding board.
2. Revisit it again once they have had a chance to calm down.
3. Tell young kids a story from your life.

Above all, remember that letting your kids do the work of figuring this out will give them psychological muscles. They will need those muscles all through life.

 

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Sexting Issues; How Many Activities?- Ask Dr. Leman 83 (Episode 181)

Have you found your teen sending nude photos to their significant other who they aren’t even allowed to have? Are you caught in the stress of deciding if your kids should do activities, and how many? These are the questions Dr. Leman answers on today’s episode!

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Question #1 Heather:

My fourteen year old daughter has been caught taking nude photos and sending them to her boyfriend (whom she is not supposed to have). Recently she has seen a counselor for cutting and disobedient behavior all year. The counselor says this is all normal. I am new to your podcast and don’t know which book to start with. Thank you.

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

There is NOTHING NORMAL about cutting.
She is screaming, “I feel controlled!!!!”
She does not feel that she has any dominion over her life.
This means that she has been micromanaged. The only place she has any control is over her cutting.

Here are some steps to take:
1. Apologize to her. Tell her you are sorry for trying to micromanage her.
2. Invite the boy over to your house for dinner and a nice evening.
3. Tell her you need her help. Give her traditional ways to help you around the house.
4. Have the deep talk about the problems with sexting.

The bottom line has to be about, “I am not going to run your life. You do what you want.” Likely she will begin to listen to you.

We have heard it said, “Puppy love is real to the puppy.” But we know these relationships pass.

Three books I’d recommend reading are Have a New Kid By Friday, Have a New Teenager by Fridayand Have a Happy Family By Friday.

 

Question #2 Amy:

How many activities, and at what age should I get my kids involved? My 6 year old just started Tae Kwon DO, and my 4 year old, gymnastics. Should I join soccer?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

When you enroll your children in activities, you are not just enrolling them, but the whole family. Soccer takes up your weekend. Practices take up weeknights. You and your husband, as well as the siblings are all enrolled now.

On the other hand, keep in mind that you put an indelible imprint on your kids life every day. Every time you enroll them in an activity, you lose that chance to make an imprint.

I always say to avoid as many activities as possible, and make memories as a family.

 

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The ‘No One-Size Fits All’ Family Rule Book (Episode 180)

Are you unsure about how to handle the big decisions in your family? Do you ever wish there was a rulebook to follow that would explain everything to you? If you feel this way you need to listen to this episode as Dr. Leman answers this question!

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Have you ever wanted to build a “Family Rule Book” that would cover the biggie decisions and opportunities that will come up?

Sleepovers? Yes or No
Birthday parties? Yes or No
Drive at age 16? Yes or No
PG-13 Movies? Yes or No

Doesn’t it sound like life would be smooth sailing and clear if we all understood in our family what to expect when these instances arose?

Yes it does! Of course!

But…

YOU CAN’T HAVE A “ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL” RULE BOOK!

“Why?” you ask.

Kids are all different. They will be ready for these opportunities at different times.
Different instances may call for a varied response.
Maturity has a lot to do with it!
Am I making a mountain out of a molehill?

I have said it before:
Rules without relationship lead to rebellion.

I say, Never promise a kid anything. Take it one at a time!

 

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Boy Playing Girl; Bossy Oldest Kid- Ask Dr. Leman 82 (Episode 179)

Do you feel that your child has “switched” genders as far as what they enjoy doing? Is your oldest a little tyrant towards the younger siblings and others? Dr. Leman answers these questions on today’s episode with his usual wit and wisdom.

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Question #1 Jessica:

Jessica’s 5 year-old son has been doing lots of girly things and has a fetish with women’s hair since watching Frozen 2 years ago. Do we intervene? Will he grow out of this?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

This may be a stage, but this sounds like Dysphoria.
There are many things we don’t understand, and this is one of them.

Dysphoria is when one identifies with the opposite sex.

Often this first shows up at around the age of 3. The Frozen movie may have just been coincidental in his life at that time.

So, you are wondering, WHAT DO WE DO?

1. Love your son
2. Appreciate who he is
3. Keep your relationship intact
4. You may consider homeschooling him to keep him in a safe environment
5. Find a local support group for yourself

Know that he will be very resistant to change. Keep loving him as he is.

 

Question #2 Sherri:

I have a 6 year-old daughter who is bossy over her 3 year old sister as well as the kids on the playground. How do I keep her personality strong, but stop the bossiness?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

When she starts ragging on sister, work her to death! Put her to work cleaning the kitchen, the bathroom, and anywhere else until it is spotless.

You might try this conversation with her:
“You have to listen to Mommy…
You love to tell people what to do. If you keep this up, kids won’t like you.”

Or, encourage her to try this:
Ask the other kids, “What do you want to play with?”

Role play with her so she can practice some new lines.

Play, “I’m the boss of you” with her. Listen to my podcast to hear how to play this little game!

 

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3 Things Every New Mom Needs to Know in the Middle of the Chaos (Episode 178)

Are you a new mother who feels like you are drowning in the new and wonderful experience of parenthood? If this episode if for you! Today Dr. Leman covers the top three things to keep in mind to help keep your head above the water and enjoy the ride.

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For those moms with young children out there, these are days of, “Mom, Mom, MOM!” and spit up on every top. How to make it through? Will it ever end?

Dr. Leman’s Three insights:

1. Align yourself with other moms. Create a babysitting co-op, or a playgroup.

2. Take time for yourself. This means nap while the baby naps! Housework will always be there. Let your husband help you clean up when he comes home (but you will need to ask for help, because he does not always know what you are thinking!)

3. Realize that the day will come when you’ll yearn for these baby days again. So, soak it up. Enjoy those babies and toddlers, because, before too long, they will be going off to college.

And, the bonus #4:

Take time to keep your relationship with your husband healthy and alive. He is the one you will be with for the rest of your life!

 

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Kid Abandoning Vacation; Splitting Time with Kids- Ask Dr. Leman 81 (Episode 177)

If your kid runs away before your family vacation and refuses to join you, what is the proper response? How do you share time with your newborn and your previous, only child? Listen to today’s episode to find out Dr. Leman’s answer!

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Question #1 Becky:

After a fight, our 17 year old son ran away the night before our family vacation. We went anyway, after finding out that he was safe at a friend’s house. On returning, we picked him up and are working on opening up lines of communication. How would you suggest that we do this?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

Becky, you get 4.5 stars from me for how you handled this situation!
The reason you get so many stars is for going on vacation anyhow.
The missing ½ star is because they picked him up on their way home.

This is a stand-off.
He should be ignored. You know he is safe.

Opening lines of communication has to start with him.

Stand back and see what happens…

 

Question #2 Gillian:

With a ten year old and a new six week old, how do we divide our attention? How much should we entertain our children?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

The ten year old will forever be an “only child” because he was an only child for the first ten years of his life. His personality is formed.

But, it will take some time for him to come to appreciate his new sister.

You can encourage him to participate with this new one by reminding him that he can do a lot of things that she cannot do. Recognize what he can do and, yes, give him lots of attention. Let him help and give him the encouragement he needs for doing it.

Another way to give him the attention he needs is to get a sitter for little sister and take him out on a date with Mom and Dad.

 

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Signs You are a Pushover Parent (Episode 176)

Do you bend over backwards for you kids? Are you always making sure they are happy happy happy and catering to their needs? If so Dr. Leman has some important helps for you in this episode to help you have a new kid.

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Two weeks ago we talked about the authoritarian parent, and today we are going to address the other end of the spectrum: the permissive parent.

Here are four marks that you may be too permissive:
1. You make excuses for your child
2. Are driven toward your kids’ happiness
3. Run on guilt
4. Do things for them they should do…

Does this sound like you? If so, you will want to hear this week’s episode on permissive parents!

A good book to read about this, and many more topics is, The Way of the Wise. It’s HIGHLY recommend reading, especially after today’s episode.

 

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Lazy Adult Children; Change Issues- Ask Dr. Leman 80 (Episode 175)

Do you have adult kids who act like adult slugs and are unmotivated? Is it alright to let your children’s behavior slip a little when they are under stress or change? Dr. Leman’s got the answers to these questions on this episode!

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Question #1 Mary:

Why won’t my kids work at their jobs? My 17 and 20 year old boys just aren’t very ambitious about getting shifts at work. What do I do?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

I say that you should, “let your parental well run dry”!

In other words, stop giving them things and money. If they get everything they need from you, there will be no motivation to get out and work.

In order to do this, you will need to be firm in your determination and draw a “line in the sand” to establish that this is a new day!

 

Question #2 Becky:

Since we have moved my kids are wild and crazy. Shall I let things slide, or stay consistent?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

Well, kids don’t like change. It is important to remember that they thrive on the mundane.
Stay consistent as you can with all the other changes going on around them.
If you coddle them, it pays off their whining!

 

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3 Signs You are Parenting With an Iron Fist (Episode 174)

Are you like Iron Man? Do you rule your house with an iron first and control everything? If so, Dr. Leman can help you on today’s episode.

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No one wants to admit that they are too authoritarian. But what does that really mean? What does an authoritarian parent look like?

Here are three things to watch for:

1. You rule with an iron fist and are never wrong
2. You always tell your kids what to do
3. You “should” on your kids

Dr. Leman will help you understand the dangers of authoritarian style parenting as well as help you recognize the marks in yourself. Your relationship with your kids is what matters in the end. Listen in to learn what he has to say.

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A Game Called “Inappropriate”; Unwanted Family Reunion- Ask Dr. Leman 79 (Episode 173)

How would you react if you caught your nine and eight year old playing a homemade game called “Inappropriate”? What about a family reunion your teen would rather skip so he could attend a track meet? Dr. Leman answers these two questions on today’s episode with his usual wit and wisdom.

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Question #1 Nissa:

I am a temporary Single Mom for a few months while my husband is away at Basic Training for the National Guard.

I caught my nine year old daughter and eight year old my son, in my daughter’s room, both in their underwear. I asked what was going on, my daughter said she came up with a game called “inappropriate”. I am at a loss as to HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS! If there is anything you can give me, I would greatly appreciate it! I want them to know how serious this is, but I don’t know how I should deal with it.

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

First of all, this is not uncommon. At this age, kids are thinking a lot about sex. At 10 and 11, they are talking about it.

The best follow-up would be to sit down with them, still in their underwear and talk to them immediately about what they are up to. Ask each one to talk about what is going on. Let them both describe their game.

Tell them why this is so serious. A great resource to read is my book, A Chicken’s Guide to Talking Turkey with Your Kids about Sex.

Now, use this as an opportunity to create dialogue with them by reassuring them with words like, “I am glad you have curiosity about sex, and Mom and Dad are the people you should talk to about it.”

Question #2 Melissa:

I have an out-of-state family reunion that my 16 year old would rather skip so he can attend a track event. Would it be bad parenting to allow him to stay home with relatives?

Dr. Leman’s Answer

There is nothing wrong with leaving him behind. However, there are lots of things in life that are not fun, and we would rather not do, but we must anyhow.

I like to ask myself this question: “In ten years, will it matter?”

Family is always first priority for me. They have an influence in his life, they love him, they will always be family.

This is what I would tell my son: “I know you don’t want to go. Suck it up. We are going!”

 

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