Biggest Parenting Mistakes: Laurie, Jim, Haley

The Boss of Mom

"My 10-year-old daughter, Haley, seems obsessed with knowing what I'm doing, who I'm with, what time I'm going to be home," Laurie says.

"My daughter is very suspicious that Laurie may be with another man," says Haley's father, Jim. "I have absolute trust in my wife."

"It all started when I was on Facebook, chatting with an old boyfriend, someone from 20 years ago," Laurie says. "Haley somehow interpreted it as I was seeing someone else, I was doing terrible things."

"She was talking to an old boyfriend of hers on Facebook, and it got me really upset with my mom, and I was confused," Haley says. 

"Another time, I went shopping, and I brought home my shopping bags, and Haley went through them, and one of them contained underwear that I had bought, and she just went crazy over a couple pairs of underwear," Laurie says. "They were not risqué."

[AD]"My mom shouldn't be dressing like a college girl," Haley says.

"Haley will constantly check my text messages every chance she gets, she eavesdrops on my conversations," Laurie says. "If I'm on the phone, she'll interrupt the conversation because she needs to know right then and there who I'm talking to." 

"I just do like her to act appropriately," Haley says. "If I could ask someone, I would ask Dr. Phil if my mom is normal."

"What can I do to convince and reassure my daughter that I'm not doing anything wrong, I'm not doing anything bad?" Laurie asks.

Laurie tells Dr. Phil another example is when she danced at a wedding with someone Haley didn't know. Haley got really upset and ran to her father. "And then I find myself like I'm the 16-year-old trying to explain to my mom that I didn't do anything wrong," Laurie says. "She goes through my text messages. She's gone through my underwear drawer and told me what's appropriate and what's not appropriate."

Dr. Phil turns to the little girl. "You went through her underwear drawer?" he asks.

"Yeah," Haley says.

"And what did you find in there?" he asks.

[AD]"Inappropriate underwear, and it did not make me feel good," she says, indignant.

"What was inappropriate?" Dr. Phil asks.

Haley smiles and says, "Thongs!"

Her father jokes, "Haley, are you sure those weren't mine?"

The little girl cracks up.


Dr. Phil answers a question for Haley.

Jim speaks up. "Dr. Phil, there have been consequences. We're not shrinking violets. There have been consequences. Haley has spent a fair amount of time on the steps. She's lost her coveted cell phone. She's lost her time on the computer. There's no free pass here."

"So why is she reading your text messages?" Dr. Phil asks Laurie.

"Because I left the phone on the counter."

[AD]"Don't do that!" Dr. Phil says bluntly.

"So, I need to keep my stuff under lock and key?" Laurie asks.

"Apparently. Listen, seriously, I'm a pragmatist. You do what works," he says. 

See Dr. Phil's final advice for this family.