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Topic : 07/04 Runaways Gone Wild

Number of Replies: 146
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Created on : Friday, March 23, 2007, 10:09:33 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 3/28/07) Imagine waking up at dawn to discover your 9-year-old child missing. The next day police call saying they’ve found your son -- but he’s halfway across the country at the San Antonio airport! This is only one of the waking nightmares single mother Sakinah has faced. Her son, Semaj, stole three cars and ran away nine times in just five weeks. He's charged with three felonies, including auto theft, attempting to elude a police officer on a high-speed chase, and driving without a valid driver's license. What is behind this traveling tween’s cross-country misadventures? Then, Amy's 16-year-old daughter, Tiffany, has run away several times, but this time her mother says she has gotten involved in a prostitution ring. The concerned mom discovered her daughter's behavior the way a lot of people find used furniture or apartments to rent: on Craigslist! See how the teen used this community Web site to advertise her services. But did she act alone? Find out why Amy fears for her daughter's life and the lives of her other children. Plus, learn what Dr. Phil has to say when he sits down for a heart-to-heart with Amy’s two younger daughters, and then talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.

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March 27, 2007, 5:36 pm CDT

03/28 Runaways Gone Wild

Can nine year old CHILDREN really be charged with a FELONY ? Do they really have the capacity to know what a felony is or what the conviction entails, and are there REALLY people out there who think this child should be charged with three felonies ?

I really hope the Doc can help this boy, he is after all just a CHILD not a little adult, not even a teen or pre teen, but a CHILD, his Mom must be at her wits end by now that poor woman, and he's only NINE, if he's not taken firmly by the hand NOW, what will she being going through when he's a teen, YIKES.

I've never belived any child is a lost cause, and he can be turned around he and his Mom need help NOW, not now, five minutes ago, yes he needs a firm hand, but juvenile hall at his age will only make him worse.


































March 28, 2007, 1:45 am CDT

Good for you mary

Quote From: mary857

 When I was 14 I ran away to the streets because I had no where to go . My mom had just passed away and my dad, shortly after her death abandoned us. I had already faced years of incest at the hands of an uncle and the place we were sent to was not safe...another person in our family started abusing us and when I told a counsellor at school, he turned around and told the abuser and I was kicked out for being a trouble maker.  I had to leave 2 sisters behind who were also abused .I am now almost 50 and after years and years of therapy I have begun the healing process and realize for the first time in my life I was not to blame. I had so much rage and anger, but instead of acting out like this child has, I turned it in at myself.

Runaways are usually running for a reason and most have severe trust issues . As much as we try to teach our children today to talk about these things it is not easy...children always blame themselves, even when it is not their fault.

With my own sons, I had to prove to them as they matured that no matter what they told me, I would always be there for them...I was always careful to not show shock or anger when they had the courage to come to me about something they did. Once, when my son thought that he had gotten his girlfriend pregnant, after all the talks we had about taking precautions ( he was 17 at the time) he was still scared to tell me. He wrote me a letter and gave it to me when he left for school. He was terrified to come home, but he said he trusted that my love was unconditional and I remember when he walked in the door that day, he just stood there, thinking how much he had disappointed me. I just walked over to him and took him in  my arms and hugged him and said to him that he must be so scared right now and he just broke down and cried. I was not disappointed in him...just in his decision. Thankfully she wasn't pregnant, and it gave me an opportunity to show him again that there wasn't anything he could not tell me...

Children need to know that their parents or caregivers, love them unconditionally and we as parents need to be consistant with love and consequences and not be afraid to reach out and ask for help when , as a parent, you have reached the breaking point. Its even harder when you are the only parent, which I am. So many people are ready to blame the child or blame the parent when a child acts out like this, but placing blame only builds walls. Its not about blame or who is at fault...its about finding help for the child and for the parent(s).

I see so many children , street kids and they are younger and younger every year. As a former child runaway, I know what it is like to have no control over the people who have hurt me and when a child has that trust and innocense shattered, by the very adults that were suppose to love and protect them...street life looks like a walk in the park.

     It is admirable that you treat your kids like you do.  That is how it is supposed to be as an abused child I know.  Parents should always be able to talk to their kids and children should always be able to come to their parents.  No matter what. Love your children always.
March 28, 2007, 1:52 am CDT

Where are your solutions???

Quote From: ceildh1

Can nine year old CHILDREN really be charged with a FELONY ? Do they really have the capacity to know what a felony is or what the conviction entails, and are there REALLY people out there who think this child should be charged with three felonies ?

I really hope the Doc can help this boy, he is after all just a CHILD not a little adult, not even a teen or pre teen, but a CHILD, his Mom must be at her wits end by now that poor woman, and he's only NINE, if he's not taken firmly by the hand NOW, what will she being going through when he's a teen, YIKES.

I've never belived any child is a lost cause, and he can be turned around he and his Mom need help NOW, not now, five minutes ago, yes he needs a firm hand, but juvenile hall at his age will only make him worse.


































You don't like the charges, but offer no viable solutions.


I can tell you from my work as a felony parole officer (kids as young as 17 were in our office) that VICTIMS are tired of being victimized. If your only way to get to your job to feed your family is stolen (and the kid who did it has numerous previous arrests for theft of vehicles), you are going to want justice. You DESERVE justice.


Thefts are not victimless crimes. There are people who suffer because someone makes a CHOICE to commit a crime. As a certified teacher now out-of-the-classroom to raise our children, I can tell you a nine-yr-old knows stealing someone's car is wrong and it's a big no-no. Why he often continues to do it, though, is because he can get away with it.


In our country, we slap the hands of juvenile offenders... and then wonder why they continue creating victims???? Justice should be TOUGH to start (minus the adjudication of guilt and a record), then many of these "punks" (regardless of their family situations) might think twice before reoffending.


I FEEL for young criminals, but we MUST feel for the victims of their crimes and PROTECT society. Once YOU became a victims, you would think twice before condeming the system w/o offering any viable alternatives!

March 28, 2007, 2:38 am CDT

Desperate Generation !

 I am so so sorry for single mum Sakinah, who has 4 children to keep and nurture. She has done all she could in her situation. Young Semaj, who is a very intelligent boy, obviously didn't feel safe where he lived and that's why he ran off. I hope with Dr.Phil's help he and his mum and siblings will  find a place where they feel safe and with Childcare help, Sakinah, will be able to go back to work to keep her family.  I just hope that Semaj, with counselling, will not go towards doing things again that will endanger his life and cause grief to his mother, who already is very stressed out because of everything that has happened. I hope the other children too will find help and safety with Dr.Phil's help. Bless you Dr.Phil. In Tiffany's case, i am so glad that Dr.Phil will be intervening in there too. I hope that Tiffany will find safey and learn a new positive way of life for herself. I hope the police will intervene and charge those pimps etc. that have used her and are endangering her young life.  I feel sorry for their mum too,Amy, but she needs to be honest with Dr.Phil if she wants his help.  It's so sad that this generation has so many more temptations than i ever had as a child and a teenager. The fact that kids these days seem to grow up much faster than we did is scary for parents of today. I pray for my grandchildren, that we, as a family will be a positive force in their lives. Directing them to doing good things and letting them know that we always be there for them and love them always, so they will feel safe. So many teens today, and some of them are my friend's children, who drift off into drugs and break the law in other areas. Some of today's songs and music videos are geared for the young ones, but they show violence, sex, drugs, cursing, rebellion, anarchy as a norm in today's society. Some of these videos are made by teenagers themselves, where they show girls being raped and homeless people being killed.  Then they post them on the internet for everyone to buy or see.  It's this generation gone mad. In Melbourne Australia that is one of the videos that was posted on the net  where i spoke of the above. I'm sure it happens over in America too. I know the pain of nearly losing a 19 year old to heroin, my daughter, is now nearly 27 and praise God is now off the crap and has a partner and 2 lovely children. Now she understands the pain and worry i went through with her, now that she herself has children. But she is great and is doing wonderful and is a good mum. My other daughter too went off the rafters for awhile when she was 17, unfortunately she had a concentration disability so she found it hard at school. Went into drugs, had 2 abortions, and my hair nearly turned grey overnight with worry. I myself had 3 nervous breakdowns in my life and i still suffer from depression and anxiety now. Unfortunately at the time, her father kicked her out of her home and allowed his new girlfriend to take over their house and she was disciplining the girls. Both girls had been kicked out by their father and they really suffered and grieved over that. They came to live with me, both of them, eventually. He and I had divorced some years earlier and they had been better off with my ex cause he had the family home and was financially better off too. So i left the girls with him. My mental state was not good when i left, nor did i have much money. Poor kids, looking back i feel so sorry for them. They were still reeling over our divorce, grieving over me not being there.  I spent 5 odd years in the wilderness, lost, trying to adjust myself to a new life, find a job, get proper housing etc. as i was recieving Welfare payments at the time. Finding my job saved my life and gave me hope and self-worth that i never had.  Unfortunately now i cant work as i injured myself.  I thank God again that Amy, my 2nd daughter, after my second husband and i offered to pay her way through Hairdressing College, came out of her lostness and began to have a sense of purpose and her job has given her self-worth and doesn't take any drugs at all now. Her biological father didnt want to offer any money towards her fees at the time, because he didnt have to he said, as she was 18 at this stage.  So i had to take out another bankcard to help pay for the fees.  Now, he and his new wife are pretty well-off, but the girls dont really bother to see him hardly at all.  I had encouraged them to see him but now as they are older they tell me to mind my business when it comes to badger them to see him. She now has her own hairdressing salon, which she has just ventured into and i pray that she will prosper in every way.  It's funny, they have the same problem with their father as I had when i was married to him. He did wrong to allow his then girlfriend to take over the family home and change their ways that they were accustomed. Then when they bucked at that he kicked them out and told them that he was going to put his girlfriend before them. What a shocking thing to say to his daughters. My 2nd husband treats them like his own and he has been marvellous with them.   Lory.(Australia)       
March 28, 2007, 2:50 am CDT

Good choices !

Quote From: thrufornow

the anwser to that is everywhere..i left home at 14, wasnt abused, met  a pimp who was 23 and told me I would own my own home & the age of 21...being young and dumb., no dad and 6 of us being raised on welfare..sounded good to me and I am the adventurous type, so went for it...I am now 52..."worked" for 30 years and have a great son. I made sure he had a "normal" life and he has finished college & is doing fine. i had plenty of friends that ended up dead. It's a dangerous profession. You have to go by gut instint & street smarts and above all dont use drugs as it will impair your judgment. Do I have any regrets??  Just one...I wished I have saved some money, lived grand thou & always worked in a casino, a safe enviorment. I wouldnt advise this line of work to anyone...I am lucky to be alive & well... have a management  position job, i have see so many of the girls i used to work around turn into crack heads ect...I thank god every day he made me strong enough to make the right decisions, atleast when it came to drug's ect...If you were to come into my place of  could look at me & never know my past profession. I always took pride in looking like the girl, next door type. not  like  "whoretta  jones...

 Dear Lady,

I am so glad that you came out of your life journey alive and well. It must have been so sad to see some of your friends or acquaintances die.  I just want to say "Good on you girl!" for making the right decisions and for now having a good and positive and safe lifestyle.


Bless you and your son,


March 28, 2007, 2:51 am CDT

Runnaway Gone Wild

well im a teen & i know people who have run away and got into trouble but i so far have not known anyone to have i guess you could say the courage to do what this 9yrold young boy has done, all i can say is i hope that this boy gets the help he needs and as soon as possible becuase i dont want to imagine what could happen to him if he doesnt
March 28, 2007, 6:17 am CDT

help mother

Is it ethical to get this mother some help with family planning?  One problem may be that she has no partner in the raising of 4 children, at least 2 of whom are boys.  She has no emotional support  in the raising of children and no economic partner.   The son is much like the mother, satisfying emotional needs at the moment without thought of consequences or what comes next. 

March 28, 2007, 6:42 am CDT

Go Dr. Phil

     Tell IT!!!!!  When a child acts out like this there is a problem at home somewhere.  It always starts when they are young.  Discipline, nurture and giving them the tools that helps them to make smart decisions and to know the consequences of their actions.  9 out of 10 children that are having problems like these it starts at home where the child gets his or her learning skills and life skills.  It is usually due to some kind of abuse from a family member or just from out  right not having the parents around.  If you tell a child that he or she is bad or is not worth anything or that they were not wanted.  This scars the child for life and the child has to make a choice.  Am I going to continue to do what my parents have done am I going to continue the cycle of abuse?  You can do this.  You do not have to be like your parents or caregivers.  Make the choice to come above what you were raised like and get on with your life.  Get your education now don't wait.  It is so much harder to go to school when you have a family to take care of also.  Use what has happened to you to make a difference in your life.  You owe it to yourself to come above your raising or even being jerked up.  You can be better.
March 28, 2007, 6:48 am CDT

Is This Just Me

Is this just me or does anyone else notice that this woman has no place to live, but yet she has her hair and make-up done? What is wrong with this picture.  I know for a fact that it probably cost a lot of money to get her hair done. Why can't this money be put toward housing?  PRIORITIES PEOPLE!!!!! Your kids need a roof over their head!!!! I see this way too often. People who get their hair and nails done on a regular basis, but then complain because they have no money to pay the rent.  GROW UP AND BE RESPONSIBLE!!!! Instead, you want Dr. Phil to bail you out.  AGAIN I SAY:  PRIORITIES!!!!!
March 28, 2007, 7:34 am CDT

children and prostitution

I was very pleased to hear how you handled the show today.  I will be praying for this mother and her daughters.  She is so blessed to be having the help you can give.  These girls are definately very precious.  So thankful for you confidentiality.  We as society need to stand up and forget about how our children react to hating us.  We have had a prodical daughter who is now 36.  She is not perfect, but a single Mom because of choices she made in her teens and early 20's,.  She is a productive person with a very good job making near $20. per hr with great benefits.  We used Dr Dobson's books on tough love and all the help we could get.  It was very helpful that I had had my crisis counseling experience.  We are not exempt as parents.  We are very concerned for our adopted 10 yr old.  We have a community computer in our home.  One needs to ask for permission to use it.  It is placed in our open sound and reading room off our dining room.  So it is very visible with our open floor plan.  Our children  tell us when can I have my own TV computer in my room.  Answer:  When you can afford to pay for one.  This is a priviledge to use as long as you follow the rules and we will know what happens at all times.  They do not think it is fair, but I am a parent to my child and answer for them and not other parents children.  I am old fashioned and am not apologizing.  We have a great family.  I love the challenge.  This Mom has many women who would say in a heartbeat, be strong and do not give in even when it hurts.  I have spent many times on my knees weeping for strength and courage to stand for the right thing to do.  I had (1 person to confide in) when I needed the support.  My grandmother always told me, Janice Marie you know the right thing to do, "what your heart tells you to do"  Of course it took me many years to realize how wise she was.

Thank you for all the help you and your family are comitted to do.

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