Hateful Adult Child; Advice Giving Grandparent- Ask Dr. Leman 87 (Episode 189)

Has your adult son or daughter turned against you and you lost relationship? How do you, or should you, help your child’s marriage? You asked and now Dr. Leman answers these two questions on today’s episode.

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Question #1 Kathy:

What do I do when my adult son turns heartlessly on us and tells us we are messing his life up? He was the veritable poster child who went to Bible college. He has cut off all relationship for a least a year. We have given him money for counseling and a down payment on a house.

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

You are too good of a parent. You've been too kind and generous. By doing this the kid gets an unreal concept of himself.
There comes a time when he needs to cut the path for himself. Kids have to figure it out.

If this had been me, I would have responded by saying, “You won't be hearing from us again. We wish you the best in life.”

There is no reason you should have to deal with this hostage situation.
While he experiences not having Mom and Dad in his life, he may come around.

Question #2:

Our daughter is married to a man who appears to outsiders as a very fine man, but she has confided to us that he constantly criticizes her and puts her down at home. My husband just retired from pastoral ministry, and has helped many couples. Can my husband or both of us speak in love to our son-in-law?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

Pastor, first of all, you know you can only help so much.
The danger with a man like this is that he could turn abusive in time, if not confronted.

There is one thing you could say in front of both of them. “I've heard you've been disrespectful to your wife. I've heard what a fine man you are, but I am disappointed how you treat your wife. You can do better.”

If he goes ballistic, I would let your daughter know she is safe at your home.

This is another instance where a blow-out is better than a slow leak.

 

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Lengthening Your Kid’s Leash (Episode 188)

Do you have a leash for you kid when you go to the zoo or other trips? What about a leash that isn't visible, but used regularly to keep them out of harm's way? If so, Dr. Leman teaches us how to use them in today's episode!

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What is it that develops your “psychological muscles?” How about those of your children?
Did you know that by keeping your kids on a short, “safe” leash, you are actually disabling them?
As it is, parents do too many things that their kids can do for themselves.

So, how much do I let my kids experience life?
A lot more than most of you are!

Kids need to have longer leashes and longer responsibilities in order to be ready to move into the world. It is through experiencing bumps and bruises that they will develop psychological muscles.

Here are some tips for you, parent:
1. Teach them to be streetwise.
2. Base their freedoms on the responsibility they show in the home.
3. Be their cheerleaders!

Now, you can watch them stretch their muscles…

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Demonic Pokemon; Reality Discipline- Ask Dr. Leman 86 (Episode 187)

Are your kids into Pokemon, but you are afraid to have them embrace it because it’s “demonic”? Do your kids compete at just about anything and even get a little mean? These are the two topics Dr. Leman addresses in today’s episode.

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Question #1 Leanne:

My seven year old son is into Pokemon, but we don't approve. Is Pokemon demonic? How do I keep my kids away from it?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

My advice is to take this very casually. The more you push, the bigger the problem you get. This is the kind of thing that will pass; it is not a life-changer.

Question #2 Haley:

I have just finished reading Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours, and I am wondering about reality discipline when it comes to competition and being unkind.

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

Kids are going to be competitive–especially boys, like you have! And remember, fighting is an act of cooperation! You will go nuts if you become Judge Judy for these kids. Both kids have contributed to the unrest.

Use a “thinking chair.”

When the instance of unkindness or competition comes up, put the kids in their “thinking chair” where they will have the needed time to think through their actions and words.

 

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Your Past Is A Predictor of Your Future (Episode 186)

What does it mean that your past is a good predictor of your future? Can you TRULY predict your future? How can you apply this in your life? Listen to today’s episode to hear what Dr. Leman has to say!

#186- Your past is a good predictor of the future

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Is it time to invent a new game plan? Are things not working out so well with your parenting game- plan?

Looking back is always a good way to see what you'll do in the future, but there is hope. You can make good changes in your parenting.

Change begins with you.
STOP
LOOK
LISTEN… to your interaction with your kids, your responses, your word choices.

The words you choose to use will alter the course of the relationship.

Listen to this podcast to hear examples of how to put this into practice!

If you are looking for more help after today's podcast, you should read, Have a New You by Friday.

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Minecraft Over Dad; Ultra Powerful Child- Ask Dr. Leman 85 (Episode 185)

Has your child ever admitted to loving a video game more than you?! How should you respond and what next steps should you take? Is it alright to let your older kids help discipline their younger siblings? These are the two questions Dr. Leman answers on today’s episode!

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Question #1 Philip;

My 7 year old is so focused on his Minecraft that he had to intervene. When given the choice between myself (Dad) and Minecraft, he chose Minecraft, saying he would kill himself if he did not have it.

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

WOW Philip! Your response is great…you will want to listen to the podcast to hear what he said!
We give our kids way too many things, way too soon! Taking away Minecraft was a great choice.

It will be important to explain to this boy that it was not his fault that the Minecraft was deleted.
It is on ME as the parent!
“We think we have done some things wrongly. You are going to see some changes around here. It is our fault. We have not done well to pass on the real value of life.”

It is our job to get our kids going in a direction; to TRAIN THEM UP.

Question #2 CJ:

I have made some big changes in my parenting after learning some tips from you, Dr. Leman, but my older kids are having trouble changing the way they treat their 10 year old sister. Are there things I can do to help the older boys deal with her in accordance with the new approach?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

Yes, there are things you can do. Give the boys license to deal with her when she becomes irritating.

1. In front of sister, explain to the boys that if she gets to be too much they have your permission to use physical means to stop her. Just don't maim or kill her!
2.Get the boys alone, and explain that you said this in front of her to get her attention. Give them scenarios as examples of where they can deal with her without physical harm.

In the end, the boys will learn how to deal with others in life without ending up in a fist-fight.

 

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Tips For People Looking For Psychological Help (Episode 184)

Do you ever feel like you are stuck in life? Whether in the area of marriage, parenting, or relationally, we all get stuck and know others who are stuck. How do we help others and ourselves in situations like these? Dr. Leman shares his tips on today’s episode!

#184- How do I get Psycological Help?

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We often run into people who are “stuck” in life. Their marriage is on the rocks, they are struggling with their kids, or they have broken family relationships.
How can we help someone, or even yourself, who is obviously “stuck”?

As a psychologist, I helped to “unstuck” a lot of people, and then came to the realization that many people can help themselves. That is when I wrote the book, Have a New You by Friday, because I believe that you can think your way to change.

Here are just a few hints to get one started:
1. Acknowledge that you are flawed, not perfect.
2. Own up to your weaknesses and mistakes.
3. Make a list of what you want to change (figure out where you want to go).
4. Tell someone else so they can encourage you.
5. Accept encouragement along the way.
6. Apologize when you make a mistake.

You can change your behavior by changing the way you think.

I would recommend reading Have a New You By Friday for even more helpful information.

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Politically Brainwashing Grandparents; Medications for Behavior- Ask Dr. Leman 84 (Episode 138)

Are you safe letting your children spend time alone with their grandparents who are “racists” or radical in other ways? Is it alright to let you kid in elementary school take medications to behave? You asked and now Dr. Leman answers them on this episode!

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Question #1

Do I let my kids spend time this summer with their grandparents who have some very different views than we have? They have become homophobic and racist. Will they damage our kids with their openly bigoted views?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

My answer will surprise you!
Wherever they go, they will encounter bigoted views. We are living in a divided nation.

Allow your kids to develop their psychological muscles through interacting respectfully with people of other opinions. Tell them, “everyone has a right to to their own opinion.”

Question #2 Julie and Ed:

What should I do about my 7 year old son who is being told he needs medications to help him settle down at school?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

I am not big on medications, but there are times that medically it is called for. A lot of times they will grow out of the need.

Get your doctor's opinion on the issue
Ask if it can be only during school months
Empower him by giving him responsibility
Remember that repeating 2nd grade may not be a bad thing for him

Meanwhile, there are things you can do at home to help him. You can work on his need for attention by giving him lots of vitamin E-Encouragement. Don't ask him questions. Change the kinds of words you use. For more on this, you can read my book, Have a New Kid by Friday.

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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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