A Family in Crisis: Michael Leaves Home

"My Family's Disappearing"
Chris and Stacy's marital woes and problems with new pregnancy.
After 12-year-old Michael is expelled from school and charged with assault, Dr. Phil suggests that Stacy and Chris place him at Happy Hill Farm, a therapeutic school for at-risk children.


Stacy has already sent her 8-year-old son Braeden to live with his

biological father and placed her 6-month-old baby, Bohdan, with an adoptive family. When Stacy breaks the news to her family that Michael is leaving home, Brianne becomes emotional. In her video diary, Brianne sobs, "I'm so mad. I don't want him to leave. I already had to lose one brother. Now my mom's just sending away another one because she doesn't even care " she's just like, 'Off you go.'"
Michael spends the night playing board games with his family before leaving for Happy Hill Farm.


Chris struggles to say goodbye. "I've been fighting for a lot of things in this marriage and this family, and sometimes you've got to be humble enough to let go, but that's hard," he says.


Stacy remarks, "I feel really grateful that Michael has had the opportunity to be able to go to the Happy Hill Farm, but as a parent, I feel like, 'Could I have done more? Could I have loved him more?'"


She breaks down crying. "It's been difficult because even though I know this is the right thing for him, it's not easy to do. That's how I felt when I made the decision to send Braeden to live with his dad, when I made the decision to send Bohdan, and it's hard. I can't be a super-parent, and I feel like for Michael, that's what he needed," Stacy explains.


Brianne doesn't mince words when sharing her reaction. "I feel like, one by one, you're just shipping us all off. Three kids so far. My family's just disappearing," she tells Stacy.


Michael will live free of charge with a family on Happy Hill Farm's 500-acre campus in Granbury, Texas. He'll attend school, receive therapy and earn privileges through a point system.


"With Michael being here and having a house mom and house dad, I'll be giving up, basically, some parental rights, but I feel like I'm gaining an extra set of helping hands to get him back on track to where he needs to be," Chris acknowledges.


After visiting Happy Hill Farm and learning about its programs, Brianne is also optimistic. "It seems awesome. I'm much better about the whole experience. I'm jealous of everything that he gets to do," she jokes.


Michael agrees, "I'm going to like it better here than at home. It's way better than I thought it was going to be."

Dr. Phil asks Stacy and Chris if they feel good about their decision to place Michael at Happy Hill Farm.


"I think the facility has everything to offer that we could hope for," replies Chris. "The structured environment that it offers is very essential to what he needs."


Turning to Brianne, Dr. Phil asks if she has peace about Michael's new school.


"I think it's a great place," says Brianne. "I think it's going to be a lot of help and I'm really glad that he gets to go there."


Dr. Phil reassures Stacy and Chris, telling them, "The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. We've already seen that he hasn't made it in school, that he's been charged with all of these bad acts and doing things that society is not going to tolerate. The idea was to get him some place where he has a chance to get his feet back on the ground. I truly believe at the end of this year, he's going to be a whole lot better off having spent the year [at Happy Hill Farm] than he would if he spent the same year at home."