Ask about Parenting: Logan

Ask about Parenting: Logan

"My daughter, Logan, will be 18 next week, and she's seeking her emancipation," says Clayton. "I am completely opposed to Logan moving out of the house until she is a mature lady."

"I want to move out because I'd have more freedom. My parents try and control everything that we do," says Logan. 

Logan's mom, Diane, offers a different perspective. "I don't believe Logan is a troubled teen. She's very typical. [Clayton] just doesn't want her to leave," she says.

"Logan gave me my first, ‘I hate you!' in 18 years, and it flat devastated me," Clayton says. "Logan has been described by teachers and employers as a spoiled brat."

Logan keeps butting heads with her father and says she needs independence. "My dad tries to tell me I have an 11:00 curfew, and I kind of laugh and say, ‘OK, I'll see you later.' Later is my time, whenever I feel like coming home," she says. "He wants me to do things around the house when I'm never here. I'm not here to make it dirty, but he still wants me to clean it."

"Logan is in a special program at the high school. The reason is that she is a sassy, disrespectful young lady to her teachers, and she can't hold still in a classroom environment," Clayton says. He worries that he won't be able to bridge the divide in his household. "I haven't been able to reach my daughter. I'm not on the same page with my wife. We need someone to bind the three of us together as a family."

Dr. Phil sent Dr. Frank Lawlis, author of Mending the Broken Bond, to make a house call. Unbeknownst to Logan, her father wore an earpiece and received instructions from Dr. Lawlis. 

"Start off by just asking how she wants to be treated in the future," Dr. Lawlis instructs.

When Clayton repeats this to Logan, she says. "You can't tell me when to come home."

"If you're in trouble, we need to be concerned," Dianne protests. 

"Ask her how she can help you feel more secure," Dr. Lawlis prompts.


When Clayton repeats the question, Logan makes a disinterested noise.

"Your home is our home," Clayton says.

"That's the way it's supposed to be. I'm your child," Logan shoots back.

"I'm afraid for you," Dr. Lawlis instructs Clayton to say.

"I'm so worried that you're going to say the wrong thing to someone sometime, and they're going to knock your block off," Clayton says.

"Well, that sucks to be me then," Logan says.

"Would you extend us an unconditional trust to let us change?" Dianne asks.

"A small one," Logan replies.

"Excellent job," Dr. Lawlis says.

Dr. Phil asks Logan about her relationship with her folks. "So is it your opinion that they just don't really have much to offer in terms of the quality and direction of your life?" he asks.

"No, they try and direct my life as much as they think it should go, but not on the points of what I think it should be," she replies.

"You think you know better because you know you, and you know what is important to you, and you know what's really out there, right?" he inquires.

"No, it's just they don't look at the perspective of, like, how I look at things. They just look at how they want it," she responds.

"You basically just have kind of written them off. You said your dad will say, ‘I don't want you to leave,' and you just go anyway and just laugh in his face," Dr. Phil says.

Dr. Phil turns to Clayton. "What do you think? Do you think she can go out on her own?" he asks.

"She's capable of moving out on her own. I don't have any concerns," he says.

"You don't want her to," Dr. Phil observes.

"Absolutely not," he replies. "I'd like to see her stay at home for a couple more years, go through the junior college system. I believe with all my heart that she's got to be more respectful of people."

Dr. Lawlis reports on his house call. "Logan's fairly naïve about a lot of different things. As you've said, and seen, and observed, she really doesn't treat other people very well, and that's going be a problem."

Dr. Phil turns to the teen. "Do you think you're rude?"

"If I'm, like, talked to rudely, or if I don't agree with something that's going on with the situation," she replies.

"My staff said that you were one of the most difficult people to talk to and deal with in six years, that you are bratty, and rude and condescending when it would be just as easy to say, ‘fine,' or ‘yes' or ‘no.' Do you have a chip on your shoulder? Is it just about being here? Do you think you've been rude?"

 

"I wasn't rude about it. I wasn't making fun of them or anything," she replies. "I was just, like, 'I don't like that.' 'I prefer not to wear that.'"

 

Dr. Phil addresses Clayton. "Is that the kind of thing you're thinking somebody may knock her block off if she gets around somebody who doesn't cotton much to being rude?" he inquires. 

"I think what would help tremendously is if the voice inflection would change a little bit when she's talking to someone," he replies. He faces his daughter. "We didn't raise you like that, you know? We raised you with the attitude to love your neighbor, so I don't know where this comes from."

"Are you going to move out?" Dr. Phil asks Logan.

 
"When we get home after my birthday," she replies.

 
"Which is coming up real soon, right?" Dr. Phil asks. "So you're just going to pack your stuff and move out?"

 

"I'll say bye," Logan says with a chuckle.

 

"Do you love your father?"


"Yeah."

 
"Are you concerned that it's going to be hurtful to him if you do that?" Dr. Phil probes.

 

Logan says that her father isn't always there for her, and then adds, "Oh well."

 
"So, it's payback time?"

 

"Kind of," Logan responds.

 

Dr. Phil addresses Clayton. "Are you prepared for her to do that?" he asks.

 

"Absolutely. If that's what her wish is, and that's what's going to make her happy, then we'll support her as best we can from the outside," he replies. "There's a different independence when you're on your own. We won't support you the same as if you were in our household and going to college."

"Are you going to move out?" Dr. Phil asks Logan.

 
"When we get home after my birthday," she replies.

 
"Which is coming up real soon, right?" Dr. Phil asks. "So you're just going to pack your stuff and move out?"

 

"I'll say bye," Logan says with a chuckle.

 

"Do you love your father?"


"Yeah."

 
"Are you concerned that it's going to be hurtful to him if you do that?" Dr. Phil probes.

 

Logan says that her father isn't always there for her, and then adds, "Oh well."

 
"So, it's payback time?"

 

"Kind of," Logan responds.

 

Dr. Phil addresses Clayton. "Are you prepared for her to do that?" he asks.

 

"Absolutely. If that's what her wish is, and that's what's going to make her happy, then we'll support her as best we can from the outside," he replies. "There's a different independence when you're on your own. We won't support you the same as if you were in our household and going to college."

When Diane says that she and her daughter are on the same page about moving out, but that Logan and Clayton are not, Dr. Phil says, "I understand, but you parent as a unit."

"So I have to assimilate to how he's doing it?"

"No, you don't. You negotiate that too, but if she disrespects your husband, she's disrespecting you," Dr. Phil responds. "That doesn't mean you have to agree with everything he says. You two have to negotiate between you and then come to the table with an agreed-upon position and plan."

"I just have no control when he makes commitments, statements, promises, punishments that include my name, but don't include my opinion on them," Diane says.

"You can't do that and expect to have any kind of unity here. You two need to negotiate a plan that you can both be at peace with as parents, and then you need to deal with Logan with a unified front."

"Diane wants the kids to be nice and comfortable, and I want them to be challenged, and responsible and respectable," Clayton explains.

"Do you think you guys have invented that difference?" Dr. Phil asks. "A lot of fathers are, like, ‘Get out there and slay the dragon,' and moms are saying, ‘Well, let me fix you something to take. Don't want you hungry slaying the dragon.' You need to negotiate that. As I've said before, I'm happy to provide you with a family counselor who will sit down and walk you through how to get on the same page about this. I'm willing to do whatever I can to help this work out. You do not have an evil daughter here. She's not an evil child. She's rude and smart aleck, but she's not an evil child, right?"

"We love our daughter with all of our hearts," Clayton says.