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Topic : 06/10 Deadly Kids

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Created on : Friday, October 12, 2007, 02:54:58 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 10/18/07) What if you feared your own child? Dr. Phil's guests say they worry that one day they may die at the hands of their offspring. Steven and Tori say Steven's 9-year-old son, Donovan, poisoned his siblings and then laced Tori's drink with aquarium cleaner. They say he laughed after his family members went to the hospital and has not shown remorse for his sinister acts. He's now in a treatment facility, but should Tori and Steven allow him back into their home once he's released? Then, Susie narrowly escaped death after her stepson tried to brutally kill her with a gun and then a knife. He's now behind bars, so why does she fear he will try to finish the job? And, Carrie and Lance fear their son, Michael, will be the next shocking murder headline. They say he threatened to cut his teacher's eyes out with a knife and kill his younger sister. When Michael becomes enraged, Carrie locks herself in the bedroom for fear of what he might do. Find out what Dr. Phil cameras caught on tape while at Carrie and Lance's house. And, why do the parents feel their son's behavior is influencing their daughter? What does Dr. Phil think is at the root of Michael's rage? Talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.

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October 18, 2007, 3:41 pm CDT

I feel for you..

Quote From: niteowl918

its up to the parents to teach the kids maturity and empathy is that what i read?


we have been teaching our kids these things for 18 and 14 years yet our 14 yr old is still trying to kill us?


so im sorry once more could you please tell us parents that have delt with these issues for years how it is


that we are not properly raising our children??????????????????

 I know that no matter how hard you try you can't 'correct' it. It doesn't do any good to assign blame because it has nothing to do with parenting skills It  is a real tragedy when mental illness hits kids.My grandson was like that too and I watched my daughter struggle for years.My heart goes out to you and families like yours. The rest of us can just look on and say, There but for the grace of God..... 
October 18, 2007, 4:05 pm CDT


I am a survivor of a sibling that hated me practically from the day I was born for no apparent reason... As stated on the show, it doesn't just go away. I still have nightmares from my childhood that have affected me my whole life. My parents didn't know what to do, so they didn't do much of anything. When they divorced, my sister became that much worse. The behavior escalated as she became a teenager. I was given a deadbolt lock for a birthday, so I could be safe when I came home from school, until my mother got home from work.

Anyway, the details get much worse. I would just like to say for anyone out there, you must seek help for all members of the family. The scars may fade, but the emotional damage doesn't ever really go away. You just learn to accept it is a part of who you are.

October 18, 2007, 4:06 pm CDT

10/18 Deadly Kids

When I saw this show today I thought - how many people can actually relate to this episode? And now I see all these posts and wow, a lot of people are dealing with this. I can't imagine how difficult it must be.  Maybe I underestimate the good that Dr. Phil can do with a show like this.
October 18, 2007, 4:45 pm CDT

10/18 Deadly Kids

Quote From: sugarbuzz

I just watched this show because of the subject, and I was shocked that a solution which worked on me wasn't mentioned.


My sister was born when I was three, and I really didn't like her.  Once it came to the point that I actually began to beat her, as an infant, while she was strapped down in her car seat and my mom went inside to get something.  I got out of my seat and my mom came back to a screaming baby.


So, she did a very logical thing, which she didn't do too often.  She hauled me out of the car and gave me the worse spanking of my life for doing that to my defenseless sister.  I still remember being on the floor as she assailed my bottom, but even though it was shocking as a child, I never did that to my sister again, and also now that I'm a mature twenty year old who doesn't drink, do drugs, or even smoke, I can look back and say I was a brat, and I'm not mad at her for what she did.


I think a lot of parents, nowadays, are afraid to actually pull down their child's pants and discipline them.  It is not abuse if you don't make them bruise, it is a measure of discipline which affects a child more than words ever can.  My mom let me know that what I did was wrong, and I know it was.


I was still a handful growing up, and puberty was the worse.  My mom kept telling me, when I was a child, "if you keep trying to hurt your sister, she WILL get you back."  But, as I stated before, those words meant nothing to me.   I didn't care because I thought I had a solid foundation of logic.  I hated my sister because she was annoying.


Well, now I'm older, and I'm very sad to say that making my sister so defensive is rearing its nasty head.  I saw the sister of the nine year old violent boy, how she was learning to be violent, and I saw my sister.  She's an alright person, but she believes the world is all about her.  She uses her strength, at the age of seventeen, to hurt me and my dad, but all she gets is sent to her room.  If my dad ever rose a belt though, she screams like a child because she knows that correction for her actions is needed.


So, I'm watching this show, and am thinking "alright, the kids are getting power by being acknowledged that their actions invoke fear."  Hey, that's a HUGE boost for kids.  Children are weaker than those older than them, and they know it.  Why give them that power when all you have to do is assert your own?  Animals do it, and it works.  And I don't care if people say "well we're better than animals" because if you look at the facts, animals don't rape one another, they don't kill with no reason...  So why would humans do that?


It sickened me that those children were turned away to be 'psychologically analyzed'.  I have a friend who went to a psychologist, and it was just wrong.  By the time I moved away, she had started to apply being 'mentally disturbed' into excuses, and the more she thought like that, the worse she got.


It's like a placebo, a fake pill.  You tell someone it will make them pass out within five minutes, give it to them, and five minutes later you can see them asleep and say "it was a Tylenol".  Humans ARE smart beings, but they make things more complicated than need be, and because of that life itself is complex.


So, Phil, do another show in ten years for those young boys, and show people the results along with the methods of correction the parents used.  THAT would be a good show.  What you showed though was how children CAN have power, and apparently the parents never had the spine to smack their child like they deserve.  Do you know how many children watched that?  I wonder how many have gotten ideas from your show as the adults in the audience watch captivated disturbed parents, and their fear.  You said yourself that many children wish for a magic want...


The boy who used poison, yes, keep the stuff away, I agree whole heartedly.  Also, if he ever does something again, make the little brat feel the inferiority he's been avoiding.  The nine year old also should have been dragged outside, as he IS a weak child, and spanked right in front of the mother and the smacked child.  Then, the nine year old WOULD know that he couldn't hide and scream to avoid judgment, and the child who was smacked wouldn't have to feel that other children have power over him.  I grew up beaten up by a gang of boys at school, and to this day I feel inferior and meek.  So, you missed the story of one victim Phil.


So, if anyone read this through, thank you for reading what I see as common sense.


There is no light, without darkness to define it,

the bad is needed to describe the good, and vice versa.

But when the definition of one side is too strong,

remember two negatives make a positive.


So, do what instinct dictates, and stop listening to the over analyzing voice in your head.  If it talks you out of the correct answer on a multiple choice test, it can do far more.  Things are never too far out of hand to correct, and when you do it properly then life will be good.


I wish all those who have had children like this the best in life, and I wish the children the best as well.  If the parent gives up, then so does the child.

I can say I was shocked to read this.  Disipline like that DOES NOT work for every kid.  Just because you dont leave bruses doesnt mean that its not abuse.  Take it from someone that knows.  I have a 4 year old little girl that the one time she was swatted on the butt took that and ran with it and now when she is angry she will pound on herself untill it leaves bruise.  So do you REALLY think that ME spanking her is going to make any impact other then to say that that kind of behavor is right?  I think Dr phil was right in saying that these kids need to be evaluated NOW before things get worse.

October 18, 2007, 4:48 pm CDT

Step son displays the same behavior

My husband and I have been facing this same problem with his 13 year old son. It's gotten to the point that during his last visit we found him on the computer in IM's asking his mother for permission to kill one of us. During this time he was completely out of control and in one of his fits.  While he was in this IM he was checking online for assault weapons and knives.  What's strangest about his behavior is that once he has his outburst which at the time are very frightening and always involving his mother in some aspect, after a long talk and lots of tears with his father he becomes almost sedated in his mannerisms. It's like he's at peace and the rest of the visit remains easy to get along with and well adjusted.


There is a long history of turmoil surrounding the child and the parents. My husband has been talked about in horrible ways and the son even believes at one time his father tried to kidnap him because of a custody dispute. All of these are lies.

The child has been exposed to sex at age 8 by a child of a friend of his mothers. This is full sex, not playing Dr's. The mother fabricated what actually occured and the truth came out on one of his visits. This is what prompted the custody battle since custody was never established. At this time he was 9 and was refusing to go home because he was forced to continue to play with that child at his moms. When he was forced to go back to his mothers, he was traumatized. He will now say he doesn't remember anything of his summer with us when he was 9. His youngest sister who was only 5 at the time, often mentions things we did when my husband was stationed in Virginia. My step-son draws a complete blank or says he does.


He displays serious anger issues not just here but in school and has been suspended for beating up a girl. He's been disrespectful to his female teachers.  He has been caught trying to burn down our woods and we have a hard time keeping matches or lighters away from him at any given time. When my husband shared the issue with the mother, she laughed about him being a pyro and then her reward was buying him more lighters for his zippo collection. We've had one situtuation when we left him with his older step-sister while we all went on an outing. He requested not to go along in leiu of staying home to finish a movie that was due back. While she was watching him, he pretended he was using the bathroom and snuck down the street, told a neighbor we wouldn't let him use the phone, called his mom to come get him and came back in the house acting as if he just came out of the bathroom. My daughter had no clue what transpired until his mom came to the house, honked the horn and he went tearing out the door. This caused a big scene with her showing up where we were and yanking the youngest child from my husbands hand. My husband not wanting a scene didn't not stop her. 

The childs ability to deceive, mirrors the mothers and it's quite disturbing.


This last visit when we found out the conversation between he and his mother, he had told my husband that he hated me and his step-sisters and even the grandchild. I told him that I didn't believe him. That I know he loves me and that regardless of how he acts, I love him. He said well "I'm a real good faker, I've been doing it all along".  It was so hard for me to comprehend because I am the first one he comes running to when he gets to the house. And believe me, this about killed me to hear these words. My daughters have to beg for "alone" time for themselves because he's always wanting to be with them. None of this made sense with the exception of the mothers encouragement. When my husband had his long talk with him, the child was litterally bawling and saying how confusing all of this is. That he wants to talk to someone. My husband drove all over town trying to find someone to speak to the child but it was a dead end. No one would see him on an emergency bases and wanted to schedule a visit. Well he was due back home in a week so it never happened. The mother won't take him for help. The rest of the week he wouldn't leave my side. Kept coming up and hugging me. Wanted me to do things with him. He loves to cook so I bought things to make sushi and he treated us all to his sushi creations. It was a great week.


There is another child that I mentioned prior and she has yet to be used as a pawn in any of this. It's almost as if the older has been enlisted as the minnion. If the youngest tries to talk about anything that has to do with her life, her friends, school etc all on her own, the oldest tells her to zip it.


They have been moved out state away from their father, violating a court order visitation. In the time they moved from here, they have moved an additional 5 times in a year span. They are always unkempt, teeth are suffering from lack of oral hygiene. The son tries to go without bathing here and the daughter said he's gone as long as 2 weeks without a bath at home. This breaks my heart because he smells when he gets here and I know he has been picked on in school about his odor. The mother in an email she sent me a few years back, laughed about him being the stinky boy and the daughter being the one in class who eats paste. I still have that email.

They are often missing many days of school. Not one year of their school life has been less than 2 weeks missed.  One year it totaled 45 days and this is basically the norm. There is no stability in their lives and I feel that aside from the mothers intentional alienation of the father, she as a mother fails miserably and this is part of the sons anger issues. The mother also encourages the son to use his step fathers last name and the son has told his real dad that he's ashamed of who he is himself.


The youngest who is now 10 is the primary care giver when the mother is at work. This leaves her in charge of the 13 year old and a 6 year old. She told my daughter that it's too stressed because the oldest won't help and doesn't have to do anything and it's all on her. If something isn't done, she gets the punishment. She stutters now and has anxiety attacks. When she is here, she will tell us that she loves being taken care of, that at home she is the one that does it all. She will say she hates leaving us and usually the day before, she starts getting all nervous. But at the same time she does miss her mother which is understandable and she will state this. She will say how proud she is to have 4 parents who love her and that she's the luckiest girl in the world. And she will tell you exactly why her brother acts the way does. The day of the outburst she came in my room and hugged me and said she didn't understand why its ok for her to love her daddy but not her brother.


They are due back here at Christmas and we are nervous. We don't know what to expect as usual. It always starts off great the first day or two, then it's a call from the mom and then the deliberate actions start.

I am afraid of how far the child will go. If we stop seeing him, that will cause unrepairable harm to him. Thinking his father doesn't love him. We truly are scared.



October 18, 2007, 4:52 pm CDT


Hi  Dr. Phil:  I love your show.  I, also, realize that you want to protect children and parents from any type of harm. .   I don't think it was a good idea for you to pursue this subject matter.  The reason for that is because children do watch your program and millions of them are suffering from some type of mental disorder that even their parents are now aware of.  I know you warn parents when a program that you air is not appropriate for them.  Many parents don't listen to your warning.  I feel very strongly that if some child who has some type of mental disorder sees this segment he/she might get ideas to do the same thing as this little boy did.  I've noticed that when some form of tragedy of a violent nature that involves children or teenagers is broadcasted in the news for a long period of time it is repeated several times by some other young child or teenager in some other area of the world.   I'm not a psychologist but I am very much aware that one has to be careful when airing a program on a subject matter of this nature.   I have met several families who are terrified of their young child or teenager and no matter what advice you give them they won't do anything about it.  Dr. Phil I know you care so much about what people go through but in this case perhaps you could of written a book about this subject.  I will still continue to watch your show. I think you have a beautiful, talented wife (she's a sweetie) and two wonderful sons who both of you are so proud of.  
October 18, 2007, 5:02 pm CDT


Quote From: ladywallace

I am reminded of a saying "What will make you laugh now will make you cry later" we need to be parents to our children and stop trying to be their friends, and it starts at an early age (toddlers) we think its cute when they talk back and bite and kick and throw temper-tantrums, we are only setting or selves up for this type of abuse when we allow such behavior, I refuse to be intimidated by a child that i raised, clothed and fed, you must demand respect not tolerate the lack thereof.
 I totally agree.  Yes some children may have mental probs and so on,,,,,but part of what these parents recieve is what they allow.  OOOOOooooo  Im afraid of my small child,,,,,,,,NOT ,,,,,,,,,,,,,
October 18, 2007, 5:15 pm CDT

I understand

I just want people to know that what they have said in this show is very true.  My husband and I know this all too well.  We have a little one at the age of 7, almost 8, who is going through this exact same thing.  She is very violent, towards adults and other children --- including her twin sisters which are two.    What we have done is very extensive therapy (a psychiatrist visit every week), medicine after medicine, and have now gone to the point of putting her in a special situation for schooling because I don't want my daughter becoming as violent as the young gentleman of 16.  What we have been told is that there isn't much we can do because she gets into such a rage that she doesn't know what she is doing.  It is very hard for us to go anywhere without her because I fear for those that we would ever leave her with.  All that we know is that we love her and she is ours and will do EVERYTHING possible to bring her back to the beautiful little girl we remember her to be from not too long ago.  I just wanted to say that I am very happy to see that there are families going through what we have been going through for 2 years now and that we aren't alone.  If anyone else could share some advice on the subject, we are more than ready to listen.  We too are looking for a cure to what seems to be almost unbearable to live with.  Thank you.
October 18, 2007, 5:15 pm CDT

Deadly kids

i think all of the couples on Dr Phil today need a Body Guard from there kids & the parents should not let the kids back in to there houses until they get some help for then
October 18, 2007, 5:16 pm CDT

I endured judgement from those with youropinion

Quote From: foxxyfire

I can say I was shocked to read this.  Disipline like that DOES NOT work for every kid.  Just because you dont leave bruses doesnt mean that its not abuse.  Take it from someone that knows.  I have a 4 year old little girl that the one time she was swatted on the butt took that and ran with it and now when she is angry she will pound on herself untill it leaves bruise.  So do you REALLY think that ME spanking her is going to make any impact other then to say that that kind of behavor is right?  I think Dr phil was right in saying that these kids need to be evaluated NOW before things get worse.

I heard so many times- if that was my daughter, she wouldn't get by with that.  You are correct that not every misbehaving child has a disorder or other issues.  However, it is very wrong to also state that all children that act out just need discipline.  We tried everything including the `swats' that you suggest- it didn't help.  My daughter had physiological and mental issues that a swat couldn't help.  Our daughter is not allowed to use her mental illness or other challenges to get by with things.  But we are still learning ways to help our daughter gain control of her issues and be able to function in the world.   We were able to keep her in our home, and did not have to place her in a professional setting, and I am thankful for that.  But your blanket response that these children just need the proper discipline is an unfair judgement towards children and their families when there are disorders and special needs involved.  I am a good parent, but it was very hurtful to have people passing judgement in very loud and pointed ways based strictly upon the behavior they witnessed without any background information.   Unless you have a child with serious mental issues,

disorders or other medical problems, you have no idea what is involved.   Appearances can truly be decieving, and rarely  are the solutions as simple as some might believe.   As a good friend once said, our children are like brown paper bags;  they all look the same until you open them up and look inside.  As you can see, these parents love their children and are looking for a solution to help them.   Sometimes the solution is not found in traditional parenting methods because all children are not typical.  

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