Do you have long and frustrating days with your children? Do fun plans usually end up in disaster? Find out what Dr. Leman has to say about the feeling of failure on today’s Ask Dr. Leman.
Learn more about Dr. Leman at BirthOrderGuy.com.
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Andrea: Okay. Being a young mom is really hard and if you heard the last podcast about feeling like a failure and crying, then you’re going to identify with Jenny and her question on this podcast today.
Doug: Hi, I’m Doug Terpening.
Andrea: And I’m Andrea.
Doug: We are so glad that you are joining with us. A Gazillion welcomes. If This happens to be your first time, I 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. Well, Dr. Leman, we haven’t referenced this in, I almost said a gazillion days just to be honoring, but I’ll stop, and say a long time. If I am having an event and I’m thinking, “Man, I wonder who I could come get to come be a speaker.” Do you come and speak at different events and if so, what kind of events do you come and speak yet?
Dr. Leman: Well, this weekend I’m speaking at a all-Chinese church. That’s a first for me. I’m so looking forward to it. Last week I did a business group. I did a fundraiser for a school. I’m a good fundraiser. You’ve all gone to fundraisers where you get the free chicken dinner, but you know it’s not free because you know there’s a pledge card on the table and all that. I’m really good at getting people to open up their wallet, and watch the moths fly out, and chip in for a worthy cause. So I do a lot of those.
Dr. Leman: I only go where I’m asked. We don’t knock on doors. Okay? I’ve never had the need to knock on doors and say, “Oh, would you like me to come to Oregon or Washington or you name it?” The only state that I’ve never spoken in is Montana. One of these days someone from Montana is going to call and ask me. Before they even ask me to do what they want me to do, I’m going to say I’ll be there.
Dr. Leman: I mean for those of you who are in the business world, I do YPO groups, Young President’s Organization. These are the movers and shakers of America. Most of the people in the audience when I’m speaking to them are millionaires, multimillionaires, billionaires, you name it. You can see it all. I enjoy that challenge in the insurance industry. I talk at Top of the Table, which is the top producers in the insurance industry.
Dr. Leman: I do consultation with car dealerships on how to sell people differently. We all buy things differently. I recently did a thing for a local police department on a SWAT team. What do you do when a guy is barricaded with a gun? Well, tell me where he’s born and his family, and I can give you some good advice on how to approach him. So I love the challenge of doing things different.
Dr. Leman: If you’re a member of a club or an organization that has a speaker, even if you just want a speaker who’s going to be entertaining and fun, talk about something as benign as marriage or parenthood or you name it, I love to do those things. So it’s easy. You call my office here, I’m giving you my office 520, okay, 520. That’s Tucson, Arizona. 797, 797
Dr. Leman: Now, By now you know I have a bias about people who give telephone numbers so quick, I can’t even catch three numbers of it. So back to 520-7973830, 3830. If Debbie doesn’t pick up, she’s my assistant, you leave a detailed message and she will call you back. Talking to her is like talking to me because she knows everything. She’s a firstborn. She’s been with me for over 25 years. She sets these events up in such a way they’re tailor-made for what your needs are.
Dr. Leman: My favorite, especially if it’s a church, is to do a Sunday morning where you speak in services. Interesting enough, attendance doubles usually after they hear the Sunday morning service for the event. The event then is Sunday night, Monday morning, and Monday night. We put a combination of marriage or parenthood. Sometimes we do an early morning breakfast for business people and I’ll speak on the way of the shepherd, which is my book on leadership. So anyway in a nutshell, if you want the old fat guy, you can find him.
Doug: Super thanks. You are a blessing when you go and speak at places and especially the ones that we followed up with, have heard nothing but great reports from them. So Today we get to answer one of your questions from Jenny, which is I think a question that a lot of moms have. I am super excited to hear your answer, Dr. Leman. Here we go.
Jenny: Hi Dr Leman. My name is Jenny. I tune in very often as I’m raising two young kids. We’re always going through and learning new things about this parenting journey. I just wanted to say thank you for all your great advice and especially your humor. Some days humor is exactly what we need to get us through our day
Jenny: As I said, we have two young kids, a little girl who’s four and a little boy who’s turning two here in a few weeks. Our little girl is very strong willed, independent, knows what she wants and has a big attitude. Our little boy, he’s just starting to get to the stage where he cries and screams when he doesn’t get his way or what he wants in that moment.
Jenny: As a mom, So many of these days are loud, stressful and frustrating. I tend to take so much of it personally. If we have a bad day where I feel like the kids have been horrible, I take it so personally, like I’m doing everything wrong and end up in my room crying, feeling like a failure. I don’t want to not like my kids or these fun times while they’re young.
Jenny: What is your best advice to get through these times and enjoy them? We venture out and try fun things like restaurants, the zoo, the parks and fun things like that. But you know how most of these things usually end. Usually my husband and I promise we’re never leaving the house again. Dr. Leman, what’s your best advice to enjoy these hard times and not take them to personally? Thank you.
Dr. Leman: Oh, Jenny. Jenny, Jenny. Oh my goodness. That’s probably one of the best questions we’ve ever had on our podcast. You sound delightful. Tell Your husband for me he is one lucky dude to share life with you. You’re trying so hard to be a great mom. I understand that. But wow, that four-year-old, I mean I can see her, little Tila. I bet she’s cuter than cute.
Dr. Leman: She knows exactly how life ought to be. She knows exactly how things you are. Well, now that I’ve praised you, which I don’t even believe in, I’ve got to tell you that what you and your husband have to talk about is we’ve created this little four-year-old powerful young woman. I think it was a couple of podcasts ago, I was asked the question about, “How do you know if you have a powerful child?”
Dr. Leman: A couple of other things I said was, “Well, you feel a lot like you failed and you cry a lot.” What you just confirmed in your question is you feel like a failure and you cry a lot. In fact, I love your line that you and your husband have decided you’re never going to leave the house again. You go off for these idealistic ideas that we’re going to go to the zoo. Okay? It’s summertime.
Dr. Leman: The high today is going to be 88 . It’s going to be really humid. Really? Is this the day to go to the zoo with two kids in the stroller? Or wouldn’t it be better to maybe get a day when it’s 70 degrees with lower humidity? Just throw that out for your consideration. But you have to owe up to the fact that somehow you and your hobby have created this powerful child by falling prey to what most parents fall prey to and that is my child needs to be happy.
Dr. Leman: I need a happy child. So you do everything from,if you’re in a place where the child’s supposed to be quiet, you have a whole grocery store in your purse. You’ve tried a sucker, you’ve tried gum, you’ve tried mints, you’ve tried this, you’ve tried that. You have just gone and run yourself ragged trying to make sure this child is happy at every turn. So one of the things you have to address is my child deserves the right to be miserable.
Andrea: They deserve the right to be unhappy?
Dr. Leman: Yes. Let her be miserable as she possibly can be, especially when she’s over tired because that’s when they’ll really do their dog and pony show to their full extent. Like I said, many times at that point, a child gets to what I call the point of no return. You could have me and four other of your favorite authors in the room who’ve written books about behavior. Once that kid hits that point of no return, none of us are going to be able to do anything with that kid.
Dr. Leman: They’re going to have to continue the meltdown cycle. What does that mean? It means you pick that kid up, Jenny. You’ve put her in a room, you close the door. If You have to hold it, so be it. You’ll hold it long enough that she’ll probably just fall asleep out of sheer exhaustion with her blankie behind the door. So be it. That’s round one.
Dr. Leman: The good news is after a two-hour nap, you have a reasonable good chance of returning just some kind of a okay state for everybody. You create the powerful child, which means one of you tends to be a powerful person. What you have to understand, Jenny, is your little four-year-old sweet daughter, I’ll bet she’s sweeter than sweet. She’s learned to be powerful by you guys. She’s watched how you overreact. You don’t respond very well.
Dr. Leman: You react and that reaction itself will jettison a kid to even further misbehavior. I don’t want to leave that little crying two-year-old out of the picture because whatever the four-year-old is, the two-year-old’s going to go the opposite direction. You say he is just getting to a point where he’s whining and crying. Again, I say with tongue and cheek, you need a wine cellar. So when a kid gets really whiny, you need to have the fortitude to pick them up and put them in his crib, if he’s still in a crib or in his bedroom or whatever. Without a lot of words, maybe a look on your face that you’re not the happiest person in the world would help.
Dr. Leman: It’s tough at this age. I mean anybody with a four-year-old and a two-year-old, I was over at my school yesterday. A Young woman walked in and she had one in the stroller and one was walking independently, the oldest, which is probably about five or six. Then one was holding her hand and she’s pushing the cart with the other.
Dr. Leman: I just said, “Hey, how’s the busy mom?” She said, “Doc, just trying to get through the day.” I can appreciate that because that is the goal for many, just to get through the day. So if you’re lucky enough to be home with your children, that’s good and bad. The bad part is you’ve been with them all day. They know your every move. they’ve been working you. Now there’s two of them, not just one. So you’d be a great candidate to read any of my books on raising kids and try to get a game plan between yourself and your husband to do life a little differently.
Doug: So Dr. Leman, her question is, how can I actually enjoy these early years?
Dr. Leman: You’re destined to not enjoy these years if you continue on the happy track. The happy track says, “My kid has to be happy. I’m gonna do everything to appease my daughter.” So when she gets into her, “No, I want this. I don’t want that.” Don’t give her the choice. “Here it is, honey. You don’t want to eat it, that’s fine.” Start building in what I call reality discipline, that there’s order in this home. Honey, what do you want? I want cereal. You start making the cereal. Now, she wants pancakes. Well, no, that’s not how it works. You said cereal and I poured the milk on it,x and that’s it.
Doug: Long before we had ever talked, I remember my epiphany moment when I read Have a New Kid by Friday. You have a line in there that says a unhappy child is a healthy child. I’ll never forget all the light bulbs that went off in my head about that reality. So you’re right, because we try and keep them happy, it doesn’t help us. Okay. I’m going to take a break here and tell everybody about the ebook. A special from Baker this week. It is My Youngest, There is No One Like You for only a $1.99 from July 23rd to July 29th of 2019. For $1.99, What is My Youngest, There’s No One Like You about, Dr. Leman?
Dr. Leman: Well, it’s a book that I did with my son who just this past weekend, won his 19th Emmy. He is very, very talented. He’s a writer, he’s an illustrator. He’s a guy that can do about everything under the sun. But this book is one of the series. My only child, my firstborn child, my middle child, my youngest child, my adopted child, and my grandchild. There’s No One Like You, that’s the name of the series. So this book we’re highlighting today, My Youngest Child, There is No One Like You is a quick look at what a youngest child is like. So it’s got some birth order stuff. I bet it’s sewn into a story. By the way, you can download that for $1.99. That’s great and you’ll enjoy it. But fair warning to all, if you see that book someplace, buy it. Those are limited edition books.
Dr. Leman: The Middle Child Book I have seen for $400 for one book. So look for those series. If you could see any of those books and you can buy them new some place, buy them. Retail is $13 on them if I recall. But they’re just fun and memorable books. They’re gift books that a parent could give even to their adult child is a little memento of what it was like to have you, the youngest child in the family. So they’re really cool books. But again, if you can see them, if you have an opportunity to buy them in hardpack, they have a little a flyleaf cover on them that’s very nicely illustrated, but check them out. It’s worth it for sure.
Doug: $1.99 July 23rd through the 29th. Now, No Nonsense Parenting Advice with Dr. Leman.
Dr. Leman: Mommy, I want a puppy.
Dr. Leman: Daddy, can we get a cat?
Dr. Leman: You know what? The Leman’s of had hermit crabs, guinea pigs, turtles, and several dogs. Parents, you know the drill here. Some of you, you get so sucked in by your kids. You live in a two bedroom apartment, you both work. You got two kids. Quite frankly, the last thing you need is a pet, but many of you will go ahead and get that pet. You know down the road it’s going to cause problems. Certainly going to cause problems when you want to go away and be at grandma’s for three weeks. Good luck finding a dog sitter, etc. Well, not to come across like an old crouch, but you know and I know that if there’s a pet in the family, most of that responsibility for having the pet is falling on who?
Dr. Leman: That’s right. You, your six-year-old isn’t taking the cat to get her shots or paying for it or to get the dog’s nails clipped or shampooed or you name it. So this really is a decision that you have to really think through. Now again, we have enjoyed having a dog in our family. We’ve had a dog in our family almost all of my life and I’ve always enjoyed the company of a dog. I would admit to everything I just said that it’s costly and they can interrupt your lifestyle and whatever. But is a pet great for a kid? Yes. Depending upon where you live, depending upon their age, their responsibility.
Dr. Leman: But don’t get caught up in the emotional moment. If you’re hit with the opportunity, so to speak, to get a pet and give it a week, parents, and think about it. Think about will this pet really enrich our life right now or is there another time for a pet? I love going to the zoo. I love seeing all the animals. In fact, recently I was on Fox and Friends and they had baby Bengal tigers in the studio and a baby leopard. What beautiful creatures. You want to take them home.
Dr. Leman: They’re so gorgeous and beautiful. I love to watch animals, but it’s sort of like what some grandparents had said to me, “I love my grandchildren because I can really enjoy them and then give them back at the end of the evening and go home.”
Dr. Leman: So with that in mind, my advice is simply really think this thing through. Don’t get caught up in emotion, in the wailing and crying of your kids because the bottom line is you, parent, more than anybody else in the family is going to be responsible for that pet. You want kids to be responsible? Of course you do. But I’m just telling you, the reality of life is you’re going to do more for that pet than your son or your daughter. Good luck.
Doug: Okay. Dr Leman in between the three of us, Andrea is more the mom that probably relates to this. Andrea, you don’t have four and two-year-olds anymore. Your kids are a little bit bigger now.
Doug: And when you think back to those years, there were times when you were just exhausted, worn out, tired.
Doug: Frustrated. When you hear Jenny’s question, what would you say to Jenny about doing the hard work of not just making it happy, happy, happy, and having her purse full of food and actually doing this advice of Doctor? What will be the payoff to you or Jenny?
Andrea: Jenny, you’re asking about how to enjoy these days now. The thing is you’ve got a lot more years with the kids and you want to enjoy them in the future. I enjoy my kids today, all teenagers. We have a lot of fun together. So it is hard to say no and it is hard to not make that child happy at the moment. But they will thank you for it. I’ve had my kids thank me for how I’ve parented them and making those hard decisions to not keep them happy at every moment, to discipline them. The pay off is totally worth it.
Doug: Dr. Leman, what’s the opposite? If Jenny keeps on the happy, happy trail, always having gummy bears around for the kids, trying to placate them. What is Jenny going to ended up with? If she’s frustrated now, what will she end up with?
Dr. Leman: You won’t like spending time with your kids. I mean, listen to your question, you’ll want to enjoy this time. As time goes on, if you don’t do some things, these are kids that you’re not going to want to be around. But check this out, other people aren’t going to enjoy being around them either because they’re so self-centered and selfish. All they care about is me, me, me.
Dr. Leman: Who wants to be around that person? Nobody. Who wants to marry that person? Nobody. Nobody should. But somebody will, and pay for it in all probability. So these are huge things. I mean, my wife, we had three kids under six, well, when she had her firstborn, she decided she was going to quit working outside of the home. We had one car. We couldn’t afford two cars, so we bought an old used car. Back in those days, there weren’t pampers around in pull ups, Huggie this and Huggie that.
Dr. Leman: No. It was old diaper, diaper pails. I mean how my wife survived all that, I look back on it now she survived it because she had a good sense of enough is enough. There will be discipline in this home. We cut our teeth on Holly. She was probably the toughest one of all the kids cause she certainly had some instincts in her that made her an inquiring mind.
Dr. Leman: She wanted to know everything, but she was slightly powerful as well. So we turned that around and we dealt with it on the same page. Now look, as we’ve talked about many times, we have kids who actually want to hang out with us and have fun with us. Jenny, again, I think your question is the best question we’ve ever had. It shows the heart of a mom and God bless you. I know you’re really trying to be a good mom.
Dr. Leman: You probably need to be less of a great mom in your mind and start doing some things differently. The nice thing about the techniques that are in my books is you put them to test. I mean we’re talking 48 hours, 72 hours, a few days, and you will see a change of the kids. They will change. Why? Because you’ve successfully done some changing on your own.
Dr. Leman: So that’s what sets that up. So I just want to encourage you to do some more reading and put those actions into play. Again, you take it all personally, I think you said that. You have to shed yourself off that one. Realize that a good mom is really good at dishing out Vitamin N which has no, and vitamin E which is encouragement. I wish you well on that.
Doug: Jenny, thank you a ton for your question. It really was an amazing question. For all of you that are out there, I’ll say it again. Go read Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours, or Have a New Kid by Friday as a starting point to get the confidence to do these things.
Doug: Dr Leman was exactly right. In a few days, a few weeks, you will see a change in your kid. It really, but it really gives you the confidence to do it. I can’t encourage enough. All righty. It was great to be with you today and we love answering your questions. You can go to BirthOrderGuide.com/podcastquestion. There’s a microphone and you can leave your question just like Jenny. We would love to hear what it is and answer. So we enjoy adding to your parenting toolbox so you’re going to love these kids and enjoy them more and more.
Andrea: Have a great week enjoying your kids.
Doug: Take care.
Andrea: Bye Bye.