Dr. Phil's Vault: Abby

Spoiling Your Kids
Dr. Phil digs into his "vault" for stories you've never seen."
"Abby's a great kid, but Abby's very demanding," says her mom. "When Abby doesn't get her way, she gets mad."


They got her a $1,200 horse, but then she wanted a new one that cost $4,000.


"I feel like most everything with Abby is a battle. She'll ask me once, and if she doesn't get her way then she'll go to her dad," says her mom. "If things continue this way, I think I'll feel resentment toward Abby."


Abby's father agrees: "Some boundaries have to be set. How much is too much?"

"Do you pretty much get everything you want?" Dr. Phil asks Abby.


"Pretty much," she says.


"You guys have caved, haven't you?" Dr. Phil asks her mom.


"We have," she admits. "I get so sick of saying no, that it's just easier to say yes and be done with it."


Are you telling me that you're in a battle of wills with a 13-year-old child and you're losing every time?" Dr. Phil asks. "The fact that she is arrogant enough to announce what she's going to do is absurd to me. You guys need to give yourself permission to say no."

Dr. Phil says this is an issue between Abby's parents. "If you let a child divide and conquer, they will divide and conquer," he says. "It is not a gift to give a child everything she wants. You're not doing her a favor by teaching her that she gets everything she wants, and you're caving in because you say you're too lazy to stand your ground."


Jay steps in with his experience as a child. "He made me work for the things that I got or that he would give me," he says about his dad. "You value the things that you get. What value do you have in something that all you have to do is nag for?"


Dr. Phil reiterates: "This is between you and your husband, and you need to give yourself permission to tell her no, and not feel guilty about it because it is not a gift to give her everything she wants when she wants it."