Act Your Age

Act Your Age
Dr. Phil checks in with the two families competing in the Ultimate Family Weight Loss Challenge.

"My daughters call me slut or a lush or a drunk," says 44-year-old Kimberly, who goes to Las Vegas every other weekend to party.

"I've stumbled into my home in the wee hours of the morning, knocking over chairs and running into the table. Partying is my escape." Kimberly also admits to experimenting with drugs, dating men who are young enough to be her sons and flashing her breasts for men at the bars.

"Dealing with my mom's partying lifestyle has been hard," says her 21-year-old daughter, Kylie, who stepped in to care for her 17-year-old sister and her sick great-grandmother while her mom parties. "I don't have any help from my mom and it's upsetting."

Kimberly, who admits that Kylie has become the parent in the relationship, has even considered moving to Vegas and giving Kylie

custody of her little sister. "She's probably in better hands with Kylie," she says.

Kylie says she's called in sick for her mom while she was "totally incapacitated," and has driven her home from college bars. "I basically have to talk to her like I'm talking to a 16-year-old child," she says. "I feel strange telling my 44-year-old mother to act her age and start being responsible. I get really terrified that I am going to get that call some day where my mom might get in trouble with the law."

"It sounded to me like you're here to defend this and have it validated — not to change it," Dr. Phil says to Kimberly.

"You're probably right," she replies. "There's a part of me that feels very selfish sometimes when I think about the things that I've done and what I continue to do, and then there's a part of me
that thinks that I deserve to go out and do some things sometimes. I'm not going to sit home and crochet blankets or anything."

"What's your objection to that?" Dr. Phil asks Kylie.

"I think it's just the worst influence there could be for my sister," Kylie says. "She's 17 years old and twice already she's gotten drunk to the point where we've nearly had to bring her to the hospital. And I think that she kind of sees my mom act that way and thinks it's OK." Kylie explains that she tries to be a good example for her sister by making sure she stays in school, gets her work done and has nice friends — but then her mom interferes and it usually backfires and causes more problems.

Dr. Phil asks Kimberly how she can just watch her 17-year-old

daughter get into trouble.

"I can't follow her around 24 hours a day. I can't chase her down and make her go to school. And I can make rules and she'll just break them," Kimberly says. "She doesn't want to listen."

The numbers don't add up for Dr. Phil: If Kimberly is "on a party fest" in Vegas every other weekend, she's not keeping an eye on her daughter anywhere near 24 hours a day! He also notes that she comes home drunk, has experimented with drugs, blacked out after drinking, wears skimpy clothes and flashes the patrons at bars for money. "Mom! What are you thinking here? Your 17-year-old girl has dropped out of school and has been out drinking to the point of toxicity and had to have her stomach pumped once."

"I have given up probably way too easily and let Kylie run with things."

"Seems to me there's a lot of gray area in between crocheting and flashing!" Dr. Phil says, referring to Kimberly's earlier comment.

"I need a hobby. I've got to do something," Kimberly pleads.

"How about being a mom? There's a hobby," Dr. Phil suggests as the audience applauds. "Isn't that part of maturing? You learn that you don't just do the things you want to do, you do the things you need to do."

"It's easier for me if I just don't deal with it," Kimberly admits.

"What do you predict is going to happen with your younger daughter if you don't get your head back in the parenting game? Where do you think she's going to be

in five years?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I'm really scared for where she might be in five years," Kimberly admits.

"What the parents of the world today need to do is stop worrying that their kids won't listen, and start worrying that they are always watching. They may not hear you but they look at what you are doing,'" Dr. Phil tells Kimberly. "I think a mom who is mooning the camera, flashing patrons in a bar, staying out drunk and driving into work at 3 a.m. is not exactly the standard that I think you want to set for this young woman."

"No," Kimberly agrees.

"She's either going to drink herself to excess and wind up in a car wreck, hurting or killing herself or somebody else. Or she's going to wind up with a drug overdose, or she's going to be pregnant by the time she's 18," Dr. Phil continues. "Without leadership, without guidance, without a maternal influence, she is going to be at risk for those in a major way." He looks to Kylie and says, "And God bless you for stepping in and filling the gap."

Kylie shares her thoughts. "Kaitlin will listen to me to a certain extent but she needs her mom there," she says. "She needs to know that her mom cares about her."

Dr. Phil suggests that Kimberly ought to enjoy being a vital, attractive 44-year-old woman. "Something big time is interfering with your reason and your logic because you are basically abandoning your family and abandoning your daughter ... You can't just choose to quit being a mom. You are a mother. You made that choice a long time ago. And whether you like it or whether you don't, it's your job to deliver your children to adulthood intact with values, standards and a commitment — mentally, physically, spiritually, every other way."

Dr. Phil continues. "You do not want to give custody of your daughter over to your other daughter and you do not want to move back to Vegas," he tells her.

At the end of the show, Dr. Phil asks Kimberly, "Is there anything I've said that influences you to change your position and role in the family?"

"I am going to take what you said seriously," Kimberly replies.

"I think you need some help with realigning this family," Dr. Phil tells her, and he offers to arrange professional family counseling.