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Worried that your kids play too rough? How do you deal with the silent treatment from your kids? Dr. Kevin Leman answers these questions and more in this episode.


Items from the podcast

Question #1: [Audio] Other mothers are telling me that my kids are too rough. When do I know if it is too rough?

Answer #1:

  • If there is ever blood, it is too rough.
  • When you sense something inside you that doesn’t seem right, then listen to it and act on it.
  • There is a fine line to know when it is simply kids playing like otter, and when it has gone too far.
  • When it seems too rough, pick up your 4 year old son and look him in the eye. Say, “This is too rough and your sister is to be respected.” This will begin teach him to respect women.

Action Steps:

  1. Remove your son from the scene.
  2. Look him in the eye.
  3. Tell him this is too much and he needs to learn how to play with his sister.

Question #2: Powerful teen

I followed your advice not to allow B until A is complete by refusing to lift my 17 year old daughter to and from a party with her friends after she was rude to me. Rudeness is a persistent problem which arises whenever things don’t work out perfectly for my daughter. She now refuses to speak to me and has given me the cold treatment for two days. I’m not sure how to respond as I feel she is manipulating me by making me feel guilty. She is under stress as she is in her final year of high school and is one of those firstborn perfectionist achievers. I want to restore our relationship but do not want to backtrack on my attempt to apply a consequence for behavior that is destructive and disrespectful. Must I treat this silence as a further act of defiance and decline to help her until she has a change of heart. Or should ignore it and continue as usual? my daughter is very stubborn and powerful and she has 3 younger siblings.


Answer #2

  • Your daughter is being immature, rude and manipulative with her silent treatment.
  • You have to wait out this silent treatment.
  • If you show any guilt on your face, you are encouraging her manipulation.
  • As the mother, keep a happy face at all times.

Steps to follow:

  1. In the morning, say, “Hi”. If no reply, say, “Oh, I see we aren’t talking today.”
  2. Ignore her completely and don’t do the normal routine of helping her get out the door.
  3. When she needs anything, don’t give in, but walk away.
  4. Say, “Our relationship is poor right now. A few minutes ago, we weren’t even talking. Now, you need something.”
  5. Follow this with, “This isn’t how life works, so we need to have a relationship first to be able to work together. You are a smart kid; decide for yourself.”
  6. Remind her that without a relationship based on mutual respect and love, we have nothing.
  7. Based on this, we aren’t giving you these things until the relationship is fixed.

Parenting Tip/ Pocket Answer

Without a relationship, we have nothing.


The next session is on We Do and Think Too Much for our Kids. If you have a question or thought regarding this topic, please leave us a voicemail for the next session. It must be under 30 seconds for the podcast. We reserve the right to use your question on the podcast. (This is NOT a private voicemail for personal counseling.)

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