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Kids & Family
Religion & Spirituality
Health & Fitness

Have a New Kid by Friday with Dr. Kevin Leman

Updated 4 days ago

Kids & Family
Religion & Spirituality
Health & Fitness
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Laugh and Learn about parenting from Dr. Leman as he answers real parents questions as well as addressing parenting skills

Read more

Laugh and Learn about parenting from Dr. Leman as he answers real parents questions as well as addressing parenting skills

iTunes Ratings

184 Ratings
Average Ratings

Good info!

By Rn Meg 28 - Jul 28 2016
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The info is succinct and easy to implement. I love the catch phrases!

Good info

By brd5 - Jul 03 2016
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Leman can be very religious & full of himself, but there are good lessons to be had.

iTunes Ratings

184 Ratings
Average Ratings

Good info!

By Rn Meg 28 - Jul 28 2016
Read more
The info is succinct and easy to implement. I love the catch phrases!

Good info

By brd5 - Jul 03 2016
Read more
Leman can be very religious & full of himself, but there are good lessons to be had.

Listen to:

Cover image of Have a New Kid by Friday with Dr. Kevin Leman

Have a New Kid by Friday with Dr. Kevin Leman

Updated 4 days ago

Read more

Laugh and Learn about parenting from Dr. Leman as he answers real parents questions as well as addressing parenting skills

156-Respond, DON’T React

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Tired of losing it with your kids again? You’ve heard Dr. Leman say many times, “Respond, Don’t React!” But what does that really mean? What is the difference and how do you do it? You’ll find all these out on today’s episode.


Many outbursts can be avoided by choosing to respond, instead of react.

You would not want your doctor to tell you that you are reacting to the medication. You do want to hear that you are responding.

If your son says he wants a pony, are you going to blow a gasket and ridicule the idea? Or, are you going to grant in fantasy what they can’t have in reality by playing out the scenario in an imaginative way? (You will want to hear my story on the podcast!)

Here are three simple steps to change your course:
1. Stop; ask yourself how your old self would react in the situation.
2. Look at the big picture.
3. Listen to what your child has to say.

Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill! Responding can make all the difference in the world!

Jun 14 2016



The 4 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make (Episode 162)

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Even as great of a parent as you are, you know that there are things you could improve but what are the top 4, and how do you correct them? Listen to Dr. Leman’s wisdom and advice to find out the most common!


What are the 4 biggest mistakes parents make? Why?

You will hear me talk about these principles a lot because they are a root of problem parenting. Let’s look at them:

1. Controlling

Control is spawned out of insecurity. Rather than Control, or take the authoritarian route, use firm but gentle guidance to train up your child.

2. Criticism

This shuts down the natural inclination to please a parent, because it cannot be done. Kids give up. It robs them of self-worth.

3. Permissive

This is opposite of controlling. This parent wants their kids happy at every turn. This builds low self esteem.

4. Inconsistency

This is a daily battle for any parent and creates confusion especially in young children. Use firmness in your guidelines.

To hear more description of these, listen to today’s podcast.

Jul 26 2016



Snarky Attitude; Immune to Discipline- Ask Dr. Leman 92 (Episode 199)

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Do you have children that are great at back talking to you? Do you have a young child that seems immune and indifferent to any type of discipline you use towards them? If so, this is the episode for you!


Question #1 Rachel:

I have two boys, ages 16 and 7. They have gotten into the habit of replying to me with bad attitude and snarky tones. I’m trying not to raise my voice. What do I do?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

You are a good student!
You used the word, “Respond,” not “react.”
“How much should I tolerate?” is a good question. You are not the punching bag!

Here are two tips for you:
1. When they fire at you, instead of firing back, try this pocket-phrase:
“Oh, really? I’m not sure I caught that. Can you repeat it for me?”
By saying this, you take back the authority.
2. Use the tough love approach. “No, I don’t feel like doing anything for you right now. You were disrespectful to me earlier today.”

Question #2 Louise:

I have a young child who acts indifferently to punishment I am using following the book Have a New Kid by Friday. What should I do?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

Remember that this book is directed at 5 year’s old and up.

This behavior may be a clue that you have a powerful child. He won’t flinch. What he is saying is, “I am in charge.”

I would recommend reading, Parenting your Powerful Child.

Apr 11 2017



115: Ask Dr Leman 50 (Quiet Discipline; Withhold what)

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Your child is screaming at the top of their lungs and everyone is looking at you. What do you do? And how long do you withhold privileges from your children once they have changed their attitude? These are the two questions that I will answer in this podcast.


Question #1: Carli who lives in an upstairs apartment is worried about disturbing the downstairs neighbor with her 4 year old’s extremely loud outbursts. (Audio Question)

Here are two options:
1. Explain to the neighbor what you are attempting to do by helping your child realize they are not the queen. You are taking the powerful little buzzard by the beak and working on discipline. Please forgive us in advance, and know we are not killing her!
2. If the neighbor won’t cooperate, take the child to the bread and water treatment. No special things.

If you have not read my two books, Parenting Your Powerful Child, and Have a New Kid by Friday, you will find some great tools in there.

Question #2: (Audio Question) Sophie asks how long to withhold things once a child changes their behavior.

  1. Don’t be looking for perfection!
    Look at the big picture.
  2. Play your aces wisely and carefully.
  3. Make a week by week, situation by situation analysis


The next session is a How to Build a Family Identity. 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.)

If you have an idea for a podcast or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me. If you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

Sep 01 2015



How to Help Your Kids Find a Purpose in Their Life (Episode 216)

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Kids grow up fast, and maybe you are at the point where you are helping your teen find a focus and direction for their lives. Are you wondering how to help them find their purpose in life? If so, this episode is for you!


Let me put on my Dean of Students’ hat for this episode…

I saw kids enter college with an idealistic view of themselves and where they would be in four years. Eighty percent of the kids came in as freshmen in pre-law or pre-med. Most changed their majors 3-4 times.

This is an indication that they were not prepared when they stepped into college.

When your kid steps into high school is the time to start having them shadow and intern at various jobs. Let them see what the work world looks like.

Ask yourself:

  • Is my child good at people, data, or things?
  • There are the social ones who are good at people.
  • There are the kids who always want to take things apart; they make good engineers and builders.
  • The math nerds are good with data.
  • The musical should be allowed to broaden their experience with music.
  • Finally, vocalize what you see in their interests, and brainstorm with them about what they see themselves doing at 25.


Aug 08 2017



Unstoppable Bad Behavior; Video Game Lying- Ask Dr. Leman 100 (Episode 215)

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What do you do when my eight year old daughter already has friendship problems? How do you deal with a 16 year old who argues with everything you decide? Listen to today’s episode to find out with the wit and wisdom of Dr. Leman.


Question #1 Lyndsay:

My husband and I have 2 girls, aged 10 and a half and 8. This question is also about my 8 year old. She is in 2nd right now and she has plenty of friendship problems, including hitting other kids at school, and having difficulty getting along with others. She usually gets a consequence at school, usually its detention at lunchtime which they call focus room.

I get a note stuck in her diary that the teacher has made her fill in with what she has done wrong. My job is then to read the note and sign it and send it back to school. I’m unsure about what I should be doing about this behaviour? Should there be a home consequence? Or should I just leave it with the focus room consequence at school. It’s about once per month another incident happens at school. The teacher has been sending her to the school counsellor who talks to her and sometimes calls me to let me know what they have been talking about. She usually tries to give her strategies to deal with her frustrations in a different way other than being mean and hitting.

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

It sounds like the underlying question you need to ask is, “Why does this child feel hurt by life?” Her perception is the key. Be sure you don’t treat your kids the same. They are not the same. They have different tastes, needs, interests, expectations. They don’t want to be compared to one another.

You could have a conversation with her that goes something like this:
“Honey if you continue with this behavior, you will have no friends. If that is what you want, continue with the hitting and arguing. But, if you want, I can help you to be kind.”

Also, you could ask, “Could it be that there is bullying or that kids are saying mean things to you?” Carefully watch her face as you use this psychological guessing to see how she might respond.

Question #2 Linnette:

My husband and I have a 16 year old and 12 year old twin boys who are all in adolescence moment. We are christians and trying to raise them using christian values.
I think My husband is severe with them.

I think my husband is to severe with them in taking away their play station for a month. Is that a reasonable consequence for a 12 year old boy who told a lie? The twins took the PS4 in a school trip without permission and said they didn’t do it, which led us to believe someone else had stolen it.

The older son argues about everything we decide. If he wants to go to the beach with another family and friends for 9 days, we say yes but for 6 days, he complains. If he has a party, we say yes until 1:30 am, he complains he wants more time. He argues everything, it is exhausting.
We are always negotiating with him, what is your best advice?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

The main issue here with your kids is that you and your husband need to be on the same page. That would be the first thing I would work on.

I agree with the playstation decision. Not a problem! Take it away! Sell it! A month is not too long.

As for the son who is the arguer, He has learned to use his power to negotiate with you. He is in charge. He is working you.

You’ve trained him, pleased him. You need to stop trying to make him happy.

I would recommend reading my book, Parenting Your Powerful Child and checking out the product I’ve made called Great Parenting From the Get-Go.

Aug 01 2017



118—(Responsibility) How do I teach my kid responsibility?

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Are you frustrated because your kids aren’t learning responsibility? Do you wish someone would tell you why child isn’t learning responsibility? Dr. Leman sheds light on how to teach your child responsibility.


Ever wonder why kids don’t seem to be responsible these days?

Parents are driven to make their kids “happy, happy, happy” at every turn. They’re making excuses for their kids. They even label the kids with ridiculous diagnosis!

Kids are “on the take” these days.

They feel that the world revolves around them.

Do you want to learn how to teach your kids responsibility?

  1. Give them responsibilities
  2. Don’t do their jobs for them!
  3. Tell them when you are unhappy
  4. Today is the day to start something different. Don’t announce it, just start giving them responsibilities.


The next session is an Ask Dr. Leman. 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.)

Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me. If you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

Sep 22 2015



The 3 Hardest Parts of Parenting (Episode 166)

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Parenting has always been a challenge. It is tiring and frankly, just plain hard sometimes. Why? Are there any ways to make it easier? To find out, listen to Dr. Leman’s answer on today’s episode!


Some days I just want to resign as a parent. It is simply too hard to keep doing! Why?

First of all, the nature of kids is that they are immature and they say and do stupid things. Parents have to deal with this all day long, and the culmination of it is that we LOSE IT!

Here are some reasons why parenting is hard:

1. We try too hard.

We do too many things for our kids because we misinterpret what love is.

2. We make excuses for kids.

We bail them out. This leaves the parent picking up the mess behind them.

3. We want to be the perfect parent…

and we forget that there are bad days and bumps in the road along the way.

4. Love involves discipline…

and that can be hard!

One last thing, if you are a single parent and haven’t read, Single Parenting That Works, I would highly recommend it! You’ll find that a lot of things you struggle with are addressed.

Aug 23 2016



Signs You are a Pushover Parent (Episode 176)

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Do you bend over backwards for you kids? Are you always making sure they are happy happy happy and catering to their needs? If so Dr. Leman has some important helps for you in this episode to help you have a new kid.


Two weeks ago we talked about the authoritarian parent, and today we are going to address the other end of the spectrum: the permissive parent.

Here are four marks that you may be too permissive:
1. You make excuses for your child
2. Are driven toward your kids’ happiness
3. Run on guilt
4. Do things for them they should do…

Does this sound like you? If so, you will want to hear this week’s episode on permissive parents!

A good book to read about this, and many more topics is, The Way of the Wise. It’s HIGHLY recommend reading, especially after today’s episode.

Nov 01 2016



3 Signs You are Parenting With an Iron Fist (Episode 174)

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Are you like Iron Man? Do you rule your house with an iron first and control everything? If so, Dr. Leman can help you on today’s episode.


No one wants to admit that they are too authoritarian. But what does that really mean? What does an authoritarian parent look like?

Here are three things to watch for:

1. You rule with an iron fist and are never wrong
2. You always tell your kids what to do
3. You “should” on your kids

Dr. Leman will help you understand the dangers of authoritarian style parenting as well as help you recognize the marks in yourself. Your relationship with your kids is what matters in the end. Listen in to learn what he has to say.

Oct 18 2016



Stop The Perfect Child; Kids Won’t Go To Sleep- Ask Dr. Leman 75 (Episode 165)

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Dr. Leman has said he is against perfectionism, but how do you overcome your work to raise a “perfect-child?” What about kids who talk late into the night? What should you do? This episode answers these two questions with Dr. Leman’s unmatched wit and wisdom.


Question #1 Christine:

I am working on “de-perfecting” my daughter who we were raising as a perfect child. Right my 6 year old is worried about her piano concert, instead of being able to enjoy the experience. What is your advice?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

Perfectionism is slow suicide. I say this often. It drives people to do the impossible.
Perfectionism becomes a weapon to embrace the whole family in the person’s struggle.

I say: “Pursue EXCELLENCE, not perfection!”

Try these pocket phrases on the perfectionist:
“Honey, I know it’s a huge thing to you, but it is not to me.”
“Wow, you’ve really worked hard on that!”

Question #2 Chantal:

My kids share a room and will stay up talking late into the night, sometimes talking for 3-4 hours. How do I get them to stop talking?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

You can’t make a child sleep!

Here are my recommendations:

  • Say nothing
  • Ignore them
  • Eventually they’ll wind down
  • Don’t respond to their questions
  • Go to bed and turn out all the lights

By making a change, you will catch them off guard.
You can use the pocket phrase: “I’m Done!”

Aug 16 2016



146-The Secret Sauce to Stop Self-Centeredness

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Feel like your child is bored and needs the latest greatest whatever? Dr. Leman give you the secret sauce to fix that problem.


How do we help our kids become grateful for what they have in life? What role does serving play in this?

If you want grateful kids who are servant-hearted, start with asking yourself how you treat them at home.
Do you over service them?
Do you do everything for them?
Do you allow them to try, even if it is not done perfectly?

Kids are on the take! They are happy to have you do for them. We have centered the home on the kids so they are happy at every turn.

This can change!
Teach them to serve in their own home.
Give them opportunities to serve in their school, church and community.
Give them chores to do around the house.

The difference will be clearly seen when kids reach 20 years of age–what kind of adult are you raising?

Here Is A Book Mentioned in the Podcast and Highly Recommended!
Planet Middle School: Helping Your Child through the Peer Pressure, Awkward Moments & Emotional Drama
These Three Easy Steps Also Relate to this Episode and will Make a BIG Difference!
3 Easy Steps to Help at Home

Apr 05 2016



143-Ask Dr Leman 64 (Whining at 8; Strong Willed or Powerful-Me or Them)

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How do I stop whining now that my kid is 8 years old? Is my child strong willed, powerful or is it me? Dr. Leman answers these questions with his usual wit and wisdom.


Question #1 from Bonnie:

How do I stop the whining of my 6 and 8 year old kids? I keep bringing their whining to their attention, but they keep whining. Will they eventually grow out of it and stop? Is there a better approach for me to take?

Dr. Kevin Leman’s Answer:

Yes, Bonnie! There is a better way to get the kids to stop whining!

First of all, they are doing it because they have found that it works; it pays off! I call this “purposive behavior.”

Here is what I would suggest:
1. Take the time to think through what normally do in these situations, and what the new you is going to do/say.
2. When the whining starts; remove the child. Yes, put them outdoors, in their room, etc.
3. Follow this with a look of disapproval. (Kids are always seeking our approval.)

Remember: Behavior only reoccurs because it is working!

You may find my book Have a New You by Friday helpful.

Question #2 from Jaci:

My 11 year old daughter is very strong willed. How do I deal with disrespectful arguing without getting angry and micromanaging?

Dr. Kevin Leman’s Answer:

Here is a test for your child: Does she/he need to have the last word in an argument? If you answered “yes,” then that person is “powerful.”

It’ll behoove you not to give in to a child like this.
Turn your cheek with a soft response
Let the consequence be the passing of time
Go back to normal

Dr. Kevin Leman’s Book “Have a New You”: Have a New You by Friday: How to Accept Yourself, Boost Your Confidence & Change Your Life in 5 Days

Mar 15 2016



3 Things Every New Mom Needs to Know in the Middle of the Chaos (Episode 178)

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Are you a new mother who feels like you are drowning in the new and wonderful experience of parenthood? If this episode if for you! Today Dr. Leman covers the top three things to keep in mind to help keep your head above the water and enjoy the ride.


For those moms with young children out there, these are days of, “Mom, Mom, MOM!” and spit up on every top. How to make it through? Will it ever end?

Dr. Leman’s Three insights:

1. Align yourself with other moms. Create a babysitting co-op, or a playgroup.

2. Take time for yourself. This means nap while the baby naps! Housework will always be there. Let your husband help you clean up when he comes home (but you will need to ask for help, because he does not always know what you are thinking!)

3. Realize that the day will come when you’ll yearn for these baby days again. So, soak it up. Enjoy those babies and toddlers, because, before too long, they will be going off to college.

And, the bonus #4:

Take time to keep your relationship with your husband healthy and alive. He is the one you will be with for the rest of your life!

Nov 15 2016



094-Tired of Messy Rooms?

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Do your kids struggle to keep their room clean? Dr. Leman shares two options you can take.


What am I to do with my kids’ messy room? Two options

  1. If you can handle it, close the room and don’t go in there. Don’t go in for laundry. Don’t go in for anything. They will eventually realize the need to clean it up.
  2. Make it their room. Let them decorate the room they way they want to. When making the one page chore list, add it as one of the chores. If you expected it cleaned up, then set clear expectations and enforce the rules.

Beware of…

  1. Making your home a military camp.
  2. Making your home your home only and not a home where everyone in the family feels welcomed.

If you are at your wits end, you can…

Hire one of the other kids to clean the room and pay them from your kid’s allowance.


The next session is an Ask Dr. Leman. 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.)

Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me. If you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

Apr 03 2015



How Do You Open the Iron Fist of Parenting? (Episode 202)

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Do you want to be less controlling as a parent, but it seems impossible to let go? If you’ve ever thought, “If I let go of control, I’ll get controlled and become vulnerable,” then this episode is for you!


Are you ever worried that you are too controlling as a parent? But does it seem impossible to let go, for fear of totally losing control? “What will happen around here if I let go? You don’t know my family!”

Take a deep breath!
You are not going to believe where this podcast goes…

Control comes out of fear. Yes. Fear.

It is a sign that you are:
Lacking faith in God.
Living vicariously through your kids.

It really is a spiritual battle.

In parenting it leads to destructive authoritarian parenting where you are worried about how your child performs, if they show up, or if they let you down.

Two books that I would recommend for this topic are Have a New Kid by Friday and Have a New You by Friday.

May 02 2017



Lengthening Your Kid’s Leash (Episode 188)

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Do you have a leash for you kid when you go to the zoo or other trips? What about a leash that isn’t visible, but used regularly to keep them out of harm’s way? If so, Dr. Leman teaches us how to use them in today’s episode!


What is it that develops your “psychological muscles?” How about those of your children?
Did you know that by keeping your kids on a short, “safe” leash, you are actually disabling them?
As it is, parents do too many things that their kids can do for themselves.

So, how much do I let my kids experience life?
A lot more than most of you are!

Kids need to have longer leashes and longer responsibilities in order to be ready to move into the world. It is through experiencing bumps and bruises that they will develop psychological muscles.

Here are some tips for you, parent:
1. Teach them to be streetwise.
2. Base their freedoms on the responsibility they show in the home.
3. Be their cheerleaders!

Now, you can watch them stretch their muscles…

Jan 24 2017



124-The Space Cadet Kid. How Do I Get Him to Focus?

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Do you have a kid that forgets your instructions in less than 30 seconds? Does he leave his bike on the sidewalk over night? Do you fear she will forget her phone on the desk in the library? Does it take 5 requests to get them to pick up their shoes because they are so distracted?

Today’s podcast is for you, Mom or Dad!


I tell him to pick up his shoes and instead I find him playing with the dog. He says all the time, “Oh sorry, I forgot?” How do I deal with the kid that can’t remember a thing?

These revelations will come as NO surprise to you:

  1. This child is NOT a firstborn
  2. You see this kid get away with space-cadet behavior over and over
  3. YOU created this space-cadet!

“How in the world did I create this spacey kid?” you may ask.
When something is easier to do yourself, do you waltz in and take over? Do you just do it?
When you do, watch that kid…SLITHER AWAY!
Viola! You have trained him to leave the work to you.

Take action against Space-Cadet behavior:

  1. Give him “The Look.”
  2. Say, “I am very disappointed.”
  3. Sit him/her down to think about it.
  4. Use “B doesn’t happen until A is done” to train the child.
  5. Don’t take over!


The next session is an Ask Dr. Leman. 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.)

Nov 03 2015



Demanding Two Year Old; Lazy Teenagers- Ask Dr. Leman 94 (Episode 203)

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What do you do with a demanding 2 year old? Is there more than putting her in her crib when she throws a tantrum? Do you have young adult children living at home and working and going to school? Do you have to nag them to pick up after themselves? Dr. Leman gives us his answers in this episode.


Question #1 Elizabeth:

What do I do with a 2 1/2 year old, the baby of my three children, who always wants to do it her way. She decides if she wants to go potty, when she wants to get to the dinner table. Everything goes her way or else she throws a temper tantrum. I just carry her to her crib and tell her she stays until she gets happy. Sometimes it doesn’t take long. I just think that there has to be something else I could to, but at this point I don’t know. Do you have an answer for me?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

A child like this is powerful. These powerful antics are purposeful in order to show you who is in charge.
You are doing the right thing by putting her in her crib.

Here are my tips:
Be consistent
You’ll have to do it lots of times
Don’t let her see your anger on your face, instead say, “I want you to k now that I am unhappy.”

In the end, you all win! You find peace in the home, and you put her on a healthy trajectory.

Question #2 Christy:

Dr. Leman, I LOVE your books! They are fantastic! Here is our problem: Our boys are 15, 17, and 20. The 17 and 20 year old both work and go to school full time. We struggle with evenly dividing responsibilities. Also, a huge problem is simply cleaning up after themselves!! For example, empty cups and popcorn bags being left on the table in the living room, wet towels on their carpet after a shower… Any suggestions?

Dr. Leman’s Answer:

Well, first off, the 15 year old has fewer responsibilities, so he should carry the brunt of the chores. He has more time!

Your action, not words, will make a difference with the boys picking up after themselves. I’d get a box and clean everything up from the living room–including any valuables they leave out. Put it in the garage. When they ask for it, send them to search the box.

This will give you a clean living room, and communicate to them that you are not doing their work. They will have to come dig through it to find their valuables.

May 09 2017



Welcome Back; My Kid is so Sensitive (Episode 217)

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Welcome back to an ALL NEW Season with Dr. Leman! “My kid is SO sensitive.” If you feel that your child melts down easily or you feel like you’re constantly walking on eggshells, this can be a form of manipulation. Dr. Leman explains why it’s important for parents to understand their child’s behavior with some fun role-play examples.


Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing.

Produced by Unmutable.


Intro:                       Hey, hubby, what should we do with Lily? She’s driving me nuts. I know. We should ask Dr. Leman. He knows everything about parenting. Welcome to Have a New Kid by Friday with Dr. Kevin Leman and Doug and Andrea Terpening.

Doug:                       Well, Welcome back to Have a New Kid. Hi, I’m Doug Terpening.

Andrea:                   And I’m Andrea.

Doug:                       And we are so glad to be back with you. It feels so, so, so good. Real quick. If this is your first time with us, just to let you know if you have any question or concerns at anything that’s brought up during this podcast, we highly encourage you to go seek a local professional for help. Dr. Leman, we are back doing the podcast. How are you?

Dr. Leman:            Well, how am I? Where have you been? Hiding in the Oregon dark forest?

Doug:                       Big Foot came and captured us for a while, and we’re finally set free.

Dr. Leman:            I think you were hiding under a pile of wood chips up there. I’m down here in the desert. We’re talking it’s still April, and we got 90-some degrees down here. So, interesting.

Doug:                       Well, we still have moss up here.

Andrea:                   And rain.

Doug:                       And rain. Maybe it was we were just too gloomy. That’s why we had to take a break.

Andrea:                   Yeah.

Dr. Leman:            And let’s start with a big thank you to Baker Publishing House, Baker Revell. Baker has several imprints. Revell is one of them, and Revell has published books like the “Birth Order” book and “Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours”, “Have a New Kid by Friday”, “Planet Middle School”. I mean, the list goes on. There’s 60 Leman books out there, but so many of you have literally been hounding me, in a very nice way, I gotta tell ya that, through Facebook and emails and you name it. “Hey, when are those podcasts coming back?” And so we have been working on it. This is the very first one, and Baker has been kind enough to sponsor this and make it happen.

Dr. Leman:            You’re probably gonna hear some things along the way from Baker, telling about Leman products and maybe some others as well, but I’m just grateful to them that they stepped up to the plate, enabled the three of us to talk about life. The feedback we get on this podcasts is nothing short of wonderful. People like them, ’cause they’re practical, they’re short, we talk about marriage, we talk about how strange men are, and how weird women are. I do have a sense of humor. I don’t apologize for that. We try to make this fun. So, it’s a learning experience for all of us. We learn together, but the ideal is to make you a little better person, a better parent, a better husband or a wife.

Doug:                       Amen. Amen. So, let’s just go and give just a quick update. How are the grandbabies? The two adopted ones?

Dr. Leman:            Grandbabies are two, the little ones. Two today as we speak. The older two are getting big. My little grandson, Connor, has now a size 14 foot.

Doug:                       Whoa.

Dr. Leman:            Shoe size. He looks like snowshoes.

Andrea:                   How tall is he?

Dr. Leman:            The nutrition says he’ll be 6’5″.

Andrea:                   Oh.

Dr. Leman:            6’5″. And Adeline is starring in the little production of Annie at her school. She’s Annie so she’s been singing up a storm, and it reminded me of my daughter, Holly, who I remember as a kid was singing Annie, and I said in one of my books “She sang Annie like it was yesterday.”

Doug:                       Oh, fun.

Dr. Leman:            Tomorrow, tomorrow. No, more like yesterday when Holly sang it. So, Adeline’s doing well, Mrs. Uppington is still in love with me she says.

Doug:                       Whoa. Wow.

Dr. Leman:            Everybody’s doing good. So, we’re good. How are your kids?

Doug:                       Growing. Growing. You know, that’s the thing I didn’t realize about ’em, that man, this parenting goes by way faster than I would have ever thought it did.

Andrea:                   Yeah, and when they hit 18, they actually graduate and move on, and oh, my goodness.

Dr. Leman:            So, how is James boy doing, real quick?

Doug:                       Phenomenal. Absolutely phenomenal to be honest. Not because of Andrea and I, well, because of us, but also because it’s just been amazing to see him grow and become his own adult and take off. Just how you hope it would be.  Absolutely how you hope it would be. And the other three.

Dr. Leman:            Well, we’ve said many times, you’re not rearing a kid, you’re rearing an adult, and when the kid hits 18, it’s really nice to see them leave the nest confidently, and take on the challenges that lie before ’em. Good for him.

Doug:                       Well, and I Know we’ve said this before, and we truly mean it. We’re so thankful that we got to do this podcast with you to change our parenting so that we started raising an adult, ’cause we didn’t know how to. We knew 0-5 pretty well, but after that, we were stuck. So, it’s been great. It’s been great.

Dr. Leman:            For new people, one of the things I love about Doug, it’s easy to love Andrea, it’s a little bit more difficult to love Doug, but Doug, he’s owed up to the fact, you know, I’m a reformed yeller and authoritarian, and he’s the first to say “We’ve learned a lot.” And that’s our mission here. Trying to teach. None of us are perfect. We all are flawed to the core, but that’s what these podcasts are all about. So, do us a favor, tell your friends the chubby psychologist from Tuscan, Arizona is back with a lovely couple from Oregon, and the podcasts are available.

Doug:                       Awesome. Awesome. Well, I thank you for all that. It’s so good to be back, and I say we jump in today’s topic. Here we go.

Dr. Leman:            Let’s do it.

Doug:                       Let’s do it. So, today’s topic is “I’ve got this sensitive kid. I don’t know what to do with him. Dr. Leman, am I supposed to let him be sensitive, am I supposed to toughen him up, am I just supposed to let him cry? How do we deal with this whole sensitive kid issue?”

Dr. Leman:            Well, if there’s one thing I’m convinced of, is that most parents when they tell me when I’m speaking around the country, “Oh, Dr. Leman, my little Buford is very sensitive, very sensitive child. He melts down very easily, and he’s just so sensitive.” Well, let’s explore what sensitive means.

Dr. Leman:            Sensitive can mean that your child is extremely powerful. Ask yourself “Do I have to walk on eggs around this person?” Now some of you are thinking “Well, wait a minute. Are you talking about my husband or my child?” Well, it can be both can’t it, because many of you have married people who have tempers, who become explosive, who can fly off the handle in a second’s notice, and yes, that’s a sensitive person.

Dr. Leman:            The sensitivity is a front for what’s really going on, and that is there’s power there, there’s a need to dominate, to win, and so when I hear about a precious little child that is just so sensitive, I mean, if they were trying to sell me something, I’d hang onto my wallet. Because these kids can be very manipulative, social, outgoing, and they can have more drama than you’d find at the Academy Awards evening. I mean, these kids can work ya. And so, when you fall prey to acquiescing to the demands of the sensitive child, and keep in mind, the sensitive child requires you to approach them in a certain way. And when you walk on eggs around them, all you’re doing is increasing the probability of them developing shyness as part of their repertoire behavior.

Andrea:                   Really? Shyness?

Dr. Leman:            Yes. You show me a shy child, I’ll show you a powerful little buzzard.

Andrea:                   I’ve always said I hate the word “shy” ’cause I was always labeled as shy.

Dr. Leman:            Yep.

Andrea:                   So, that’s interesting.

Dr. Leman:            But see, with shyness, comes perfection. One of the reasons kids become shy is there not certain as to how to do something. They don’t like changes, and you’ve seen kids literally hide behind their mother’s skirt, if you could find moms who still wear skirts, but see that kid is just fearful of the unknown, because they can’t what? Control what’s coming. So, control, perfectionism, and sensitivity all go together, and if you have a kid that fits any of those descriptions, no wonder you’re reading a Leman book. You need to, because that kid is gonna play you like a violin.

Doug:                       So, Dr. Leman, I have a 14-year-old daughter, we’ll say, hypothetically, and it appears at times that she’ll come to me with tears over something I’ve done, how do I know if I’m being worked or how do I know if it really is genuine, she’s brokenhearted?

Dr. Leman:            Well, if she’s come to you about something you have done, a straight “Honey, help me out here, ’cause I’m not getting it? Just what did I do? Be as explicit as you can, because if I’ve done something wrong, or I haven’t been respectful of you, I owe you an apology.”

Dr. Leman:            But see, most kids don’t come that way. Most kids come whining, “I’m not gonna go to that thing you want me to go to, I’m not gonna go to youth group”. They give you their best shot with the drama, and the best thing to respond is to respond to their feelings. Don’t tell ’em they shouldn’t feel that way, and that’s where most of us get off center. We tell kids “Now, honey, don’t feel that way.” Well, obviously, the kid feels that way. He’s saying it. But he’s saying it for a purpose, and that gets us back into one of the words that I always am gonna be teaching our listeners on our podcast, and that is you have to be aware of purpose of behavior.

Dr. Leman:            In other words, this drama, this shyness, this feeling that we have to walk around eggs around this person is purpose of behavior. It serves a purpose in a kid’s life, and it basically says “I’m in control of you, you’re gonna do what I want you to do”, and parents, I mean, like Lemmings flying off the cliff, they knock themselves out trying to keep their child happy at every turn. And to quote one of the best lines in the book “Have a New Kid by Friday”, is “An unhappy child is what? An unhappy child is a healthy child.”

Doug:                       Is a healthy child. Yeah.

Dr. Leman:            But don’t be impressed with your kid’s unhappiness. It serves a purpose. Don’t be impressed with your child’s tears. Now, can a woman’s tears bring her husband to his knees? Yes. So, again, it’s not just kids that manipulate through tears or drama. It’s adults as well. Many people [crosstalk 00:11:08].

Andrea:                   Would you say those adults started out the same way these kids are that you’re describing?

Dr. Leman:            Absolutely.

Andrea:                   So, you don’t grow out of it?

Doug:                       So, Dr. Leman, hypothetically, let’s say we have a 16-year-old daughter named, well, I shouldn’t name her, but we’re just hypothetically doing this. This is 100% hypothetically, and she is known for dragging her feet and then being sensitive once she’s pushed about not doing what she has dragged her feet to say that she has done, and hypothetically, two people named Doug and Andrea fall prey to that system often where we’re like “Oh, we feel bad for her. She is trying this, she is trying that.” How do we get outta that cycle where it feels like either we’re pushing, pushing, pushing, or it’s like we just get this mega emotion?

Dr. Leman:            All right. Everybody that has an object near them, grab it and put it in your hand. It can be a pen, a cellphone, a cup a coffee, whatever. Okay, you got it in your hand? Now, pick it up. Okay, you picked up. Now put it down. Okay, now try to pick it up. Right now, I’m holding onto my cellphone, and I’ve just gave myself instructions to try to pick it up. Where is it lying? Is it lying on a surface or is it above the surface? It’s on the surface. Do you see? The trying. We get sucked into the trying. I like to prefer you’re either doing it or you’re not doing it.

Dr. Leman:            The Nike people have it right on their t-shirt “Just Do It”. And so a kid who drags their feet has successfully trained their parent to continually push them, to needless involve them in their life. So, the kids who drags his feet and procrastinates, many times is a perfectionist that may be hard to spot at first glance. But she feels insecure doing it herself so she drags her feet, because she knows if she drags her feet, mom or dad will come along and sorta help her through the maze. So that’s an unhealthy response from a child.

Doug:                       And then the sensitivity comes in as a manipulative tool then to get me to help her then?

Dr. Leman:            Then the drama comes. And you say “Well, honey, I’m not gonna do that. You need to do that.” “Well, you never help me with anything.” Punch up the guilt button on mom. “What do you mean I never help you? I help you all the time. I’m your mother. When you wanna be driven someplace, who drives you? Uber?”

Dr. Leman:            I’m just saying that, you know, I say on the back of the mega-million, best-seller book “Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours”, I say we have seen the enemy, and they are small. And today’s kids are unionized, and they have a game plan, and they’re marching on your home. I mean, you’re the one that brought the Trojan horse in your home. Don’t blame me. But now that you’re up to your neck in alligators, you still need to try to drain the swamp. And you realize the enemy is within your home, and so, some of you have to just chill, sit back, have a good discussion, use these podcasts as husbands and wife to say “Wait a minute? Do you think there’s anything to that? That purpose of behavior he talked about?”

Dr. Leman:            What is the purpose of my oldest daughter always tattle tailing on youngest daughter? She feels the competition. She doesn’t like the encroachment of her turf. Well, question. Do you treat those kids differently? Does the firstborn have more rights and privileges than the thirdborn? I hope so.

Dr. Leman:            This just helps you get into the kid’s head, I think. Andrea?

Andrea:                   Yeah. So, if we have a child like that whether their 16 or whether they’re three, what would you say to parents who wanna help that child grow out of this, change? What would be some easy steps?

Dr. Leman:            Easy step is okay, here it comes. What do I normally do? And just think it through. I usually say this, and we end up in a fight. What’s the new me? What’s the new Andrea gonna do differently? In other words, and we’ve gotten so much feedback on this one point, that you change behavior by changing the way you think. So, when you think differently and say “Okay, I’m not gonna go down that isle A, because it always gets me in trouble. I’m gonna sit and wait, I’m gonna take my time, and I’m gonna go down isle B. I’m gonna handle this differently.” Now, your chances of success are increased by simply behaving differently, ’cause you’re really saying by way of your behavior, “I refuse to play the dog-and-pony show that always ends up with drama and explosion of some kind.”

Andrea:                   So, that’s gonna [inaudible 00:16:13] some real power struggles the first few times you do this, right? It’s ‘not gonna be pretty.

Dr. Leman:            Absolutely. Well, let’s take the case where the older daughter is whining about the younger daughter, and she’s bothering me, and she’s doing this, and she’s doing that. Well, normally you get in there and ask questions about what’s happening and all. Don’t do that. Just look at her and say “Honey, you’re 16 years old. Your sister’s 12. I think you can handle it”, and walk away.

Dr. Leman:            One of the things you parents, you mommy’s, will hear from Leman a lot is turn your back and walk away, because when you engage in battle with the kids, you’re gonna end up losing. They’re gonna work ya like a violin.

Doug:                       Should we do role play, Andrea? You want me to do it?

Andrea:                   Sure. Sure.

Doug:                       You want me or do you wanna be the whiny? Who wants to be whiny?

Andrea:                   You.

Doug:                       Oh, don’t say I’m better at being whiny. Do not say that.

Andrea:                   Okay. I can try and act.

Doug:                       No, I’ll do it. So, “Dad, you know that football game went really late, and my friends have been really mean to me recently, like Joey, he said that he doesn’t like me anymore, and it’s really hard to just get all of life done right now, Dad. I don’t think I can get all my homework done. It’s just too much, Dad. It’s just too much. I just need to not have to do the homework this week. Okay, Dad? Is that all right?”

Dr. Leman:            All right. Sounds like life’s throwing you a curve ball here.

Doug:                       “Dad, it’s really hard. It’s really hard right now, Dad”

Dr. Leman:            I understand. We’ve all had hard times, but you know, there’s an old expression, and it probably applies in your life. When the going gets tough, you know what the follow is? The tough get going.

Doug:                       Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Leman:            Now, I’m telling you, you’re a weird age to begin with, your fiends will turn on you on a minute’s notice, everybody’s pretty insecure at your age, and everybody’s trying to figure out where they are. So, I understand Joey said some things that weren’t cool, and words can hurt. I got all that. But that doesn’t negate the fact that we expect you to pull your weight in this home. Your mom works, your dad works, everybody gives back to the family. One of the few things you’re expected to do is to do your school work and do it well. We have high expectations for you. You gotta good brain in your head.

Doug:                       Yeah.

Dr. Leman:            So, suck it up, and attend to your homework, because we read this marvelous little book, and it made all kinds a sense. It said “You know what? Don’t accept excuses. Excuses make the weak weaker”, and one of the things we know you’re not is weak.

Doug:                       Yeah, but dad, you’ve helped me the last couple times. Can’t you just help me again with the homework? It really, really makes it a lot better, dad. Please? Math is really hard, and you do such a good job, and I feel so connected and close to you after we work on it together, and I just love you so much, and it’s just like something we get to do together. It’s really meaningful to me.”

Dr. Leman:            You know, pardon me for being blunt, but I’m feeling like I’m being worked.

Doug:                       Oh, dad! No. I just need help, dad.

Dr. Leman:            Yeah. Okay. But you need to help yourself here. Okay? You need to get yourself together, go into your room, it’s quiet, and start on your work. Okay? You want me to come in and rescue you from your math. You know I’m not gonna do that. I’m good at math, but I don’t really enjoy doing it. It’s your homework. It’s not my homework. Now, you’ve shown through several years of schooling that you’re a very, very capable student.

Doug:                       Dad, you hate me. Dad, you just flat out hate me, and you just don’t care. You just don’t care, dad. You don’t. You don’t. You don’t love me.

Dr. Leman:            Honey if you wanna believe that lie, you continue to believe that lie. The truth be known, you know better than that. So, I think it’s late. This conversation isn’t going anywhere, and speaking of going somewhere, I think you need to go to your room and get that work done. If you choose not to do it, in the morning, and you’d like me to send an email to your teacher that just simply says “You’re not prepared. You haven’t done your homework”, I’ll be more than happy to do it.

Andrea:                   So, Dr. Leman, as I listen to this, the mother’s heart in me, probably like a lot a parents out there listening, are thinking “Ah, wait a second. Now my kid’s gonna think that I don’t love them and I don’t value that time with them like they just said. We feel so connected when we do this together, and how in the world can I turn my back, walk away? This is like no, my child, if I don’t step up here, I’ve just destroyed the relationship.”

Dr. Leman:            Yeah. Run it by your girlfriend, okay? She’ll see it clearer than you will, because as a mom, like you say, your heart gets in the middle, poor child, he’s this and he’s that. Don’t get sucked into that. If you do exactly what you wanna do, and you let guilt be the fuel for your action with your son or your daughter, all you’re doing is increasing the probability of your child coming to you once again for you to do his or her homework, and the child’s strength, wherewithal, security gets diminished, because you bailed ’em out. So, if that’s what you wanna do, parent, you go right ahead. Do you wanna see that kid learn from this?

Dr. Leman:            Remember the bottom line was that dad said “Listen, if you choose not to do it, I’ll be glad to send an email to your teacher.” I think for most kids, that’s motivation that they’re gonna get in that bedroom even though they’re gonna feel a little sorry for themself, ’cause they weren’t able to pull it off with mom and dad, but they’re gonna do their work. Again, it’s a confident thing to say “Honey, I’m sure you can handle it.”

Dr. Leman:            You know, you gotta daughter whose boyfriend just dumped her, I wouldn’t tell her to suck it up and you can handle it. I’d put her in the car, and we’d go for a long ride, and I’d listen. So, there’s a time for compassion, there’s a time to listen. Okay? But you have to have your antennae out there, parents, to know the kids are so capable of working you, and it’s almost an art form.

Doug:                       Yeah. Last question. So, for the mom out there, Andrea, the other one is “Well, will they still love me if I treat ’em this way? Right? Or will they hate me?”

Andrea:                   Right.

Doug:                       Answer me. Do they now hate Andrea because she told them to go to their room?

Andrea:                   Yeah.

Doug:                       Oh, sorry. What were you gonna say?

Andrea:                   No, that’s good.

Dr. Leman:            So many parents are driven by the fact that they think they have to be their child’s best friend, and if their kid’s upset with ’em, it’s the end of the world. It’s not the end of the world. I mean, it’s part of life.

Andrea:                   So fast forward these relationships to the child is 35. What potential differences could you draw between the relationship between the parent and this daughter?

Doug:                       If they stand up to ’em like this, or versus always acquiescing?

Andrea:                   Right.

Dr. Leman:            Well, again, I go back to this concept are we rearing a kid or an adult, and you want that kid to be confident. A kid doesn’t gain confidence by you doing things for the child, the child should be doing for themselves. So, at age 35, you gotta a weak person who when things go wrong, it’s somebody else’s fault. You got a person at 35 who doesn’t accept responsibility very well, is very good at getting other people to do their work for ’em. That doesn’t cut it today. That’s why God gave us parents.

Dr. Leman:            We’re building character and kids are learning and their growing and sort of figuring out where they fit, but the love. You know, love and discipline. They go hand in hand, folks. You gotta understand, if you love your child, you’ll what? You’ll discipline him, but that means you discipline your life, you live a disciplined life yourself.

Andrea:                   What kind of relationship do you think that mom and daughter have now at 30, if that mom stood up and walked away?

Doug:                       Are you asking are they gonna actually have a relationship or.

Andrea:                   Yeah.

Doug:                       Is the daughter gonna be cold to walk away?

Dr. Leman:            They’ll have a great relationship, ’cause it’s gonna be based upon honesty and truth and mutual respect. How many of us as adults have thanked that coach or that teacher or that parent who was tough on them?

Andrea:                   Right. I think probably the deep question inside of me is like “Well, if I teach ’em to be so independent, they’re just gonna fly the nest and I’ll never see ’em again.” But I know from talking to you over all these years that actually, we’re gonna have a healthy relationship, and they’re gonna wanna be my friend, but something inside of me says “Don’t make ’em so Independent. They’ll just take off.”

Dr. Leman:            Yeah.

Doug:                       It’s my job to wrap it up here, ’cause this is so good. I wanna keep going. One thing that I did think would be applicable, Dr. Leman, since we’re restudying it, is if I’m listening to this and I’m thinking “Okay, which Leman book would help me specifically with this one?” Which one would you recommend?

Dr. Leman:            Well, our podcast is called “Have a New Kid by Friday”, but I would suggest reading “Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours”. Now, that book has sold over a million copies for a reason. But it gives you the full gambit of the theory and the practicality of making children mind without losing yours, and I think you’ll enjoy it whether you have young kids, you look at the cover of it, you assume it’s just for young children, I’ll repeat this several times in our podcast, but when I do business groups, the basic information that I share comes out of my kids’ books “Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours”, “Have a New Kid by Friday”, and “The Birth Order” book. So, if you’re not a reader, there’s audio versions out there. You can pop ’em in your car, and listen as you drive or whatever, but that “Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours” book is pretty tough to beat.

Doug:                       So “Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours” would be the one that we recommend that you get for this one?

Dr. Leman:            Yes.

Doug:                       Well, it is so good to be back talking with you Dr. Leman, and with all of you out there, and we look forward to helping you add more tools to your toolbox so you can parent more and more, and I know I say this, have said it a lot in the past, and I’ll keep saying it again, these podcasts are absolutely wonderful, but go read the books to get it deeper in your mind. There’s something about hearing it and then reading it that just makes it go deep into your soul. And if you’re a brand-new parent, like year zero to five, I cannot recommend enough that you go read that book. Can not recommend enough. For your sake.

Doug:                       Well, that’s it, and it’s fun to be back.

Andrea:                   Have a great day. Thanks for being back with us.

Doug:                       We look forward to the next time we’re together. Take care. Bye. Bye.

May 01 2018



Homeschool mom stuck in her failure. – Ask Dr. Leman 131 (Episode 279)

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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 AmazonBarnes & Noble, or wherever you get your ebooks**

Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing

Produced by Unmutable


Sep 17 2019



Why is my 6 year old withholding bowel movements? – Ask Dr. Leman 130 (Episode 278)

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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 AmazonBarnes & Noble, or wherever you get your ebooks**

Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing

Produced by Unmutable


Sep 10 2019



How do I deal with my struggling middle school and high school kids? (Episode 277)

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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 AmazonBarnes & Noble, or wherever you get your ebooks**

Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing

Produced by Unmutable


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.

Sep 03 2019



How To Get Your K-6th Grade Kids Ready For School (Episode 276)

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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 AmazonBarnes & Noble, or wherever you get your ebooks**

Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing

Produced by Unmutable


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.

Aug 27 2019



How do I handle my cranky 2-year-old? – Ask Dr. Leman 129 (Episode 275)

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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


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.

Aug 20 2019



Does marriage help in parenting? (Episode 274)

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Without a strong foundation, a house will be unstable. In today’s episode, Dr. Leman explains the correlation between a strong marriage and a stable household.

Learn more about Dr. Leman at

**Special Offer Aug 13 – 19: Intimate Connection ebook for $1.99 at AmazonBarnes & Noble, or wherever you get your ebooks**

Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing

Produced by Unmutable


Doug: Man, marriage can be hard sometimes. Is it worth it? Does it really help my parenting? Is it worth it for me to spend more time with my spouse or with my kids? I don’t know.

Doug: Should I be doing this? That’s the question we get to ask Dr. Leman is, does my marriage, a healthy one really help me in my parenting? And what are the three specific ways it helps me? Hi, I’m Doug.

Andrea: And I’m Andrea.

Doug: Glad that you are with us today. 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. Dr. Leman, you have been married, I think, right? You are married?

Dr. Leman: I’ve been married forever. I told you I only got married because I got sick of finishing my own sentences.

Doug: Oh, Andrea is looking at giving you stink eye. You’re in trouble.

Andrea: What was that last podcast? We did something about putting the ball in their court.

Dr. Leman: Oh, she’s too smart for us, Doug, what can I tell you?

Doug: Here’s the question. What are the three ways that really being in love with your spouse helps you in parenting? How does that trickle down to making parenting easier, and are there three ways you could identify that it helps us?

Dr. Leman: Well, if you have a firm foundation, whatever is built on that foundation has a better chance of surviving. I love to tell a story of building the house, and 5:00 in the morning they had builders out there and it’s just getting light.

Dr. Leman: And stupid me, I say to the builder, “Why are you here so early?” And he’s said, “Guy, I never see you.” He says, “Well, today is that they were pouring the foundation.” And dumb me I go, “Well, dude, what’s the big deal?” He said, “Kevin, if the foundation isn’t right, your whole home is off.”.

Dr. Leman: I’ve never forgot those prophetic words because the foundation for your family is the two of you being rock solid, cemented together with a mortar of love and admiration, and respect for one another. And if that foundation is there and you truly do love each other, and you prioritize in your marriage, you will form an impervious wall where the kids cannot penetrate that and divide you in any way, shape or form.

Dr. Leman: And some people are thinking, “Wait a minute, kids are going to divide you?” Yes, they do. They’re hedonistic kids. When you show that you have a lot of respect and you spend a lot of time with each other, and you prioritize and you’re going out for your date night, there are some kids who go, “Wait, you’re going out? What about us?” They’re hedonistic.

Dr. Leman: You have to set the paradigm early in the marriage that the couple matters. You be a better parent because you do talk with each other. You don’t let things build up. You have good communication, and so the kids read that, they learn from that.

Dr. Leman: When a kid comes and asks for something and all of a sudden he’s in a hurry, he needs this and that because it’s tomorrow. And you say to a son or daughter, “Honey, wait a minute, how long have you known this?” “Well, I’ve known this for a month.”.

Dr. Leman: “Now you’re coming to me the night before and you want this, that and the other thing. I mean, that’s not the way life works, and it certainly isn’t the way things work in this family. I don’t know how you’re going to solve that problem, but I wish you the best at it.”.

Dr. Leman: Now, what have you just told your nine year old? Don’t come in here expecting emergency aid and help when you haven’t done your work. That’s not how this family operates.

Dr. Leman: What I’m saying is that kids catch the drift from you parents is how you do life. It’s a teachable moment. That’s the last time a nine year old hopefully is going to come ill prepared the last minute with a list of demands for you as parents.

Dr. Leman: As I call it, the good ship family on the ocean of life, you have to pick to yourselves, both of you at the wheel of that ship, the good ship family. And again, the question I always like to ask is, do you have a destination? Do have a port of call? Do you know where you’re going? And if you do, the hands on deck will follow suit.

Dr. Leman: People want to pursue and follow a leader. And I’m just saying if you’re a leader, and being together and one on marriage not only helps you obviously spiritually, but emotionally and practically as you deal with your children.

Doug: I like that you said there’s fallout from a strong marriage in a good way. Are there some practical benefits to parenting that if you are shoulder to shoulder, as you say, both hands on the steering wheel, that make parenting better with a strong marriage?

Dr. Leman: Yes, kids will try to please you even more when you give them vitamin E, which is encouragement. “Hey honey, you know I came home and I see that you picked up the front yard. You know what? That was so thoughtful of you. I think those are the neighbors papers, but I noticed you picked him up. That is so helpful. Thank you honey.”

Dr. Leman: Again, keep in mind that kids want to please you. When you see things that the kids do and you just make a general comment of thanks, you’re giving that kid vitamin E. You’re telling them, “Hey mom and dad noticed.” You don’t say, “Well, somebody else is going to pick it up. You picked it up.”

Dr. Leman: You’re building it. Those of you who want to be esteem builders in your kid’s life, while there’s a big break right there. Everything you do Doug, that’s in a positive way, feeds more positivity. Anything you’d do negatively, feeds what? More negative stuff.

Doug: In this super busy world that we have, I just got be honest and say, I don’t think I have enough time to do work. Keep the home together, work on my marriage and take care of my kids. There’s one too many things in there, and marriage is the easiest one to drop because someday me and the missus will be stuck together. Why would I prioritize it now when I know my kids are leaving?

Dr. Leman: Well, that was quite a whining you did there. We don’t have time. Let me get this straight. You don’t have time to do all your work. You don’t have time to work on your marriage. I’m sure you can handle it, Doug.

Doug: Oh, but dad, it’s too hard.

Dr. Leman: Listen, I might’ve shared this before, but it needs repeating. When I was a young dean of students at 29 years old, I went in and talked to the head dean, the big guy. And essentially, I was just whining about all the problems I had, because I was the administrator of the code of conduct at a university of 35,000 students.

Dr. Leman: You can imagine I was a busy guy. And I came into my boss’s office and I was again sort of whining about all these problems I have. And the dean patiently listened to me and then he turned and he said, “Well, Kevin, it seems to me and I could be wrong, if you didn’t have all those problems, I really wouldn’t have much need to have you here in the office.” I went and gulped and left with my tail between my legs because he was right.

Dr. Leman: He wouldn’t have any use for me If I didn’t have those problems, that’s what my job was. And what did he say so nicely? He said, “Suck it up Leman, and go do what I ask you to do.”.

Dr. Leman: The whining that we do as adults and children, I always say if your kids are whining you need a wine cellar, that’s my famous one-liner. But kids only continue to wine because you listen to them. In their mind it pays off because you’re listening.

Dr. Leman: As rude as it sounds when you say to a kid, “Honey talk to the hand, I know where this has gone. You need to figure that out yourself.”

Dr. Leman: Yes, it sounds brutally, maybe too much, but kids are working and you’ve got to draw that line to the kids don’t continue to verbally paw at you, like a baby cub toward their mother.

Doug: Well. The E-book special that we have this week is, The Intimate Connections, August 13th through 18th of 2019. Intimate Connections, August 13th and 18th, and it’s only $1.99. And the reason I’m bringing this topic up now is because this E-book is ideal. If you’re married. Dr Leman, what is this book about?

Dr. Leman: All right, well, listen to what I’m about to tell you. I’ve written 63 or 64 books now. I believe that’s the best marriage book I’ve ever written. If you’re having a trouble figuring out each other, and your marriage isn’t where it ought to be… by the way, The Intimate Connection is the goal.

Dr. Leman: You want to move to a place where you have that intimate connection, where you don’t miss a step and you can tell your mate anything and your feelings are tenderly guarded and cared for and cultivated. You’re listened to.

Dr. Leman: But this is a comprehensive book. It just came out in 19 here and you will love this book. This is a book, if you’re a grandparent and you have grandchildren who are married, get them this book. Find out a way to do that. Slip him two bucks and say, “Hey, download this on your appliance.”

Dr. Leman: I can’t give you a rave enough review about The Intimate Connection. I knew right away the first TV show I did nationally was a show on the Hallmark Channel, called Home & Family.

Dr. Leman: When a book comes out, it’s like number 350,000 on the best seller list. One show, where I was on for eight minutes talking about that, and the book went to number eight in Marriage on Amazon.

Dr. Leman: I know what resonates with both men and women. Guys, you’re not as likely to pick up a book on marriage as your bride. But I guarantee you if you read this book and this is a guarantee, your sex life will go crazy. You will know how to handle that woman. She’ll be all over you. If that’s not motivation for you to stop, right now and download that sucker, I can’t help you. You’re a loser of the year if you don’t do that. I’ve said my piece, that’s it doc, it’s a good one.

Doug: You only get seven days, August 13th through 19th for $1.99 on E-book. I thought it was a brilliant idea, Andrea. We have some nephews and nieces that have recently gotten married as well. That this would be a great thing to send to them, as well. Sorry, I don’t need to be telling people what we’re going to be doing as a family. For only a buck, 99.

Dr. Leman: The best thing to do with that book by the way, Doug, is to buy two copies and it’s in a trade paper. It’s not that expensive. Buy two copies and highlight the book with different colored markers, and then exchange books.

Dr. Leman: You give your wife what you’ve highlighted. She gives you what she’s highlighted, and use that as a springboard for discussion in your marriage. Again, that’s the best way. The cheap way, and right now it’s available to you for only a buck 99, there’s no excuse not to download that, puppy.

Doug: Get it. It will help your marriage. It will help all the other areas of your life. And now, no nonsense parenting advice from Dr. Kevin Leman.

Dr. Leman: As you can imagine, I get all kinds of questions from people. I answered a question yesterday from West Africa. I get them from every foreign country. And of course, the funny thing is because so many of my books are in foreign languages, they write me emails in their foreign language and think that I can understand the Czech language or whatever they might be writing in.

Dr. Leman: But so many times I get emails, letters, calls from people who are concerned about their kid doing well in school. And many times I’ll find out as I delve into this kid’s life, that your child does not do well in life than school, is not getting good grades, but guess what? He’s a voracious reader.

Dr. Leman: Wow, whenever I say that, I find a direct, clear way of saying, “Hey parent, you need to stop worrying about your kid’s education. Because if your son or daughter is a voracious reader, they’re going to get an education and they’re going to do well in school.”

Dr. Leman: Chances are if they’re not getting good grades, for example, there’s other issues going on that are creating that situation. Some of them might be behavioral, but some of them might be also situational in terms of the classroom, the teacher, the subject, et cetera.

Dr. Leman: I want to go back to reading. From the time a kid is young, read to them. Get them cloth books, get them fun, bright colored books. If they’re musical all the better. Any kind of entertainment that’s associated with reading should really be encouraged. And teaching kids to read should be a very natural thing.

Dr. Leman: They can pick out letters. I remember one of the funniest things that happened in private practice, was a mother reported that a little guy who was a ardent fan of Sesame Street, came running in. He was toilet trained. He was over two and a half years of age, and he comes in and says, “Mommy, mommy, I poop to see. I poop to see.”.

Dr. Leman: I still laugh thinking about that little kid running into mommy and saying, “Mommy, I poop to see.” Which Sesame Street and other programs teach kids the value of reading and letters. And if reading can come naturally, and if you just keep the printed word around kids in a fun way, many of them are going to catch on and they’re going to read early.

Dr. Leman: Now, you want to just be as helpful as you can. You want to visit libraries on a regular basis. You want to read to that child as much as possible. And more importantly, let that child start reading to you. And by the way, if that child start reading to you, don’t be so quick to correct everything. Okay?

Dr. Leman: Many times when kids are trying to read, we interrupt way too much. Let them figure it out, let them sound it out. But the point of this little spot today is to encourage your kid to read, because that is the building block for all of education moving forward.

Doug: Dr. Leman, what are the piece of it… well, I’ll just let you say. You just bring home Buford, from the hospital view. Buford’s only been there a couple of weeks, and you would give what advice to a married couple after Buford’s been home for just a very short while.

Dr. Leman: Well, to set a precedent for yourselves, your two week old baby is not going to notice that mom and dad are out for the evening. But that’s what I would suggest. You just begin to set a time, maybe it’s a day of the week, that’s your night to go out. If you’ve been around young children all day, trust me, you need a break, anyway.

Dr. Leman: But you should find a qualified babysitter and you go out and you enjoy the evening, simple as that. My other advice for anybody who’s got a newborn is make a lot of noise in your home. Don’t tippy-toe around anything.

Dr. Leman: And when you need to go someplace, just pack up that little guy or a little girl and go. Be active with them, take them where you go. But you’ll also need time for yourself, so you set that paradigm, that model early in your marriage.

Dr. Leman: And it’s easy to get away from because, when Doug was whining a while back about how life was unfair to him, we can let all these things get in the way. Job and responsibilities and financial this, and volunteering for this and that.

Dr. Leman: Again, I’m not big on activities. Parents life’s busy enough without you volunteering for everything under the sun. And don’t have your kids on too many activities where I’m on the soapbox, let me close with that statement.

Doug: It’s in the end, I hear everything you’re saying, it’s worth it to invest in your marriage. I can think of times in our marriage. I know Andrea, people can be shocked that we’ve had real issues and stress and you almost can’t even think about other things, because it’s just so nerve-grading on you.

Doug: And when our marriage has been great, it’s amazing how much more harmony there is around the house and how it does affect the kids. I thought what Dr. Leman said about, if your kids are watching and if what they’re getting from us being married, well, it just permeates that peace throughout the house. Yes, it is true.

Andrea: There’s a good fall out, he said.

Doug: There’s good fall out.

Dr. Leman: Well, let’s face the fact. Andrea is such a blessed woman to have you.

Andrea: Amen.

Doug: Oh, Dr. Leman, you’re just trying to make up for being mean to me.

Dr. Leman: Yes, it’s sort of a payback for stating you’ve been whining like a four year old?

Doug: I know what you do. You’ve done this long enough. I’m still bitter.

Dr. Leman: I’m just trying to help you out, buddy.

Doug: Yes, yes, right. Well, get the book, read it and then email us and email Dr. Leman say, “Doc, it did help us in every way possible. Thank you so much for doing it.”.

Doug: We’ve seen too many families that just fallout from divorce. It’s just so ugly and you don’t want it. For 20 bucks or now for a buck 99, you will not, not not regret the investment.

Doug: Well, it was great to be with you and head to your parenting toolbox, so that you can love those kids more and more. And we look forward to the next time that we get to be together with you.

Andrea: Have a good week.

Doug: Take care. Bye-bye.

Aug 13 2019



What do you do when your grown children still blame you for their issues? – Ask Dr. Leman 128 (Episode 273)

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It’s time for another Ask Dr. Leman: “What do you do when your grown children still blame you for their issues?” In this episode, Dr. Leman provides a no-nonsense solution for parents struggling with their adult kids.

Learn more about Dr. Leman at

**Special Offer Aug 6 – 12: When Your Kid Is Hurting ebook for $1.99 at AmazonBarnes & Noble, or wherever you get your ebooks**

Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing

Produced by Unmutable


Andrea: Who do you blame for your problems in life and who blames you for the problems they have in life? This episode we’re going to hear from a grandmother or a mother whose daughter blames her for all of her problems in life.

Doug: Hi, I’m Doug Terpening.

Andrea: And I’m Andrea.

Doug: And we are so glad that you are with us today. If this happens to be your first time with us, we’re going to let you know this is for your education and entertainment purposes only. If this subject matter raises any concerns for you or your child, please go seek a local professional for help. Well, we are so glad to be doing this podcast with you. Quick reminder that you can always go to, to get more resources, and as well you can leave your question there by going to Podcast Questions. Well, I say we jump into today’s questions. Here we go.

Speaker 3: What do you do when you’re grown up daughter once in a while to spur heat up the past when she was a child and blaming you?

Dr. Leman: So the question is, this is from grandma?

Speaker 3: Or a grown mother? Yes.

Dr. Leman: Talking about her grown daughter. Her grown daughter is blaming her mom for all of her problems?

Doug: Correct.

Dr. Leman: Okay. Well, this has been around since time began. It was you, Lord, that gave me that woman. You didn’t think that was even funny, did you? Let’s go back to Adam and Eve. It was you, God, that gave me that woman. It’s her fault. This has literally been around forever and it’s a scapegoat. It’s a psychological defense mechanism. It’s not my fault. It’s your fault. Life’s been unfair to me. I would bet you a nickel and a few pesos that that woman that’s complaining about her mother is always asking her mother for help in some way, shape or form, either financially or otherwise. Of course, if you don’t like yourself, you need to find a way of deferring that to someone else.

Dr. Leman: You have to lay blame on it, like it didn’t have anything to do with the fact that she, now these are just guesses in the dark because I don’t know, chose not to go to school onto post high school, that she was the one that decided to take off extra time from work and ended up getting fired. What you see is a trail of non-responsible behavior from day one, and so rather than face myself and look myself in the mirror and say, “You know what? This is on me,” as the old song says, you strike out, you only hurt the ones you what? Love. So who’s ever convenient. In this case grandma is probably too convenient to daughter. My suggestion would be the next time she throws a barb at you, just say simply, “Honey, I’m sorry you feel that badly about yourself.

Dr. Leman: My prayer for you someday is that you’ll look honestly at yourself and take responsibility for the things you say and do and won’t have the need to blame others, including me, for your inaction and your failure. Failure isn’t fatal in life, honey, but realize that you failed and then not doing anything to try to get yourself into a positive track is quite frankly just a shame because quite frankly, I believe you could do better. But if you want to continue to play this dog and pony show where I am the source of your problems, you go right ahead. You just have to understand that I’m not buying it.” So that’s the conversation it has to take place.

Andrea: That’s kind of scary for that mom to say that. I would be afraid that that daughter’s going to pull away or you know.

Dr. Leman: I hope so.

Andrea: Yeah. It sounds like you said she’s probably …

Doug: Why do you hope she’ll pull away?

Dr. Leman: Because they’re too close. Grandma is probably way, way, way too involved in daughter’s life. Okay? So I’m guessing that daughter is asking mom, “Hey mom, what do you think about this? What do you think about that?” And Mom tried to help gives her 3 cents worth. Daughter does partly what Grandma suggests. It doesn’t work and then now whose fault it is? It’s Grandma’s fault. So what I’m saying is the quicker they separate, the better.

Dr. Leman: Next time she’d get asked a question from her daughter, say, “Honey, I don’t have the foggiest idea what to tell you. That’s completely up to you. I’m sure you’ll make the right decision,” and then psychologically turn her back and walk away. I mean, this doesn’t work without Grandma doing some changing of her own. She has to see, just like fighting is a act of cooperation, this nonsense that’s going on between her and her grown daughter continues to go because she plays a role in that. So all of a sudden Grandma, just become dumb and stupid. You don’t know a thing. Whatever she sends your way. Then when she asked for help, especially financial, which I bet you a nickel she’s doing, I would just say, “Honey, I’m unable to help you right now for a lot of different reasons. Let it go.”

Doug: So playing the victim and what did you use, scapegoat or a psychological defense? This is commonplace now in our culture. How as parents do we not let our kids gain this stance or this opinion?

Andrea: Starting with the young kids?

Doug: Young kids, younger kids. Thank you.

Dr. Leman: The general principle is don’t do for kids what they can do for themselves. Now, if you take that too, literally, I mean, if a kid says, “Mommy, what’d you get me a glass of milk,” am I saying don’t get the kid a glass milk? No, I’m not saying that at all. What I’m saying is the kids will work you and you have to have a built in antennae that says, wait a minute, this is a little too much. They can do this work. I sat down with my granddaughter once and my wife assigned me, “Hey you, help Adeline with her homework.” So I sat down and I looked at the homework and I said, “Okay, what are we doing here Adeline?” “We’re doing these six questions.” Okay. It took me a minute to figure out what’s going on. Adeline wanted me to figure out her six problems for her, and I said, “Honey, I don’t know.

Dr. Leman: This is your homework. This isn’t Grandpa’s homework. This is something you have to do.” “Yeah, but I don’t understand it.” “Well, I mean, I don’t know how I can help you understand it. You can read it once you read it out loud, see how it goes.” I said stuff like that, but just keep the ball on her side of the court. Kids will work you. You just have to understand that. It’s human nature for a lot of kids, particularly later borns or overly-dependent firstborns to use the ones that they’re supposed to be loving. People aren’t for using. They’re for loving. So you draw those lines early. You have expectations. Your yes is yes. Your no is no. you’re in authority without being an authoritarian. You’re not being a pushover and it’s that balanced life that you present before your children that gives them a solid foundation to grow from. That’s the important thing.

Doug: So as the resident mother here, that’s you, that’s takes some psychological hoof dah by you to be able to say to your child, “But Andrea, it’s just so hard. I can’t do this. please help me. right?

Andrea: Yeah.

Doug: You’re just going to say

Andrea: I’m sure you can figure it out, honey.

Doug: Can you say that for real?

Andrea: I have but probably only 10 out of 100 times have I chosen to say, “I’m sure you can figure this out yourself.”

Dr. Leman: Whoever was whelping there … Who was that that was whelping there? They ought to put him out in the backyard or something. Who was that? Was that you Dougie?

Andrea: That was Dougie.

Doug: I might have talked like that to Andrea too. Andrea, help me. I can’t do it by myself.

Andrea: Don’t make me go by myself.

Dr. Leman: Oh my goodness. What am outside and locked the door.

Doug: Oh, don’t. Don’t Dr Lehman. Hey, you’re messing with my life now.

Dr. Leman: Don’t give her ideas

Doug: Don’t give her ideas, buddy. Well look, Ed, it’s the end of the podcast. Goodbye. No. So Andrea, what would it take as a mom to be able to have the confidence that this is actually going to bless that child, not irreparably destroy your relationship?

Andrea: I think it’s, I don’t know if I’m going to answer your question directly, but if I had heard this when I had little toddlers and learn to do this from the start, there’s so much hope in that thinking, okay, when I have adolescents, when I have young adult children, that they’re not going to be blaming me. They’re not going to come whining to me for an answer. They’re not going to be dependent on me. They’re going to be able to make their own choices. I don’t know if that’s exactly answering your question, but in the moment, probably if I’m exhausted and I’m tired of that whining, I actually think it’s motivating.

Doug: So what about now? Now hypothetically you have teenagers that are kind of doing this to you. What would it take for you to be able to let them do what only they can do, what they can do for themselves?

Andrea: Just knowing that it’ll help them grow up. Yeah. That they can make a decision for themselves.

Doug: Awesome.

Dr. Leman: Yeah, that’s a two-way street, you know. As you know, moms get a lot of pleasure from feeling what? Needed. So a lot of moms get paid off by doing just the opposite of what their kids really need. They tell themselves they’re doing it out of love. Actually, they’re doing it out of selfishness.

Andrea: Why selfishness?

Dr. Leman: Because you’re not letting the kid do what he ought to be doing for himself. You’re hogging it all. You’re doing it all. Remember we talked about warnings or disrespectful acts. Well, why are warnings disrespectful acts. Leman? Because you’re actually saying, I think you’re so stupid I got to tell you three times. That’s why you’ll see a theme and all the Leman books, if you’re communicating with a kid, you tell them once you turn your back, so to speak and walk away.

Dr. Leman: Then when they don’t do what you’ve asked them to do or whatever, there’s a consequence but it’s tied directly to this statement. Let the reality of the situation become the teacher to the child. So when a child doesn’t do something you’ve asked them to do and you do hire a sibling to clean his room or do his work for them, but pay for it out of his allowance, you have built in accountability. The kid figures out early in life, you know what? I better suck it up and do my fair share. I’m the loser here. Kids will figure it out. Just be a good parent. Be a responsible parent. Work at holding your kids accountable for the things they say and do in life and you’re going to be fine.

Doug: So this kind of rolls into today’s Ebook special. Today’s Ebook special is When Your Kid Is Hurting. August 6th through 12th of 2019 for $1.99 in Ebook form. Dr Lehman, what is this book about?

Dr. Leman: Well, this was probably one of the more difficult books I ever had to do. It was one they asked me to do. It wasn’t one that I said, “I have a burning desire to do this book”, but so many of the parents are dealing with, hey, you know, my kid’s hurting and I don’t know what to do about it. Can you write a book on that subject? So I agreed to do that. When you think of what you would say to a kid when they’re hurting, you’ll issue all kinds of statements like, “Oh honey, I’m sure it will be okay.” Really, how do you know what’s going to be okay? “Hey, don’t worry about it.” Really. Does that take worry away, just say don’t worry about it? You know, again, you’re not the one that’s being called names at school, pizza face or four eyes or you name it.

Dr. Leman: Kids are mean, nasty, snarky today, and so the book is designed to try to help you get behind the eyes of your son or daughter in such a way as that you are able to listen to them without judgment, and that’s difficult to do. That’s why that book at a buck 99, oh my goodness, I would download that puppy and tell your friends about it as well. You can’t miss on that book. That’s a book by the way that you read and you put it on the shelf and you pull it out at those times when you are facing a crisis or your son or daughter’s facing a crisis and you sort of review it. It’s sorta hard to keep some of this stuff in your head. So anyway, $1.99, When Your Kid Is Hurting, if I remember right, that’s a $20 book, so wow, that’s a bargain.

Doug: Go get it now. August 6th through 12th of 2019 for only $1.99 wherever you get your Ebooks. Now, our segment of a no nonsense parenting advice with Dr Kevin Leman.

Dr. Leman: Parents love the old a timeout. They love you’re grounded and they love taking away privileges. Well, I won’t go into the feared of time out and I’ll tell you this about grounding, if you’re going to ground a kid, ground them. Ground from everything. He goes no place for two days. Give them a 48 hour grounding. What do you mean? He goes no place? He goes, no place. He stays in the home without privileges. It’s a school day, Lehman. He doesn’t go to school either. He makes it up. It’s Sunday. He doesn’t go to church either. He stays home if you’re going to do that. If you’re going to do grounding, do a 48 hour ground. They won’t like it, trust me. You may not like it either, but that’s a whole nother question, but taking away privileges, I want to talk to you about taking away privileges.

Dr. Leman: It is a privilege to live in a home, to live in a country as ours where we still have some freedoms left seems like, but taking away privileges many times is done in anger. Whenever you do things in anger that’s not good. The problem is it builds a mindset in a child, depending upon how you do it, okay, if you have the right to put me down, then I have the right to put you down and you get in that proverbial power struggle. Rather than take privileges away. and again, kids always want to do things. They always want to be driven to the mall. They always want money, they want to go to a movie, they want to go down to GameStop and hang out with their buddies, whatever that is, you can take away the privilege without getting into the dog and pony show of all right, no more privileges.

Dr. Leman: This gets back to how do you handle things? Your son says to you, “Mom, would you run me down the mall? We’re gonna meet a bunch of guys down there at the video place. We’re going to shoot some video games today.” “No, honey, I, I really don’t feel like driving you today,” and walk away. He’ll come after you, okay? “Mom, what do you mean? Everybody’s going to be there. I need to leave right now.” “Honey, I just told you. Mom is not very happy today. I don’t feel like driving anywhere.” Now, what have you done? You’ve taken away the privilege. You haven’t said, “Hey, I’m not driving you anywhere, young man,” but you put in action a plan, a plan that says things are not well in River City, and what I want that young son to understand at age 14 or whatever, that his mouth, his actions has a direct result on the privileges.

Dr. Leman: There’s that word that he has in his home. The privileges of being driven by a mom who’s kind enough to drive six miles one way so you could have some fun. Do you see what I’m saying? So it gets back rather than just be rule-dominated, be relationship-dominated where hey, you’re saying the message relationship between you and me is a strained right now. So what has to happen for that relationship to get back on top? It might take at least the next day, because I’ve said many times that kid might be very perceptive and figure out that his mouthiness in the morning just earned him the non-trip to the mall to see his buddies and he might cuddle up to mom and say, “Oh mom, I’m sorry about what I said,” because right then and there he thinks I’m at the mall.

Dr. Leman: I said, I’m sorry, mom’s going to forgive me. I’m at the mall. No parents, always give it a day. When a kid does something, he apologizes, you accept that apology, you move on, but he gets vitamin N for the rest of the day. No matter what he wants to do, it’s, “N honey. I really don’t feel like doing that right now. I’m having a bad day.” Say whatever you want to say, but he’ll be able to connect the dots. Let him see that his behavior influences your behavior and you want to work toward getting that on a healthy line and not an unhealthy one.

Doug: So Dr Leman, one final question. We have hypothetically fostered this when they were younger and now they’re teenagers. What is the right response without creating more crisis when our kids turn and say, “But dad, but mom, you blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” How do we deal with it then as teenagers?

Dr. Leman: I think you’d tell the kids, “Honey, listen, I know you’re frustrated. I can see it in your face, and I know this is a huge thing, and like most huge things that face you …” Now notice I’m not minimizing whatever the kid’s saying, “You’re going to have to gather your wits about you, figure out what’s the best way of handling this. And if it’ll help, I have the full confidence in you that you’re going to pull this off and you’re going to do the right thing. I wish him nothing but the best checking on me. Let me know how you’re doing from time to time. I’d love to know.” So you’re taking the proverbial tennis ball that I love to talk about and you’re putting it back on that teenager’s court, but you’re also expressing belief in them, confidence in them, and you’re telling them, quite frankly, hey, I’m not solving this. This is something you need to solve.

Doug: for the skeptical parent that hears you say that, if you treat your child that way, what will your child gain by that kind of response?

Dr. Leman: Well, they’ll develop a growth spurt. We talk about growth spirts as kids hit the adolescent years, but this is a psychological growth spurt. It’s a maturity growth spurt. It’s a time where kids start telling themselves, you know, maybe I am a little bit more capable than I’m giving myself credit for did. They’re coming to you out of weakness and you need to inject some strength in them and the belief in your child that they can handle it is a great medicine for your teenage son or daughter.

Doug: Awesome. Well, I hope that helps grandma out there and I hope it helps moms and Andrew, I appreciate you bringing that in about even as a toddler, if they were little and I started this way back when, it would be easier now when they’re adolescents and I haven’t trained him to be that way. Not that we have any personal experience, both of us with this now, ha ha, but this was great advice.

Doug: Again, we love doing this with you. Again, you can go to, get resources there. If you go /podcastquestions you can leave a question. If anything ever piques your interest, you’re like, I think I should pass this on, feel free to pass this on on Facebook, on Instagram or wherever you want to go, and you only got a couple of days to get When Your Kid Is Hurting, which nowadays is a beautiful resource with all that children are having to deal with. Well, it was great to be with you and Ed, your parenting toolbox and we look forward to the next thing we get to be with you.

Andrea: Have a great week.

Doug: Bye, bye.

Aug 06 2019



Have a New Husband by Friday (Episode 272)

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Wives, do you want to know what makes your husbands tick? Does it feel like rocket science when it comes to improving your marriage together? In today’s episode, Dr. Leman gives a simple synopsis of how husbands think and offers suggestions on how wives should respond to their behavior.

Learn more about Dr. Leman at

**Special Offer Jul 30 – Aug 5: Have a New Husband by Friday ebook for $2.99 at AmazonBarnes & Noble, or wherever you get your ebooks**

Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing

Produced by Unmutable


Andrea: It seems like every time I turn around, I’m talking to a mom who is actually heartbroken because she and her husband don’t have a good relationship, and she doesn’t know where to go from there. If that’s you, you’ll be interested in this podcast and the title to Dr. Lehman’s book, Have a New Husband by Friday, is rather intriguing, so we get to hear from him today about that book.

Doug: Hi, I’m Doug Terpening.

Andrea: And I’m Andrea.

Doug: And I don’t want to hear this podcast about parenting, your Have a New Husband by Friday. But anyway, we are so glad that the rest of you are here to hear what Dr Leman has to say about-

Andrea: I want to hear what he has to say.

Doug: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, if this is your first time here, we 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. So Dr. Leman, I have to ask, did

Andrea put this topic in here? Is that why we’re having this one? Did she suddenly call you and say, “This is what we need to talk about doc”?

Dr. Leman: No, no, she didn’t. You got a good one.

Andrea: Rest assured.

Doug: So Dr. Leman, what is this, have a new husband by Friday? Like, what the heck is that all about?

Dr. Leman: Well, I have to … This is confession time. You know, as authors, your books are your kids, and you like your kids, hopefully, love your kids. I like my books. I love some of my books, confession time, more than some others. Okay. The genesis of that, just to give you the inside scoop is sometimes publishers come up with these ideas. Oh Dr. Leman, we want you to write a book about this. Like the village idiot, I go ahead and do it. Well, there’s a difference in doing a book like that and doing a book that I really want to do that I’m passionate about. Okay?

Dr. Leman: So I’m speaking out of school here. You’re getting the inside skinny. But what I think of favorite books of mine, it’d be a horse race, a nose to nose at the wire, so to speak, but Have A New Husband By Friday, was one of the most fun books to do. I enjoyed doing it so much and it got a tremendous response from people. By the way, if you want to get your husband’s attention, ladies, just pick up a copy of Have a New Husband by Friday, and leave it somewhere in the house. Trust me, you’ll get his attention. But the book itself is really a teaching tool for women to understand who this man is she married.

Dr. Leman: I’d like all of you women to think that you’re about to board an airplane and the door to the cockpit is open and you’re a curious soul and you sneak a peek inside and you see all those switches and buttons, and you hear these two people are sitting there and you’re trusting that these men and women are going to know which buttons to push and somehow this huge, big, very heavy aircraft is going to go launch into thin air and get you to grandma’s house on time. I want you to remember what that cockpit looked like, all those switches and buttons.

Dr. Leman: They represent you. You, as a woman. You’re complicated, you got a lot of different switches. You’re not simple. Now, I want you to return home, go to your front door and look at your doorbell. Okay, you’re looking at your doorbell, You got it in your mind, that’s your husband. He is so simple. We are not mysteries. And by the way, are all men the same? No, they’re not all the same. I’m not saying that. I’m just saying on a whole, on the average, this is how most men are. We’re very simple.

Dr. Leman: If you want to reach into your man’s heart and you want oneness in your marriage, and Andrea was just alluding to so many people that she runs into daily are just struggling in their marriage, or they’re headed toward divorce for good reason. Women are the relational gurus of our society. They thrive on relationships. I always say they hug anything that moves. They go potty and groups of eight, 10 and 12, it’s a social event, anyone want to go potty? And there they go, like a [inaudible] quail. Men Aren’t like that. Men specialize in arms-length relationships.

Dr. Leman: Two men meet. We might ask the question, what do you do for a living? What do you do for a living? What do you do for a living? We talk for a few minutes and we’re done. We have no need to dig deeper into the psyche of mankind to figure out who this guy is. Most of your husbands don’t have friends, they have associates. They have their fishing associates, their bowling associates, their hunting associates, whatever their thing is. And so we live in an island in many ways. The mistake that many women make is that they view their husband like their girlfriend. Well, number one, we’re not your girlfriend, we’re your husband, we’re different.

Dr. Leman: You have to get behind the husband’s eyes and see how he sees life and they have to understand his needs, which are clearly I need to feel needed, wanted, and respected. Okay? You want to say fulfilled? I’ll throw that one in as a bonus. Very different from you women, whose needs tend to be affection oriented, communication, commitment to the family. So for you to be successfully a married woman, you got to understand this guy. You got to understand that when you say something nice about him in front of other people, his chest swells up and you’ve given him the all time attaboy. You’ve made him have more reason to try to please you than you can imagine.

Dr. Leman: Just like I’ve said it many times, the kids want to please us as parents. I’m convinced that men want to please their women. So, is that as a prologue to our discussion, we will now talk to the Terpening’s. One of them is a male, that would be Doug, and the other represents the female gender very well.

Doug: So Dr. Leman, you can say that men want to please their wives, and they want all this. What would you say, as this is the common mistake I see that women make towards their husbands.

Dr. Leman: They put a skirt on them. They treat them as a girlfriend, you know?

Doug: But what does that mean? and what does it look like?

Dr. Leman: Well, she’ll get offended when he doesn’t want to go shopping with her. She’ll turn it into, “You don’t care about me, you don’t love me.” I tell a story in one of my books, I took my wife to New York. I was doing Fox and Friends, and there’s a Nine West shoe store there, right on Sixth Avenue. My wife loves shoes. I said, “Honey, there’s a Nine West shoe store. Do you want to go over to it?” You should have seen her light up. “Shoe store? Yeah well, I could run in there for a little bit.” That’s a lie. Let me point that out to you.

Dr. Leman: I knew it was a lie when she said it, by the way. Nevertheless, we went to Nine West. She was in there two hours. I was in there for a while, walked out, checked out some stores that were nearby, came back, had a seat, didn’t say a word. Two hours later she came out. No shoes. Then she had an epiphany that she had to go to another shoe store, which was conveniently located just 35 minutes away in a cab, so we went down there. I know who she is. She’s very different than me and she understands that that was a labor of love on my part to take her there. I’m not interested in shoes, but I’m interested in her.

Dr. Leman: So, for the woman who has a husband who loves to fish for example, and she has no interest in fishing, maybe sometimes she should just say, “Honey, I’d love to go fishing with you some time.” He might say, “So [inaudible] go fishing? You really? I mean, you never.” “Well, no I just want to be with you.” I mean, I think it has to come across to this man that this woman really cares about him. I think women in general treat that relationship too casually, and certainly men do. Men have taken women for granted for years.

Dr. Leman: I’m not pointing fingers at women. I’m just saying the reality is you’ve got to understand he’s a man and he’s going to do things in a man like way.

Doug: So, in talking to some of these ladies, I’ll overhear the conversation with Andrea, and all I can hear is how he has done all these things wrong. Right? “He doesn’t do this, he doesn’t do this, he doesn’t do this.” Quite frankly, some of them are kind of justified, like he is kind of a jerk. How will reading, Have a New Husband by Friday, help us get out of that rut, or even have hope with that mindset?

Dr. Leman: Well, you’ll understand by reading the book how much your words mean to him. You women are wordsmiths to begin with, so this ought to be easy for you, but when was the last time you said something really nice about your husband? When was the last time you said to him, “Honey, I value you so much for what you do for our family. You come home smelly every day, because you work hard.” He works in the trades for example, “And I’m just so pleased that you’re willing to work so hard to provide a nice place, and good food, and a happy home. I’m just so lucky to have you.”

Dr. Leman: How many men get that message from their wife? I don’t think very many. A man’s love language, so to speak, now I’m getting on my friend Gary Chapman’s side of the boat. Many of us, our work that we do is our way of saying, “Hey, what do you think I’m going out there beating my head against the wall every day for? I’m doing this for you and the kids. Okay?”

Dr. Leman: Again, he might just be a working guy, works hard and so be it. That man needs to feel honored in his home. Well, how do you honor a husband? How does he feel needed and wanted? When was the last time you sent an email to your husband at work that said, “Great news, the kids are gone. Why don’t you hurry home early? I’ve got some great ideas for you and me big boy.” When is the last time you did that?

Dr. Leman: What effort do you put in as a woman to scratch where a man itches? He needs to feel needed, wanted, respected. What you want from him is conversation. You want words, you want dialogue. Well, I got news for you. Most men are not great communicators. Most men are not very affectionate. So who’s the teacher to your husband? You are.

Doug: You know Dr. Leman, it is surprising what you just said, that you said that if you tell your husband, “We really appreciate how hard you work for the family,” Andrea had said those exact words to me yesterday, and I felt like 1 million bucks, and you know, Andrea is nearly the perfect wife, except for one or two things which I can point out, but it is so true the things we do. What about for that wife who feels like, exactly what you just said? “He isn’t affectionate. He doesn’t connect with me. I get nothing from him. He’s a cold fish.”

Andrea: What if he doesn’t respect me and he’s just really selfish?

Doug: What hope does she have?

Dr. Leman: Well, I would say this to that woman. “Do you understand that he really doesn’t like your questions? Every day when he comes home, you ask him the same question, ‘How was your work today, honey?’ He hates that question. Do you ever get a full answer from him? Then why do you continue to ask the question?” We men hate your questions. If you want your husband to talk to you, this is real simple, ladies, ask him his opinion. He’ll talk your ear off.

Dr. Leman: Eliminate the why word. Your husband says something, you come back with, Why?” As soon as you throw up the why word, he’s done talking to you. He’ll walk out of the room, he’ll shut down, he’ll go turn on a ball game and tune you out. His message that he got is, you don’t give a rip about me. You ought to understand that I don’t like the why word. You don’t understand, I don’t like your stupid questions, but when you touch me, okay, when you touch me and say, “Honey, I’d love to know your opinion about something.” I guarantee you, he’s going to talk, and you might find out that your husband, who you think is so shallow, runs a little deeper than you’ve given him credit for.

Dr. Leman: When was the last time you left the kids at home and kidnapped him for a weekend? I’m going to give you all kinds of things to do to make a man feel important, but we all need time out. We all need this time to say, “Hey, stop the busyness and lets talk about us.” You’ve got in this position by not honoring each other in marriage, by putting other people first, namely your children, by putting your job first, that’s so typical for us men. So you sort of deserve your plight in life. I think the book, Have a New Husband by Friday, is a great starting point to get back on track.

Doug: So with that segue, the eBook promo from [inaudible] this week is, Have a New Husband by Friday, July 30th to August 5th of 2019, for only $2.99. I’m going to say that again. Have a New Husband by Friday, eBook July 30th to August 5th, so you only have a week for only $2.99. You should go get it. And a no-nonsense parenting advice with Dr Kevin Leman.

Dr. Leman: Just the facts ma’am, just the facts. Well, I think the facts are these. Screen time is not good for children, period. It just isn’t good for them. We live in a screen-filled world. Kids have cell phones in their hands, I’ve seen them 18 months, two years, in strollers with Mommy’s cell phone, scrolling up, scrolling down, punching letters. It’s nauseating. Hey parents, you need to be the parent you need to be. Being a parent means that you make judgment calls that are best for your family and best for your children. Do some research on this. Don’t take my advice far. There’s all kinds of new research that says that screen time for kids is just downright destructive.

Dr. Leman: I see parents in toy stores buying expensive toys for children. I would have to admit that my wife, grandmother supreme, now with two little three year old twins, she is a sucker to buy all kinds of things. I saw the other day she bought a keyboard, a musical keyboard for the kids. It does all kinds of wonderful things. It’s musical, and I’m certainly not anti-music, I love music, but it also cost $69 I noticed.

Dr. Leman: You’ll love this personal information. I just bought some new toilets for our home and they’re the kind, they’re a little higher than the normal ones that are set so low. They’re nice toilets. I bought them at Home Depot, and the thought struck me as the guy was taking it out of the box. I said, “Wow, $69 versus a big box.” You know, kids need to have their creative abilities and hands during those first few years of life, and believe it or not, just playing with boxes in a family room is a creative fun way, and a cheap way for kids to be entertained.

Dr. Leman: We have the mentality, and you see this in cars. I’m in a stop light. I look over in the van and the two kids both have little videos they’re watching that are embedded in the back of the seat. I’m thinking, “This is what the world has come to.” We as parents feel an obligation to entertain our children. No wonder they get bored easily. How nice it is to see kids play with things, play with cushions from a couch, and making a fort using a sheet.

Dr. Leman: I just think we miss the opportunity for kids to develop creativity and in its place we put a screen. Now again, some of you look at screens all day long at your work, and again, don’t take my word for it. Check out the latest research on the effects of screens on the human brain. It’s not good for any of us, but it certainly isn’t good for young children.

Dr. Leman: So obviously, and I know many of you have little appliances where you love to show the little videos and everything to your kids. Yes, you can use them, but they really have to be limited. And who’s the limiter? You are. The problem is you’re busy and in your busyness, you’ll stick that appliance in your young ones hands and they’ll have it not for a half hour, they’ll have it for three hours, or four hours. Be the responsible one, parents, step up to the plate, be the parent you need to be.

Doug: Dr Leman, there’s a lot of these women that Andrea has connected with, and the one thing I think they have is they have no hope. They literally have no hope that their husband will change, they have no hope that their situation can get better, right?

Andrea: Well, even as I listen, I’m like, well, I’ve heard so many stories where the husband is just, I’ll be frank with you. He just sounds like a real jerk, like he’s so selfish. He has no concept of loving his wife or taking care of his family.

Dr. Leman: Jerks are all over the place, Andrea, but one thing I would say to that lady is, “Wait a minute, let’s just stop a minute. You’re the one that married this guy. You’re the one that said, ‘This is the man I want to spend my life with.’ How much of this bad relationship is on you? If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?” You’ve got two sons, let’s say.

Dr. Leman: I would say that woman, “How am I going to make sure that my sons learn to respect women? If I’m stuck in that marriage,” and for whatever reason this woman feels like she can’t leave the marriage and this jerk has continued to be the jerk, then the next thing I’m going to do is I’m going to take refuge with my sons and I’m going to make sure those kids get as healthy a perception of a woman as they possibly can from me. So again, the focus is usually on, he is such a jerk. I get that. But the question is, what are you going to do about it yourself? What are you willing to do differently today to try to unjam that standoff? What’s gonna move that ice that’s blocking the channel of life? What can you do different?

Dr. Leman: Some people go and seek counsel and that can be a very good thing. Most men don’t like that, and most men don’t have any inclination to share their thoughts or feelings with anybody. Women are much more open to that than men are. So for a lot of women, they read books and they listened to tapes and podcasts and try to find a way through this. But again, you’ve got to own up to the fact, hey, this is the guy you brought home to marry. This is the guy you said I want to spend the rest of my life with.

Doug: Dr. Leman, when I think about a couple of these couples that we know, I would imagine that the women have the fear that, if I become soft and loving and kind or if I read, Have a New Husband by Friday, and I try these things and it … “I don’t think he can change. I don’t think he will change, and now it’s going to be worse, then he’s going to walk all over me.”

Andrea: Exactly. He’s going to take advantage of me.

Doug: Now, he’s going to take advantage of me. Help them have a right perspective on that.

Dr. Leman: Well, and again, everything you just said might be very true. There’s people in the world just don’t get it, men and women. Okay? But you got yourself in this bad relationship. You got kids, and you have to take stock of where you are in life. Am I better off alone? Am I better off as a single person? What’s my financial future like? What about my health insurance for myself? And my own medical condition that I have? There’s so many different hooks along the way that you just have to look at the big picture and figure out what’s best for me and my kids?

Doug: Here’s what I’m asking. I’m asking the question poorly, because I’ll use myself. I will tell people, “I think the only reason that Andrea and I are still married is because of Andrea. I was a jerk, I was selfish, I was angry, I got whatever I wanted and it was Andrea’s tenderness, and softness, and honestly her just like when I was a bleep, she was the soft one and then she eventually won me over to it. Is there hope that if they apply these concepts, they’ll have this same experience that I had? What would you say to that?

Dr. Leman: Well sure, but it always takes somebody doing some changing, doing the same thing. Whatever your plight in life right now is in your marriage folks, it’s not going to change unless you start doing something different. That means you have to do some changing. You have to stop playing the games that you and your husband, or you and your wife continue to play. Somebody’s going to have to stand up and say, “Listen, I am very unhappy here. Things have to change. This isn’t working.” And again, I’ve referred to this many times, I’d much rather have a blowout than a slow leak. So if it takes a blow out, so be it, but let’s try to do some things different.

Dr. Leman: I’ve been a part of putting people back together again who were divorced, and now they’re remarried and happy. So yeah, there’s always hope. If you’re a person of faith, you claimed it with God, all things are possible. I wish I could drop names in this business of movie stars and entertainers, and that I’ve had a part in changing their life. You’d be shocked.

Doug: So for that discouraged married woman, how will this book help her know the right changes to make? How will Have a New Husband by Friday, how will she have the confidence?

Dr. Leman: There’s no easy answers when it comes to changing the direction of a relationship. But again, do you have a protocol? Do you know where you’re going? Do you know where you want to go? I think you have to ask the hard questions as a woman. “Am I using my husband as a scapegoat? Is he the reason I’m so miserably unhappy? Or is it me? Am I part of the equation?” And again, there are jerk men out there, tons of them, but there’s jerk women out there as well. It’s never one side. It takes two people to get a relationship in bad shape, and once they get in bad shape, it’s tough to turn them around. But as you’ve attested to it, that they can change.

Dr. Leman: If you want to really get a handle on, how does your husband think? How does a man think inside? Read to Have a New Husband by Friday?

Doug: You know, one thing I regret about this podcast is we went down this dark hole, and I took us there about these marriages that are on the rocks, but this book also is just like, if you’ve got a good marriage and you want to go to a great marriage, right? You want to understand your husband more and be able to just have a great marriage. This book could be fabulous. Again, it’s never going to hurt to invest in understanding each other more. If you’re like Andrea and inclined to try and do the right thing, this is for those kinds of ladies that are like, “I’m willing to invest to understand it better, and watch my marriage flourish.”

Dr. Leman: Okay, let’s have everybody think about the wedding that they’re invited to this summer. Okay? I want everybody to think about the wedding they’re invited to, or been to recently. Or maybe it’s a fall wedding that’s coming. Here’s what I want you to know. All the money spent on that wonderful ceremony, all the money spent on the honeymoon, will not deter this fact that most of those marriages will last seven years or less.

Dr. Leman: Now, here’s my question for every young person out there who’s listening, or maybe somebody who’s getting married, what’s going to make you different? “Oh well, Dr. Leman, we love each other.” Really? Do you think that all these people who are divorced now, didn’t tell themselves at one time they loved each other? You gotta be kidding me. I’m just telling you, this isn’t easy. We take for granted, as a woman, what a man’s all about, what a woman’s all about.

Dr. Leman: I’m telling you, the sexes do not understand each other very well. Read Have a New Husband by Friday. Read, Have a New Sex Life by Friday. Sheet music, my book on sexual intimacy, is a classic book. It’s been acclaimed in so many different places. Sheet Music, there’s help out there. Get it, read it, be as knowledgeable as you can and really try to put each other’s feelings first in marriage. If you really commit yourself to doing that, you’re off on a positive note.

Doug: Thank you for that incredibly well-stated summation. I’m just going to say it one more time, you can get this book, Have a New Husband by Friday, July 30th to August 5th, 2019 for less than $3, $2.99. For your sake, please get the book. Well, we love being with you. We love helping you. We love helping your marriage so that you can parent your kids easier and enjoy them more, and we just appreciate the time that we get to spend with you. We hope that you have a fantabulous day and a incredible marriage.

Andrea: Have a great week.

Doug: Take care. Bye, Bye.

Andrea: Bye Bye.

Jul 30 2019



How do I not take my failure at parenting so deeply? – Ask Dr. Leman 127 (Episode 271)

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Do you have long and frustrating days with your children? Do fun plans usually end up in disaster? Find out what Dr. Leman has to say about the feeling of failure on today’s Ask Dr. Leman.

Learn more about Dr. Leman at

**Special Offer Jul 23 – 29: My Youngest, There’s No One Like You ebook for $1.99 at AmazonBarnes & Noble, or wherever you get your ebooks**

Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing

Produced by Unmutable


Andrea: Okay. Being a young mom is really hard and if you heard the last podcast about feeling like a failure and crying, then you’re going to identify with Jenny and her question on this podcast today.

Doug: Hi, I’m Doug Terpening.

Andrea: And I’m Andrea.

Doug: We are so glad that you are joining with us. A Gazillion welcomes. If This happens to be your first time, I 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. Well, Dr. Leman, we haven’t referenced this in, I almost said a gazillion days just to be honoring, but I’ll stop, and say a long time. If I am having an event and I’m thinking, “Man, I wonder who I could come get to come be a speaker.” Do you come and speak at different events and if so, what kind of events do you come and speak yet?

Dr. Leman: Well, this weekend I’m speaking at a all-Chinese church. That’s a first for me. I’m so looking forward to it. Last week I did a business group. I did a fundraiser for a school. I’m a good fundraiser. You’ve all gone to fundraisers where you get the free chicken dinner, but you know it’s not free because you know there’s a pledge card on the table and all that. I’m really good at getting people to open up their wallet, and watch the moths fly out, and chip in for a worthy cause. So I do a lot of those.

Dr. Leman: I only go where I’m asked. We don’t knock on doors. Okay? I’ve never had the need to knock on doors and say, “Oh, would you like me to come to Oregon or Washington or you name it?” The only state that I’ve never spoken in is Montana. One of these days someone from Montana is going to call and ask me. Before they even ask me to do what they want me to do, I’m going to say I’ll be there.

Dr. Leman: I mean for those of you who are in the business world, I do YPO groups, Young President’s Organization. These are the movers and shakers of America. Most of the people in the audience when I’m speaking to them are millionaires, multimillionaires, billionaires, you name it. You can see it all. I enjoy that challenge in the insurance industry. I talk at Top of the Table, which is the top producers in the insurance industry.

Dr. Leman: I do consultation with car dealerships on how to sell people differently. We all buy things differently. I recently did a thing for a local police department on a SWAT team. What do you do when a guy is barricaded with a gun? Well, tell me where he’s born and his family, and I can give you some good advice on how to approach him. So I love the challenge of doing things different.

Dr. Leman: If you’re a member of a club or an organization that has a speaker, even if you just want a speaker who’s going to be entertaining and fun, talk about something as benign as marriage or parenthood or you name it, I love to do those things. So it’s easy. You call my office here, I’m giving you my office 520, okay, 520. That’s Tucson, Arizona. 797, 797

Dr. Leman: Now, By now you know I have a bias about people who give telephone numbers so quick, I can’t even catch three numbers of it. So back to 520-7973830, 3830. If Debbie doesn’t pick up, she’s my assistant, you leave a detailed message and she will call you back. Talking to her is like talking to me because she knows everything. She’s a firstborn. She’s been with me for over 25 years. She sets these events up in such a way they’re tailor-made for what your needs are.

Dr. Leman: My favorite, especially if it’s a church, is to do a Sunday morning where you speak in services. Interesting enough, attendance doubles usually after they hear the Sunday morning service for the event. The event then is Sunday night, Monday morning, and Monday night. We put a combination of marriage or parenthood. Sometimes we do an early morning breakfast for business people and I’ll speak on the way of the shepherd, which is my book on leadership. So anyway in a nutshell, if you want the old fat guy, you can find him.

Doug: Super thanks. You are a blessing when you go and speak at places and especially the ones that we followed up with, have heard nothing but great reports from them. So Today we get to answer one of your questions from Jenny, which is I think a question that a lot of moms have. I am super excited to hear your answer, Dr. Leman. Here we go.

Jenny: Hi Dr Leman. My name is Jenny. I tune in very often as I’m raising two young kids. We’re always going through and learning new things about this parenting journey. I just wanted to say thank you for all your great advice and especially your humor. Some days humor is exactly what we need to get us through our day

Jenny: As I said, we have two young kids, a little girl who’s four and a little boy who’s turning two here in a few weeks. Our little girl is very strong willed, independent, knows what she wants and has a big attitude. Our little boy, he’s just starting to get to the stage where he cries and screams when he doesn’t get his way or what he wants in that moment.

Jenny: As a mom, So many of these days are loud, stressful and frustrating. I tend to take so much of it personally. If we have a bad day where I feel like the kids have been horrible, I take it so personally, like I’m doing everything wrong and end up in my room crying, feeling like a failure. I don’t want to not like my kids or these fun times while they’re young.

Jenny: What is your best advice to get through these times and enjoy them? We venture out and try fun things like restaurants, the zoo, the parks and fun things like that. But you know how most of these things usually end. Usually my husband and I promise we’re never leaving the house again. Dr. Leman, what’s your best advice to enjoy these hard times and not take them to personally? Thank you.

Dr. Leman: Oh, Jenny. Jenny, Jenny. Oh my goodness. That’s probably one of the best questions we’ve ever had on our podcast. You sound delightful. Tell Your husband for me he is one lucky dude to share life with you. You’re trying so hard to be a great mom. I understand that. But wow, that four-year-old, I mean I can see her, little Tila. I bet she’s cuter than cute.

Dr. Leman: She knows exactly how life ought to be. She knows exactly how things you are. Well, now that I’ve praised you, which I don’t even believe in, I’ve got to tell you that what you and your husband have to talk about is we’ve created this little four-year-old powerful young woman. I think it was a couple of podcasts ago, I was asked the question about, “How do you know if you have a powerful child?”

Dr. Leman: A couple of other things I said was, “Well, you feel a lot like you failed and you cry a lot.” What you just confirmed in your question is you feel like a failure and you cry a lot. In fact, I love your line that you and your husband have decided you’re never going to leave the house again. You go off for these idealistic ideas that we’re going to go to the zoo. Okay? It’s summertime.

Dr. Leman: The high today is going to be 88 . It’s going to be really humid. Really? Is this the day to go to the zoo with two kids in the stroller? Or wouldn’t it be better to maybe get a day when it’s 70 degrees with lower humidity? Just throw that out for your consideration. But you have to owe up to the fact that somehow you and your hobby have created this powerful child by falling prey to what most parents fall prey to and that is my child needs to be happy.

Dr. Leman: I need a happy child. So you do everything from,if you’re in a place where the child’s supposed to be quiet, you have a whole grocery store in your purse. You’ve tried a sucker, you’ve tried gum, you’ve tried mints, you’ve tried this, you’ve tried that. You have just gone and run yourself ragged trying to make sure this child is happy at every turn. So one of the things you have to address is my child deserves the right to be miserable.

Andrea: They deserve the right to be unhappy?

Dr. Leman: Yes. Let her be miserable as she possibly can be, especially when she’s over tired because that’s when they’ll really do their dog and pony show to their full extent. Like I said, many times at that point, a child gets to what I call the point of no return. You could have me and four other of your favorite authors in the room who’ve written books about behavior. Once that kid hits that point of no return, none of us are going to be able to do anything with that kid.

Dr. Leman: They’re going to have to continue the meltdown cycle. What does that mean? It means you pick that kid up, Jenny. You’ve put her in a room, you close the door. If You have to hold it, so be it. You’ll hold it long enough that she’ll probably just fall asleep out of sheer exhaustion with her blankie behind the door. So be it. That’s round one.

Dr. Leman: The good news is after a two-hour nap, you have a reasonable good chance of returning just some kind of a okay state for everybody. You create the powerful child, which means one of you tends to be a powerful person. What you have to understand, Jenny, is your little four-year-old sweet daughter, I’ll bet she’s sweeter than sweet. She’s learned to be powerful by you guys. She’s watched how you overreact. You don’t respond very well.

Dr. Leman: You react and that reaction itself will jettison a kid to even further misbehavior. I don’t want to leave that little crying two-year-old out of the picture because whatever the four-year-old is, the two-year-old’s going to go the opposite direction. You say he is just getting to a point where he’s whining and crying. Again, I say with tongue and cheek, you need a wine cellar. So when a kid gets really whiny, you need to have the fortitude to pick them up and put them in his crib, if he’s still in a crib or in his bedroom or whatever. Without a lot of words, maybe a look on your face that you’re not the happiest person in the world would help.

Dr. Leman: It’s tough at this age. I mean anybody with a four-year-old and a two-year-old, I was over at my school yesterday. A Young woman walked in and she had one in the stroller and one was walking independently, the oldest, which is probably about five or six. Then one was holding her hand and she’s pushing the cart with the other.

Dr. Leman: I just said, “Hey, how’s the busy mom?” She said, “Doc, just trying to get through the day.” I can appreciate that because that is the goal for many, just to get through the day. So if you’re lucky enough to be home with your children, that’s good and bad. The bad part is you’ve been with them all day. They know your every move. they’ve been working you. Now there’s two of them, not just one. So you’d be a great candidate to read any of my books on raising kids and try to get a game plan between yourself and your husband to do life a little differently.

Doug: So Dr. Leman, her question is, how can I actually enjoy these early years?

Dr. Leman: You’re destined to not enjoy these years if you continue on the happy track. The happy track says, “My kid has to be happy. I’m gonna do everything to appease my daughter.” So when she gets into her, “No, I want this. I don’t want that.” Don’t give her the choice. “Here it is, honey. You don’t want to eat it, that’s fine.” Start building in what I call reality discipline, that there’s order in this home. Honey, what do you want? I want cereal. You start making the cereal. Now, she wants pancakes. Well, no, that’s not how it works. You said cereal and I poured the milk on it,x and that’s it.

Doug: Long before we had ever talked, I remember my epiphany moment when I read Have a New Kid by Friday. You have a line in there that says a unhappy child is a healthy child. I’ll never forget all the light bulbs that went off in my head about that reality. So you’re right, because we try and keep them happy, it doesn’t help us. Okay. I’m going to take a break here and tell everybody about the ebook. A special from Baker this week. It is My Youngest, There is No One Like You for only a $1.99 from July 23rd to July 29th of 2019. For $1.99, What is My Youngest, There’s No One Like You about, Dr. Leman?

Dr. Leman: Well, it’s a book that I did with my son who just this past weekend, won his 19th Emmy. He is very, very talented. He’s a writer, he’s an illustrator. He’s a guy that can do about everything under the sun. But this book is one of the series. My only child, my firstborn child, my middle child, my youngest child, my adopted child, and my grandchild. There’s No One Like You, that’s the name of the series. So this book we’re highlighting today, My Youngest Child, There is No One Like You is a quick look at what a youngest child is like. So it’s got some birth order stuff. I bet it’s sewn into a story. By the way, you can download that for $1.99. That’s great and you’ll enjoy it. But fair warning to all, if you see that book someplace, buy it. Those are limited edition books.

Dr. Leman: The Middle Child Book I have seen for $400 for one book. So look for those series. If you could see any of those books and you can buy them new some place, buy them. Retail is $13 on them if I recall. But they’re just fun and memorable books. They’re gift books that a parent could give even to their adult child is a little memento of what it was like to have you, the youngest child in the family. So they’re really cool books. But again, if you can see them, if you have an opportunity to buy them in hardpack, they have a little a flyleaf cover on them that’s very nicely illustrated, but check them out. It’s worth it for sure.

Doug: $1.99 July 23rd through the 29th. Now, No Nonsense Parenting Advice with Dr. Leman.

Dr. Leman: Mommy, I want a puppy.

Dr. Leman: Daddy, can we get a cat?

Dr. Leman: You know what? The Leman’s of had hermit crabs, guinea pigs, turtles, and several dogs. Parents, you know the drill here. Some of you, you get so sucked in by your kids. You live in a two bedroom apartment, you both work. You got two kids. Quite frankly, the last thing you need is a pet, but many of you will go ahead and get that pet. You know down the road it’s going to cause problems. Certainly going to cause problems when you want to go away and be at grandma’s for three weeks. Good luck finding a dog sitter, etc. Well, not to come across like an old crouch, but you know and I know that if there’s a pet in the family, most of that responsibility for having the pet is falling on who?

Dr. Leman: That’s right. You, your six-year-old isn’t taking the cat to get her shots or paying for it or to get the dog’s nails clipped or shampooed or you name it. So this really is a decision that you have to really think through. Now again, we have enjoyed having a dog in our family. We’ve had a dog in our family almost all of my life and I’ve always enjoyed the company of a dog. I would admit to everything I just said that it’s costly and they can interrupt your lifestyle and whatever. But is a pet great for a kid? Yes. Depending upon where you live, depending upon their age, their responsibility.

Dr. Leman: But don’t get caught up in the emotional moment. If you’re hit with the opportunity, so to speak, to get a pet and give it a week, parents, and think about it. Think about will this pet really enrich our life right now or is there another time for a pet? I love going to the zoo. I love seeing all the animals. In fact, recently I was on Fox and Friends and they had baby Bengal tigers in the studio and a baby leopard. What beautiful creatures. You want to take them home.

Dr. Leman: They’re so gorgeous and beautiful. I love to watch animals, but it’s sort of like what some grandparents had said to me, “I love my grandchildren because I can really enjoy them and then give them back at the end of the evening and go home.”

Dr. Leman: So with that in mind, my advice is simply really think this thing through. Don’t get caught up in emotion, in the wailing and crying of your kids because the bottom line is you, parent, more than anybody else in the family is going to be responsible for that pet. You want kids to be responsible? Of course you do. But I’m just telling you, the reality of life is you’re going to do more for that pet than your son or your daughter. Good luck.

Doug: Okay. Dr Leman in between the three of us, Andrea is more the mom that probably relates to this. Andrea, you don’t have four and two-year-olds anymore. Your kids are a little bit bigger now.

Andrea: Yup.

Doug: And when you think back to those years, there were times when you were just exhausted, worn out, tired.

Andrea: Frustrated.

Doug: Frustrated. When you hear Jenny’s question, what would you say to Jenny about doing the hard work of not just making it happy, happy, happy, and having her purse full of food and actually doing this advice of Doctor? What will be the payoff to you or Jenny?

Andrea: Jenny, you’re asking about how to enjoy these days now. The thing is you’ve got a lot more years with the kids and you want to enjoy them in the future. I enjoy my kids today, all teenagers. We have a lot of fun together. So it is hard to say no and it is hard to not make that child happy at the moment. But they will thank you for it. I’ve had my kids thank me for how I’ve parented them and making those hard decisions to not keep them happy at every moment, to discipline them. The pay off is totally worth it.

Doug: Dr. Leman, what’s the opposite? If Jenny keeps on the happy, happy trail, always having gummy bears around for the kids, trying to placate them. What is Jenny going to ended up with? If she’s frustrated now, what will she end up with?

Dr. Leman: You won’t like spending time with your kids. I mean, listen to your question, you’ll want to enjoy this time. As time goes on, if you don’t do some things, these are kids that you’re not going to want to be around. But check this out, other people aren’t going to enjoy being around them either because they’re so self-centered and selfish. All they care about is me, me, me.

Dr. Leman: Who wants to be around that person? Nobody. Who wants to marry that person? Nobody. Nobody should. But somebody will, and pay for it in all probability. So these are huge things. I mean, my wife, we had three kids under six, well, when she had her firstborn, she decided she was going to quit working outside of the home. We had one car. We couldn’t afford two cars, so we bought an old used car. Back in those days, there weren’t pampers around in pull ups, Huggie this and Huggie that.

Dr. Leman: No. It was old diaper, diaper pails. I mean how my wife survived all that, I look back on it now she survived it because she had a good sense of enough is enough. There will be discipline in this home. We cut our teeth on Holly. She was probably the toughest one of all the kids cause she certainly had some instincts in her that made her an inquiring mind.

Dr. Leman: She wanted to know everything, but she was slightly powerful as well. So we turned that around and we dealt with it on the same page. Now look, as we’ve talked about many times, we have kids who actually want to hang out with us and have fun with us. Jenny, again, I think your question is the best question we’ve ever had. It shows the heart of a mom and God bless you. I know you’re really trying to be a good mom.

Dr. Leman: You probably need to be less of a great mom in your mind and start doing some things differently. The nice thing about the techniques that are in my books is you put them to test. I mean we’re talking 48 hours, 72 hours, a few days, and you will see a change of the kids. They will change. Why? Because you’ve successfully done some changing on your own.

Dr. Leman: So that’s what sets that up. So I just want to encourage you to do some more reading and put those actions into play. Again, you take it all personally, I think you said that. You have to shed yourself off that one. Realize that a good mom is really good at dishing out Vitamin N which has no, and vitamin E which is encouragement. I wish you well on that.

Doug: Jenny, thank you a ton for your question. It really was an amazing question. For all of you that are out there, I’ll say it again. Go read Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours, or Have a New Kid by Friday as a starting point to get the confidence to do these things.

Doug: Dr Leman was exactly right. In a few days, a few weeks, you will see a change in your kid. It really, but it really gives you the confidence to do it. I can’t encourage enough. All righty. It was great to be with you today and we love answering your questions. You can go to There’s a microphone and you can leave your question just like Jenny. We would love to hear what it is and answer. So we enjoy adding to your parenting toolbox so you’re going to love these kids and enjoy them more and more.

Andrea: Have a great week enjoying your kids.

Doug: Take care.

Andrea: Bye Bye.

Jul 23 2019



3 Signs You Have a Powerful Child (Episode 270)

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Does your child always get the last word? Do you feel like you’ve failed to separate your marriage from your kids? Do you cry often? These are the signs you have a powerful child. In today’s episode, Dr. Leman provides insight on how to reclaim your home from your powerful child.

Learn more about Dr. Leman at

NEW: The Intimate Connection –Dr. Kevin Leman

**Special Offer Jul 16 – 22: Making Children Mind without Losing Yours ebook for $3.99 at AmazonBarnes & Noble, or wherever you get your ebooks**

Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing

Produced by Unmutable


Doug Terpening: Okay. If you’ve been listening to this podcast more than two times, you know you have a powerful child. What you may not know is, what is the easiest way for me to spot that I have a powerful child. So we get to ask Dr. Leman today. Hey, Dr. Leman, what are the three signs that I might, or I do, or regretfully, I am that powerful child. Well, that’s what we get to ask Dr. Leman today.

Doug Terpening: Hi I’m Doug Terpening.

Andrea T.: And I’m Andrea.

Doug Terpening: And we are super, fantabulously glad that you are here with us today. And if this happens to be your first time, welcome, and we 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. Dr. Leman, there are more and more new people that are jumping into the podcast right in the middle, and we haven’t talked about this in a bazillion years, but this podcast is going out the middle of July, and the entire Leman kids, I still can’t believe this, as grown adults, will do what? They will all gather together and pay their own way to do what this summer?

Dr. Leman: We’ll be back in New York at our summer hideaway from life, and then several of the kids will be joining us, we’re going to do a trip over to Germany and then down to Spain. You know, for the sake of all you young mommies and daddies, it’s possible these kids are going to end up, and call you blessed, and they’re going to want to hang out with you because you’ve done a good job of parenting. And that’s one of the things we try to help you with, it’s just how to get you to be a good parent. And notice we’re not saying even great, or wonderful, or the best, or let’s just, if you’re a good parent, things are going to work out real well, trust me.

Doug Terpening: And the reason I just bring this up again is like, your kids also will gather every year, maybe not when you’re going to Europe, and hang out at the lake house just to be with each other, and bring all the grandkids. And I just think that’s the dream, right? That all my kids, with their kids in tow, would want to pay their own way to fly out, to hang out with mom and dad again for weeks in the summer. So, the reason I bring that up is, Dr. Leman is not just talking theory, he’s living it with his kids. So, alrighty. Well let’s jump into today’s topic. Dr. Leman what are three signs that I have a powerful child?

Dr. Leman: One of them will throw you for a loop, I’ll start with that one. You feel like you’ve failed as a parent. Then the second one I would add is, your child has to have the last word in every conversation, and then maybe a third might be, you cry a lot, sometimes silently, but you really are, you’re crying too much.

Andrea T.: These were not I was expecting at all.

Dr. Leman: Well no, because if you have a powerful child, he or she knows how to punch your buttons. The frustration. Let’s just take the case of the kid who refuses to get up in the morning for school, and you’ve called them four times, and you’ve threatened him, and you’ve done everything short of getting a court order to get the guy out of bed. Okay, let’s make him 14, that’s always a good age. And he finally flies out the front door, bare chested, with a shirt in his hand, running for the school bus. And wouldn’t you know it, he just made it by three seconds. And your shoulders slump, and you take a deep breath, and you ask yourself, “Birth control, I should’ve used birth control.” Or you have thoughts like, “Why? Why do I go through this every morning? What have I done Lord, to deserve this?”

Dr. Leman: It can take every form known to mankind, but this is what you have to understand is, you’ve created that kid that is so powerful, that you ran to the store and you bought Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours, or Have a New Kid by Friday. My question is, did you read those books? Because in there is the secret to avoiding power struggles by holding a little 14 year old, or a little four year old accountable for the things they do in life, in a way that features your responding to kids rather than just reacting.

Dr. Leman: So yeah, those three will surprise you. They have to have the last word, which the kid is saying, “I’m the boss of you. I’m better than you. I am an authority over you and you will do what I ask you to do, and if you don’t do what I ask you to do, I’m going to create such a commotion that you’re going to wish you would have done what I commanded on the first opportunity.” And I mention crying a lot because this gets a parent down, because these parents who have these kids are really great people who are trying to do things right. The problem is, they’re doing too much decision making for the child, and many times, they are joined with a partner who doesn’t see life like they do, and that creates a whole other set of problems.

Andrea T.: So Dr. Leman, based on what you just said, if I feel like I’ve failed as a parent, if I have that powerful child I might actually have failed. What would you respond to that?

Dr. Leman: Yeah, I mean, I don’t want to call you a loser, but I’m just telling you that right at the very get go you tippy toed around the house. You had your home as silent as you could because baby was sleeping, that’s mistake number one, okay. I’m going way back to when you’re bringing them home from the hospital. When you brought them home from the hospital, 10 days to two weeks later, did you go out for an by yourself and leave the child home alone? In all probability you didn’t.

Dr. Leman: You took that little sucker with you, and they became the third part of the wheels, so to speak. That’s okay for a while, but it has its limits, and you have to be a couple, and you have to have separation. And that’s why after a few weeks you separate that child into their own little room, and yes, you have a monitor so you can check on him, I get it. I understand the concerns of young moms and dads, but did you really train the child up to be independent? Or did you attach that child to your hip at every turn?

Dr. Leman: So, when I say you got what you deserve parent, you did, because you failed to separate your marriage from your responsibilities as a mom or dad. Now that’s something you guys probably never heard before.

Doug Terpening: No. Well, how can a parent do that in this day and age when there’s so much pressure to take care of that little one in that, almost like, your very identity is tied up into how well I take care of Buford.

Dr. Leman: Well, you know, I’ve told the story when I brought our first born Holly home. I held her about two feet out from my chest with my arms outstretched, and my wife looked at me, and she said, “What are you doing?” I said, “Well, I’d go want to hurt her.” I was clueless. Babies like to be cuddled, they like to stick their little head under your neck there and snuggle up tight. And unfortunately, I had a great teacher, but I’m just telling you that these basic things that get us off track are easy to fall into it.

Dr. Leman: Before long, you’ve got to ask your question, “Excuse me, which one’s the organ grinder and which one is the monkey? Who’s training who here?” And here’s this little kid, you know, he’s sitting in his high chair, he is a fussy eater already at age 18 months, and all of a sudden dad gets a spoon and goes, “Vroom, vroom, vroom,” and moving the spoon all around. And the kid’s thinking, “Oh, wait a minute, here comes the air show. I love this air show. This is such amusement for me. This is great. This is better than Dora The Explorer. This is great entertainment.”

Dr. Leman: “If he only knew the look he had on his face when he makes that vroom sound, he would never do that. My goodness, this is pathetic. Okay, now watch this. I’m just going to, I’m going to open my mouth like I’m going to eat it, and then I’m going to close at the last second.This is my favorite part. And so here he comes. All right, here goes. Oh, I shut my mouth. Oh, look at his face. He thought he had me. He didn’t.” I’m telling you, you have to get behind a kid’s eyes, and see how they play us like violins.

Dr. Leman: Parents, that’s why I say you have to be warm and you have to be firm. You’re warm with your kids. You’re not being disdainful, you’re not going to be disrespectful. You’re not going to be angry, and screaming, and yelling, or hitting, or anything like that. But there’s some firm limits. What have I said about food? Let the reality of the situation become the teacher to the child.

Dr. Leman: So if you’ve got a powerful child who says, “Hey, I’m not eating that.” Fine, put them down from the high chair, let them go do what two year olds do, or three year olds do. In a little while you’re going to hear signs of, “Mommy, I want some food. I want food, I’m hungry.” “Yeah, I bet you are hungry. Couldn’t have anything to do with the fact you didn’t finish your breakfast this morning.” It’s pretty simple stuff, but I didn’t say it was easy, I just said it was simple.

Doug Terpening: So Dr. Leman, a quick story that may or may not apply, but we had a couple of youngish moms get together, I wasn’t there, and they all complained about how horrible all their children were, and how they were blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But there was one mom who actually has read your books, and applied it, and she’d said to us privately, she said, “You know what, I don’t have those problems with my kids. And I actually, at this age now,” they were sort of between nine and about four. “I really get to just enjoy my kids.”

Doug Terpening: And I tell that story because, is it true that most of the people out there, the narrative out there is that our children do run the house, and they just are kind of hellions, and are we a self fulfilling prophecy now in this?

Dr. Leman: They do run the house, to answer your question. But see, the smart parent who understands the word authority. Again, how many teachings have we done over the time, but you have to understand parents, there’s a difference in being an authority and being an authoritarian. It’s that wonderful midline between being a chump and being walked over by your kids. Those are your permissive parents who insist your child wins at everything, and the authoritarian parents who basically just say, “You’re going to do life the way I tell you to do it and when I tell you to do it.” But that parent, just like that one you described, she had firm limits, she had expectations in her family, and now she can enjoy these kids.

Dr. Leman: And again, late breaking news parents, if you’re driving by chance, just hold onto the wheel. Your kids actually want to please you. They want to please you, let them please you. Don’t do everything for them. Let them surprise you. Let them do things around the house that you didn’t expect, and share the joy when you see the completed act, with, “Wow! Honey, I appreciate your help so much.” You want to give your kid vitamin E, you want them to feel good about themself, that’s how you do it.

Doug Terpening: I have to stop us here for just a moment because I have to talk about the e-book promotion this week. Like, there’s just no way I can’t at this point. Because if you complain about your children, if you complain about, it’s the worst, this is what you should do. You should go get the e-book promotion from Revell, that is, Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours, for only $3.99, July 16th to July 22nd. Dr. Leman, can you tell us why the parent who has that powerful child, that’s relating to this, should go get Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours?

Dr. Leman: Well, it’s a wonderful resource. You know, this summer, talking about these July dates, the kids are going to be in the pool, and within 30 seconds of your kid getting in the pool, what two words are you going to hear parent? I want you all to think about that. Your kids are in the pool, what two words are you going to hear real quickly? “Watch me. Watch me.” Okay, we’ll watch them do their cannonball, or whatever they’re doing, and then look down on your phone. You’ve downloaded, Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours. And as you rest, enjoying the rays of the sun, and you’re there, one eye on the children, and one eye on Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours, you’re going to get a plethora of resources, of ideas about how to deal with tattling, sibling rivalry, kids who don’t seem to be motivated, kids who lie, kids who misbehave, kids who hit you. I mean, you name it, it’s in that book.

Dr. Leman: I mean, you would have a hard time finding any kind of behavioral problem that you don’t face everyday parent, that’s not covered and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours. So if you can download that sucker on that phone of yours, and you all live your life on the phone, let’s tell the truth here, for how much does it? $4.

Doug Terpening: Yep.

Dr. Leman: Oh my goodness.

Doug Terpening: That’s the bargain. I get nothing from you buying this book, but I’m just telling you for your sake do it, so that you’ll have the confidence to do the right thing, so that you can enjoy your children. I just can’t stress enough, it’ll give you the confidence, it’ll give you the clarity. Just go do it.

Dr. Leman: The other thing I would add about that book is, maybe you’ve read Have a New Kid by Friday, which is an excellent book, it’s a New York Times Best Seller as a matter of fact. But I always tell people, you’re a parent, start with the book Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours. It gives you the theoretical framework, okay, in a not so theory filled approach. My approach is to use humor, and to be very practical. You’re getting the theory, but you’re getting it in a very fun way, and you’ll close that book and say, “Ah, now I got it. I know the difference between authority, authoritarianism, and permissiveness.” If you got that locked down, wow, you’re on second base and ready to run toward home.

Doug Terpening: So, now we get to hear no nonsense parenting moment with Dr. Kevin Leman.

Dr. Leman: You know, I was staying at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in France, at a hotel right there, to make sure I didn’t miss my plane. Well, this is hard to admit, but I missed it, and I missed it by about 45 minutes. It was embarrassing because I got up early enough, and I decided to have a cup of coffee downstairs in the hotel and let my beautiful bride sleep a little longer, that was mistake number one. But the point is, I missed my plane, and it cost me $2,300 more to get back to the States.

Dr. Leman: Well, I want to talk to you about picky eaters. Now there’s a segway from Charles de Gaulle Airport to picky eaters. But you know, sometimes you miss the plane, sometimes you miss the train. With picky eaters, they can whine, they can throw temper tantrums, they can be just downright stubborn and miserable, because you put food in front of them and the dog and pony show starts.

Dr. Leman: “I don’t want that.” “I don’t like that.” “I don’t feel like eating that.” And mom or dad, if you haven’t read one of my books, you try to satisfy this little sucker. Let me tell you something straight out. Three things in life that get parents in trouble, sleeping, eating, and going potty. Those are three very natural things that every kid is going to do. They’re going to go to sleep. Can you make them go to sleep? No, but you can keep them in a room. And they’re going to go potty, and they’re going to eat. If a kid chooses not to eat, make no fanfare of it. “Honey, that’s fine. Why don’t you go ahead and get down from the table and play, whatever you want to do.” And they’ll come back. I guarantee you they’ll be back with “I’m hungry,” but a simple statement like, “Honey, I bet you are hungry. You didn’t eat your breakfast this morning,” will suffice.

Dr. Leman: Don’t pull out food for that child. Say, “Honey, the next scheduled meal here is at noon. I hope you’re here for it. I think it’s going to be pretty good, but you be the judge. Maybe you won’t like it. If that’s the case, you might take your chances on dinner. You never know, something good might show up around six o’clock.” In other words, hey, the train is leaving, you either eat or you don’t eat. You don’t make special meals for kids. Does that mean you can’t ask a child once in a while what they would like special for a meal? No, I’m not saying that, but you’re not going to be doing three or four different meals for three or four kids in the morning, trying to get them out to school in the morning. So food is food.

Dr. Leman: They’re either going to eat the food or they’re not, and when a kid says, “I don’t want that,” the best response is, “Honey, that’s fine. You don’t have to eat it. You don’t have to eat the thing. It’s your stomach. Maybe you’re not even hungry today,” and walk out of the room. They won’t know what hit them.

Dr. Leman: I know what some of you are thinking. “My son’s going to grab a banana and run out the door,” so be it, that’s not the end of the world, at least he’s got a banana in his gut. But I wouldn’t play these dog and pony shows and games that kids love to play with us. Okay, you’re responsible for what you put in your mouth mom and dad, let your kids be responsible for what they put in their mouth as well.

Doug Terpening: Okay, Dr. Leman, we got to give people hope here at the end of this. I have that powerful child.

Andrea T.: I cry a lot.

Doug Terpening: They’re always fighting. They always have the last word.

Andrea T.: And I like I’ve failed as a parent.

Doug Terpening: I have taken your advice and I’ve listened to you. How long is it going to take for this behavior and our relationship to change if I implement what you’ve said in Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours?

Dr. Leman: I’m going to go out and say, within 48 hours to 72 hours you will see a new kid on your hands. But what you have to do, and I underline the word have, you have to begin behaving differently. So if you’re in a situation, and you don’t know what to do, stop, do nothing. Think, “All right, this has happened a gazillion times,” to use your favorite word Doug, “In our home. What do I normally do? Okay, I got that down. Okay, and I want to know what I do.” And you can ask yourself, “How’s that working out for you?” “Not very well.” And so, what you’re going to say is, “Okay, I’m going to do something different. I’m going to keep the ball on his or her side of the court.” And it might be something just simple like, “Mom, where’s my shoes?” It’s amazing what moms are supposed to know. “Honey, they’re not on my feet.” I mean you can say anything, but stop doing the dog and pony show that you do with your kids on a daily basis.

Dr. Leman: They won’t know what hit them, and then develop the ability to say, “No. No, I don’t feel I doing that.” “No, we’re not going there.” And let them dig it out, let them work for it. “Mom, you always let us do this. You always let us do that.” “Well, mom doesn’t feel like letting you do anything today.” Because again, let them dig, let them really scour the Earth to figure out, “What’s going on with mom?”

Dr. Leman: And maybe it was just a smart mouth two hours earlier, that precipitated you copping an attitude, and maybe after three or four attempts to get to the bottom of this from their perspective, you say, “Well, you know, I don’t know if you’re aware of the conversation we had a couple hours ago, but I was just thinking about that, and mom is very unhappy.” Turn your back and walk away. If you do that, the kids won’t know what hit them. And they’re not going to feel good about themselves, and they knew they shouldn’t have said what they said, and they’re going to come around at that point and they’re going to apologize in one form or another.

Dr. Leman: Now, some won’t. Some are just so stubborn they’re going to wait you out and see if this is for real, but most will come around. Now, the important thing is, once they apologize, then they go right back to, “Well, mom, can we go to the mall now?” Or whatever. And the answer is still no, because that’s part of the discipline that must accompany the love you have for your child.

Andrea T.: It feels like, if I start to cop an attitude, like you said, how does it not become a snowball where they get even more of an attitude?

Dr. Leman: Well the attitude is a dull one, it’s not a vindictive one. It’s a flat emotional, “No, I don’t feel like doing this.” “No mom’s unhappy.” Just statements. You can be sullen even. But you’re not rubbing their nose in it. See, if you’ve got a powerful child, the instinct inside of you says, “What did you just say? I am your mother. Do you understand who you’re talking to young man?” It’s like you want to grab that little puppy from behind the neck and rub their nose in it, and anybody who trains dogs will tell you that’s not a good idea. But dog owners have done it for years, and it doesn’t work, and it doesn’t work with kids either. It just makes the kid more powerful.

Doug Terpening: And for the other side of the fence, like the sweet, sweet moms like Andrea, I remember the first time she took your advice Dr. Leman, and told one of her kids, “I am disappointed in your behavior,” and turned and walked away. I think she walked into her room and cried for an hour because she felt so bad [crosstalk 00:21:10] that she had [crosstalk 00:21:11] done something.

Dr. Leman: Well, name three people nicer on this Earth than Andrea Terpening. I mean, she’s just one of those lovely, nice, sunshiny people that’s just fun to be around. And so, you put a lovely lady, put four kids around her, man, they can work her like a a violin.

Andrea T.: But it’s hard to be mean to them.

Doug Terpening: Listen to that. Okay.

Dr. Leman: But that’s where you go to Doug, and say, “Doug, am I being mean or am I being helpful?” And Doug’s going to say, “Actually, you’re doing the right thing and you’re being helpful.”

Andrea T.: Yes. And your kids [crosstalk 00:21:47] will thank you later.

Doug Terpening: Your kids will thank you.

Dr. Leman: They will.

Doug Terpening: Like she did this to our kid, and the kid later apologized to her. Right? So it works. It really… If you’re the sweet, sweet, sweet one like Andrea, or if you’re the mean one like me, it really does work. So-

Andrea T.: It’s okay, you’re not being mean.

Doug Terpening: You’re not being mean. So I am going to ask you a gazillion requests to go buy this book for yourself. You will think me a gazillion times. So can I say gazillion enough times now that Dr. [crosstalk 00:22:15]-

Andrea T.: I think you just want to say the words now.

Doug Terpening: I just want to say it now. So, please go-

Dr. Leman: $3.99 right?

Doug Terpening: $3.99.

Dr. Leman: You’re such a loser if you don’t go get that. That is such a bargain. Oh my goodness, $4?

Doug Terpening: $4, July 16th to July 22nd. For your sake, go get it please, please. Okay. Well this concludes our show, and as always, I can’t encourage you enough, if you’re listening to this, to pass this on to all of, your sister-in-law, and to your brother-in-law, and your brother, that you are worried about how they’re parenting, so that they’ll hear it and go buy the book themselves. Send it on Facebook, or however.

Doug Terpening: Okay. I think I’ve said this enough. All right, why don’t you to go buy the book. Alrighty. Well, we love being with you,, and we look forward to the next time we get to hang out with you, so that you can add to that parenting toolbox, so that you can enjoy and love those kids more.

Andrea T.: Have a great day.

Doug Terpening: Take care. Bye-bye.

Andrea T.: Bye.

Jul 16 2019



What do I say ‘no’ to and for how long? – Ask Dr. Leman 126 (Episode 269)

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When you have a powerful child on your hands, the word “no” can lose its effectiveness. Dr. Leman gives his advice on how to back up your ‘no’ in today’s “Ask Dr. Leman”.

Learn more about Dr. Leman at

NEW: The Intimate Connection –Dr. Kevin Leman

**Special Offer Jul 9 – 15: My Adopted Child, There’s No One Like You ebook for $1.99 at AmazonBarnes & Noble, or wherever you get your ebooks**

Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing

Produced by Unmutable


Andrea: Well I’m trying to implement A before B, but I just don’t know how long or what things to stick to. I have a powerful child and Dr. Leman keeps telling me I need to do this, but I just can’t do it.

Doug: That’s the question that actually you asked about Elizabeth and we get to answer that question today. Hi, I’m Doug Terpening.

Andrea: And I’m Andrea.

Doug: And if this is your first time with us. Hello, bello, bello. We are so glad that you’re with us. I 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. Well, I am super excited that we have Elizabeth’s question today about how do I deal with what Andrea just said?

Andrea: Powerful child.

Doug: And how long do I have to deal with it. Here we go. Here is Elizabeth’s question.

Elizabeth: Hi Dr Leman. Thank you for listening. I have reared a powerful child, she’s six years old and I have a three and a half year old who is much easier to deal with. But trying to make some changes for both of them because I know they’ll both do better. But my question is in the books you recommend when a child is very disrespectful, I’m assuming yelling at me for example, hitting me, then you recommend saying no to the child’s requests. My question is how long does that go on for?

Elizabeth: Do I say no for days and days and days or just one day, just one hour, just two hours? And also what kind of requests do I say no to? For example, does she still get a bedtime story? I understand she should be contrite. I just wasn’t sure how long and what kind of requests do you recommend saying no to? For example, for my six year old, I mean, would I not serve her a plate for dinner? Would I have her get her own plate? Would I have her make her own food? I mean obviously I’m going to make sure she’s having food offered. Thank you so much for your time.

Dr. Leman: Well, Elizabeth, you sound like a good mom and I’ve talked with a lot of mommies who face those same questions that you have asked and you’ve raised a lot of them, but first of all, before we can have a discussion about what to do, you have to understand that you have created, you have taught that six year old how to be powerful, how to be perfectionistic, how to only accept life on her terms. And let me go back to a scene I witnessed just within this last year. In fact, a book that has not even been released yet to the public I just finished, it’s fresh in my mind.

Dr. Leman: And my wife and I were sitting in a Texas roadhouse and a young family came in. It was grandma, grandpa, husband, wife, baby and it looked like maybe an aunt or a cousin or something, another adult female. And they arrived at the table and the person who sat them had one of those wooden high chairs that you can invert upside down and put a carrier on it if you wanted to. You know what they look like. Well. Anyway, as they sat down and they put that little child into the… I can’t even say this without laughing, into the highchair. I began to chuckle inside and I said to myself, “Self, this is going to be good.”

Dr. Leman: And I could predict exactly what was going to happen. When they went to put this little child of about 13 months old into the chair, she reared up her legs, held them close to her body, that made it almost impossible to get her in there. So Dad, as I recall, straightened out her legs and plunked her down in there and a fussing ensued. I said to myself, “She’s out of there within 60 seconds.” And sure enough she was. Dad took her out, put little 13-month old on his lap. I thought, “Oh boy, I can see this.”

Dr. Leman: Well, little 13-month old became more distraught that she was on daddy’s lap and it was inevitable that it wasn’t another 90 seconds later. Oh, I left out a part. Dad tried to give her a little macaroni and cheese that he had ordered as they walked in the door because they wanted to give the baby something to eat. Well, he offered it to the baby and baby smashed it back in daddy’s face, upon which time mom came to the rescue and grabbed 13 month old. And the saga just continued. These are the seedlings of creating a powerful child. And what I’m saying to you is, and I know you’re a good mom, Elizabeth, you tried. You tried to make this little kid happy at every turn and was that a mistake? Yes. Because there’s times that kids need to be unhappy because of their own behavior or things they did.

Dr. Leman: Even a 13 month old is capable of striking out and attempting to hit you. All those little things. I understand they’re a part of life, but I want you to accept the possibility that maybe you’ve created this little 13 month old, I don’t want to call her a little monster that’s a little too much, but let’s just leave it a powerful child, it sounds better, more civilized. So you have to own up to that. This is the situation that you created. And how long did it take to get you full fledged to this point? Six years of training. So again, what I’m saying is children tend to train us, especially kids who have a powerful leaning in their life. But to create a powerful child, either mom or dad must also be powerful because that that’s how the kid learns the powerful behavior by modeling after you.

Dr. Leman: So with that as a backdrop, you’ve asked a lot of questions and you’ve heard me right? When a child disses you, you follow through and you’ve asked the question, is that immediately? Yes, the answer is immediately. Now there’s some situations, social situations where you can’t act immediately. You’re in a public place, you’re in a concert or in church or whatever, and it might be just ill-advised to act exactly seconds after the incident. But you could also pick up a child and leave and deal with it outside of the avenue that you find yourself. Hitting, for example, you mentioned hitting. A six year old hitting you. You would never tolerate that, for a second. That child, as soon as they hit you, needs to be removed from the scene, put in a space where she is alone. It can be your bedroom. You may have heard me say, “Hold the door.” And she’ll go crazy.

Dr. Leman: She’ll kick the door, she’ll scream and yell and have a major meltdown. Do not open that door until everything’s quiet. Once there’s quiet, you let her out. Ask her if she’s ready to join you. That’s all. But the very next request that she asked for, I don’t care what it is. The answer is no. “Mommy doesn’t feel like getting your glass of milk right now.” So you’re asking questions. Does that mean that she doesn’t get story time that night? Yeah. “Mom doesn’t feel like reading you a story tonight honey.” That’s all. Walk away. And she might cry and throw herself on the floor, just close the door and walk out. You say, well, she’ll come after me now if you’re holding the door, she won’t. She might fall asleep an hour later with her blankie under her arm at the door. So be it.

Dr. Leman: She’s learning by your action that you’re not going to tolerate her powerful like behavior. So those are a few openers Andrea and Doug you heard some of our other questions. Maybe if I missed something you can redirect me to address. But you have to at this point use action and not words.

Doug: Well before we follow up with our questions while we have a great break here, I thought this would be a good spot to do the ebook offer for all our listeners. It’s My Adopted Child, There’s No One Like You. July nine through 15 for $1.999 where eBooks are sold. My Adopted Child, There’s No One Like You. I’m embarrassed to say this Dr. Leman, I did not realize you wrote a book about how to deal with adopted children.

Dr. Leman: Yes, I have and in fact my daughter Hannah, by the way, she was the one I worried about of the five kids. She has developed into an entrepreneur. She adopted two African-American babies at birth. She has helped hundreds of people adopt children in a very easy and economical way. Adoption is a very expensive proposition for many. She has a company called kindred, K-I-N-D-R-E-D Incorporated out of Chicago, Illinois. And that adopted child book is so cute and it shares the loving aspects of adoption from the birth parents point of view as well as the adoptive parents’ point of view. And by the way, this is an ebook that we’re offering you. If you see that book anywhere in hardback, buy it. Just trust me, buy it. If there’s several of them, buy them all. Those are limited edition books.

Dr. Leman: They will become extremely valuable. Keep them in pristine condition if you buy new ones. If you buy a used one, keep it in as good a condition as you can and just wait, trust me on this one. Those are hard to find.

Doug: So you can get that book a July nine through 15 and now no-nonsense parenting advice from Dr. Leman.

Dr. Leman: I wish I could recite the Barney song. We have grandchildren that are young and so we do catch Barney once in a while. But one of the little songs is, everybody does their share clean up, clean up. Something along that line. You get the message. But you know, a home is the sum of a lot of different parts. It seems to me that a home that’s going to thrive, a home that’s going to connect, a home that’s going to move forward and be a pleasurable place for everybody is a place where mom and dad don’t do everything. In too many homes, mom and dad do everything and the kids live off as like freeloaders.

Dr. Leman: What I’m getting at is it’s healthy for every kid to contribute, for every kid to give back to the family. You say, “Well listen, our youngest is three. What’s a three year old going to do?” Well, a three year old can help stack dishes in a Washer, can take clean dishes out of a Washer, can empty wastebaskets. For some of you, they could do your math for you. Just kidding. Anyway, you get the picture. You want to teach kids to be responsible. How do you teach kids to be responsible by obviously giving them responsibility, and those responsibilities get bigger as the years go along. One thing I want to caution parents about, and yes everybody should contribute to the family, but what happens when a kid hits 14 and now they’re in high school and they’re getting more homework and maybe they are in that one activity, and time is really hard for that kid?

Dr. Leman: I think lighten up on the activities or the work that the kid does in the family. Let the younger kids pick up that slack. The older kids tend to get saddled with much more work than younger kids, so make sure you spread that out. But everybody cleans their room, everybody can pick up after themselves. There are just basic things that need to be done. If you want to go as far to assign certain responsibilities to different kids, I would suggest using a color chart, a magnet system on the refrigerator door or something where everybody sees what has to be done on a daily basis. That minimizes the reminders and the coxings and the bribings that you parents do so poorly, it doesn’t help. So make sure everybody does their work.

Dr. Leman: And of course you know this, you’ve listened to me long enough to know if the kid doesn’t clean his room and it’s way past time, yes, you as a parent can go in and clean it for him if you want to, paying yourself for doing it out of his or her allowance. Or you can hire a sibling to do it, which is even better. Paying that other sibling that money for paying her brother or sister’s room. Good luck work on this. This is an ongoing task for every family. Everybody does their part as Barney says.

Doug: So Dr. Leman, I think I’m one of Elizabeth’s core questions was how long does she have to say no for?

Dr. Leman: Yeah, that’s a great question Elizabeth. Thanks, and thanks Doug for the reminder. Different strokes for different folks. No one knows your child better than who, Elizabeth? You. And so for some kids, a whole day of mommy say no will be more than sufficient to get the kid’s attention. There are powerful children in this world who will tell you to your face, “You could do anything you want, but I’m not going to do what you asked me to do.” Those kids, the more defiant ones need a little bit more. So I would say, let your own maternal nose be your judge. For young children, it might be three or four different nos in a given day, maybe it’s a half a day and you’re back to normal. But do not be deceived by the child’s confession of, “I’m sorry.” Powerful children are great at using, I’m sorry, and they learn this real quickly in life as their answer all to get back to the status quo.

Dr. Leman: So if you’ve been suckered by that, then at least forewarn yourself that you can be used by a child’s premature, “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that mommy. Would you forgive me?” With big tears in their eyes. My advice is yes, you can forgive them, but the next question they ask, “Can I have this or can we go here or there?” The answer is no. And that’s a way of really making sure that the kid’s I’m sorry was legitimate so to speak. So if you wait till the next day with a six year old, that’s okay. They can last a day of having the n word put to the test. That would be no.

Andrea: The other question she asked was, what kinds of things do I stick to? Do I’d make her fill her own plate, make her own meal?

Dr. Leman: Well yeah, she mentioned a lot of different things. A little phrase I like is, “Honey, you can handle that”, when she’ll come and ask for something or help. “Honey, I’m sure you can handle it.” That’s all. Walk away. In other words, there’s almost an art form in knowing how to react to some of these things. Do I tuck her in bed at night? You could. You might eliminate the story. Again, it’s sort of a touchy feeling. It’s an art form at that point. You know your child best, but don’t be suckered because of the guilt that’s welling up in you because you’ve said no to her so many times. Because if she’s not going to start changing today, tell me Elizabeth, what day will she start changing.

Doug: Dr. Leman I know I ask this question a lot, but I’ve just heard it from parents so often that I’ll just keep asking it. Praise God that moms are so soft and loving and sweet, but in the back of the mind they’ll say, “If I do this, my child will think I hate them and then I will hurt my relationship with them.” Right Andrea? Or whatever form of that takes, right? That if I do this… She’s shaking her head. You can’t hear that Dr. Leman.

Andrea: Sorry.

Doug: How do you answer that mom who’s definitely afraid of that happening?

Dr. Leman: Well, I would say if you’re a person of faith, you really believe what the Bible teaches us. It says that love and discipline are inseparable. You cannot love a child without discipline. So discipline is not only what we pass down to the child in terms of our action, discipline is having the grit inside of you to remain firm and not to cave in. And it’s hard not to cave in. These kids are cute, they’re adorable. They look like your mom. They look like your dad. She has your hair and unfortunately your nose. But I wouldn’t even go there. I mean, they’re your creation. They’re your flesh and blood in most cases. And I’m just saying discipline’s a two way street.

Dr. Leman: So you have to discipline yourself to know that this is good. Let me bring up inoculations, they’re in the news these days. Do inoculations hurt? Do kids cry? Do they fear needles? A lot of them do. My advice, inoculate your children. Is it easy to watch your kid cry? No, but it’s temporary. It goes away. They’ll live through it. You’re the quarterback in your life, parents. These are decisions you have to make, but do not let guilt deter you from using action.

Doug: So my final question is for Elizabeth, whose got a full life of a six and a three and a half year old, I think, is there a book in audio form that she could listen to while she’s chasing kids around that would help her gain the confidence to do this?

Dr. Leman: Yeah, all of my books, I don’t think there’s any books that don’t have adios attached to them anymore. So they’re all available. They’re usually about 20 bucks, 25 bucks and available on Amazon. Like when I go out and speak, I’ll be speaking in New York, in California, in Illinois, Ohio in the near future. I’ll take books with me many times because they want me to. They’ll always ask, “Why don’t you bring your audio books?” Well, we don’t bring them because the plastic cases they come in many times crack, and people don’t want to buy a cracked plastic case for whatever reason. I get it. So we just tell people, go online and pick them up. You can pick them up. They’re a little pricey, but for people who won’t take time to read a book or people who are just busy and want to pop a DVD in a television set or a CD, listen to it in the car, it’s perfect. There’s all kind of reasons-

Doug: Which ones would you recommend? Parenting Your Powerful Child and what else?

Dr. Leman: Parenting Your Powerful Child for sure. Have a New Kid by Friday. Making Children Mine Without Losing Yours. Planet Middle School if you got a middle schooler. Those guys are really weird. Have a New Teenager by Friday. Marvelous book. So again, there’s 60, I think there’s 63 Leman books out there. So if you need encouragement folks, they’re out there and I’m really not trying to hawk my book. Trust me, we sell plenty of books, but it’s a resource. I can promise you this, a Leman book will be practical. You’ll have lots of takeaway in every chapter, and you will tend to chuckle and laugh as you learn. That’s by design. I think learning should be fun at all levels.

Doug: I think they have updated recently Parenting Your Powerful Child and I would highly recommend you start there. If you resonate with what Elizabeth says, I’d go there and get the base of what you’re dealing with. So well, it was great to be with you and as always if you want to keep getting these podcasts, you can hit the subscribe button. You can also pass it on to others that you love and think it would help them. And we look forward to the next time we get to hang out with you and just give you more tools so that you love those kids more and more.

Andrea: Have a great week.

Doug: Take care. Bye Bye.

Andrea: Bye Bye.

Jul 09 2019



Rule Book Issues (Episode 268)

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Do you and your spouse seem to have the same disputes that have lasted throughout your marriage? What does your marriage look like once your kids are removed from the equation? In today’s episode, Dr. Leman drops some hard truths for the husbands and wives that can’t seem to get over the hurdle.

Learn more about Dr. Leman at

NEW: The Intimate Connection –Dr. Kevin Leman

**Special Offer Jul 2 – 8: Have a New Teenager by Friday ebook for $1.99 at AmazonBarnes & Noble, or wherever you get your ebooks**

Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing

Produced by Unmutable


Doug Terpening: Do you ever find out that you and your love just can’t seem to get on the same page, after 20 years of marriage you still can’t seem to get on the same page. What do you do and how does that affect your parenting? That’s the question we get asked Doctor Lehman today. Hi, I’m Doug Terpening.

Andrea: And I’m Andrea.

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

Doug Terpening: Well, Dr. Lehman, here is the topic for today. And this is related to, we’ll make two fictitious people, we’ll call them Andreana and do Dougalaga. How about that? That way we’ll have two random people here, that have been married 20 years, and one of them feels that unless you are working, life is not worth living. And one of them feels like if you aren’t playing, life isn’t working. And after 20 years they still can’t seem to solve this.

Doug Terpening: And they still seem to have this expectation of what it does, and now it’s beginning to affect their children because on the weekends there’s always this fight over what are we actually going to do this weekend? Are we’re actually going to enjoy the basketball game, or are we going to go weed the garden, and blah, blah, blah, and do all these other things. Whoever these fictitious people’s children’s. Now, no Saturday mornings can be filled with tension.

Dr. Kevin Leman: Yeah. Well, anytime you’ve got two captains of the good ship family and they’re pulling the wheel in opposite directions, you’re going to go no place or you’re going to hit a solid wall sooner or later. It’s a directionless ship on the sea of life. And this is signs of competition in a marriage, where somebody has to take the position that I’m right and you’re wrong. So we’ve got two people who are fighting for superiority in the family. It’s an ongoing battle, it’s been going on for 20 years. So you tell me what you think you could do, couple, in this next year, so when you celebrate your 21st anniversary of fighting with each other, that things will be significantly different.

Dr. Kevin Leman: Can you agree to disagree? Is that okay? Can you have different ideas, motives in a marriage? Yes, you can. But there has to be a respectful appreciation for who the other person is. And you guys, I think I’ll call you Joe and Mary, which I think are much better names than what Mr Terpening came up with.

Andrea: Yes. I think so too.

Dr. Kevin Leman: You, Joe, have to understand that you’ve missed it here. You have not been the man you need to be. You have not been the leader you need to be. You have not been the lover you need to be, that one hurt, I know Joe. Mary, not to let you off the hook, you haven’t been a good wife. You haven’t been a good partner. You’ve thought about yourself, not your husband. You’re easily offended, so is he. I mean, we got a cat and a dog in a bag, is what we’ve got here, and you shake it up for good measure, you can’t even get through a Saturday without having a blowout about what are we going to do?

Dr. Kevin Leman: I vote you do nothing. I vote you sit in chairs opposite each other, and just look at each other and don’t say a word. Do that the whole weekend. You say, “Lehman, you’re drinking. What is wrong with you? Where are you getting this from?” Well, I mean really, you’d be money ahead to do that than what you’re doing right now. You’d do less damage to your kids than the dog and pony show you guys create. See, you’re the producer of this, you’re the director. You’re the lighting director, you’re the audio person. You orchestrate this for your own selfish reasons. You’re a selfish couple, tell you the truth. You care too much about yourself and not enough about other people, so you deserve each other. How do you like that? Now you’re really mad at me, and I’m saying did it hurt each other. But you do. I mean, really, you’re pitiful as a couple.

Dr. Kevin Leman: I mean, do it a democratic way. Okay, this weekend we do everything you want to do Joe, and next weekend, Mary, we do everything you want to do. I mean, if it has to be that elementary, so be it. But that’s a lousy way to run a marriage and to run a family, and what do you think your kids are feeling watching this dog and pony show? Where do they get the self confidence and the nurture? From these two selfish people? I don’t think so. So as your kids grow older, 20 years married, I’m assuming you’ve got kids that might be in the teenage years, your life’s going to get rockier. I don’t know what else to tell you. You know.

Doug Terpening: These are ingrained hypothetically, ingrained, this is the right way to do it. Right? And they’re not in agreement.

Andrea: Values.

Doug Terpening: There’s almost like a written something that says this is how it should be. How do we get rid of that? What is that?

Dr. Kevin Leman: Well, you have to, you know, I’ve said many times that when two people get married, how many people are actually getting married?

Doug Terpening: Three. No, four. Six.

Dr. Kevin Leman: Six, I knew the Terpenine’s would come through. Two tries, but they got it right. They’ve only heard me say this a thousand times. You can’t get good help these days. That’s all I can tell you. But anyway, we move along. Ouch, that hurt didn’t it? You know I love you. But you know, what I’m saying is, look back at your families that you came out of. Can you not see the seeds that were planted years ago based upon how you were brought up, and how you were treated, and your relationship with your mom, and your dad, and your sisters, and your brothers? You can’t see from whence you came? I’m telling you, you have learned these destructive patterns way before you met each other, by the way.

Dr. Kevin Leman: And so you come together in a very neurotic relationship, where you’re trying to solve your own self worth through marriage. Marriage isn’t about solving yourself worth. You know, you want to go talk to a shrink at 350 bucks a pop, go ahead and do it, but I don’t know how much that’s going to help you. I think you have to look inside yourself. You have to humble yourself before your mate, you have to humble yourself before your children, and if you’re a person of faith, which I hope you are, you have to humble yourself before God Almighty.

Dr. Kevin Leman: And say, “Lord, we need help. I can’t do this on my own.” There’s a little wonderful scripture with God, all things are possible, even for a miserable couple like you.

Doug Terpening: So what is it doing to our children?

Dr. Kevin Leman: It destroys them. It takes the foundation away. It builds insecurity in their life. They become carrot seekers, and by that I mean they’ll do anything to get the approval of other people because you guys are so busy with your own battles, you don’t have time to enrich these kids’ lives. You don’t have time to believe in what they’re thinking and saying. You don’t have time to talk with them because you’re at war with your partner. I mean, really, life is short. Take a look at the calendar, it’s been 20 years. What are the next 20 going to be like? I’d love to be there as your celebrate your 50th, that ought to be a great party.

Doug Terpening: So you have written a book, Intimate Connections. What would that book say to this couple about what they’re doing?

Dr. Kevin Leman: If they read the book in full honesty, I think they would cry when they finish the last page, and they would say, “Wow, we have really blown an opportunity to make a difference in our kids’ lives.” And then my fear would be, that guilt would take over and you would try to do everything in your power to just do things for your children, which would probably be the worst thing you could possibly do. And by things I mean giving them things, and over apologizing to them for your own behavior.

Dr. Kevin Leman: But you know, I’ve often said, action not words, and the actions can start today. I’ll tell you, picking up a copy of The Intimate Connection, you would read that, and you’d say, “There are marriages like this?” Yes, there are lots of marriages like this. The Intimate Connection is the utopia. It’s feeling like you can tell your mate everything and know that you’re not going to be judged, that you’re going to be met with compassion and love and understanding.

Dr. Kevin Leman: And for you, Joe and Mary, and I know there’s thousands of you out there, you have to put down the weapons. You have to reduce your arsenal. All the barbs that you say with that little rudder that’s in your mouth called a tongue. You need some time to look in the mirror, and pray this prayer, “God help me to love me as I know you love me.” Like I say, there has to be a submission, not only to each other, but to almighty God. You don’t need just a couple spark plugs changed, you need a whole redo of your marital engine. I wish you the best, you need it.

Doug Terpening: Wow. Well, we’re going to read the book, hypothetically, for that couple. They need to read that book. Well, since this is a pause while I collect my thoughts here, for a moment, I’d better do this. Again, for podcast listeners, there’s the eBook promotion from the good folks at Bicker, and this one is, Have a New teenager by Friday, July 2nd through the eighth for $3.99, How to Have a New Teenager by Friday, eBook version. Dr. Lehman, Have a New Teenager by Friday. What is it about?

Dr. Kevin Leman: It’s an award winning book, okay, that gives you practical ideas. I mean, go on Amazon and read the reviews of the book. You’ll see what other parents say. “This book is fantastic.” “It’s wonderful.” “It gave me a plethora of ideas about handle various situations with this teenager.” Teenagers are weird, but they’re fun. You know, I’ve been asked what the teenagers were like in the Lehman family. I can tell you, we raised five of them without a ripple. And we had fun with them, we roll with the punches. We held firm. We weren’t pushovers our no was no, our yes was yes. And the kids understood that.

Dr. Kevin Leman: And today they’re adults, obviously, and they love each other, and they even love their parents. So if that’s anywhere within your aspirations to grow kids who will someday rise up and call you blessed, the Have a New Teenager by Friday book is solid gold for $3.99. I’d download it on every appliance I had, I’d put it on my toaster if I could.

Doug Terpening: Great. Thank you for that. And now, no nonsense parenting advice from Dr. Kevin Leman.

Dr. Kevin Leman: Here’s one for you, and it’s not even, brought to you by State Farm Insurance, but when do you let your son or daughter drive the family car? That’s the question. I get asked that a lot. Well, obviously you have to wait until they’re of age, and most states at 16 when they can get a permit. Some states you can get it 15 and a few months. But here’s the question I’d ask you to ask yourselves. Did that son or daughter take care of their bike? Did they take care of other things they’ve owned along the way? Or were they the ones that just threw things down, left things out in the rain, didn’t seem to take much care and pride in what you got them?

Dr. Kevin Leman: If that’s the case, I’d be leery at the get-go to think that I’m going to hand the keys over to a kid who hasn’t got a good track record of taking care of things. If I’m going to give my son or daughter a car, I want to know that they’re going to take pride in the fact that I believe in them, that I trust him with this automobile, that if there’s an accident, could cost me a lot of grief, time and money. So that’s checkpoint number one.

Dr. Kevin Leman: Checkpoint number two. Is your son or daughter responsible in the general sense? Do they get good grades in school? I mean, insurance companies will offer you a discount if they have a B average or above. So these are all sort of background things. Then when you come to, when do you let a kid drive the family car? There has to be some rules governing the use of family car, and who better to come up with those rules than your son or your daughter. They’ll be tougher on themselves. Trust me, we did this with all of our kids.

Dr. Kevin Leman: And by the way, I taught four of our five kids to drive. By the time the fifth one came around, I went a Mr. B’s Driving School, or something to that effect, and they did a great job, and it saved me a lot of stress, let’s put it that way. If you’ve taught kids to drive, you’d know what I’m talking about. Oh my goodness, we have some stories in the Lehman family about that wonderful adventure.

Dr. Kevin Leman: But the point is, you give the keys to the car to a kid when you could really honestly look yourself in the mirror, and say, “You know, I really trust this son. I really trust this daughter. They’ve got good judgment.” And of course, you do have to make sure they’re ready to take the wheel of that car by themselves. And obviously, there’s a lot of time and hours spent with supervision before you turn those kids loose.

Dr. Kevin Leman: You know, I’m well past Social Security age now, and I still remember what my father told me. “Never make a left-hand turn until you can see the complete lane.” To this day, I have never, ever taken a left hand turn without seeing that clear lane. That’s how you stay out of terrible accidents, isn’t it? So we all need guidance from our parents. Hey, give your kids guidance. But do you really trust them? Are they really responsible? Those are the questions only you can answer.

Doug Terpening: So Dr. Lehman, coming back to Joe and Mary, one doubt that might be in Joe’s mind is, you know, this is a 20 year problem. Will reading a book versus going to a shrink or some other drastic measure, will a book really help that marriage?

Dr. Kevin Leman: Yeah. Here’s what I would suggest to you, Joe and Mary. I’d get two copies of the book in hand. Okay? Again, they’re very reasonably priced, and I’d highlight them with different colored markers. So pick a yellow, or a pink, or whatever you want, highlight the parts that really speak to you. And then, do the creditable thing, do the honest thing, do the right thing. And just give your book that you read to your husband, and write a little love note in it. I know you’ve been at war for 20 years, okay, but right in the front part of the book, there’s room there, a couple of blank pages, a little love note to your mate, and exchange those books. And then, pay particular attention to what Joe and Mary have underscored in that book, because those are the sore points, and that gives you a starting point where you can sit down and address in a civil manner.

Dr. Kevin Leman: Okay, now fighting is your go-to, so in other words, the paradigm is, you get to speak for, let’s say two minutes. Then your mate gets to parrot back what they thought they heard you say. If they didn’t hear it right, then you get 30 seconds just to rephrase it or clarify it, and go back and forth like that. And follow those limits, those minutes, and those second limits, because if you don’t, you’ll end up in a big old brouhaha again.

Dr. Kevin Leman: If you have to bring in a timer, bring in a timer. Almost all cell phones have timers, I believe. But make it a priority. If you do, and this isn’t easy, this is gut wrenching, because you’re going to have to face the ugly person you are in many aspects of your life, that’s not easy to do. Nobody likes doing that. But just like the dentist, if you don’t remove that plaque, down the road you’re going to have more than major problems facing you. So I wish you the best.

Andrea: So Dr. Lehman, just hypothetically, thinking this through, what do you do when you just feel so justified by your belief, and probably your mate does, feels just as justified in their stance?

Dr. Kevin Leman: You feel justified because your offense is your defense. You don’t want to look inside, you don’t want to owe up to your part. Like I say, fighting’s an actually of cooperation. So the person who is just hardened, that, I can’t get by what you’ve done to me, kind of thing, that’s saying really loud and clear that I admit that I am not part of this whatsoever. It’s your fault Joe. It’s your fault Mary. So if you do that, you’ve just wasted a lot of time, and money, and effort, you haven’t gotten anywhere, and you’re not going to get anywhere. You have to humble yourself.

Doug Terpening: How do you get to the point where you really can see that, I might possibly be wrong here, like, what triggers that?

Dr. Kevin Leman: I think an over-zealousness about self, and how important you are. And I’ve often told people, take a globe, you don’t see globes very often, any more. Physical globes you can hold in your hand. They look probably twice the size of a basketball, and hold it in your hands, and try to find the United States, or Canada, or Australia, or South Africa, or wherever you live. Try to find it on a globe. Okay, now you found the country. Now see if you can find the city that you live in.

Dr. Kevin Leman: On a globe, you probably won’t find it unless it’s a huge city. Well, point to the area with your finger. Take a pen and try to make a little tiny dot on that globe to signify where your hometown is. And realize, the very small part of this world that you and I are. And as you hold that globe in your hand, realize there’s one who spoke that world into existence. That Earth that we live on is suspended in thin air. Wow! What an awesome God to create that.

Dr. Kevin Leman: Now maybe you don’t believe in God. If you don’t, I don’t know what to tell you. Go get a copy of Oprah’s magazine and enjoy it. But if you’re a person of faith, you have to realize that God is who he says he was, and is, and with God’s help, all things are what? Possible. So again, I think there’s a spiritual battle, Joe and Mary, that’s going on in your life, and unless you acknowledge that and submit to his awesome authority, you’re not going to get anyplace.

Dr. Kevin Leman: So continue living your miserable life, and watch your kids pay for that miserable life that you’ve lived in front of them. That’s a sad commentary, isn’t it? Only you can do something about this. Smokey the Bear says, “Only you can prevent forest fires.” Yeah, only you and lightening, but you get the point.

Doug Terpening: Well, thank you Dr. Leman, for that. Well, hopefully Joe and Mary gained something from this episode that they can use and apply. And thank you for writing the book, Intimate Connections, to give people hope that there can be a difference. And I love the idea of the two highlighters to help others understand each other again. And hypothetically, if Joe were around he would probably say, “You know what? The reminder is, that if I know that in the parenting side, if I invest in the books and the effort, it pays off, and it’s worth it.”

Dr. Kevin Leman: I’ve got another thought. I wonder how many people are going to have discussion about, “Hey, did you hear the Lehman podcast? Did you hear about Joe and Mary? I wonder if that’s Ron and Charlene?” I wonder how many people are going to think, “I think I know who that,” because there’s lots of Joe’s and Mary’s in the world. Trust me.

Doug Terpening: Well, for all the Joe’s and Mary’s out there that are doing the best you can. The thing I realized, and Dr. Lehman, you attest to it, some day these kiddos are going to leave, I see that day fast approaching, and it’s just going to be you and the Mrs. So it’s worth it, because it’s just the two of you that are going to be having dinner together. So, thank you Dr. Lehman, a ton. Go get the book, Intimate Connections. You can get it on audio book, so as you’re driving to work you can listen to it. You can get it wherever books are sold, however you consume them, get it. And again, you will think Dr. Lehman a bazillion for it later.

Doug Terpening: Well, that’s it for today, and as always, we’d love for you to pass on news, if you hear something that you think would bless somebody else, you can always go to however you share stuff, on Snapchat, or Instagram, or Facebook, and forward on the latest podcast, and say, “This might bless you.” You can always go to to get more resources and insights as well.

Doug Terpening: Well, we love being with you and adding to your parenting toolbox, and we look forward to the next time we get to hang out with you.

Andrea: Have a good week.

Doug Terpening: Take care. Bye-bye.

Jul 02 2019



My 9 year old calls me a bad mom. – Ask Dr. Leman 125 (Episode 267)

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It’s time for another Ask Dr. Leman! When your 9 year old calls you a bad mom, how do you handle it? Learn what Dr. Leman has to say about powerful children in today’s episode.

Learn more about Dr. Leman at

NEW: The Intimate Connection –Dr. Kevin Leman

Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing

Produced by Unmutable


Doug: Does your kid call you a bad mom every day? How do you deal with verbal attacks from your children? That’s the question that we get to ask Dr. Leman, and get you that answer.

Doug: Hi, I’m Doug Terpening.

Andrea: And I’m Andrea.

Doug: And we are so fantabulously glad that you are with us today. And I just want to let you know that if this is your first time with us, 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 on today’s episode we get to do one of my favorite things, which is answer your audio question that you leave. And if you’re wondering, “Hey, I want to leave an audio question,” you can do that by going to to leave your very own question. Let’s get in today’s episode and hear what Kathy has to say.

Kathy: Hello Dr. Leman. My question is, I have a nine-year-old who has some very ingrained, set behavior patterns. My husband and I divorced two years ago and he’s been very angry about that. And he gives me a very hard time and tells me that I’m not a good mom pretty much every day. I’m a Christian and I’m constantly working on bettering myself. However, reading your book and even applying your tools just never seems to fully get his behavior to change and turn around. And I don’t know what else to do. The main issue is that he is very unkind to his younger sister. He’s nine and his sister is six. And I tell them that that is not allowed in our home, and there’s consequences given, but … He’s gotten better. However, he still does it all the time. And then he accuses me of being mean to him because I’m parenting him, and it just gets this vicious cycle, and it’s very exhausting.

Dr. Leman: Yeah, well it is exhausting. They wear you down. Well, there’s so many things going on here. First of all, he’s nine years old. Okay? And the divorce two years ago, and he’s bitter and angry about it. I mean, you have to understand what’s happened to him. You took his world and you shattered it when you guys divorced. He was just seven years old. And I realize there’s reasons for divorce. I don’t want to make you feel worse by saying what I just said. But you have to understand the reality from behind his eyes. Life has hurt him. It sucker punched him right in the stomach. So if I feel hurt by life as a 7-year-old, how do I behave toward other people? And of course you always hurt. This is the name of a song. you always hurt what? The ones you love.

Dr. Leman: And so he is striking out. He is saying behaviorally, “I am so angry that you two couldn’t keep your act together and give our family a solid foundation.” He’s angry about it, and you’re available, so your number one target. Guess who number two target is? Six-year-old sister. So he rips on her. You have to get good, Kathy, at verbalizing what you think your son feels behind his eyes. And in fact, this might help with the six-year-old. You can pull him aside and have a talk along the lines of, you know, “I’ve noticed something about your sister. She’s really sort of a pain, isn’t she? I can see she does things that upset you and sometimes there’s little things that maybe she does do that I don’t even see. And then I think I get mad at you because you’re older than she is.”

Dr. Leman: If you talk to your nine-year-old like that, he’s going to start figuring out, “Wait a minute. Mom’s a little smarter than I’ve given her credit for, here.” But you can, and I think you said you can’t implement some of these things. You can. You can do this. You need to be in authority. But what you have to understand is this little enemy of yours who you love with all your heart … I say the enemy because right now he’s hurting and he’s striking out. He knows how to punch your buttons. He knows how to punch your guilty buttons. And so you say there’s consequences. Well, I’m wondering what kind of consequences. Next time he tells you that you’re a lousy mom, I would simply say to him, “Excuse me, I want to make sure I understood what you just said. You said, I’m a lousy mom? A bad mom?” Just clarify it. Okay? Give him a look, that, “I get it.” Okay? And count the seconds or minutes before that nine-year-old wants something. Whether it’s, “Mommy, would you tuck me in now?”

Dr. Leman: “Dr. Leman, you’re not going to tell me not to tuck my kid in, I hope.” Yes, I just did. You need to show that you’re a human being; that you’re worthy of respect as a woman and as a mom. And he can find someone who’s not a lousy person, who’s not a bad mom to tuck them in at night. You say, “Well, there’s only my six-year-old and a dog here.” Well, those are your choices.

Dr. Leman: In other words, you have to play hardball. This is a powerful kid. Number one, he’s developed … He’s gone from attention getting to powerful. In fact, there is obviously some hurt feelings on his part, and so he’s striking back.

Dr. Leman: And so you can do this, Kathy. You can be firm. And what happens is, the guilt overwhelms you and even some of the things that I brought up in my response today is making you feel guilty, about what I said about divorce.

Dr. Leman: Well, I got news for you. Divorce hurts everybody. It rarely solves a problem. But you have to deal with what it is, and I don’t know all the circumstances of … If he was abusive to you in any way, I’d be the first to say, “Kathy, you need to get a divorce. You need to get out of there.” So I’m not anti-divorce completely, but divorce usually doesn’t solve things.

Dr. Leman: But when you draw a line with this nine-year-old, he’s going to see you mean business. And your stock, so to speak, is going to go up in his eyes when you stop doing the things you do for him every day. For example, do pack a lunch for him? If you do, why don’t you stop? “Mom, where’s my lunch?” “I didn’t feel like making a lunch today.” “Mom, I need something to eat.” “Well, honey, the school bus is going to be here in seven minutes. So you better grab something and put it in a bag.” That’ll rock him. He won’t know what hit him. At least you get to a point where you can talk.

Andrea: So Dr. Leman, I’m wondering, is she supposed to … The first thing that he requests after he tells her that she’s a lousy mom, that’s when she’s supposed to start this, “I’m not doing that”? So say he says, “You’re a lousy mom,” and it’s right before bedtime. And then he says, “Who’s tucking me in? Are you going to tuck me in?”

Dr. Leman: Yeah. “I don’t feel like tucking you in.”

Andrea: So not just out of the blue.

Dr. Leman: Let me ask you a question, Andrea. Was, “You’re a lousy mom,” out of the blue?

Andrea: I guess it was, yeah.

Dr. Leman: Yeah, right. So you respond in kind. [crosstalk] play on words.

Andrea: So just as soon as she hears this podcast, first thing she sees him, she just starts …

Dr. Leman: Well, here’s the question. Okay? We’re on live TV right now. We’re doing a talk show. And Kathy says, “Well, Dr. Leman, I don’t know if I can do that.” And I’d come back with, “Kathy, well let me ask you a question. How are things working out for you right now?” And she says, “What? Well that’s why I’m here. I need some help.” Well, then you have to listen to the help. He’s a powerful kid, so he won’t like it when you’re powerful back; when you’re decisive back with him. But he will respect it, and he’ll figure out real quickly, “You know what? I need my mommy, and what I said was wrong.”

Dr. Leman: And so it gets you to a point where you can at least talk turkey. I mean, as Helen Reddy said years ago, “It’s you and me against the world.” And there she is now, a single mom with two little kids, and I’m assuming she’s working for a living and trying to do all those things single moms do at once, which is near impossible to pull off. Hard enough to do it when you got a help mate. But I’m just saying, you got to cut to the chase and you need to get to a place where we either have a relationship, honey, or not.

Doug: So Dr. Leman, what I think a lot of moms are asking themselves is this: If I don’t talk my kid in, or if I say no, what is it going to do-

Andrea: Is it going to be worse? Is he just going to blow up?

Dr. Leman: Well, is it better to slow leak the relationship to death, or have a blowout? That’s one question I would ask our listeners. I think it’s better to have a blowout. But here’s what you have to understand. Guilt … And I’ll bet you guys can recite this, because I’ve said it so many times. Guilt is the propellant for most of the lousy decisions you make as a parent. And women tend to be the guilt gatherers of life. Men don’t gather guilt in great amounts. It’s the women who are the guilt gatherers. So this little guy has figured out ways of making you cringe inside; to make you buckle; to make you not follow through, which isn’t good for your family, Kathy.

Dr. Leman: So you know, if you feel like I’ve been beating you up on the podcast today, I want you to know that if that’s your perception, I’m beating you up out of love because you need to change your behavior and no one but you can change your behavior, Kathy. No one. And so this is a tough decision on your part.

Andrea: So what’s he going to do when she pulls this out the first time? I know you’ve talked before about the fish out of water idea. Is that what she’ll be experiencing?

Dr. Leman: Yeah. He’s going to have a meltdown. He might throw a giant temper tantrum. I mean, go to your bedroom, lock the door, go to sleep, turn the music on, whatever it takes. If you engage in battle, you’re telling him that his tactics are working and it’s going to do nothing but get worse and continue.

Doug: Well, Kathy, I really hope this helps you a lot and all the other moms that are out there listening. And again, I can’t say it enough, go get the book Parenting Your Powerful Child by Dr. Kevin Leman. I’m just telling you, read this book. It will give you the confidence so … You can hear these words, and I bet you in your mind you’re like, “I want to do this,” but in your heart you don’t have it yet. Read that book so that it’ll help get it from your head to your heart so that you really can have the freedom to have the relationship you want with this kid. And I’m just telling you, it works. I’m telling you. Dr. Leman, one of his favorite phrases is step over the child, not on the child. We’ve done it and it works.

Dr. Leman: Yeah. Let me say one other thing to you, Kathy. Our sweet Andrea would love to send you a teddy bear of, a bouquet of flowers, and a day trip to the local spa. I know this woman’s heart, and right now, in her heart, she’s praying for you. Okay?

Andrea: Really, we’re not all here to beat you up.

Dr. Leman: Yeah, she’s not the tougher side of the terpenes. Let it go at that.

Andrea: How do you know that, Dr. Leman?

Dr. Leman: I love you. You know that, but I do know you.

Doug: Well, Kathy, Andrea’s got that teddy bear and flowers coming, and to the rest of you, we love answering your questions so much, and we’d love helping you. So one of the ways you can do that is you can subscribe to the podcast so it comes to you, and you can also go to to get more resources, or you can leave your own question there. So go to and leave it there.

Doug: Well, we love being with you and we’d love adding to your parenting toolbox so you can love those kids more and more and more. We look forward to the next time we get to be with you.

Andrea: Have a great week.

Doug: Bye-bye.

Jun 25 2019



Can’t stop myself from feeling unappreciated as a mom. (Episode 266)

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Moms, do you feel like you wash the clothes, feed the family, do all the chores and hardly receive a word of appreciation? In today’s episode, Dr. Leman stresses the importance of appreciating moms in the household and a mother can be proactive to get the appreciation she deserves.

Learn more about Dr. Leman at

NEW: The Intimate Connection –Dr. Kevin Leman

**Special Offer Jun 18 – 24: Why Your Best Is Good Enough ebook for $1.99 at AmazonBarnes & Noble, or wherever you get your ebooks**

Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing

Produced by Unmutable


Doug: On today’s episode of Have a New Kid, with Dr. Kevin Leman, do you feel like you do everything and nobody cares?

Andrea: Yeah.

Doug: Do you feel like you wash the clothes, feed the family, vacuum, go to work, come home.

Andrea: And they just bring the mess back?

Doug: Yes, and nobody ever appreciates you. That’s the question we get to ask Dr. Leman. How do I deal with that feeling? Hi, I’m Doug Terpening.

Andrea: And I am Andrea.

Doug: Obviously you feel very personal about this Andrea. If this happens to be your first time with us, we’re so glad that you are here. 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 parishioner for help. Andrea, you are the resident mom here between the two of us.

Andrea: Yes.

Doug: Do you ever feel underappreciated?

Andrea: You know, work just keeps coming back. You wash the dishes, you vacuum, you wash the laundry, you clean the toilet, and it just gets dirty again. I think that because it’s just the regular routine things of life, nobody really seems to recognize it and sometimes it’s hard to get people to chip in and help.

Doug: Dr. Leman, how do we help these moms and dads, I guess, who say, “I just never, ever, feel appreciated. Nobody ever cares that what I do.” How can we help those parents?

Dr. Leman: Well, I think I can be of help on this one, but I have to, in all truthfulness, share something with you.

Andrea: Oh.

Dr. Leman: Let’s see. I’m trying to think how many years ago that was. Probably, gosh, probably goes back about 30 years of my life, but we had at the time three children. One day my wife decided, I think she was very frustrated, and some of the things that Andrea just said were probably pertinent in my wife’s life at that point. She was so frustrated one day that she took a banana peel, and she laid it on the floor in the hallway that enters into our kitchen area.

Dr. Leman: She said she sat and had a cup of coffee as the three kids came out one at a time, each of them pausing looking at the banana peel on the floor, and proceeded right past it. But what gives me great grief this morning as I revisit that thought in my memory bank is this, she said, “But you, you not only stopped and stared at it, you kicked it to the side.”

Dr. Leman: You know folks, I’m just telling you, I’ve been there. I wasn’t always as smart as I might appear on some of these podcasts. I was dumb as a rock. You know, it is so easy to take someone, especially if that someone is that pleaser personality, that one that says, “Can’t we all just get along? Can’t we all just be happy? What are you possibly complaining about? Can’t you just keep your hands to yourself? Do you always have to be picking on your sister or your brother?”

Dr. Leman: If you’re that personality, you can probably relate to what Andrea has said, or what I have said just a few moments ago. No one gives moms, especially stay at home moms, respect, in the truest sense of the word in our society.

Dr. Leman: Imagine two women talking, and they haven’t seen each other for ages. Maybe they went to college or high school together and they meet in a grocery store, and a simple exchange of a, “Well, what are you doing?” “Oh, well I’m assistant director of finance, down at the loan company, and what do you do?” “Well, I’m home with my children.” “Oh, oh. Looks like it’s going to cloud up and rain today.” All of a sudden, the conversation gets switched. It’s like my condolences, you’re down there, you’re a stay at home mom.

Dr. Leman: I would appeal to every man that’s listening, okay. Whether your wife is in a work place in the home, or the work place out of the home, now, notice how I’m saying that. Those are both work places. They need your respect and appreciation for the femininity that is brought to your family. Just like kids need masculinity in their life, they need femininity in their life. There has to be a good dosage of both.

Dr. Leman: The smart husband will begin to take note of his bride. For example, tonight at dinner, what normally happens in your home? Who serves what? Who gets up from her chair more than anybody else at the dinner table? I’ll tell you who it is, it’s mom. Next time mom starts to get up, gentlemen, what I’m asking you to do is say, “Honey, stay seated, I’ll get that.”

Dr. Leman: In other words, here’s a great opportunity to value, to show an action, how much you appreciate this woman who contributes so much, not only to your life gentlemen, but to your kids lives. Again, I’m putting this on you men. When you see or hear your daughter or your son be disrespectful to your bride, to their mom, I want you to step up to the plate. Man up, and set that kid straight, that you do not talk to your mom like that for any reason, at any time. You follow through with a discipline. I always say, “Let the reality of the situation become the teacher to the child,” so that kid has to pay for that, emotionally. He’s got to feel the brunt of your dislike for what happened.

Dr. Leman: For you moms who are just so frustrated that you don’t know what to do, and maybe you in your mind think you’ve tried everything, have you tried going on strike? It’d be a great idea. What would happen in your home ladies, if just for seven days you did nothing?

Andrea: Seven days?

Dr. Leman: Imagine what would happen. What I’m saying is you don’t do laundry, you don’t make a bed, you do nothing. You don’t cook a meal, you don’t make a lunch for a kid, you don’t drive them anywhere, you don’t do anything.

Andrea: Do you recommend this?

Dr. Leman: Oh I think in situations where you really feel like you’re just being dissed, yes, because I think it puts the onus on everybody to understand the huge job that a mom does in a home every day. I think sometimes you have to go on strike.

Andrea: I was going to ask you about, I remember you talking about maybe mom just saying, “I’m not making dinner and getting in the car and driving away during dinner,” but seven days, that’s a long time to …

Doug: Andrea, could you even do three days?

Dr. Leman: What would happen to you if you did exactly what the good Dr. Leman said to do, and after three days, Doug and your four children were surrounding you saying, “Mom, whatever you’re doing, stop. We’re sorry for whatever we did.” I mean, you’d come back. You’d come back at three days or two days, but I’m saying, give them a dose of reality discipline. “I’m not the slave dog, I’m not the maid in this home, I’m your mom, I’m your wife.”

Andrea: Yeah, I like that how you say, “Maid or mom, or … ”

Doug: Is this a hotel, or a home?

Andrea: A hotel or a home? Right.

Doug: Andrea, could you go for three days and do nothing around the house?

Andrea: Probably if I was not here physically. Like if I went away for three days, but to be here and to see the stuff piling up and to see the mess, that would be difficult.

Doug: Oh, but still then, we’re not going to appreciate her, are we Dr. Leman, if she’s always jumping in to fix things?

Dr. Leman: No, you’d have to live with the clutter. Don’t go to a hotel, that’s too expensive. Most families couldn’t do that. But if you put a smile underneath your face so to speak, smile in your heart, okay?

Andrea: Uh-huh (affirmative).

Dr. Leman: You can look like an old grump as you’re stepping over laundry and shoes left in the doorway and all kinds of things. Do what I did to that banana, kick it to the side. Keep walking.

Doug: Dr. Leman, here’s the sad reality, so I’m going to look more like a jerk. In three days, I would probably maybe notice, maybe not notice, right?

Andrea: Really?

Doug: Yeah, really.

Andrea: Like the dishes piled up around the sink?

Doug: It doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t. Now if it were five days, I would then notice it. You’re right Dr. Leman, she has to be a long time.

Andrea: Because you’d be like, “I can’t find a bowl to eat out of.”

Doug: All the cereal would be gone, all the milk would be gone, now I’d have to do something.

Dr. Leman: Andrea, you married a slow learner. I can’t help that, that was your choice.

Doug: I think there’s some fun in this. I always say, “If it’s not fun, I don’t want to do it.”

Andrea: I’d have to plan and get some good books to read, and make a plan with my girlfriends to go on a hike one day, so that … just really just kind of do what I want to do.

Dr. Leman: Listen, I’ve said many times, for kids who come home and both parents are not home, okay? They’re both working. Many families have rules like 13 year old and 14 year old are going to get dinner ready. There’s rules, take out the chicken, do this, do that, and nothing is done and mom comes home. I’ve always said that, “Mom, when the kids have failed to do what they’re supposed to do, don’t jump in and do it for them, go make yourself a cup of tea, turn on TV, put your nose in a book, whatever is your pleasure.

Dr. Leman: When the kids come in and they’re all starving and your husband’s starving as well, and they say, “When are we going to eat?” Say, “Honey, I’ll be more than happy to start dinner when you guys are finished what you were supposed to do and the kitchen is cleaned, then I’ll start dinner. If it’s at 9:00, it’s at 9:00.” Or, mom gets in the car, goes to Denny’s, buys one of those expensive Grand Slams, enjoys her dinner in solitude and comes home, and goes to bed. I’m telling you, if she did that, that husband’s going to feel guilty and so are those kids.

Dr. Leman: That’s good guilt to put on husband and kids, because again, if you don’t take a stand for yourself, nobody’s going to stand for you.

Andrea: Is there an underlying belief that this mom has that she has to do all this and then she has to feel appreciated? Is there something deeper going on here for this mom?

Dr. Leman: I think she just deserves respect. She knows that she’s not getting it, and she feels used. Who likes feeling used?

Andrea: Yeah, nobody.

Dr. Leman: It’s just simple courtesy. But see, if mom is always there to do it, you know the old saying, “You don’t miss the water until the well runs dry,” how true is that statement?

Doug: Well, I know you’re crazy Dr. Leman, and half the things you say, I think, “This guy’s nuts,” right? But Andrea and the kids all went to a tournament, they’re in a speech and debate club, so they were gone for four or five days. As soon as Andrea walked in the door, I mobbed her with appreciation, because it’s like, “Do you know how much you do around here every day? So you’re right, if mom went on strike for five days … I remember, right?

Andrea: And you were home alone.

Doug: I was home alone, right? I didn’t even have to take care of all the kids and all that, you’re right. If she did, that husband would wake up to it.

Dr. Leman: Mrs. Uppington, God bless Mrs. Uppington. She’s still sleeping by the way, she’ll be up about 10:30. She went to Chicago to help our daughter who has little three year old twins, okay. She left for 10 days. I wish you had a video camera and you could just film what my family room looked like. I had a bathrobe over a chair, a couple of pairs of shorts, socks on the floor, flippers, tennis shoes, had a lot of work on a coffee table, I was working on a book project. It looked like a barnyard to put it bluntly.

Dr. Leman: Now, we have conversations at night, “Honey, how was your day?” “Oh honey, my day was fine, had a good day.” We fill each other in. I never tell her that I’m in a man cave, but the night before she comes home, I’m telling you, I live like a slob. I had dirty dishes, I got a pie tin, I ate a whole pie that week. It was terrible, it was disgusting. I’m glad no one came over to the house, I’d be embarrassed.

Dr. Leman: But the night before, I go Uh-oh, she’s coming back. I’m really smart enough to clean up the dishes and wipe the counter tops off, she loves clean countertops. My goodness, she’s got an obsession with clean countertops. I put everything away, hung stuff up and took the garbage out, and did all those little manly things I do normally, and she walks in and I’ll never forget, she said, “Oh honey, geeze, the house looks great.” I … “Oh yeah, I try to keep up with it honey.”

Doug: That’s [inaudible 00:12:51].

Dr. Leman: It is what it is, you know.

Doug: It is what it is, what it is. Well, I have one more question but I’m going to forget to give you the eBook special, so I better do it now. The eBook special this week is, Why Your Best is Good Enough. June 18 to 24 of 2019 for $1.99. Dr. Leman, Why Your Best is Good Enough, what is this book about?

Dr. Leman: That book is an outgrowth of the Birth Order book. You’ve heard me talk about people who are procrastinators, the people who live in piles, the people who run late for things. If you’re one of those people who feel like you don’t measure up, you don’t jump high enough, you’re never doing things right enough, wow, is this a book for you. I get so many wonderful comments about this little book, Why Your Best is Good Enough.

Dr. Leman: If you’re one of those people who like to should on yourself, or should on other people, and if you have an honest talk with yourself, you’re sort of disappointed in who you are, this is a book for you to read. Well worth $1.99. My goodness, there’s a bargain for you.

Doug: Awesome. Get it now, June 18 to 24. Now, straight talk with Dr. Kevin Leman.

Dr. Leman: You know, I get asked a lot, “How do I help my kids get good friends?” Well, number one, you don’t pick their friends for them, but you have to be smart. You have to play live smart. Hey parents, you see a young man, or a young woman, who at first glance you take a look at and say, “Hmm, that seems like a nice young man, that seems like a nice young woman.” What do you do? Do you nudge your son or daughter and say, “Hey, check that young lady out,” or “Check this guy out. This looks like that might be a good friend for you.” No, that’s not what you do. But you engage that person. You find a way to engage them.

Dr. Leman: Now yes, your son or daughter might be sitting there with their hands in their pocket, whatever, wondering what mom is possibly up to, but again, the whole idea is to give opportunity to your son or daughter to bring people where? Into your home. We talk about finding good friends for your kids, you got to ask yourself the question, “How friendly is our home to strangers? To new kids, associates that our kids run into?

Dr. Leman: I think when kids feel like they have the freedom and support of parents to bring a friend into the home, you’re on second base. That is what it’s all about. It’s trying to create a situation where your kids feel like whoever their friends are, they’re welcome in your home. I’ve been asked this enough times, “How do I find good friends? I’m concerned about some of the kids my kid is running with.” Invite them into your home.

Dr. Leman: You’re going bowling, or you’re going out for a pizza, you say to your son or daughter, “Hey, do you want to invite so and so to go with us? I think the budget can tolerate one more mouth to feed, or one more set of bowling games, or whatever it might be.” Find a way to engage. Bring those kids into your home. Even the kids you don’t like, because that way, you don’t get into a power struggle with your kid. Believe it, they pick up the vibes that you don’t care for one kid or another. But have them around.

Dr. Leman: Sooner or later, those true spots on that kid, and you might be very right, this kid may not be a great match for your son or daughter, but over a test of time if they’re in your home, those true spots will be revealed to who? To your son or your daughter. The lesson is, make sure your home has an open door.

Doug: Dr. Leman, is there anything, going back to Andrea’s original question, or question she asked a little bit ago, is there anything for this mom to feel in her own heart, more appreciated? Even if others aren’t able to acknowledge it to her. Is there anything she can do?

Dr. Leman: No. I’m going to answer that, no. Unless she does something. She’s got to do some things to increase her stock. It’s action, not words on her part. She’s got to start acting differently, that’s the key. Once she starts acting differently, she literally forces the hand for the people around her who love her to act differently. They’re going to act more positively, and then she’s going to end up feeling better about herself.

Doug: I may not be the sharpest one on this podcast. I think we’ve affirmed that.

Dr. Leman: We’ve affirmed that several times Doug-

Doug: Yeah, thank you, thank you.

Dr. Leman: … but I don’t want to bring it up unnecessarily.

Doug: Loves and kisses to you too. I can be totally [inaudible 00:17:20]. We’ve been married 21 years, and I think it was only like two, maybe three years ago when Andrea finally sat me down and said, “You don’t appreciate me for when I clean all the blah, and do this, and do this.” She said it nicely, you know how Andrea would be, but she said, “I just need to hear and in cards, every now and then, that you appreciate all the work I do around this house.”

Doug: We’ve been married 18, 19 years. Is it helpful for wives to sit down and someone that’s as dumb as mud as me, tell them, “I need to hear the words, or see a card that you appreciate that I cook- ”

Dr. Leman: Yes, yes. That’s the vitamin E. It’s not fun being a mom in a home. They come home, notice the term, they. They come home and all of a sudden, what you’ve worked on, especially if you have the young little kids, oh my goodness. I mean, you can pick up a family room how many times during a day and some parents do it just because they have some OCD in themselves.

Dr. Leman: Many parents say, I’m just going to leave this looking like a barnyard, and 15 minutes before my husband comes home, I’m going to give it a final clean up. [inaudible] ahead that way. It’s a thankless job in many ways. It just keeps coming back, and coming back, and coming back. Everybody has to pitch in. No one member of the family, here it is, is more important than the what? The family, so everybody contributes. That’s why kids have chores in homes, among other reasons.

Doug: So again, I’m dumb as mut, so I’ll ask this other question. If I get in trouble by the two of you, it’s all right, I’m always there.

Andrea: I’m ready.

Doug: Is, if she sits the husband down and says, “Husband, I feel that I need some words of, that you would say, thank you for doing the food and washing the clothes, and everything you do, shopping, and it makes me feel really ooey gooey inside and makes me want to go to bed early with you.” Is that appropriate kinds of things to say, or not?

Dr. Leman: Sure. I think the point is you want to communicate to your bride, “Honey, I appreciate all the things you do in this family.” Just recognize in the day to day minutia and the fact that you appreciate her for her attitude for the servant leadership that she shows in the home, and again, when I say servant leadership, I know some people’s ears go up, but hey, husbands, you engage in servant leadership too. You serve each other.

Dr. Leman: The commandment is to come together and have oneness in your relationship. For the good of not only your marriage, but your kids. The kids need to be a part of that as well. This isn’t rocket science folks, you can handle this.

Doug: It makes me think back to the book that just launched a couple of months ago, Intimate Connection, that to be able to have that conversation even, you probably need to make sure that you have that connection, to be able to have that connection.

Dr. Leman: Yeah. If there ever was a book to read, and you’re married, there’s two of them that you should read for sure. One of them is The Intimate Connection, the other is Sheet Music. Those are two books that are must reads for every married couple.

Doug: Okay, I’m now, I’m down in rabbit hole that I should probably stop, but I do think that The Intimate Connection would be amazing as well as the mom going on strike. Those two things together would be awesome. Okay.

Doug: Well, thank you, Dr. Leman for answering our question and it’s great to be with all of you. A quick reminder, the book is Why Your Best is Good Enough. June 18 to 24, 2019. Only $1.19 where eBooks are sold. As always, you can subscribe whether you’re on iTunes, or Stitcher, or Sound Cloud, or wherever you are to this podcast, and Facebook is a great way. If you know of a fellow parent who feels super unappreciated and unloved by her spouse or his spouse, this would be a great podcast to pass onto them, and tell them, “I think this would really bless you.” You’re free to do that. We won’t stop you.

Doug: Well, it was great adding to your parenting toolbox, so you can love those kids more and more.

Andrea: Have a great week.

Doug: We look forward to the next time. Bye.

Andrea: Bye, bye.

Jun 18 2019



The school won’t deal with my powerful child, now what? – Ask Dr. Leman 124 (Episode 265)

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Does your child behave at home, but become a nuisance at school? What do you do when the school calls and complains? Dr. Leman gives a straight-talk answer in today’s Ask Dr. Leman.

Learn more about Dr. Leman at

NEW: The Intimate Connection –Dr. Kevin Leman

**Special Offer Jun 11 – 17: Birth Order Book ebook for $2.99 at AmazonBarnes & Noble, or wherever you get your ebooks**

Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing

Produced by Unmutable


Doug: On this episode of Have a New Kid with Dr Kevin Leman, we get your question about a nine year old, almost nine year old, who’s having a really hard time at school. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that the school keeps calling for behavioral problems. The mom thinks it’s low self esteem. What does Dr. Leman think? That’s the question we get to ask him today.

Doug: Hi, I’m Doug Terpening.

Andrea: And I’m Andrea.

Doug: And we are so glad that you are with us today. 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. Well,

Dr. Leman, before we jump into today’s episode, I thought since we’re talking about schools, are there any more Leman schools coming anywhere in the world?

Dr. Leman: Oh yeah. We have six schools now. We have five in the state of Arizona and we have one in Colorado, in Parker, Colorado, just south of Denver. And the next school up will probably be again in Tucson, which is our home base. We bought property. We are going to open that in August of ’20. So here’s what happens. We just built a new school this year, just opened in August on the east side of Tucson. But we have over 300 people on a waiting list trying to get in, and so we’re going to add additional space in two of our local schools just because the waiting list is so long and people want in Leman. So it’s been gratifying to see the tremendous success.

Dr. Leman: Our students, we call them scholars, they love being there and the teachers love teaching there and the parents are so grateful for the school. And these are free, these are public schools. And so we take what walks in the door. If they have a diagnosis of some special needs, whatever, we take them on, we do the best we can. We have a strong staff of people, professional people, and quite frankly, we’re knocking it out of the park.

Doug: That’s awesome. And again, what are they called? What are the schools called?

Dr. Leman: Leman Academy of Excellence. You can go online and Google us and follow along. You’ll see some interesting stuff on there. Our kids learn things by chance. We’re a classical school, like chance, like a sentence is a sentence. That almost sounds like a rap song, a sentence is a sentence. And it’s got five parts and little guys, little kinders, know the structure of a sentence. Second graders can diagram a sentence. We were doing that in high school. I walked into a third grade class the other day and a kid stood up and did the Preamble of the Constitution. So we teach kids to get up and talk and be comfortable talking with people. And of course, that’s one of the major fears that adults have. So anyway, I better shut up. I can go on and on about how wonderful the schools are, but I’m anxious to do today’s podcast. So let’s roll.

Doug: Well, let’s get into it. And hear this mom’s question. Here we go.

Alissa: Hi Kevin. My name is Alissa. I am from British Columbia, Canada and I have a son who is eight years old, turning nine. Name’s Jacob. So Jacob has always had a hard time in school. What we’ve come to realize now is that he is always searching for power and control in any environment or situation that he’s in. So of course every year we see it getting more challenging and we get just more phone calls home from the school, saying like he’s not listening or he’s being defiant. He won’t do what he’s told. He’s refusing to do his schoolwork. And my son’s extremely smart. And with all this power and control that he seems to have in this school, he has really low self esteem and confidence. He’s always comparing himself to others. He’s highly competitive, always wants to win. He can get quite aggressive.

Alissa: In the home, we are definitely taking back the power and control. He sees us as authority figures now as his parents, which is really good. So we’ve had a lot of success in the home. We did get outside help for that, but now it’s just what to do with him at school? I am going to be homeschooling him next year. I believe that this is what God wants me to do to ground him and build him up, but I just wanted your opinion. Thank you so much. Bye.

Dr. Leman: Wow, thanks Alissa for that challenging scenario with your nine year old. Let’s review a few things. You think he has low self esteem. He’s into power and control. He’s extremely smart and I would agree with you. He is extremely smart. He’s learned how to work you guys. And I’m glad to hear there’s progress on the home front. Now this is what always amazes me. The school calls and they say, “Well, he’s defiant. He’s not listening, he’s antagonizing other kids.” Or whatever it might be. What in the world are you going to do as a parent about your kid’s behavior in school? I mean, do you see the irony here? I mean he’s under their care all day long. So the school, and every school I’ve… If you’re a teacher, listen to what I’m saying. You have to be able to put authority in the classroom teacher’s hands.

Dr. Leman: And most schools across the US and Canada. I mean, when I say most, I’m talking 99% of schools do not give teachers any authority in that classroom. So if a student is misbehaving in the class, and usually that means just interfering with the educational process of others, they’re removed from the scene. Just like my advice in Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours or Have a New Kid by Friday, remove the child from the scene. When there’s a scene, you’re feeding the child more power. You’ve already established he’s a powerful child, which means you guys as parents have been what? Powerful yourself. You’ve been authoritarian and now you’ve seen the light and you’re moving toward being the authoritative parent that you need to be. And results have already shown in your home. And I’m thankful for that.

Dr. Leman: Now how do we teach the school to do that? So in a practical sense, the next time school calls you and tells you how bad your kid is, I’d like you to say something like, “Well, listen, thank you for keeping us apprised of the situation. I want you to know my husband and I have extreme faith in you guys at school to help this situation turn around. We wish you the very best. If we can help in any way, please, please just simply ask. We’ll do everything we can.” In other words, you’re putting the tennis ball of life, as I like to call it, back in the proper court. The school is very capable of disciplining that child.

Dr. Leman: When I get a chance to do a PD, a professional development at our school, I will get up and talk about relational discipline. And what’s relational discipline? Is that writing the kid’s name on the board? No, it’s not doing anything like that. Is it putting a color card or a code up in front, which makes the kid know that he’s on probation for a few moments or maybe a day? No, it’s establishing a relationship with that kid where he understands that you’re in authority. Now, here’s the late breaking news, teachers. Your kids in the classroom actually would like to please you. Your job is to put yourself in authority without being authoritarian. So sometimes saying to a kid who’s misbehaving in class, “James, I am very disappointed with what’s going on here. I expect more of you, young man.” Just simply that statement with a look will usually correct a powerful child. Now sometimes, they’ll cross their arms across their chest and sorta sit down with a little attitude to show you that they’re still pretty tough. That’s part of the powerful child’s everyday behavior.

Dr. Leman: But my point is you solve problems that are in the school, where? In the school. You solve problems in the home, where? In the home. Do school systems and teachers need help? They do, and we’ve become so permissive. We allow kids to rule. Just like in many homes, kids sure in the yardstick are in full control of these adults.

Dr. Leman: One more thing, Alissa. You talk about low self esteem. Your son has low self esteem because we haven’t done a good job of giving him vitamin E, which is encouragement. You’ve tried praise and reward and punishment, and that doesn’t work. For a powerful child, in his mind he says, “Okay, I get it. Game on, you got the right to punish me? I got the right to punish you.” And I’m telling you, if I was a betting man I’d bet my nickel on that son. Because he’s gonna win. Because I’ve said many times, in a power struggle, parents, you lose. So you want to avoid the power struggle. Okay. What do you two experts from the great state of Oregon have to say on this one?

Doug: My first question is, I love the idea of going to the teacher and saying, “Okay teacher, I’m going to put the tennis ball back in your court.” But haven’t we conditioned teachers to be afraid of how as an adult, I’m going to respond if they stand up to my kid in any way, shape or form? Are teachers really empowered, like you said?

Dr. Leman: Oh, they’re not. They don’t know what to do.

Doug: So by me saying, “Go ahead and do what you need to do with James. I’ll back you.” Will they really be able to do that or have I taken all the power away from them that they can’t even stand up to my son if I would give him the permission?

Dr. Leman: Well the one thing you’ve done is you shut off the avenue that well, calling home isn’t going to help my situation here. That teacher’s going to draw the conclusion. “Wait a minute, I’m going to have to do something.” And I’m just telling you that we tie the hands of the teacher behind their back and then give them all this verbiage about how important they are and what an integral part of education that teacher is. Really? Then why don’t you give that teacher authority?

Doug: So now this mom is bringing the kid home to homeschool. So now there’s no external authority to help her with her son’s defiance and power.

Dr. Leman: Yeah, and I’m not so sure that’s a great idea. I’m glad you pointed that out Doug, because I forgot that part of it. You know, I don’t think removing that child from that situation is the best thing. I think in many ways that placates the powerful child. And I realize there’s progress on the home front, and I think that’s commendable.

Dr. Leman: But I think you work with teacher and you sit down with teacher and say things like, “It seems to me that you’re the teacher and my perception is that little Michael really wants to please you. He gets frustrated because he’s so powerful. He feels like he has to win. And when he’s in a situation where he doesn’t feel like he’s going to win, why? Because he’s not prepared. He hasn’t done his homework, whatever. Then he resorts to just sheer power and crosses his arms emotionally and says, ‘I’m not going to do that.’ Well, okay, Michael, you’re not going to do that. I understand that. Well, listen, when we go out for recess, you’re going to have an opportunity. I’ve arranged with Mrs. Brown down the hallway. You’re going to sit in her classroom and do work while we’re out for recess.”

Doug: Awesome. Would you ever encourage this parent to say, “Listen, he doesn’t do X, Y, and Z, feel free to call us and let us know. And when he comes home, we’ll back you up and he gets the bread and water treatment.” Would you ever do that?

Dr. Leman: Well, you can do that, but I’ll tell you why I don’t love that idea, because it puts the onus back on the parent for behavior happening in school. And the school is fully capable of dealing with this. Listen, they have psychologists, they have resource officers, they have other teachers. If that school system can’t shape up a nine year old kid, there’s something wrong.

Doug: But the key is me as the parent going to them and saying, “Hey, listen, I’m with you. You do what you have to do and don’t worry about me. You-”

Dr. Leman: I support you. If you want to put them in in-school suspension, so be it. See, the powerful child needs an audience. Even a hermit needs a society to hermit from or it’d be no fun to be a hermit. And so when you take that away, when you take that away, the kid pretty soon says, “Hey, who am I fooling here?” I remember, I mean, I wasn’t a powerful kid, I was just a huge attention getter as a kid. But I remember as a senior in high school having a conversation with myself that went like this, “I’m dumber than mud. I’ve been entertaining my classmates now for years and all these guys are going off to college and off to university. What am I going to do? I can’t get a college to even look at me.” And I remember thinking I was stupid. Not stupid intellectually, although I didn’t really believe at that point I had many smarts, but I just wasn’t playing life smart.

Dr. Leman: And this little nine year old will get it. But again, low self esteem, parents get hung up on that. Your kid needs to take pride in what he does. You need to encourage every step of progress he makes, but without praise, without reward. Just “Wow, that’s going to make you feel great inside, honey. I’m proud of your effort.” That kind of stuff. That’s liquid gold to a kid’s psyche and to his self esteem, if you want to use that term.

Doug: Well, I want to follow up on that question about low self esteem because it was one I had. But before we do that, we have an ebook special from Baker Books that is unbelievable today. Like unbelievable. Like if you don’t take advantage of this-

Dr. Leman: I don’t like the way you said that. What’s the special?

Doug: I’m sorry. It is from June… I’m going to wait until the very end to tell you. June 11th to 18th for $2.99 on ebook, the Birth Order Book.

Dr. Leman: What?

Doug: I’m not lying.

Dr. Leman: I want to say something I shouldn’t say. My publisher’s nuts. Why would you give that book away for $2.99? I don’t know. Somebody’s been smoking something up there. I don’t know. Anyway, listen. All right.

Andrea: It’s a great book.

Dr. Leman: Let me look at the positive side of this. Thousands of you who are listening to us right now, you’ve seen excerpts of my book in Good Housekeeping and Mademoiselle and every magazine there ever was. It has been talked about for years and you’ve heard about the birth order and you think it’s sort of an intriguing idea because you know that the first two in your family are night and day different. Okay, so I’m gonna settle down. I’m gonna take back all those bad words I said about my publisher. And I’m going to say listen, at $2.99, and you can download that sucker. $2.99? Do it today. In fact, tell your friends about it. That is a ganga. In Espanol, that’s a bargain and a half. Oh my goodness. $2.99 for the birth order book. And by the way, if you’re a business person, or you make a living with relationships, you’re in sales. Oh my goodness. Don’t pass up this opportunity to read the birth order book. Download it. $2.99, you can’t miss. Share it with your friends and your business associates.

Doug: I know one of my favorite parts of our podcast segment, straight talk with Dr Kevin Leman.

Dr. Leman: Listen carefully. The man who is saying what he is about to say is really not off his rocker. Just stay with me for a little bit, would you? Outside activities for kids are not good? Yes. You heard that right. Outside activities for kids. Now Leman, Leman, Leman. There you go again. What do you mean outside activities aren’t good for kids? My kid is in Little League. We love Little League. Okay, you got me. I give up. Both hands are skyward. So let’s go with limit outside activities for kids. And here’s the problem folks. If you have three children and each of them just has one outside activity, you’re going to go bonkers trying to keep up with them. You’re going to be shuttling kids from one activity to another and at whose expense? At your expense. And check this out. I think at their expense as well. Because you know, the more activity and the more people engaged in your kids’ lives when they’re young, dilutes the indelible imprint that you get a chance to give to your own kids.

Dr. Leman: I think, quite frankly, some of us are addicted to our own adrenaline that our own body produces from rushing from event to event. I marvel at how young families make it today, when both of them are working and they have children. And you want to put activities on top of that? So again, for you parents who have little older kids, it’s time for discussion around the dinner table to say, “Hey, you know what? I think we all have a little bit too much on our plate. What can we do this next year, this next semester?” Any way you want to say it. This next month to limit things so that we have more time for ourselves, more time for each other and more time for our family.

Doug: So Dr. Leman, I want to talk a little bit more about this low self esteem. And I just got to ask the honest question, which is probably horrible to say, is like does this kid really have low self esteem or is this an excuse to kind of let his bad behavior go for it?

Dr. Leman: Yeah, it becomes an excuse. It’s thrown around way too loosely. A kid will have high esteem if he learns to do things by himself. Have you ever watched a two or three year old say to their parent, “No, I’ll do it. I’ll do it.” I mean, kids have a built in, I want to do it myself. And what happens is we hover over kids, we do far too many things for them. There is where you weaken a kid’s, if you want to call it self esteem. The kid figures out why should I even try? They do it so much better than I do. So respecting a kid’s efforts, whatever they may be, and not demanding perfection, not overreacting. Those are things that build a very healthy self concept, where a kid figures out I’m a capable human being, I can do. That’s what you want your kid to be telling themselves. I can do rather than I can’t do.

Andrea: And those sound like the kinds of things that would not be built in if you have an authoritarian parent because the authoritarian parent is telling the kid how to do it. Is that right?

Dr. Leman: Yes.

Andrea: So by changing that parenting style, then hopefully that kid will begin to realize, oh, I can do this.

Dr. Leman: Yeah.

Doug: So Dr. Leman, I got to ask, for Alyssa and then for our listeners. And I’m thinking about our listeners who have the reverse. At school they behave, but at home they don’t. For them, you would say read this book to help you the most. To kind of get that right frame of mind. Which one would it be?

Dr. Leman: Again, yes. Keep in mind folks, you ought to see the same behavior in both places. Okay? Now we see the improvement in home because parents have made changes. We don’t see change in school. Well, you have to deduce that the problem lies in the school environment. And what I’ve said previously about not giving teachers authority in the classroom was what spawns these kind of problems.

Doug: So what books should they be reading, though?

Dr. Leman: They can’t go wrong with Have a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours. If you have a powerful child, which Alissa’s nine year old certainly is, I would add to that mix Parenting Your Powerful Child. I mean, those are great books. There is great insight. I mean, I get thousands of emails from parents in a year saying, “Wow, the light went on. I see what we’re doing now. Thank you so much.” And see, that involves purpose of behavior, which we’ve talked about. Parents don’t realize that every social behavior your child engages in serves a purpose in their life. It builds into their life theme. How they see life. It’s sort of their daily mantra of how they live. Every day living, in your home and in school or any other social situation. So parents, I’m not trying to hawk my book. I read the reviews on the book. They were very, very good. People like them. They’re practical. You chuckle along the way as you’ll learn. So take advantage of these books and especially these offerings. Like we’ve offered the Birth Order Book, at $2.99. I’m still having a hard time getting over that one. But boy, that’s a bargain.

Doug: When I’m thinking about the book, Have a New Kid by Friday, especially for you Alissa, there are so many practical applications that if you’re gonna start homeschooling this kid, I would highly get that book because when you run into the different situations, you’re going to run into having him around 24/7, that book will be gold in the back half to you as well. At least that’s my opinion, but I’m not the expert or the author. But I am the opinion agent.

Andrea: You’re a parent.

Doug: I’m an opinionated one. So well, it was great to be with you. I want to remind everybody again, get the Birth Order Book for $2.99, June 11 to 18 of 2019 wherever eBooks are sold. It is one of Andrea’s favorite books. She absolutely loves it and we think you would too. And we look forward to the next time we get to be with you to help add to that parenting toolbox so that you can just love them kiddos more and more.

Andrea: Have a great week.

Doug: Take care.

Andrea: Bye Bye.

Jun 11 2019



Can you parent as a grandparent? (Episode 264)

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Whether you are full-time or just on a few weekends, taking care of the grandchildren involves parenting. Listen in to find out Dr. Leman’s advice on how to best take care of the grandkids when they are in your care.

Learn more about Dr. Leman at

NEW: The Intimate Connection –Dr. Kevin Leman

**Special Offer May 4 – Jun 10: Born to Win ebook for $1.99 at AmazonBarnes & Noble, or wherever you get your ebooks**

Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing

Produced by Unmutable


Doug: Some day, we’ll all likely be grandparents. What do you do if your kids start dropping your kids off more and more and asking you to be their parent? Can you parent as a grandparent? Well, we need to know if you end up having to parent as a grandparent. That’s the question we get to ask Dr. Leman today.

Doug: Hi. I’m Doug Terpening.

Andrea: I’m Andrea.

Doug: We are so glad that you are with us today. If this happens to be your first time with us, we just want to let you know this if 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, you just told us a really interesting story about someone who emailed you a question from a grandparent. It got me thinking. I think there’s probably more people that listen to this that either are having to parent as a grandparents, or someday were going to do it. What do we need to know if we get in this situation?

Dr. Leman: Well, I’ll tell you, I think there’s an awful lot of grandparents out there, number one, who are rearing their grandchildren. There’s a lot of grandparents out there whose adult children are using their parents, the child’s grandparents, in a negative way, in a way that they expect the grandparents to drop everything they’re doing and to give safe harbor to their grandchildren. Now, we have four grandchildren. Quite frankly, we go to great lengths to be with them. Two of them live in Chicago, which is not exactly next door to Tucson, Arizona.

Dr. Leman: In fact, my dear wife is flying up there in a week or so to be with our daughter, Hannah, and her husband, and those two little twins because both of them work and they’re like a lot of couples. We want to be helpful parents. Let’s face it, grandparents, you are mature. You’ve gone through life. You know a few things. By the time we get to the grandparent stage, we’re pretty steady and predictable, and again, a safe harbor.

Dr. Leman: As I was telling you the other day, I got a question from a woman and I really felt so sad because the parent comes and drops off her daughter and leaves her there. I mean, leaves her there. She leaves her there. She doesn’t say, “I’ll be back tomorrow night.” She just leaves them and takes off. Grandparents never know when she’s going to come back. It can be two weeks later. It can be a week later. It could be three days later. Here’s a daughter who has absolutely no respect for her parents, and she uses those grandparents, their good will, good nature, and their love for their grandchild. You tell me, what would you do? I know what I told her to do, but I’d love to know what you guys would do if you’re the grandparents and you have a daughter, doesn’t have a husband, is single mom and she brings by this little granddaughter, drops her off and you never know when she’s going to come back. What would you do?

Andrea: Oh, I’d be taking care of that grand baby, loving on it and just treating it like, “Well, you’re here now and as long as you’re here I’m mom, I guess.”

Dr. Leman: Well, yeah. I think that’s how most people would respond, that, “This is my granddaughter and I love her and I want what’s best for her. Yes, we’ll take her to school. Yes, we’ll pack her lunches. Yes, we’ll give her money if she needs it,” and all those kind of things.

Andrea: I’d probably even be considering adopting her.

Dr. Leman: Well, I tell you, here’s what I shot back to grandma. I said, “You know what? This is a situation that doesn’t have a happy ending. The best thing you can possibly do is to start refusing taking your granddaughter until you reach an agreement with your daughter that you have guardianship of that nine year old.” This daughter is … God only knows what she’s doing. What she’s doing is not good. I can tell you that from the kind of things that the grandmother had shared with me. Again, parents, it’s a catch 22. You want to help your grandchild, but you best help your grandchild by getting guardianship of that nine year old. Now, that costs money. You have to have cooperation with your daughter. Whether your daughter caves in and gives it to you is up for grabs, but you can’t go through life just having somebody drop a youngster, someone you love, off at your house and not knowing where she is and when she’s going to be back.

Dr. Leman: What if you guys have plans to go someplace and maybe see one of your other children, or one of you is still employed and have employment responsibilities. It’s a no win. As tough as that advice is for people, the best solution is to try to get guardianship. Once you have guardianship, then you can go ahead and you can really rear that nine year old as the parent. Then, mom has visiting rights, so to speak, for lack of a better term. She sees the kid’s mother, but you can imagine this child is just nine years old. What is she going to be like at 14? She needs somebody that’s going to really model stability and currently mom is just all over the place. Again, I’m very suspect that she’s a druggie and doing a lot of things that she shouldn’t be doing.

Doug: If the grandparents refuse the daughter unless they get guardianship and the daughter refuses, what’s going to happen to that … my grandchild?

Dr. Leman: See, this is where a situation like this we feel like we’re over the barrel. It’s just like the parent that writes in and says, “My son refuses to take his medication. It’s really important he takes his medication.” Well, the kid’s got you over the barrel. Kids and adults know when they have you over the barrel. They’ll work you. People aren’t for using. I know that. Is this easy to pull off? No. It’s not easy at all. Is it simple? No. It’s not simple either, Leman. This is difficult stuff, but you have to have a heart to heart with daughter. I mean, I’m suspect that the grandparents are also helping the daughter financially. They help her financially and she takes off on a two week binge someplace, hit and miss at work and all that. It’s a crisis in the making. I’ve awfully said, “I’d rather force a blowout than watch it slow leak itself to death.” These are tough questions. Most of your parents who are listening are saying, “Oh my goodness. I’m glad that’s not our situation.” It’s tough.

Andrea: Is there any hope that by the grandparents standing up and saying to the daughter, “Well, you need to give us guardianship if we’re going to keep doing this,” that she might actually recognize what she’s doing and she just is waiting for somebody to hold her accountable and she might-

Dr. Leman: She might.

Andrea: Come out of this-

Dr. Leman: She might.

Andrea: Behavior?

Dr. Leman: Again, permissiveness reigns in our society, and caving in and giving in. Very few people draw lines and says, “This is no longer manageable for us.” Imagine, grandparents living life and all of a sudden, without notice, there’s no phone call or anything, she just drops her off at the house and leaves. I mean just totally non-responsible behavior. You get the authorities involved, then there’s more problems down the line. I think this is something you want to try to solve as grandparents and cut a deal with your daughter for one specific reason, and that is you want to give that granddaughter, in this case, the best predictable, safe environment where she’s going to feel loved and she has some stability. Nine year olds need that, believe me.

Doug: You know what I really appreciate about this example is, for me, you have used this phrase before, “I prefer a blowout than a slow leak, and people are not to be taken advantage of.” It’s like, “Yeah, I get it now.” If I’m ever being taken advantage of, I should force the issue instead of just limping along like this. In all of life, whether you’re a grandparent or not, that’s great.

Doug: Well, before we finish, ’cause I have another question for grandparents here, I want to take this moment for all our podcast listeners, again, to tell you about the eBook special, thank from Baker Books, for you and you alone, a book by Dr. Leman called Born to Win for $1.99, June four to ten of 2019. Dr. Leman, I’m embarrassed to say so, I haven’t read Born to Win. I don’t know if I’ve even heard about it, which [crosstalk 00:08:37]-

Andrea: I don’t know if I’ve heard of it either.

Dr. Leman: Well-

Doug: What is this one about?

Dr. Leman: Who do you suppose is born to win? Take a guess.

Doug: Andrea-

Andrea: The baby-

Doug: ‘Cause she’s sweet.

Dr. Leman: Nope.

Doug: The middle child, ’cause we’re both middle children.

Dr. Leman: No.

Andrea: The only child.

Doug: No, no, ’cause we’re middle children. No?

Dr. Leman: The firstborn.

Doug: Ah.

Andrea: We’re all born to win.

Dr. Leman: The firstborn. They are born to win.

Andrea: Yeah.

Dr. Leman: It’s all about firstborn children. If you’re a firstborn-

Doug: So this is-

Dr. Leman: Or if you have a firstborn, you might really enjoy reading Born to Win.

Doug: It does help to get behind their eyeballs and understand it, doesn’t it? Born to Win, $1.99 June four to ten of 2019. Now, favorite part of the segment, Straight Talk with Dr. Kevin Leman.

Dr. Leman: You know, you don’t have to walk very far to find a smart mouthed kid these days. You’ll find them in schools. You’ll find them on a playground. This is so difficult to say to you parents. You may even find them in your home. You know, kids today view themselves as social equals. They don’t really see authority in a proper manner. Parents, quite frankly, don’t act in authority. They tend to be permissive and then they swing to authoritarian. We’ll discuss that one at another time, but the point is is that these kids know where you are, how you operate. I’ll tell you, they can pull your chain. The question is, when your child is really smart mouth to you, ask yourself this question. What was the purpose of nature of that? Was it to show you that he or she is the boss, that they want to simply just dis your authority?

Dr. Leman: It could be, but the point is, words hurt and you don’t have to just come back immediately. If you do, you engage in fighting. Remember, fighting is an act of what? Cooperation. After the hurtful words, go about your business. I’m telling you, I don’t care if your kid is six or 16, it’s going to be a very short period of time when they come to you and say, “Mommy, would you get me this?” Or, “Mom, can I go over to John’s house?” Maybe they’re driving the car. “Hey dad, can I take the car?” Well, a simply dosage of vitamin N will get your son or daughter’s attention. What does that mean? A simple, “No. I don’t feel like getting you anything right now.” “Honey, no, you can’t take the car.” Turn your back. Walk away.

Dr. Leman: Now, again, do not engage in battle. You have gold in your back pocket, parents, okay? I call this parental poker. You have four aces in your back pocket as well. You don’t have to always play those cards, you just have to have the assurance that those cards are there. Quite frankly, your kid wouldn’t have underwear on right now if you didn’t buy it for him. Who’s kidding who? You are in full authority over your children.

Dr. Leman: Now, here’s the fun part, I think. They’re going to dig. They’re going to say, “Mom, what’s wrong with you? You always let me go to John’s house. You always let me do this.” Let them really squirm and figure out that maybe what they said an hour and a half earlier was very inappropriate. Don’t tell them right off the bat. Again, let them sort of guess and figure it out. Finally, he or she will figure it out. “Oh, I’m sorry about what I said this morning.” “Well, honey, I’m glad you could say you’re sorry. That’s really important.” “Well, can I take the car now?” “No, but we’ll revisit that another day.” That’s Straight Talk from the good old Dr. Leman. I’m telling you, this stuff works.

Doug: Okay, Dr. Leman. Here’s my question. For the grandparents that are not in that dire of a situation but we do have the classic, “Truly the parents are super permissive and when they come over to my house, my grandparents just are out of control. I don’t agree with their parenting style. What do I do when I have them in my house for five hours or maybe overnight? What do I do with their unruly behavior?”

Dr. Leman: Well the simple sentence is, “Honey, in our home we don’t do that,” works, whether it’s putting your feet on the furniture or whatever. Here’s the interesting thing that I’ve observed over the years, Doug and Andrea, that kids can go from one environment to another with a completely different set of rules and they adjust to it. Grandparents, don’t lower your expectations for your grandchildren. I would tell you, when the grandchildren come over, okay, have fun. Do a little thought about, “Hey, what could we do with … grandkids are coming over.” Maybe your kids have said, “Hey, we want to take off for a weekend. Would you take the kids for a weekend?” “Okay, we’d be glad to.”

Dr. Leman: Well, rather than just sit around grandma and grandpa’s house, which a lot of grandparents are very comfortable in doing, plan a couple things. In fact, asking your grandchild’s opinion of, “Honey, would each of you give grandma and grandpa one idea of things you think might be fun for all of us to do this coming weekend? I know you’re coming over Friday night and you’re going to be here til Saturday late, so come up with a couple things and grandma … grandpa and I will talk about it and we’ll figure something out,” so that time with your grandchildren is meaningful and you can have a fun time together.

Doug: The recommendation is make it fun when they do come over and keep your standards going, that they will adjust to being at your house with whatever standards-

Dr. Leman: They will.

Doug: You have.

Dr. Leman: They will adjust to whatever your expectations are.

Doug: When I think about when we have some of our nieces and nephews come over, they do adapt to our behavior.

Andrea: Yeah.

Doug: It is interesting. You’re right. Well, thank you, Dr. Leman. You might hear a frog in our background. We have a frog in our garage that we cannot find. If you hear something croaking-

Dr. Leman: I love it.

Doug: If you hear something croaking, it’s not Andrea.

Andrea: No, it’s not.

Doug: It’s actually a frog.

Dr. Leman: Okay, people, Doug and Andrea are hillbillies. You remember the old hillbillies? The Beverly Hillbillies-

Doug: Oh, come on-

Dr. Leman: These are Oregon hillbillies.

Doug: Come on.

Dr. Leman: They got a frog in there.

Doug: We can’t find it. We’ve been looking for like a week.

Dr. Leman: You know why-

Doug: It tells you how cluttered our garage is.

Dr. Leman: You know what the frog said? He said, “Pardon me, I have a man in my throat.”

Doug: Ah, well, we love, love, love answering these questions and helping you with your parenting toolbox. Born to Win is the new eBook for a buck ninety-nine, June four to ten of 2019. If you have a firstborn, highly recommend, highly, highly recommend it, as well as all the other Dr. Leman books that are out there. We can’t wait to be with you again and add to your parenting toolbox so you can just love them kiddos more and more, whether you’re a grandparent or a parent.

Andrea: Have a great week with those grandkids.

Doug: Yes. Mrs. Terpening’s really happy and looking forward to them.

Dr. Leman: All righty.

Doug: Take care. Have a great day. Bye bye.

Andrea: Bye bye.

Jun 04 2019



Angry dad = angry son. How do I get my husband to look at his anger issue? – Ask Dr. Leman 123 (Episode 263)

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It’s time for another Ask Dr. Leman: “How do I get my husband to look at his anger issue?” Find out what Dr. Leman has to say about the correlation between powerful parent and child in today’s episode.

Learn more about Dr. Leman at

NEW: The Intimate Connection –Dr. Kevin Leman

**Special Offer May 28 – Jun 3: Have a Happy Family by Friday ebook for $1.99 at AmazonBarnes & Noble, or wherever you get your ebooks**

Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing

Produced by Unmutable


Doug: On this episode on Have a New Kid By Friday with Dr. Kevin Leman, we get to answer your question: What do I do if I have an angry husband and now at nine years old I find out I have an angry son? I thought he was a great kid, but now he’s turning angry. How do I get my husband to change? What do I do about my son? That’s the question we get to ask Dr. Leman today.

Doug: Hi, I’m Doug Terpening.

Andrea: And I’m Andrea.

Doug: And we are super triply duper happy that you are here with us today. And if this is your first time, we 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 see a local professional for help. And, I just want to remind everybody,, you can go there and get tons of resources and insights from Dr. Leman. And also you can go to and leave an audio question, like this mom did, and you might get it answered right here.

Doug: Well, let’s jump into today’s question.

Ask Dr. Leman: Hi, Kevin. My son is turning nine. We thought he was a leader and very logical and smart, only to find out and be told he is very powerful and controlling. And we saw a lot of red flags in this last year that we knew we had to make a change. We have made a lot of changes in our home, so we’ve seen a really big turnaround in him. And I do believe you when you say you can see major changes in a week, as long as the home is remaining consistent and parents are on the same team.

Ask Dr. Leman: But my last concern is, he has this anger, and we call it verbal diarrhea. He likes to have the last comment still, and he complains a lot, and is acting miserable, when he doesn’t need to be. But my husband also has a, I guess, a root of anger in him, as well. I was just wondering if you had any helpful advice for my husband to look at his anger and seek some help, if you have any tips on that, so that it can be just passed down to my son. I really appreciate it, and thanks.

Dr. Leman: Well, there’s a little grist for the mill in that question. How old was the son?

Andrea: He was nine. Nine.

Dr. Leman: Did she say?

Andrea: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Leman: Yeah, nine, yeah. Wow. There’s an awful lot in this. I’ll make a couple of guesses, first of all. I’m going to guess that your husband, and this really isn’t a guess, is an authoritarian, there’s a right way to do things. He’s a black and white thinker, which leaves you a pleaser. It puts you in the middle of your son and your husband. You know the venom that comes out of your husband’s mouth, the anger, and you do your very best to combat that by probably being permissive on your end to try to balance that off. Your son is caught in the middle, but his verbal diarrhea, his venom that comes back, the anger that he explodes with, is symptomatic of being reared in an authoritarian home.

Dr. Leman: Now, when you talk about or ask about how to help your husband, should he go to therapy or how does he get insight into all this, reading three books, Leman books. Let’s say you bought them online, you’d spend maybe $45 for three books, that would be a little cheaper than seeing a shrink at $350 a pop. I don’t think he needs self-examination from an outside source. I think the self-examination can come from simply reading a book or two. In fact, I think you should read them together and you should highlight in the books with different colored magic markers, things that pop out to you.

Dr. Leman: Your son is going to have a short fuse. When he loses things he’s going to become explosive. He’s always going to be pointing the finger at somebody else’s fault, because that’s the environment he’s growing up in. But the seed is being planted, that has grown to adulthood, your husband, he has to be challenged. And the words on the page will challenge him. I think you have to read them together to see that, I mean, Doug Terpening, our cohost, has said publicly, “I was an authoritarian parent, and I’ve learned to turn it around.” Is it always easy? Is there a part in Doug Terpening’s life when he reverts back to the authoritarian? I bet a nickel on it, because earlier learned behavior always seems to pop up from time to time.

Dr. Leman: But the point is, is that we learn why we do what we do, okay? And again, the authoritarian says, “I only count in life when I win, when I’m the boss, whatever I say goes.” And you tend to look down at people. You tend to look down at your son or your daughter. You tend to look down at your wife. You’re better than them, you know everything. And so, I think reading the books, Parenting Your Powerful Child, Have a New Kid By Friday, and Making Children Mine Without Losing Yours. That small investment, if you read those books, will certainly give you all the information you need to try to turn things around in your home, so you can have a happy home.

Dr. Leman: Now, again, I can hear your husband say, “I’m not reading any book.” Well, if you’re not reading a book, you can go out and get the DVD. You can listen to the book. Ask yourselves this question today, “How are things going in your family? How do you feel about your role as a mom? As a dad? How’s your family going? How’s it working out for you?” And I’m telling you it’s not working out good or you wouldn’t be asking this question. There’s no magic dust here. It’s a relearning. It’s, rather than telling your son what to do at every moment, it’s saying, “Hey, honey, I’d love to know what you think about it.” It’s asking opinion rather than giving out orders.

Dr. Leman: So anyway, I think the best way and the most practical, pragmatic way to deal with that is to take those books and read them one at a time. And like I say, highlight them so you can see how each other respond to the written word, because you two have to be on the same page. If you two are not on the same page, you can read every Leman book there is, you’re not going to see a change in behavior. So, there’s your assignment.

Doug: So, Dr. Leman, what got me out of my anger authoritarian cycle was actually softness. And it was obviously, my daughter saying she was afraid of me, and then it was the kindness and softness of my wife. How often does that approach work to get the authoritarian angry person to listen?

Dr. Leman: Well, lots of times, you are introduced at a party or something, and you’ll hear something about, “Well, the better half is my wife.” There’s so much psychological truth in that, Doug, it’s terrible. Because women are relational by their nature, and a sweet woman can really be a great trainer to a husband about life.

Dr. Leman: My wife has helped me in so many situations, to say, “Honey, now wait a minute. Now, just back up a step or two and let’s talk about this a little bit.” And, the man that’s big enough, so to speak, to really listen to his wife, I always tell the CEOs, the business people I work with, “Hey, run everything by your wife first.” Why? Because women are closer to life than we men are. If you’re blessed with a great wife who has insight into relationships, men, listen to your wife. A lot of men just don’t listen. They know it all. They have such a need to be right. We see them every day, and we take a look at the divorce rate. How many women do you think have ever said to me, “Oh, Dr. Leman, I just love it when my husband controls me?” That’s not love. It’s trying to service your wife and know all of her needs and desires and try to meet them as best you can. Are you going to be perfect? No. None of us are perfect, but that effort.

Dr. Leman: You want your wife to say, “Oh.” You ever hear that little oh, dove? “Oh, you’re so sweet.” I mean, that’s when you know you’ve reached into a woman’s heart. And so again, I’d just say women are the best teachers in the world when it comes to relationships. So, gentlemen, and specifically in this case, the caller who asked the question, I mean, you have to understand you have a profound effect upon your husband. And when he starts making some progress, reinforce that as best you can.

Andrea: How does reading a book and learning new skills help somebody with an anger that’s been built into them from their childhood, and it’s deep down?

Dr. Leman: Because the anger is produced by whom? Who produces the anger?

Andrea: I would assume that person.

Dr. Leman: That person produces it. In other words, they manufacture it, they produce it, they distribute it. It serves a what? A purpose in their life. So, when an adult male throws a temper tantrum, everybody stops, everybody freezes, hearts race. Heels click together. And so, he has learned that his powerful, disruptive angers creates the change that he wants. He’s listened to, he’s feared, and all that. That’s what neat about reading the book, because you’ll see the purpose of nature of the behavior in the book. I mean, just like the classic kid throws a temper tantrum on the floor. What’s the purpose of it? It’s that little six-year-old’s, four-year-old’s way of saying, “Hey, I want you to do what I want you to do. Not what you want to do. I’m challenging your authority. I’m an authority over you.”

Dr. Leman: I think, and I like the idea, of highlighting it with different colored markers, so it helps get the parents behind each others’ eyes to see how they see life. See, the reality is, the guy that’s really angry all the time, he fears that if he’s not that way that no one’s going to appreciate him or listen to him or care about him.

Doug: Wow, that’s really insightful. That this is how he gets his value or his perceived value. Interesting, interesting.

Dr. Leman: Well, you got to remember, perception is reality.

Doug: Yeah. This lady, you say, is a pleaser, so he’s used to being able to walk all over her. If she stands up to him, what is he going to do, do you think?

Dr. Leman: Oh, he’ll react negatively at first. I call it the fish out of water syndrome. If you catch a game fish, that fish, once he’s hooked, will do something that’s not very natural. They leave the water. Most fish who just leave the water die. They need to be in the water, but it’s that initial resistance. Because the really angry person, whenever they’re challenged in the slightest, their defense is more offense, so it takes a while. But I think sharing your real feelings, mom, in this situation, with dad, with husband, is really important. You’re going to say some things that might be very difficult for you to say.

Doug: So, Andrea, you’re more on the pleaser scale than the authoritarian scale.

Andrea: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Doug: Could you do this? Could you get a book and highlight it for me and say some things to me back then?

Andrea: Back then?

Doug: Yeah.

Andrea: As opposed to now?

Dr. Leman: I think right now she should just say, “Hey, dummy, that’s wrong.”

Andrea: We’ve gotten there.

Doug: She did last night. Don’t worry, Dr. Leman, she had no problem telling me I was a dummy last night.

Dr. Leman: Good for Andrea. Everybody loves Andrea, don’t they?

Andrea: I think, is the highlighting supposed to be the things that resonate with me? And Doug is highlighting the things that resonate with him? Or is the highlighting me showing Doug this is what I think you need to notice?

Dr. Leman: No, highlighting is what grabs your attention, because we want Doug to see what’s important to you. Because we need to work toward oneness as a couple.

Andrea: Yeah, that totally makes sense.

Doug: So, you can highlight the book, and could you come and say to me, “Hey, dummy?”

Andrea: Well, I don’t think that’s what it’s about. I think it’s about what is standing out to me, and you saying what’s standing out to you. And then us talking together. Not me looking at it trying to look through your eyes.

Dr. Leman: Ah, see how smart she is?

Doug: Well, she is smarter than me, isn’t she? But we’ve known that for a long time.

Dr. Leman: Doug, really, we should both shut up and just let Andrea continue.

Doug: I know.

Andrea: I think [crosstalk] Dr. Leman.

Doug: Well, let’s take a moment right there and do one of my favorite new segments to the podcast, which is, A, we get to tell you about the new book and then we’re going to jump into the Straight Talk. But the new book from Baker Books that you get this week, which is very applicable,

Dr. Leman, is, Have a Happy Family By Friday, for $1.99 in eBook form, May 28th to June 3rd.

Doug: What is, Have a Happy Family, about?

Dr. Leman: Well, among other things, Doug, that’s the book where I highlight the fact that the words you choose to use with those you love can make a difference. And just turn that relationship around. It’s a good one. It’s a very inclusive book that deals with, not only the marriage but family. And port of call idea you’ve heard me talk about, on the lake of life, the good ship family. Do you have a port of call? Do you know where you’re going? This is a book that can help you prioritize as a family, cut down on some of those extraneous things you’re doing that aren’t really good for your family. It’s a good read, I think people will like it. For a buck 99, oh, my goodness.

Doug: Highly recommended, learning where your port of call is, has been one of the best things for the Terpening clan. Again, Happy Family By Friday, for podcast listeners. A buck 99 where eBook is sold, May 28th to June 3rd.

Doug: And now, one of my new favorite segments, or my new favorite segment, Straight Talk, with Dr. Kevin Leman.

Dr. Leman: I love these straight talks. It forces me to say something in a short period of time that makes some sense. And that’s not always easy. But let me give you parents a great tip. Say it once and walk away. Now, talk about simple. How simple is that? Say it once and walk away. “But Dr. Leman, they follow me.” Yes, I know, they’re the enemy. We’ve established that a long time ago. But the point is, you need to train them that you’re not playing the game any longer. “What game is that?” The game that they come after you and then you tell them a second time and you raise your voice and then a third time and you put their middle name in it. And before long, your blood pressure has risen, and sparks are flying, and it’s a lousy evening for everybody.

Dr. Leman: Here’s my point, they have trained you to tell them three times. They have trained you to get mad and cry and get upset, and slam things down and storm out. Acting like a four-year-old rather than a parent. So again, I always say, “You see the monkey grinder and the monkey, just which one is the organ grinder?” It makes you wonder when you see how kids can manipulate parents. So again, say it once, walk away. Where do you walk to? How about the john. It’s got a lock on it, doesn’t it? Have a seat, relax. Read a chapter in a book. Say it once, walk away.

Doug: Dr. Leman, we should talk about the son. She also is worried about her son. She’s read the books. What would be, you would say, do this next step, to help him understand what his anger problem is doing? Or what would her next step be?

Dr. Leman: Well, it’s really important that she owes up to her responsibility in creating this situation, because it’s really easy to point to just the angry husband who’s been overbearing and done this and done that. Just like we said that fighting’s an act of cooperation, the cooperation of the controlling husband and the pacifying pleaser wife, they both contribute to the maladies that happen in that family.

Dr. Leman: She has to come with a, “We need to do this, we need to do that,” rather than, “You need to do this,” and “You need to do that.” She has to bear that responsibility. In many ways, she’s the leader in this but she has to come across, not as the leader boss person but the person that’s interested in a joint venture with her husband.

Doug: So, the next time her son gets all mad and all angry-ish, what should the words or actions be that she does?

Dr. Leman: Well, number one, that has to be discouraged. So, as soon as he goes into a power tantrum, he’s removed from the scene. What does that mean? It means sometimes you take him by the arm, and you march him to his room, and you close the door and you shut it. Depending upon where you live and the season, you take him to the back door of the home and you put him outside. In other words, you can rant and rave outside. One of the rules we have is you don’t fight in the home. If you want to go outside, you can shout and holler, get mad at the tree, whatever you want to od, but you don’t have a right to upset the evening in our home.

Dr. Leman: As soon as it starts, you nip it in the bud, so he learns real quickly that his power tantrum all of a sudden, which used to keep everybody involved for 30, 40 minutes, an hour, the whole evening long, all of a sudden is no longer an option. Now, again, this guy’s got nine years of being powerful, and is not going to turn around overnight. But you can make a dent in it overnight real quickly. I was the author of Have a New Kid By Friday. I’ve often said you can have a new kid by Wednesday. You start giving the kid 48 hours of extremely different behavior, he’s going to take notice, she’s going to take notice.

Andrea: What if the kid still sees dad getting away with these power tantrums? And mom can’t send dad out in the backyard.

Dr. Leman: Yeah, yeah.

Doug: Hey, I don’t like that idea. I don’t like where this conversation’s going.

Dr. Leman: Good idea, Andrea. Proof you’re smarter than both of us. But you know what? I think the woman has to have a straight talk with the husband. It goes like this, “You know, when you act like that, you just really turn me off. There’s not a bone in my body that wants to be close to you.” That usually gets a man’s attention.

Andrea: Okay.

Doug: Thanks for giving her tips, Dr. Leman. This is really great. This is really helping me in life. Thanks, big guy.

Dr. Leman: Celibacy’s a good thing, Doug.

Doug: Now I have to change. I almost like you.

Doug: Well, that does it. The thing that, I got to throw in my two cents for you, Andrea, is, if you believe something, you will do it. Even though you are a pleaser, and reading these books has changed you to believe that these are the right kind of behaviors for you. When you talk about reading these three books, it really is for a pleaser. It gave you the belief that you could do it.

Andrea: Yeah, and tools.

Doug: And tools. That’s why I tell everybody, read the books, read the books. You will be surprised. You will email me and say, thank you, Doug. But, all right, wrap it up. Remind you, Have a Happy Family By Friday, a buck 99, eBooks, May 28th to June 3rd. Get it and you will be quite happy.

Doug: Well, it was great to be with you. We love answering your questions and helping you add that parenting toolbox, so you can love them kiddos more and more. Have a delightful day.

Andrea: Have a great day.

Doug: Bye-bye.

May 28 2019



My Husband Watches Porn (Episode 262)

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Porn addiction is becoming more rampant in today’s culture, but what really happens if you or your spouse are struggling with porn addiction? In today’s episode, Dr. Leman talks about the severe consequences of porn addiction in a marriage and how they affect not only the spouse, but the kids too.

Learn more about Dr. Leman at

NEW: The Intimate Connection –Dr. Kevin Leman

**Special Offer May 21 – 27: Way of the Wise ebook for $1.99 at AmazonBarnes & Noble, or wherever you get your ebooks**

Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing

Produced by Unmutable


Doug: Does your husband look at pornography on the internet? Have you ever found something accidentally or walked up behind him and he switched the screen really quick? I’m sure this is creating a pit in your stomach. It’s a bigger problem out there than we realize. How is this affecting your kids? How is it affecting your own relationship with him? This is what we’re going to talk to Doctor Leman about today.

Doug: Hi, I’m Doug Terpening.

Andrea: I’m Andrea.

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

Doug: Well, Doctor Leman help us out.

Andrea: It seems like this is a bigger and bigger problem out there with the internet, so I’m really curious to see what you have to say, Doctor Leman.

Dr. Leman: Well, we’re bombarded by sex. No matter where you look; a magazine, TV, movies, whatever. Sex is all over. It’s presented usually in ways that are not healthy, or in ways in which I think all mighty God intended it to be, for sure. You know, in the book The Intimate Connection, I talk about two things that can never enter your marriage. One of them is obviously another person; an affair can be disastrous for not only the couple obviously, but for the families involved. The kids involved, the in-laws, the out-laws, whatever you want to call them, everybody. It destroys the family unit. Well, if we pay attention to the kind of statistics that are shared nationally in our country today, pornography is a huge multi billion dollar industry and the thing about pornography, it is so addictive, usually reserved for the male species. Are there women who are into pornography? There are, but so few compared to the overwhelming number of men who get hooked on pornography.

Dr. Leman: It’s near impossible, as a male, to watch a pornographic film of any kind and not recall vividly certain parts of that movie. They are indelibly imprinted on our mind forever. Now keep in mind that pornography is not real. It is something that is produced and manufactured in studios. It’s there for a given purpose to excite the most animalistic tendencies you might have as a man in your mind and body.

Dr. Leman: Again, I underline terribly addictive. Okay. So, if you find out that your husband is into pornography, you tell me. How do you feel? I mean, how do you feel as a woman? Do you feel like you’re now, three babies later and a few pounds around your midsection, are you in competition with some well built, put together porn star? Where does that take you in marriage? Does that make you want to feel close to your husband? Does that make you want to share your most intimate thoughts and feelings? I mean, if you want to talk about two things that will destroy a marriage it’s obviously an affair and the other is pornography and it’s huge.

Dr. Leman: Now we get to the, what do you do about it? Well, women are going to respond or react differently. Everybody’s going to react differently to finding out that your husband is in a pornography. Most women react. Most women react in a way that’s combative. How could you do this to me? Many of them will take the route of divorce, dissolution of their marriage. I mean, it’s huge. Other women who, for whatever reason, maybe it’s just maturity or a better understanding, they’ll stand by their man and they’ll try to work through this with their husband.

Dr. Leman: My experience has been that people who are hooked on pornography need professional assistance. Those of you who know me, know I’m not quick to say, hey, go seek a professional’s help. But in this case, I think it’s important to you have a neutral party help you walk through this. The damage done by this, the visceral damage to that wife of yours, gentlemen, is unbelievable and it’s going to take a long time for her to build back trust. You know, marriage is built upon mutual respect and trust and love. I always say where there’s love, there’s discipline and there’s going to have to be disciplinary. You’re going to have to walk with your husband through this, sharing your honest feelings and your husband has to see the connection and see men are great at segmenting this off. They won’t always see the connection that you see with pornography.

Dr. Leman: They have the ability to put that at arms length. But you just heard what I’ve said is very addictive. So women respond differently. I’ll never forget the woman who found these really gross pornographic magazines and she gathered them up and her husband was getting ready for work in the morning and she threw them over the shower. So it’s one of those points in a marriage where the true muddle of what love is all about, comes to the forefront because it would take a very patient, understanding, caring woman to ride through this rough waters of life with your husband to get through this. But you have to restore the trust and faith that was once there and that’s going to take a lot.

Andrea: So you’re saying that this couple, would probably need to go to counseling together for her to be rebuilding the trust, but how does the man get out of this addiction?

Dr. Leman: Well, it’s like I asked myself the question, is it possible for a man just to cold turkey and walk away from pornography? Yes, and I would remind people of faith, with God, all things are possible. There are men who just cold turkey walk away just like there are people who are alcoholics who stopped drinking on a dime. They don’t go through recovery program. They just stop and they’re sober today 20 years later. But I’m just saying it takes a very understanding woman to even hang in there because she feels so damaged. Her very being was damaged by this act. She’s saying to herself, how could you do this to me and to our children and to our family. I thought you were this and I thought you were that. You know if you’re saying, hey Lehman, you’re not giving me a lot here. I got news for you. If I had the answer to this one, I would be a multi-billionaire. I’d bottle it and sell it to you for a buck a piece.

Andrea: I just have to say, even listening to this, my stomach is like, I have this sense like, yeah, that woman had a right to throw those magazines in there. I can just think of how I feel like I would have a right to be so angry and vindictive about it.

Doug: So to that point, you tell us not to react but respond. What would be the first response that you would encourage that spouse to take?

Dr. Leman: Well, I think just to share with her husband that she is deeply hurt and feels damaged and dissed and add as many adjectives as you want. You’re going to get his attention, whatever you say. Then after you’ve said your piece, it really depends upon what your husband says next. Because if your husband doesn’t come back with, I’m sorry and I was wrong and I’m not sure how I did that myself, but I got caught up in it. Then, and only then, does a woman step forward and say, well, I’ll walk with you through this journey but no guarantees. I mean she has to take, I think a hard line with this. If she doesn’t, he’s not going create the motivation in himself that this is really an important life changer for myself, my family, my career, everything, my relationship with my children.

Dr. Leman: And again, keep in mind that men have a way of segmenting these things in their mind. That this is, oh no, this has nothing to do with my love for you or the children or anything else. It’s sort of like his golf game. It’s just a part of my life, but it’s not. It doesn’t affect our marriage at all. I’ve had men who are hooked on pornography tell me, oh, it doesn’t affect my marriage at all. I don’t know what she’s talking about. It’s no big deal. All my friends turn to it. I mean, I’ve had men say that with a straight face. I mean they don’t know. They don’t realize women are internally motivated. They are good at seeing the insides of the Doug Terpening’s of the world; not just as handsome physique and his cute little face, but the Andrea’s of the world can look inside of a Doug Terpening and appreciate the qualities that make him Doug on the inside. Men are not real great at that. Men are sort of overpowered with what’s on the outside.

Andrea: So is it ever that the woman maybe has contributed to driving the man to this? Should woman take a look at her own behavior or the way she’s treating her husband?

Dr. Leman: You know, we offered the book Have A New Sex Life by Friday and I made the comment that that’s a great accessory book to go along with the new book, The Intimate Connection because the question you’re asking is an interesting one. It creates the ire in many a woman to just bring that question up, Andrea. You know I’ve always tried to shoot it to you straight.

Dr. Leman: In fact, we got a little thing in our segment now Straight Talk from Doctor Leman and I’m going to shoot it to you straight as I can. Most of us as men are very sexually driven people and a healthy sex life is part and parcel to a good solid marriage. There are many women who really believe that’s not true. They treat sex as a duty, is something they have to do, is not something they really enjoy doing, and I’m just quoting myself and here’s the quote just came to mind.

Dr. Leman: “If you don’t have a love affair with your husband, someone else will.”

Dr. Leman: I don’t back down from that statement one iota. I believe that’s totally true. So if you ladies don’t have a love affair with your husband, somebody else will. That somebody else might very well be a porno star and the thing about pornography, I’m reminding all of us, it’s impossible for a man, in my opinion, to watch a pornographic movie film, whatever, and not recall and vivid detail parts of that pornography. It leaves an indelible imprint on that man’s mind and that’s why it’s so highly addictive and I’ve been at this a long time. Many men will watch the same pornographic movie over and over and over again. Why? Why not watch different ones? I mean, why would someone just watch the same one over and over and over again?

Dr. Leman: Because what’s in there is just so overpowering and made such an indelible imprint on that man’s mind, that’s what drives him. But see if he’s not getting any kind of intimacy, I’m saying intimacy. I not saying sex here; intimacy and or sex from that mate, that sets up this huge need for sexual gratification. Where did a lot of men turn? I mean in the news, and I don’t mean to be accusing anybody of anything, everybody’s innocent until proven guilty, but it’s just the news lately that Robert Kraft, the owner of the Patriots was arrested, cited for soliciting prostitution. I mean there’s a guy who’s got mega millions of dollars, very high profile person. I mean what would drive a man of that stature to a house of prostitution? Talk about they say the oldest profession in the world there it was, I mean there’s just a lot of sexual needs that are met in unhealthy ways in our society today. And by the way, we want to thank you guys for the easy question.

Doug: Ah, well I have one more in just a moment, but right now if you wouldn’t mind Doctor Leman, I’d love another, I just love these segments. So if you could just give us another Straight Talk with Doctor Leman here and then I’ll ask another question here.

Dr. Leman: People always ask me why I insult husbands so much. We’re easy to insult. I guess that’s some honest answer, but people love it when I say, think of your husband is a four year old that shaves. You know we are the simple gender. If you could imagine the cockpit of a huge 777 Dreamliner aircraft, ever peek into the cockpit of an aircraft? All those buttons. I mean, how do those guys up front, guys, meaning men and women. This is 2019. How do those men and women know what buttons to push or pull or probe? I have no idea, but when I see the cockpit before me, I think of your women because you are so complicated.

Dr. Leman: What you like on Tuesday you don’t like on Friday night. That’s always been a puzzle to me. I’m a guy who eats the same breakfast every morning for life. I go in a restaurant, I know what I’m going to have before I even look at the menu. I’m as predictable as I used to be; not Mrs. Uppington, my bride. Oh no. It depends upon her mood, her mood, and I better turn into her mood or I’m going to be singing Moody River by myself that evening. So again, there’s some humor in this, isn’t there? That men and women are different. That men are very simple.

Dr. Leman: You know, for most of us as men, we would like a direct approach. Hey honey, just tell me was you want me to do and I’ll do it. I’m laughing at myself, but that’s how most of us men think. Here’s the problem, gentlemen. Your wife, when she tells you what to do and then you go ahead and do it, guess what? There’s not a lot of satisfaction in that for her emotionally.

Dr. Leman: If you want to satisfy your wife emotionally, try to get behind her eyes and anticipate her needs. When you meet her needs without her having to tell you what those needs are, ka-ching, ka-ching. I can hear the bells ringing. You just made a sale. So carry on men or should I say you four year olds?

Doug: So before we jump back into our last question, I think it’s very interesting, Doctor Leman, that this is the book that bigger book is offering to our podcast listeners. The Way Of The Wise for $1.99 in ebook form May 21st to 27th.

Dr. Leman: You know, I keep going back and forth in my mind. Is that my favorite book of all time or not? Because I have lots of favorite books, so it’s like ask you asking the Terpenings’ which of the four is your favorite. But one of the books that I truly love is The Way Of The Wise.

Dr. Leman: You know, if you struggle in your life with faith, of the meaning of life, is there really a God, or you got someone close to you that you know is struggling or maybe a young person in high school or college, I can’t tell you how great a little book that is. It has so many little jewels in it. It’s a book that I wrote by the way in 54 days from beginning to end. I’ll never forget the publisher saying to me, you’re done. I said, yeah, it’s in the mail. It’s done and they said, how could you do that book so quickly? I remember what I told her. I said, it just flowed from my heart. A lot of the book is autobiographical. There’s a lot of me in that book and if you’ve heard me speak enough, you’ve heard me say that there were first 21 years of my life I had no use for God whatsoever.

Dr. Leman: But it’s a worthy read. The Way Of The Wise. It’s a small book. You can read it in a short period of time and what are we offering for a 1.99? That book’s worth a million. I’m telling you, that’s one of the best little books I ever did and I think you’ll enjoy it. We talk about the way of the shepherd and the way the wise. Two little hardback books, but they’re great reads, I think. We get a lot of compliments on those books, so take advantage of that.

Dr. Leman: What’s the window when people have to get these, Doug?

Doug: May 21 to the 27th.

Dr. Leman: That’s a short window. So you’ve got to act. $1.99. Get two of them.

Doug: Of 2019. So Doctor Leman, this is a parenting podcast. How will pornography in my house affect my children?

Dr. Leman: Pornography in and of itself is a great predictor that you will end in divorce, so it’s going to really severely impact obviously your marriage, those around you, those you love the most. It’s going to bring all the negativities of life right to the forefront for your children. Want to do a number on your wife, gentlemen? Want to do a number on your kids? Get hooked on to pornography. That’ll do it. Guaranteed 100%. So, it’s terrible. I mean kids are always watching. Parents remember they’re always taking notes and how you live your life, the things you say, how you treat not only them but each other. That’s really important to keep in mind.

Andrea: What’s the likelihood that a child whose father, or mother I guess, is involved in pornography will also model that in their own lives?

Dr. Leman: You know, I don’t know if there’s a connection with that or not. I suspect there is, but I couldn’t say it in great authority that there is.

Doug: And then one of my last questions is how do I know what it’s when it’s a real habit or when it’s just a blip, right? Like so Andrea’s example, I come around the corner and I see them change the screen. How is a woman or how do I know that that’s it’s a real issue? Only by doing a little detective work could you find out if it’s, you know, a lot of men would toss that off, honey, I don’t know. This thing just popped up. I don’t know about you Doug, but I get stuff at my computer all the time. Women who want to meet me and they want to do things to me. I mean, I don’t know.

Doug: I mean they go to a junk trash pile and my computer, but I mean, we’re surrounded with garbage in our lives. And so I say you have to do some investigative work ladies and sometimes you do. I mean is this man spending a lot of money on films that you don’t know about or purchases from stores that sell pornography. Can a man happen upon something? Yes, but even a chance happening of something, it’s pornographic will stay in a man’s mind.

Doug: I know I just talked about my upbringing my first 21 years and my mother marched me to church, all that and I remember one of the songs we used to sing as little kids would be careful little feet where you go and be careful little eyes what you see. It’s amazing stuff that I think I hated and stayed away from as a youngster. As I get old, I see the, I’m thankful for our mother who cared enough about her kid to take them to Sunday School and church and be careful little eyes what you see. Be careful little ears what you hear. Be careful a little feet where you go. Isn’t that good advice for the Terpenings and the Lehmans and everybody else? I think it is.

Doug: How will getting and reading the book Intimate Connections help protect my marriage from this happening in my home.

Dr. Leman: Well for some of you who really don’t have a solid foundation in your marriage and you know it, it’ll help get you to a point where you have a foundation. It may not be a super foundation, but nevertheless it will be a foundation where you can function well in your marriage. For those of you who just never connected, you never got an opportunity to really share who you really were with your husband and your wife for all kinds of reasons, because some of the baggage that both of you brought into that marriage, there’s hope for you. It gives you a starting point. It’s going to help you to be able to communicate. It’s going to teach you how to respond and not just react. It’s going to give you a chance to figure something out that you probably know that you are a direct result of the relationship that you had with your mom and your dad and your siblings.

Dr. Leman: But it’ll give you a framework and honest framework to take a look at an honest look at who you are, your pluses in your minuses, and I think more than anything else, it’ll give you a hope that if you read this book and implement some of the ideas in it, that you can get to a point of oneness and marriage. And that’s the goal. Will, everybody have the intimate connection? No, I’m going to tell you they won’t, but you can get close to it. And if you’re close to the intimate connection, you’re going to have a good solid marriage.

Doug: So as always, I know I repeat myself, but it’s because I care about you. Believe it or not, these are the kinds of things that will change life in the positive ways of reading this book and feeling closer to your spouse. Like Andrea and I have gone through seasons where I didn’t want to be with her at all. Like I would have been nice in some ways not to be with her, but man, I would have been a fool and today as we’ve gotten closer and closer like we are now, it’s crazy, amazingly wonderful. Like it’s way better than I ever thought life could be. Buy the book because it’ll give you new concepts, new tools, new ways of communicating that will allow you to feel closer and there’s nothing better than feeling closer to your wife is what I’m trying to say. For your sake, not for mine, for your sake, go do this.

Doug: Okay, great to be with you guys today, and as always, we love doing this with you and we love being a part of this. Continue to send in questions, and you’re allowed to rate and review what you think about the podcast. You’re allowed to pass it on. If you know a friend who’s struggling with this issue right now, I highly encourage you to just text her or however you communicate with her and just tell her, hey, there’s this really might apply to what you’re trying to deal with life right now. So thanks. And we look forward to next time we get to be with you.

Andrea: Have a good week.

Doug: Take care. Bye. Bye.

May 21 2019



How do you foster sibling relationships? – Ask Dr. Leman 122 (Episode 261)

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It’s time for another Ask Dr. Leman: “How do you foster sibling relationships?” Find out Dr. Leman’s answer in today’s episode.

Learn more about Dr. Leman at

NEW: The Intimate Connection –Dr. Kevin Leman

**Special Offer May 14 – 20: A Powerful Secret (The Worthington Destiny Book #2) ebook for $3.99 at AmazonBarnes & Noble, or wherever you get your ebooks**

Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing

Produced by Unmutable


Doug: Do you feel like all your kids ever do is fight? Is it that your kids actually take toys from one another, and then it turns into an all out brawl? Are you worried that your kids are never going to like each other? Well, that’s the question that Megan asked today about her three year old daughter, and how she treats the one year olds. We get to ask Dr. Leman, how do we get kids to like each other and get along? Hi, I’m Doug [Tripponine 00:00:34].

Andrea: I’m Andrea.

Doug: We are so glad that you are here with us today. If this happens to be your first time, 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 say we jump right into this, Ask Dr. Leman, but before we do, I just want to remind everybody you can go to,, and there are tons of resources there from on Dr. Leman’s website. You can also go to birthorderguy/podcastquestion, and leave us an audio question right there for us as well, and your question might get answered here on the podcast, so let me jump into Megan’s question.

Megan: Hi, Dr. Leman. I’m so glad to have your podcast back. It’s been great to listen to. My question is about siblings, and how to foster that relationship? I have a three year old daughter, and twin one year olds. My question is specifically for my three year old.

Megan: She has started to become more and more territorial with her toys. She tends to put them in a pile where her sisters can’t reach them. She will take toys from her sisters. The biggest thing that we’re seeing is she watches what her sisters are doing, and tries to get to the toy before they do. We want to be able to respond and not react to that.

Megan: We are currently sending her to her room for these episodes, but it does not seem to be getting any better. We try to talk to her about it afterwards, and talk about what she did, and what she could’ve done in that situation, and we’re continuing to see these behaviors. She has a basket of toys in her room that are specifically her toys, but the game room is toys for everybody. I would love to hear what you do for siblings? Thanks, bye.

Dr. Leman: That is a great question. I’m sure there is a lot of parents who struggle with this one. We use the term, get behind the child’s eyes, and get behind your husband’s eyes, and get behind your wife’s eyes. Well, let’s get behind three year old’s eyes. Let’s go back just a year to the big event in her life when the things were born. The things come home from the hospital, and there is all kinds of fanfare about these adorable little twins, and pretty soon that kid starts thinking, “Wait a minute. I don’t think this is going to be as good as I’ve been told. I think this is a problem. I think these little suckers are invaders, and I believe that they’re invading my turf.”

Dr. Leman: Everything you said about your three year old daughter tells me that she is perceptive. She has a good head on her shoulders. She’s got street smarts. I mean, as you were talking I had written down, put toys up, and right after I wrote that you said, “She puts toys out of reach of the twins.” Smart little kid you got there. You also mentioned that after things happen you’ve tried to sit and talk with her, and essentially reason with her. I would suggest you don’t do that. Let’s start there.

Dr. Leman: I think you ought to join forces with her and say, “Honey, listen, I know you have those there, but you know I think we should put them higher.” I’d make it a point, “Put them higher, or could I put these in my closet in the bedroom. I don’t think I’d want the twins playing with this. This is your stuff here. This is just for you.” In other words, you have to sell your three year old on the notion that she’s okay, that these invaders are not going to take her over. These invaders can hardly talk. They don’t say full sentences. They don’t go to preschool. They have to take this many naps a day. You’re a big girl, you only take one nap a day. In other words, you have to find a way of conveying to your daughter, “Honey, you’re going to be okay.”

Dr. Leman: Now, there she is taking things away from the little ones. That’s vindictive behavior. It’s a reaction on her part. You want to talk with her about something? Talk with her about that. Say, “Honey, I notice you want to run in, and take the toys from your little sisters, and you know, quite frankly, that’s not a nice thing to do. But, I’m wondering if you’re doing it because you feel like somehow you’re not going to get enough loves, or kisses, or hugs from mommy or daddy? You know, that isn’t so. We love you. You’re the oldest, and you get to do things that they don’t get to do. And we have expectations for you that we don’t have for those, they’re too little. They don’t know much yet, but you know a lot. Do you remember last Spring when we took you to the circus? Did we take the little ones with us? No, grandma babysat them. Why? Well, number one they’re too young to enjoy a circus, but number two, we wanted to just spend time with you. You’re a big girl. We like our time just with you.”

Dr. Leman: Obviously, when you put the little ones down, you make a comment as you’re reading a story, “Honey, I love just this time with you and me, you know, with nobody else around. The little twins are sleeping. It’s just you and me. Don’t you love our time together?” In other words, what I’m asking you to be, Megan, is a salesperson to your own children. You’re just making her feel a little bit more comfortable about her place, so that competitive nature where she’s running in and taking things from them, and all that, that’s just a measure of her insecurity. She feels the enemy forces moving in on her territory, so anyway, I hope that’s helped. What do you guys think, you’ve raised four kids?

Andrea: Well, I was just thinking about what you’re saying. It sounds like you are gathering that maybe in this home that she hasn’t gotten the, I’m going to use attention, but maybe the vitamin E that she’s needed as an individual because all the attention has been poured on to the twins. It reminds me of something you’ve said to do with older kids where you might say to the child who’s feeling left out, or whatever, “Wow, don’t you think your brother is a little over the top?” Is this the same idea where you might say to this three year old, “I agree those one year olds are kind of like…”

Dr. Leman: Yeah. Let’s face it, a mom’s got three kids under three, so mom is not the picture of vitality. By the end of the day, I mean, she’s wound down. I mean thank goodness they’re all in bed. Mom needs to take care of herself. But, the tendency with three year old is to try, and reason with her. I would suggest you don’t go down that rabbit trail.

Andrea: I would think my tendency would be to defend the one year olds, and to point out what the three year old is doing wrong, but what you’re saying is no. Like you said, “Join forces with that three year old, and get behind their eyes what they’re seeing happened,” and just to affirm who they are as an individual as well.

Doug: Dr. Leman, what’s going to happen if the mom comes in and says, “Three year old, stop that. That’s mean, and that’s-”

Andrea: “You’re being selfish.”

Doug: “That’s not how the Smiths do it around here.” What are we doing to that three year old?

Dr. Leman: Well, if you had a video camera set up where the twins sleep, you would catch on video the three year old coming in some day, and just pinching little sister until she cries, stuff like that. You’re just going to build resentment in that child, and that child, I’m telling you, that three year old she’s a smart little cookie already, Megan. She’s going to find ways of nailing those two little suckers. You don’t want that, so again, you need to appear to be on her side to understand that her turf has been invaded, and you’re the one that pushed those two little suckers out, so you got to owe up to that. I’m laughing at myself, which is never good.

Doug: On the flip side, Dr. Leman, can we foster our kids liking each other?

Dr. Leman: Well, when three year old shares, and three year old will share, the three year old will take on the role eventually of little mother. She’ll be telling the twins what to do when they’re 18 months old, I guarantee it. She’ll be saying, “Oh, you don’t want that, you want this,” as she takes the new toy away, and gives her the old dirty one. “Oh, you want this one, see. Its got more color in it.” “I thought that was dirt?” “No, that’s color. That’s just color.” I mean, I can see it now.

Dr. Leman: But, when you see your oldest being kind, or thoughtful not only to the twins, but to mom, or to dad, or to the cat, or the dog, just a simple encouraging comment about, “You know, it’s nice to see that you know how to treat animals, or you know how to treat your sister. That was a kind thing you did,” whatever. They’re just little editorial comments that are full of vitamin E, which again, keep in mind that when you’re using vitamin E, encouragement, you’re talking about the act not the actor, so it’s not, “Oh, you’re the best big sister in the world.” It’s, “Oh honey, I appreciate that kindness you just did to your sister. That was more than kind and thoughtful. Thank you.” That’s encouragement because it’s zeroed in on the act not the actor, if that’ll help you parents distinguish between praise and encouragement.

Doug: We’re going to continue the podcast in just a moment, but now we get Straight Talk with Dr. Kevin Leman.

Dr. Leman: People have said to me in emails, “Leman, you’re not very smart.” Well, I agree. I listen to my wife. She confirms that from time to time. I’m not the smartest guy on the block. But, when I’m introduced at events, or maybe it’s just that I’m getting old as dirt, I get introduced as a man of wisdom. I laugh at that because when I was young they said I was a wise guy. Now all of a sudden, I got wisdom.

Dr. Leman: But, a couple of things. B doesn’t start until A is complete. In the mega best selling New York Times best selling book, Have a New Kid By Friday, if you’ve never read that, read it. By the way, it works with husbands too, ladies, if you’re interested. I make this statement, B doesn’t start until A is completed. Think about the daily battles you have with your son, or your daughter. What would happen, what would be different in your life if you employed this simple paradigm that B doesn’t start until A is completed? How does that look in your family?

Dr. Leman: Your son wants the keys to the car to go some place. He’s 16 years old. He promised to clean his room, and you’ve threatened to bring in the exterminator. All you want is the room shoveled out. You want it in some kind of organized fashion. But no, he wants to go and take the keys to the car. Well, let’s employ that B doesn’t start until A is completed. “Honey, I’d love to give you the keys to the car. I know you’d like to go and shot hoops with your buddy, or go hang out at the mall, or do whatever, but in our home B doesn’t start until A gets completed, so your A list includes cleaning up your room, and if you wouldn’t mind, do the dog flop patrol in the backyard. It’s getting a little smelly out there. I’ll talk to you again after you completed A.”

Dr. Leman: It’s as simple as that. It keeps you out of the face-to-face battle. It turns tables on a son, or a daughter. “Honey, this is on you. You’re the one that said you were going to do this. You’re the one that signed up for this. When that’s done, then we’ll talk about the next project.” Turn your back and walk away. That’s the tip of the day straight from my shoulder to hopefully your ears and your heart. B doesn’t start until A is completed. Try it. It works.

Doug: Before we go back to the show, we have the eBook special from Baker Books, which is Powerful Secrets, the Worthington Series #2 Book for $3.99.

Dr. Leman: Okay fiction people, this is your opportunity. If you’d enjoy a series of books, this is book #2 we’re offering, and for only $3.99, I think you’ll enjoy this series. This is a book that will test your metal. See if you can figure out the person of interest here, the guy that’s doing some things that maybe you didn’t suspect were being done, but it’s fiction, okay. Fiction is fiction. It’s different than writing non-fiction for sure. By the way, there is all kind of rules in writing fiction that I found out as I went through these three books. But, it’s a series that focuses on the first born child’s view of life, the second born’s view of life, and the youngest child’s view of life. It’s a story of The Worthingtons, the first born, the middle child, and the youngest child. It’s got a lot of curve balls in it. It’s a book, I think, you’re going to enjoy for $3.99, my goodness. Read it. Let us know what you think. I’d love to know.

Doug: Well thank you, Dr. Leman. To the parents that are out there that are like, “Ah, it’s too much work to try, and sit down with my three year old. I’d rather just tell them stop it, and don’t do this, and all these types of things.” What are we going to create in that three year old if we do that?

Dr. Leman: Well, you’re just going to create more animosity toward the kids. You’re going to really develop a rebellious spirit in that child on top of that, so just take this podcast to heart. Do some things different. Really work at getting behind those kid’s eyes, especially this little three year old right now. The one year olds they’re at the gimme stage. They don’t care about anything. They have no self interest in anybody else other than themselves, and so concentrate on that three year old.

Doug: For those that may not have heard it, how important is parenting at the three year old age to be doing it right?

Dr. Leman: Well at three, check this out, your child’s personality is probably about 60% formed, so at four, 80%. I mean somewhere between 5 and 7 if you get all of the shrinks in the world together in the same auditorium, that’d be a big auditorium, the one thing they’d probably agree on is that personality is formed within the first 5, 6, 7 years of life, so these early years are important. They’re formative. Try not to react. It’s easy to react. That’s never the good way. Try to respond. If the three year old is getting out of hand, you can always pick them up, remove them from the scene, talk with them for a while, give them a little quiet time in their own room, and life goes on.

Doug: The only reason I bring that up is just for parents that are out there that, especially for these tired moms that are wondering, is it really worth it for me to spend 10 minutes having this conversation with my kid just to say it pays off big time long term because you’ve told us the stat, that right by 5 you’re done, so put out the hard work in now, and it’ll pay off long term.

Doug: Megan, thank you for submitting that question. It’s great. We love to hear what you guys are thinking about, and the questions you have to ask Dr. Leman, so please keep doing that. Again, you can go to, and find all sorts of resources, and subscribe there. If you’re enjoying this podcast you are allowed to hit five stars and leave a rating, or review. As always, if something perks your ears, and you think, man, this might be a real blessing to one of my friends, or my sister-in-law then feel free to share it to them as well on Facebook, or email, or however you want to, so that is not illegal. Thanks for being with us, and [inaudible 00:16:24] that parenting toolbox. We look forward to the next time we get to be with you.

Andrea: Have a great week.

Doug: Bye-bye.

May 14 2019



You Never Listen to Me (Episode 260)

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Dr. Leman dives deep into how the presence of an intimate connection with your spouse can affect the healthiness of your family.

Learn more about Dr. Leman at

NEW: The Intimate Connection –Dr. Kevin Leman

**Special Offer May 7 – 13: Have a New Sex Life by Friday ebook for $1.99 at AmazonBarnes & Noble, or wherever you get your ebooks**

Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing

Produced by Unmutable


Dr. Leman: Welcome to the episode of Helping the Terpenings, Folks. Yes. Isn’t it interesting that when we get mad at each other or frustrated, we come up with the nevers, and you always, and the barbs just go back and forth? In your introduction, you were saying, “Okay, we’re going to help couples get back to communication.” When I first hear that, I say to myself, “I’ll bet that couple never communicated well.” Rarely do you see a couple who had this great intimate connection, as I like to call it, and that’s the title of my new book, The Intimate Connection. It’s what we work toward in marriage to have this transparent, it’s a euphoric feeling of I’m in good hands, I can say anything I want. My husband or my wife loves me just the way I am feeling.

Dr. Leman: I don’t think there are more than a handful of couples that have ever had that wonderful euphoric experience of oneness in marriage and then 10 years later can’t say anything without a fight, unless from the get-go they worked at trying to win the marriage. I have said many times, marriage is not a competitive sport. If someone is winning your marriage, guess what? You both hang an L on your forehead. You’re losers.

Andrea: What do you mean by trying to win the marriage, Dr. Leman?

Dr. Leman: It’s the competitiveness. Maybe you’ve gone out with couples before and they’re talking and telling you a story and the husband says, “Tuesday, by the way, we saw this really neat movie.” The wife interrupts and says, “It wasn’t Tuesday. That was Monday.” That’s a sign that this overcorrection, this over-perfectionistic attitude is pervasive throughout the marriage and somebody’s trying to get a leg up on somebody else. I’m bigger than you are, I’m smarter than you are, I’m more intelligent than you are. Whatever’s going on.

Dr. Leman: I’m just saying, as I’ve said in the book, Have a New Husband by Friday, when your husband says something really stupid and dumb, I mean just as dumb as a rock, you don’t have to hammer him. You can just look at him and go wow, wow. I mean, don’t look for trouble. The idea is to row the boat together. If you can imagine the two of you, the Terpenings, sitting in a rowboat on a beautiful autumn day in the Northwest, and one of you pulls and then the other one pulls but not together, what would happen to the good ship Terpening on that little pond or lake? That’s what happens in marriage. You got people pulling in opposite direction is and the love boat, so to speak, goes nowhere.

Doug: Dr. Leman, Andrea and I have been fighting for years. We cannot communicate. As soon as she starts talking, all I can think about is here comes another attack, right? I always cut Andrea’s words off, like you’re talking about. What is some way that we can start to break this cycle.

Dr. Leman: This sounds almost primitive, but you have to lay down the weapons. Both husband and wife have to come to an understanding that this isn’t working. When I say this isn’t working, the marriage isn’t working, and therefore, keep in mind as we talk today, how does this affect your children? It affects them big time. You’re doing this not only for yourself, Doug and Andrea, you’re doing it for your children’s sake.

Dr. Leman: Anyway, like I say, it’s sort of primitive because you have to come to an agreement where, “You say you know what? I’m going to hear what you have to say, without editorial comment or criticism or interruption.” You find a place to face each other, it can be at a table, if you’re wealthy it could be at a jacuzzi, I don’t care where it is. There has to be a commitment that I have some things to say that are bothering me about our relationship and you get to speak.

Dr. Leman: You can put time limits on it if you want, so that you don’t get too many rocks turned over at once, because that will overpower the couple. You might say for example, “You have 60 seconds to say what’s on your mind,” then that person has 60 seconds. You want to add a stopwatch to it, have some fun with it. I’m always for fun. Do that. You only get 60 seconds, and then the other person gets to say what they think they heard.

Dr. Leman: This is important because lots of times when somebody’s communicating, you’re not even listening. You’re thinking about what you’re going to say in rebuttal. The object is just to listen to what your mate’s saying and then when that 60 second period is up, now you get to parrot back what you think you heard your husband or wife say. You have a 60 second limit there as well.

Dr. Leman: Once you do that, then if the originator of that conversation needs to correct something and clarify something, they have 30 seconds to do so. Notice we’re trying to move along quickly. All I’m saying is for some couples, you need, and you don’t hear this word out of me often, you need a rigid schedule so that it doesn’t blow up out of the starting gate, so to speak. It’s just a back and forth kind of a situation, and believe it or not, as simple as that sounds, it’s pretty effective for couples who just can’t seem to say 3 words without getting into pointing fingers and accusations and all that.

Andrea: How do you get, say, I think that’s a great idea, but my husband, he’s like that’s stupid, blah, blah, blah. How do you get your spouse to agree to do that?

Doug: Why are you looking at me as you say that, Andrea?

Andrea: Because we’re sitting across the table from one another.

Dr. Leman: Couples who are at that stage have to look at each other and say, “Do we divorce? Do you really want to rock our family? Do you really want to go to neutral corners? Do you really want to have the discussion of whose thanksgiving it is and whose Christmas it is and all that?” People who just choose divorce and just think divorce is a wonderful thing, I have a problem with. I really do. You can walk in a Hallmark shop and you’ll find cards in there, “Congratulations on your divorce.” Really? Really? Gosh.

Doug: Dr. Leman, how about for the couple that’s maybe not at nuclear yet but they are close, how do they even have normal discussions in the kitchen?

Dr. Leman: I think you use some basic things. Honey, I care about you. Three years ago, 6 years ago, we stood before our friends, family, and almighty God and we pledged for better or for worse. Right now, I think if we’re both honest with each other, we’re sort of at the worst end of where we’ve been. We started off pretty good, I thought, 6 years ago, and now look at us. This isn’t someone’s fault. It’s just the 2 of us have to go back to square one and try to build on something positive. If you’re willing to do that, I’m willing to do that.

Doug: This is a general question, but honestly, don’t you think most of those people don’t have the tools and skills or knowledge to be able to do that? Aren’t they just going to fall into the same routine?

Dr. Leman: They can. It’s like do you brush your teeth every day or do you do it once a week? You have check ups. I mean, if you use a medial model, for example, I know our dental hygienist is always saying, “I want you in here every 6 months. We want to make sure we remove that plaque.” Plaque builds up in a marriage and it builds up because things happen and feelings get hurt and they’re not dealt with.

Dr. Leman: One of the things you want to teach each other and commit to each other as a couple is hey, if something that’s said by me or you offends the other, let’s agree that it’s a healthy thing for our marriage to give one of us the time out sign and say, “Listen, what just happened we need to talk about.” These are kind of things that escalate. “It’s not that big a deal,” your husband says. “Honey, this is just the point. It may not be a big deal to you, but out of resect for me, I expect you to listen to what I have to say, because it is a big deal to me.”

Dr. Leman: We agree that we’re different people, we see things from different places, and let’s commit to trying to get behind each other’s eyes and seeing how we see life, because quite frankly, we see life different in so many areas, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care for you or love you or want to share life with you, but we need to do better, and I think you’ll agree that we need to do better.

Dr. Leman: Let’s read this book together, the Intimate Connection, in fact, why don’t we get two copies of it and I’ll highlight mine in yellow and you can highlight yours in another color and then we’ll change books and let’s take a look at what hit us as we read Leman’s words in this book, The Intimate Connection?

Doug: Why would reading that book help them?

Dr. Leman: It covers the waterfront of marriage and what communication’s all about. So many people, Doug, they live in a world of surface communication. When couples sit down to dinner they talk about their children, they talk about work, they talk about politics. Wow. They’ll talk about anything but their relationship.

Dr. Leman: That’s staying away from the dental hygienist. That’s allowing the plaque to build. What happens, and again, I’ll go down that analogy again with the dentist, all of a sudden, you’ve got a hot tooth. You’ve got a tooth that’s killing you. It’s a Saturday morning and you’re thinking there’s not a snowball’s chance that that dentist is in the office. You call and by a stroke of luck, he or she is in the office. You’re immediately relieved because you’ve got an emergency on your hands. That’s the way it is in marriage. The build up continues and then all of a sudden, just out of the blue, you get a tooth that blows up on you. That’s when bad things can happen to you. Again, the preventative nature of making sure that you communicate in marriage is well worth it.

Doug: Yeah. We’ve told our story, me yelling at Andrea at the top of my lungs that she’s a liar, and realizing that it was communication that I didn’t know how to do with Andrea. When I was upset, and when she clearly intentionally did those evil things to get me upset, right?

Andrea: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Doug: I had to have that reframed. Huh.

Dr. Leman: Yeah. Check this out everybody, most men don’t like being told what to do. Lesson number one. Don’t tell your husband what to do. My wife is a master at this stuff some days. I mean, some days she’s not but some days she is. Just a statement like, “That yard doesn’t look great over there, does it?” I get it. I get it.

Dr. Leman: If she says to me, “[Lemie 00:11:18], look at that yard, that’s a mess. I need you to clean that up.” I’ve got three board meetings in my head at the time, good luck. That’s not going to go well. You learn how to approach each other softly and gently. That’s just part of learning how to handle a glove. You get comfortable. There’s an old song. I’ve grown accustomed to her face, like breathing out and breathing in.

Dr. Leman: You want to get to that point in marriage where it’s not a chore to be marriage. It’s a joy to spend time together and you want to work toward that unison of thought and feeling. You don’t lose your personality in that. You’re not losing your individuality. I’ve had so many women tell me, “I could never do that. I would lose who I am.” Lady, you’ve watched too many soap operas in your life. You really want to work toward oneness.

Dr. Leman: I’m going to bring up the S word and I know it’s not popular, but submission is not an evil word. It’s not a four letter word. It’s a great word for you to understand if you’re married. You need to be, are you ready for it, if you’re driving, hold onto the wheel, submissive to one another. I know that has negative connotations for you. There has to be a certain openness and a vulnerability if you really want to have real communication and oneness in your marriage. It’s getting to a point where you feel comfortable.

Dr. Leman: It takes time. I always say my advice to parents who are parenting kids, hey, you have to really practice. You have to get good at this stuff. It takes a while. If you’re one of those people that’s deterred by instant failure at something, good luck. You have to have the commitment that even though we’re going to experience some rough roads here, we’re committed to making this thing work. I think if two people are like mind and spirit they can make anything work.

Doug: It’s the part of the show where I get to tell you about the new ebook that’s on sale and as well as the Straight Talk with Dr. Leman, and then we’ll be back to the rest of the show. The ebook this week is Have a New Sex Life by Friday, May 7-13, ebook version, $1.99. Now, Straight Talk by Dr. Leman.

Dr. Leman: Let’s talk about a word purposive. That’s a word you haven’t used today. You haven’t used this week, this month, or probably this year. It’s not a word that easily sneaks it way into our vocabulary. It’s actually a psychological word derived from the School of Individual Psychology, who Alfred Adler, who was a psychologist in Vienna many years ago, brought to our attention.

Dr. Leman: This is to say that every social behavior your child engages in serves a purpose in a child’s life. All kids start off in life as attention getters, and they’re either going to get positive attention or negative attention. When a kid throws a temper tantrum or has a meltdown, what’s the purpose or nature of the behavior? That’s what I want you to ask yourself.

Dr. Leman: The nature of the behavior is to show you that they are in authority over you, that they’re the ones that run the family. Again, I’m here to tell you that there’s kids shorter than a yard stick that are in full control of their families today. The next time your kid acts up or gives you that defiant look, and by the way, that kids that gives you the defiant look and then slams the door, and says, “You never let me do anything,” there’s your powerful child. Again, you have a powerful child, there’s a powerful parent nearby.

Dr. Leman: Power does not work in bringing up children today, but being in healthy authority over them and being a person with limits does a lot for a kid’s self esteem. Kids want boundaries. Purposive behavior, it serves a purpose in a child’s life. For the powerful child, he simply says I only count when I dominate, win, and control. Of course, the attention getter says I only count in life when I put other people in my service or I get attention.

Dr. Leman: In fact, you don’t even want me talking about the revengeful child. They’re around. Many of them at juvenile court in teenage years. They’re the ones whose mantra in life is I feel hurt by life therefore I have a right to strike out at others. Hope you don’t have one of those at home. Take care. Have a great day, and watch out for purposive behavior.

Doug: Dr. Leman I have to ask-

Dr. Leman: By the way, before we get rolling, that little $1.99 thing on Have a New Sex Life by Friday, I mean, that is a great complimentary book to the Intimate Connection. I want everybody to think about your sex life for a minute, okay? Don’t get real excited, anybody, I just want you to think about your sex life. Is it true that your sex life is a microcosm look at your relationship? You tell me. Email us. Give us a voicemail.

Dr. Leman: Rarely do you see a couple, and I’ve been at this a long, long time. I really can’t think of a couple who I dealt with who said, “We have a tremendous sex life. It is just the best there is, but we’re getting a divorce.” I don’t think I’ve ever heard that out of somebody’s mouth. Is sex important? Very. Do sexual needs change over time? They do. Do couples need to make adjustments for such things? Obviously.

Dr. Leman: That is for $1.99. I’m amazed they give these things away for $1.99. You can’t get anything for $1.99, but I won’t go into a rant and berate my publisher. They’re good people. They’re just trying to help us. The complement book to The Intimate Connection would certainly be Have a New Sex Life by Friday. Lots of great information in there.

Dr. Leman: Again, this is an area where people don’t talk very freely about sex. I mention many times that one of the lowest selling Leman books is actually a very great book, I think. It’s got a great title, called A Chicken’s Guide to Talking Turkey to Your Kids About Sex. How many people got up this morning and said, “I’d like to talk to my daughter about sex today or my son? Again, listen to these offers that Doug and Andrea give you. Take advantage of those. Again, there’s a short window where you have to get online and get that book for $1.99. Do your marriage a favor and download it on your husband’s app or on his appliance and download it on yours. You both have it. There it is.

Andrea: Dr. Leman, this is a parenting podcast really, so could you just give us a little synopsis why communication between the parents, why are we spending so much time on this, on a parenting podcast? Why is that important?

Dr. Leman: It’s the foundation. I always said that beautiful cathedrals are built one brick at a time. You’re laying the foundation for your entire family as you set out on the sea of life on your little family love boat. The hands on deck are watching how the captain and co-captain of the good ship family behave and how they talk to teach other. Dads, you represent what men are all about to your daughters, and mommies, you represent the flip side of that. They’re always taking notes on how you behave and how you speak to each other.

Dr. Leman: By becoming one in marriage, you are encouraging the children to be honest and forthright with you, because each of those kids are going to see life differently. I mentioned getting behind the eyes of your spouse. You’re going to have to get behind the eyes of each of your kids to understand where they’re coming from as they look at their family in terms of their birth order, their beliefs, their themes that run through their life. By themes, I’m talking about I only count in life when I win, when I dominate, when I control, or when I please other people, or when I get other people’s attention. That’s what I’m talking about when I talk about themes.

Dr. Leman: Andrea, it all ties together beautifully. You help your whole family by … They always tell you on the airplane, put your mask on first if you’re traveling with somebody much younger or much older than you. In other words, you’ve got to get yourself in gear before you’re able to help other people. It’s as simple as that.

Andrea: I have a friend who has told me that she and her husband live pretty much separate lives and she’s given up trying to communicate with him and she’s just focused on the four kids. She’s got two daughters heading off to college. She’s still got some kids in middle school and high school, and she says, “I’ve just resigned myself, I’m going to focus on the kids until they’re all gone and then I’ll work on my marriage.” Is there hope for somebody like that?

Dr. Leman: No. How’s that for a quick answer? See, I understand the frustration of that. I’ve tried everything with this man, I’ve bought books, I’ve gone to seminars, I’ve bought him videos. There’s just no connection there. What’s a mother to do? She invests herself in her kids lives. She becomes super mom. She’s the one that’s there for the kids. She’s the encourager, she’s the praiser, which isn’t good. You want to be an encourager, not a praiser, as a reminder, but she does it all.

Dr. Leman: Her husband, he’s a bread winner in part. He’s there. If sex happens, it’s only out of guilt. It certainly isn’t enjoyable. It’s probably in her mind, a way of satisfying him and giving herself some reprieve for several days or a couple weeks or a month. I hear all these stories from couples. We have sex once a month. We have sex three times a year. I mean, my goodness. That’s a marriage? I don’t think so.

Dr. Leman: When you ask what’s the probability of suc- … There’s none. She’s going to live the marriage singles lifestyle, as I call it. Something bad’s going to happen, real bad. What are you talking about? Real bad? Since this husband never had communication with you, for whatever reason. Again, I’m not saying it’s somebody’s fault. I’m just saying communication wasn’t there. Now he’s, let’s make him mid-40s, which is great time for a little crisis in a man’s life or a woman’s life.

Dr. Leman: Someone simply compliments him at work on his sweater that he’s got on, and before long, this man sort of gravitates and for whatever reason, he feels listened to by this woman and he feels respected by this woman. Before long, they’re sleeping together and they got a full blown affair. It happens that she’s married and he’s married. It happens across the US and Canada daily.

Dr. Leman: Now there’s a marriage break up. Here’s the kicker. I’m just being as pragmatic as I can. This man and this woman who met in very negative ways, they both violate their marriage vow. I mean, I’m just telling you, that some of those people go on and have great relationships with this new found lover, who they end up marrying, sometimes they have kids with, and their life’s all of a sudden on track. Look at the carnage left behind on both sides of those families, and guess who gets to pay for all that?

Dr. Leman: Some people are not going to like what I just said, okay? I’m just telling you that’s the reality of what happens to people. They find new loves, they find new people that just are in sync with in terms of communication. Communication is the glue. It’s the peanut butter and jelly of the sandwich, and if you don’t have it, get ready for a lonely life. People might look at you as a really nice couple because you’re both very nice people. Inside you’re dying.

Andrea: If I were one of those ladies, I would think at this point, maybe I need to back off on all the activities I’m doing with the kids and take this book seriously, Intimacy, and start focusing on my husband.

Doug: Okay, my job is to make sure that we stay on-

Andrea: On time.

Doug: Time. I apologize. We want to keep going.

Andrea: I’m just wrapping up.

Doug: Oh, you’re wrapping up? We can keep going and I’ll just say I met with a guy yesterday and this was his story exactly. They couldn’t communicate and they divorced. He’s heartbroken over it. The reason that I keep telling you you need to go get these books and read them, is because it changed our marriage as well as our parenting, and like when Dr. Leman told me, “The words you choose will define your relationship,” it’s these types of things that you read the books, you get the concepts, you apply them, they work, and your marriage gets better.

Doug: Go buy this book, Intimate Connections, and you will thank me a bazillion times over, that now I have the knowledge, now I have the concepts, now I have the ability to do it. Please, please, please, for the sake of your kids, for future generations and everybody, go, go, go do this. We are so glad that you guys hung out with us. That book is now available everywhere books are sold. Go get it and in 6 months I expect an email you saying, “Thank you, Doug, for convincing us to get that book and how it changed our life.” We’re glad to be with you and we look forward to the next time we get to hang out with you and add to that parenting tool box.

Andrea: Have a great day.

Doug: Bye bye.

May 07 2019