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Topic : 03/14 Overprotective Moms

Number of Replies: 310
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Created on : Friday, October 07, 2005, 03:41:17 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Air Date: 10/12/05) They won’t let you walk down the street alone.  They call your house five times a day, screen your calls, and monitor your every move. It’s not the FBI; it’s mothers! When 14-year-old Ashlee was on the show nearly two years ago, she said her mother, Teresa, was embarrassing and strict, and she wanted it to stop. Now she’s back and says her mom still won’t allow her to have any freedom. See the assignment Dr. Phil gave them that brought Teresa to tears. Plus, meet a 43-year old woman who says her mother is so overprotective, she calls the police if she comes home late. Can her mom learn how to let go? Share your thoughts.


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October 10, 2005, 10:45 am CDT

It's not just mom's.

I'm jumping the gun and posting before the show airs.  I don't have to see it to know what will be said - I lived it, but not from my mom - my dad was worse. 


My philosophy was as long as my parents paid my bills, I was obligated to follow their rules.  That meant not going to the library without my sister. Not leaving the house without my sister. No dating. Who wants their sister on a date? My older brother was required to chaperone our oldest sister on her dates, and the resentment was huge because my father never once offered to pay for my brother and his obligatory date to accompany her.  Although there was 9 years difference between the 2 sets of children the attitude didn't change. 


My twin sister and I were required to room together in college, and if a parent called and one of us didn't know where the other was........   I was the dishonest one who lied to prevent the hysterics.  Once my sister was grounded with no car because I returned to the dorm room at 10pm after being on the interstate for 40 miles from visiting our older sister.  We were 21 years old and 3 months from graduating.  My father's attitude was "what if something had happened", and my response was "then you should take the blame for not believing you taught us to take care of ourselves - back off".  My sister didn't receive this treatment - she followed the formula of "daddy takes care of you until your husband does". 


I never told my parents when I was interviewing for a job after I lost the first interview because my father was in attendance.  He was afraid something would happen on the trip and insisted on going along for the ride.   


I moved 500 miles away for my second job, and he panicked when he found out at the age of 26 I booked my own flight, rented a car, survived the trip - and didn't tell him until after I accepted the job. I didn't even tell him I was job hunting.  I traveled to Manhatten during those days on business - but that didn't concern him - I suppose he thought a man accompanied me the entire time.   


I bought an answering machine with a remote the time I returned home from a weeklong business trip with a weekend layover to visit friends.  I was furious when the police came knocking on my door begging me to call home because he had been calling them every 3 hours the entire weekend afraid I had an accident and couldn't get to the phone. That was the first time I raised my voice at him.  No news is good news - his name and phone number were in my wallet in case of emergency.  His response was "what if you had a flat tire", and I yelled "And just what do you think you could do 500 miles away? I am supposed to call and wait for you to drive that distance? ". 


Then there was the time in my 30's when I went on a 15 day vacation - part being an 11 day cruise.  While I was gone there were a news cast about a cruise ship that had run into trouble.  Thank goodness a sister was present to remind him the ship was in the "wrong ocean" from the ship I was on.   


Enough of these scenerio's resulted in our not speaking the last 2 years of his life.  I have no regrets.  It was his problem.  He was too overprotective. He should have been proud to have raised a child who was self-sufficient instead of  his being so self-absorbed and selfish in trying to keep "life" from happening.  I once asked my mom why she and dad treated us in such a manner, and her response was "for your own safety".  I asked "and if you had an only child you would have locked them in a closet their entire life to protect them?".  It was cruel of me, and she didn't answer, but my point was taken - too late.  A parent needs to realize that things happen, and it isn't their job to prevent those situations, but to train their child to make decisions and then be there to help pick up the pieces and learn from the mistakes.  We don't learn life and mature from the good times - we learn and grow from the bad times, and it's easier when a parent doesn't judge but assists in that growth. 


Overprotective parents are doing themselves and their children no favors in their behavior. 


Isn't it ironic that when a spouse or other adult treats a person in this manner it is considered obsessive , stalking and grounds for legal action?  So why do parents think it is OK behavior?  It isn't. 

October 10, 2005, 3:02 pm CDT

It's not about protection

My mom wasn't overprotective during my young or teen years but became overprotective when I was in my thirties and forties.  So I know it's not about protection, and it's not about me.  It's about them wanting/needing attention.   


My mom lived over 5 hours away from me.  When my sister and I would drive up there for a visit, no matter whether we arrived on time or not, by the time we got there, our mother would have worked herself up into hysteria worrying.  We came to anticipate this, and one of the last holidays we spent together, I added a couple of hours onto the estimated travel time hoping that since she wouldn't be expecting us yet, she wouldn't worry.  I expected to arrive about 5 but told her it would be 7 at least.  But when we got there two hours early, she was in the same hysterical dither as before.  I mean, it was reminiscent of the old movies where you saw silent actresses swooning and fanning themselves.   


Then after we got there, we'd usually want to go to the grocery store, and she would have a fit because she didn't want us out overnight.  Now, the other 363 days of the year, we sisters both worked and lived in a large metropolitan city without any supervision, so you can see how irrational this was.  And this little burg she was in was a small town, not at all dangerous by anyone's standards.   


So -- don't expect them to mellow out as they get older.  Whatever quirks they had young only get more pronounced -- and like in this case, some of her fears, control issues or need for attention (probably a combination) surfaced in her old age.   

October 11, 2005, 9:47 am CDT


I believe the biggest problem with overprotective parents is that the child never learns to make decisions and is thus, unable to live on their own or will forever second guess their decisions.  


I am a Mom of three boys.  They are 11, 9, and 7.  My oldest has freedoms the other two don't simply b/c he has had more life experience and has shown his responsibilities to be honorable.  My 9 yo has special needs, but is still allowed to ride his bike around the neighborhood b/c he has been taught (by me and Dad) how to do it honorably and has shown to be responsible.  I believe taking these freedoms away would cause them to second guess their independence.  Plus, I will not be here for the rest of their lives (I believe at this point) so if I don't empower them, who will?  I don't want them learning from the world, so I believe it is my job as their Mom.  They have never been in daycare, as well, b/c I didn't want someone else spending more time with them than myself (this is my choice, of course, not meant to offend anyone reading).  I believe if we teach our children right from wrong, when they get to that critical moment in life, they will have the knowledge to make a good choice.  If they choose otherwise, it is their consequence to suffer, not mine.  All three of my boys have been given consequence as a result of poor judgment, so they understand that consequences surely follow poor judgment. 



October 11, 2005, 3:26 pm CDT

It's not overprotectiveness; it's control

My stepmother's three children are in their 40s. They live abroad. But... They ALL still live with her. My sister, who is 42,  works 2 jobs; cares for her mother, who is now 80;  manages family budget, etc. My father is deceased.  But my stepmother's  son, age 43,  hasn't worked in 8  years.  Why should he? His 44 year old brother works sporadically in a band.  Their mother provides everything financially for them. They have never had to pay rent, utilities, food, medicine, etc. The 43 year old is separated. She pays for his kids' school & medical bills. She still buys clothes for her sons. In exchange, they are OBLIGATED to her. My older brother and I left; came to U.S. 30 years ago. While we were at home, things were OK, as long as we did everything the way SHE wanted them done; never answered back; never asked for anything; never expected much. I was literally afraid to speak at home, when I was younger ( ages 10-21).  She disciplined her children with beatings when they were young. Would beat them in public, on purpose, to humiliate them (her words). My sister still needs to tell her mother where she's going, when she'll be home, who she'll be with, etc. I've tried to get my sister over here, but she says she has to care for her mother. My brother & I have had a 'harder' life here, as far as supporting ourselves.....but we would not go back if she offered us a million dollars each. At least, over here, we are FREE.  

October 11, 2005, 3:29 pm CDT

It gets worse all the time!

When I was preteen (50's, early 60's), I was horrified that my mother made me call her when I arrived at my aunt's house--about a block and a half away. If I "forgot," she'd call about the time she thought I should get there. 


When I started driving, she'd often have me call when I got somewhere--again it made me really mad! 


By the time my daughter was a preteen (late 80's, early 90's), I wouldn't let her walk a block and a half--and when she started driving, it was first a pager (with just a few minutes to return my call) and later a cell phone (that she'd better answer.) She didn't like it either! 


She now has a baby girl (6 months old) and probably won't let her go outside when she's 10. 


It just gets worse all the time! 


Linda C. (HI) 

October 11, 2005, 5:31 pm CDT

One bad apple spoiles the bunch


Unfortunately we do not live in a safe world. 

I was raped, then date raped, and my house was broken into. 

My Nephew was stolen and taken for randsom.  

My sister was raped. My neice was murdered. 

My sister in law was molested several times. 

I have good reason to want to protect my kids.  

It is not to controll them. They make all their own choices. 

I am careful, I teach them, and they understand. 

I love and adore them. I never want anything bad to happen to them.  

It is my job to protect them to the best of my ability. 

I take that very seriously! It is a natural instinct to protect the ones you love. 

When nothing happens to you, you don't care or see danger. But when it happens to you life changes for you. You always pay attention to your surroundings. You become careful. 



October 11, 2005, 11:43 pm CDT

There needs to be balance

I was raped at 17 at 2:30 PM.  We don't live in a safe world. I live in a "leave it to beaver" neighborhood but I still won't let my kids ride their bikes in the neighborhood without me being outside, or at least a close watch. A child can be taken in a second and you will never know if being overprotective kept your child from a terrifying ordeal. I wouldn't wish being taken and kidnapped on my worst enemy, let alone a child. I only have a 7 year old and a 2 year old but I know already I will watch them closely - not psycho watch them, but not just give fate a chance and hope they get where they say they will be going. I only saw the preview so I have to watch the show tomorrow, but the preview was horrible - Dr. Phil telling the mother to just let her do what she wanted. I hope in the day she got to do what she wanted nothing happened, but then again, I am sure a camera crew was watching. Not good advice to give - we all don't have camera crews watching our children. Again, in all fairness I have to watch the show tomorrow - previews are always done to captivate us to watch - and I hope that is the case in this show.  


PS... I don't like Dr. Phil's new seats. LOL I always wanted to write in and ask if I could have his old "barstool" chairs, but with the new seating he seems miles away from his quests. What is the point of his distance? 

October 12, 2005, 12:19 am CDT

I protect what is important to me

To those who are reading this, 


I just wanted to let everyone know that I am protecting what I love and believe is most important to me. I was a child who had a mom who would say to my friend's parents bring her home when she is 18. I also had a mom who would send us out door to door to make money for her when I was 7 and 8 years old. I would ride my bike where ever and my mom never wanted me to check in. I was abused by a 16 year old in an area where no one could see us. I was molested by someone I babysat for. The man then stocked me for 6 months and NEVER went to jail. Because my birth mother oked his punishment to rehab errrrrrrr. So he is out there running loose. I am now 31 years old and this happened when I was between the ages of 10=13.  


My life was hell at 13. I was being followed home from school. I was recieving prank phone calls. Nobody did anything to protect me. So being that I have said some of my story I will explain what I do with my three children. 


They are allowed to ride there bike in the drive way. They can go for a walk around the school but with the dogs. They can NOT go to the school yard alone. They can NOT walk to the Middle school to play sports with there friends. They can NOT leave the door unlocked when we are gone. They have to check in when they leave and when they return. So far my children have remained safe. I do want to tell you one of my main reasons for doing this is because there is a level 1 sex offender that lives 2 blocks from me and my children. He has been seen driving up and down our street but we can't get the cops to watch from a distance so that he can be caught.  


If you where to go outside at 5pm at night you will see little ones 3 and 4 years old running up and down the street with NO parent. Children who are 10 pushing babies in strollers up and down the street. We had one family who didn't care and there 3 year old was found in the play yard on the other side of the school at 10pm I was like OMGOSH.  


I do not let my daughter just go to the mall she is 14 year old a freshman in highschool. I do not let her walk to school ever. I do not let my 12 and 9 year old go anywhere with out an adult. I believe that teaching my children boundries is important. Because it takes only one person with a van, a gun and a reason to believe your child will be the next target. Some say well my child knows what to do. NOT true. When there is a weapon involved or a man who is scary looking your child will not respond like they should.  


Oprah had a show where the parents where talked to about there child not going with strangers as the child plays at the park behind the parent. The camera is rolling and here is this child being told that this man has lost a puppy and needs to find it and got the child to go with him. We all want to think that in the moment of crisis our children will run or respond but it doesn't work.  


I believe that if you show them boundries and give them freedom slowly not when they are 9 or 10 when they can stay home alone and cook without help is when is a good time to give them the inch they need to have more freedom and not anytime sooner then that. Also some kids just don't have it in them and might not make the best choise and could harm themselves or others. 


So please before you send your child out to play remember who is right there with them are they good or bad.  

October 12, 2005, 5:05 am CDT


After reading about other peoples mothers I feel blessed to have mother and father insisted that while I lived in their home I must abide by their rules...which I didn't always do but I ws appropriately punished and that was the end of it. I wasn't always allowed to do everything my friends were and that bugged me at the time but then I came to realized ,after hearing the kids in my high school talk about their weekends, that this wasn't a scene I wanted to be a part of anyway and I found solice in the simple boring things my friends and I did such as go to the mall and go to work...I am now 30 and have three kids of my own and I plan on treating them the same as my parents treated me. I am involved in their lives but I trust them until such a time as they prove me wrong...that is what my mother did that I think was so important in teaching us  to make responsible choices...we knew what was expected of us and were taught how to act responsibly and respectfully in public and only if we acted inappropriately or broke any of the house rules thus disrespecting my parents were we punished.  


I have to say that I am so lucky also in that becasue my mother trusts that she raised good kids ready to face the world and with the abilities to face any challenges that my arise she isn't the type of mother who has ever dolled out unsolicited advice. She lets us do as we please and if we ask we can get an opinion but otherwise she just assumes that we are adults with the ability to do as we feel is necessary for ourselves. She takes care of my children on a daily basis and has never presumed to tell me that I am not doing something correctly, she is exceptionally respectful of my wishes and do as I ask her to do with my children and not as she feels might be better for them...she has always recognized that I am their mother and have the final say in how they are raised...I have to tell you that it all boils down to this: 





October 12, 2005, 7:18 am CDT

when is the child allowed to think for themselves

   I believe that over-protective parents teach children to become paranoid in all situations, the parents take away the child's ability to be a free thinker, and they become more dependent on their parents as they get older rather than independent.         As a parent it is my duty to teach my children about life, and the perils that come with it. At some point we have to trust our children and hope that we done a good job, this doesn't mean we stop protecting and teaching them, we CANNOT protect them from every pitfall in life. We can protect them from the dangers that we have control of. Give your children a chance to prove their ability and worth. 
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