Message Boards

Topic : 02/10 Parent vs. Parent

Number of Replies: 17
New Messages This Week: 0
Last Reply On:
Created on : Friday, February 06, 2009, 02:12:02 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
During tough financial times, families face some of the biggest pressures. When parents are on edge and fighting with each other, children are often a casualty of their hostility. Dr. Phil's guests Melissa and Robert say their four-year marriage and blended family is on the rocks because they argue all the time about how to parent and discipline their three teenage sons. Melissa says the greatest cause for concern is that a big marijuana problem has cropped up in their house. The couple says their 14-year-old, Ben, is spiraling out of control, and they're fighting a losing battle to help him; their 15-year-old son, Jacob, has stopped smoking pot but is in a relationship with a 13-year-old that Melissa thinks is wholly inappropriate; and 20-year-old Brandon gets high at home and frequently clashes with his stepfather. Are these troubled parents headed for divorce? Find out if this family under pressure has one last fight in them, and whether they will stand united, or be a family divided. Talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.

As of January, 2009, this message board will become "Read Only" and will be closed to further posting. Please join the NEW Dr. Phil Community to continue your discussions, personalize your message board experience, start a blog and meet new friends.

February 10, 2009, 3:32 pm CST

by the way...............

My mother knew who I was talking to on the phone just by the tone of my voice.  It was scary.  I keep tabs on my children also.  It was bred in me.  My poor kids all look identical and could never get away with anything in the town we live in.  When they did do something questionable, look out...........
February 10, 2009, 7:11 pm CST

I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy

Hi Dr. Phil, I hope this couple can get through it. I have been there couldn't make it a happy place. To be fair to all the kids just feel like extentions of all the crap the parents have gone through. I found it interesting what they said that they don't really care about what the parents do they are just getting through it. New relationships between husband and wife need to be nutured. But making time with the kids and involving yourself in there activities is one of the most important things. I have 1 daughter and 2 sons and my partner has 2 sons. I made it a point of getting to know them playing games with them and learning about what they like. Even with all my efforts it was so hard we didn't end up making through and we have lived in different homes longer than we lived together. Now the kids are all in their 20's but and they know that if they ever need me I will always be there for them and I generally know more about what they are doing than their Dad. So my best suggestion is from personal experinice is ....


1) take time out as parents to have date night once a week and not in the home.

2) All kids must understand that respect must be given to the other parent and the parents of the kids must make that mandatory. No matter what. You said it best Dr. Phil when you said your son got a bit mouthy with your wife and you said Don't ever speak to MY WIFE LIKE THAT. Well put.

3) Dad/ Mom make time with the kids and thats not reading while the child is playing video games bring them into the mix ask them to help you with chore. They need to know that they are a part of the family and it's not all about New Mom and Dad.

4) Ask open ended questions and get them talking. Go for a drive one on one,, go do a sport take them out for supper one on one. Especially boys it's the best way to get them to talk!! They love food but not lectures so leave that at home. Get them talking to you ,they need to know someone listening and not to tell on them either. Respect their space kids are funny if you give them a chance they will tell you what you need to know leave window  open but be fore warned you may be in for a surprise once they start talking be perpared to answer the question without the anger or hurt. I always say my kids tell me everything wether I like it or not. But I wouldn't change that for the world!


My final note is I have a better relationship with the kids than with my partner. And if you had asked me that at the begining I would have said I will believe it when I see it. But I love all my kids , all 5 of them.  And they are great people. So I got 1/2 right still working on the other 1/2. God bess and all the best!

February 10, 2009, 8:04 pm CST

Good Luck

These "blended" families have caused the death of many a potentially happy marriage.  When I met my estranged wife, she came into my life with a nine year old son.  With her permission, I raised him like my own.  I coached his little league baseball and basketball teams; I was active in his studies; we did many things as a family; and I did many things with him as his male role model.  But I also insisted he learn about responsibility.  He was expected to make his bed every morning; put forth his best effort in his studies; dress appropriately for the occasion; and be polite and mannered.  Wearing his cap inside the house, especially at the dinner table, was a no-no.   The boy was a polite kid and an honor student in school.  He was an exceptional athlete.  His mother thought my "rules" were too tough.  She ended up moving her son away from me when he was 16.  Within two years, the boy went off the honor roll; he was charged as a juvenile with possession of marijuana; he was arrested twice for DWI; and he impregnated his teen girlfriend not once, but twice.  She aborted the first pregnancy.  It was more important for Mom to be a friend then it was to be her child's parent.  Once she moved away, she, for all intent and purposes, told her son he never had to listen to me ever again.


When the boy was 21 and independent, I thought the coast was clear to seriously resume my relationship with his mother.  We got married.  I married her on the beach standing in the Caribbean in the Virgin Islands.  In the end, the son turned out to become a responsible person, being an exceptional father to his son; building a successful career in real estate; and actually marrying an attorney.  Naturally, I like to think many of the life lessons I tried to instill in him when he was growing up stuck, and that I had something to do with how he turned out.  Unfortunately, the mother allowed the son to remain somewhat of a divisive influence in our marriage.  My wife, in my opinion, treated me as a means to an end.  She could never find a balance between being a mother and being a wife. It felt like she had only one tank of love to give.  He got the good stuff, I got the vapors.   I always felt like I was way down on her food chain.  For our fifth anniversary in 2007, I took her to Hawaii for two weeks. 


After the trip, I started suspecting she was up to no good with her former husband, the father of her four children.  The hadn't been married for over 20 years.   Since he lived 2,500 miles away, their relationship was an emotional one.  I initiated counseling for the two of us.  She attended three sessions before telling me she didn't want to try any more.  As the movers were moving her items from the house, she told me that she knew I loved her and she loved me, but that we were "toxic" together.  She also held her index finger and her thumb about an inch apart and told me that she was that close to changing her mind and staying.  I think more than anything, that was the most painful and confusing thing she could have done.  She moved out and moved directly into his house.  He has now become the means to her end.


I guess I wrote all that to make my point that step-children can, if one party allows it, adversely impact a relationship.  And this influence can continue even after the "kids" are no longer children.  I loved my wife dearly then, and after almost 17 months, I love and miss her dearly now.  I guess sometimes love just isn't enough.  In this case it obviously wasn't enough for my wife.  I think she's made a terrible mistake, but only time will tell.


I wish this couple the best, and the fact they're both agreeable to counseling they just may have a fighting chance.  But they have many obstacles in front of them.  Three teen-aged boys, two doing drugs daily, is going to be quite a tough nut to crack.  Tough decisions will need to be made, and both these parents have to learn to stand tall and firm, and, at all cost, have each others back.  Like I told my estranged wife, kids are like water, they will find and will travel down the path of least resistance.  It won't take them long to figure out which parent offers the easy path.  If one parent bends, the entire effort will break.  The strong parent will begin - and I'm certain it has already begun in this family - to lose respect for the weaker.  Once respect starts to leave a relationship, everything else starts to fall quickly.             

February 10, 2009, 8:35 pm CST


I have been he has married for 3 years to a wonderful man that has a 10 year old son that visits about 15 days a month. I have a 16 year old daughter that leaves with us full time and we have a 2 year old together. My husband's ex wife feels the 10 year old should be in charge on when he comes and go in regards to his visitation. So every time he comes over I walk on egg shells because if he doesn't like the rules or what he is asked to do, he asked to go back to his moms. I have 2 other children that have rules and it is crazy when the 10 year old is over. My husband doesn't really discipline and I don't want to be the reason he wants to go home because my husband will lose time with his son, but the other kids still have to follow the house rules. It is ripping us apart and I don't know what to do. I get so stressed when I find out that he is coming over.
February 10, 2009, 10:03 pm CST

02/10 Parent vs. Parent

I can't imagine the bad things being said about these two parents, plus the kids!  I know the two younger boys and they have never been anything but respectful. This father was willing to help myself, husband and four of our closest friends in a major time of need and if we did in fact need it, we wouldn't have had any way of getting it.  I don't know him more than saying a passing hello or asking how the kids are doing in the sport appropriate to the season. Yet he was willing to do so much for us.  Rob has done more for these two boys than most men would man up to. I can also say when he looks at his kids, there is a gleam in his eye that shows the love he has for them.  As far as Melissa, I'm sorry to say, I don't know much about her and I really don't think she's a bad person in any way.  She came this far and that's more than most would do these days.  I think she deserves respect.  She's in it for the kids first?  How often do you hear that?  Wow!  She said she's insecure?  That takes gut to not only want to help her own son, but two she married into.  You go Melissa! You're already getting stronger by the minute.


I really only hope the best for them.  I don't know the 20 yr old, but I hope he finds that pot is not the answer.

As for Ben, I do think he's in for a long haul.  He's such a loveable kid, I can only hope he pulls out.  Sorry to put you last Jake, but you seemed to start to pull yourself out of hardship. Just stay straight, do the right thing.  It will make you even happier in the end! I promise. 


One last thing.  Do they not have any close enough friends or family to help them through this tough time? 

That was never mentioned in the show and I can't imagine going through anything like this alone. 


I sincerely hope and pray the family will come together and make them closer than ever.

February 11, 2009, 2:42 pm CST

What Happened To Dr. Phil???

Man, was Dr. Phil asleep at the switch on this show.


This couple's marriage is a train wreck - and yet he offered  them no direction as to what to do about those 3 drones they call for Sons - other than offering them councelling.  You never councelled them about the importance of  establishing a united front.


Why didn't he tell the wimp of a Husband to 'Man up";  This family needs a hero (to use his own advice) and yet he never directed any advice to the parents.


For example.


Mom went on to say how she had "bought her (20 yr. old) Son EVERYTHING he ever needed" ........ding ding ding ding - alarm bells - don't you think that's how the problems started??  Now she said she doesn't pay his bills anymore, and he's getting calls from collection agencies......WELL DUH.


How about telling the parent to tell the 20 year Slug to GET A JOB.  He's setting a bad example for the other 2 and he should be told "You've got 3 months to find yourself a job and then it's time to move out and make it on your own."  He's 20. Spoon feeding him everything he wants/needs (including supplying him with money to buy pot)  isn't going to do anything but perpetuate the problem.


What about the 2  younger guys, Ben & Jacob.  Smoking pot is against the law.  Why didn't you tell the parent about  establishing some really basic house rules and making the rules  stick.  Ie.  Stop smoking pot in the house or 1) we'll take away TV/Compute privledges.; we'll take away their Cell Phones (they are probably paid for by the Parents) we'll stop driving you to any events/parties/arenas you want to go to at the drop of a hat -  do SOMETHING that impacts their life to a point where they'll get the message.  Action/consequence.  YOU DIDN'T MENTION ANY OF THOSE THINGS -  breaking your own rules.


I was really dissappointed and thought you failed them badly.

Of course they need councelling;  they didn't need to come on the Dr. Phil show to be told that.

There were some really BASIC steps that you missed.


Surprised in Canada!


Bethany Belton



February 17, 2009, 5:48 pm CST


I was a single parent of 3 kids for 10 years before I got remarried.  My kids were 14, 16 and 19 when we got married.  My husband jumped in right away to try and discipline my kids but it was for things that didn't need disciplining.  My husband is a retired army drill sargent and he treated my kids like they were new recruits.  My daughter would cry everytime he yelled at her.  If there was a fingerprint on a glass in the cupboard, he would scream that she needed to do it again.  I told her one night after he yelled at her that she didn't need to listen to him... and he was standing right there.  My husband still brings it up every chance he gets.  He never had kids and doesn't have a clue how to raise them...  I told him back then not to make me choose between him and my kids because he would lose.  

       I have never had disciplining problems with my kids... when my son was 14, he smoked pot and I found a pipe and marijuana in his backpack..(I was looking for a pencil, NOT snooping) and I asked him what it was and he said "it's not mine".   I asked him if he was smoking pot and he said "so what if I am"?  I lunged at him and he took off to the bathroom and locked himself in.  I banged on the door and told him to let me in.   He said "f-- you".   Without even thinking about it, I kicked in the bathroom door, reached in and unlocked it, went inside and he was standing in the shower, up on the ledge against the wall, shaking.  I went for him and put my hands up around his neck and raised him up so his feet were dangling..  I screamed at him that he would not be doing any drugs or drinking or smoking and that he should know that I would visit him every weekend in prison or juvenile hall, where ever he ends up and that I am the only person on this earth that loves him more than life.  I told him I called the police to come and pick him up along with his drugs. 

    He cried and cried... he promised that he would never do it again.  I flushed his drugs down the toilet and crushed his pipe and then hugged him and told him I loved him.

   Today, that boy is in the US Air Force and he still tells his friends that he can't smoke or drink because "my mom will kick my ass".   :)   I have good kids.  I'll be damned if I let somebody else discipline my kids.


First | Prev | 2 | Next Page | Last Page