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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2 Things You Must Do When Using Vitamin E (Epiosde 172)

Praise and encouragement. What is the difference? When do you use ‘Vitamin E’ as Dr. Leman calls it? To find out listen to today’s episode!

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The Great American way is to praise, reward, and punish when it comes to raising our families. We as humans want praise and we give praise. Because of this we forget the difference between praise and encouragement. It’s time you focused on the act, not the actor.

I am talking about the Vitamin E- Encouragement.
You cannot overdo it. In fact, if you use Vitamin E, your relationship with your kids will change instantly!

1. Be consistent in your use of encouragement
2. Think your way through it, because it is not natural

Because the grain is set inside us already, it is hard to make this kind of change. It is like pushing a boulder uphill.

In my book, Have a New Kid by Friday, you will find a list of encouragement phrases that you can practice and have “in your back pocket” for those moments!

Also, you'll find a much of useful resources at Dr. Leman.com

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16 Year-Old Father; Hides from Discipline- Ask Dr. Leman 78 (Episode 171)

Does your teen want to have a child? What about a son that runs and hides from you whenever you want to discipline him? What is the correct way to handle these problems? Dr. Leman answers these questions on today’s episode.

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Question #1 Monika:

Monika's 16 year old son, and his girlfriend, are hoping and trying for a baby. After talking with everyone involved, she has found no change in their desire and behavior. “I don't know how to stop them!”

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

There are times when seeking the support and input of an outside, third-party will help you get the attention of your child, as you will find in both of my answers today.

Shock him.

Post a sign outside your house that reads: “ROOM FOR RENT.”
The harsh realities that await him are certainly not part of his thoughts today.

I would try a couple of approaches on him:

1. Invite a third-party who is neutral in the situation to take him out for a Coke and talk about the realities he is courting.

2. Get him involved in a church nursery or other nursery where he can experience what it is like to have an infant. Have him serve there for at least 3 months.

A great book to read about this topic is A Chicken's Guide to Talking Turkey with Your Kids About Sex.

Question #2 Bridget:

My 5 year old boy keeps having bad behavior and I can’t stop it. The other kids see it and are going to do the same thing. He keeps getting the attention, but I don’t know how to stop myself.

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

This boy is a classic attention-getter.

He is powerful.

He says, “I am boss.”
He knows others are watching, but wants the attention
Your job is to ignore him. Fix lunch. Call him once. Sit and enjoy lunch with the other two. Let him hide. He will eventually come out for food.
If you are in the store and he hides from you, call on the manager to speak with him while you stay out of the picture. Again, seeking third-party interference will get his attention.
Bridget, you are a good candidate to read, Parenting Your Powerful Child.

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The 3 Key Times to Use Vitamin N (Episode 170)

Have you ever felt like a parent who always says, “NO,” or, “Yes?” When is a good time to say, “No,” and how often? ike anything in life, things can be used for good and bad and Dr. Leman explains how to administer ‘Vitamin N’ correctly.

 

N

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What is this Vitamin N that Dr. Leman keeps referring to? The Answer:

“NO”

It is to be used sparingly, and with thought and care.

It is a GIFT that you give to your kids, that with a healthy dose of Vitamin E (encouragement) will end in a well-balanced child.

Here are three key times to use Vitamin N:

1. When imminent danger shows its face.

2. After thoroughly talking through and praying over a major decision. That is, talking with the youth and with your spouse in private.

3. Routinely when setting boundaries for the family.

Too much Vitamin N, and the child will be anesthetized to it by the age of 2. Remember, you are gifting your kids by letting them talk to you about the issues that arise, their ideas, desires and dreams. You can use the pocket phrase, “Let me think about that and get back to you on it,” to protect against the overuse of “No.”

We'll be covering Vitamin E, another important nutrient in your child's life, on our podcast in two weeks.

A GREAT book to read all about this topic is, Parenting Your Powerful Child.

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Daughter Sleeping With Boyfriend- Ask Dr. Leman 77 (Episode 169)

Have you ever wondered what to do if your daughter wanted to have her boyfriend over and you knew they would be sharing a bed? What is the right way to react? Dr. Leman answers this question on today’s episode.

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Question #1 Nick:

Dr. Leman, what would you say to having your 26 year old daughter and her live-in boyfriend come for an overnight visit at our summer cottage where they would plan to sleep together? I don't think it is right, but my wife thinks it is okay.

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

Many of you will be surprised by my answer to this question!

This is a new day. Millennials don't bat an eye at living together–even those who go to church and are part of weekly Bible Studies.
They see living together as the heaviest form of dating.

Now, to answer the question:
You have a choice.

She knows how you feel already about their arrangement.

To keep your relationship intact, it is time to extend grace.

Here is the question you have to ask yourself: “Do I want to insure my relationship with my daughter?” Once you make the call to tell her where she and her boyfriend are going to sleep (they are adults), you are done with that relationship. On the other hand, by embracing her and her boyfriend, telling them they are free to come, free to be together, free to sleep anywhere, you are keeping your relationship intact for the future.

I am not saying that I agree with people choosing to live together before they are married, but I am saying that relationship is of utmost importance.

 

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3 Rewards of Parenting Well (Episode 168)

We all have those days where we wonder if parenting is worth it, if all our work is going to amount to something and pay off. Well on today’s episode Dr. Leman answers your concerns and explains how and why your work is worth it.

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What are 3 Rewards parents will get from Parenting well or the right way?

Changing is HARD. That is not news to any of us. It is easy to try the quick fix. Fail. Retry.
But, it is difficult to have the discipline to get real change to happen.

What are three results parents can expect from parenting well? Is it really worth it to do the hard work of changing my parenting strategies?

YES!

1. You get a guarantee (like the Midas Muffler guarantee) that you will have accessibility to your kids and grandkids. They will want to come home. They will want to be around you.
Life does not end when they walk out the door at 18.

2. You'll find peace of mind. Do you want the satisfaction of a job well done?
When you send those kids off to college or out into the world, you will be able to look at the big picture and say, “We did a good job.”
Don't let the little flaws get you down. This is the big picture.

3. There will be a guarantee that you'll continue to be a dominant factor in their lives.
When you get the phone call from your son or daughter asking, “Mom, Dad, can I run this by you?” or “I value what you think,” you will know that you have done the job well.
Authoritatively. With relationship in mind. In love.

 

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