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          Young and Reckless/Ask Dr. Phil

          July 16, 2013

          Eye-rolling, defiant 16-year-old Sabby is back after spending 16 weeks at Turn-About Ranch, a residential treatment center for troubled teens — has she straightened up her act? And, Lisa says her 15-year-old son Brandon is a “raging lunatic” who has assaulted her and his stepfather, Tom. What’s at the root of his rage? Plus, meet Tonya and Rickie, who say their 16-year-old daughter — who has a social disorder — was elected to her high school’s homecoming court as part of a cruel joke by bullies.  

          Little Miss Attitude: Update

          Sabby, 16, says that she enjoyed most of the four months she spent at Turn-About Ranch, and she was eager to continue in another program, but her mother, Courtney, took her home instead. “I don’t think my mom is stable enough for me to come home,” she said prior to leaving the facility. “If I go home now, I’m just going to relapse into that old behavior.”

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          Courtney admits that she made a mistake by pulling Sabby out of further treatment — against the clinical director’s recommendations. She’s now reaching out to Dr. Phil for help once again. “By that first Friday that she was home, she was being unruly, disrespectful, defiant,” Courtney says. “She’s the Exorcist.” She says that Sabby has quit school, is doing drugs and having sex — and is a bad influence on her 14-year-old sister. “Now they’re both out of control,” Courtney says about her daughters. She pleads to Dr. Phil, “I am willing to do whatever I need, to make it right. Please, please, please help me.”

          Why did Courtney pull Sabby out of treatment?

          How does Sabby feel about her current behavior?

          Dr. Phil urges Sabby to get back on track. “This world has conspired to throw a lot of things at you that are unfair,” he says, adding that he’s not excusing her behavior. “I’m in your corner. I want you to do the things that you need to do,” he says, while offering her another chance at treatment. “I want you to do this for you,” he tells her. “I want you to put yourself first, be selfish for yourself and give yourself the chance to become the young woman that you have demonstrated you can be.”

          Sabby expresses fear that she might be picked on by other teens at the center, and Dr. Phil guarantees her that he won’t let that happen. “You’ve got a big brother, and I am a mean son of a bitch,” he jests. “I’m your big brother here.”

          Sabby accepts the offer.

          Brandon’s Behavior

          Lisa says her 15-year-old son, Brandon, was once a perfect child but has become a raging lunatic who smokes marijuana, breaks windows in her home and has assaulted her, his stepfather, Tom, and other children. “Brandon has major, major anger issues,” she says.

          Brandon admits that he loses control when he’s angry but says that he just wants his parents to butt out of his life. “My family tries to help me, but I don’t want their help,” he says, adding that his mom constantly nags him about smoking pot and “only cares about herself.”

          When does Lisa say Brandon’s behavior took a turn for the worse?

          Brandon explains his behavior and describes what he feels when he’s in a rage.

          “I think everything is a negotiation,” Dr. Phil tells Brandon. “You need to be willing to negotiate with your parents.”

          Lisa says she likes that idea, as long as Brandon knows that he can no longer use marijuana.

          “That’s part of the negotiation,” Dr. Phil tells her, adding that she’s already broken the first rule. “You don’t deal with ultimatums in negotiation.” He continues, “One of the best rules in dealing with a teenager is to appeal to their greed … Teenagers want what they want, when they want it, and they want it right now.” He offers Brandon help in learning how to negotiate instead of raging, and Brandon accepts.

          Homecoming Prank?

          In a case that made headlines, Tonya and Rickie say their 16-year-old special-needs daughter was elected to homecoming court as part of a cruel joke by bullies who were allegedly plotting to egg the homecoming float and humiliate the teen. Tonya says at first, they wanted to pull their daughter from homecoming activities to protect her, but they eventually allowed her to participate.

          Tonya and Rickie explain what happened during homecoming festivities. Do they feel the school handled the situation properly?

          Dr. Phil explains what to do if your child is being bullied.

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