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Topic : 06/27 Problem Parent or Problem Child?

Number of Replies: 169
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Created on : Friday, January 19, 2007, 01:23:14 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 01/24/07) Do you find yourself wondering where your relationship with your child went wrong? You say it’s your child. Your child says it’s you. Who’s to blame? Dr. Phil uncovers where the problem lies in these families. Penny says her life is in shambles because her 17-year-old son, Jason, is extremely threatening and violent. Jason says his mother is a lazy alcoholic, and all he has ever wanted was to feel loved by her. Penny’s sister, Jackie, says Penny has a drinking problem and wants the mother and son to get help before they kill each other. Then, Kim has three sons –- 14, 2 and 15 months -- but says she loves her middle son, Cullen, the most. She has pictures of him all over her house, but not her other two sons. She takes Cullen to bed with her at night, while the baby cries himself to sleep in his own room, and she buys Cullen new clothes, while her youngest gets hand-me-downs. Her oldest son says he has felt neglected his whole life and is worried the baby will feel that way too. Kim’s friend, Starlette, says Kim’s baby has even started calling her Mama. What’s behind Kim’s favoritism, and why does she feel justified? Share your thoughts here.

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January 21, 2007, 1:56 pm CST

01/24 Problem Parent or Problem Child?

Quote From: cynkcor

Okay, I give up.  How, precisely, does one treat kids equally?  I raised five children totally different in likes, dislikes, talents and shortcomings.  No, I didn't treat them all the same.  That's crazy.  They had different needs.  Some were boys, some were girls... surely they should not have been treated the same! 
Did you show greater affection for one over another? Put up more pictures of one kid over another?

Of course kids are all different. I was in choir in high school, one brother was in football, and the other brother was into wood working alone.

My parents went to all my concerts, all of the first brothers games and showed special interest in the creations of the third brother.

All different, yet all treated with equal amounts of love and respect.
January 21, 2007, 2:43 pm CST

It makes me sad

It makes my heart sad to see that grown adults would intentionally do this to thier kids.  This woman must have a lot of unresolved issues from her own childhood, that she never grew emotionally grew into adulthood.  I too have come from a home where favortitism was blatant.  Even to this day, though my siblings and myself are grown, it's painfully obvious who's the favorite sibling in our family.  I am now a single mom to a 4 year old child, and if anything, thier parenting skills have taught me what NOT do to with my own (if I have any more).


My advice to those who may feel like they are not the family favorite, is be strong.  Try to remember that it's thier short sightedness, not yours.  I know it hurts like heck; I still find myself doing things and looking for my parent's "approval" ( I use that word because I can't think of the one I want to use right off the top of my head), yet knowing in my heart I will never get it from them --  and I'm in my late 30's!


Be strong, and try not to let that stop you from doing good things with your life, don't let that stop you from doing what you want to do with your life.  They are the ones that will ultimately miss out on you and what you have to offer.  Don't let thier jaded, misguided conceptions of reality ultimately become yours.  In doing so, you will forever be re-acting to them, and not living your own life.


Take this from someone who still cathces myself in this sick "dance" with my folks.  It's not worth it.  It's just not worth wasting your energy on people who don't even see you, if you know what I mean.

January 21, 2007, 2:52 pm CST

01/24 Problem Parent or Problem Child?

Now there's something to teach your teen, if something bugs you, self medicate and you'll feel better.  However, I've met more than a few teens who could drive a saint to drink, but self medicating is NEVER the answer, whether it's alcohol or drugs, the pain will be there with the hangover, and things will be MUCH worse.  If the boy is that violent, then I would suggest get help for you and him both.

As for favoring one child over another, yes somedays one child might be more likable than another, that's life.  But this Mom is OVER THE TOP, I'm curious to hear the ever ready excuse for THAT.  She sounds like the type that will be wringing her hands when her 14 year old rebels and when the middle child grows up to be an unholy terror, not to mention that poor baby, why hasn't dad stepped in, or is there one ?

This one looks good


January 21, 2007, 5:21 pm CST

In my opinion...

I think that with Penny and Jason, they need to start from today. Penny needs to admit that she has a drinking problem and get help. I hope that she tells him that she's sorry for the past. If they are a danger to each other,perhaps they ought to live separately for a time. Jason will need therapy too. Since he's 17, it may take a lot of work and building of trust for both of them. With Kim, all I can figure out is that for some reason she has bonded with the middle child more so than the others . She may not even know why herself. I'd be afraid that it will cause hard feelings among the children. The others probably resent the middle one. They might grow to feel that they are inadequate in some way and blame themselves, not realising that the problem lies with their mother. I have 2 grown children and I can honestly say that I have never loved one more than the other. This may be like comparing apples to oranges, but I DO love one of my dogs more than I do the other four ( My love for my dogs is completely different than my love for my children.) I take care of all of my animals the same. But I have just simply bonded more with my little shih tzu . It's because he's little and sits on my lap all the time .I love on him and tell him he's my baby. He just eats it up. My other dogs probably notice it, but they are too big too sit on my lap. I don't worry about it too much because after all they are dogs. My kids are grown and gone so I spend a lot of time with my animals. I didn't mean to get off topic. It's just that I think that Kim has bonded more with the middle child than the other 2. It's different than dogs and it's not a good thing. I assume that she's coming on the show to get help.
January 21, 2007, 6:11 pm CST

01/24 Problem Parent or Problem Child?

Quote From: cynkcor

Okay, I give up.  How, precisely, does one treat kids equally?  I raised five children totally different in likes, dislikes, talents and shortcomings.  No, I didn't treat them all the same.  That's crazy.  They had different needs.  Some were boys, some were girls... surely they should not have been treated the same! 

I think the problem comes in when you say, go to your daughter's recital, but not to your son's baseball games, or when you have pictures of one all over the place, and few if any of the others, I think the BLATANT FAVORITISM is wrong, they are children.

You're right though, we don't always treat them the same because we are dealing with two or more different personalities, and sad but true sometimes they don't mesh completly, but I think we should LOVE them all equally.

Okay I wasn't thrilled about sitting by a cold soccer field, but I did for my sons, and how wonderful is a track field at 6:00am with the dew sparkling off of it, and a hot cup of coffee in my hand, but if I can't go, his father does, just as their father has walked through History fairs, and science fairs for our daughter if there was a conflict, no problem, we divide and conquer, but one does not miss out for the other.

So yes treat them differently, they are after all individuals with their own interests and strengths, but ALL of them deserve the EQUAL amount of love and respect from BOTH parents.

January 21, 2007, 9:47 pm CST


 I have 4 kids and I love them all the same...........ALWAYS  and UNCONDITIONALLY................
January 22, 2007, 3:03 am CST

Absolutely Unbelievable

This woman does not deserve to be a mother.  Unfortunately, getting pregnant is easy, it's raising them that is the real definition of mother.  I was one of my father's favorites and I have always felt so guilty.  I don't believe he treated me differently than the other girls, but because I knew, I tried to get away with more.  Of course it didn't work because my mother was the major disciplinarian.  As a mother of 3, I love all my kids equally.  I love them differently.  They have different strengths and weaknesses which makes each of them special, but I could NEVER choose one over the other.  It makes me remember the movie, "Sophie's Choice."  No wonder she was so messed-up.  This mother is not only destroying the self-esteem of her other children, she is multiplying the chances they will go astray.  If your own mother doesn't hang pictures of you, just a sibling, where is their warm place ot fall?  I may not always like my kids, but I ALWAYS love them equally.  I make sure they know they are special and that I thank God everyday for putting them in my life.  I am so concerned about these kids.  I, too, would be willing to take them and love them as my own.  Life is hard enough without a soft place to fall at home.
January 22, 2007, 4:55 am CST

I know the feeling!

I personally know what it is like to be the "other child".  My parents were REALLY young (15) when they had my brother and they waited 5 years to have me.  My brother got an education, new car, and my parents are helping him buy a house.  He also had kids young.  I on the other hand was married before I had a baby (she is 5months now) and I was unable to afford school.  My parents told me that they had helped my brother and he didn't finish school, so they were not going to help me.  My husband and I just bouoght our first house today!  There is a noticable difference between the way my brother and I are treated to the point that my husband completly dislikes my parents and we have now taken them out of our life because of the way they are treating my brothers kids compared to mine.  I was kicked out of the house at 17 and I have never went back.  I never was in any kind of trouble, my parents and I just clashed.  I feel that there is no such thing as a born problem child, that they are definatly reaised to be that way.  Wether it be recentment, the need for attention, or the inability to communicate successfully with the parents, somewhere along the line, the child disconnects and THAT I think is your cause of the problem.  I am a healthy adult, but with no thanks to my parents.  I put my daughter first and if my husband and I have another child, there will be NO favourtism.  The childs needs should come before the parents' and no child shoudl receive more than the other.
January 22, 2007, 12:10 pm CST

Who's to blame

What's wrong with this picture? An adult mother, Penny, blames her 17 - yr - old son for her messed up life. Granted,  Jason appears to have some pretty serious problems, but I doubt they just developed, and if Penny had been a responsible parent when Jason was younger, he may not have these problems now. However, it is ludicrous for her to be blaming him for her problems. She made her choices. She is the adult and the parent. She raised Jason and has influenced what he is. He is old enough to start making his own choices, but it does not seem like she has given him the correct tools to make good decisions.  When will people start taking responsibility for themselves?

January 22, 2007, 12:21 pm CST

Unconditional Love

Why do some people become parents? I think it is impossible to show love to all of your children in the same way as they are different people with different personalities. However, that being said, parents should love their children unconditionally, and show  love for each of their children without favoritism. There should not be pictures of one child and not the other(s)...that is just wrong...and damaging to the other children. Parents who do this either don't realize is this or just don't care. When you have children you can't pick which child you want and which you don't. Life doesn't work that way.

I'm not sure why Kim decided to start having children again after so many years, but if her older son was already feeling neglected, the introduction of more children has definitely made it worse. She is wrong to announce to everyone that Cullen is her favorite, and I question what is wrong with her that she would so purposely hurt her other children by doing this. There is no possible justification for this, and I can't wait to see what reason she gives.

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