Cover image of Have a New Kid by Friday with Dr. Kevin Leman
Kids & Family
Religion & Spirituality

Have a New Kid by Friday with Dr. Kevin Leman

Updated 13 days ago

Kids & Family
Religion & Spirituality
Read more

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

Have a New Kid by Friday with Dr. Kevin Leman

Updated 13 days ago

Read more

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

Rank #1: 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
19 mins

Rank #2: 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
22 mins

Rank #3: 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
21 mins

Rank #4: 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
18 mins

Rank #5: 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
25 mins

Rank #6: 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
28 mins

Rank #7: 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
19 mins

Rank #8: 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
20 mins

Rank #9: 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
23 mins

Rank #10: 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
21 mins

Rank #11: 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
24 mins

Rank #12: 078: Right and Wrong Anger Management Methods–And Little Points that Will Bring Peace to Your Home.

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Did you know that your kids use anger to control the people around them? Learn how to help your kids deal with their anger in this episode.

Anger may be a natural emotion, yet we have seen the devastating effects it can have on the whole family. Teaching your child how to deal with anger will not only help your family, but it also prepares you children for future situations.


078- Anger Transcript

Doug:                   We’re talking about anger, anger in your kids. I think it is going to be a great episode.

Andrea:                This isn’t just a kid thing. This can touch home for a lot of us adults, too.

Doug:                   It wasn’t that many years ago that one of my kids actually came to me and said, “Dad, I am afraid of you. You are an angry person.” When one of your kids comes and looks you in the eye and says that, you are either going to tell them they are crazy and yell at them or you can go, “Oh. I think maybe I should go do something about it.”

And I quickly learned that guess who was the angry person in the house? Moi. And it was the best gift anybody ever gave me, that I learned how to deal with it. You do not want your kids to go and say that they are afraid of you. Anger is a real issue. Where does anger come from in kids?

Dr. Leman:          One of the best sermons I have ever heard in a church was entitled How to Be Good and Angry.

Doug:                   How to Be Good and Angry.

Dr. Leman:          “How to Be Good and Angry”. Anger itself it’s not something bad. It is a human emotion. We all have anger in our life from time to time. Sometimes, it is situational where a kid will just make us angry. I have had things like coming home to see that someone had driven the van through the garage door.

I had two teenager drivers at that time, but I knew who did it. He had a signature all over it. I did not get angry. I sat there and just sort of took it in. I asked myself, “How could she possibly do that?”

We talk about anger we have a choice to be angry. Lots of anger does not seem to be a choice because it’s just sort of an automatic response to something that we did not expect to have happened. But kids who get angry continue to get angry many times because they are little perfectionists who feel like life has to go just a certain way.

And when life goes wrong, for example kids who are in competitive sports, it is easy to be a good winner, it is very difficult to be a good loser. When things do not go well for kids, lots of times, the kid will throw a temper tantrum. I like to call them power tantrums. The kid who is angry is usually a powerful person.

Now again, keep in mind that anger is a very natural feeling that all of us have from time to time. Every time Doug and Andrea get angry, let’s have them blow a little air into a balloon. Again before long, you have a few kids around you. That balloon might be pretty full of air in a short period of time.

What happens with people who tend to get angry, notice it is a little straw that broke the camel’s back. A little thing can set off this momentous explosion of anger.

Keep in mind the analogy that every time you get angry, you blow a little air in the balloon. Before long, you have this balloon with just one more little puff of air, and maybe we all did this as kids blowing up a balloon. We blew it up so far it snapped in our face. So it is with human behavior.

Something happens and everything just blows. This goes back to an earlier podcast that we have talked about, about if I could just throw up when I have the flu I know I would feel better. Lots of times with anger, we emotionally throw up on another person and now we feel better because the tension has been released. But look what we did to somebody else.

Now the analogy back to this little balloon. Remember the noise we used to create by taking the neck of the balloon and we’d stretch it? We would make that terrible sound that would drive your sister, or your brother, or your parent up the wall. It is interesting.

When you do that, when you let air out, although it is uncomfortable to hear what happens to the balloon? It gets softer, it gets malleable. What is the chance of it exploding? Zero. None. Zilch. If you can get a person to talk about what is bothering them inside in a productive way, you lessen the probability of these explosions because the explosions hurt.

When you are angry, if you are an angry husband, you say something to your wife. The words you choose to use with your wife, or your husband, or your kids make a huge difference. I am on record in saying the words you choose can change the path of a relationship by just thinking your way to behavioral change.

No drugs from the shrink just thinking your way to behaving differently with the words you choose to use with your wife, or your husband, or your kid. Kids continue to get angry because life is not going perfect for them. They are the ones that throw their tennis racket. We have had great athletes. Was it John McEnroe who had the great temper?

Doug:                   Yeah.

Dr. Leman:          Again temper only continues because it is reinforced. Years ago, there was an ad on television for E.F. Hutton, a financial investment group if I remember right. But he punch line was “When E.F. Hutton talked, everyone listened.” They showed everything just came with an abrupt halt.

And so it is when people have an explosion. You are going to be around someone and all of a sudden they have this terrible explosion. You sort of freak out. Everything becomes quiet, you become frightened because of this explosion of anger. Anger can be used to control other people.

Andrea:                Once they learn that, then they use that as a pattern.

Dr. Leman:          Yes. And it is manifested in so many different ways in their life. There is people who are listening to us who are in marriages where they feel like they just have to walk on eggs. You have to walk on eggs around your partner. Why? Because if you say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing, Harold is going to explode, Marsha is going to have a hissy fit. That is not a comfortable way to live. It just is not.

Kids are the same way. When kids get crossed and you give a kid vitamin N which is “No, we are not going to do that,” and they have this huge temper tantrum, realize that that temper tantrum serves a purpose. Purpose being that that is my way of saying “I am very upset with what you have said that I cannot go and do what other kids do at my age,” or whatever.

It is a kid’s way of saying, “I am in control of you and I rebuke the authority you are trying to exist over me.” When a kid gets angry, saying something like, “Honey, you seem angry. Listen I can tell by the expression on your face you are really not ready to talk right now. You are still pretty upset about this. But when you calm down I would like to talk to you about it. Just come on in the family room when you are ready. We will sit down. I would like to hear what you have to say about it.”

I would like to hear what you have to say about it. There is an open invitation for the kid to talk. And you let him talk. Is he going to say things that are all going to line up with what you think? No, but you still hear him out with tell me more about that, without asking questions. If you got a control freak in your famil, whether it is a husband, wife or kid, number one: Do not ask them questions. Asking questions will get you nowhere.

Doug:                   If you have a control freak and you ask them questions it will get you nowhere.

Dr. Leman:          Yeah. Do not ask them questions. Tell me more about that, or honey can I ask your opinion about something?”

Andrea:                Why does that take you nowhere if you ask them a question?

Dr. Leman:          Because it puts the defenses up immediately, especially for men. You women, use three and a half times number of words that we men use in a given day. Sharing, communicating, talking, that is right up your alley. It is not for your husband because he specializes in arm’s length relationships.

Andrea:                So what would I say to him instead?

Dr. Leman:          “Honey, can I ask your opinion about something?” When you say it to a husband or a kid it says, “I value what you think.” There is not a man on this Earth that would not tell you how he thinks. There is just some gentle ways of doing it without asking a question. This is interesting because right now I am framing out a book about middle school kids.

I make the point that here is this kid sailing along, great little kid. All of a sudden, he hits the sixth grade. He does not talk, in the morning you are lucky to get a grunt out of him. You say, “Leman, I drive him to school nine miles. He does not say a word. I am lucky to get a word out of the kid.” Well, do not ask him questions.

If I did not ask him questions, he would just sit there. Fine, let him just sit there. Drive him to school. If you want to say something, just before he slams the door say, “Have a good day.” If he forgets his lunch, that is not the end of the world. He will bump some food off of his buddies.

Doug:                   How do we, as parents, help our children release that anger out of the balloon little bits at a time?

Dr. Leman:          Again, I wrote the Birth Order book so forgive the Birth Order reference. Let me say something that a middle child has never heard in their entire life. Honey, what do you think? We never ask the middle child anything because the first born and the baby overrun things. Saying to kids, “Honey, I would like to know your opinion about things.”

It is a question, but it is an opinion question as opposed to just flat out asking kid’s questions. They perceive that as an agenda, it puts their ears back a little bit, and their defenses go up immediately. Again, there is a lot of ways to skin a cat.

I remember a long time ago when kids cry and sometimes in private practice, working the families you would see a kid cry. I always try to be close enough to the family so I could touch them if I needed to. When I learned when the kid starts to tear up and tell you how rough things are, you just reach over and touch their knee or touch their arm.

Even though it seems like they are going to stop talking and just cry when you just touched him, they will continue on. If you let them stop, that is the end of it. They are just going to break down. Then they will get embarrassed and leave, slam the door, leave the office, whatever. Just touching somebody says, “I am with you. You do not have to say much.”

Doug:                   When your kids start to exhibit any type of emotional response be really aware.

Dr. Leman:          You may want to touch him. You might just say, “Honey, you seem awfully upset. And I do not know if you want to talk about it now or later but I just want you to know I really would like to hear what you say.” Let me speak a little Birth Order for a second.

You got Little Miss Goody Two Shoes in the number one position. And right behind her is that sister, just two years behind her. I think the parent is so smart to pull aside that second kid. The second kid might be the one that has got the anger in them.

You might say to little Sally about her older sister Samantha, “Hey, honey. Can I ask you a question? Would you mind if I asked you a question? I like your opinion about something.” There, the opinion part, you will probably get a yes. “Yeah, what is it?” “Well, your sister. Is she a little over the top or is it me? Is she a little too much or is it me?”

What you have done with that second child is you said, “Hey, I get it. That is a big shadow to live up to. Little Miss Goody Two Shoes who gets straight As without racking a book and here you are struggling to get Bs.” What you are doing is what I call establishing equality with your kid.

You are getting behind the kid’s eye and just saying to them in commercial form, I understand what you are up against. And while we are on the subject of your big sister, is your younger sister Cory a brat with a capital B? Or is it my imagination? She can be the biggest pest in the world.

Now, you have just hit gold with this middle child. This middle child says, “Oh, thank the Lord. Somebody understands my plate in life. I am sandwiched between little Miss Goody Two Shoes and little Brat breath herself.” Then you put a little humor in it. It is a tough position to be in. I always tell people it is like me going on Jay Leno and finding out that the woman from San Diego Zoo has brought her animal act on.

In fact I was on The View once, a couple of times actually, but one of the times I was on, we talked about my book “Sheet Music” which is a sex book for couples. Talking to those crazy women of New York about sex, they do not care about me, some chubby guy from Tucson, Arizona.

Anyway, when I was done, I walked into the green room which was located right behind the set. John Stewart the comedian, was there. Everybody was clapping when I walked in. I knew I did a good job. You only get six minutes, by the way. I walked in and John Stuart looked up at me and said, “Thanks a lot.”

That is as good a compliment as you get in New York. In other words, he was the next one up. Keep in mind that many of these kids were angry, see the discrepancy and how we treat the kids in the family. We tend to over identify with the kid that’s most like us in the family which sometimes causes friction. It is the differences that make as a couple, it is the differences that help us get along in parenthood. It’s sort of an interesting.

Kids form alliances where number one and number three might be best buds and number two and number four, or it might be number one and number four against two and three when there is a fight about something. It is interesting.

Doug:                   What I find interesting about this that is very uncomfortable is we are not really talking about the kid. We are talking about us parents. A, What are we modeling for the kids and B, How are we treating the kids? Are we actually setting our kids up to be angry within our own home?

And if I hear what you are saying correctly is sit down one on one with your kids every now and then and be real with them. Do not be fake, do not be a phony. Identify with them and speak their language, be with them.

Andrea:                Let that anger off bit by bit rather than squelch it.

Dr. Leman:          Well, there is an appropriate way for anger. Sometimes these kids, like in athletic contests, they just kick themselves around the field because they made an error or they blew something. You can say to a kid, “Honey, I know this is a huge thing to you but I got to tell you the truth. It is not a huge thing to me.” and walk away.

In other words, do not feed the perfectionism. The kid wants to feel like it is the end of the world, he can feel it is the end of the world. Nothing you are going to say is going to dissuade that. But you can simply say very glibly, “It is not that big deal to me.”

Doug:                   That is great. You did say a couple times is it is often the perfectionist that would be the angry child.

Dr. Leman:          Oh, yes.

Doug:                   And help them be set free from that perfection.

Dr. Leman:          We should probably do a whole thing on perfectionism because it is slow suicide. You will never get there. You are like the donkey looking for the carrot in the stick. You are going to walk the walk and you are going to try but you are never going to get there. That is what’s fruitless about perfectionism.

Let me remind you, if you are a person if faith, a guy named St. Paul called himself wretched. Now if St. Paul is wretched, please tell me what is Andrea, Doug, and Kevin Leman if St. Paul is wretched. There are so many schools named after him. It is unbelievable. He has got to be important.

Doug:                   Let us add that to the list. I think that would be a fabulous one to set people free from.

Andrea:                Perfectionism, okay.

Doug:                   We hope that we helped you today get a grip on anger in your children and a way to get around it. And the idea of getting one on one with your kids and analyzing your own responses to your kid’s responses would be great. I encourage you to listen to some of the earlier sessions that we have done that really talked about how we, as parents, either inflame it by our responses or even we escalate it.

Dr. Leman:          Simple things. I see you are upset.

Doug:                   I see you are upset.

Dr. Leman:          You seem angry. Hey, I can tell by the expression on your face this was not a good day. Do you want to talk about it? We can talk about it now, we can talk about it later. But I just want you to know, I am all ears if you want to talk.

Parenting Tip/ Pocket Answer

“Tell me more about that.”


The next session is on 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.

Dec 30 2014
19 mins

Rank #13: 082-Do You Want to Be a Great Parent? Do This Today.

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Do you want to have a great future as a parent? You need to look at your home today. Dr. Kevin Leman shares what to look for in your home.


Transcript from the podcast:

Doug: Well, this is continuing what we did last time which is “How do we help new parents set a great foundation?” Or, for those of us like me who didn’t set that foundation and are now in the middle of it, help us re-establish that foundation and make sure we get the keys to get back to where we want it to be.

The first one–if you haven’t listened to it, go back and listen to it–it’s really, really good. It’s about knowing your past, evaluate your past, realize that you are a product of your past, and all those types of things that Dr. Leman shared.
Today, we’re going to talk about what your home is like today, take a home inventory. Dr. Leman, how do we take a home inventory and what should we be looking for?

Dr. Leman: I think the first thing you have to understand, or ask the question: Do we have a united front? Are we really one? Are we one team? I hate to tell you there’s not many that are one team. That’s why there’s so much dysfunction, and so many problems in families today.

And that’s why books like Have a New Kid by Friday sell off the shelf because parents are wondering what to do. The first thing they have to do to fix the problem is realize that when you got married, it wasn’t just the two of you. You married your families.

And some of the residue from the family you came out of is affecting how you parent today. It’s very typical that one of you might be authoritarian based and harder, which automatically sets up a good probability of the other spouse being a little on the permissive side. So, you’re not together.

The first thing you have to address is getting on the same page. That means you have to make some concessions to your spouse so that you move together. That’s tough to do, but you need to be shoulder to shoulder. If you’re shoulder to shoulder, almost everything you say and do, the kids will accept. You have to take a look at your family and ask yourself, “Is this a fun place? If I was a kid, would I like to hang out with these people?”

If the answer is no, you need to re-evaluate what’s really important in life. We’ve stressed on these podcasts, relationships rather than rules. It’s all about relationships. I think you want to make sure you have fun in the family.

The other thing I guess I would suggest you take a look at is what kind of words you use with those you love. Are they encouraging words? Are they things like, “Hey, great. Looks like you really caught on to that. Wow, I’m really impressed by the fact you got a B on that course. That’s really a tough course for you. Wow, looks like all that extra effort you put in is really paying off.” Those are all encouraging words.

If you grew up with a critical-eyed parent–here’s a kid who’s really struggling because they’re no good in math at all, but they bring home a B and you have the audacity to say, “Hey, what’s with the B?” I mean, really, do you really want to go there? I don’t think so.

The self-evaluation for your family, I think starts with how are things working out for you. If you’re frustrated every night and you’re angry at your spouse or you’re angry at the kids, maybe you ought to look at a different paradigm, a different model.

That’s what we try to give you on every podcast. We go back to being the authoritative parent, which means you’re in authority without being an authoritarian. Not micromanaging. You’re expecting the best of your kids, you follow through, you don’t take excuses on, and you be a good parent which means sometimes you say, “You know, I shouldn’t have said that. Would you forgive me? I was wrong.” That’s the model that you start with to provide a family atmosphere that’s good for your kids.

Doug: Dr. Leman, when you were talking about be united with your spouse, you said something to the effect of “If one’s authoritarian or one’s permissive, you need to learn to give up something to be more united with your spouse.” Could you give us an example of what that would mean, what that means?

Dr. Leman: You might be rule-oriented, and you have a rule that the kids have to be in the
house by 5:00. The kid walks in at 5:07 and you just go off on the kid. Really, seven minutes? It sets up your spouse to say, “Honey, wait a minute. It’s not that big a thing.” Well, it’s a big thing to you because you’re rule oriented. So, husband and wife, get behind closed doors, re-examine that situation, say, “Honey, how could we handle that better?”

The parent that is little more accepting of what it’s like to rear a kid who comes in at 5:07, says “It’s not the end of the world.” Isn’t it better to greet the kid with, “I bet you had a great day today,” than, “Hey, you’re seven minutes late”? Do you see what I’m saying? But if you formulate that plan to be shoulder to shoulder–otherwise the kids will perceive, “Uh-Oh. Mom and Dad are on a different page.”

And they don’t like that. That rips away their security to have a Mom and Dad at opposite ends of the spectrum. Whenever you’re united, the kids feel that they’re safe. That’s what you have to keep in mind. Kids love the mundane. They love the predictable. They’re very much like Kevin Leman who eats the same breakfast basically every morning.
Lots of times, a waitress will come up and say, “Are you ready to order?” I’ll look at her and say, “We’re men. We knew what we’re going to have before we walked in the door.” She smiles and laughs and says, “Great, I’ve got two idiots to wait on.”

But nevertheless, you have to get on the same page and it’s all about relationships. You do this, not in front of the kids. You do this behind closed doors.
Again, we’re trying to change the course of the river. One of the reasons why you’re having problems with kids is that one of you is a rule person, and one of you is a relationship person. We need a way of getting both of you on the same page, to be a relationship person, rather than just a rule person.

Andrea: For couples who already have kids, that description will help them to evaluate where they are. But what if you don’t have kids yet? Or what if you have just a tiny baby? Can you give any examples how that couple might be able to evaluate whether or not they’re on the same page? I know in the early years of marriage, maybe that first year before there are any kids, life seems pretty happy-go-lucky and you get along.

Dr. Leman: Yeah, until the enemy shows up.

Andrea: How could they evaluate are we on the same page? Are we united? Are there some questions they could ask themselves?

Dr. Leman: This is a broad statement. What will determine the fate of your family gets down to the very core of who you are as a person. Did you marry the right person? We’re married. That’s a weird question to ask. Well, it’s a good question to ask because again, your family will thrive or shrivel depending upon the very core of who you are.
Think about that, the very core of who you are. What did you learn in that family that you came out of? What are your core values? If you two have the same core values, you’re going to do fine. If you believe that parents need to be in authority over children, you’re going to be fine. I’m old enough to remember when kids actually used to obey their parents.

Now parents obey their kids. What I’m saying is, from the get-go, for that young couple who’s maybe expecting or just dreaming about having children, I think it gets back to whether the core values match up. If they do, you’re in great shape.

Andrea: That’s great. Thank you.

Doug: I’m thinking about your book Have a New You. Would this be a time for someone to get that book to analyze and look at where are they in life?

Dr. Leman: Yeah, because it gives you a road map, psychological road map of who you are. In that book I say, “This book ought to cost $199.” I say that because if you’re meeting for the first time with a shrink, your half hour to 45 minutes costs you $225. Read my little paperback book for $14, or $12 or whatever it is, shrink yourself.
It’s no secret who you are. You came from this family, and that book walks you through how you got to where you are, and then gives you specific ideas about how to change things. It all gets to the fact that you can think your way–listen to this sentence–think your way to behavioral change. Behavior doesn’t just happen.
“Oh, that’s just the way I am.” Well, I got news for you. That’s a lie.

Just the way you are–it’s not good for you, it’s not good for your spouse, it’s not good for your kids. You need to do some changing. Who can change you? The shrink you pay money to, or you? Who’s the captain of your ship? Who’s the one that decides to smoke cigarettes, or not smoke cigarettes? Do you see what I’m saying? It all goes back to who we are, in our ability to adapt and change.

I just think that behavioral change is very possible. Is it easy to change? No, it’s not easy, because we’re all creatures of habit. But for the sake of your children, you need to be on the same page.

Doug: I really appreciate you saying that your family will thrive or shrivel depending on who you are as a person. I didn’t get that as a young parent and that’s why I love what you’re teaching. I got rules–and that’s how you get kids to be obedient.

This is just a testimony to exactly what you’re saying. What’s happened later in life is I have gotten Doug Terpening better, guess what, my parenting has gotten better, my marriage has gotten better, and I have less rules and more relationship now than ever before, and life is so much better.

If you’re a brand new parent, please take this to heart. Go get the book and believe that you can think your way to new behavior, because you can. And it will make your marriage better, it will make everything better.


Dr Leman’s latest training is Great Parenting from the Get-Go with Dr. Leman’s Proven Game-Plan.

The training is for parents with kids 7 years of age and younger. If your child is older than 7 and it feels like things are a bit out of control, this training will help highlight areas you missed for the firm foundation.

It closes Monday, Jan 19th.

Click HERE for more information.

The next session is a 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.

Jan 13 2015
14 mins

Rank #14: 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
21 mins

Rank #15: 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
18 mins

Rank #16: 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
24 mins

Rank #17: 076: Here is a Quick Way to Stop Whining in Your Home (replay)

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What parent hasn’t heard the dreaded whining for more milk, the car keys, the iPad, or other demands? Here is a startling fact: They whine because it is working for them to get you to perform for them. Dr Leman shares how to stop the whining.

You have the ability to stop your kids’ whining. The key is to become deaf to it. Ignore whining. Don’t give in to it. And, guess what? They will stop using whining.


Podcast Transcript

Doug:               You have already heard us talk about it. We are going to be talking about whining. Andrea, you have got a pretty good story about whining. Let us jump back into it.

Andrea:           We did used to have a sign in the kitchen window for me that said, “Whining is an automatic no.” Like I said it was for me. To remind me that if I heard that whining that I was supposed to say no right away. But it is not always easy.

Dr. Leman:      Well, I think you just taught me something. I think automatic no would be just something great for a parent to say as soon as a kid starts whining, automatic no. Not even just no, automatic no. The kids continue to whine. Why? Because it pays off.

Andrea:           Yeah, they get what they want.

Dr. Leman:      And the problem is, let us face it. Do you ever play whack-a-mole? Do you ever to go to an amusement park and play whack-a-mole? These little things pop up and you whack one and before you get the one really whacked, the other one is popping up. That is how parents feel on a bad day because they are unionized. If it is not one kid, it is the other.

If it is late at night and they are overtired, they are going to whine. I let them whine at the moon. I have no problem with putting a whiner outside. I have no problem with putting a whiner in a wine cellar it’s a perfect place for them. Every parent probably needs a wine cellar just to show kids that, you know, let them have their whining. I just do not want to hear it.

Doug:               Whining is one of the most amazing things that we deal with, isn’t it?

Dr. Leman:      Andrea looks like she is dying to say something.

Andrea:           I am wondering. Do kids kind of get fun out of whining?

Dr. Leman:      Sure.

Andrea:           Is it fun for them? How do we take that fun out of that whining for them so they will change this habit?

Dr. Leman:      Alright. You know me. I like to think a little bit out of the box. What would happen if next time one of your kids whined? That you would just whine back.

Andrea:           No.

Dr. Leman:      I do not want to help you do anything because I am your whiny mother. And your father is a whiner, too.

Doug:               I wanted to do it. I wanted to do it.

Dr. Leman:      You take the sting out of the air. I have, in private practice years ago, a kid who woke up in the middle of the night and he would just scream. Four years old, he just wakes up and he is screaming all night. The parents were beside themselves. They tried everything. They went in some psychologist told them to go in and just pat his back and settle him down.

And then every ten minutes and as he is screaming, go in and pat him down so much. That was the stupidest thing I have ever heard of. All you are doing is paying off the screaming. We were sitting around as a family and I would love to tell you that I came up with this idea, but it was one of the other siblings who said, “What would happen if I scream back?” And I said, “Whoa, you gave me a great idea. What would happen if we all scream back, the whole family?”

One night, everybody screamed back. That was last peep we heard out of this kid. And it worked. If it works, I vote for it. Again, sometimes kids stumble upon a behavior that gets a reaction from you. Not a response, a reaction. And he goes, “Oh, that was sort of fun. I think I will try that again.”

It is like the kid that is 19 months of age. You are a young mom, Andrea and you look down the hallway into the john, and your little son, little Fletcher is sitting on the big potty. Not the little Wal-Mart potty, okay? Not the little plastic training thing. He is on the big potty that says “Eljur” on the back of it.

You walk over there and you look down, the kid is 19 months old. You look down on the toilet and there is a little five and a half incher floating down there. You yell for your husband, “Douglas, come here! Douglas, come here!”

Notice it is Douglas and not Doug. This is an emergency. Douglas goes over and looks down in the toilet and says, “Oh, hey. Good going there, buddy. That is really something. Hey, good going there.” Now, little Fletcher is just 19 months of age. What is he thinking? He is thinking, “Whoa. They are really big on that I guess, huh? Hmm.

This might be an interesting way to demand all kinds of attention.”  So many times this is a kid who goes from quick toilet training to regression.

Doug:               Why?

Dr. Leman:      Well, because he got so much attention for such an easy, natural thing. Kids will pick out like you pick cherries or peaches off a tree these little gems that seemed to work.

Andrea:           So now, he expects to get that attention every single time he uses the potty?

Dr. Leman:      Yes, but he can do it in defiant ways. “What would happen if I decided to do that little five and a half incher in that waste basket over there?” I do not make these things up. These are things that kids do sometimes. If a kid goes potty for the first time and you stumble upon that, just a little pat.

Andrea:           You just act like it is normal.

Dr. Leman:      Yeah.

Andrea:           Wow, you are getting to be a big boy.

Dr. Leman:      You are a big boy. Wow, big boy. But it is the most natural thing in the world to what? Go potty, to fall asleep, and to eat. What do parents struggle with? Eating, getting kids to go to sleep, and potty training. They have battles over it.

Andrea:           No sticker charts for the bathroom? What would you say about it?

Dr. Leman:      No sticker charts. If you are a sticker chart person, I am here to tell you, I am on the witness stand. Okay, Leman put your hand up. Do you swear to God to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth? I do. Kids love stickers. Kids love little reinforcements. I am here to tell you they work for a while and that is the problem.

The problem with those kinds of rewards is you are right back to the traditional way of bringing up kids, based on reward and punishment which we have all kinds of evidence to say it does not work. By the way, if you are person of faith, that certainly is not reflective of God’s teaching.

God’s teaching is that you obey your parents. Your parents have an authority over you. Not as an authoritarian, not as a permissive, but an authoritative parent. So, we do not need stickers. The pay off for the kid is I helped. I gave back to the family. I was responsible. I was kind. I was compassionate. I was helpful.

Andrea:           So, we just tell them you are responsible. You are kind.

Dr. Leman:      Yeah. Go back to the potty good job. Do not overdo it. It is like the kid who goes four for four in a Little League game. Do you immediately tell him he is going to be in the Big someday and you are so proud of him? Oh my goodness, do you blue smoke him?

Or do you say, “Wow. I liked how you really enjoyed playing out there today. All that hard practice is really paying off. Four for four, good job.” Now, here is the key. I bet that makes you feel good inside.

Doug:               We have got to do one of these on rewards and punishment and the idea of are they a member of the family. Because we did the sticker charts with varying degrees of success. Everybody did the sticker chart.

Dr. Leman:      In many ways, it is a great way to get kids to focus on the chores they have to do.

Doug:               But the reality is it had no impact on when our kids learned how to go potty.

Dr. Leman:      It runs its course.

Doug:               Yup.

Dr. Leman:      It runs its course. It will not last long time. So, why not try to get kids to internalize the attitude that I am a member of this family? Now, we started off talking about whining. Let us go back to whining.

Andrea:           Yeah, I was just going to say. They develop a habit probably by whining and they get Mom to come scratch their back every time they scream or whatever. Pretty soon, they are probably not even thinking about their whining anymore because it is just a habit and they know they are going to get your reaction.

Dr. Leman:      Let me ask you a question. Do you think it is possible to rear children who would never cry?

Doug:               No.

Andrea:           That seems unhealthy.

Dr. Leman:      Right. Most people would say it is impossible to do that. There was a tribe of Native American Indians who taught their children not to cry on the hunt. When a kid would begin to show the signs of the tears are coming, they simply cut off the ear passage for a few seconds and a kid learned really quickly, well, I guess that is not something you do.

What I am saying is you can literally train a kid to do anything. I always say with tongue and cheek, “You know there are some similarities in bringing a puppy home and training a puppy and bringing up a kid.” I am just saying that you can teach a kid to be a whiner. You can teach a kid to be argumentative.

How do you teach a kid to be argumentative? By arguing back. It takes two. Fighting is an act of cooperation. Some of these basic principle that people who listen to us will get sick of them in many ways, B does not start until A gets completed. Say it once, turn your back, and walk away. These are all action related things.

Do not start habits that you do not want to have continued throughout your kid’s college education.

Doug:               Unfortunately, all parents have allowed whining, I have encouraged it, and now I want to stop it. The practical action step that parents can walk away with this time is–

Dr. Leman:      Become father deaf, become mother deaf to all whining.

Doug:               And just ignore it totally.

Dr. Leman:      Talk to the hand. Not interested. Think you can handle it. Goodbye. Automatic no. Come up with anything that works for you. It is tourist to the point and you do not engage in battle because that kid, when you start to shut him off, will go to great lengths to makes sure he is noticed.

Doug:               The tip here is walk away, ignore it–

Dr. Leman:      Disengage.

Doug:               Disengage and shut it down.

Dr. Leman:      I love the automatic no. I think I am going to steal it and put it in book.

Andrea:           Go for it.

Dr. Leman:      Automatic no.


The next session is on 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.

Dec 23 2014
15 mins

Rank #18: 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
28 mins

Rank #19: 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
23 mins

Rank #20: 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
21 mins

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