The Have a New Kid by Friday podcast is back with a brand new format, featuring a new segment called “Straight Talk with Dr. Kevin Leman.” Listen now as Dr. Leman discusses the main reasons why kids misbehave.
Learn more about Dr. Leman at BirthOrderGuy.com.
NEW: When Your Kid is Hurting –Dr. Kevin Leman
Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing
Produced by Unmutable™
Dr. Leman: You know, people have heard me say for years, when you’ve seen the enemy, they’re unionized little suckers. They’re marching in our home, and they have a game plan. Do you? Well, kids do misbehave for specific reasons. One of the coolest things about today’s podcast is this. You’re going to learn by just tuning in to your own emotions, your own feelings, you’re going to be able to determine do I have an attention getter on my hands, do I have a power driven kid on my hands, or could I even have a revengeful kid on my hands? Trust me, you don’t want a revengeful kid.
Doug: My name is Doug Turpening.
Andrea: And I’m Andrea.
Doug: We’re so glad that you’re with us. If this is your first time, welcome. We just want to let you know, for those first time listeners, 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.
Doug: Well I am, I truly am super excited that after this brief hiatus, we have reworked the podcast to give you even more good stuff. One of those is that in working with Baker Books, they are going to give all of our podcast listeners every week, a brand new ebook on a screaming deal. For one week, for the next five months, you get a screaming deal. This week’s, from February 2nd to the 18th, for only $1.99, Smart Women Know When to Say No. Dr. Leman, what is that book about?
Dr. Leman: Well, it’s about obviously women, but part of the balance in that book is for that woman to understand, like a moth to a flame, if she’s a pleaser, she is going to be driven towards guess who? A controller. That makes for a very neurotic relationship for a while, but after a while, sooner or later, that woman tends to say, hey, wait a minute. What’s in this relationship for me? I’m doing all the acquiescing. I’m doing all the pleasing. It seems to me something ought to be coming back my way that feels good and that makes me feel good about my value in this family, my value as a person. That book has been revised, but the original form, a national best seller for a reason. There’s gender differences. I know we live in a unisex society so they tell us, which is a bunch of bunk. It’s a bunch of bull crumble, how do you like that word? Bull crumble.
Dr. Leman: I’m here to tell you men and women are very different. Women tend to be pleasers. Are all women pleasers, Dr. Leman? No, obviously not, but there’s a tendency for a woman to drift into pleaserhood just as there’s the tendency for men to end up being controllers, okay? It’s a wonderful little book. The fact that it’s $1.99 makes my head spin. I don’t know how they do that. They might as well give it to you free, but I guess they want to charge you something, so they’re being kind and charging you only $1.99. I’d get several copies of that sucker, and I’d get them for my friends, and I’d have my kids read them, especially my daughters.
Doug: That’s good. I can’t remember if I said this. Just to double check, that it’s in ebook form, so Amazon, Barnes and Noble, wherever you get that ebook, it’s in ebook form. Dr. Leman, why do my kids misbehave? I really want to know, I don’t want a revengeful, vengeful kid, but why do kids misbehave?
Dr. Leman: Well, let’s start with a fact, that all kids are attention getters. Can we agree on that? Do you think that’s true? All kids are attention getters.
Dr. Leman: Okay, good. Here’s the question. Do they get it negatively in your home or positively in your home? A kid will always try to get positive attention. Everything from it’s summer time, Mommy, okay, and you’re sitting there with your girlfriend and your watching the kids at a swimming pool, for example. What do the kids say? Do they say nothing and let you catch up on the neighborhood gossip and fashion or a book you’ve just read, or give you a chance to brag about your child to your girlfriend? No. Every other minute they’re saying what? Mommy!
Andrea: Watch me! Watch me!
Dr. Leman: Mommy, watch me, watch me! After about the 12th somersault, you know, you’re thinking geez, I should have brought somebody else’s kid here and left mine at home in a little cage. Just a little humor, no emails please. Kids start out in life trying to get attention. When they come out of the womb, they cry, I’ll point that out. At that point, all they’re interested in is tactile stimulation and a full belly, but as they grow into toddlerhood, they discover that their actions create either a reaction or a response from who? From you, so you’re the best teacher your child will ever have. If parents overplay simple things in life, simple things in life, you’re going to end up with power struggle with kids.
Dr. Leman: Example, Mom, you look down the hallway of your home and there’s little Buford sitting on the big potty. Not the little Walmart plastic dude, the real potty. Again, he’s not even two yet, and he says, Mommy, Mommy, come here. You walk down there and you look in the john and there’s a little four and half incher floating in there. You exclaim, oh, oh, this is wonderful! Mark, Mark, come here quick. See what your son has just down! Mark puts down his computer, walks down the hallway, takes a look at that little sucker floating in there and says, oh, good job there. Good boy. Very good. Hey, I’m [inaudible 00:05:46]. You know, pretty soon that little 20 month old, 19 month old kid is looking at you going, they’re really big on that, aren’t they?
Dr. Leman: Parents, as a side bar, be careful how you play those cards in life. Eating, sleeping and going potty are all natural things. As one little boy said to his mommy, by the way, who was watching Sesame Street, Mommy, look, I pooped a C. Now where do you hear that on a podcast, that a kid pooped a C? Very educational these podcasts, I want you to know that.
Dr. Leman: My point is don’t overreact to kids’ normal type, day to day behavior. Again, kids are going to get attention, positively or negatively. If they don’t succeed positively, then they become negatively, and even when you admonish them and tell them no and threaten them or whatever you tend to do, which isn’t good obviously, you just reinforce the negative behavior and you don’t even know it.
Dr. Leman: Now here’s the cool thing. If you feel annoyed, there’s the key word, annoyed by that kid’s behavior, you know that you’re dealing with an attention getter. A remedy for that is to look for ways of giving the kid obviously positive attention and not responding or overreacting to any negative social behavior that he engages in. When I say that, a kid’s doing something inappropriate, you walk over, you take him by the arm, and you give him the look and say, honey, we don’t do that in the house. You’re correcting him, you’re being a little stern or firm if you’d prefer, and you’re removing him from the scene. Now that scene might have been he was hitting his sister or pulling the dog’s tail or you name it, but the point is you just don’t ignore it, you deal with it and you correct. That’s called training, parents, and we’re admonished to train up a child.
Dr. Leman: Again, I love to tell people or ask the question do you start training a puppy at a year old? If you do, you’re going to have a miserable puppy. It starts early. Again, to be a good disciplinarian, you have to live a disciplined life. For this podcast, maybe we’ve accomplished in part why kids misbehave. In part one would be they misbehave because they want to garner your attention. Part two would be power. Kids are powerful. If kids are discouraged and life isn’t working out for them, they tend to go away from just attention getting, not that they lose that skill mind you. They still have the skill of attention getting, but now they’ve learned to make you pay attention to them. That’s an interesting one, because you’ve got a powerful child, you have to learn around your home and find that powerful person who has literally taught that kid to be powerful. Guess who that person is, Doug?
Dr. Leman: It’s the parent. It didn’t come from drinking the water or being out in the sunshine or shoveling snow or gardening. It came from you, parent. You taught your kid to be powerful. Now remember, what’s the emotion, this is a quiz for both of you now. Let’s see if you’ve been listening. What’s the emotion you’re going to feel inside of you if your kid is an attention getter?
Doug: I’m going to feel anxious.
Dr. Leman: Close.
Dr. Leman: Annoyed.
Dr. Leman: Annoyed is the key word. When a kid’s an attention getter, it’s an annoyance, okay? Now, we move to the powerful child. If you feel like you’re in a classroom right everybody, you are. It’s a classroom we call life 101. We’re talking about why kids misbehave. We’ve already said all kids are going to try to get attention, either positive or negative. If they don’t succeed, they become discouraged. The discouragement comes in their life, they say, hey, this isn’t working, so I have to make them pay attention to me.
Dr. Leman: Now enter the powerful child. Now, the emotion that you’re going to feel as a parent of a powerful child, you’re going to feel provoked. There’s your key word. We’ve got annoyed and we’ve got provoked. You can’t say that to me. I am your mother, I am your father. Well, you’ve got a powerful child on your hands. This is a kid who has to win every argument, he has to have the last word. You tell him the sky is blue and he’s going to tell you actually it’s aqua. These are the kids you battle with. These are the kids that just drive you up the wall, who make you lose your temper and to strike back, which only reinforces that hey, this is working. The powerful child says I only count in life when I’m the boss, when I win, when I control. Ladies of sons, ask yourself the question, what kind of husband does this make some day for some lucky woman? A lousy one.
Dr. Leman: That next level, okay, that next level is one that I hope you don’t have, a revengeful kid, because a revengeful kid is a kid who’s been hurt by life, his mantra in life, and you feel hurt. The emotion, we talked about annoyed and provoked. Well, with the kid that’s revengeful, you’re going to feel hurt. His mantra in life is I feel hurt by life, therefore I have a right to strike out at others. I remind you that kids seem themselves as social equals to us today. That’s one of the problems. That’s why you have to treat kids with mutual respect. You have to be on the same level because you are. You’re not better than your son or your daughter, you just have different responsibilities. Now again, the good news is very few children are working on the revenge principle, and many of them are in penitentiaries today because of it. Anyway, that’s sort of the teaching of today in a nutshell.
Doug: Before we finish the podcast and get a chance to answer our questions with Dr. Leman, one of the new aspects of the podcast is that we’re now going to have straight talk from Dr. Leman, a 90 second, two minute piece of pearls of wisdom to pass onto you. Here’s our first straight talk with Dr. Kevin Leman.
Dr. Leman: Well parents, listen, I hope you heard what I had to say so far. You have to man up, okay? You have to woman up. Be the woman you need to be. Be the man you need to be. Be the parent you need to be. You brought these kids into the world. You wanted to have children, okay? It’s not a love fest. It’s not just love, love, love your child, okay? Love without discipline is incomplete. All we’re asking you to do is stand up to the plate. Be vulnerable. Be quick to say I’m sorry. Be quick to say I was wrong, but don’t let the enemy run over you, and they will run over you. If they see signs of weakness in you as a parent, they see inconsistency in your life, they just punch up the inconsistency button.
Dr. Leman: I mean you yell and scream at your kids or put them in their room behind door, they’re laughing. They’re saying things like I never saw those veins on his neck pop out that much before! I mean they’re laughing. For some of them it’s a game. They’re trying to just entrap you, engage you in battle, and if you engage in battle with a kid, in a powerful level, I’m going to tell you, you’re going to lose. You’ve got to learn how to side step the wind that’s blowing your way and remove your sails from their wind, or they’ll put you right against the wall.
Dr. Leman: Hey parent, be a loving parent, be a listening parent, be a parent that takes their job seriously. You cannot get away from the A word, and that’s authority. You must remain in authority, and the key is without becoming an authoritarian. We’ll do some future podcasts on the differences between those two concepts. You certainly don’t want to be a permissive parent. You walked 10 steps today and you stepped on one of those suckers. They’re down near worthless when it comes to raising kids. They raise the kind of kid that we’re seeing today in American that wants to start at the top and doesn’t really appreciate hard work, and views reward as their right at every turn. Anyway, that ends my little spiel for today, straight talk from the good old Dr. Leman, in Tucson, Arizona.
Doug: Dr. Leman, one of the principles that has changed my life that goes back to the attention getting parent is you said the words you choose will define your relationship. Did I say that correctly?
Dr. Leman: Yes, and you can change your relationship by choosing the right words. I mean I always say, it’s funny, but, you know, I ask wives if husbands can say something stupid, and they all agree husbands can say stupid things. What do you say when your husband says something really stupid? Do you put him down in front of relatives? No. Not at all. That will really bury your husband and you’ll pay for that one. Just wow, fascinating. John, you know, some time this week, we’re going to sit down and talk about that. I want to hear more about that. That is a very unique way of looking at that. You haven’t put him down. You acknowledge something that might have been uncomfortable. Maybe there were other people around, whatever. Again, the words you choose can change the direction of your relationship not only with each other, but with your children as well.
Doug: When I think about that attention seeking kid, I have learned that if I’m always calling them stupid and lazy and ignorant, guess what they begin to do? I’ve noticed that in my own word choices that if I point out the positive attention they’re looking for and the positive comments, how much more they rise up to those things.
Dr. Leman: Yeah. Every kid needs a little dose of vitamin E every day, and that’s what we call encouragement. Simply a hey, good job honey, or even thank you is encouraging words to kids.
Doug: To wrap up this show, Andrea you said it well. You can see how it flows together and the doctor gave us incredible practical advice that if I feel annoyed, I’m dealing with an attention getter. If I’m being provoked, I’m dealing with a strong willed child. If I am feeling hurt, I am dealing with a revengeful child. What you also need is you need more than just this. Honestly in my mind, you need to go get Have a New Kid by Friday.
Andrea: Make your children mind without losing yours.
Doug: Yeah, thank you. Thank you. You know, these are the tools you need, honestly, to have a whole framework on as you’re parenting these kids. That’s my plug. You know I give it to you all the time because I’ve seen the change in the Turpening family. Lastly, the show has restarted, so if you’re subscribing on iTunes or Stitcher or wherever, I encourage you to subscribe so that you get this automatically downloaded to whatever device, phone you’re using to listen to this to.
Doug: As always, you can go to birthorderguy.com to get more resources there. One of them that’s going to be coming in a couple of months is the ability to sign up for emails about the latest and greatest things that are happening or where Dr. Leman is speaking. As a reminder for this week, February 12 to 18, you can get the ebook Smart Women Know When to Say No for $1.99. Well, it was great to be with you today. We love helping you to grow in your parenting and we look forward to the next time we get to be with you. Bye bye.