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Topic : 12/25 Divorcing the Family

Number of Replies: 182
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Created on : Thursday, October 05, 2006, 04:44:59 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 10/12/06) When you lose control of your kids and household, is it ever possible to get it back? Peggy was so fed up with her 17-year-old twin boys' behavior –- their yelling, tantrums, cursing, disrespect, fighting -- and the resulting strain on her marriage that she arrived at a radical solution: Divorce one of her sons from the family. However, when Peggy filed the paperwork to emancipate her son, the courts turned her down, leaving him in her care until age 18. Can Dr. Phil convince Peggy and her husband to accept responsibility for their deteriorating home situation? Can he inspire the teens to help calm the chaos? Or, is divorcing a family member a viable last-ditch option? Tell us what you think!

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October 12, 2006, 1:23 pm CDT

Wow! Can we say deja Vu!

 THe Dad on today's show sounds just like my ex! Always threatening and yelling and bullying.My father was like that except he didn't like to yell in case someone overheard him and caught on to what he was really like. It's added to the end result which is I'm a very angry person.I try NOT to be but it's always just below the surface.I found myself getting very upset just watching that Dad. I hope he takes heed and changes his ways because  he will have to deal with the results after his kids grow up.
October 12, 2006, 1:35 pm CDT

i can sympathize

 I understand Dr. Phils stance on this situation with the brothers and their parents but i also have a son who has Add also. He was always a real narcisistic young man who made our home a war zone. My husband and i were not cussing him or hitting walls but i got to where i stayed out in the car until my husband got home because i couldn't face it any more.


He is grown and on his second marraige now and still self centered and full of hatefullness to his wife and me. Everything is always someone elses fault. So it goes on and on plus he drinks a lot now and that makes it worse. We tried to get him help at 10 but they said he was just hyper active as they didn't know about ADD back then. I know a lot of factors go into a behavior,but parents get frustrated just like they do and if you are a weak parent both need help....most don't get it!


Sometimes i get tired of parents getting all the blame for everything because i know of parents who try everything and nothing seems to help. and its easy when they are not in your home 24-7

to suggest ways that most of the time have already been tried. I actually felt i was having a breakdown at times.

October 12, 2006, 1:39 pm CDT

Thanks Dr. Phil!

Today on the show I noticed this poem mentioned. I went to my computer and googled it. I found it VERY insperational and true! I am glad that Dr. Phil mentioned it... I posted it in a chain email and emailed it to all my friends and also printed it off and framed it to put on my wall! I love poetry speacially when it can move me and thats what this did! I wanted to share it with all Dr. Phil's veiwers so I decided to post it here on the msg boards! I am not a perfect parent and never have claimed to be... but this gives me hope and teaches me how my words and actions can affect my children! Thanks again Dr. Phil!


Children Learn What They Live
By Dorothy Law Nolte

          If children live with criticism,
               They learn to condemn.
          If children live with hostility,
               They learn to fight.
          If children live with ridicule,
               They learn to be shy.
          If children live with shame,
               They learn to feel guilty.
          If children live with encouragement,
               They learn confidence.
          If children live with tolerance,
               They learn to be patient.
          If children live with praise,
               They learn to appreciate.
          If children live with acceptance,
               They learn to love.
          If children live with approval,
               They learn to like themselves.
          If children live with honesty,
               They learn truthfulness.
          If children live with security,
               They learn to have faith in themselves and others.
          If children live with friendliness,
               They learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

October 12, 2006, 1:42 pm CDT

10/12 Divorcing the Family

I am a single grandparent raising my identical twin soon-to-be 16 year old grandsons. I watched with great interest in today's program. I have raised the boys since they were 2 1/2 with no parental involvement. They were raised in a peaceful home environment, monitored TV viewing and were pretty good kids. They are in need of special ed because they were delayed when they came to me and enjoyed school. My daughter died when they were in 5th grade and it was a difficult change and adjustment.


When they entered middle school, things changed. In 6th grade they were harassed daily, called names and several children made jokes about their mom being dead--'going to the cemetery to see your dead mom?' and other similar things. What made the situation worse was the fact that the teachers, vice principal and principal took the attitude that 'kids will be kids' and told the boys to ignore it. We are also lower income (I receive social security disability and help from the state) and unfortunately, there is a misconception that lower income families produce lower intelligence children, therefore children like mine were not taken seriously. The situation was made worse when one of the boys' friends had a similar experience with the bullies and something was done for him. My boys' reaction was that they weren't as good as their friend, that the teachers didn't like them.


When they entered 7th grade they weren't as excited, were depressed and decided to push back. Of course they were the kids caught and punished, while others involved were rewarded with early entrance into the school to watch videos. Through 7th and 8th grades they became more and more discouraged and the behaviours began to get out of control. Since they are identical twins it was more difficult to establish their own identity, which led to more anger at each other. In counseling the therapist has said it is part of PTSD, from their earlier years in a violent home and being abandoned. They are also very depressed but refuse to take any kind of medication. I'm not pro antidepressants for children but I think that maybe if it was closely monitored it might be of some benefit.


They are now in 9th grade and the fighting over the past year has become horrible. Their anger at the world and themselves is taken out on each other and me. The boys call me all kinds of names--jerk, idiot, stupid, retard, tell me to shut up, refuse to do anything I ask. They refuse to go to therapy. I cannot ground them because they won't stay home. We live in a 2 bedroom apartment and I have given them each their own room while my room is the living room. The yelling, physical violence and some damage to the apartment is wearing me down. I still believe that the boys are good kids inside and venting their anger at me. We don't have family or friends around here to help out or offer support. The therapist thought of separating them, having one go to a foster home but I can't do that. I could never separate them. I would be lost without them because they are all I have left.


There are no resources in this town for teens. It is a very depressed area and the schools are horrid for kids needing special ed. Many of the special ed kids feel worthless, mine included. My boys don't believe anybody or much of anything anymore.


Any suggestions on how to help my boys would be greatly appreciated. I love them and want them to feel better about themselves. Thank you.

October 12, 2006, 1:47 pm CDT

10/12 Divorcing the Family

HI Dr. Phil,

I am watching you show now, and the mother who wanted to divorce her son, well my daughter

did just that, but instead of going to court,  she call me (I'm the grandmother, her mother).

she called me and said she was going to call the police, and have them there when he

got home from school and they could do with him whatever. I told her I would come and bring him to live with us..

He came home from school, he was 12years old and she told him, she didn't want him anymore, and he had to go live with us. (I still cry when I think about it).

We brought him to our home, put him in school in our town, supported him fully,

most of all loved him, to the max 

(You just said you can't  believe how it would feel to have your mother said

she just didn't want you anymore. I have ask myself how my daughter could do that.)

Ray now jsut proposed to his girlfriend (he is almost 21 now) but I worry so much

about him, and how this will affect him now as he wants to build his own life.

He has not seen his father for years. also to make this more concern of mine

is that Amber's mother was murderer 9by her second husband)when Amber was about 11yrs. old.

I would like for the kids to have some counseling so they can have the

best life.

A concerned grandmother



October 12, 2006, 1:47 pm CDT

10/12 Divorcing the Family

It really hurt to watch this show.  My house was like that X 1000.  In addition to the yelling, cussing and throwing things there was physical, mental and sexual abuse. 

I don't remember a time in my life as a child that I wasn't afraid.  I don't remember a time where there wasn't this situation.  And now, my husband wondered why I couldn't live a "normal life"...this is what I listened to my entire life-until I left at the age of 17.  This is the life I knew.  I never knew how to talk to someone in a normal tone.  I never learned how to do anything normal and this story really touched me...

October 12, 2006, 1:53 pm CDT

divorcing the child

It is great that you and Robin raised 2 boys and never experienced this kind of behavior in your family. Maybe you should back up a bit and try to understand these parents. No one has ever given parents instructions when these kids are born and many times we do not have the means to use other resources in dealing with them. Every person has a breaking point...everyone! These kids sometimes have problems that are bigger than anyone can handle. We had our kid at one of your wonderful Texas facilities and it didn't help. It fact, what she didn't know before, she learned there. 3 more facilities later, she was worse than ever. At age 19, we finally refused to let her come back home. We were able to sleep with our door unlocked at night, celebrate a holiday with no arguments and enjoy activities that normal families enjoy. She is 42 years old now, with 5 children that she gave up to the state, and she has not changed one bit. It cost our family alot of grief, pain, unhappiness and destruction. I wish that at age14 or 15 we had given her up to the state, but back then it was not possible. I understand the feelings of this mother and my heart aches for her. We do have the right to do whatever it takes to insure the whole family does not suffer because of one kid. Not everyone can be helped no matter what you say Phil.
October 12, 2006, 1:54 pm CDT

Living in a caotic family

I don't agree with how these parents have dealt with this boy but my husband and I have lived a very similar experience.  Sometimes it seems like Dr. Phil hasn't lived that life and so therefore he doesn't understand the anguish of both the parents and the kids.  It doesn't seem like he's ever been to a point in his life with his children where he has felt his hands are completely tied and it seems hopeless.  I think if he had, he'd understand their anger a litte more.
October 12, 2006, 1:58 pm CDT

Todays family

Todays family reminds me of my family. I have a daughter who is 16 yrs old and doesn't live with us at this time. She manipulated my son who is MRDD to the point that he was fighting me 5 out of 7 days a week. I was not until I removed her that I could have a moments peace. She was living with my mother and was doing some of the same things there. Before she moved in with my mother she was emailing a 41 yr old family member the only reason I caught her was because her younger brother found her school planner. I handled that then just recently she decided to sleep with a man who was 24 yrs old. My daughter has been diagnosed as bi polar, possible personality disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, her councilor thinks she has reactive attachment disorder. I am not perfect I am a yeller and a screamer and a spanker. I sent her to her grandmother because I felt I had no choice, now that my mother lives with us now she is staying at my aunts I feel horrible I feel like I am passing her around. I wish someone could help our family,

October 12, 2006, 2:12 pm CDT

10/12 Divorcing the Family

I only read a few of the posts, and I can understand when you guys say it's not ok for the kids to come home being mean to their parents. But, I have to say I'm a teen in this exact situation. Their family was a mirror of mine (minus the twins, I'm alone in this)...It's not the kids fault they act like that, THAT IS WHAT THEY WERE TAUGHT. That's what I was taught. And I don't swear, but if I so much as raise my voice in the slightest bit, while I'm being called an f*ing idiot, or a stupida**..I get threanted to be kicked out of my house, or screamed at more. My parents go ballistic, they turn into devils. This show really helped me feel not so alone..I thought I was the only one with parents like this.

Again, I don't think the boys' behavior is right, or good. But I understand where they are coming from. That's the problem now days, parents can't be wrong, it's always gotta be the kids fault, and it's not.

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