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Planting the Seeds of Success in Your Kids (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
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November 19, 2021 5:00 am

Planting the Seeds of Success in Your Kids (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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November 19, 2021 5:00 am

Dr. Kevin Leman offers time-tested solutions for parenting that will help moms and dads plant the seeds of patience, kindness, humility, and respect in their children as they prepare them for adulthood. (Part 2 of 2)

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Focus on the Family
Jim Daly
Focus on the Family
Jim Daly
Focus on the Family
Jim Daly

Rather than giving a gift of cash this Christmas, Friends of Focus can give a smarter gift. You can choose to give a gift of stock that has appreciated over the last year.

You get a tax deduction for the fair market value, avoid tax on the appreciation of the stock, and turn that savings into a gift for families. For more information on non-cash giving, visit But if you look at the teachings of Christ, He was always an authority, and that's why I tell mommies, you don't take any guff from your son, ever. Dads realize you put an indelible imprint on those daughters' lives, so be careful with that quick talk. Well, Dr. Kevin Lehman was our guest last time on Focus on the Family, offering help to parents as we try to raise responsible, successful kids, and we've got more encouragement from him today.

Stay with us. Your host is Focus on the Family president, Jim Daly, and I'm John Fuller. John, last time we talked about the importance of building character into our children. What parent doesn't want to do that, keeping the end goal in mind, Dr. Lehman mentioned that.

I don't know when you're dealing with a four-year-old to think of them as 25 or 30, but I'm there now and I can see it. It's so much fun to see how many times you said, say please, say thank you, and now they're doing it. And they're polite. It's amazing. But today, Dr. Lehman will share more helpful methods that we can put into practice to ensure that our kids have not just successful careers, perhaps, but that they're successful as human beings, as people.

And at the core of that, of course, is a relationship with Christ and putting those wonderful attributes into play in their relationships. So I'm looking forward to it. I am, too. We always enjoy the conversation with Dr. Lehman, and he's written over 60 books. He's a well-known psychologist and speaker, and he's been on this broadcast, boy, he's been in these studios so many times, Jim. Today we're going to be talking about one of his more recent books, Eight Secrets to Raising Successful Kids, Nurturing Character, Respect, and a Winning Attitude.

And you can get your copy from us here at the ministry. Just stop by the episode notes for the link. Kevin, welcome back. Thank you. It's so good to be here.

Day two. I just reread this book this week in preparation for coming here, and as I was reviewing the book, I told myself, you know, it's amazing, because I've written a lot of books on reviewing kids. But this is really good stuff, and I think the toughest part is the character part, you know.

It takes a while to see it sometimes. It does, but just underscore the fact that, hey, parents, you know, they're looking at you. And it's just so important for you to be the person you want your kid to be. If you keep that in mind as you read this book, I think it'll be more meaningful to you. Yeah.

We do have a live audience, small audience, but we're going to ask them for questions at the end, like we did last time. And it was fun hearing from a couple of folks. Kevin, let's start with Proverbs. Many parents mention this great scripture. It says, Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Wow, that's a promise. Let's do that. You have a little different take on that.

Well, I think it's an interesting take, number one. Train up. My observation is that as parents today, we basically train down.

We don't train up. We are too negative with them. We use warnings, and again, warnings are not a part of any of the Lehman books. Warnings are rather disrespectful acts that say, you know what? And we tend to repeat warnings.

It's not like you give them one warning. It's over and over and over again. It sort of says, essentially, I think you're so stupid, I have to tell you two or three times. And by the way, when you call a kid, to ask him to do anything, how many times do you call him? See, I've talked to your children, and I know the answer to that, and the answer is three times. And when you ask a kid about that, they'll tell you straight out, well, the first time, it's just sort of a general alert, you know. And the second time, he or she, mom or dad, raises their voice a decibel or two, and the third time, they put my middle name in there, I know they mean business. So my question is, do we want to train up kids to learn to listen, tell them once, have a consequence that follows if they don't do simple things you've asked? I think it's a good idea.

But the point is, we tend to train down. And mom is going into a store, she has a little talk with the kids, now listen up, don't do this, don't do that. Don't ask for anything, because the answer is no. What if you just communicated to your kid? And just be aware of those kind of things. So train up a child, okay, in the way he should go. Now I love this one, over in Proverbs 3, King Solomon ends with, and he will direct your paths.

Now notice that's plural. You don't have one path in life. Your kid isn't going to have one path in life. Your kids are going to, think of yourself, majors in college you had, or jobs, opportunities. We have a lot of different paths. But that uniqueness, train up a child in the way he should go, does not speak of your child. That's how God would have your kid go. Any comment on the he will not depart from it?

Yeah. We don't know what turns those kids are going to take in life. We think we do a lot. We mentioned yesterday in our broadcast that, you know, kids are brought up in the church and so many of them leave.

Why? Did they not see that as real? What did they miss? I mean, I think the fact that you can drive down the interstate in your state and talk to the creator of the universe, man, that's pretty cool.

You know what I'm saying? Well, there's got to be a realness for kids to feel like, you know, I can talk to the creator, and he cares about me. And I think you have to have a passion for being a parent today if you want that kid to not depart from what you've taught them. I think the problem is that we do all these other things. Like we said yesterday, we focus on the things and the success and the career rather than who they really are. And I've made it a point with my five kids to always say, you know, I love you for who you are.

I love to see that kindness in you. Yeah. Kevin, let's get to the life mantras that you describe in the book. I think you start the first one, there's four. The first one is the boss.

Why don't we describe these for the listeners? Well, some of you as parents are the boss. You know the right thing to do. Order and doing things right is OK, but there's limits where that boss doesn't become approachable. And the next one I talk about is the perfectionist, and they're a step worse than the boss.

Because when they're wrong, it's someone else's fault. And I think admitting to your kids in as godly a way as you can, hey, I'm sorry, I blew that. I ran over your feelings.

I had no right to say that. I was prying, that's your business. Let the heat calm down and we'll talk about it another time. I think that kind of approach makes you what? Approachable. You know, Jesus himself, as he walked this earth, he was approachable. Remember they tried to keep the little kids away from him?

What did he say? Huh? Front seat, come on up here, kiddos. I think we have to keep that in mind as we try to model what God would have us be as a parent. Yeah.

So you have the boss, the perfectionist, what's three? Jesus had bad parents, as a matter of fact. He was lost for three days, I didn't even notice he was gone. I think that was cultural back then. I digress.

They had a big playground. Okay, loyal to the core. Oh, well, you know, these guys are great.

I think they're the peanut butter and jelly of the sandwich. They never saw themselves higher from anyone's perspective than what they are. They tend to be servant-oriented people. They have some pretty basic, good parental skills just in the fact that they're that kind of a person. And then you've got, what do I call them, the party… Party central, I think.

Yeah, party central. You have kids like that, never met a stranger, outgoing, might have a sense of humor, sort of garner attention, and again, keep in mind that all kids are attention getters, but they get it positively or negatively, that's the key. And as a kid gets discouraged, he or she will become more acting out in a negative way. So again, it goes back to the heart. I mentioned that King Solomon in chapter 3 of the book of Proverbs, he uses the word heart three different times in six little verses, and no matter what we're talking about on focus on the family, I've got news for you, it all goes back to heart. Heart for ministry, heart for being a parent, people who contribute to focus on the family, they know all the things focus does.

They're in a lot of things, it's just not a radio broadcast, okay? And so people who catch the vision of what they do, they want to become a part of it, because they know they help people. That's true.

And we need to love a God in our lives for sure. Kevin, one of the difficulties, and we've touched on this yesterday and today, trying to get on the same page, you talk about getting on the same page as parents, and Jean and I struggled at that at times, because she was, you know, a little more demanding, I was a little less demanding, and she'd be frustrated with me, and I'd kind of feel like, man, I'm seeing that this is going into a dead end. Speak to the parents that have that difficulty of getting on the same page, and how do you compromise in that regard, because some of that's built out of your own temperament, your own experience as a child, all those things.

It is. So how would you coach a couple coming in for that counseling session, and you're saying, okay, here's what you've got to think about. You ask tough questions, that's a good question, because marriage isn't easy. Living with a woman is not an easy thing to do.

Always remember to write Kevin Lehman. You women are weird. I mean, you hug anything that moves, I mean, us men, we're like, we specialize in arm's length relationships, you know, but that's a whole nother book, another topic, but my point is— Yeah, what is your point? You work toward understanding how your husband sees life from behind his eyes, okay?

And he might be more of a law and order person than you are. Rules are rules, and yet you may have that gift of being able to talk with a fiery 15-year-old who's got fire in her belly, and she's very unhappy, and she thinks she's treated like a little kid, but you, Mom—and that's why I say to dads, trust that woman. She's so much better at relationships than you are in all probability, to go in and deal with it. And then, Mom, talk to Dad, I mean, tell them what's going on, keep them in the loop.

One thing men hate is hearing things third-hand, you know? So it all gets back to communication and compassion, you know, those are two C's, and commitment. When you married, you made a commitment to Almighty God, okay, and do each other.

It's easy to bail out. You get married today, chances are seven years from today, you're done. So those of you who made it through 18 years of marriage or 20 years of marriage, congratulations, you're going to make it in all probability. But it's every day. I mean, if you want to turn each other on, and this is especially for men, but pray together audibly. There's not a woman I've ever met who wouldn't love her husband just to say, honey, let's pray. Okay? And when you pray audibly, what comes out of your heart and out of your mouth, lots of times those things aren't said to each other.

And it's sort of new information. Well, I didn't know you were worried about that or whatever. So if you have this intimate connection, I wrote a book by that title once, The Intimate Connection.

If you've got an intimate connection, you can take on all comers. Yeah. Kevin, in the book, you mentioned some things parents can do to make changes. So I'm thinking of that, that dad or that mom right now, they're thinking, man, I haven't done it well up to this point.

This is convicting to me. To give you a kind of that list that I looked at that spoke to me, starting anew, a prisoner no more, expect the best, get the best. You mentioned that last time, count to 10 before speaking. There's a great parental encouragement, power of vitamin E. Just touch on a couple of those.

And the book is full of those great recommendations. If you're that parent who's feeling like, man, I haven't done this, here you go. Well, one of them I think is the obvious is what can I do different? Because what happens is we do the same thing over and over again. As husband and wife, I'll tell you, you have the same argument all the time.

It's just in different form. So my question to you is who's winning your marriage? Marriage isn't a competitive sport, so I don't get it. But with your kids, the same thing applies. So you think about how can I do things differently? If you're one of those persons that's quick to anger, you know, it's part of your personality. Do you realize that one of the reasons why you're quick to anger is because it was paid off when you were a kid?

And when you got angry, everything stopped. So that's control. Men tend to be controllers. Women tend to be pleasers.

I know that's a broad brush, but it's basically true. But getting to a point where, Jim, you mentioned counting to 10. Start before you engage those lips in conversation. Have a soft spirit about you. Don't ask kids questions. Okay?

It's really ask for their opinion. Don't talk your ear off. Treat kids differently. Don't react. Respond.

Yeah. You know, one of the ones that caught me, and because I had this experience, was ask for forgiveness. You know, sometimes as parents, we don't think we need to. I remember Trent was probably five or six years old. I think I probably reacted over the top on something, which was not typical for me. So I went in, and I remember he was in the top bunk, because he's the oldest son, right?

So he gets the top bunk. And I remember having that eye-to-eye look at him, and I said, hey, I just want you to know I'm really sorry. And this big smile broke out over his face. I'm like, what are you thinking? And he said, I just didn't know parents had to apologize. I thought, wow, that's good.

But it was powerful. When you've made a fool of yourself, okay, and sometimes we do, yeah, it takes a big person to say, you know, honey, I was wrong. And saying that to a young kid, a lot of us have the idea of, hey, he's the kid.

I'm the boss. And this goes back to train up a child, you know, I know what's best for my kid. No, God knows what's best for your kid. He's given them different gifts and ability. Our job is to nurture them.

And time after time after time, if you come in softly, you've opened the doors and you've dropped the defenses, okay, when you come in powerful, okay, accusatory, everything gets shut down and nothing you say is going to get past that veneer that that person puts out there to keep you at bay. Good parenting tip. All right, let's move to questions from the small group audience we have here. Let's go to I think it's Nikki.

My name is Nikki. I have two wonderful, wonderful kids. My son is 10 and my daughter is eight. And they're super smart and kind and wonderful and generous children, but Are they for sale? They are, yes. But we have a, we work really hard for our kids to provide anything and everything that they could need, but we have a hard time with them being humble and grateful for the things that they have always seeming to expect and want more.

How do I work with this? Well, number one, I love that question. I think one of the things we have failed to do across the board as parents in America is create a grateful heart in kids. Kids are on the take. They're hedonistic little suckers. You give them one, they want two.

Okay. On top of that, we live in an arena where people who have means, okay, give their kids far too many things. These kids have played team sports today. You should see their bags.

They're embroidered. I mean, it's crazy what we do. Oh, my kid has to have the best. I grew up poor and I think growing up poor is a real blessing because you understand. I mean, I live a life where every day I say, Lord, give me opportunities to bless people. This morning in an IHOP, I had a lady and she worked all night long. I was there like at 5.30 in the morning and I said, well, I remember working all night. That's tough.

And she said, well, you get used to it. Well, I think my bill was $9 over a $10 tip. I know it's supposed to be 20% or whatever, but if you can go out of the way to bless somebody, I mean, can your kids see that? I got kids who are givers. Is it an accident that they're givers?

No. But I just think that staying grounded, giving your kids what they need, not what they want. There's a huge difference in those things. But the affirmation of who they are and the love for them and the encouragement, that vitamin E, as I call it, is so important. But don't forget vitamin N because vitamin N is no, we're not going to do that. And that's what helps keep kids in the authoritative realm of life and not the authoritarian where they're just going to react and fight back or the permissive.

And keep in mind, the permissive creates rebellion and the other extreme does as well. I think you're in good shape. Congratulations on two great kids. Yeah, I love that. Kevin, we cannot end without hearing that wonderful story that some listeners may never have heard about you dropping your daughter off at college.

But there's several. I remember my 15-year-old daughter Chrissy announcing it was her first varsity volleyball game that we were not to come to her game. And she finally relented and said, well, and I told her, I said, well, I'm coming, but drove 90 miles to it. That same kid, you know, when she went to college, she was in Chicago.

I travel a lot. I dropped in and surprised her. And she walked out of her biology class and she didn't even see me.

I met an old guy and I would think I'd stick out like a sore thumb and all this. I finally said, Lee me, how's it going? And she whirled her head around, she said, my daddy's here. My daddy's here. And she's yelling to everybody in her class. My daddy's here.

And she jumps into her arms. Story number one, your kid will tell you, I don't want to be in your life. Okay.

Separate. The truth of the matter is they don't really need us in their life. They want us in their life. Now let me tell you about Holly.

And I think this exemplifies what parenthood is all about. And by the way, you get one shot at it and talk to anybody who's got kids in college. I'll tell you how, how quick those years go by. Our oldest daughter went to a place called Grove city college in Pennsylvania.

Wonderful school by the way. And we live in upstate New York in the summertime. I have a cottage on a lake where I hide out from people. And during the summer, um, I was sort of having fun, I think at my wife's expense by telling her pretty soon, you're going to have to say goodbye to your little daughter in retrospect. I think I did it because I knew it was going to bother me.

Okay. So whenever I told her that she would do this, whenever she cries, she says, Oh, I don't want to talk about it. Don't talk about it. Well, the day comes, it's that fateful day where you, you take two cars to get all the freshmen stuff, the rug and everything else you take to college. And uh, I remember that day like it was yesterday.

It's one of my all time favorite stories because it's that time where you realize, wow, this is a new journey here, a new chapter and you, and we pulled up and boys with blue button down collars, long sleeve shirts, emptied out the cars and, and you get to that precipice where you're in the room, you can hardly turn around in, you meet the parents of the roommate, you meet the roommate, but then it comes that time Holly starts saying something like, you know, it's time to go. And I just said to her, I said, I got to get out of here. I felt claustrophobic. I literally ran out and she said to me, she said, was there a ball game? I said, no, no, no. Well later there's a ball game.

It was a Sunday afternoon. But anyway, I went out, I just sort of freaking out. My wife's behind me with Holly. They're about 50 feet behind me. I get up to the parking lot and now her and her mother are now doing this back and forth, holding each other.

And I still remember the sun just sort of gleaming off of them and, and thinking, stay right there. Don't come over here. I can't do this soon as I had the thought. She makes a beeline for me. Okay. And she gets up to me and she puts her arms on me. She looks at me, she said, daddy, I love you so much. And I just lost it.

You ever see a man cry where their whole body sort of does this lurching? Well that's me. And I remember thinking, it's so weird. I'm in the parking lot and I'm reflecting back to Herbie and 10 years old. And I'm just thinking, you can't be all grown up.

And it goes back to that verse we talked about earlier. You know, 22 six, train up a child. Did I train her upright? Did I teach her everything she needed to teach? And finally in true male style, I took her little waist, tall, five, nine, skinny like her mom and I said, Holly, you got to go. And I flipped her around.

You know what she did? She just left. And she got toward the corner of the dorm and I said, Holly, call us tonight.

And she did one of these things over her shoulder, never turned around. Well, I was miserable. I said, let's get out of here. We drove up I-79 out of Pittsburgh toward Erie, Pennsylvania, stopped at Red Lobster, ate a dead fish for lunch.

Everything helped because a part of me was gone. I knew she'd call. I was sitting there like a darn fool, 10 o'clock at night. She doesn't call. Finally, I came in. I go to bed.

I'm an old Dean of Students. I knew enough not to call her. I waited.

The following Sunday, she calls. I'm telling you, I was so excited to hear that. We heard all about freshman week, Three Rivers, what Pittsburgh looks like at night. And after we talked for probably 45 minutes, I said, Holly, I got to ask you a question. When you were walking away from us, what were you thinking about last Sunday? You said, Daddy, it's funny you bring that up because I was thinking about this week. I said, well, what were you thinking about? She said, well, I thought about the fact that you and Mommy had brought me up right. And now it was my turn to go and do it in life.

This goes back to what we talked about on this broadcast. Start with the end in mind. What do you want that kid to be like? Well, about four or five years after that situation, that sad farewell, I was in Phoenix, Arizona, speaking to an auditorium about 3,000 people. And I was closing a seminar with this vignette because I think it symbolizes so much about what parenthood is all about. I see this young lady coming down the outside and I looked and I thought, that girl looks like Holly. And she kept coming. It's Holly. And I announced to the crowd, it's Holly. And everybody stands up and gives her a standing ovation.

I've been working like a dog for two hours. Nobody gave me a standing ovation. But she comes up and I got a mic on and she says, oh, Daddy, that was beautiful, but you got to learn to tell that story right. There's the Judge Judy in her, that firstborn. I said, honey, I told her, what are you talking about? She said, no, there's something I've never told you.

I said, what's that? She said, well, I didn't turn around because I was crying. And I didn't want you and Mommy to think that I couldn't make it in life. Hey, parents, do you see how much your kid needs you to come alongside of them? Not to flop it, not to say you should, you can do better, just to come along life's journey with them. You do that, I'll tell you, you're going to have a great kid you're going to be proud of.

Kevin, this is so good. I mean, that really hits you right in the heart. And I'm sure parents are thinking about the long game now. And that's part of the goal here. Let's get parents in a better place about their parenting journey.

This great book, Eight Secrets to Raising Successful Kids, a must have. And you can get that through Focus on the Family here. Make a gift of any amount and we'll send it as our way of saying thank you for being part of the ministry. And we'll include the audio download of the broadcast as well. We hope you'll get in touch today. And as Jim noted, we'll send you the book and audio download of this conversation when you make a donation to Focus on the Family.

Our number is 800, the letter A in the word family, 800-232-6459. Or stop by the episode notes. And by the way, that audio download we're offering with the book has a lot more content than we were able to present these past couple of days with Dr. Lehman.

The details are all in the show notes. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team here, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I'm John Fuller inviting you back as we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ. Just like a warm fireplace when it's cold outside, the joy of the Christmas season gives comfort. I'm John Fuller and Focus on the Family is excited to let you know about our Christmas Stories podcast. Each episode brings heartwarming conversations to bring your family closer together and remind you of the hope we have in Jesus. You can enjoy that podcast at slash Christmas Stories, hear past shows and the brand new season five at slash Christmas Stories.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-20 17:22:53 / 2023-07-20 17:35:06 / 12

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