Skip to main content

If your kid runs away before your family vacation and refuses to join you, what is the proper response? How do you share time with your newborn and your previous, only child? Listen to today’s episode to find out Dr. Leman’s answer!


Question #1 Becky:

After a fight, our 17 year old son ran away the night before our family vacation. We went anyway, after finding out that he was safe at a friend’s house. On returning, we picked him up and are working on opening up lines of communication. How would you suggest that we do this?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

Becky, you get 4.5 stars from me for how you handled this situation!
The reason you get so many stars is for going on vacation anyhow.
The missing ½ star is because they picked him up on their way home.

This is a stand-off.
He should be ignored. You know he is safe.

Opening lines of communication has to start with him.

Stand back and see what happens…

Question #2 Gillian:

With a ten year old and a new six week old, how do we divide our attention? How much should we entertain our children?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

The ten year old will forever be an “only child” because he was an only child for the first ten years of his life. His personality is formed.

But, it will take some time for him to come to appreciate his new sister.

You can encourage him to participate with this new one by reminding him that he can do a lot of things that she cannot do. Recognize what he can do and, yes, give him lots of attention. Let him help and give him the encouragement he needs for doing it.

Another way to give him the attention he needs is to get a sitter for little sister and take him out on a date with Mom and Dad.