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Topic : 08/10 Wrongful Punishment

Number of Replies: 390
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Created on : Friday, April 13, 2007, 03:12:42 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 04/18/07) Fistfights in the living room, black eyes, stitches, a father punching a 17-year-old, a mother wrestling a 15-year-old to the floor … What do you do when you have no control over your teenager? Parents face off against teens in what Dr. Phil calls “one of the most disgusting displays of bad behavior on both sides that I have seen in years.” Brenda and Jim are constantly at war with Brenda’s three sons, Koltin, 17; and twins Austin and Dustin, 15. They say the teens have punched holes in the walls, physically attacked their stepfather and left home for days at a time! Brenda and Jim disagree on how to discipline their out-of-control teens and are even headed toward divorce because of it. How can they save the boys and their marriage? Then, meet a judge who believes creative punishments have the most impact. Judge Cicconetti doles out punishments that cause embarrassment and teach a lesson, such as making a teenager who stole a pornographic video sit blindfolded outside the store with a sign that reads “See no evil.” Opponents say creative punishments are abusive and cause more harm than good. What does Dr. Phil think? Join the discussion.

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April 18, 2007, 1:02 pm CDT

effective, but perhaps inappropriate

while i find the idea of a judge dolling out these 'alternative' punishments amusing, and to an extent, extremely effective, the problem lies in the fact that the punishment for a violation of the law is also part of the law; that is to say, jail or fine or both are legislated proceedure.  If he has a problem with the law, there are routes to take to amend that punishment.   By coming up with his own punishments, this judge, in effect, is legislating from the bench. 
April 18, 2007, 1:06 pm CDT

Creative punishment

I applaud the judge's creative sentences.  Many of the offenses should not result in jail time.  Unfortunately, a fine or slap on the wrist is not enough.  Often, the perpetrators are juveniles, and their parents pay the fines.  The children learn nothing.


As a teacher, I see students behave inappropriately every day.  Teachers and administrators are very limited when dealing with discipline issues.  Suspension is viewed as a free vacation.  Parents respond with indignation when their children are held accountable for their behavior. I have been threatened with lawsuits because I refuse to grade plagiarized work, accept late assignments, or tolerate chronic tardiness.  It seems that many parents are more interested in being their child's friend rather than a model of appropriate behavior and attitude.


 I firmly believe that with school-based intervention, and responsible parenting, children can learn that their actions have consequences.  For example, when a student vandalizes the bathroom, they should be responsible for cleaning up the mess, not the innocent custodian.  Perhaps if some of these creative punishments were permitted in school, the judge would have a smaller case load every day.

April 18, 2007, 1:11 pm CDT

perfect punishment

It was so nice to see this judge on your show.  I had heard of creative punishment probably 10 or 12 years ago and I loved it then and I love it now.  Being a mom of three I have used some creative punishment myself.  Such as serving detentions at school with my son.  He was embarassed but he gave detention up for Lent that year and never went back.

In my humble's perfect punishment. 

The point is to get the criminals or juveniles to stop the behaviors and it works!  SWEET!







April 18, 2007, 1:12 pm CDT


April 18, 2007, 1:13 pm CDT

Aren't allowed to punsh your children anymore

I live in Alberta, Canada, and you can't punish or disipline your children here.  Children's Services are the first ones to let your children know that they don't have to listen and there is nothing that you can do about it. 


When my step daughter was in grade six, we finally got fed up with her stealing all of the time.  She stole from us, from other family members, from school,  from anyone who had anything she wanted.  On October 1 we told her that as of that moment, we were taking Halloween away from her.  If, by October 30, there were no more incidents of stealing, we would give it back to her.  On the 28th the school called us that she was caught stealing again.


On Halloween night, we got her two younger sisters dressed up and away we went.  The daughter in question had to walk along with me and her dad while we took the other two trick or treating.  She didn't seem to care as she had fun walking with us and watching all the kids.


The next day we got a call from Children's Services and were accused of cruel and unusual punishment ( that is what it says on our permanent file), and we had to undergo a 6 month support order with them, where someone came into our home weekly.


We still think we did the right thing....we took something away from her because she was continuously taking things from others.She was given the opportunity to get it back and chose not to.  But after that happened, the girls learened that they didn't have to listen to us and if we did something they didn't like all they had to do was ask the school to make the call for them.


They have done it many times, for us standing them in the corner, for sending them to bed early, etc. and the amazing part is that we have had are hands slapped for all of it.  So, now the girls are out drinking, doing drugs, one of them prostitutes herself...they have all left our home of their own accord and I can't help but think that maybe if we could have taught them that there were consequences that they may be different people.

April 18, 2007, 1:17 pm CDT

04/18 Wrongful Punishment

Quote From: nixi333



when i first read your post i got the impression that your story was completely different then the story that was on today.... I gave you the benifit of the doubt and it sounded like your son just has some anger in him that the reason for just hasn't been found for yet. I know this happens because I was very angry growing up until I finally found out why. But then I read your last couple of paragraphs. Now maybe you don't "attack" your kid but you sure made it sound like you do.

The point is Those parents taught those boys that any time there is any issue big or small the way you deal with it is to start a full on boxing match! So yes it is the parents fault because they taught then how to deal with conflict.

Hopefully for you and your child you can put aside the anger you have built up and put aside all the justifications you have and realy listen to Dr. Phil.

Believe me i know for a fact how hard that can be, and I will say that I know how you feel my son is also 13 and he can drive me to absolute madness but it's been alot better since I let go and started seeing how he was mirroring my reactions to his "nonsence".

good luck


 I think you made it clear in the very first paragraph when you said he had these troubles since he could first walk and talk.  As the PARENT it was your responsibility to do something in the way of intervention then!  He was just a child and if he could have figured it out and gotten the help he needed, perhaps he would have, however, he was relying on you as his parent to do the right thing and provide him the help he needed.  That is the role of the parent. 
It is not too late, take your role seriously.  You say that you don't know what to do, that is a start, ASK FOR HELP.  and if you don't get it where you go first, look someplace else.  No one is going to drop out of the sky and save you or your family, save yourself.  Gather the energy you use to scream and put it into finding someone who will give you another option for parenting. 
There is no shame in the fact that you don't have good parenting skills, you had to be taught, the only shame is knowing that you don't know and not doing a darn thing to change it.  If you couldn't drive, wouldn't you go get driving lessons?  If your child had a knife sticking out of his back, wouldn't you take him to a doctor to have it removed? 
Don't waite for your child to figure it out, that's your job.  i know you must love your child, if you want him to have a chance at a happy family of his own and you don't want to be the next abused grandmother, this is your chance to teach him that as a parent he can make a choice to do things different, from your example.
I hope you get some assistance
, you deserve to be happy in your home and your family.
April 18, 2007, 1:28 pm CDT

Are you kidding me??


First of all, I can't believe this woman sits up there on the stage, just smiling and laughing. I saw some very serious problems on the tape Dr. Phil showed, and the fact that she was still smiling after that, just makes me angry. I do agree that those boys are instigators, and that they need to be disciplined, but getting physical is completely the wrong way to go. Of course she undercuts her husband, he lays down the law, and she comes along and undoes it.  I cannot believe that this husband and wife actually ATTACKED the boys first. And over some FOOD???? I have 3 children, Josh is 11 1/2, Alyssa is 10 1/2 and Andrea will 9 in June. My husband is their step-father. He would NEVER dream of putting his hands on one of the kids like that. There is something called RESPECT, ever heard of it? If you treat your children and your spouse with respect, they will do the same. If you put your hands on them in anger, they will do the same. It's not rocket science here.  Did you see how willing the boys were to accept the help? Of course they don't want to come home, they have a man who is 3 times their size bullying them. And the mom is confusing the heck out of them by first attacking, and then tossing their consequences out the window. I don't think that the parents respect each other at all. They should be completely worried about their youngest son. I applaud Dr. Phil, AS USUAL, for his insight, but I do think he should have been a little bit tougher on the parents. At least to ask the mom why she was smiling and laughing! I found NOTHING funny about that. Dr. Phil, I really hope that you keep tabs on this family and do an update show on them. I would love to come and see firsthand how much they have changed. I know I have been harsh, I do feel very strongly about this, being in the same situation. I hope it is not too late for this family, and that they take it as seriously as I think most of America does!

April 18, 2007, 1:28 pm CDT

04/18 Wrongful Punishment

I am so angry about what I've just seen.  As a teacher of 11 years, I cannot tell you how many families like these I've had to deal with.  Parents want to be friends instead of parents and then their children are unleashed upon society and schools, leaving the rest of us having to deal with them.  How are teachers supposed to handle this when we don't have any support from home, and quite often, the school administration.  Trust me people, this is not a rare scenario by any stretch of the imagination.  Welcome to our future.

April 18, 2007, 1:29 pm CDT

Dr. Phil missing out on mental health of teens

Dr. Phil's show today was a terrible display of diagnosis.  These teens show obvious signs of Oppositional Defiance Disorder and possible Conduct Disorder.  I know because my son is now in a residential treatment facility & displayed similar behaviors -  Failing in school, outright defiance of authority.  Was a drug & alcohol assessment taken?  My son's behaviors escalated when he became involved with drugs.  I, too, was threatened by my son & it became physical twice.  I also have another son who is an honor roll student & successful athlete and who is very respectful.  Do NOT put all the blame on the parents.  Did you research the behaviors at school as well?  I heard a mention of fighting there also.  If they are failing so many classes, there is defiance of authority at school also. These are serious mental health issues that need to be addressed. I was sickened by today's show.  Irresponsible journalism at it's finest.
April 18, 2007, 1:30 pm CDT

04/18 Wrongful Punishment

Quote From: awardcyw

     I just started watching the show, will these kids be taken away from their parents for this type of abuse? I can't believe what I am watching, I hope something is done to help and protect these teenagers
While I agree with you that the parents are WAY out of line and are reaping what they sowed, please acknowledge that this won't just turn around if the parents are the only ones dealt with. 
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