Five Factors of a Phenomenal Family: Johanna

Still a "Grinch"?"
Dr. Phil follows up with some of his most memorable guests.

Dr. Phil's second factor for a phenomenal family is having meaningful rituals and traditions. For Johanna, that was a challenge around the holidays when bad childhood memories turned her into a "grinch."

Since being on the show, Johanna has changed her outlook. "Last year for Christmas, after being on the Dr. Phil show, I completely threw myself into the holidays," says Johanna. She baked goodies with her children, took them shopping and decorated the house. "The holidays are much happier for my children now. I'm trying to create very warm and festive memories for my children."

"The funnest thing was when she put the angel on top of the Christmas tree," one of her sons says.

Another son says, "The holidays are really fun now!"

Johanna's husband, Mike, also has seen changes in his wife. "She embraces the family a lot more. She's energetic and happy. It's an amazing change," he declares.

Johanna explains her "lightbulb" moment. "He told me that I needed to release the past. I needed to live in the future with my children," she explains. "Thank you, Dr. Phil, for giving me the tools to embrace the holidays so that I can enjoy Christmas once again and see the light in my children's eyes."

"How do you feel about all of that?" Dr. Phil asks Johanna.

"I cannot believe that for years I didn't celebrate the holidays with my children," Johanna explains. "I didn't think they noticed, but they did and they're so happy." She is now very into the holiday spirit and even went Christmas carolling last year.

Dr. Phil acknowledges that it took Johanna a lot of courage to

make changes. "If you have a bad history, if you have a painful history, that's nothing to be ashamed of," he explains. "If you create a new history, you create a new joy, you create a new tradition in your home." Pointing out that Johanna's dad would drink a lot around the holidays and that ruined them for her, he asks her how their relationship is now.

"This is awesome. He apologized to me. He said, 'I'm sorry,'" she explains. This Christmas, her entire family will be together.

"This is the second factor of a phenomenal family: Create rituals and traditions for your family now," Dr. Phil explains. "Not living in the past, not living that legacy that may have been painful as a child, but creating that joy and peace in your home right now." Dr. Phil points out that now her father will also share in the joy of the holidays.

"Thank you for letting us have that," Johanna says.