Bully Dads: Kevin

Bully Dads: Kevin

"Kevin and I got married three months ago. I'm almost ready for a divorce," confesses Shannon. "The big problem is the way he treats my three children."

 

Shannon has two children from a former marriage: 12-year-old Tony and 9-year-old Tea. She says that Kevin is often confrontational with his stepchildren. "Kevin ordered the newspaper, and my son wasn't picking it up at the end of the driveway, and we got into an argument. Kevin came out saying, ‘You know what? I do hate your kids. I've hated them since the day I met them. I can't stand them. I want nothing to do with them, and you can go **** yourself,'" she reveals. 

"I'm trying to teach my stepson some responsibilities, and he's not interested in anything except eat, sleep, and ****, and playing video games," Kevin says. "Discipline has not been instilled in her children. They leave wrappers on the floor. They don't flush the toilet, and it's so obnoxious."

 

"We're stepchildren, so he treats us differently from his real child," Tea says softly.

Despite the verbal showdowns in their household, Kevin says he's only gotten physical with his stepson once. "He rolled his eyes up at me, didn't want to hear my lecture. He slammed the door when he left. I went after him in the garage and I said, ‘What is your problem?' He screamed, "Don't you ever ******* touch me, or I'll kill you!'" he recalls. 

Shannon tells a different story. "Kevin grabbed my son by the neck and bit him in the nose," she says. "I've called the cops three times in the last year. One of those times, we were in an argument, and he told me, ‘I'm going to get rid of them,' so I told the kids to go in their room, and I said, ‘Leave them alone because if you push that door in, I'm going to call the cops.' He pushed the door in, and I called the cops."

"He thinks by bullying them, they're going to be better children," Shannon says bitterly. "My son cries. He's afraid of him. If my son's having breakfast, [Kevin] will say, ‘Are you paying for that bread today?' My son will put the food back and not even eat."  

Kevin feels that he's running out of options for discipline. "I do see it getting to the point where he's of legal age, and he and I get into a physical contest. I'm looking forward to that day," he says. "I have called him a fat, lazy, piece of ****." "I'm the breadwinner. These kids treat me like ****, so why do I have to do anything for them?"

"Kevin doesn't understand the damage he's causing Tony and Tea, talking to children in that manner, just basically letting these two kids see it's OK to grow up and you talk to your wife like she's garbage, and that's the way you treat your kids," Shannon says through tears. "If we don't fix this cycle, they're going to grow up, my son's going to marry somebody and possibly hit them, and my daughter is going to think it's OK to be with a a guy who's not an upstanding citizen, that this is a normal life."

When the video clip ends, Dr. Phil turns to Shannon. "What do you think about as you watch that?"

"It hurts. It's painful," she replies.

"Do you think you're protecting your children?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I think now I am. I think I've hit the bottom, and I'm not going to allow them to be treated like this anymore," Shannon vows. "I gave birth to them, and all they have is me to protect them."

"What do you think as you watch that, Kevin?" Dr. Phil asks.

"It's very hurtful," he replies. "I feel that the issues we have were so minute that it exploded into this way of living, with the verbal abuse and mental."

"Are you an abuser?" Dr. Phil asks point-blank.

"No. I feel I'm at this point, because I'm so frustrated, I don't know how to behave toward this situation," Kevin replies.

"Are you a bully?"

"It comes across that way, toward my stepchildren," says Kevin. "I think the ways that I'm going about it are in question because I'm so frustrated with the situation. I've been put into a situation of being a role model, or a father for these children. They've never had a father."

"But you're an adult," Dr. Phil counters.

Dr. Phil lists examples of Kevin's confrontational behavior toward Shannon. "You say that you call your wife the C-word. You call her an F-ing bitch, and you do it as a way of kicking her in the stomach. You call her a user, a leech, and a piece of trash in front of the kids. Is that bullying behavior?" he asks.

 

"It comes across as that way, yes," Kevin answers.

Dr. Phil stares at Kevin in disbelief. "Is there any other way?" he asks.

"He thinks words are better than hitting me," Shannon chimes in. "It's just as bad."

"I don't know how to act toward the situation. I feel like I'm doing, in my mind, the right thing for everybody, and providing a different lifestyle for these children, who never have been exposed to the lifestyle Shannon and I have together. Nothing is being reciprocated," Kevin says.

"Did I hear you say … ‘I can't wait for Tony to be of legal age so I can get physical with him'?" Dr. Phil probes. 

"That's how much anger I have toward him right now," Tony replies.

"So you're waiting for him to get old enough so you can whoop his ass," Dr. Phil interprets.

"It was said in anger, yes. That's how I feel toward the situation."

Kevin has also said of his stepchildren: "I look for every chance to correct, punish and yell at them. I just look for the chance," Dr. Phil points out. 

 

Defending his actions, Kevin says, "That's the way to release my anger for what goes on when their mother's not around."

"They're in trouble no matter what they do: If they didn't take out the garbage. If they argue. If the TV is too loud. They never get credit for the good things they do," Shannon tells Dr. Phil.

 

"'I cannot stand to be around them. They aggravate me. They're animals. When those kids get older, they will be F-ed,'" Dr. Phil reads. 

"Yes, that is correct," Kevin admits.

"That just sounds sick and demented to me, that you've got a grown man saying, ‘I can't wait for that boy to get old enough so I can pound him.'"

"His biological father has never been in the picture, so when I met Shannon, I tried to fill that void," Kevin explains. "If I treat him like gold or I treat him like garbage, I still get the same result, and I'm frustrated with the whole situation."

Dr. Phil is unsympathetic. "That's your justification for mentally, emotionally, verbally and physically abusing them?" he asks. "Did you run him down and grab him around the throat, and bite him on the nose?"

"No, I did not," Kevin says. "I did grab him by the throat, and I yelled at him after he put his finger in my face."

"You're an adult!" Dr. Phil says.