It’s time to go back to the basics! Do your kids consistently shirk their chores and responsibilities? In today’s episode, Dr. Leman covers a simple reality in life that B does not happen until A is complete.

 

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Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing

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Transcript

Doug:
It happened again. Johnny, again, didn’t do the one thing you asked him to do before he went to his friend’s house. Now he’s out at his friend’s house having a gay old time, and you’re in the house finishing it for him.

Doug:
Sound familiar? Tired of that? Want a simple solution for yourself, on how not to get caught in that cycle again. Well, we get one of the best concepts that Dr. Leman has ever given the Terpening [inaudible 00:00:32].

Doug:
Hi, I’m Doug Terpening…

Andrea:
And I’m Andrea…

Doug:
… and we are so glad that we are with you today. Want to let you know if this is your first time, that this is for your education and entertainment purposes only. If the subject matter raises any concerns for you or child, please go seek a local professional for help.

Doug:
Well, we are doing a basic parenting series. Going back to some of the basics with Dr. Leman, that have impacted the Terpening household a ton, and this is one of the ones that, gold standard, made parenting way easier for the Terpening household. And it’s B doesn’t happen until A is complete.

Doug:

Dr. Leman, what in the world does that mean?

Dr. Leman:
Well, it’s probably one of the simplest corollaries that you can use in dealing with people, kids, business, things in general. B, whatever that B is, whatever that activity is, doesn’t start until A, the previous assigned chore, in this case talking about kids, is completed, to who’s satisfaction? To the parents.

Dr. Leman:
Okay. It’s just one of those things. Why we don’t use this more often is beyond me, because it’s so obvious. It keeps you out of battle. It simply keeps you on that linear thinking of, “Okay, wait a minute. I asked you to take out the garbage and I see it’s not taken out, and now you want to run next door and shoot hoops with your buddies. No, the garbage has to be taken out.”

Dr. Leman:
Now, let’s take a situation where the kid is a little surly, and he finally takes it out and now he says, “Mom, all right, I took the garbage out. Can I go on and shoot hoops now?” “No, you can’t.” “What do you mean? You said, if I-” “I know what I said, but I didn’t like the attitude you copped.”

Dr. Leman:
Now when you go back to the book, Have a New Kid by Friday. I’m trying to think what it says on the cover of the book, and I don’t have one handy, but it says something to the effect of changing character in five days or less, as well. I think it says attitude, behavior and character.

Dr. Leman:
Well, this is the character part, because you’ve asked your kid to do something. He’s done it, but he did it in a very disrespectful way, with sort of a spit in your soup attitude. “Okay, I did the garbage. Now can I go?” “No, you can’t go.”

Dr. Leman:
Now, again, that’s where you just have to play this game of parenthood smart. Because is it really a matter of taking the garbage out, or is it really a matter of having a kid in the home, who appreciates the comforts of this home, is willing to pitch in and do their help? And I think we would all agree, well, yeah, that’s more what we’re after. So, that’s where the character fits in.

Dr. Leman:
So again, whatever that A is, whatever you asked that kid to do. Put it in marriage. Okay ladies, you ask your husband to do things. Okay, I won’t get too graphic here, but you know, he hasn’t done them. And all of a sudden, you’re lying there in bed and his foot is now touching your foot, and he’s just giving you a little sign. Let me ask you ladies, what do you feel like doing? Okay, you’ve answered it. You get my point.

Dr. Leman:
So it happened, this works in any situation. It brings things to a head. It keeps us from playing games, so to speak, and get us down to the rubber road of life. So if you implement these simple ideas, and by the way, one of the reasons why I think people love that Have a New Kid by Friday book is, the book itself is actually quite small. You can read the book in, I don’t know, hour and a half, I don’t know. It’s just not a very big book.

Dr. Leman:
But when the book stops, then I take on about every situation you can think of with a kid. So there’s a glossary, so to speak, in that book, that defines an action and gives you remedies to think about as a parent. So it’s not only an action oriented book, here’s what you can do, but it gives you specifics about all these daily hassles that parents find themselves in.

Doug:
So Andrea, as the resident mom, B doesn’t happen until A is complete is hard for all of us. But for moms, especially compassionate, kind ones like you, now your kid wants to go have coffee with their dear friends and they haven’t done whatever you’ve asked them to do. Right?

Andrea:
Right.

Doug:
And now, you have to walk in there and say, “Sorry, I asked you to do this, and you chose not to. We’re not going.” Then you turn around and walk away. Can you do that?

Andrea:
Why do you always ask me that question? “Can you do that?”

Doug:
Because between Dr. Leman and I, you’re the most mom here, right? What would you like me to ask you? How would you like me to ask that?

Dr. Leman:
Yeah, she’s our resident mom. But you can grant in fantasy, what you can’t in reality.

Andrea:
Sometimes this decision is hard, because it’s going to affect me too. And I think that’s the real hard part of this, is whatever was supposed to happen might have been like, I was supposed to go along and I was looking forward to it.

Andrea:
Or it could be, I was looking forward to this frame of time that they were going to be out, and I was going to have some quiet downtime to myself, to usually get something else done that I could really focus on.

Andrea:
So there is, we have to pay the price too. But we have to remember, like Dr. Leman was talking about, there’s character training here. So I would not say that I have been lily-white of following this rule, even since I’ve learned it. No.

Doug:
Right. And what else about it for you? You’ve also said that emotionally it’s hard to disappoint your kids.

Andrea:
Well, yeah. Yeah. And my kids don’t have a… I mean, I wouldn’t say that they have a habit of always trying to get away with things. So, it’s hard when it does happen. Yeah.

Dr. Leman:
All right. Well, it might help with someone who has Andrea’s wonderful personality is to grant in fantasy what you can’t in reality. And you say, “Anna, I would love to let you go and do that. Oh my goodness, that would be wonderful for you. I know you would enjoy every minute of being there, but there’s a problem. And the problem is that I had asked you this morning to clean the garage, and I see it hasn’t been done. So, as much as I hate to say this, the answer is no.”

Dr. Leman:
Now that’s giving your kid vitamin N, it’s letting a parent grant and fantasy what they can’t in reality. And yes, keep in mind parents is easier to look the other way. It’s easier to do it yourself.

Dr. Leman:
But what you’re trying to do, is train up your child so that they will become responsible. So when they leave your nest someday, you can look at each other as husband or wife and say, “We did a pretty good job. That little bird’s going to fly well.”

Doug:
Here’s the other thing for all you parents who haven’t started this process yet, is you don’t have to do this very often. I mean, well you do this… we’ve had to do this way once or twice with each kid, for them to get the concept.

Andrea:
It’s really starting off and training them.

Doug:
So Dr. Leman, why is it so effective that you literally only need it… I think with James, we did it once, maybe twice or the Anna, to get their attention that we really do mean business. Why does that work so well?

Dr. Leman:
Well, because there’s a shock element to it all. You’ve thrown them a curve ball. You’re showing them that you’re going in a new direction, and you’re also showing them that they’re old games, so to speak, that they play with you, are no longer in play. That’s why it works so good. It’s putting your cards on the table. It’s action-oriented. So what could be better?

Doug:
Well to that point, you’re right, it is a shock, and it’s actions, not words which are way more effective with children. Yeah. So do encourage all of you out there, that you’re like, “I don’t know if I could do this. This sounds really harsh.” You don’t have to do it very many times at all.

Doug:
It depends on if you have a powerful child and then go get the book, How to Parent Your Powerful Child. But, by and large, his is a pretty effective way to get their kid’s attention.

Doug:
So we’re going to do some role-playing here, to help you actually hear how to apply it.

Doug:
But before we go there, I want everybody to know that you can go get, Have a New Kid by Friday. Between now and the end of March of 2020 for only $2.99 wherever eBooks are sold. It is amazing. Andrea’s going to read what somebody wrote on Amazon here. Do you have it there?

Andrea:
Yeah. Okay, this is from Evan, and this is what they said. “Possibly the last parenting book you will ever need. If you have a child who challenges every aspect of your parenting, or even any aspect of your parenting, I highly recommend this book. This quite possibly will be the last parenting book you will need. I’m pretty sure it’s the last one I will need.

Andrea:
“My young twins, age four, were TRANSFORMED in about a week, and others who know them well commented on it. If you have a perfect child who never gives you any challenges, you don’t need it. If you are exhausted from your current parenting tactics, you need the information, principles and parenting phrases in this book.”

Doug:
So I agree with what Evan said. Those parenting phrases are gold, and our kids complain about them all the time, which is lovely, that they’re like-

Andrea:
It’s funny, they pick up on them.

Doug:
Yeah, they’re like, “That’s a Leman thing. ” We’re like, “Yes, it is.” I highly encourage you for your sake, for $2.99, please go get this book wherever eBooks are sold. For your sake and your kids sake.

Doug:
Okay, and now, a no nonsense parenting moment with Dr. Kevin Leman.

Dr. Leman:
Parents, here’s a question for you. Helping around the house. Everybody should give back to the family, and I get asked the question all the time, “At what age should a kid start helping around the house?”

Dr. Leman:
Even a three-year-old can help. A three-year-old can help take dishes out of a dish dryer. Or fold clothes, towels. Yeah, they’re going to look like a The other hood like a three-year-old folded them. But the idea is to get that child’s mindset into, “Everybody helps.”

Dr. Leman:
That’s a good productive thing for kids to do. So many parents just do so much for their children, because quite frankly, it’s easier to do it that way. But here’s the question. Do you want to rear a responsible child? Do you? If you do, give them responsibility.

Dr. Leman:
When do you start training a puppy? When he’s a year old? You’ll have bad puppy. “Bad dog, bad dog. Why did you do that on the carpet?” You want a good dog? Start early. Train them when they’re a pup, same with our kids. Let them give back to you. And always say, “Thank you honey for helping. Good job.”

Doug:
Alrighty. Okay, Dr. Leman, here we go. “My eight-year-old son wants to go shoot hoops down the street with his buddy,” We’ll use example you used, “But he didn’t clean his room, and his mother even reminded him that morning to get his room cleaned up today.” So, let’s role-play. All right, here we go. Ready?

Doug:
Okay, Mom, I’m headed out the door. I’m going over to Freddy’s to go shoot hoops. See yeah. What what time do I have to be home for dinner?

Dr. Leman:
Hey, hang on a matter, honey. We need to have a little talk.

Doug:
Okay, yeah.

Dr. Leman:
You were asked to do something earlier today. I’m going to give you just a second to think about what you were asked to do. It hasn’t been done, by the way, I’ll give you a clue.

Doug:
Maybe, clean my room. Is that it?

Dr. Leman:
Yeah, that’s good. You know, I knew you were a bright kid. Man, you’re awesome. You got a great memory, most of the time. It hasn’t been done yet, honey. So, no, you’re not going anywhere right now.

Doug:
But mom, I’ll do it when I come back. I’ll do it as soon as we’re done. I’ll even do it before dinner. I’ll just go, because it’s- [crosstalk 00:14:06]

Dr. Leman:
I’m not your mom, I’m your dad.

Doug:
Oh, sorry, okay, Dad. Oh, sorry, I didn’t realize that. You guys both look and sound the same.

Dr. Leman:
Yeah. And that kid, he’s going to do his best. All that does, is give kids that opportunity to either lie, or exaggerate or connive. They’ll promise you anything if you’ll just let them go.

Dr. Leman:
And if you fall into that trap, you’re teaching your kids that instant gratification is the way to go in life, and that’s not a good healthy thing for your kids. So you got to really think this through.

Dr. Leman:
Some of the things sound almost benign. All right, you haven’t cleaned the room, so you’ve got to come back here and clean your room. Okay, I get it. But it’s more important than that, you’re character building with that kid. You’re teaching him about what’s going to happen on life.

Dr. Leman:
I mean, can you see him going out the door at two minutes to 5:00, and the boss is there. He says, “Hey, I’ll see you. I’ve got got to go here, or go there.” Well, “Hey, Winchell, I asked you for those reports. They’re not on my desk.” “Well, I’ll get you those tomorrow, boss.”

Dr. Leman:
Can you see the boss really saying, “Okay, well you just go and have a great time. And those reports I need for the board meeting, they can wait. So, whenever you get around to it.” That’s not life.

Dr. Leman:
We’re preparing kids for life, is what we’re doing. Don’t blow these things off in your mind as just simple little exercises. These are building bricks to your kid’s personality.

Dr. Leman:
I’ve said many times beautiful cathedrals are what? Built one brick at a time. So you’re layering in these things, every day that you have interaction with your son and your daughter.

Doug:
Well, the other thing you say, and then we’re going to do one more role-play, is that we’re raising adults, not children. Which has helped us think about, this is not for today. This is actually, like you said, this is for decades later.

Andrea:
It’s good to think about it that way, and realize it’s not about just getting the bedroom cleaned or the dishes washed. This is a longterm, what kind of character do I want my child to have?

Doug:
Now I want to give one that’s a little less cut and dry, Dr. Leman. My 16-year-old daughter just gave me a bunch of lip, right? Like, “Dad, you’re the worst,” or whatever, right? Just that attitude that you get every now and then, the silent treatment, or whatever it is.

Doug:
Now, they want to go hang out with their friends, so they come to grab the car to go hang out with their friends, right?

Doug:
Here we go. I just gave you a whole bunch of lip and flack, or whatever the phrase is now ,I don’t know what it is, and so here we go. I’ll be a girl. Well, that’s kind of weird, but, oh well.

Doug:
Hey dad, I’m going to go see Sally. I’m going to grab the car, and I think we’re going out for burgers, so I probably won’t be back… I’ll be back at a decent hour, but I won’t be back that late. So, okay, love you dad. Take care.

Dr. Leman:
I always love to hear you’re going to be home at a reasonable hour, but in this case I can guarantee you’re going to be home at a reasonable hour because you’re going to have a very difficult time starting that car without the keys.

Doug:
Oh, why? What happened?

Dr. Leman:
What happened is, a few moments ago, anticipating what you were going to be doing, I took the keys from the kitchen where we hang them on that little ring and they’re now secure in my pocket.

Doug:
Why? Is something wrong with the car?

Dr. Leman:
You know, the car has really worked really nicely lately. I’ve enjoyed, when I get in that car, I love the leather seats [inaudible 00:18:06] honey the best. But when I turn that sucker on, it always starts up.

Dr. Leman:
And then of course, you know the music I listen to. I know you hate it, but I happen to like it. So I just punch up my radio station and I’m ready to cruise. No, the car is fine.

Doug:
Dad, what’s up? What are you upset about?

Dr. Leman:
What’s up?

Doug:
Yeah.

Dr. Leman:
The sky, the moon, the sun.

Doug:
Dad, come on. What’s-

Dr. Leman:
All right. You have the ability to play games with me, and I want you to be advised that parents have the ability to play games as well. Such as, what’s up? The moon, the sun, the stars.

Dr. Leman:
You know what’s up. So, why are you asking me what’s up?

Doug:
Okay, dad, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said it, but it was just a moment and it’s been rough. I’m just tired, and school’s really stressful, and ballet has really gotten to me. I’ve got all these things that are on me, and I just lost it for just a moment. I’m sorry. [crosstalk 00:19:13].

Dr. Leman:
Honey, I get it. I get it. I get it. We all have days like that. And I understand all these things are weighing on you, and I think it’s great. I really think it’s great that you can enumerate all those things that are laying on you, and I think it’s wonderful that you can say, “Hey dad, I’m sorry.”

Doug:
So can I go now?

Dr. Leman:
No.

Doug:
Dad, I said I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. You know that I- [crosstalk 00:19:39].

Dr. Leman:
I appreciate it. I appreciate the fact you said you’re sorry. And I’ve told you, I’ve already forgiven you. [crosstalk 00:19:46] But you’re not going anywhere.

Doug:
Dad, why not? What’s the big deal.

Dr. Leman:
Honey, the big deal is the words you chose the use with me 25 minutes ago, I really didn’t appreciate.

Doug:
Okay, but I said I’m sorry.

Dr. Leman:
Honey, in life, you’re going to find there’s consequences. I understand. I’m sorry isn’t the passport to getting the keys?

Doug:
What am I going to tell my friends?

Dr. Leman:
In life, there’s actions.

Doug:
What am I going to tell my friends? They’re expecting me.

Dr. Leman:
Well, what I would suggest you tell your friends, is something like, “Whoa, I am so stupid. You know what I did last night? Or what hour I did 20 minutes ago, or whenever it was. I said some really nasty things to my father.

Dr. Leman:
“And I have to tell you the truth, I’ve got a great dad. He loves me as I am. He’s helped me in so many situations. He’s the rock of our family, quite frankly. Nobody loves my dad more than I did, but I said something really stupid. And in anger, I told him he was the worst dad ever, and the reality is, he’s the best.”

Dr. Leman:
You want to know what I would tell your friends? I just told you.

Doug:
Daddy-

Dr. Leman:
Will you say that? I have no idea.

Doug:
Daddy, you are the best daddy. And I do appreciate all that you do, but this is really, really important to me. This is really, really important. Please, Daddy.

Dr. Leman:
And honey, you’re the best daughter in the world. We’ve established that. Okay, we love each other. We’ve established that. What we are having a hard time grasping on your end of the equation, is you’re not using the car. Tomorrow’s another day.

Dr. Leman:
I know you’re disappointed. Deal with it. You’re going to get a lot of disappointments in life, and trust me, as you look at life in general, this is just a tiny one.

Dr. Leman:
We’re going to end our discussion now. We’re not going to talk about this anymore. You said, “I’m sorry,” I said, “Honey, I’ve forgiven you.” We’re going to face tomorrow, tomorrow, but this case is now closed.

Doug:
Fine.

Dr. Leman:
Now, notice what I did there. I brought it to an end. Because parents, these kids, some of them will make great attorneys. Because they can argue, and they’ll pull on your heartstrings as little Miss Douggie tried to do with me, with her purposeful tears.

Dr. Leman:
What’s the purpose of nature? Class of tears. How many of you as women would admit to use tears with us husbands, to bring us to our knees?

Andrea:
Tears are powerful.

Doug:
But the thing about that, for all those parents out there Dr. Leman, that you need to help them, is that, your children will still love you in the morning and actually will respect you more.

Doug:
And it’s not just about respect, but it is, right? They’ll wake up tomorrow and be like, “Yeah, my parents are for me,” right? Or will they hate him in the morning?

Dr. Leman:
No, by the morning all is forgotten. Life goes on, the crisis… Kids, especially when they’re teenagers, everything’s a crisis.

Dr. Leman:
What happens is, a girlfriend calls and says, “Hey, can you meet us at the mall? Todd and Michael are going to be there.” And all of a sudden it’s girls cooking up, “Oh, we’re going to see these cute guys,” whatever their plans are. But everything’s in a crisis.

Dr. Leman:
10 minutes earlier, they had no desire to go any place. They were just vegging out. But all of a sudden, the phone call comes and now it’s crisis mode, and I got to get out the door and get there.

Doug:
Well, my encouragement to all those parents out there, and especially moms, is, again, you don’t have to do this very often, right? You only do this once or twice, and kids get it. Because it’s an action not words, and that speaks way louder.

Doug:
And I appreciate what you said. I mean, we’re trying to raise them up to be adults and this is for their future character. That’s what you brought up, Andrea.

Dr. Leman:
Yeah. We have lots of principals, and one of them is let the reality of the situation… Okay, got that parents? Let the reality of situation become the teacher to the child.

Dr. Leman:
So the reality is, she chose to misspoke. She misspoke in a disrespectful way. Let that be the teacher to the child. All you’re doing is building in some parameters, so that experience that she initiated becomes a teacher to her. Simple.

Doug:
Yeah, super simple. But if you do have a child who really does flip out on you, then you have a powerful child, and you need to go read, Have a New Kid by Friday and Parenting Your Powerful Child.

Doug:
But you need to read them both, for your sake. And your child’s sake, quite honestly. So they don’t grow up, as Dr. Leman said, and be powerful with their bosses and go from job to job to job. This is all about character and raising great adults.

Doug:
Well, I can’t encourage you enough to get this concept: B doesn’t happen until A is complete. It is so powerful to help you in your parenting. If your spouse doesn’t agree with you, highlight the book and these sections for them, and have them read it. Come together on this, and highlighted books are a great way for them to believe it and go for it.

Andrea:
And remember, that this is about building character. This is a longterm thing, get that longterm picture in your mind when you have to tell them no.

Doug:
So, for your sake, go get the book, Have a New Kid by Friday. It just gives you so much confidence, and like Dr. Leman said, the back half is like, “What about when I catch my kid lying,” or stealing or all sorts of things. And it gives you very practical steps on what you can do next.

Doug:
We look forward to being with you the next time, and adding to your parenting toolbox so you can love those kids more, and more and have the confidence that you’re doing the right thing.

Doug:
Thanks for being with us.

Andrea:
All right. Lots of A this week, so that B can happen.

Doug:
Amen. Thanks for being with us. Look forward to next time.

Andrea:
Bye-bye.