Single dad John says that raising his three boys — a 14-year-old and 12-year-old twins — on his own, makes him “one in a million.” But is John really in over his head? Hear from the boys and John’s ex-wife, Laurie, and decide for yourself: Is this a case of clueless parenting — or unruly kids?
Embracing Being a Single Dad?
"I’m a single dad raising three kids on my own. I consider myself one in a million. Divorced dads do not raise their children, and I am the exception," boasts John. "If I wanted to, I could be out chasing girls. That’s not a problem. With my looks and charm, I can get any girl whom I want."
“John thinks that he is God’s gift to everything,” says John's ex-wife, Laurie. "He’s got this grandiose opinion of himself."
About a year after the children moved in with John, Laurie moved with her boyfriend, 1,500 miles away. "Laurie abandoned her children," John says. "She was unfazed about leaving her own children."
Laurie disputes John's claims. "I’ve never abandoned my boys. I feel that John feels I abandoned him," she explains. "John thinks he’s God’s gift to single dads, but I think John’s doing this simply because he’s trying to prove a point, but the point is that he’s a failure."
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“I’ve run out of options, and I just don’t know what to do.”
Where is Mom?
"I feel like Laurie is a runaway mom," says John. "The boys miss their mommy. They need their mother. Laurie will only see the kids once or twice a year, for a week or so."
"When John says I’m a runaway mom, it’s a complete lie," says Laurie, who has primary custody of the boys but says she allows them to live with John. "I speak with them almost on a daily basis, and if they ever need anything, they call me, and I’m there for them."
"I feel like I need my mom in my life," says Johnny, 14. "I miss my mom a lot."
"She is not here to have fun with me," says Alex, 12. "What I would like to say to my mom is, 'I want you to move down here by our house, so we can be closer.'"
"She’s not there every night to say, ‘I love you’ and be there for me," says Chris, 12. "She needs to dump her boyfriend … I just would like to see her more than two times a year."
"I think if Laurie was involved, the boys would be better behaved," John says. "She’s so far away, I feel that there’s not much you can do."
Dr. Phil takes Laurie to task for her behavior. “I never saw the box that you check out. I always thought that they were your responsibility, and you had to plug in.”
Laurie’s boyfriend, Joe, weighs in on the situation.
Turmoil in Their Home?
John and Laurie’s young sons give their take on their home life. What do they say they would change?
"My dad goes on, like, rampages."
Calming the Chaos
Dr. Phil tells John and Laurie what they must do to bring peace and happiness to their children's lives. Are they willing to step up and take his advice?
“The adult is supposed to be the calm in the middle of the storm.”
“You need to react to this with the utmost urgency.”