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Topic : 08/27 Bully Dads

Number of Replies: 977
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Created on : Friday, April 27, 2007, 02:00:31 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 05/02/07) They threaten, scream, intimidate and even bite. They’re not tantrum-throwing kids … they’re bullying dads! Shannon has only been married for three months but says she’s ready for a divorce. She says her husband, Kevin, calls her kids “fat,” “lazy” and “losers,” and has physically assaulted her son. She even called the police on him three weeks before their recent wedding. Kevin says he feels like he’s being pushed to his breaking point and intimidates his stepchildren because he is not allowed to punish them. To find out what was going on, Dr. Phil set up cameras in the couple’s home. You won’t believe what they reveal! Can Shannon and Kevin save this marriage, or was it doomed from the start? Share your thoughts, join the discussion.

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April 29, 2007, 2:07 pm CDT

limler what do you do when this happens?

Quote From: limler

How about when your own biological father bullies their child. I have seen my husband get in my sons face as if my son was a man and say "come on, do something."  My son wanted to leave for a while but now he isn't sure.  If I did, he has told me he doesn't want me to have anyone else because they would treat him mean as a stepchild.  I told him I wouldn't allow that to happen and he said, "you let dad do it to me."  I am soooooooo unsure of what to do.  Best of luck to the people on the show.

I mean when dad is bullying your son are you at work or where?  You say your son wanted to leave for a while but doesn't want you to have anyone else?   If I'm reading correctly when you say your son wanted to leave you're saying he's still a kid & him leaving would be him wanting you to leave your husband with your son in tow?  I'm not sure what your leaving has to do with you having someone else. 


I have 3 sons with the youngest now being 19 yrs. old & frankly there are times during their adolescense that they will test authorities around them & even the strenght of their father.  We often had the kids request an arm wrestling match & it was always met with a smirk of my husband who would agree, win as fast as he could & then as the kid walked away shaking their heads at how strong dad still is my husband would look at me & say "I'm not sure how much longer I can do that & I wish they'd stop the tests".  I believe it's natural for them to want to see just how much of an "equal" they are to their parents.  But the offer always came from the kids & the win wasn't something that was gloated about by hubby & he'd never ask them to "bring it on".  That's instigating a fight and turns a test of strength into something that's a confrontation.  I'm not sure in what fashion your husband is saying "come on, do something" I mean is this in the mist of him repremanding the kid for doing something?  The only time I've ever heard of a man saying "come on give me your best shot" to his son was when onee of my kids friends had put his fist up to his mother when she was giving him a verbal punishment for something.  He held his fist up to her in a threatening manner & she retreated to the kitchen.  Of course in the course of the day when the father found out on the phone while at work he came home furious & gave the boy the option of trying that with him "some one give me your best shot".  This was NOT a couple who used physical punishments on their kids but some times as kids get older right or wrong they'll use different tactics to see if they can intimidate a parent & physical confrontation is one of those tactics.  When I heard of this it was my sons that told me the story & were just shocked that this boy did this because "Never mind the fact you know if you touched your mother your father would come home & kick your butt, you just don't ever raise your fist to your mother?"  It was here that Iknew some how some way regardless of what we got right or wrong when it came to knowing you don't hit a woman the message had gotten through to my sons & it was lesson learned.  


I think it's one thing if a kid is just trying to test a fathers strenght & a father feels he need to stand his ground by saying "come on I'm right here" but if a father is yelling & screaming at a kid & the kid is retreating & the father is yelling "come on, do something" as in him wanting the kid tomake a mistake of being physical so he's got an excuse to hit the kid back as a mother I'd be interviening.  I wouldn't be waiting to leave I'd be stepping in between & I'd be saying "you need to cool down."  Your son is correct in that you let it happen with his father & what's to say you'll not let it happen with a step father?  Where are you when thisis happening?  When it's over then what happens?  If you're not stepping in because you're afraid of your husband & him physically harming you then again your kid is right in that you've let it happen this time & you'd let it happen again if there was a step father.  Of course I'm not sure why the idea of a step parent is even part of the equation when it comes to leaving your husband. 


If your husband is having a problem with controling his anger & is abusive when your son says "Mom I wouldn't want you to have anyone else because they would treat me mean as a stepchild"  the answer isn't "I wouldn't allow that tohappen" the answer is "well we'll cross that bridge when & if we ever come from it, because the problem at hand is your fathers temper and making sure that you're safe now."  The idea is that his fathers temper being unleashed on him was something that happened and even though you "let dad do that to him" leaving is for his protection now.  You have to prove you are going to protect him & he's thinking right now you didn't!  Leaving is the first step in proving you ARE now protecting him.  I should think if you were leaving because of abuse that getting yourself out would be the real focus and not who the next romantic interest is going to be. 


You don't say any of the things that have been done about your husband up until now.  Have you talked to him about it & explained that you think he's got a anger control problem?  Have you asked him to go to couseling?  Have you explained your son isn't a man but still a boy?  Have you told him that you want him to stop it or you're going to leave him? 

April 29, 2007, 2:27 pm CDT

javertech at least you stepped in

Quote From: javertech

I have been married to the same man for 23 years and have two children. My children have been bullied by their own dad. He has called them names and occasionally gotten overly aggressive with them. I have had to step in on more than one occasion to stop what he was doing. I think on the part of my husband the bullying goes back to how he was treated as a child. His mother was abusive both verbally and physically. It is hard to stay married to someone who wants to bully his way through life. I just have to bully him back when he gets out of line and straighten him back out. I have contemplated divorce many times because of his bullying behavior.
I don't believe that this dind of aggressive behaviors should be tolerated period.  I hope that through the years your children have seen and picked up you & your stepping in and have seen that their fathers behavior is *wrong*.  IMO Behaviors are taught as much & if not more than they are inherited.  If they're seeing their father ranting & verbally abusing people including them then that's what they're learning in terms of behavior.  You're able to see that his bullying is something that came from his mother's abuse & this *will* continue in your kids.  If there are times when your husband is rational in thought & you're able to talk to him then try explaining & appealing to the side of him that experienced the abuse as a child & tell him you want to get help.  Unless he'd be willing to get help I personally would leave there.  I do not really believe in divorce &/or certainly not as fast as marriages are thrown away today.  I always knew however, that being afraid in my own home was something I just could not live with & would be the 1 thing that would drive me out but fast.  I had girlfriends who would be tip toing around the house so as not to "make their dad mad" & they were always terrified to set them off.  There was no such fear when I went home & my parents were old school!   If I talked back or was rude etc. I might have got slapped or yelled at but the idea of a mistake or too much noise wouldn't have set off mom or dad so that they were seen as some mosters.  I just remember all those friends literally hiding in their rooms & such & there was none of that at home.  HOme should be your haven from the world not the battle grounds.
April 29, 2007, 2:41 pm CDT

05/02 Bully Dads

Quote From: cuddles05





Actually this woman here have children that are not his biological children and for her to sever ties would be a lot easier than for a woman who's going to have to share custody.  This is not 20 years. ago & there are plenty of places she can go to get help.  This woman should have left and while I'm sure she's very afraid I'd be more afraid to stay.  For him to "come after her"  is a possibility but him hurting her kids is almost a given.  There's *no reason* for her to stay.  If this man loved her he would not show it by hurting her kids. 


I have not had the experience of an abusive husband but I have had a sister who had to deal with an abusive husband.  Luckily for her he tired of her & found a girlfriend & left her.  She had no idea at the time the HUGE favor he had done for her.  In some ways the other poster is correct in that these women are sick & my sisters thinking certainly wasn't her in a healthy place at the time.  Had he not left her she would not have left him & he was abusive.  When she relates stories now she connot believe that she stayed as long as she did & that at the time she didn't want to split!  She was very sick in her thinking & she'd be the first to tell you that!  I don't think 20 years. ago the shelters were as helpful or as readily available as they are today or even had the programs they offer today.  Regardless if my husband hurt one of my kids I'd be gone if I had to eat from garbage cans & prostitue myself to survive. 

April 29, 2007, 2:54 pm CDT

Mercy for the Kids!!!

I am not thrilled about the step-father bullying the kids. I have three boys amd my husband is their stepfather. My husband never bullied my boys like that. Some one needs to take him to the barn and horse whip him. That is unexcusable, uncalled for, unnessecary, burtal, mean, and horrible. The stepfather does not have the right to bully, hit, push, shouve, pick a fight,or try and fight a child like a grown adult that can defend themselves. The children can not defend themselves against a grown man, 5'10", 250 pounds. Go figure. That man is nuts or what?
April 29, 2007, 4:01 pm CDT


If you are calling the police on your 'fiance' three weeks before the wedding - HELLO, don't marry the loser.  What is it with desperate women?  I was married for 26 years - he didn't abuse me or our children. That marriage would never have occurred had I had one moment of terror, bullying, physical or mental abuse. Get a backbone and make a safe, happy life for yourself first, and make your children your second priority.  They are the ones who are being hurt the most in all of this - shame on both adults in this mess.
April 29, 2007, 4:11 pm CDT

Why Oh Why?

  First of all this man is physically abusing children younger and smaller than he, is totally unacceptable.!! It reminds me of high school being bullied by the older and bigger kids who thought they were better than me - I felt isolated and ashamed. Think of what this man's actions is doing to these children.

  Why is the mother still with him?- If that were me and someone who is not allowed to punish my children is bullying them and physically abusing them-I'd be out of there so fast -his head would spin.! There would be no question about how to fix my relationship with him other than-how quick can i get rid of this loser?

  This lady has a lot of work ahead  of  her to heal these children and their relationship with her.

  Please leave this LOSER and save your kids!!!

April 29, 2007, 6:26 pm CDT


I grew up with a father who was a bully and a bigot.  He needs to get  help or she needs to get out. 

 True to the profile of a bully, my dad didn't beat on the boys and they grew up to be taller than he was.  A man who "was a man" had sons.  He had no respect for women and I was his firstborn.  He pounded on my Mom and all I can remember is a razor strop that hung on the wall.  I tend to supress unpleasant things, so I cannot honestly remember if it was ever used on me, but if it wasn't, why is it so prominent in my memory?   


April 29, 2007, 8:10 pm CDT

05/02 Bully Dads

Quote From: ladymaiddo

Here we go again. A no brainer. Kick him to the curb and get the rest of the family fixed. Your life is too important for this stuff. YOU DONT have to put up with it. Ever. The first abuse is the last abuse for me..I would have NEVER let it go on that long. HELLO!!!




April 29, 2007, 10:58 pm CDT

I am looking foward to Dr. Phill putting this so called dad in his place

This dad really needs help. He is destroying their family and physically and emotionally abuseing them. He may go to far one day and really hurt those kids. My stepdad abused me and my sister growing up. I am 34 and I still haven't been able to fully put it behind me. Please help them before its to late. I wish people like Dr phill were around when we were growing up. Thanks Dr. phill for helping people.
April 30, 2007, 6:11 am CDT

Does he only bully his family or does it extend into his everyday life?

Does this man only do this at home? Does he get along with other people? I know that a lot of people have a different personality that they show to other people.And a demeanor that they save for the home. It doesn't make any sense that he says he mistreats them because he's not allowed to discipline them.Is he mentally ill? I DO feel that the kids need to be taken out of this situation.
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