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Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is the founder and chairman of the board of Leman Academy Of Excellence and the host of the Have a New Kid By Friday Podcast!.


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Recent episodes featuring Kevin Leman
Homeschool mom stuck in her failure. – Ask Dr. Leman 131 (Episode 279)
Have a New Kid by Friday with Dr. Kevin Leman
It’s time for another Ask Dr. Leman! What do you do when your homeschooled kid fights you tooth and nail? Listen to Dr. Leman’s advice on today’s episode.   **Special Offer– Sep 17 – 23: My Firstborn, There’s No One Like You ebook for $1.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or wherever you get your ebooks**     Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Produced by Unmutable Transcript
Why is my 6 year old withholding bowel movements? – Ask Dr. Leman 130 (Episode 278)
Have a New Kid by Friday with Dr. Kevin Leman
It’s time for another Ask Dr. Leman! What do you do when you kid stops going to the bathroom in public places and has accidents at school? Dr. Leman breaks out the advice straight from the book in today’s episode.   **Special Offer– Sep 10 – 16: Under the Sheets ebook for $1.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or wherever you get your ebooks**     Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Produced by Unmutable Transcript
How do I deal with my struggling middle school and high school kids? (Episode 277)
Have a New Kid by Friday with Dr. Kevin Leman
Do your middle school and high school kids struggle at home? In school? Are you concerned about their choices and the impact it will have on their future? Dive into today’s episode with Dr. Leman and learn how to handle these issues as your kids grow into young adults. Learn more about Dr. Leman at   **Special Offer– Sep 3 – 9: Parenting Your Powerful Child ebook for $1.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or wherever you get your ebooks**     Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Produced by Unmutable Transcript Doug: Well last time, you got to get help if you had that pre-K or kindergartner on up to elementary school kid. And now we get to ask Dr. Leman, what about junior high and high school years? And specifically, we’re going to ask him to drill down on, “Man, my kid and I are either fighting about school or my kid is struggling at school, Dr Leman. What can I do to help them out?” Doug: Well, hi. I’m Doug Terpening. Andrea: I’m Andrea. Doug: And we are so glad that you are with us today and welcome. If this happens to be your first time, want to let you know that 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, Dr. Leman, I am excited for this episode because as our kids have progressed from elementary to middle school to high school, man, there are some differences there. And there are some way different issues that kids are dealing with as they go through those early years to the teenage peer years. Doug: So help these parents that are listening to this. Like, “Man, I got this kid out there in middle school and I got this kid out there in high school and I’m telling you this school is H-E, you know what, double hockey sticks. And they’re struggling.” Andrea: And I hear moms say, “Yeah, my son’s going to be going into middle school.” And middle school has this tinge to the way they say it because that’s a scary step. Dr. Leman: I’ve got to tell you guys something funny. We get a lot of positive feedback on our podcasts from people. And I got one recently that really just … it was really all about you, quite frankly, the Terpenings. And the quote was, Doug, are you sitting down? The quote was, “Oh, I just love the Terpenings. Especially, especially,” guess who Doug? Doug: Andrea. Dr. Leman: Andrea. Yeah. Were you sitting down? You knew that probably. Doug: Nobody ever said that. Dr. Leman: People love Andrea because, you know, they say nice things about me once in a while, too. But people really like the Terpenings because you’re married, you’re a couple, you don’t always think alike. I think some of the things that you’ve said, Doug, on our podcast have really endeared yourself to not only men, but to women. When you’ve sort of admitted, you know, I used to be this kind of a guy and I’ve done a lot of changing. And that speaks volumes about the kind of character that Doug Terpening has. But I just think it’s really sort of cute and funny that this lady, I’ll never forget how she said it, “Especially, especially Andrea.” Dr. Leman: So Doug and Leman are, you know, we’re chump change and she saw gold. So Andrea- Andrea: And I say about 1% of the words on the podcast. Dr. Leman: … we’re glad you’re a part of this every day. Well I don’t think it’s 1%. We ought to do a measurement on that sometime, Doug. Dr. Leman: Anyway, listen. So listen. Yeah, I would like to talk about the older kids. And by older, we’re saying seventh grade and eighth grade. If you’ve never read, by the way, Planet Middle School. I mean check the ratings out on that book. The reviews on that book, they’re wonderful. Dr. Leman: I don’t mind saying I don’t review my own books, obviously. They tend to scratch where parents itch. Dr. Leman: But all of a sudden you’ve got this kid who sat in your lap and, you know, goes with the flow. And all of a sudden they hit the hormone group, as I like to call it, around seventh grade. And you wonder if it’s the same kid. Did he grow up in the same house? And so what you have to understand is that they’re beginning to really flex their individuality. They’re spreading their wings a little bit. They want more freedom. I had a 15-year old tell me recently, he says, “Does mom really think that I can’t read the menu?” [inaudible 00:00:03:59]. Dr. Leman: And then there’s the mom saying, “Look, look honey, they have this,” and, “look honey, they have that.” And the kid confides in me is this, “She doesn’t think I can read this thing?” Dr. Leman: So you’ve got to be careful here. They’re growing up. Let me give you a word picture of Kevin Leman in seventh grade. I walked to school. I grew up in Buffalo, New York, area. I would go to a little restaurant across the street from the school. And we had a seven through 12 school. And I would sit there in the morning and get a Danish pastry, a cup of coffee, and I would smoke some cigarette butts that I smuggled out of my father’s ashtray in my home. And if I didn’t order coffee, I would order a root beer that came in an iced mug. I was such a punk. I mean, and I struggled in seventh grade academically, I struggled in eighth grade. I struggled all through high school. Dr. Leman: You know, many of you know my story. I graduated right at the bottom of my class in high school. Looking back, my mother seemed to spend more time at school than I did. She certainly spent a lot of time with my teachers. And she went to those proverbial nights where the parents would go from class to class, meet all the teachers. I always hated that because it was like, “Okay, they’re talking about me.” Dr. Leman: And she’d always come home with the same one liner. “All of your teachers say the same thing. You could really do something if you’d only apply yourself.” I hated that statement. And I heard it over and over and over again. If I would only apply myself, I was a jerk. But you know what? If someone would have pointed out to me that I was the youngest of three children. I wish I knew Dr. Kevin Leman then, because he could have really helped me. Dr. Leman: He would have said things like, “You know, your older brother, he’s the captain of the football team. He’s the quarterback. He was voted best looking in his class. And your sister, your older sister, I know she’s like a second mother to you, but she never got a B in her life in anything.” Dr. Leman: Well see, I could have used some insight that I was behaving the way I was behaving because I felt I could never measure up to brother or sister. So when teachers in Williamsville Central High School saw me come up, and they saw that last name, they assumed that I would be like my brother who was a very, very good student, and my sister who was a perfect student. Boy, were they surprised. Dr. Leman: They used to walk up and down and collect homework papers and you’d put them on your left or right corner of your desk when you were done. The teachers never even broke stride when they came to my desk. They knew it wouldn’t be there. Dr. Leman: So I’m telling … This is a prelude to what we’re talking about. Kids who struggle in school. What would’ve been helpful is if my parents would have probably got me a tutor, an older girl would be fine, like a freshman. Dimples would be great. Well I won’t go into any more details. Dr. Leman: But nevertheless, getting me help academically at that point probably would have helped me a lot. And parents, all I’m saying is if you got a kid that struggled … Again, let’s look back at the last school year and how many shouting matches and how many tears and how many slammed doors and how many, “You don’t understand and I can’t do it and you need to help me.” And all those kinds of discussions that took place. What possibly could give you reason to think that this next year, this year that we’re starting right now, is going to be any different? I’m here to tell you it’s not going to be any different. If anything, it’s going to get worse. Dr. Leman: So what are some creative ways that you can help your child who seems to really lack some basic skills educationally? For some of you it might mean taking them for an evaluation. Maybe there’s some other things going on in the kid’s life. But my point is you have to have a new game plan for this year. And once those kids hit seventh and eighth grade, hopefully you’re kids not sitting at the corner drugstore this morning or at the counter at the little restaurant, smoking a cigarette in seventh grade and drinking coffee. Hopefully they’re smarter than I was. Dr. Leman: But nevertheless, all I’m saying is, you got to have a game plan here. So if kids are troubled, look for ways of getting help. Go to the teacher, go to the professional, go to the counselor at school and say, “What do you think? What do you think we should do? What kind of help could we give our son or our daughter?” Dr. Leman: So again, with older kids, they’re now … Activities tend to become more predominant. They take more time. If your kid gets involved in sports, you know what that drill’s like. Which brings me to the point of do you lessen the responsibility that your teenager has in the home? I think the answer is yes. Dr. Leman: Why do I say yes? Because younger kids need to pick up the slack. Because older kids are involved in more things. They have, quite frankly, less time to do things around the house. And that’s a great way of ensuring that everybody pitches into the family. Dr. Leman: So again, with older kids, you’re talking about getting a driver’s permit and getting a driver’s license. And I’d ask you the question, is your kid responsible at home? Yes. Is your kid responsible in school? Yes. Well, if there’s two yeses, then yes, a kid can get a job. That’s not a right. It’s a privilege to get a job. Could my kid drive a family car? He could if both of those are yeses. Dr. Leman: So there’s a lot to consider when you think about the school year and how important are grades? And do your kids have a long-range plan? And are they college material, so to speak? Are they more vocationally oriented? Is your son or daughter in the right high school? Maybe they should be in a charter school, a private school. Andrea: Dr. Leman, I want to jump back to the struggling student and how you suggested getting a tutor. And I guess what I’m wondering is, what about the kid who’s, it’s because they’re emotionally struggling? Maybe the emotionally struggling has led to academic struggles. But maybe they’re not even academically struggling. Is it still a tutor that they need? Or will the tutor for a child who’s emotionally struggling and academically struggling help the emotional side, too? Dr. Leman: I think to answer your question directly, I think the academic help helps with the rest of it as well, Andrea. I think parents sometimes move too quickly to take their kid to the neighborhood shrink. And I think they fear that somehow their kids aren’t going to make it, that they’re going to be left behind. There’s a lot of parents who push. Dr. Leman: We did some shows, in fact, I did a op-ed for Fox News in New York on the super rich actors and actresses who paid exorbitant amounts of money to get their kids into prestigious universities, where they had absolutely no right to be there. Dr. Leman: So parents are well known for doing things for their kids that kids could be doing for themselves. And it’s fear based, that somehow my kid’s not going to measure up. It’s more important that your kids learn that failure is okay. It’s a stepping stone to doing the right thing and to getting things done right. Dr. Leman: Again, I go back to the basics. Your kid has to feel like you believe in them. I think I’ve shared this before, but one of my vivid memories from little league baseball. I was 12 years old and I was an All-Star. Okay? I was selected for the All-Star team, so I was a pretty good little baseball player. Dr. Leman: But I remember facing a guy named Norm Hankinson. I’m telling you, the guy had a five o’clock shadow. He was huge. He needed to shave twice a day and he was 12 years old. I remember him throwing a fast ball and I remember my little knees shaking at that plate. I still remember my father yelling, “Hit it out of the park, Kevin! Hit it out of the park!” Dr. Leman: And I’m thinking, “Hit it out of the park? How about a foul tick? Would you settle for a foul tick?” Dr. Leman: But you know, I’ll say something about John and May Leman, they believed in their kid even though there wasn’t a lot of reason to do so. Dr. Leman: When you think of all mighty God, he looks at us as these little incomplete scribble-like pictures that maybe a four or five year old would do that are on refrigerators across U.S. and Canada today. And yet he loves us. He wants what’s best for us. But are we a completed work? No. Dr. Leman: And so the hard part, parent, is how do you encourage your kid on a daily basis? And how do you measure out that vitamin N, no, to give balance to your kid, so that your kid knows deep down in their heart you care about them, you care about their feelings. Again, parent, when was the last time you sat at the dinner table and said, “Honey, I’d love your opinion about this. I’d love your opinion about that.” When was the last time you did that? Dr. Leman: When did you get into your kid’s mind and say, “Help me out. I’m trying to understand some things. I see these things on TV and I hear these stories and I hear things that young people are doing to themself. Like cutting, for example. I don’t get that. Honey, can you shed any light on that?” Andrea: Hmm. Dr. Leman: I mean, get it into your kid’s head. Let them know that you live in this world. Let them know that you want their opinion. You respect their ideas. Dr. Leman: Let me ask y’all a question. All you listening right now, do you associate with people that you’re uncomfortable with? Oh, I heard a resounding no. No way. Then why would your kids hang out with people that they feel uncomfortable around? So the question, parent, is, do your kids feel comfortable around you? And if they don’t, why? Why don’t you ask them? This might be a great learning experience for you. Doug: Well, Dr. Leman, I really want to come back to the whole believe in your kids and failure is a stepping stone. But I’m not going to forget this time that we have an e-book promotion, which fits in perfectly in here. Doug: So this one, I know you should be out buying this book. So for a $1.99, from September 3rd through September 9th of 2019, don’t be upset, Dr. Leman. You can get Parenting Your Powerful Child. For those that have no idea what that is, how will that book help them? Dr. Leman: Well, number one, let me say that should never happen, that you’re able to buy that book for a $1.99. Parenting Your Powerful Child is pure gold. If you have a kid that if you said, “The sky is blue.” He says, “Actually, it’s Aqua.” This is a book for you. Dr. Leman: This is a kid that when you tell them to do this, it’s a pretty good prediction he’s going to do just the opposite. He has reasons he loves to fight with you, argue with you. Chances are he’ll be a courtroom attorney someday. Who knows, maybe he’ll make a lot of money and give you some money in your old age. Dr. Leman: But nevertheless, dealing with powerful children, they say I only count in life when I win, when I dominate, when I control. They’re not fun people to live with and they’re certainly not fun people to marry, by the way. Dr. Leman: So this is a book that helps you to see how you can remove your sails from your child’s wind, from the tornado-like winds that he or she throws your way. Your life will go smoother. Your kid will profit from it. You’ll feel better about yourself and you’ll do it without yelling and screaming at your kid. For $1.99, I’d download that thing this second. You cannot miss on Parenting Your Powerful Child. By the way, that world is full of them. Doug: You don’t have to hear me augment this, but I’m telling you, go buy that book, buy that book, buy that book. And you will thank us all later. Okay, now a no-nonsense parent advice from Dr. Kevin Leman. Dr. Leman: It’s safe to say the older you get in life, let me tell you, your faith is going to become more meaningful to you. You see the years and the months tick by and you ask yourself, “Where’d all those years go?” Dr. Leman: One of the things I’m truly indebted to my sweet mom for, and many of you have heard this story of one form or another, but it bears repeating. She put reminders of the importance of faith in my life as a young kid. There was a picture of Jesus knocking at the door. Many of you of can recall that picture. It’s a picture with no door knob on the outside. The point of that picture was that that door has to be opened on the inside by us, that we have to invite the living God into our life. And the other was a little plaque that read, “Only one life will soon be passed. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” Dr. Leman: I can tell you as a grown man that I’ve recited that just in the past, I’d say, the past month. I’ll bet I’ve said that little thing to myself 100 times. Just a reminder to put things in perspective about what’s really important in life. Dr. Leman: Well, one of the reasons why that is real to me today, is that I saw the realness in my mother’s faith. And later in life, my dad’s faith. He came to faith at age 56. It was my mom who was the primary person who set faith in all of her three children. She set it forward in a natural way. I mean, she tried. God love her, she sent me to JOY Club. It was pathetic. It was pathetic. I still remember what JOY stood for, Jesus, others, and you. Dr. Leman: I hated that thing. It was after school. I want to go out and play and I had to be in some lady’s basement watching flannelgraphs. You’re not old enough to remember what a flannelgraph was. Ask some old guy what a flannelgraph was. They were boring as mud. Dr. Leman: But, you know, my mom lived the Christian life. She was kind, she was concerned for other people. She prayed for other people. I saw with my own eyes. So all you parents out there who are in such a hurry to make sure your kid has faith, listen, chill, kickback, show your faith, show your life to your kids. Talk to them about things that are a concern. See things in the headlines of the newspapers or on Yahoo News and talk about them. And don’t be afraid to say, “Honey, I’d like to hear your opinion on this.” Remember, their opinion’s going to be different. Don’t ask questions, ask opinion. That’s a little bonus on today’s tip. Doug: So Dr. Leman, I have two burning questions here. You said failure can be a stepping stone and believe in our kids. But I have to get … My kids have to get almost all A’s or at least all A’s and B’s to have any shot at getting into a good college. So I can’t let them fail. Yet you’re telling me let them fail and use failure as a stepping stone? They’ll never make it to a good college. So why are you dooming my kids to [crosstalk 00:18:49]? Dr. Leman: Well, all right, let’s play out that scenario real quickly. As a parent, you’re reminding your kid to get in a good college. Someday you need straight A’s and a few B’s and all that. And you can explain to him how much money it is to send them down the road to that university, whether it be private or public. It’s a lot of money these days. Dr. Leman: But your kid misfires, and he doesn’t do that, and he drags his feet, and he barely graduates from college. Let’s take that. Doug: Okay. Dr. Leman: That’s your dreaded fear. He didn’t do anything. He just did enough, a lick and a holler to get by. Today’s educational is set up for that kid. That kid, once motivation sets in, once maturity comes to his life and he says, “I’ve been a fool. I need to do something with my life.” He, even with that terrible high school record, can get in a local community college, he can take two years and get above average grades and transfer to most state universities in the state you live. Dr. Leman: So the reality is, even though he screwed up in high school, and I’m not advocating, I’m just saying it happens, that kid, with proper motivation, can do two years in a community college, transfer to a university. Really get motivated and want to get a master’s degree or maybe even a doctorate degree. I think we sort of overplay that. Dr. Leman: I would also underscore that every kid does not need to go to college. We’ve got too many kids in college who do not need a college education. They would benefit from a technical school much more than the local universities. Andrea: So you’re saying don’t worry about a few failures, let that be a teaching opportunity for them, and it’s going to work itself out down the road? Dr. Leman: Well, I can’t quote it verbatim, but there’s a thing out there on Abraham Lincoln about how he lost this election. Lost that, failed this, failed this, failed that. I’m going to make a guess that Abe did pretty good in life. Every time I pick up a penny, I have that thought. Dr. Leman: And by the way, when I say pick up a penny, I no longer pick up pennies. When change drops from my pocket, I survey the situation. If there’s a quarter or two, I might bend down. Sometimes I bend down. I ask myself, “Why did I bend down this far? Now I got to get up.” Dr. Leman: Yeah, if you talk to anybody in life who’s successful, they’ll tell you a failure was a part of their life. Doug: So here’s my question. I love all this. This makes me feel good, blah, blah, blah. But Dr. Leman, I got to be honest with you, my kid, we got behavior issues. Doug: A, I can’t get him to do his work. It’s just a fight at home. And to be honest, I’m working, my spouse is working. I ain’t got time for this. I know I should. I can’t really do this, but he’s out of control. I love all this advice, but I ain’t got the strength. Dr. Leman: Kids care about money, privilege, cars, internet, games. Parents, you have to hit kids where they hurt. If a kid isn’t pulling their weight in their home, you discipline them with love. Which means, again, would you let a kid drive a car that not responsible? No. Would you give kid money and you know he’s smoking pot? No, I wouldn’t give him a dime. If he wants money, he can go out and earn it. Get a part-time job someplace. You have to realize there’s only certain things you can do as a parent. Dr. Leman: But what we’re not going to do is make it easy for him to engage himself in things that are hurtful to himself, to others, and society. Dr. Leman: And sooner or later you have the toilet paper talk that you’ve heard me describe. Where you sit a kid down and try to get attention for just five minutes. And if he’s 15 years old, my suggestion is bring 18 jointed toilet tissue and hold them up in front of your kid. And they’re going to think you’re nuts. And drop them off one at a time until you only have three or four left in your hand. Dr. Leman: And say, “Honey, you have three or four years remaining in your sentence here in this prison, in this home. We know you’re unhappy living here. We can’t help that. We’re not in charge of your happiness. But I can tell you one thing, that when on your 18th birthday, that’s February 17th if I remember rightly, you are free man. You’re a free woman. You can go anywhere you want. We wish you the best. I know you’re going to tackle life with an enthusiasm and we’re going to wish you the very best at that day.” Sometimes that doesn’t. Dr. Leman: Sometimes that gets a kid’s attention that, you know what? I am growing up. I am getting older. Or what am I going to do in life? and for some of those kids, they join the service. And they finish high school barely and go in and figure out what life’s all about. And somehow military training helps some of these kids turn their lives around. Dr. Leman: Or like in my case, it was a spiritual awakening at age 21, changed my life. But I went from a flunking D, F student to an honor roll student and never looked back. How’d that happen? In my case had happened with the intervention of all mighty God. Doug: So Mrs. T., You got a wild child like that. You got 18 rolls of toilet paper. Can you do that? Andrea: Oh, it feels kind of cold like to say, “Well, okay. This date you’re out.” But I was just reflecting the other day how important it is that I actually have to kind of let go my kids as young adults and I can’t control their choices. I can’t control where they go. I can love them. And hopefully that relationship will … that they want to come to me for advice. But I have to let go and let them make their own choices. Dr. Leman: Maybe Andrea, instead of toilet paper, you should use fine chocolates. Bring 18 of them. Andrea: And I’ll eat them as I count Let’s see, we’re on year 15, so I’ll eat 15. Dr. Leman: And you give the last four to your son or daughter. Yeah. Andrea: Okay. I’ll do that. Dr. Leman: But be sure to put each individual chocolate on a little toilie. A little, you know, whatever they call those things. Andrea: Doily. Not a toilie. Dr. Leman: The little fancy … A doily. Did I say toilie? Andrea: You said toilie. I think I did. Yeah. It’s a doily. It’s a little doily. Or if you want, give him a doily while he’s on the toilie. And that ought to be a good conversation. Doug: Okay, you two. Dr. Leman: I almost laughed at myself. That was very bad. Doug: That was funny. Well, Dr. Leman, that sounds cold-hearted, but Andrea and I have done it. Like, no, we haven’t done the toilet paper thing. But you’ve told us other harsh things to tell … that sound very harsh to our kids. And all of our kids have always responded to them. Doug: And the other thing that you said, if you’re a new listener, you may not have heard it. But Dr. Leman was pointing out that, use your phrase, they wouldn’t have underwear if it weren’t for you. And don’t be afraid to use the reality that you are paying for all these things to help your kids do the right thing for their sake. Andrea: The one I like is when you say if they, you know, if they’re talking about leaving home and you say, “Go ahead. I’m sure there’s somebody else that’ll pay for your phone, and your food, and your rent.” And just the reality of there’s nowhere else I’m going to get such a deal. Doug: So Dr. Leman, full disclosure here, and then we should let you talk, is we actually did that with one of our kids. We said, “Hey, we know that this is a really rough place to have free food, and free internet, and free heat, and free water. And just in a couple years you’ll be out.” And they were pissed at us at first. But you know what? Their behavior changed. It was shocking, actually. So it worked. Dr. Leman: Well, it’s the reality of life and, you know, I coined the term in 1984, reality discipline, when I did the first edition of Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours. Dr. Leman: And you know, you mentioned new listeners. And we gather new listeners every week. We know that. I would remind you, young, new moms and dads who’ve never read a Leman book, pick up, Have a New Kid by Friday, or Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours, The Birth Order Book. Those are [inaudible 00:26:23] to understand what we talk about on our podcast every day. Dr. Leman: If you’re a business person, you’ve never read The Way of the Shepherd or The Way of the Wise, those are two of my favorite little books. And there’s 60-some Leman books out there. So a few of them are good. Trust me, you’ll enjoy them and they’ll be practical and hopefully make you laugh, hope you have a sense of humor. Dr. Leman: Writing humor is interesting, because you write it and speak it and they’re two different things. People don’t always get humor in the written form. But you’ll like the books. And we thank Revell for sponsoring this podcast. And we get great reviews from those of you who listen to us. And now be a good friend to us and pass it along to your friends. It’s free, as you know, what could be better? Doug: And if you’re a new listener and you’re just listening to this, I can’t recommend that you read these books enough. And the reason why is it gives you, the parent, the confidence to do the right thing. You just, it’s like having your own coach cheering you on next to you. So it’s helped me tremendously. It’s definitely changed … I tell people it’s changed my parenting. And we have a 20-year old that texts us almost every day. And it’s worth it. So do it, go for it. Doug: Okay, well, we love helping you and we want you to have an amazing relationship with your kids for decades and decades and decades. And that’s why we do this. And that’s why we encourage you to read these books and we love, love, love being with you. So we look forward to the next time we get to be with you. Andrea: Have a great week. Doug: Take care. Andrea: Bye bye. Doug: Bye bye.
How To Get Your K-6th Grade Kids Ready For School (Episode 276)
Have a New Kid by Friday with Dr. Kevin Leman
Are you prepared for the back to school season? Dr. Leman gives insightful tips for starting school right in today’s episode. Learn more about Dr. Leman at   **Special Offer– Aug 27 – Sep 2: Perfect Ambition ebook for $1.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or wherever you get your ebooks**     Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Produced by Unmutable Transcript Doug: So your kids are either back in school or about to start in school. What do you do with that five, six year old that you’re putting back in kindergarten for the first time? Or what about that first grader, second grader or third grader that just is struggling to get it going at school? Well, that’s the question we get to ask Dr. Leman today. Hi, I’m Doug [inaudible 00:00:26]. Andrea: And I’m Andrea. Doug: And we are so glad that you are with us today and if this happens to be your first time, we just want to let you know that 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’re talking about today like how do I help my elementary or kindergarten kid get ready for school? But I haven’t asked you this in a while. How are the Leman Academies doing? Dr. Leman: Very well. We have waiting lists at five of our six schools. Now when I say a waiting list, I mean, they’re a couple hundred deep trying to get in. Again, we offer quality education with rigor, high expectations. We don’t accept excuses. We put authority in the classroom teacher’s hands. So some of you just hearing that or thinking, “Hey Leman, would you mind building a school in our neighborhood because we could use that?” Well, yeah, you could use it. So could all of America and all of Canada as well. Dr. Leman: It’s a wonderful model. It’s based on basically three books that I’ve authored, The Birth Order Book, Have a New Kid by Friday, Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours. So parents love to send their kids there. Kids love our schools and teachers feel like the movie Field of Dreams when the question is asked, “Is this heaven?” “No, it’s Iowa.” We tell our teachers, “No, this is Leman Academy. Welcome.” And they love being in our school. Doug: That’s awesome that you’re up to six schools already. That’s really, really cool. That’s really, really cool. Well, today’s podcast is how do I help my little guy get going in kindergarten and elementary school? Dr. Leman: Well, I’m so glad we’re doing this and I realize that you’ve already pointed out, Doug, that for many of us, school has already started. For example, I have a Leman Academy out West in Colorado and Arizona. We actually start school, I believe it’s August one so we’ve already three weeks in by the time this airs. But let’s start with the little ones and we’ll even include the preschoolers here because many of you as parents have enrolled your kids in preschool or you’re thinking of doing it. Keep in mind just a couple of general things. Your little firstborn doesn’t like change in all probability. Most firstborns do not like change. They don’t like new things. So use your head, parents. Do some dry runs to the preschool, do some dry runs to the kindergarten. Most school systems have a special time where you can bring your son or daughter to the classroom. Dr. Leman: They get to meet to teach. It’s a little meet and greet kind of a thing. And again, I’m speaking to you, firstborn parents as well. You know how you are, you know yourself. So use your head here. Get your kids to put their little foot in the water and realize that an alligator’s not going to chop their little toesies off, that they can proceed without fear and make that transition as natural as possible. Please don’t overhype it. Please don’t tell that kid how much they’re going to love it. Because if you have a powerful child, I got news for you. He’s going to make sure you understand after the first day he hates that place. So what I’m saying is take things in stride. Okay? Get them acclimated. Now looking at the first grader, the second grader who’s already gone through kinder, they’ve done some socialization, they’ve learned to share some, and they’ve learned all their colors and by the end of kindergarten, many kids are reading today. Dr. Leman: Now you got to ask yourself, “Okay, what’s the routine like for our school year? What are bedtimes like? How much of our time at the end of the school day is devoted to believe it or not, homework?” And again, this is a sidebar, a school that gives way too much homework, in my opinion, is a sign of a poor school system. A little homework, yes. A lot of homework, no. So again, get to know the teacher. Put a routine in place. If you have a kid who’s about as disheveled as Pig-Pen from the Peanuts comic strip, help that kid get organized. Put some different colored folders in a child’s room where schoolwork can be put into different areas. Help them to get organized. Some of you are naturally organized and some of you are not and your kids are going to be that way. So you have to follow your own nose on this, your own lead here, parents and realize that one child might need a little bit more help than another when it comes to structuring things. Dr. Leman: Now we get into the older grades where kids have, you know, a half hour or sometimes even an hour of homework. Where does that kid do the homework? What time of day does that kid do the homework? Is your kid the kind of kid that wants to come home from school and delve into it and get it done? I had kids say, “Dad, I did it in the car on the way home.” So again, every kid is different. But is there a place where a kid can study, can concentrate, get their homework done, whatever. Again, remember it’s your son or daughter’s in the third grade or the fourth grade or the sixth grade, not you. So don’t get caught doing homework for them. Kids will work here. Dr. Leman: But again, I think the big things to think about at this time of year is, “Okay, I’ve got a sixth grader, what was my year like last year?” Where are the times you found yourself wanting to pound your head on the wall of your home or apartment? What were those trigger points? And my question to you is, what are you going to do differently this year to avoid that? Because quite frankly, if you don’t have a game plan in line, it’s not going to happen. You’re going to have a repeat of what happened last year. Dr. Leman: In our next podcast, I’m going to try to tackle what do you do with problem kids, kids that aren’t hitting on all eight cylinders in school. I will also tackle the older kids, the high school kids where they have more freedoms and more responsibilities. And so speaking of responsibilities, even though kids are going to school year, they still have responsibilities in the home. Dr. Leman: I think that’s really important that kids have well-defined jobs so to speak, where they understand that their responsibility now that school has started deepens because not only do they have their household chores that they need to be responsible for, but they also have their school activities and things. And speaking of activities, do you have a central calendar in your home? I think the perfect place for it is some pretty strong magnets on a refrigerator door where if there’s activities or projects due or family things or church events or whatever that we can put them on the family community calendar. All of you know life’s busy. And I’ve said it in one of my books help, I’m a cabbie and my SUV isn’t even yellow and we tend to pillar, you know, take kids from place to place and life can get very hectic. So again, you’re listening to the baby of the family talking about getting organized. Dr. Leman: And I’d have to admit to you in full disclosure that one of the things I’ve done well in life is I’ve surrounded myself with people who are organized because my nature is not to be organized. So again, nobody knows your kids better than you do. And one other thing, and then I’m going to ask Doug and Andrea to pitch in. For those of you who are starting school, are you putting your kid in kinder too early? Is your son or daughter a late in the year birth baby? Dr. Leman: We have parents who try to get their kids into Leman Academy as four year olds in kindergarten and we routinely turn them down. Yes, I know your kid’s bright. Yes, I know some four year olds read and all that, but the emotional maturity, the social maturity is a key here and I’m of the opinion, and this is flat out opinion that if you start kids a little later on, they’re going to profit, especially as they grow through those tougher grades starting when the curriculum really takes a hard left turn at fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth grade. Okay. Doug and Andrea fire away. What do you think? Doug: Well, I’m just sitting here studying with one of the first you made was don’t make it, you know, take them to the school, let them see where their classrooms are going to be and all those things and don’t make it a big deal. But I know like Andrea and like she would be wound to a 10 at emotions in this moment. How does a mom or a dad balance that, “I got to show my kid I love him and I want to nurture them,” but not make it a big deal when you’re at the school, when you yourself are a raging volcano inside? Dr. Leman: Well, number one, again, I go back to this statement, nobody knows your kid better than you. And some of those kids on that first day of kinder or whatever, they’re going to be clingy. They’re not going to want to let go. And they might throw a little dog and pony show for you, including some real emotion. My advice is at that point, hand your child to the teacher. Thank him or her. Wish them a good day. Turn around and leave. Dr. Leman: Now, what I give you pure permission to do is when you walk out of school, burst into tears, cry your little eyes out, go to your car and sob for 20 minutes. But listen to me, he’ll make it. She’ll make it without you. Remember our job is to create a responsible citizen someday, and this is step one of letting go. It’s a big deal for parents. I know it is. Take the pictures and all those kinds of things you want to do, but don’t get caught up in the drama. Andrea: Do you think there’s something about like when you said, take the pictures, I can envision my sister’s girls when they were going off to their first day of kindergarten and she would post a picture of Maddie’s first day in kindergarten, you know, with their new backpack and it’s almost like a celebration rather than a, “We have to do this,” making a celebration out of it rather than a gritting my teeth? Dr. Leman: Yeah. I just think the more you can keep that in proper perspective, the better. Sure, you want the picture of the first day of school. I have a picture of my home in New York. My buddy [Moon] and I on the first day of school and I’m sad to report that Moon had had a little pot belly even back in those days. But there’s the picture of the two of us and it’s one that I treasure to this day. I was five years old and so was he. We were in kinder, but I get that. But again, parents, remember your kids are going to read you and they’re going to read your emotions and they can read you like a book. They know how to push your buttons. Don’t ever forget that. So the more stable, and matter of fact you are with this life-changing event, the better off your son or daughter is going to handle that transition into school. Andrea: Is it ever a sign if the child is really clingy that maybe they’re not ready to go to kindergarten and maybe this kind of leans more towards those kids have a later birthday in the year that maybe you should hold off for a year? Dr. Leman: Yeah, and some just emotionally, just mature-wise, aren’t ready. Most kindergartens have a pretest that they’ll give a kinder to see if they’re ready, a readiness test and hopefully you’ve taken that or we’ll take that, consult with your teacher. Let me give you a personal thing out of my life. We have five children, the youngest of which is a toy designer. In fact, she just designed two things that are in Disneyland today as we speak, that she’s created. She’s the youngest in the family, but she’s not a youngest. Those of you who read The Birth Order book. She is the only child that has six parents and everything that young woman does, she does well. She’s now 27 years of age this August. In kindergarten, teacher pulls us aside and says, “You know what? I think Lauren ought to repeat kinder.” I’m thinking, “Repeat kinder? My kid failed kinder? She’s a dummy? She’s eating paste? Where have we gone wrong? Why didn’t I see this?” Dr. Leman: And we just talked and I listened to the teacher and I talked to my wife and I said, “Honey, I see where she’s coming from on this. Her birthday is August 22nd so she’s in the ballpark for being unscheduled for kinder but a little late in the year.” And we followed the teacher’s advice. Lauren repeated kinder with no scars and there’s a kid who, I mean she’s a winner with a capital W, with an exclamation point on the back end of it. She’s extremely bright, creative, as an intern, she designed the pond on Frozen. I mean the kid’s talented artistically. So I don’t know, I just say parents sometimes you have to sit with the educators and you have to listen to what they have to say and sometimes you take other people’s perspective. Are you ultimately responsible? Yeah, you are. So choose your school carefully. Doug: Yeah, I was just thinking through our kids and take them to kindergarten, how James, oldest, he could march right in and he would just stiff upper lip but maybe our second child would have tried to manipulate us emotionally. And it just made me think of The Birth Order book and how helpful that is to know those traits that are going to be there. And like you said, you have to know your child. Dr. Leman: You have to get behind the eyes of your sons and your daughters and see how they see life. And as a reminder, you mentioned The Birth Order book, the family changes with the birth of each child. I always say it’s amazing how these three or four little cubs that came out of the same den are so uniquely different. But I also go back and say, “You know what, actually it’s not the same den because the den changes with the birth of each child.” Dr. Leman: So we’re asking you in some ways parents to be a good shrink to get behind your kid’s eyes but don’t fall prey to their drama. The drama queens are labeled queens for a reason because young women are very, very good in drama. They’re a little better than us men. Not that boys can’t be powerful and all that, I don’t mean that, but just don’t get sucked in. Don’t snowplow the roads of life of your kids. Don’t find yourself vicariously living your life through your son or your daughter. Let them be who they are. Andrea: So I have another observation here. Two of the things that you mentioned were thinking about what is the family routine going to be for this school year and also reflecting on last year’s trigger points in it. It made me think about how every school year is different and kids are in different kinds of classes, they’ve got different kinds of extracurricular going on. And I think for me it’s been important that I recognize that not to try and make every year look like the previous year. And so I appreciated that you said, what are last year’s trigger points, what kinds of things would a mom be looking for in that? Dr. Leman: Well and whatever those struggles have been last year, again, we’ll talk about this more in our next podcast, but you can expect some of the same things and you can examine yourself as well. How do we handle that and how that worked out for us? And most of us wouldn’t say if we’re honest, not very well. Well then, what are we going to do different? See, because the school year, as soon as the school year comes, it affects everybody. It affects everybody in the family, dad, mom, grandma, grandpa sometimes, babysitters. It’s something that if husband and wife are on the same plane on this, on the same page, this also will help a great deal. Andrea: So I feel like you’re giving permission to completely change everything about how your family routine goes or the kinds of activities that your kids are doing from year to year. Like it’s freeing to me to hear that. I don’t know. I don’t really have a question. I think I’m just feeling like it’s very freeing to hear that. Like go ahead and change things up. Dr. Leman: Yeah. Let me give you an example. Your son or daughter decides in a first grade that they want to take trumpet lessons. I remember I got as far as rock of ages on the trumpet. Now I’m going back on my memory bank, but after four weeks in school, he decides he doesn’t want to play the trumpet anymore. If he’s my kid, he’s going to play the trumpet until the end of the semester. I don’t care how good he plays the trumpet or how bad he plays the trumpet. He’s going to play the trumpet for the semester. At semester, if there is a change that needs to be done, it can be done then. Andrea: Why don’t you let him stop at four weeks? Dr. Leman: Why? So I can teach him that he can make a decision and then bail out on it. I want to teach them in the home early that when you make a decision to do something, you’re going to do it. You’re going to do it as best you can. And if you don’t like it after a set period of time, but see I think in semesters maybe that’s because I’m a former Dean of students, but I think that’s enough time for a kid to really get interested in something. Sometimes kids decide prematurely they don’t like something and you’re giving them an escape out. And so going in to that, “Okay, if you want to take trumpet lessons, you have to understand one thing. You are going to take trumpet lessons until Christmas break or until the semester’s over. Without understanding, we will rent the instrument and you will do those lessons that you think are going to be so cool.” Dr. Leman: The question to every family is, do you have a port of call? Do you know where you’re going? What is the [inaudible] house rules? And that includes how we treat each other or responsibilities or how much activities. Now your kids I know have been involved in 4H and I’ve been a critic of activities for kids for years, but I’m always, well always whenever I get an opportunity to say something about organizations like 4H, I take it upon myself to say I think that’s one of the greatest organizations a kid can get involved in. Because it has so much heavy emphasis on what individual responsibility. Dr. Leman: So anyway, parents, don’t overload the schedule. You need time to be lovers and to be friends and to be married partners and don’t let school and don’t let your kids rule your home. That’s not putting you on authority. So you need a way of having set limits, margins, expectations, all surrounded with love and encouragement that vitamin N, no, that vitamin E, encouragement. And that’s the kind of environment where kids can really bloom. Doug: Yeah. Now that I have kids that are leaving the nest and going and living in foreign countries, I can tell you that, boy, you said it so well there. Don’t overload the schedule so that you can nurture and love them because it goes way too fast and you miss those moments at home way more than I ever thought. Dr. Leman: Was James a 4H-er? Doug: Yeah. Yeah, he was super 4H-er, which is interesting because you’ve said, I’ve learned that you want your kids to serve, he’s paying to serve in Costa Rica right now. Right? And it’s changed his life. And 4H planted that, helped plant that seed in there. Dr. Leman: Yeah. And how much would you attribute that to the training he got in your home and the training he got at 4H? Doug: A lot. It was the values that they, you know, because 4H is about serving others. And it’s a big part of what they want you to do. So yeah, absolutely. Andrea: But it was also the culture in our home too. Doug: And our cultural at home. Andrea: Which probably drove us to do 4H. Dr. Leman: Yeah. Okay, well I hope we’ve helped people today. You’ve got to get off on the right foot and that’s important. But parents, you need to have a game plan that has to mesh with your child’s temperament and personality. Doug: Yup. And I know we’ve gone long on this one, but Dr. Leman, I know you said this, but I just again, now that I see it, how important is it that we do what every other family is doing and how important it is to have the courage to be different from everybody else? What would you say to those parents? Dr. Leman: Again, you want your kids to be different. Hey parents, do you really want your kid to be like every other kid? If you do, I feel sorry for you. I feel sorry for your kid because I can tell you if your goal is to have your kid be like every other kid, your son or daughter is going to be very unhappy throughout life because they’re never going to experience who they are. And God created all of these kids differently for a reason. And many times we expect these kids just to fall in line and be like the stereotypical firstborn who usually does things pretty right. Doug: Well I got so excited in listening to this that I totally forgot to talk about the eBook promotion this week and the no nonsense parenting advice from Dr. Leman. Like this is embarrassing here. I was so … Dr. Leman: Well let me say this is your fault, not mine. I’m usually in trouble for something. This time you’re in trouble. Doug: Yeah. Can we blame Andrea somehow? No, we know she’s perfect. So we can’t do that. So Dr. Leman and all those people out there, August 27th to September 2nd of 2019 you can get the book Perfect Ambition for $1.99, so $1.99 gets you the Perfect Ambition. And what is this book about, Dr. Leman? Dr. Leman: Well, it’s a fiction. It’s a story of a family, a very wealthy family, and you’re going to see life from behind the firstborn’s eyes. It’s got some mystery and intrigue to it. You see if you can figure out who’s who, who done it sort of thing. My editor said to me, she said, “I’ve read a lot of fiction.” I mean this woman’s been in the business for 40 some years. She said, “I thought I had the POV, the point of view person figured it out, but you fooled me.” So again, if you like fiction, it’s a family that would be analogous to the Rockefellers, the Kennedys, the Bushes, the Clintons, people of money. It gives you a look into how the other side lives. Part of the setting of the book is in a little lake in upstate New York where I happened to spend my summers and so I think people would like it. Dr. Leman: I don’t know how to say this, but you have to be pretty smart, pretty with it to read this series. It’s not a Dick and Jane fiction series for sure. It’s got some depth to it. It’ll challenge your ability to think things through. So $1.99, those of you who read fiction, you know what you do, you read a book or sometimes you only get through the first couple of chapters and if you don’t get hooked, you’re burn it. So if that’s the case, you’ve misspent two bucks. Live with it. I think you’ll enjoy the book and the series. Doug: So as we wrap up this topic, there’s a couple of things that come to mind for me as I’m … For you, especially if you’re a new parent, getting ready to send your kids out to school, I think read The Birth Order book if you haven’t already. It really will help you give a perspective of what each kid’s going to need and give you an insight into your kids. Like Dr. Leman said, know your kids. It’s a great, great, great help. It also helps you know who you are and know, like you said, Andrea, the triggers and the things that get us as parents. It’s amazing how much it helps you. And we’re going to talk middle school and high school in a future podcast. But also I think getting ready for applying to middle school, that’s a great book if you’re there, but we’re also going to recommend that again in a while. Doug: I highly, highly, highly recommend you get these books for you to be prepared to help your kids. Well, we love being with you. We love helping you build your parenting toolbox so you can love these kids and as your kids get ready for school and as you adjust the life at school, we’re excited for you in that adventure with you and your kids. We look forward to the next time we get to be with you. Andrea: And I think this week I’m going to make a list of my trigger points from last year. Have a good week. Doug: Take care. Bye, bye. Andrea: Bye, bye.
How do I handle my cranky 2-year-old? – Ask Dr. Leman 129 (Episode 275)
Have a New Kid by Friday with Dr. Kevin Leman
It’s time for another Ask Dr. Leman: “How do I handle my cranky 2-year-old?” In this episode, Dr. Leman gives advice on how to act upon signs of a powerful child even at the age of 2.     Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Produced by Unmutable Transcript Andrea: This mom has a two-year-old and a brand new baby at home. And the two-year-old demands mom or nothing. Do you ever feel like it’s mom or nothing at your home? Let’s see what Dr. Leman has to say to Ashley. Doug: Hi, I’m Doug Terpening. Andrea: And I’m Andrea. Doug: And welcome to the podcast of Have a New Kid with Dr. Kevin Leman. We are so glad that you are with us and if this happens to be your first time, 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. Doug: So Dr. Leman, it’s been a long, long, long time since we’ve done this. So I’m going to ask you a couple of questions about what you’re doing in life these days. How many books have you written? Dr. Leman: I think it’s now 64. Doug: Okay. Dr. Leman: And as I always say a few of them are good, but you know the reason we’ll take Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours for example. Do you know that book came out in 1984? Let’s do some math here. Doug, you’re probably best at math. 16 and 19, sounds like that might be 35 Doug: Yeah, that sounds like 35 to me. Dr. Leman: So that book has been in print for 35 years. Do you know that most books sold in America sell fewer than 5,000 copies? These are million sellers. I’ve been blessed with longevity in my writing career. The books continue to sell using publisher terminology, that’s what they call backlist gold because once they’ve paid the author, the advance whatever comes in as sort of gravy, they paid off the book. They love books like that, but my question to myself is, why does a book hang around that long? Why isn’t that book out of print? Dr. Leman: In fact, I did a major revision on it a couple of years ago and it just jettisoned the book to new heights once again. Well, again, I know there’s seasons listening so just hang on, put your seat belt on and drink some Kool-Aid for a minute. Okay. These books are based upon the teachings that are found in the Bible, particularly with a guy named Saint Paul and they work because the principles are God-given principles. Dr. Leman: Now if you don’t believe in God, whatever. I mean, like I say, have a Starbucks, kick back and do whatever you want to do. I’m just telling you that the long lasting nature of these books whether on a marriage, like the Intimate Connection or Making Children Mind or Having a New Kid by Friday, they’ll continue to be around because from whence they came and people who know me know I want to be practical. I probably have too much fun, but my books tend to be fun, make you chuckle and laugh at yourself. I laugh at myself during the books. And so yeah, to answer the question about 64 books and they’re still around and they’re in every possible language. Dr. Leman: I spoke last weekend in Los Angeles at a wonderful church. Most of the people that are in fellowship are Korean. And of course I have books in Korean and Chinese and Japanese, all the Asian languages. And you see that the printed word really does reach throughout the world. So I’m just thankful to God that he gave me this platform. We get a lot of feedback about the Terpenings and how much they love you guys and how much they love our podcasts. And I would just ask you guys to help spread the word. Go on Facebook and say, “Hey, if you never heard of Leman Podcast, here it is. It’s worth it. And it’s free.” You don’t beat free. Doug: And do you have any children yourself? Dr. Leman: I have five big ones. The youngest is 26, so we’re old and they’re all very, very successful in life. Anybody cares to know. And they all like their parents, which I hope… For those of you who have young kids, you know, you sometimes when you hear me talk about reality, discipline you think, “Oh, I wonder if that’s too harsh. Are my kids going to love me?” You know, if you discipline your kids with love, they’re not only going to like you, but when they’re older like ours are, they’re going to want to hang out with you. It’s really a nice feeling. Doug: And the reason I wanted to go back down that road is just again to validate that this has been proven for decades. This is not just a brand new fly by night concept that you’re bringing up and it’s proven in your kids that they… One of my favorite things is sometimes we have to stop the podcast because one of your kids is calling you at 6:30 in the morning on their way to work just to connect with dad. Right? Dr. Leman: It’s now 7:10, 7:19 in Tucson, Arizona. And I think it’s the same time where you are. And at 5:17 this morning, I was exchanging texts with one of my daughters. So we talk a lot. Yeah. Doug: It’s just crazy that the reason… I’m so glad you said that, that part of this that convinced Andrea and I is the proof of the way that your grown children love you and interact with you. And also can I say, your marriage to your wife was beautiful when we got to be with you in your home and see how much you guys love each other. Okay. I just say that this guy is the real deal and it’s not just some made up. It’s been proven in what he’s done. So we get to hear Ashley’s question now. Here we go. Here’s Ashley’s question for you. Ashley: Hi Dr. Leman. My name is Ashley. I’m a new mom. I have a two-year-old and a seven-week-old. I’m a huge fan. I started reading your books in college, The Birth Order Book, and I’m 35 now, a recovering firstborn perfectionist, thanks to you. Ashley: I have two questions. I want to know how I handle my two-year-old who wakes up cranky and irritable sometimes. Maybe she didn’t get enough sleep the night before or we got her to bed too late and the day just starts off on the wrong foot. Sometimes I’ll use humor like you’ve suggested and imitate her tantrums and you know you’re right, that really diffuses her power struggle and we just end up laughing together. Other times, I’ll just cuddle her and I’ll be really loving toward her. But you know, the entire day kind of is off on the wrong foot. So I was just wondering if I’m doing the right things, if I’m handling that correctly, if there’s a better way. Ashley: Secondly, with the new baby in the house, my first born’s gotten a lot more needy, and she’s always preferred me to my husband but lately it’s mom or nothing. And especially when it comes to bath time and bed time, I could really use my husband’s help. He’s more than willing to help, but my daughter will not let him touch her, especially for bath time or bedtime. She will get very angry. She’ll scream, she’ll hit him, really rude, you know. We try to deal with that, but most of the time we’ll just avoid it all together and I will give her her baths and put her to bed. Bedtime is a special time for us, but sometimes, especially with a newborn, I could use the help and we’d like to do it without her screaming at us. So any thoughts would be great. Dr. Leman: Oh Ashley, you’re cuter than cute, and it’s so good to know you’re a recovering firstborn perfectionist because that’s probably the root of some of what’s going on here, I’m sure. You’re probably more than a good mom at this stage. And everybody stop and think, “Okay, she’s got a two-year-old and a newborn.” Okay, so you’ve got to figure out what’s going on in two-year-old’s mind, the invader has come home. The thing is getting more attention than he or she deserves. And so her position in life is being threatened. So she’s going to be predictably more clingy. Dr. Leman: And the thing about she just wants you mom, trust me on this one, that is going to reverse before too long and she’s going to become more of a daddy’s girl as she grows older. You mentioned bathing at night. Most parents bathe at night, I get it, but it only revives them. I wouldn’t bathe a child at night. I’d bathe them in the morning. Dr. Leman: You do need your husband’s help. And just because little Princess Attila doesn’t appreciate dad and she’s going to fuss and scream, I would have dad give her a quick bath, notice the word quick, and get her dried off and if she’s still in pull ups or something, get that sucker on, jammies on if she wears those, put her down her bed and she can wail at the moon, she can scream, she can throw a hissy fit, but I would continue to add dad to the picture. Dr. Leman: Getting dad out of the picture, and I realize what you’re saying Ashley, he really wants to help, make him help. Say, “Listen, we’re not going to have a single parent home here. She’s got a dad and a mom and a wonderful dad and you need to be a part of this.” Dr. Leman: So I wouldn’t back off on that. But she has an insatiable need for you. So she is a powerful two-year-old. So we have to address this, Ashley, which one of you are powerful? Husband or wife? Who insists that things are done exactly the right way? My guess is it’s sweet Ashley, because you are a recovering perfectionist and that’s pretty hard to shake. Dr. Leman: I know bedtime’s important. You want to make it a pleasurable experience. And what I’m suggesting right now is going to make it a not so pleasurable for awhile, but you can also make it that dad is a story reader at night. I don’t know what your traditions are for tucking in, but I’ve often said when my wife is tucking in our grandchildren, when we’re babysitting them, when they were younger, I mean it’d take her two hours to tuck them in. I can tuck a child in in 47 seconds. No problem. Dr. Leman: And the kids, when they see it’s grandpa, they know what it’s going to be. “I love you, honey. Say prayers.” Tuck them in. I’m done. I’m out. Mama. Oh, it’s amazing what they come up when grandma’s in there. “Grandma, I want a drink. Oh, grandma, I want a cookie. Can I get a cookie?” I mean, grandma’s the biggest sucker in the world. Like I say, it takes two hours till one of the kids will need sleep. Dr. Leman: So anyway, I don’t use the term force a lot. I don’t think I’ve said force on any of our podcasts to date, but I think this is one of those things where you sort of say, “Honey, I need you to step up the plate and just do this. I know it’s not going to be good for a while, but we’ve got to get her used to, ‘Hey, you got a mom and a dad, not just a mom,'” because you’re going to wear down. You can’t do it all. Dr. Leman: Now right now with an infant, as stressful as that is, wait till that little infant is now a year old and walking and now you’ve got a three-year-old and a one-year-old. Talk about stress, there it is in spades. Dr. Leman: So I think you nipped this in the bud the best you can. I would make that routine right now as short as possible for getting her into bed. And like I say, if she’s going to overreact to it and have a hissy fit, you have a monitor, I’m sure you can watch what’s going on in that room. But I’d let her melt down and cry herself to sleep if that’s what has to happen. But she’ll get used to it and she’ll fall in line. I wish you best. Doug: How long will she have these hissy fits and meltdowns, do you think? Dr. Leman: She’ll probably have them for a few nights, be a good guest, depending upon how powerful she is. Some kids, believe it or not, one night and they’re done, they figure it out. But I would guess two or three nights. Andrea: So Dr. Leman, are you recommending that there’s no more of that special bedtime tucking in like story? I know a lot of us, including myself, that especially with the younger children, that that bedtime is so sweet of like, “We’re going to read I love You to the Moon and Back, and we’re going to sing our song, and we’re going to pray together,” and we have a routine and you’re just saying cut that out. Dr. Leman: Yeah, I’m… Well, that’s why I said I don’t use the word force very often, but I mean this is a two-parent family and this little daughter and infant are so blessed to have a two-parent family. Think about that for a minute. And they become one and they need to be a unit and they have to work together. Now some people would suggest, well why don’t both of you do that? Well, you got an infant too. I don’t know if she’s nursing the infant or whatever, but you know, mom needs a break. And when mom sees dad come through the door, she’s saying to herself, “Oh, good. Help is on the way.” You know what your family room looks like, ladies, when you got a two-year-old. How many times a day do you pick that sucker up? And I’m just saying at two, they’re very trainable and she will fall in line. Dr. Leman: So you’re loving and you’re firm. And when she responds in a negative of… And number one, don’t let her hit you. I remember that was part of the conversation. Dad can hold her arms in such a way that she can’t hit anybody, and he can simply lay her down and tell her it’s night-night time. If she’s got a musical thing she goes to bed with or whatever, you turn that on, nightlights on or whatever you do, close the door and leave. And again, she may have a major meltdown but she won’t have… They won’t continue because it’s not paid off. Andrea: If dad wants to do the story book routine at night, is that okay? Dr. Leman: Sure. But you start with that. But if she’s going to have the major hissy fit like dad walks in, and he’s got their favorite story book and she starts fussing and what Ashley is saying is she ain’t buying that, she wants only mommy to read me the story. And so you start reading the story. She starts fussing. You close the book. Story time’s over. You pick her up and you put her in the bed and you leave. She’ll wail like a coyote at the moon, but so be it. It’s good for lung development. Doug: I remember the first time that after hearing you that we did something like this with our children, I don’t remember the specific incident now, but it was one time and our kids were like in shock and they were like, “This is not paying off. We’re not going here.” And I also remember with young children, it was about every six months or so they would decide or three months, somewhere there, they would decide to test the waters to be like, “Huh, I wonder if this will pay off now.” Right? And, you know- Dr. Leman: Yeah. It’s how they think. Doug: So, and now I’m telling you, parenting is so easy with teenagers because of the changes we’ve made because of the advice and the help that you’ve given us. Well, I have good news, bad news for you. The good news is we have been running some amazing specials on this podcast for all of our listeners and today we have no ebook for you. So if you were thinking this is going to go on forever, this doesn’t go on forever, and you should have taken advantage of those when you had the chance. I’m sure they’re going to be coming back, but as of right now, we have no ebook special, but we do have a no nonsense parenting advice from Dr. Kevin Leman. Dr. Leman: A lot of things I say are hard to compute in your mind when you first hear them. Children are the enemy. Fighting is not to cooperation. How about this one? Reminders are disrespectful. Warnings are disrespectful. Let’s take that on. Let me tell you why. When you remind, you’re really in essence you’re trying to help your son or daughter. “Honey, remember you had to do this? Remember you had to do that.” Dr. Leman: Well, there’s a track record there where your kids haven’t been mindful and that’s why you’re reminding them. I go back to the chart idea. And although I’m not huge on charts, I think if you have a school calendar, if you have a weekly calendar and that weekly calendar might be for every child in the family, it might be a wipe board where they put the days of the week up there or the month and they get to write in special things that they have to remember. I’d much rather have them be responsible for that than you. Dr. Leman: Now, what happens if the child does forget to take their flute to school? What happens if the child does forget lunch money? Well, what happens is life follows. There’s a consequence to that. So the sooner he or she learns that their lack of memory, their lack of remembering has a direct effect upon their embarrassment that they suffer at school or they’re not being able to participate in something they wanted to or their belly being empty when everybody else seems full, the sooner that happens in life, the better. So resist the temptation to warn, to remind, to coax and to bribe. All of those are very unhelpful. Andrea: So Dr. Leman, to give some hope to this parent, you said that eventually she’ll become daddy’s girl. How does that happen? Dr. Leman: Well, it happens very naturally in most homes where mommy is the center piece of course, especially when mom has breastfed baby and all that, there’s that close, intimate bonding that goes on. But as a daughter grows older, there is a very special connection. If I could explain it sufficiently, I would. But it’s just something I’ve observed over the years. The daddies and daughters and mothers and sons have a unique experience and they’re drawn to each other. When parents are going the same place but are in different cars for different reasons, it’s not unusual for the daughter if there’s two kids to go with dad and the son to go with mom. And so it’s a progression. It’ll happen. It’s healthy. And my guess is before too long, daddy will be the center of daughter’s eye. She will seek and love his attention that he gives her. Doug: I remember the first time you said that, it was mind blowing. And then your book about it came out about be the dad you’re daughter needs you to be, is that right? Dr. Leman: Yeah. Be the Dad She Needs You to Be. Yeah. Doug: How will that help dads if they get that book? Dr. Leman: That’s a wonderful look to see… As men, we don’t do a good job of understanding women to begin with. We’re men. We see life differently, but there’s something about that feminine little daughter. I remember my son-in-law, Dennis, when his little Adeline was born, he was so cute. He wanted to go and buy her her first dress. I mean, she’s an infant. He went and bought her the cutest little dress. She’s 18 inches long, you know? Dr. Leman: It’s just something magical that happens between a dad and a daughter. And daddies represent all of manhood to this young woman. And that’s why it’s important that a dad takes that job seriously. So that book, Be the Dad She Needs You to Be, it rocks. People love that book. Women love their husbands to read that book. It makes them say things like, “Oh, that is so sweet.” Dr. Leman: And men are very, very capable of doing sweet things with their daughters. And I know myself as a dad, when that first little daughter came into our life, I mean, I think secretly I was hoping I’d have a boy. For what reason? I have no idea because I love having four daughters and one son. And those daughters have just been such a blessing in my life. And I see now as an adult and as a practicing psychologist the indelible imprint that I’ve left on all my daughters. And I know as adults many times they’ll stop and ask themself the question, “What would dad do in this situation?” And believe me, they got a great mom. They got a wonderful mom. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t love my wife Sandra. She’s got the loveliness of our own Andrea here. Dr. Leman: But daddies and daughters are special. It happens. My guess is by age four, you’re going to see, Ashley, this little sweetheart of yours gravitating toward her daddy. “I want my daddy.” And you’re going to tell her something and she’s going to give you a look and say, “I want my daddy.” Sort of fun to watch it happen. Doug: Well, I also think for you, Ashley- Andrea: Making children Mind Without Losing Yours. Doug: Yup. And Parenting Your Powerful Child would be a huge blessing to you as well as the book about Be the Dad She Needs You to Be. Again, these are just going to give you the confidence that you’re doing it right. So Ashley, you already read Birth Order book, so you know the impact of that. Highly, highly, highly recommend that you get those books. So again, you just have this internal confidence that you know what to do, what’s next, which is what helped Andrea and I so much, that when we were in confusion, every now and then, we would just like, “Okay, this is the Leman book thing right here.” We do this and it worked. And then you’re like, “Wow.” Doug: Instead of making it up on your own and guessing what you should do, it really just gives you a way to do it. Dr. Leman: Yeah. I’m so glad you brought that up, Doug, because part of her question was, “Hey, am I doing things right?” And yeah, you’re a good mom. I can tell by the call, the tone of your voice. You show your heart to us by your call. Yeah, you’re doing great. Okay? Can things be better? Obviously they can by getting dad involved. Is that going to create some turmoil in your heart and mind? It will, but it’ll be worth it. Okay? So you go ahead and do it. Enlist your hubby’s support and God bless you both. Let us hear from you. Doug: Ashley, we’d love to hear how it turns out for you as well. And as always, you can go to and get more resources there, or you can leave your own question like Ashley did at And we love being with you. As Dr. Leman I think said at the beginning of this, feel free, you have all our permission to pass it on to others. If you know somebody who has this same situation that they’re dealing with and you want to bless them and help them out, it’s an incredible gift to others. So we look forward to the next time to add to your parenting toolbox so that you can love those kids more and more. Andrea: Have a great week. Doug: Take care. Andrea: Bye-bye.
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