Biggest Parenting Mistakes: Vicki

Outfit Obsessed

"Hi Dr. Phil, my name is Vicki. I'm a little concerned with my 7-year-old daughter, Raelee. She is extremely obsessed with the way that she dresses and her clothes. She's just constantly making sure that everything in her eyes is perfect. Half of my time is spent going back in her room, and she's constantly asking me, ‘Does this match? Does this match? Do you like this? Does it go?' Every morning, it's fidgeting with her hair, and herself, and her shirt, and her clothes and her pants," the mom says.

In home video, Vicki asks her daughter, "So, all of these shirts, there is nothing in there that you like that you would wear?"

"No. I didn't even ask you to buy half of this," the girl says, indicating her closet filled with clothes.

"Raelee is very particular about the way she wears her clothes," Vicki says. "On the weekend, she will wear all of these, I'm not even kidding," Vicki says, pulling out multiple pairs of pants. "That's, like, eight pairs of pants in two days."

[AD]Vicki says it all started when Raelee was in kindergarten. "It's to where I can't handle it anymore. It's completely out of hand. Dr. Phil, I feel like I've gone wrong with her. I just want her to be happy. I don't want her to worry about the way she looks at 7," she says, growing tearful.


Dr. Phil goes over Raelee's rules for getting dressed:

 - No dark jeans
 - Jeans must cover shoe laces
 - No leggings
 - No pull over sweatshirts
 - No layering clothes
 - Socks cannot be seen over shoes

"She's always been picky about her clothes," Vicki says.

Dr. Phil has an important question for Vicki that has her looking to Robin for help!


"Do you really care what she's wearing, as long as it's not inappropriate?" Dr. Phil asks her.

"No," she says. Vicki explains that it's more extreme than Raelee just wanting to pick out her own clothes. She says if Raelee gets a drop of water on her shirt when she brushes her teeth, she gets very upset and changes her shirt.

"So, your question is, do I see this as a precursor to obsessive-compulsive behavior?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Or insecurity of herself," she says.

"I think this is a little girl who, on the upside, is taking pride in how she looks. She pays attention to it. It matters to her if she has a spot on her shirt," Dr. Phil says. He tells Vicki to let her daughter have individuality with her clothing.

Dr. Sears says, "She has some anxiety about how she dresses, and I think you're treating that with more anxiety. You're yelling at her, her brothers are yelling at her, and she's kind of getting the message that ‘I'm no good at dressing myself, so I'm going to have to really obsess about how I look.'" He recommends that Vicki ask her daughter for fashion advice and opinion when she gets dressed, to take the focus off herself.

[AD]Dr. Phil says he and Robin let their son, Jay, wear his Hawaiian Jams shorts and red high-top sneakers without laces every day when he was young, because it made him happy. "You go with it, and they'll move through it. She has a fashion sense and a desire. Embrace that. Embrace her nuances, but you don't want to fight her individuality here. You're picking the wrong battle."