Blended Family Trouble, Part 2: Family Addition

Blended Family Trouble, Part 2: Family Addition
Dr. Phil checks in with a couple struggling to blend their two families together.Seven people were living in a three bedroom house when Lou's oldest daughter, Sarah, moved in.

Dina's upset that Lou didn't consult her first about Sarah moving in. Lou admits, "I kind of feel bad about that because Dina always comes to me to ask me about decision making and a lot of times I don't do that."

Another shakeup in the family occurred when Sarah and Rachel took over the bedroom, and Ashley and Amber were kicked out to sleep on the couches in the living room.

"I was beyond upset when I found out I had to come and sleep on the couch," says Amber.

"Me and Amber just grin and bear it," says Ashley, who's frustrated that all her things are now kept in a hall closet because there's no room in the bedroom. "It wouldn't have mattered as much if they would've asked us," she says. Ashley is also disappointed that her relationship with Rachel has gotten distant since Rachel's sister arrived. "She's always with Sarah. She doesn't talk to me much anymore. I feel like I'm being left out now."
"It made them feel like second-class citizens, that they didn't count and that they didn't matter," says Dina, who has seen a change in the family since Sarah moved in. "We were making pretty good progress where Rachel was concerned. Now that Sarah is back here, I feel like I'm back at square one. Rachel is reverting back to her old self now ... and it's not a good thing."

"Rachel and Sarah argue just as me and Ashley argue so there's more people in the house who aren't getting along," says Amber. "The whole house has changed."

George and Alex are trying to adjust to another girl in the house, but it does mean longer lines at the bathroom for them.
Dr. Phil clarifies that Sarah has chosen not to participate in the show at this point. He turns to all the kids: "Rachel, how do you feel about Sarah coming back?"

"I was happy about it because she's my sister. Of course I'm going to be happy that maybe someone would actually be on my side," she says, explaining that things have been better since their first appearance.

When Dr. Phil asks, Amber admits she keeps her feelings inside even when she gets upset because she doesn't want to cause conflict. "There's too many problems in the house already," she says.

"What do you guys think Lou should say to his daughter Sarah when she calls and says, 'I need to come home. I need somewhere to stay'?" he asks.

"Well, first of all, her coming to live with us isn't her first choice," says Ashley. "I feel like she doesn't want to be part of the family. She's just using us as a place to put her stuff."

"Do you think this family can be happy?" Dr. Phil asks Ashley.

"Oh, I definitely think it," she says, laughing. "We're the coolest people in the world, man. We are just so awesome. It's just when we argue."The last time Lou was here, he was desperate to find his 8-year-old daughter, Olivia, who had seemingly disappeared with his ex-wife. Since then, the producers tracked them down, got a hold of Lou's ex-wife at her new job and connected Lou on the phone with his daughter.

"What is good to hear her voice?" Dr. Phil asks.

"It was great to hear her voice," says Lou. "It was such a relief."

"It's good to know where she is, and you've got a number to contact her?"

Lou explains that he doesn't. In order for him to talk to her, his ex-wife had to bring Olivia to her work to use the phone.

Dr. Phil offers to get Olivia a cell phone with charger so Lou can always have a connection with his daughter.
Dr. Phil turns back to the children. "I really think that you guys are addicted to yelling and screaming,' he says. "That's the way you communicate. We've got to change that in some way."

He turns to Lou and Dina. "This starts with you two. This won't have
a good outcome if you don't get involved by providing some leadership in a unified front, shoulder to shoulder. You've got to get plugged in. I think you have to set some standards. I mean, we've got 15- and 16-year-old kids here, dropping 'F bombs' all over the house ... If one of my boys said that, Robin would have a heart attack!"
Dr. Phil offers to arrange for a therapist to come into their house and conduct some family meetings there. Suggesting a rotation for who gets privacy in the bedroom, Dr. Phil continues, "We need to figure something out where there's some order, there's some flow, where everybody is on some equal footing here. We've got to set some standards and guidelines about what's acceptable and what's not. We've got to learn to communicate without going ballistic. We've got to understand that there's got to be some consequences," he says.