Dr. Kevin Leman on Healthy Parenting
November 16, 2006, Radio Interview, KRQ, Tucson, Arizona
Notes by Teresa Kellerman

Most parents are not doing a good job raising their kids. (So donít listen to all the other parents.)

Most popular books on parenting do not give the right advice.

Two year olds are not smart, they will eat anything, go anywhere, touch anything. Thereís nothing wrong with putting them in a playpen with appropriate toys, in view of the parent, where they can explore their environment safely..

Some kids are more powerful than others. Over-correction will lead them to be more powerful. You need to let them know that you are the more powerful one. But not by using physical punishment. Use corrective discipline sparingly.

Kids learn what gets your attention. If screaming gets them attention, thatís what they will do. Next time your child begins to have a tantrum, have your own tantrum, even in public. Your child will stop and stare at you. Then, ďOkay, all done, letís go.Ē

Love your kids for who they are. Forget about your expectations for perfection.

Donít give them false praise. Be genuine. If they mess up, you can say, ďTough day, huh? Want me to help you out with that?Ē 

Encourage them to help them work on what they are not good at.

Catch them being good, and give them positive attention then.

Express appreciation for a job well done.

If your kids ask you about things you have done in your past, you donít have to tell them everything, they donít have a right to know all of that. You donít have to lie to them, but you can answer them in a way that lets them know that you want them to grow up healthy and have the skills to make good decisions.

If you are a single parent now, stay single until your kids are all grown up and on their own. They need you, and they donít need all the drama that goes with step-parenting and blended families . Parenting is hard enough for a healthy birth family. Complicating it by bringing in outside relationships increases the risk of serious problems later.

Donít ďoutsourceĒ your kids. Too many parents are letting too many other people raise their kids. Kids need consistency.

Donít let them go places without you, like visits to the neighbors or overnights with friends. You donít really know who those people are or what values they will teach your child.

Recommended reading: Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours by respected parenting expert Dr. Kevin Leman.

FAS Community Resource Center