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Practical Advice for Parenting Powerful Kids (Part 1 of 2)

Original Air Date 11/18/2013

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Psychologist Dr. Kevin Leman helps parents understand how your child manipulates, craves attention, and ultimately, how you can reduce the amount of power your child has over your home. (Part 1 of 2)

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Episode Transcript

Opening: 

Excerpt:

Studio Audience Member: Hi,Dr.Leman,thanksforcomingtoFocusontheFamily.Ihaveatwelveandahalfyearoldwhoisunabletostayfocused.EverytimeIaskhertodosomething,sheeitherleavestheroomorgoesofftodosomethingelse.WhatshouldIdowithher?

Dr. Kevin Leman: IwouldUPShertoafar-offland.(Laughter)Oh!Oh,isthis...oh...ohwe'reonaren'twe?

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Yeahweareonandthat'sDr.KevinLeman. 

Kevin: We'reonFocusontheFamily.

John: Thisis-thisisFocusontheFamily.AndJim,I-Iappreciatethecorrectnessoftheanswerfromyou. 

Jim Daly: Ilikethat!Weaskedforashortanswer.That'sprettyshort.UPS!That'sgood. 

John: Well,thisis"FocusontheFamily"withFocuspresidentandauthorJimDaly.I'mJohnFuller,andJim,really,we'reheretosolveparentingproblems.Everychildisdifferentandeveryanswerfromourguestisprobablygoingtobedifferentaswell.

Jim: Well,it'ssotrue.It'salwaysapleasureandajoytohaveDr.KevinLemanwithus.Hey,todaywewannatalkaboutthatpowerfulchild.Dr.KevinLemanhasanewbook,ParentingYourPowerfulChild.AndIlikeconceptbecausemostofusareblessedwithmaybeoneormorepowerfulchildreninourfamilies.Powercomesindifferentpackages,Dr.Lemansays,thatloud,strong-willedone,thequiet,passive-aggressiveone,orperhapseventheprocrastinatingone.Andheilluminatesthatit'sgenesandenvironmentandbirthorder-whichofcourse,heauthoredthebirthorderbook-thatcaninfluencethesethings.Buttodayandnexttimewe'regonnatalkaboutnotonlytheproblems,butthesolutions.

Body:

Jim: Well,Dr.KevinLeman,welcomebackto"FocusontheFamily."Andyou'renottalkingjustaboutstrong-willedchildrenhere.You'retalkingaboutsomethingfarbroaderinthepowerfulchild.Whatisit?

Kevin: Absolutely,andthankyouJim,andthankyouJohnforhavingmeonceagain.

Youknow,Ithinkwe'vegiventhestrong-willedchildabadrap–let'sstartwiththat.Ithinkyouwantyourkidstobestrong-willed.Youwantyourkidtostandupinthisworldanddoeverythingwedoandbecoollikeus.Youwantthatson,youwantthatdaughtertobeadaughter,asonofconviction.Toknowrightfromwrong,youknowtodotherightthing.Butthepowerfulchildhasanagenda.Thepowerfulchildwantstowin,control,dominate.Ifyou'reamommytodayandyou'reraisingason,letmebeclearonthis:ifyouhaveapowerfulchild,heisgoingtobealousyhusbandbecausehe'sgonnabeacontroller.AndI'veneverheardawomansay,"Dr.Leman,Ijustlovethewaymyhusbandcontrolsme."Sothestakesarehigh.Andhere'sthekicker:weasparentsteachthekidshowtobepowerful.Ifyouhaveapowerfulchild,Igotnewsforya,there'sapowerfulparentsomewherenearby. 

Jim: Yousayabout99percentofthechildrenarepowerful.Alongwiththat,letme-youmayhaveheardsomeofthegigglesinbackground-wehaveabout25womenheretoguideourdiscussion.We'regonnaaskyouallsomequestions,soletmesaytoyou,welcometothestudiosofFocusontheFamily.

Audience: (CheersandApplause)

Jim: Sowe'rereallygonnabetestedhere,Kevin.

Kevin: Well,youknow,womenarethe-they'retheheartbeatoffamily.There'snotwowaysaboutit.Andyouknow,insomanycases-mostcasesinfamilies-thekidsaremuchmorefamiliarwithmamma.Sotheyknowhowtopunchupmommy'sbuttons.Theyknowhowtopullherchain,gethergoing,andit'samazinghowahusbandcansaysomethingonce.Andamomfindsherselfsayingitseveraltimes.

Jim: Well,that'sagoodplacetostart.Whyisthathappening?

Kevin: Well,becauseagain,Ithinkwe'vetrainedkidshowtobepowerful.Andby18months-nowthisisprettyyoung-by18monthsakidhasfullunderstandingofgreatpowerthattheyhaveovertheparent.

Jim: That'shardtobelieve,though.18months?

Kevin: Well,let'stakeapictureofalittleguy-17monthsofage.Dad'stryingtogethimintoahighchairtohavehisdinner.Nowthisisakidwhohasnointentionofgoinginthathighchair.IftherewasasportintheOlympicscalled"archingyourback,"thiskidcouldwinOlympicgold.Becausea17montholdkiddoesnotwanttogointothatchaircancontorttheirbodyinsuchaway,theylooklikeapretzel.Okay?Andthere'sdadbattling,tryingtogetthiskidin.Andmommyjusttryingtobegoodmom,"Roger,justgivehimtome.I'lltakehim,honey."AndshetakeslittleFletcher,andputslittleFletcheronherlap,andproceedstofeedlittleFletcherspoonbyspoon.

Now,everybodyintheroom,belittleFletcherforjustasecond.Wouldyourathersitonmommy'swarmlapandbespoon-fedorsitinthecheapplasticchairtheyboughtatWalmart?So,inotherwords,wehavereinforcedthekidfussingthesamewaywedointhemallwhenakidthrowsatempertantrumbecausehewantsacandytreat.Andwesay,"No.We'renotgonnagetacandytreatandthat'sthat.That'sfinal."Okay,there'sabigstir.Peoplearewatching.Okayandyoufeelpressureasaparent."Allright!Allright!Butthenthere'snomorecandyforlife!Doyouunderstandme?Nomorecandyforlife!"Sonotonlydowecaveintothekid,butwesaystupidthingstothem.

Jim: Ohman,you'rehittin'merightbetweentheeyes.(Laughter)Guilty!

John: Aboutthehighchairorthecandyorboth?

Jim: Well,allofit!Butitistrue.Nowwhyisparentinganydifferenttodaythanitwasmanyyearsago?Arewebusiertodaysowe'regivingin?Orarewejustweaker?

Kevin: Well,Ithinkthere'sparentstonightwhoarelyin'awake,lookingatthecrackintheceiling,feelinglikeGeneralCusteronhislastdayonthisearth.Ifyou'veeverplayedwhack-a-moleinanamusementpark,beingayoungparenttodaywithmultiplechildrenislikeplayingwhack-a-mole.Whack!Whack!Whack!Whack!Andassoonasyouwhackone,theotheronepopsup.Soit'stremendouslydifferentbecausethecultureweliveinhassuchgreatinfluenceoverourkids.Takesomethingasinnocentasplayingsoccer.Andyoufindoutthatyourlittleson,littleBufordhasjustbeenselectedforcity-widesoccer.Ooh!Andthismeansnowthatthenext10weekendsofyourlifearegonnabetravelingtoanothercityovertheweekend.Okay?Soallfocusisonsoccer.Andwhere'sroomforAlmightyGodinthatkids'life?Where'sroomforanythingthat'sworthyonthatSundayintermsofattendingchurch?AndsoIsayculturedominatesanawfullotofwhatwehavetofaceasparents.Plusthecellphones,theInstagram,everything.It'sjustchangedsorapidly.

Jim: Nowyou'vetalkedaboutchildrenbeingthosemanipulators.Let'sapplythatspiritualcomponent.Why?Whyareweallsinnersthatgivebirthtosinners?Andwhyaretheselittlerascalssogood-at18monthstheycanmanipulateusthewayyoudescribed?

Kevin: Well,thefirstborn,let'sstartwiththat,isthelabratoffamily.Youknowwe'renewatbeingparents.Andwe'resurroundedbywomenhereintheFocusontheFamilystudio.Andifyou'vegivenbirth,that'snotapieceofcaketobeginwith,butthat19½incherislaidacrossyourlap.Andthelactationnursewassupposedtovisityou-youneversawthewoman.Yourinsurancecompanythrowsyououtthedoorwithinabout48hours.Andallofasudden,you'reawestruckthatyouhavethistremendousresponsibilitywiththislittlechild,whoselittlelipwasquivering.Andyouinstantlyfellinlovewiththislittlegirlorthislittleguy.Andyougohomeandyou'retryingtobethebestmomyoucanpossiblybe.AndthisiswhereitstartsbecauseIthinkalotofparentswhohaveverypowerfulchildrenhavejusterredintryingtodotoowaytoomuchfortheirchildren.Tryingtomakesurethey'rehappy,happy,happyateveryturn.

Inmybook,HaveaNewKidbyFriday,thebestlineinthatbookis"anunhappychildisahealthychild."Andthere'stimesyoursonordaughterhastobemiserable,quitefrankly,andunhappy.Why?Becausetheydisobeyedyou.Theytalkedbacktoyou.Sopartoftheproblem,Jim,isthatwestartoffpracticingontheselittlelabrats.Wehavehighexpectations.Thekid'snewatbeingakid.You'renewatbeingaparent,andthat'saperfectstormforalotofexcitementdowntheroad.

Jim: Inyourbook,ParentingYourPowerfulChild,youdescribeitthisway,whichIthinkisfunny,oneofthepersonalitytypes:"aggressive,temperamentalcurve-ballmanipulator."That'sprettygood.

Kevin: Yeah,andsomeofthesemanipulators,thecurve-ballguyinparticular,istheonethat–youknow,here'sakidthat'sprettyobedient,seemstojustsorta,youknow,gowiththeflow.Andallofasudden,theyhitage10,age11,age12.Thehormonegroup-thepubescent.Andallofasuddenthegradesdropofftheshelf.Thekidhasaninstantattitude.Andyousay,"Where'dthiskidcomefrom?"That'swhyIcallhimthecurve-ball.Butthenyou'vegottheeggshell,thesensitiveone."OhDr.Leman,Melanieisaverysensitivedaughter–verysensitivegirl."WhenIhearthat,Ireachformywallet.(Laughter)I'mprotectingmywallet'causeIdon'ttrustthiskid.Andwhenyoutalktosomebodyandyouhearthatthiskidissensitive,becareful,becauseyouhaveapowerfullittlebuzzardonyourhands.Akidwhocanusethesensitivityandthetearstoworkyou. 

Jim: Well,you'retalkingaboutrealmanipulation,though.Howdoesaparent,andatwhatagedoyougaugetoshowthatchildthatmanipulatingmethatwayisnotgonnawork?

Kevin: Letmeaskyouaquestionfirst:howdoyoufeelwhenJeancries?

Jim: Oh,tender.WhatcanIdoforya?

Kevin: Yeah. 

Jim: OrwhatdoIneedtodotofixit? 

Kevin: Doyouthinkthatwomencanusetearstobringmantotheirkneesandthensome?

Jim: Well,ladieswhatdoyouthink?

Audience: Yes.(Laughter)

Kevin: Yeah,andsoIthinkweallhadtoponyupandunderstandthat,youknow,manipulationisveryverypossible,especiallyforyoungestchildreninthefamily.Youroldestchildrentendtobemorerule-orientedandmorepreciseandperfectionistic.It'susbabies,youknow,whocouldselldeadratsforalivingifwehadto.Andthey-andtheyearnalivinglookingupbecauseyouryoungestchildlooksupandseesthemiddlechildorseesthenextchildinline,andtheygooutoftheirwaytobedifferent.Sothat'swhyIsaymostfamilieshavemorethanonepowerfulchildinthefamily.

Jim: Howdoesthatparentthough,howdoesthatparentresistthaturgetofight?Youtalkedaboutthesupermarketexperience.

Kevin: Oh,yeah.

Jim: Iremember,Iwasoutoftown.Jeanwasatalocalstorethatsellsveryinexpensivehighchairs.(Laughter)Andshe'sinline,andIthinkitwasTrentwhosawacandybarhewanted,andhejusthadameltdown.Anditwasauniformedmilitarypersonthatwalkedoverandtriedtosorthimout,say"Listentoyourmother,son."AndJeanwasactuallyverythankfulforthat.IwasmortifiedwhenIgothome.Itwaskindofourfirstbig"Ohmygoodness!Whatkindofchilddowehave?"

Kevin: Well,here'swhatwehavetounderstandaboutpowerfulpeople:theybaitus.Andfightingisanactofcooperation.Ladies,whenyoufightwithyourhusband,youknowexactlywhattosaytoescalatethebattle.Mentioningyourmother-in-lawcomingfortheentiresummermightjustgetyouthenextlevel.(Laughter)Andsokidsknowsamething.Andkidsmanytimeswillthrowoutabonesotospeaktoseeifwe'llbite.Andwhenwedo,okay,gameison.Wearegonnaclash.

Andhere'stheotherthing:thekidthat'smostlikeyou,mom,thekidthat'smostlikeyou,dad,istheoneyou'reprobablygonnaclashwith.It'sthesimilarities.Andthat'swherebirthorderfitsinthisparadigm.Thatwetendto-mommiestendtohititoffbetterwithsons.Daddieswithdaughters.There'skeyrelationshipinfamilies.Soagain,it'stheoppositesthatattractpsychologically.Sokeepinmindthatkidswillbaityou,andthey'llsuckeryou.AndsooneofthethingsthatIliketoteachparentsisthatwhenakidsayssomethingreallystupidandridiculous-whichiseveryday-youcantakealookatthatkidandsay,"Wow,interesting,interesting."Don'tgothere.Don'ttrytoovercontrol.Nowagain,wehaveauthoritarianparents-whichmostofusinthisroomgrewupwith."Alright,listenup.YouaregonnadowhatItellyoutodoaslongasyouliveunderthisroof.Doyouunderstandme?Hey!Don't'makemecomeoverthere!Hey!Youwantsomethingtocryabout?I'llgiveyousomethingtocryabout!"Now,thelaughterbehindsays,"Hey,Icanidentifywiththat!"Andsee,thisiswhatpeopleneedtounderstand.Thatisn'tGodly.Thatdoesn'treflectGod'steaching.Butneitherdoesthepermissive.Youknow?

Jim: Giveusanexampleofthat.Whatdoesthatsoundlike?Thepermissive?

Kevin: Oh,permissiveis,"Brittany,sweetheart,it's8PM.Haveyouchosentogotobedyet?"Orhowabout,"Hey,wouldyouturnthatmusicdown,I'mtryingtofinishyourscienceproject!"(Laughter)So-sowehaveparents-andhere'sthekicker-ifyoubringupkidinanauthoritarianmanner,they'regoingtorebel.They'regonnabepowerful,rebelliouskids.Ifyou'repermissivewiththem-andhere'sthekicker-they'regonnarebelifthey'repermissive.SotheonlywaythatreallyreflectsGod'steaching,istomovetowardtheauthoritativeparentstyle.

Jim: Authoritative,notauthoritarian.

Kevin: Notauthoritarian.Soyou'reinhealthyauthorityoveryourkid.Youdon'tletyoursonoryourdaughterrunoveryouatanytime,mom.Okay?Youestablishhealthyauthority.AndIthinkthat'swhatSaintPaulwastryingtotellusinEphesians 6 whenhesays,"Childrenobeyyourparents.It'stherightthingtodo'causeGodhasplacedtheminwhat?Inauthorityoveryou."SoarewetalkingaboutbeingMambyPamby?No.NeitherisGod'sword'causeitsays,"Everykneeshallwhat?Shallbow!"That'sthegoal. 

John: Well,we'rerightinmiddleofaveryinterestingconversationwithDr.KevinLemanontoday'sFocusontheFamilywithJimDaly.I'mJohnFullerandJim,youandIhavechildrenthatfitthecategoriesthatDr.Lemanhasidentified.

Jim: Speakforyourself,John.(Laughter)Wedo.

John: AndI'veappreciatedtheoverviewofsomeoftheparentingstylesbecauseI've-I'vebeenguiltyoffinger-in-facesaying,"YougottadowhatIsay".

Jim: Weallhave

John: There'ssomethingforeveryparenthereandsomewaystodealwithprettymucheverychild.BecauseyourpremiseDr.Leman,isthateverychildispowerful.Youmaynotseeitonthesurface,butthey'realltryingtomanipulate.

Kevin: Everykidstartsoffanattention-getter.Youhavetounderstandthatallkidswantattention.Thequestionis,doesthechildgetattentionpositivelyornegatively?Oncetheygetnegativeattention,thenthey'llescalatetobeapowerfulchild.Sothepowerfulchildagain,says,"IonlycountlifewhenIwin,control,whenIdominate."Theattention-gettersays,"IonlycountlifewhenI'mnoticed."Soyourownfeelings,thisisuniqueaboutthisbook,yourownfeelingsasamomoradadcantellyouifyouhaveapowerfulchildornot.Doyoufeelannoyedbythebehavior?Ifyoudo,youhaveanattention-getter;butifyoufeellikeyou'dliketotakethatlittlenoseandrubitinit-sotospeak-and"Youcan'tdothattome!DoyouknowwhoIam?Iamyourmother!Iamyourdad!"You'vegotapowerfulchildonyourhands.That'stheproblem.

Jim: Well,andyou'vetalkedaboutthat.You'vetalkedabouttheaggressivetemperament.You'vetalkedaboutthatsensitive,egg-shelltemperament,thatstubbornprocrastinatormanipulator,you'retouchingonthat.ButIthinkourboysaremoreinthatcategory.

Kevin: Probablythetougher.

Jim: Yeah.

Kevin: There'skids,Jim,youcouldbeat'emwithastick!

Jim: Well,doesthiscomedownto,youknow,weaskedtocleanyourroomat9o'clockandit'snow2intheafternoon.Didyougetitdone?"Oh,yeah,Iforgot."

Kevin: Buthere'swhatwedo:mostofusaskkidsquestions.Noifyouwantsomethingcontroversial,LemansaysinParentingYourPowerfulChild,"Don'taskyourkidsquestions."Nowagain...

Jim: Makestatements.

Kevin: ...we'resurroundedbywomen.I'msurprisedwehaven'tbeenattackedtothismoment.Becausethat'slikeaskingafirenottoburnbecausewomenlovetoaskquestions."Oh,Dr.Leman,I'veheardyouonFocusontheFamilyovertheyears,andI'vereadafewofyourbooks,andIreallyappreciateyourwisdom,butwhenyousaydon'taskquestions,Irespectfullydisagreewithyou.Becauselikewhen-whenMelissacomeshomefromschool,Ialwaysaskher,"Honey,howwasyourday?"Iwanttoshowinterest.

Jim: Wellthat'sagoodquestion!

Kevin: Okay,yeah,butwhatdoesakidsay?"Fine."What'dyoudoinschooltoday?"Nothing."Teenager,where'veyoubeen?"Out."What'dyoudo?"Nothin'."Youwannaaskquestions,goahead-here'sthekicker-"Tellmemoreaboutthat."Nowladies-I'mspeakingforeveryman-Okay,I'mlookingatwomen,sothoseofyoulistening,youknow,overtheinternetortheradio,bearwithme.I'mlookingatwomen'sfacesrightnow.I'mgonnagivethemalittleadd-onforthisdiscussion.Speakingforeveryhusbandintheworld,wedon'tlikeitwhenyouaskusquestions.Andputawaythe"Why"word.

Sothere'ssimilaritiesbetweenkidsandhusbands.Infact,inthatlittlebook,HaveaNewHusbandbyFriday,Isaid,"Ladiesthinkofyourhusbandas4-year-oldthatshaves."Soit'sanewwayoftalkingtoyourkid.Ifakidsayssomethinginteresting,yousay,"Wellhoney,tellmemoreaboutthat."NowIthinkit'sironicbecause"tellmemoreaboutthat"isacommandinEnglishlanguage.Sothequestionthingneedstobetuckedaway.Andyou'llbesurprisedifyoujustbackoffalittlebit,kidswanttobeaffirmedbyyou.Theywantyoutoenjoythem,andtheywantyoutobehappy.Soanobviousconclusionissometimesyoulookatakidandsay,"Iamveryunhappywithwhatjustwentdownhere."Givethemlook,turnyourback,andwalkaway.You'rerakingcoalsoverthekidswhenyoudothat.

Jim: Okaynow,butI'mgonnabringyoubacktotheprocrastinator.Solet'ssaythatyoudon'taskaquestionbutyou'veaskedthemtoget,youknow,makesureyougethomeworkdone.That'snotaquestion.
Kevin: LetmegiveyoutwoexamplesandthenI'lladdyousomethingelse.Inrearing5kids,Ineveraskedanyofmykids,"Doyouhavehomework?"Ineveraskedthatquestion.Andtheyalldidwellandthelastonewonan$80,000scholarshiptoschool,okay?Let'sstartwiththat.

Jim: Areyouguaranteeingthis?

Kevin: Well,I'mtellingyou,there's-wespendourtimetryingtomicromanagekids.Kidsneedtoknowthattheyhavehomeworktodoetcetera.Buthere'sthekidwho's9-years-old,who'ssupposedtocleanhisroomonTuesdayandSaturday.It'snotdone.Noremindersinthissystem.None.It'snotdoneonTuesdayand9-year-oldhasneglectedtodowhatshe'ssupposedtodo,andyouasmoneymanagerofthehome,yougoandyouhire7-year-oldtogoinandclean9-year-old'sroom.Youpayforitwithoutfanfareoutof9-year-old'sallowance. 

Jim: Sodon'tputitintheirface,youjustdoit. 

Kevin: Right.Butwhentheyfindouttheylostmoneytotheirsisterorbrotherwhotheyreallydon'tcareforthatmuchtobeginwith,you'vemadesomeinroads.

The17-year-oldwho'ssupposedtocleanthegaragehewassupposedtodoitlastspringandnowthesnowisabouttofly.He'slookin'forthecarkeysat6o'clockthatnight.Hewassupposedtocleanthegarage.Hedoesn'tdoalick,andnowhe'sgotadate.He'sgotplans."Dad,where'smykeys?""Honey,you'renotgonnafindthekeys.They'rerighthereinmypocket.""Well,givethemtome!I'mlate!""Honey,youweresupposedtocleanthegaragetoday.Iseeyoudidn'tdoalick."He'llpromiseyouanythingatthatpoint.He'llpromiseyouhe'll-he'llrepairtheroof,he'llpaintthegarage,he'llpullweedsforlife-justgivemethekeystothatcar.Andthat'swhatIcallthatstickingtoyourgunswithoutshootingyourselfinthefoot.Andthat'showyouestablishauthority.Goddidn'tputusonthisearthtoberunoverbyyou,17-year-old.Sodon'tbeafraidtopullrugout. 

Jim: Nowtheoneissuethere–somanyparents,that'shardtodo.Whyisthathardtosticktoyourguns?Whatarewedoingasparentstomanipulateourenvironment?

Kevin: Well,whichone'sthemonkey,andwhichone'stheorgangrinder?AsIlookatkidstoday,kidsshorterthantheyardstickareinfullcontrolofadults.Andtheywhine.Whiningdoesn'tcontinueunlessit'spaidoff.Maladaptivebehaviordoesn'tcontinueunlessit'spaidoff.Weremindandcoax.Manylistenersare-arethehumanalarmclocksfortheirkidstotrytogetthemoutthedoorinthemorning.IfyouhadKevinLemanwithyouforaday,I'lltellyouwhatwouldhappen.Youwouldn'twakethekidup.Yousay,"Leman,waitaminute.Idon'twakehimup,he'llbelateforschool."Oh,howsoonyoucatchon!Butyeah,he'snotgonnabehappy,butyoutellhim,"Hey,I'mnotplayingthisgameanylonger.I'mdone."Howdoyoufeelafteryouscreamandyellatyourkidallmorningtoget'emoutthedoor?Sowhynotdosomerug-pulling,writeanotetoteacherorprincipalthatsays,"Anthonyhasabsolutelynoreasontobelatetodaytoschool.Hechosetosleepin.Feelfreetodowhateveryoudotokidswhoareillegallytardy.Love,Mom."Andputthetennisballlifeonhissideofthecourt.

John: Itseemsawfullyabruptifwehave,say,ateenagerwho'sbeenprocrastinatingfortheirentirelife.We'vetrainedthemtodothis.Shouldtherebeare-entry?Ihaveafriendwhosechilddoesn'tcleantheirroom.Andtimeandagainthey'retold,"Cleanyourroom."Sohere'sa12-year-oldwhodoesn'tcleantheroom.Shouldn'twebegentlehere?

Kevin: Well,youcouldcleanitforthemlikeit'sneverbeencleanedbeforejustlikethekidwhorefusestobrushhisteethatage4.Icouldbrushhisteethlikethey'veneverbeenbrushedbefore.Thatmightgethisattention.Soyeah,itisabruptandwhenyouhaveakidwho'shad14yearsofprocrastination,pleasedon'tthinkthatreadingParentingYourPowerfulChildandlisteningtoKevinLemanisgonnainstantlychangethiskidwho'sprocrastinatedfor14years.Butwhat'sgonnahappenisyou'regonnatakethejoyoutofprocrastinatinginhislife.Andthat'swhatyouneedtofocuson.Andthosebehaviorscanturn.Okay? 

IwroteallthosebooksonHaveaNewKidbyFridayandHaveaNewTeenager.Ialwaystoldpeoplethey'rescams.Becauseitdoesn'ttake5days.YoucandoitbyWednesday-twodays.Andmostbehaviorsyoucanturnaround.Whenyouhavethesekidswhoarejustdriventowarddefeatingthemselves-andthat'swhattheseprocrastinatorsdo-andalotofthemdon'tmeasureupbecausetheyfeeliftheymeasureup,you'realwaysgonnamakethemmeasureup,andthere'sthepressure.Sotheseareyourslobs.Theseareyourkidswholiveinpiles.Andyouadults,youknowwhoI'mtalkingabout,inyourdesk,youhavepilesalloveryourdesk.Someoneasksyoutofindsomething,youknowexactlywhichpiletolookinwithequalease.Well,whyisthat?Becauseyougrewupwithacritical-eyedparent,aparentwhocouldspotaflawat50paces.Sodoyouwanttobeaflaw-pickingmomordad?No.Youwanttobeanencourager,givethatkidvitaminE,andstandwithyourkid. 

Jim: Kevin,thisisgreat,greatstuff.Whenyoulookataparentthatfeelslikeyou'regivinguptherighttoberight,howdoyoucalmyourselfdowninthatmoment?BecauseIknoweveninourhousehold,whenwehavesomeconflictwiththeboysoversomething,sooftenJean,shewillgettothatpointwhereman,she'ssofrustrated.Youmomslikethat?Yougettothatpointandyou'rejustsofrustrated! 

Kevin: Wecave,wegivein.ButIthinksometimesyousaytoakid"Youknow,youcouldberight."'Causethey'llthrowstupidthingsouttoyou.Okay?Andakidwho,youknow,youremindeveryday:"Thebusgonnabeherein19minutes."Youknow?Andyoudothatwholedog-and-ponyshow.Youmightwalkinverygliblysomemorningandsay,"Honey,Idon'tknowifyou'reinterestedornotbutit's8:20."Turnaroundandwalkaway.Youcallhimforbreakfast,andhecomesout20minuteslater.Okay?Andhesays,"thesepancakesarecold.""Really?Minewerewarmandtasty."DoyouseewhatI'msaying?Youcanlearntotalktokidsdifferently.AndIthinkthat'stheencouragingthing.Andagain,forthoseofyouwhodon'tknow,Igraduated4thfrombottomofmyclassinhighschool.Wasgoingnowherefast.IwasthrownoutofCubScouts.SoyoucanimaginewhatkindofkidIwas.

Jim: Thrownoutofcubscouts!

Kevin: Thrownoutof4thgrade.Ididalotofthings.ButIhadamomwholovedmeanyway.Andisn'tthattrueofAlmightyGod?Doesn'theloveusanyway?AndIthinkthere'stimesyouwannastringyourkidsup.Let'sfaceit.Theyjust-they'realittletoomuch.AndIsaidinbookthatsoldwelloveramillioncopiesyearsago,MakingChildrenMindWithoutLosingYours.Isaid,"Wehaveseentheenemyandtheyaresmall."(Laughter)Andtodaythey'reunionized.Andyoubetterhaveagameplan.AndallI'mtryingtodoitteachparentstohaveagameplanbecausekidsbytheirnaturearehedonisticlittlesuckers.Theydonotcomeinthisworldwithconcernforotherpeople.Butthat'sourjobistotrainthemup-nottrainthemdown,andmostofustrainkidsdown-train'emupinsuchaway,thattheyfeelencouragedandloved,nomatterwhat.

Closing: 

John: That'sagreatplacetopauseinthisconversationwithDr.KevinLemanaboutpowerfulchildren:theyaresmall.Ilikethatline.There'ssomuchmoretocome,tomorrow. 

Jim: Infact,John,we'regonnahearfromsomemomswhohavequestionsforDr.Leman.Theywerethereinthestudiowithus.AndIthinkyouwillnotwanttomissthosequestions'causethey'llbespeakingformanyofyou.YouknowthisprogramisrightattheheartofwhatwedohereatFocusontheFamily.Wewannahelpyoubethebestparentyoucanbe,especiallyasaChristian.That'sonereasonwecreatedour7TraitsofEffectiveParentingassessment.It'sagreattoolthatwillgiveyouanhonestlookatyouruniquestrengthsandgiveyoualittle,youknow,insightintowhereyoumayneedtoshoreupsomeweaknesses.Wealsohaveotherresourcesavailabletoyoulikethebookwementionedtoday,ParentingYourPowerfulChildbyDr.KevinLeman. 

We'reheretohelpfamilieslikeyourswithencouragementandGodlyadvice,butwecan'tdothatwithoutyoursupport.Yourprayerandfinancialcontributionsallowustobeashininglightforfamiliesinneedofanswers.AndIwouldliketoaskyoutobeapartnerwithusinthisministry.Nowisagreattimetogive.WehavesomegenerousFriendsofFocuswhowillmatchyourdonation,dollar-for-dollar.Soyourcontributionwillhelptwiceasmanyfamilies.Soletmesaythankyouforpartneringwithus! 

John: Andwhenyoudonatetoday,agiftofanyamount,we'llsendacopyofDr.Leman'sbookParentingYourPowerfulChildasourwayofsayingthankyouforjoiningthesupportteamandhelpingparentsandfamiliesworldwidebysupportingtheministryofFocusontheFamily. 

DonateandgetyourcopyofParentingYourPowerfulChildandtakethatparentingassessmentaswellatfocusonthefamily.com/radio.Orwhenyoucall800,theletterA,andthewordFAMILY,wecantellyoumore. 

OnbehalfofJimDalyandtheentireteamhere,thanksforlisteningtoFocusontheFamily.I'mJohnFullerinvitingyoubacktomorrowaswehearmorefromDr.Lemanandonceagain,helpyouandyourfamilythriveinChrist.

 

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Guest

Kevin Leman

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Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order Book, Have a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours. He and his wife, Sande, reside in Tucson, Ariz., and have five children and several grandchildren. Learn more about Dr. Leman by visiting his websites, drleman.com and birthorderguy.com.