Families on Fire: Managing Crisis

Could your child be headed down a destructive path? And could you be making parenting mistakes that will have long-lasting, damaging effects on your kids? Dr. Phil gives specific tools to put these fires out.

Like Father, Like Son?

"What has to happen here is what I call commando parenting," Dr. Phil explains. "This is a time that you have to absolutely become so ever present in this young man's life, ever present in his thinking that two things happen: Number one, you give him some guidance on a minute to minute, hour to hour basis. And number two, you send him a message that he is worth the effort the energy, the focus."

Dr. Phil plays a taped piece of Blake saying: "I don't have a goal in life. I was in eighth grade when I got expelled. I got kicked off the football team because I stole a golf cart, ran it into the lake, and then I got arrested twice ... I went to anger management classes in elementary school, but they didn't do anything. Nothing really concerns me about going to jail. I'd probably laugh if I went to boot camp. ... I don't have a fear for my future. I don't think about it. I don't think any help from anybody at all would work for me."

Dr. Phil stresses, "You must turn an absolute deaf ear to all that 'Nothing can help me ... I don't want any help. I don't need any help,' because he doesn't know what he doesn't know, right? That's your job as a parent. You don't let children make adult decisions."

Dr. Phil recalls his own childhood of sneaking out and getting in trouble with the law. Understanding Blake's situation, he says, "He is emotionally scarred. And there has to be some healing take place."
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