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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Matt Hagee » Matt Hagee - Tantrums, Teens and Parenthood

Matt Hagee - Tantrums, Teens and Parenthood

Matt Hagee - Tantrums, Teens and Parenthood
TOPICS: Parenting

Kendal Hagee: Welcome to "The Difference".

Matt Hagee: Joining us today is, again, our dear friend, Kevin Leman. For those of you who are getting to know him, take a look at our last conversation.

Dr. Kevin Leman: I always say, I don't say, "Don't try this at home". I say, "Try this at home". Find your pretty wife. That shouldn't be hard to do. Go to the kitchen. I would just, to put it bluntly, I would start making out with Kendal. Okay.

Matt Hagee: This is a recommendation for parents.

Dr. Kevin Leman: Yes. I recommend it. That's easy to do. Just hug and kiss that woman, and watch what happens. Within seconds, and I don't know who tells the kids, "Mom and dad are on the make in the kitchen". But one of them will come right up like a little torpedo and come right up between mom and dad. Why do they do that? Because they're the enemy: that's why... No, no. They do that because they want to be part of that union.

Matt Hagee: You know, why do your kids misbehave? And you know, the last time we had this conversation, that was 2019. We've all experienced a lot between then and now. Covid hit and you actually released this book during that period of time. But the truth that you were sharing with me then, it was an experiment we put to practice, and it was like a magnet. I mean here came my six-year-old, you know, and not only did she want to interrupt the kiss, but she wanted to go tell her siblings, "Hey, they're in here kissing"! You know? So why do kids do that?

Dr. Kevin Leman: Uh, I think of how I started that book. You know you write a book, it's like a year and a half before it comes out, so I'm talking ancient history now. But I start that book off that we went to a steak house, Texas roadhouse, and we were sitting there. And this couple came in with mom and dad, and grandma and grandpa, and auntie, and the little 13-month-old girl. And she did not like that little Wooden...

Kendal Hagee: Highchair?

Dr. Kevin Leman: ...Highchair thing. And she started to fuss. And of course, they plucked her out. And I said to myself, "This is going to be good". Matt and Kendal, I'll tell you, I knew everything that was going to happen, and it played out beautifully. Because this little 13-month-old, she wailed enough that somebody came and bailed her out and put her on someone's lap. And that child hit at least five laps, you know, during their dinner. I bit my tongue. My wife gave me the, "Lemme, don't you say a word". I was so tempted to say something, because, as I pointed out, having a puppy and having a child, there are a lot of similarity there. And training a child to stay in a highchair, I think is important.

Man 1: Why do I think kids misbehave? Well, I mean I guess you could think of, you know, it starts with, at the beginning.

Man 2: They want your attention on something, and I think they're needing that, and that's their way of trying to get your attention on them.

Man 3: Yeah, that's it. That kid's at that stage 'cause they want attention. I don't think that, you know, that misbehave because they're just evil kids. I think evil kids are raised.

Man 4: Because there's a sin nature that is in all of us. And that's something that we, as parents, have an opportunity to train them and love them through.

Lady 1: I think children misbehave also because they're trying to learn how to deal with their feelings and their emotions. And we might think it's misbehaving, but a lot of it is them just trying to figure out things that are new.

Matt Hagee: Okay. So what is it? Is it Adam? Is it attitude? Is it agitation? Pick your "A"?

Dr. Kevin Leman: Well, let's just cut to the chase. Kids, to answer the question, why do kids misbehave? For these basic reasons. Every kid's an attention getter. They start out that way. The question is, are they getting positive attention or negative attention? As they move from positive to negative attention, your kid's getting discouraged about life. The next level of misbehavior is powerful behavior. Okay. They're power driven. And their mantra in life is I only count life when I win, when I dominate, when I control. Now the attention getter above him says, "I count life when I get attention, when I put other people in my service. Okay". And then that next level, it's real simple to follow this. By your feelings, as a parent, if you're,if you feel annoyed by your child's behavior, he or she's an attention getter. If you feel provoked by what they're doing, you want to rub their little nose and that kind of thing, you've got a powerful kid. But the next one is the one that's really troublesome, and that's the revengeful kid who sees himself as, I've been hurt by life: therefore, I have a right to strike out at other people. So that kid's intention is to hurt other people. And people need to understand that you, as a parent, in your stance in being in authority or being an authoritarian or being permissive, "Oh, Dr. Leman, we really believe every child should be a winner, so we've enrolled Melissa in non-competitive soccer. Everybody gets a trophy". I mean, really?

Matt Hagee: Yeah: well, I mean they have 11th-place ribbons these days.

Dr. Kevin Leman: Yeah.

Matt Hagee: There isn't an eleventh place.

Dr. Kevin Leman: It's crazy. Everybody, everybody wins. Again, I like to use the term "Psychological muscles". And I think you give your kids psychological muscles as they face things that you hold them accountable for in life. You don't accept excuses from your kid or your employee. Excuses make the weak weaker.

Matt Hagee: Get them involved in the conversation, so they can explain themselves and feel the pressure of having to do so.

Dr. Kevin Leman: Right.

Matt Hagee: When we come back, we're going to be discussing how you can take some of the behaviors that you see in your children, turn them to a positive, and enable the energy to increase towards the goal that you want to see, a happy, healthy, and content child. Thank you for joining us. We'll be back in just a few moments.

Matt Hagee: Welcome back to "The difference". We're talking parenthood with Dr. Kevin Leman. We want you to take a look at some of these clips of what parents think is appropriate.

Lady 1: Josh, all I was asking you to do was pick up those tank parts.
Child 1: No! No! No! No! No!

Lady 2: Alex, you are grounded for the rest of the summer, all summer.
Child 2: No! No! No!
Lady 2: Then knock it off.
Child 2: Then get me out! No! I don't want to.
Lady 2: It doesn't matter.
Child 2: Yes, it does.
Lady 2: Stop it!
Child 2: Get me up!

Child 3: I don't want to go to school!
Man 3: You can put your clothes on or I can take you up there in your skivvies.
Child 3: I'm not going to school!
Man 3: Yes, you are.
Child 3: No, I'm not!

Kendal Hagee: Oh, I'm laughing but I'm like, oh, my goodness: what do you do?

Dr. Kevin Leman: Okay. We have a psychological diagnosis here: you know? We use it to get people paid by their insurance Carrier. It's called "Defiant disorder". We've invented disorders for kids like that you just saw. These are kids who didn't have parents, who set limits, who had a definite no. Their "No" was no. Their "Yes" was yes. There was direction and firmness. That's what you get. When a kid throws a temper tantrum, a thee-year-old, a four-year-old, in a mall, especially in a public place, my advice, step over the child. There's a great temptation to step on that little ankle biter. Don't do that. That's illegal and very bad. But walk over them.

Matt Hagee: Ignore them.

Dr. Kevin Leman: And watch what happens.

Kendal Hagee: Do you just keep on going and don't turn back?

Dr. Kevin Leman: Yeah. They're not going to make a fool of themselves in front of strangers. That's called purpose in behavior. So your kid's bad behavior, why kids misbehave, is purposeful. It serves. It's a psychological term. We haven't used that word "Purpose" probably this week, this month, this year. Not a very common term. But it means that the behavior serves the child. I only count in life when I get attention, when I'm in control, when I dominate, when I get back at, whatever. And we literally reinforce that and teach that to the children by not stepping over the child.

Matt Hagee: So you teach and train correction without criticizing them into correction.

Dr. Kevin Leman: Right.

Matt Hagee: Because I think sometimes, as parents, it's difficult to always feel like you're critiquing, critiquing, critiquing, critiquing with it.

Dr. Kevin Leman: It's not you're a bad kid. It's what you did, I didn't like. That sounds like we're splitting hairs, but there is a difference in how kids receive it.

Matt Hagee: Yeah.

Dr. Kevin Leman: And so you want to use vitamin E, which is Encouragement. Let me give you an example in the real world. Uh, grades come home, and your kid gets, let's say, five A's. Oh, wow. What do traditional parents say when those five, "Oh, five A's. I am so proud of you. Oh, I am calling your grandmother right now. Oh, your aunt Martha is going to be so excited. Oh, I am so proud. You are the best boy in the whole world". "Here's $20". Now, that's not only reward, uh, but it's praise. I hold you in high esteem because...

Matt Hagee: You got an A.

Dr. Kevin Leman: Now let me give you encouragement. Now "Vitamin E," I call it. Very different. "Wow, five A's. Honey, it looks like all that hard work you poured in there this semester really paid off. Congratulations". Fist bump. And you just saved yourself a $20 bill.

Kendal Hagee: Times four.

Matt Hagee: And you saved yourself a meltdown when there's four A's and one B.

Dr. Kevin Leman: It's the same thing, I mean.

Matt Hagee: Because I've seen kids that whenever they have the slightest challenge, and it's not that an 89 or an 82 or a 79 is a measure of your quality as a human being, but whenever they've received so much praise for A's, anything less is unacceptable for them: you know?

Dr. Kevin Leman: Yeah. That's why I say, "Praise God". All others pay cash, because when we lay praise on kids, a kid will do a number on you. They'll say, "I'm no good". You know they'll put themselves down. And most parents are suckers, because they'll say, "Now, honey, why do you say that? You know that isn't true". Don't go there. Let me give you a little different angle on that. "Wow. Honey, I'm sorry you see yourself that way. I've got to tell you the truth, I don't see yourself that way. But if that's how you see yourself, I guess it's how you see yourself". In other words, don't get suckered into playing that game that they put themselves down, and then you come around and coddle, because all you're doing is you're teaching your kid to have self-pity.

Matt Hagee: Yeah.

Dr. Kevin Leman: So you've got to understand this. This is not rocket science. Principle: b doesn't start till a gets completed. So whatever job is to be done in the house, I don't care what it is: you know...

Matt Hagee: He's preaching.

Dr. Kevin Leman: Yeah. Whatever it is, I mean, "Honey, I'd love to drive you over there, but I see that garage is still looking the way it did".

Matt Hagee: I'm going to break out my lap organ here and play the altar call.

Dr. Kevin Leman: Yeah. Yeah, every head bowed. I want every head bowed, every eye closed. All come. The buses will wait.

Matt Hagee: There's literature. And the literature is actually...

Dr. Kevin Leman: The LI-TERA-TURE. The LI-TERA-TURE will wait. We will wait.

Kendal Hagee: What if you have a teenager and it's just like, "Ah" and she's slamming her door, and disrespecting you? You know you sometimes, as a parent, you want to lose your, I mean you want to, well I want to yell right back at you.

Matt Hagee: That's not her door: that's my door.

Dr. Kevin Leman: You have to remain calm in the face of the storm. They'll tell you they hate you. They'll tell you a lot of different things. But when they slam the door, my favorite is say, "Oh, honey, excuse me: what's that slammed door mean? Does that mean you're sick of living in this four-bedroom home with premium WIFI? Just checking," because they're kids, they're gonna, during the teenage years, they're dumb as mud.

Matt Hagee: My 14-year-old boy, his mother will ask him a question, "Why did you do this"? And maybe...

Kendal Hagee: I know you're not supposed to use the three-letter word, "Why".

Matt Hagee: There's a soaking-wet bath towel under his bed. And the only way you, if you found it, is because of the fumes that it's been putting off after five days of being lost.

Dr. Kevin Leman: I like it.

Matt Hagee: Now, for four days, you've said, "Where's your bath towel"? "I don't know. I don't know. I don't know". And then you find it under his bed, and you get the same answer. "How did it get under your bed"? "I don't know".

Dr. Kevin Leman: Well, "I don't know" means I don't want to tell you. Okay. That's what you've got to understand about kids is they do stupid, dumb things. But I'm glad you brought that up. But here's just a gentle reminder for parents: kids and husbands have a lot in common.

Matt Hagee: Oh, fabulous.

Dr. Kevin Leman: Ladies, pay attention now. I'm telling you the truth. I know I'm old and near death, but listen to me on this one. This one is so good. Husbands and kids hate your questions.

Matt Hagee: Oh.

Dr. Kevin Leman: We hate questions. So if you want your husband to talk to you, say, "Honey, what's your opinion about this? You want your 16-year-old son to talk to you"? Say, "Honey, could I ask your opinion about something"? They'll talk your ear off. Okay.

Matt Hagee: Now Dr. Kevin, how long do you have to live before you can speak with such boldness?

Dr. Kevin Leman: It takes a while, yeah.

Matt Hagee: Dr. Leman's conversation is always a gift to Kendal and I. But we want you to join us for the end of this conversation when we come back

Lady 1: So, my biggest takeaway from tonight was be the person you want your children to be.

Lady 2: It's um, I forgot.

Man 1: Don't major in the minors, the little things.

Man 2: I always think about kids always told, "Don't do this. Don't do that". But yeah, just chill, you know.

Man 3: Kids are sponges. And so they're going to watch what you do. And so the best thing for me, as a father, is to be the man for my son, what I want him to be.

Dr. Kevin Leman: And so we've got authoritarianism over here. We've got permissiveness over here. "Uh, Britney, Britney, sweetheart, it's 8 o'clock. Have you chosen to go to bed yet"? "Hey, would you kids turn that music down. I'm trying to finish her homework". I'm just telling you, parents today are clueless. They're rudderless on the sea of life. You need to have direction. So we worship a God of authority, not an authoritarian. And that's how we need to be in our home, Matt, is we need to be an authority. Well, translate it for us. That means you don't take any doo-doo from your kids, ever. You stand in authority. Your kids need to learn respect and respect is a two-way street, so you've got to listen to your kids. You're not just telling them what to do. And you've got to treat them different. Why? Because they're all different.

But one of my tips in here to parents, and it reflects about what pastor Matt just said, a tip is, hey, parent, you be the person you want your son or daughter to be. I want you to think about it. That's almost profound. In other words, we worry about our kids. "Oh". Hey, what kind of a person are you? See, your kids are always looking up and they're taking emotional notes, spiritual notes on how you live your life. You've just got to understand that they're always watching. I mean kids have a way of playing us like violins, because we refuse to make our house "Our house". On the sea of life, there's a sea of life, you're the captain of the good ship, your family. My question is, what's your port of call? Do you know where you're going?

I think you're eluding the fact that families say they're like balsa wood on the ocean. Whatever way is thrown, and like you say, we use excuses so other people do this and that: and you know? You know life's too short, folks, not to have the marriage you want and need, not to have the relationship with your kids. Don't major in the minors. Learn to love your kids. You know when they get to be 12, 13, 14, I call it "The hormone group". They get weird. But when they slam the door, for example, in your home, what do most of you say? "Hey, don't be slamming the door in this house, young lady". You know? Blah, blah. No. How about this: "Excuse me, honey, I'm not sure what that slammed door meant. Does that mean you're sick of living in this four-bedroom home with premium WIFI"?

Lady 1: Who put this on your face?

Child 1: Um, daddy.

Lady 1: Daddy put it on your face?

Child 1: Yes, daddy.

Lady 1: I think it was you.

Child 1: It was daddy.

Lady 2: No, don't chew on mommy's mat.

Child 2: I don't know.

Lady 2: Was it you?

Child 2: No.

Lady 2: Who was it?

Child 2: A sportsman.

Child 3: At the house with the river, he has to have these toys? And then I can have all his toys.

Lady 3: Okay. But I have to yell at you guys.

Child 3: okay, Linda. Linda, listen, listen, listen. Listen, listen, Linda, listen.

Matt Hagee: So who's training who there?

Dr. Kevin Leman: Yeah. It's amazing. You know kids are so smart. They figure us out early. They play us like a violin. The book "Why kids misbehave and what to do about it," I tell parents, "You know, it's hard to figure out, you know, which one's the monkey and which one's organ grinder here". Who's teaching who? And we literally teach kids to be non-responsible, not to listen. Ask any parent, or better yet, ask any kid, "How many times do mom or dad have to call you to get you to do something"? And the magic number is three.

Kendal Hagee: Three.

Dr. Kevin Leman: And the kids will tell you straight out...

Matt Hagee: I'm holding the number up over here.

Dr. Kevin Leman: Yeah.

Kendal Hagee: How come they can't respond on number one?

Dr. Kevin Leman: Well, because we've trained them to respond to three. Because the first time, it's a general or...

Matt Hagee: I have a Labrador hunting dog.

Dr. Kevin Leman: Yeah.

Matt Hagee: And this dog is highly trained. It's a wonderful companion dog. But when it's time to go to work, I put a little collar around its neck.

Dr. Kevin Leman: Oh, yeah.

Matt Hagee: And the second that there is an ounce of unresponsiveness, you hit that collar, and then the dog is reminded to respond. The challenge is I don't have a collar for my 14-year-old, so what do you got to do?

Kendal Hagee: See, then you talk about authoritarian and authority and permissive.

Matt Hagee: Those of you who are writing me letters because I shout at my kids...

Dr. Kevin Leman: For those of you who have kids who go to public school that take a bus, and the morning in your home is a zoo, because you've got to get out the door to work. Your husband's already gone, and you're the alarm clock for your 14-year-old. Let's start with that, which is a mistake, because there are alarm clocks you can buy. And so you go in there, you tell them it's time to get up. He doesn't get up. You're back there again. You give them the time, "It is now 7:18. You need to get out of bed, young man. You're going to miss the bus," and all that kind of stuff. That can come to an abrupt stop on a Monday morning when you choose, as a parent, to no longer wake up your child. So what I'm saying is you blind side that sucker. You let them wake up at 10:30 in the morning and realize he missed his geometry test. And he's going to tell you, "It is your fault". And now you're going to say some words you're going to really pay attention to. You say, "I'm done. I'm done. I'm no longer your alarm clock. From now on, you get your tail out of bed. And when you're ready, I'll drive you down to school". Okay. But here's the smart parent: you call school. You say, "My son's three hours late". You're talking to the assistant principal. "Would you do me a huge favor"? "Sure". "Would you call my son in and tell him about the importance of being on time"? So now the kid finally gets to school. He's missed his exam. He's a little flustered. And over the loud speaker in his classroom, "Will Timothy Jones please come to the office"? And he's thinking: what do they want me for? And you walk in there, and the vice principal says, "You Jones? Come on in here. Have a seat. Hey, what time does school start, young man"? "Uh, about 8:35". "What time were you here this morning"? "Uh, 10:50". "What time are you going to be here tomorrow"? "8:35, sir". I mean it's great to have somebody else call your kid.

Matt Hagee: Well, and I think that so many times, people let it go, and they let it go, and they let it go until there's so much to deal with: they feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start. So for the individuals who are watching and they think that it's way past fixing, what do you recommend for them?

Dr. Kevin Leman: Number one, an apology. I think you go to your kid and you say, you know, "I want just five minutes of your time". "What do you want to talk about"? "I just need five minutes. That's all I need. I know you're a busy guy, you're a busy woman. I just need five minutes. Um, I owe you an apology". "For what"? "Well, I've been looking at my own life. I see some things that I'm very unhappy about. And I think they've affected how you behave. And I just want to give you a heads up that starting right now, you're going to see a different mom, a different dad". And then have the commitment when they ask for something, give them vitamin N. Let them figure out why you said, "No, you can't go here". And then finally, give them an answer. "I've got to tell you the truth: um, I'm sick of your mouth. I'm really sick of it. I think I've encouraged it. I've allowed it. And again, I'm just putting you on notice, your life is going to be very mundane and very boring if things don't change. I can't make you change. I'm not here to try to make you change. I'm just telling I'm making changes that's going to affect your life, the quality of your life, the time you spend with your buddies, the money you have in the pocket, the freedom that you have". And what I'm telling the parents, "You've got all the gold in your back pocket". So who are you kidding? Your kid wouldn't have underwear on right now, parent, if you didn't buy it for him. So take your authority. Take your firmness, and point them in a different direction, but with an apology, a sincere apology. "You know, I think I've let these other things become more important than you, and nobody is more important than you". So it has to come across, because they don't scare what you know until they know you care. That comes right out of my little business book called "The wayward shepherd," which is a five-star-rated book on managing people. They don't care what you know until they know you care. I try to tell you in as nice a way as I can, "You're dumb as mud, parent, and you have to start changing your behavior to have a kid change his behavior".

Matt Hagee: Well the good news is, is most mud can be made into clay, and clay is moldable.

Dr. Kevin Leman: There you go!

Matt Hagee: That's it. You know Kendal and I want to thank you guys for joining us today on "The difference". We pray you were encouraged by what our guest had to share and to say. We also want to share with you something that's dear and dear to our heart. It's the sanctuary of hope. You can find out more information about that at
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