I’ll admit, this was my first experience of Dr.Leman. Which probably automatically tells many of you, I haven’t paid nearly as much attention to parenting literature as I should. This guy has been on news shows all over the world, including Oprah AND anyone remember Donahue back in the day? Yup…he was on there.
Just check out his bibliography on Wikipedia, to realize the full extent of my ignorance. In any case….he was an awesome speaker. Humble, yet well informed, and humorously experienced in parenting and giving guidance to other parents for years. Dr.Leman spoke on instilling the authority of parents AND scripture in the home. Authority is something often avoided and talked about in somewhat “shushed” tones these days. It’s usually about freedoms, allowances, and how to make your kids happy. But as Dr.Leman said more than once, “An unhappy child is a healthy child.”, for obvious reasons.
He spoke of the value of a little “Vitamin N” (the word “no”), and reminded parents to respond as a parent during teachable moments, as opposed to responding from high emotions in the midst of a conflict. I really felt like I gained as much or more from this session as a parent than as a pastor. I can’t speak to his books, and I can’t say I’d go with all of his tactics (locking a child outside when she wouldn’t stop crying)….but he’s a captivating and witty speaker worth listening to. I’ll end with some quotes of his, that would be tough to weave into a short blog post…:)
“If you bring up your kids to think they’re the center of the universe, what room is there for God?”
(speaking of today’s families being too busy) “Activities are not good for children. 🙂 They’re not good for families, marriages, and definitely not good for your sex life.”
“So often parents work very hard to keep their children from experiencing any type of “failure”, but failure is usually where we meet Jesus. How many people do you know who discovered their need for Jesus during an average or even successful moment?”
“Rules without relationship lead to rebellion. We need to be parents who strive to be an authority, without being authoritarian.”
“Actively parent your children as individuals. What works for one will not always work for the whole clan. Different bedtimes, & different times for learning.”
“Fighting with your child is an act of cooperation.”
“Train your children respectfully up into maturity/character, not down into submission.”
“It’s important to establish that if ____ doesn’t happen, ____ will not happen. Don’t use warnings. Establish authority in their lives, in hopes/prayers that they will understand authority when it comes to the Word of God in their home and life as well. If solid authority (without being authoritarian) isn’t experienced, it will remain foreign to them.”