Tired of struggling to get your 18 month to go to sleep? Feel that you have a strained relationship with your kid? Or wonder if it is okay to let your 6 year believe he is Peter Parker/ Spider-Man? You asked these question. Dr Leman answers them.

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Question #1: [Audio Question]My 18 month son won’t go to bed. I have tried everything, including spanking. How do I get him to stay in bed?

Answer #1

  • Steps for bedtime:
    • Do the same routine every night.
    • Turn on the night light and close the door.
    • Hold the door closed from the outside.
    • Your child will likely kick the door or yell for you to open the door.
    • Keep quiet and keep in closed. He might go on for a while.
    • Wait till he is completely quiet, then slowly open the door and check on him.
  • It is okay if your child sleeps on the floor for one night.
  • It is vital that you keep quiet while you hold the door closed.

Question #2: Subject: If not to ask Questions, then what?

Hi Dr. Leman,

You have mentioned not to ask questions of loved ones, to help with strained relationships (esp. those with teens). What are your suggestions for communicating with our “quiet” teens? They are not quiet with friends, typically.

I have asked why they don’t share much with me and the answers are “nothing exciting happened” or “I don’t know” or “just normal stuff happened today”.  I know comparing is not good, and yet I hear other teens telling their parents a TON of information/stories/daily happenings/sharing their feelings. .. so I know it’s not “just all teens” who don’t talk much.

We don’t have a bad relationship with any of the 3 girls, just not as close or as open as I would have imagined/expected.

Looking for how to encourage them to talk/share their lives with me.

Thank you,
Wendy

Answer #2:

  • Here are two possible reasons your kids don’t talk to you:
    • You are judgmental or critical, so they are avoiding you.
    • You talk to much.
  • “A watched late bloomer, never blooms.” This means that your child feels your pressure to be more and is resisting it.
  • As they mature, they will start to pull away from you. This can manifest itself in silence towards you.
  • Steps to help start a conversation:
    • Don’t ask questions
    • Use the phrase, “Tell me more about this”
    • Tell stories that show your mistakes.
  • Beware: A very quiet child can be a very powerful child.

Question #3: Is it alright that we go along with our son’s imagination?

Dr. Leman,
Our 6-year-old son is very imaginative and “takes on” characters that he loves. For example, he says he is Peter Parker (Spider-Man) or wants us to call him by the name of his favorite Power Ranger. My husband and I “play along” with it because we feel like it is good for him to have a healthy imagination. Are we right to do this? Is there a point where it could become harmful?
Thanks!

 Answer #3:

  • Your sons actions show an active and creative mind.
  • Children like this will continue to have an active and creative mind their whole life.
  • Each child has their own bent. Enjoy it, rather than ask them to conform.
  • Be thankful they are showing their creative side.
  • Your son’s behavior is normal. Yet, anything taken too far needs to be addressed.

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