Debate Dr. Phil: Joanne

Joanne
One viewer disagrees with Dr. Phil's advice about competitive parents.
Ever since seeing the show about "Competitive Parents," Joanne says she's been obsessing about the debate she wants to have with Dr. Phil.


She says, "Dr. Phil, you really missed the mark on that show about competitive parents. That show made me so angry, I was boiling! I was fuming! You roasted this poor woman, April. Shame on you Dr. Phil! I completely disagree with all the advice you gave, not that there really was any."


On that show, Dr. Phil pointed out that he had been a coach for 14 years, and he'd have had no tolerance for overzealous parents like April who

were interfering with their child's sports game. Joanne says she was also a coach, and totally disagrees.


"Even during my daily routine tasks, I think about that show and my blood pressure goes up. I can feel myself starting to pant, starting to sweat, thinking about that show." Eager to debate Dr. Phil, she says, "Dr. Phil I'm ready to get in the ring, are you ready for me?"

Joanne says Dr. Phil was "brutal," put words in his guest's mouth, and "roasted" her.


Recalling that April, his guest, was yelling derogatory comments at her children on the sports field when they missed a ball, and that her kids felt humiliated and burnt out, Dr. Phil asks, "You think that's all OK?"


Joanne explains, "My major beef with that show is that it is very hard these days to raise children. Those children were decent, honest, well-behaved children, and I think if their mother's worst quality is that she is pushy in sports, well God bless her."


When Joanne complains that Dr. Phil didn't offer any advice, he reads from the transcript of that show. "I said, 'They're getting burnt out because you're running your agenda instead of theirs. If there's a big external motivation like you, kids never develop their own drive, their own internal motivation, and if you're yelling and screaming and pushing them, they'll never find themselves and become self-starters. This is about the kids. Competition needs to be fun. You need to take a step back, be supportive, and let them be who they are.'"


Still, Joanne discounts it, saying the advice was "too extreme."

To find out if Dr. Phil's advice was really as bad as Joanne is suggesting, we followed up with April and her kids.


After coming on the show, April says she gained a new perspective about her behavior. "To look at the tapes, I was obnoxious. I sounded like a lunatic, and I felt sorry for my children. When Dr. Phil said I was a huge impediment, it made me feel like a complete failure. I started putting changes in my life immediately," she says. "As so
on as I got home, I decided that I spend way too much time with my children, and I joined a workout center. I go every day, and I get rid of my energy working out, and we come home to a much easier household."


April's kids are also happy with her new mindset. "I think Dr. Phil had a lot to do with the change in her," says April's son. Her daughter adds, "Dr. Phil, thank you for hitting a grand slam with our mom!"

Dr. Phil tells Joanne, "I will give you this. I'm not for everybody, and my idea is I meet people where they are and I tell them the truth as I see it. I'm not for everybody, and that's why you've got that remote control. But you can't argue with results, correct?"


"You're right," Joanne says, though she still wants to know: "Why were you so brutally tough on her?"


Dr. Phil makes no apologies, explaining, "Because this woman was hardcore. She had been doing this for years, and when I asked her to define success, she said, 'My kids are going to be number one, and I don't care what I have to do with or to them to make sure they come out number one. Because second is first loser and I'm not going to have that for my kids.' And that is a ridiculous position, and I said so and would do it again."