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Extreme Moms

As a parent, you are bombarded with dangers your kids can fall prey to like molesters, cyber-stalkers, drugs and bullies. But how far should you go to ensure your child's protection? Where do you draw the line between hovering over your children, and giving them enough freedom to learn independence? Dr. Phil drills down on this hot topic with moms on both sides of the issue.

Unhealthy to Hover?




Dr. Phil introduces Dr. Sears and asks him for his opinion of hovering parents.

"There are a lot of negative aspects about chronic stress: increased risk of heart disease, stroke, stomach problems, sleep problems, weight problems," Dr. Sears says.


To Maria, a guest from a previous segment who admits to hovering over her children, Dr. Sears says, "You're probably sending yourself to an early grave because of all this stress." He adds that babies need protection, but older kids need some freedom. "They need space to learn, to explore, to make little mistakes and learn from them," he says. "I love to talk about relaxed authority. You need to have the authority as the mom. You're in charge, and you have the respect, just like a mother lion, but you're relaxed about it. That will gain you the respect from your daughter."

Dr. Phil asks Maria, "Do you get that this is about you and not about her? You're not doing this to protect her, because it doesn't. In fact, it cripples her. It takes away her ability to cope with life."

"That's my fear," she says.

"At some point, you've got to say, ‘I've got to deal with my issues with me and not make her pay for my anxiety,'" Dr. Phil says. He shares that when his son, Jay, was 15, he was returning from Europe on an airplane by himself and got rerouted. He didn't have the $13 dollars he needed to change his ticket, so he asked a woman in line with him, and she gave him the money. "He's learned how to do things that way," Dr. Phil says.

"And that's a huge memory, obviously, for the whole family, because that was a time when something went really wrong, when the parents weren't there to protect him, and he muddled through, and everybody felt better afterward," adds Lenore, a guest from a previous segment who believes kids deserve more freedom.

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