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Topic : 12/27 Extreme Parenting

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Created on : Thursday, October 20, 2005, 02:56:10 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Airdate: 10/27/05) Parents want the best life for their kids and often go to great lengths to make that happen.But what happens when they get so demanding, they end up hurting the children they love? Michael says his wife, Anna, is so consumed by her dream of having their 7-year-old son become a cheerleader that it’s taking over their lives. Will Anna put her son's pompoms to rest? Then, a father hides a tracking device in his son’s car and gets more than he bargained for! Plus, Nathan and Julie’s marriage is on the rocks because they disagree over his military style discipline of her 12-year-old daughter. Is Nathan’s drill sergeant parenting done out of love or for another reason? Join the discussion.

 

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October 22, 2005, 7:14 am CDT

Still on our own

  

  

Extreme Parenting: 

My story is the one featured on the Oct 27 show, and my daughter and I are still living apart from my husband.   Doing the show was enlightening, and I have since read Dr. Phil's book Family First.   

I wished we could work it out, but the show did not cover all of the issues our family has faced, there just wasn't time.   

One point that did not come up is that my husband "talks" to me in the same way he was to my daughter, and he claims that I have an unbalanced "filter system" emotionally which makes me perceive his aggressive approach to dealing with every aspect of our lives in an exaggerated sense.  I just didn't really know, to be honest.  All I knew for sure is that I was constantly walking on eggshells, afraid to make him angry over anything, afraid I'd say something wrong unknowingly and make him angry.   

Oh, believe me, I don't think that everything wrong in our relationship is entirely his fault.  I also know how important discipline, and consistency are for a child.  I admit that I have been more passive in my approach to dealing with my daughter - perhaps, over-compensative for the stress of dealing with his anger.  And I know that it only creates more confusion in a child's mind.  I think Dr. Phil is right on, parents need to be a TEAM, and focus on the needs of a child together, believing in the approach to discipline in the same manner and backing each other up.   When a child knows what to expect then it seems much less likely to be a matter of contention, and, a child would be less likely to "play off" one parent on the other- which I am sure we all can relate to one way or another!!     

I was confused and uncertain about what was going on for so long.  When you live with someone who seems to be angry all the time, who tends to focus on all your negative points, constantly corrects you, constantly criticizes you and belittles you, then says it is all in humor and to get over being so sensitive...well, I had to wonder, IS it me?  AM I the problem here?   

I wonder if there is anyone else out there who struggles with this kind of situation.  All that matters to me is that my daughter has a happy stable home, and knows that she is loved, knows that she is safe and protected, and that she can depend on her parent(s)!  No one is perfect, for sure, and I don't ever want to be perceived as the "victim" in a perpetual way, we all have the capacity to manage our lives, basically.  Part of what motivated me is the realization that I have in many ways, lost my "Self"; and as Dr. Phil says, we must keep and protect this personal identity within.  We must do this in order to survive emotionally, and certainly we must take care of our selves so that we can take care of our children, and our relationships.   

So, I hope that perhaps my story can inspire someone who may be in doubt about what is right, as I have been.  I know that my husband cares about us both, in his way, and that he believes he is right.   I absolutely respect him as a veteran and for his service to this country in the military.  He often compares himself to the character in the movie "The Great Santini" about a marine corps sergeant...if any of you out there have watched that movie then you have a good notion of how my husband is.  I also admit it took a great deal of courage for him to do this show, so...we take it one day at a time, and I am devoted to rebuilding my life, and that of my daughter. 

Wish us luck.  My thanks to Dr. Phil and the producers of the show. 

Julie42 

 
October 22, 2005, 8:20 pm CDT

What?

I was just wondering why a mom would want her SON to be a cheerleader so badly?  Did she really want a daughter or something?
 
October 23, 2005, 2:56 pm CDT

why????

i agree, why on earth would a mom be pushing something so feminin on a boy? i think the more appropriate question would be does the son like cheerleading? does he want to do it? as long as he is doing the important stuff  (schoolwork, chores manners)i think it should be up to the child to decide whether he wants to do it, otherwise resentment will build, and the pressure on that poor boy would not be fair.
 
October 23, 2005, 4:40 pm CDT

A little compromise

 I think the key is compromise.  My husband wants our daughters to take piano lessons because he believes it's a good skill to have and you can use it in church.  My oldest daughter doesn't want to play piano, she wants to learn the guitar.  I said "what about a compromise?"  You can take a year of piano and learn some basic skills, and after that year, if you still want to play guitar instead, then you can.  That seemed to be something everyone was happy with.  Of course we can't afford ANY music lessons right now, but next year when we can, at least we have game plan.  I don't think a child should be pushed to fulfill their parent's dreams.  Our children have their own dreams and we should be encouraging them to follow them.  If you missed out on your dream as a child, then you need to rectify that yourself.  Don't try to live the life you wished you had through your children. 
 
October 23, 2005, 5:22 pm CDT

Julie42

Quote From: julie42

  

  

Extreme Parenting: 

My story is the one featured on the Oct 27 show, and my daughter and I are still living apart from my husband.   Doing the show was enlightening, and I have since read Dr. Phil's book Family First.   

I wished we could work it out, but the show did not cover all of the issues our family has faced, there just wasn't time.   

One point that did not come up is that my husband "talks" to me in the same way he was to my daughter, and he claims that I have an unbalanced "filter system" emotionally which makes me perceive his aggressive approach to dealing with every aspect of our lives in an exaggerated sense.  I just didn't really know, to be honest.  All I knew for sure is that I was constantly walking on eggshells, afraid to make him angry over anything, afraid I'd say something wrong unknowingly and make him angry.   

Oh, believe me, I don't think that everything wrong in our relationship is entirely his fault.  I also know how important discipline, and consistency are for a child.  I admit that I have been more passive in my approach to dealing with my daughter - perhaps, over-compensative for the stress of dealing with his anger.  And I know that it only creates more confusion in a child's mind.  I think Dr. Phil is right on, parents need to be a TEAM, and focus on the needs of a child together, believing in the approach to discipline in the same manner and backing each other up.   When a child knows what to expect then it seems much less likely to be a matter of contention, and, a child would be less likely to "play off" one parent on the other- which I am sure we all can relate to one way or another!!     

I was confused and uncertain about what was going on for so long.  When you live with someone who seems to be angry all the time, who tends to focus on all your negative points, constantly corrects you, constantly criticizes you and belittles you, then says it is all in humor and to get over being so sensitive...well, I had to wonder, IS it me?  AM I the problem here?   

I wonder if there is anyone else out there who struggles with this kind of situation.  All that matters to me is that my daughter has a happy stable home, and knows that she is loved, knows that she is safe and protected, and that she can depend on her parent(s)!  No one is perfect, for sure, and I don't ever want to be perceived as the "victim" in a perpetual way, we all have the capacity to manage our lives, basically.  Part of what motivated me is the realization that I have in many ways, lost my "Self"; and as Dr. Phil says, we must keep and protect this personal identity within.  We must do this in order to survive emotionally, and certainly we must take care of our selves so that we can take care of our children, and our relationships.   

So, I hope that perhaps my story can inspire someone who may be in doubt about what is right, as I have been.  I know that my husband cares about us both, in his way, and that he believes he is right.   I absolutely respect him as a veteran and for his service to this country in the military.  He often compares himself to the character in the movie "The Great Santini" about a marine corps sergeant...if any of you out there have watched that movie then you have a good notion of how my husband is.  I also admit it took a great deal of courage for him to do this show, so...we take it one day at a time, and I am devoted to rebuilding my life, and that of my daughter. 

Wish us luck.  My thanks to Dr. Phil and the producers of the show. 

Julie42 

Dear Julie, 

 I congratulate you for having the courage to leave. My husband is very hard on my son and puts he and myself down and says he is doing it to motivate us. BS. It is cruel. My daughter is the lucky one she is not affected by his words and tells him to leave her alone and ignores him. She is a little girl with a mission and does not care what he thinks. My son is forever looking for dads approval and will NEVER get it. I am responsible for all that has gone wrong in the world and all that will go wrong per my husband. I wish I had your courage and WISH YOU THE BEST OF LUCK. I can't wait to see the show. These men put others down and are angry all the time because THEY DO NOT TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for themselves or their actions. I wish they all would WAKE UP! 

*DRL* 

 
October 24, 2005, 7:11 am CDT

10/27 Extreme Parenting

Quote From: mrssandib

i agree, why on earth would a mom be pushing something so feminin on a boy? i think the more appropriate question would be does the son like cheerleading? does he want to do it? as long as he is doing the important stuff  (schoolwork, chores manners)i think it should be up to the child to decide whether he wants to do it, otherwise resentment will build, and the pressure on that poor boy would not be fair.
I can't answer for sure until I see the mom and her son on the cheer leading issue, but I have experience with a 9 year girl cheerleader who lives for it.  That said, her gym has "OPEN GYM" twice a week for anyone and many times the girl cheerleaders' brothers and sisters will come for fun just messing around in the gym.  It's got a spring floor, trampoline etc.  I've seen times where the boys have so much fun because of the sheer physical nature of the tumbling that they talk about wanting to join the team to learn backhand springs etc.  In 2 cases, the dads' said absolutely not because of the implication of femininity and in 2 others, the boys are having a blast on the team.   That said, my daughter has a six pack and calf muscles to die for -- all developed competing in this "feminine" activity.
 
October 24, 2005, 9:09 am CDT

Disagree

Quote From: irishmom

 I think the key is compromise.  My husband wants our daughters to take piano lessons because he believes it's a good skill to have and you can use it in church.  My oldest daughter doesn't want to play piano, she wants to learn the guitar.  I said "what about a compromise?"  You can take a year of piano and learn some basic skills, and after that year, if you still want to play guitar instead, then you can.  That seemed to be something everyone was happy with.  Of course we can't afford ANY music lessons right now, but next year when we can, at least we have game plan.  I don't think a child should be pushed to fulfill their parent's dreams.  Our children have their own dreams and we should be encouraging them to follow them.  If you missed out on your dream as a child, then you need to rectify that yourself.  Don't try to live the life you wished you had through your children. 

  

I am not by any means trying to start a fight about this, however, I believe that the children should have their own dreams like you said.  I do not think that any child should have to do any type of sport or lessons just because their parents think it's a good idea.  I do not want to push my child away from me because I think it is "best" for them.  They need to try new things on their own and see what they like best.  This is just my opinion so don't take it personally.  We all have our own values.  I totally agree with you when you said, "Don't try to live the life you wished you had through your children."  Many parents have this problem and I appreciate it that you put it out there. 

 
October 24, 2005, 9:39 am CDT

NOT JUST FOR GIRLS ANY MORE !!!!!!!

Quote From: mrssandib

i agree, why on earth would a mom be pushing something so feminin on a boy? i think the more appropriate question would be does the son like cheerleading? does he want to do it? as long as he is doing the important stuff  (schoolwork, chores manners)i think it should be up to the child to decide whether he wants to do it, otherwise resentment will build, and the pressure on that poor boy would not be fair.

My son who was a starting football player is a cheerleader for a competitive cheer team. It's not with POM-POMs and Cheers. He is actually a base, the guy who throws the flyer up (the girl who is tossed in the air) and catches her, actually I have two boys on the team right now, and a daughter, I also have another son who will join when his football season is over. I am not worried about my boys THEY ARE BOYS. Let your children do what they want. As long as it's keeping them off the streets and out of trouble.They need to try new things on their own and see what they like best.  This is just my opinion so don't take it personally. 

 
October 25, 2005, 1:08 pm CDT

10/27 Extreme Parenting

Quote From: danagian

Dear Julie, 

 I congratulate you for having the courage to leave. My husband is very hard on my son and puts he and myself down and says he is doing it to motivate us. BS. It is cruel. My daughter is the lucky one she is not affected by his words and tells him to leave her alone and ignores him. She is a little girl with a mission and does not care what he thinks. My son is forever looking for dads approval and will NEVER get it. I am responsible for all that has gone wrong in the world and all that will go wrong per my husband. I wish I had your courage and WISH YOU THE BEST OF LUCK. I can't wait to see the show. These men put others down and are angry all the time because THEY DO NOT TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for themselves or their actions. I wish they all would WAKE UP! 

*DRL* 

Dear Julie, 

 I too have the same troubles.....I found your story remarkable, it sounded just like me!!! My kids are 16 and 18, so I've been doing this along time...I do applaud you for leaving...I always stayed because I thought it was better, having come from a broken home myself....but I don't see that it was. My kids hate their father and avoid him at every turn. And it's all my fault according to my husband...I don't ever see it his way...he's a A type personality, perfection always...I'm further down the alphbet somewhere....P probably. I too just want to see my kids happy, I think they're great kids..this is a tough time in both their lives he only makes things worse. My greatest fear is that I'll lose  them because of him! 

 Stay strong and I know the Doc will help us all,   I'll be glued! 

  

 
October 25, 2005, 3:40 pm CDT

10/27 Extreme Parenting

I am looking foward to the show. I can't believe that people take things to the extreme, and push their kids into doing thing's hta tthye don't want to. My mom had the courage to finally say enough to my dad and leave. His family and him always looked at one of my younger sisters as a boy, since he did not have any, and we were the only three grandchildren/nieces that they had. I felt bad for her because she should have never had to be in that situation,and feel like she should have to be so tough. I thinkthat as parents you do have dreams for your children when they get older, but you have to realize that they are going to have their own dreams, and they should be able to persue their dreams with your support.
 
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