"Dr. Phil Save My Family"
Allen and Cheryl say their 9-year-old son, Steve, is terrorizing their family. They say he has threatened to harm his siblings multiple times, tells his teachers that he wants to blow up his family’s home and shows no empathy for others or remorse for his bad behavior. They say Steve has been diagnosed with 18 mental illnesses and has been placed in three mental hospitals in the last year alone, but nothing seems to help for long. The parents turn to Dr. Phil for answers. What’s at the root of Steve’s bad behavior?
Cheryl’s two sisters say they believe the boy is overmedicated and under-parented — and they say Cheryl’s blog about her parenting challenges is also a cause for concern. How does Cheryl respond? Then, Dr. Phil sits down with Steve for a one-on-one conversation. And, world-renowned child clinical psychologist Dr. Alan Kazdin shares a suggested plan for changing behavior in the child — and the parents. How can Allen and Cheryl regain a peaceful, healthy family?
A Troubled Little BoyCheryl and Allen say their 9-year-old son, Steve, is angry and violent – often toward his little brother. The couple decided to install cameras in their home to keep an eye on him. Home footage shows the young boy throwing toys in anger, and threatening to kill his father.
“It’s very hard to look at your boy threatening to kill you, threatening to kill your husband, threatening to kill your children,” Cheryl says. “Steve goes from super hyper, running around the house, bouncing off of walls to being angry, throwing toys. He uses whatever is closest to him as a weapon. Generally, I end up sitting on the couch with the two younger ones, just to protect them from his antics. My family is suffering. We live a life on eggshells. Everything revolves around Steve. I’m concerned about how life is going to be for all of us.”
Cheryl’s sister, Amy, says, “Cheryl and Allen are responsible for the majority of Steve’s behaviors. Steve has been on medication since he was 5 years old and before they really understood what was wrong with him.”
“This could be so different,” says Cheryl’s twin sister, Alanna. “He’s so brilliant. He could be such a wonderful person.” Alanna says she has seen Steve act out toward his family members, and she blames it on his medication. “When I watch Steve struggle, it just hurts. I feel for that child. I don’t see him having a good future.”
“I think my sister and her husband need help in parenting, and they don’t feel that it is a parenting problem,” Amy says.
Amy and Alanna say Cheryl also blogs about her challenges with her son, and her blog is an embarrassment to their family. They also say she received donations from her followers for Steve’s treatment costs, and they don’t believe she needs the financial help. They want her to shut the blog down.
Tune in to see Dr. Phil’s backstage chat with Cheryl and Allen’s son.