"My stepdaughter, Sydney, is going on the wrong path," says Craig. "We've caught her in a bunch of lies."
Sydney describes a recent incident that landed her in hot water. "I took a picture of myself naked and my friend, and we sent it to our boyfriends. Her boyfriend sent the picture to one of his friends, and his friend sent it to the whole school," she says.
"I was shocked when I found out that Sydney had taken pictures of her breasts and sent it to the boy," says Jennifer. But she admits that there were other red flags in her daughter's
Jennifer says it's growing harder to trust her daughter. "Sydney threatened me by saying she can get several bruises on her and tell Child Protective Services that they were from me," she says.
"My daughter does not want to live with him any more," Jennifer says. "I'm in desperate need of help with my daughter. She is at the point to where we are looking at boot camps to put her in."
"There is a corporal punishment policy at Sydney's middle school that her mother and I agreed upon signing," Craig reports. "We're asking the school to give her licks."
"Very much so," she replies.
Dr. Phil addresses Craig. "What do you think is going on here?" he asks.
"I feel like my wife and I are not on the same page. When [Sydney is] disciplined " cell phone taken away, MySpace taken away, computer taken away " her mother will let her do things when I'm not around."
Dr. Phil runs down a list of Sydney's bad behavior. "I know you guys say that you're not on the same page, but she's sending nude pictures, gang writing on her hands, saying, â€˜I hate you' to both of you. You say she's hanging out with the wrong people, doesn't care about school, failing math, English, bullying a kid, sneaking out at night with boys, using vile language on the Internet and all the time, constantly uses the N-word. I understand that y'all may not be on the same page, but where do you think this comes from to begin with?" he asks.
"I don't know. I know things haven't been perfect at home," Jennifer replies. "There's a lot that we need to work on with our marriage and communication. I really don't know where the anger is coming from. I think she takes a lot of it out on Craig because her father is not around."
Dr. Phil asks the couple how they think he's going to assess the situation.
"That it comes from us. We have issues," Jennifer says.
"Kids are born a blank slate, and we write on that slate every day. You could say, â€˜Well, she just won't listen.' You need to be less concerned about whether she listens and more concerned that she is always watching," Dr. Phil cautions. "She watches what you do. She watches how you interact. She watches what you model. I assume that you really want to help her."
"We want the truth. I want to know what to do before we lose her. We're going to end up divorced, and I don't know what will happen after that," Jennifer frets.