"He gave you the finger because of all the stuff that you did to him," Shannon explains, her voice rising.
"Look at him smiling. Look at him laughing!" Kevin says in a huff.
Their toddler wanders in the middle of their shouting match, and the fighting escalates.
When Kevin approaches Tony in rage, the pre-teen says, "Don't touch me or I'll kick your ***. I'll ******* slit your throat, you piece of ****!"
Shannon acts like a human barrier between her husband and her son. "You are a big bully. You are a grown man, and you are intimidating him!" she shouts, restraining Kevin.
"My anger is coming out from the whole situation. I feel like I've been backed into a corner," Kevin replies.
Dr. Phil isn't moved by Kevin's explanation. "Are you telling me you're a victim here? Are you kidding me? That is criminal behavior!" he exclaims.
"I don't know how to express myself in this situation anymore," Kevin says.
Dr. Phil interrupts, "You seem to be doing it now. You seem to be sitting there now like, 'Gee, I'm just communicating.' So you, obviously, have the ability to talk with some control. That is abusive. You are a bully!"
Kevin clings to his defense. "That's what four years of what I've been dealing with behind their mother's back has escalated to," he explains.
"He's been angry since before we got in the picture," Shannon says.
"You know that's a crock!" Dr. Phil says of Kevin's excuse. "You've got a 12-year-old kid a third your size, and you're jumping up, 'Come on. Bring it, buddy!'"
"And then when [Tony] gives a little bit back, he's mad," Shannon explains.
"Tell me how that's making you a victim," Dr. Phil asks Kevin.
"I never said I was a victim," Kevin replies. "I don't have any other answers or actions to deal with."
"What's it going to take for you to understand that you're standing up, a full-grown man, calling out a 12-year-old boy to bring it?"
"I understand that," Kevin says. "But this is what it's comes to. I don't know how to behave to the situation. As my wife goes to school three nights a week for five hours, I watch those children. As soon as she leaves, it's a dog-and-pony show. She doesn't see what they put me through."
Dr. Phil mentions that Kevin has also been verbally abusive to his wife of three months. "Mom, mother of these children, he turned to you and said, 'No wonder you got your a** beat before. You deserve it,'" he recounts to Shannon.
"I lived it. I know I didn't deserve ever to get a hand laid to me, or to be called names. I don't deserve what I deal with now. I'm ready for a divorce today," she declares.
"You've been married for three months. You say he's been bullying you and the kids for three years," Dr. Phil observes.
"Correct," Shannon replies.
Dr. Phil questions her judgment. "So, based on two years and nine months of that, you said, 'Let's make it official'?" he quizzes.
"It was to save face, basically," Shannon admits.
"For family members, for him, because he had more family coming [to the wedding] than I did," Shannon says.
"How about when I have nowhere to go when I have four kids, and [Kevin] says that's my problem?" Shannon says.
"You can go to a shelter. You can live in a box under a bridge before you let him do that!" Dr. Phil says. "Is that the equation here? Is it down to, 'He gives us a roof over our heads, and therefore, I will take what he dishes out'?"
"So far, yes," Shannon says, tearing up.
Turning to Kevin, Dr. Phil says, "You say, 'I put a roof over their heads. I spend all of this money on them,' and you resent that."
"But you command respect, you don't demand it," Dr. Phil says. "And you certainly don't buy it."
"My wife has said to me I have to, basically, kiss their a** and show them respect, and then I'll start getting it from them. I have tried those avenues, and it still continues to backfire," Kevin explains. "I don't know where to go."
Dr. Phil says Kevin can't keep justifying his behavior toward his stepchildren. "I'm trying to give you a wake-up call. I'm trying to get through to you. I'm trying to tell you this is not OK, and you say, 'Oh, I know it's not OK, but,' and then you immediately start saying, 'But they won't listen, but they have no respect, but I spend all this money on them, but, but, but.' Hell, there is no but!" Dr. Phil declares.
"[Tony] should be accountable for his actions. I am exposed to them every day, and every day, it's something new," Kevin argues. "So I stay away from them."
Dr. Phil explains that as a professional, he cannot stand idly by knowing the children may be in jeopardy. "Either Child Protective Services, or family court " somebody is going to get involved, and they're going to stop this," he warns. "I consider this to be a reportable offense."
"I'll walk away before I lose my kids," Shannon asserts.
Dr. Phil points out that Shannon's former relationship was abusive. "You're being abused now. The kids are being abused now," he observes. Turning to Kevin, he says, "I have a very strong position about bullies. I think bullies are cowards, and I think they're users and abusers."
Dr. Phil acknowledges that Tony may be displaying rebellious behavior, but Kevin cannot continue to act like a victim. "You need to do one of two things: a) get out. Just get out and go down the road, or b) learn how to parent and communicate without being a loudmouth bully," Dr. Phil says. "You are the adult, and you are expected to rise above the level of children."
Shannon needs to step up and start protecting her children. "If you don't, I will," Dr. Phil cautions.
Dr. Phil promises to provide counseling for the couple, and they accept his help. He also wants to keep cameras in their home to closely monitor the situation.