Without a strong foundation, a house will be unstable. In today’s episode, Dr. Leman explains the correlation between a strong marriage and a stable household.
Learn more about Dr. Leman at BirthOrderGuy.com.
Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing
Produced by Unmutable™
Doug: Man, marriage can be hard sometimes. Is it worth it? Does it really help my parenting? Is it worth it for me to spend more time with my spouse or with my kids? I don’t know.
Doug: Should I be doing this? That’s the question we get to ask Dr. Leman is, does my marriage, a healthy one really help me in my parenting? And what are the three specific ways it helps me? Hi, I’m Doug.
Andrea: And I’m Andrea.
Doug: Glad that you are with us today. This happens to be your first time, just want to let you know this is for your education and entertainment purposes only. If the subject matter raises any concerns for you or your child, please go seek a local professional for help. Dr. Leman, you have been married, I think, right? You are married?
Dr. Leman: I’ve been married forever. I told you I only got married because I got sick of finishing my own sentences.
Doug: Oh, Andrea is looking at giving you stink eye. You’re in trouble.
Andrea: What was that last podcast? We did something about putting the ball in their court.
Dr. Leman: Oh, she’s too smart for us, Doug, what can I tell you?
Doug: Here’s the question. What are the three ways that really being in love with your spouse helps you in parenting? How does that trickle down to making parenting easier, and are there three ways you could identify that it helps us?
Dr. Leman: Well, if you have a firm foundation, whatever is built on that foundation has a better chance of surviving. I love to tell a story of building the house, and 5:00 in the morning they had builders out there and it’s just getting light.
Dr. Leman: And stupid me, I say to the builder, “Why are you here so early?” And he’s said, “Guy, I never see you.” He says, “Well, today is that they were pouring the foundation.” And dumb me I go, “Well, dude, what’s the big deal?” He said, “Kevin, if the foundation isn’t right, your whole home is off.”.
Dr. Leman: I’ve never forgot those prophetic words because the foundation for your family is the two of you being rock solid, cemented together with a mortar of love and admiration, and respect for one another. And if that foundation is there and you truly do love each other, and you prioritize in your marriage, you will form an impervious wall where the kids cannot penetrate that and divide you in any way, shape or form.
Dr. Leman: And some people are thinking, “Wait a minute, kids are going to divide you?” Yes, they do. They’re hedonistic kids. When you show that you have a lot of respect and you spend a lot of time with each other, and you prioritize and you’re going out for your date night, there are some kids who go, “Wait, you’re going out? What about us?” They’re hedonistic.
Dr. Leman: You have to set the paradigm early in the marriage that the couple matters. You be a better parent because you do talk with each other. You don’t let things build up. You have good communication, and so the kids read that, they learn from that.
Dr. Leman: When a kid comes and asks for something and all of a sudden he’s in a hurry, he needs this and that because it’s tomorrow. And you say to a son or daughter, “Honey, wait a minute, how long have you known this?” “Well, I’ve known this for a month.”.
Dr. Leman: “Now you’re coming to me the night before and you want this, that and the other thing. I mean, that’s not the way life works, and it certainly isn’t the way things work in this family. I don’t know how you’re going to solve that problem, but I wish you the best at it.”.
Dr. Leman: Now, what have you just told your nine year old? Don’t come in here expecting emergency aid and help when you haven’t done your work. That’s not how this family operates.
Dr. Leman: What I’m saying is that kids catch the drift from you parents is how you do life. It’s a teachable moment. That’s the last time a nine year old hopefully is going to come ill prepared the last minute with a list of demands for you as parents.
Dr. Leman: As I call it, the good ship family on the ocean of life, you have to pick to yourselves, both of you at the wheel of that ship, the good ship family. And again, the question I always like to ask is, do you have a destination? Do have a port of call? Do you know where you’re going? And if you do, the hands on deck will follow suit.
Dr. Leman: People want to pursue and follow a leader. And I’m just saying if you’re a leader, and being together and one on marriage not only helps you obviously spiritually, but emotionally and practically as you deal with your children.
Doug: I like that you said there’s fallout from a strong marriage in a good way. Are there some practical benefits to parenting that if you are shoulder to shoulder, as you say, both hands on the steering wheel, that make parenting better with a strong marriage?
Dr. Leman: Yes, kids will try to please you even more when you give them vitamin E, which is encouragement. “Hey honey, you know I came home and I see that you picked up the front yard. You know what? That was so thoughtful of you. I think those are the neighbors papers, but I noticed you picked him up. That is so helpful. Thank you honey.”
Dr. Leman: Again, keep in mind that kids want to please you. When you see things that the kids do and you just make a general comment of thanks, you’re giving that kid vitamin E. You’re telling them, “Hey mom and dad noticed.” You don’t say, “Well, somebody else is going to pick it up. You picked it up.”
Dr. Leman: You’re building it. Those of you who want to be esteem builders in your kid’s life, while there’s a big break right there. Everything you do Doug, that’s in a positive way, feeds more positivity. Anything you’d do negatively, feeds what? More negative stuff.
Doug: In this super busy world that we have, I just got be honest and say, I don’t think I have enough time to do work. Keep the home together, work on my marriage and take care of my kids. There’s one too many things in there, and marriage is the easiest one to drop because someday me and the missus will be stuck together. Why would I prioritize it now when I know my kids are leaving?
Dr. Leman: Well, that was quite a whining you did there. We don’t have time. Let me get this straight. You don’t have time to do all your work. You don’t have time to work on your marriage. I’m sure you can handle it, Doug.
Doug: Oh, but dad, it’s too hard.
Dr. Leman: Listen, I might’ve shared this before, but it needs repeating. When I was a young dean of students at 29 years old, I went in and talked to the head dean, the big guy. And essentially, I was just whining about all the problems I had, because I was the administrator of the code of conduct at a university of 35,000 students.
Dr. Leman: You can imagine I was a busy guy. And I came into my boss’s office and I was again sort of whining about all these problems I have. And the dean patiently listened to me and then he turned and he said, “Well, Kevin, it seems to me and I could be wrong, if you didn’t have all those problems, I really wouldn’t have much need to have you here in the office.” I went and gulped and left with my tail between my legs because he was right.
Dr. Leman: He wouldn’t have any use for me If I didn’t have those problems, that’s what my job was. And what did he say so nicely? He said, “Suck it up Leman, and go do what I ask you to do.”.
Dr. Leman: The whining that we do as adults and children, I always say if your kids are whining you need a wine cellar, that’s my famous one-liner. But kids only continue to wine because you listen to them. In their mind it pays off because you’re listening.
Dr. Leman: As rude as it sounds when you say to a kid, “Honey talk to the hand, I know where this has gone. You need to figure that out yourself.”
Dr. Leman: Yes, it sounds brutally, maybe too much, but kids are working and you’ve got to draw that line to the kids don’t continue to verbally paw at you, like a baby cub toward their mother.
Doug: Well. The E-book special that we have this week is, The Intimate Connections, August 13th through 18th of 2019. Intimate Connections, August 13th and 18th, and it’s only $1.99. And the reason I’m bringing this topic up now is because this E-book is ideal. If you’re married. Dr Leman, what is this book about?
Dr. Leman: All right, well, listen to what I’m about to tell you. I’ve written 63 or 64 books now. I believe that’s the best marriage book I’ve ever written. If you’re having a trouble figuring out each other, and your marriage isn’t where it ought to be… by the way, The Intimate Connection is the goal.
Dr. Leman: You want to move to a place where you have that intimate connection, where you don’t miss a step and you can tell your mate anything and your feelings are tenderly guarded and cared for and cultivated. You’re listened to.
Dr. Leman: But this is a comprehensive book. It just came out in 19 here and you will love this book. This is a book, if you’re a grandparent and you have grandchildren who are married, get them this book. Find out a way to do that. Slip him two bucks and say, “Hey, download this on your appliance.”
Dr. Leman: I can’t give you a rave enough review about The Intimate Connection. I knew right away the first TV show I did nationally was a show on the Hallmark Channel, called Home & Family.
Dr. Leman: When a book comes out, it’s like number 350,000 on the best seller list. One show, where I was on for eight minutes talking about that, and the book went to number eight in Marriage on Amazon.
Dr. Leman: I know what resonates with both men and women. Guys, you’re not as likely to pick up a book on marriage as your bride. But I guarantee you if you read this book and this is a guarantee, your sex life will go crazy. You will know how to handle that woman. She’ll be all over you. If that’s not motivation for you to stop, right now and download that sucker, I can’t help you. You’re a loser of the year if you don’t do that. I’ve said my piece, that’s it doc, it’s a good one.
Doug: You only get seven days, August 13th through 19th for $1.99 on E-book. I thought it was a brilliant idea, Andrea. We have some nephews and nieces that have recently gotten married as well. That this would be a great thing to send to them, as well. Sorry, I don’t need to be telling people what we’re going to be doing as a family. For only a buck, 99.
Dr. Leman: The best thing to do with that book by the way, Doug, is to buy two copies and it’s in a trade paper. It’s not that expensive. Buy two copies and highlight the book with different colored markers, and then exchange books.
Dr. Leman: You give your wife what you’ve highlighted. She gives you what she’s highlighted, and use that as a springboard for discussion in your marriage. Again, that’s the best way. The cheap way, and right now it’s available to you for only a buck 99, there’s no excuse not to download that, puppy.
Doug: Get it. It will help your marriage. It will help all the other areas of your life. And now, no nonsense parenting advice from Dr. Kevin Leman.
Dr. Leman: As you can imagine, I get all kinds of questions from people. I answered a question yesterday from West Africa. I get them from every foreign country. And of course, the funny thing is because so many of my books are in foreign languages, they write me emails in their foreign language and think that I can understand the Czech language or whatever they might be writing in.
Dr. Leman: But so many times I get emails, letters, calls from people who are concerned about their kid doing well in school. And many times I’ll find out as I delve into this kid’s life, that your child does not do well in life than school, is not getting good grades, but guess what? He’s a voracious reader.
Dr. Leman: Wow, whenever I say that, I find a direct, clear way of saying, “Hey parent, you need to stop worrying about your kid’s education. Because if your son or daughter is a voracious reader, they’re going to get an education and they’re going to do well in school.”
Dr. Leman: Chances are if they’re not getting good grades, for example, there’s other issues going on that are creating that situation. Some of them might be behavioral, but some of them might be also situational in terms of the classroom, the teacher, the subject, et cetera.
Dr. Leman: I want to go back to reading. From the time a kid is young, read to them. Get them cloth books, get them fun, bright colored books. If they’re musical all the better. Any kind of entertainment that’s associated with reading should really be encouraged. And teaching kids to read should be a very natural thing.
Dr. Leman: They can pick out letters. I remember one of the funniest things that happened in private practice, was a mother reported that a little guy who was a ardent fan of Sesame Street, came running in. He was toilet trained. He was over two and a half years of age, and he comes in and says, “Mommy, mommy, I poop to see. I poop to see.”.
Dr. Leman: I still laugh thinking about that little kid running into mommy and saying, “Mommy, I poop to see.” Which Sesame Street and other programs teach kids the value of reading and letters. And if reading can come naturally, and if you just keep the printed word around kids in a fun way, many of them are going to catch on and they’re going to read early.
Dr. Leman: Now, you want to just be as helpful as you can. You want to visit libraries on a regular basis. You want to read to that child as much as possible. And more importantly, let that child start reading to you. And by the way, if that child start reading to you, don’t be so quick to correct everything. Okay?
Dr. Leman: Many times when kids are trying to read, we interrupt way too much. Let them figure it out, let them sound it out. But the point of this little spot today is to encourage your kid to read, because that is the building block for all of education moving forward.
Doug: Dr. Leman, what are the piece of it… well, I’ll just let you say. You just bring home Buford, from the hospital view. Buford’s only been there a couple of weeks, and you would give what advice to a married couple after Buford’s been home for just a very short while.
Dr. Leman: Well, to set a precedent for yourselves, your two week old baby is not going to notice that mom and dad are out for the evening. But that’s what I would suggest. You just begin to set a time, maybe it’s a day of the week, that’s your night to go out. If you’ve been around young children all day, trust me, you need a break, anyway.
Dr. Leman: But you should find a qualified babysitter and you go out and you enjoy the evening, simple as that. My other advice for anybody who’s got a newborn is make a lot of noise in your home. Don’t tippy-toe around anything.
Dr. Leman: And when you need to go someplace, just pack up that little guy or a little girl and go. Be active with them, take them where you go. But you’ll also need time for yourself, so you set that paradigm, that model early in your marriage.
Dr. Leman: And it’s easy to get away from because, when Doug was whining a while back about how life was unfair to him, we can let all these things get in the way. Job and responsibilities and financial this, and volunteering for this and that.
Dr. Leman: Again, I’m not big on activities. Parents life’s busy enough without you volunteering for everything under the sun. And don’t have your kids on too many activities where I’m on the soapbox, let me close with that statement.
Doug: It’s in the end, I hear everything you’re saying, it’s worth it to invest in your marriage. I can think of times in our marriage. I know Andrea, people can be shocked that we’ve had real issues and stress and you almost can’t even think about other things, because it’s just so nerve-grading on you.
Doug: And when our marriage has been great, it’s amazing how much more harmony there is around the house and how it does affect the kids. I thought what Dr. Leman said about, if your kids are watching and if what they’re getting from us being married, well, it just permeates that peace throughout the house. Yes, it is true.
Andrea: There’s a good fall out, he said.
Doug: There’s good fall out.
Dr. Leman: Well, let’s face the fact. Andrea is such a blessed woman to have you.
Doug: Oh, Dr. Leman, you’re just trying to make up for being mean to me.
Dr. Leman: Yes, it’s sort of a payback for stating you’ve been whining like a four year old?
Doug: I know what you do. You’ve done this long enough. I’m still bitter.
Dr. Leman: I’m just trying to help you out, buddy.
Doug: Yes, yes, right. Well, get the book, read it and then email us and email Dr. Leman say, “Doc, it did help us in every way possible. Thank you so much for doing it.”.
Doug: We’ve seen too many families that just fallout from divorce. It’s just so ugly and you don’t want it. For 20 bucks or now for a buck 99, you will not, not not regret the investment.
Doug: Well, it was great to be with you and head to your parenting toolbox, so that you can love those kids more and more. And we look forward to the next time that we get to be together with you.
Andrea: Have a good week.
Doug: Take care. Bye-bye.