Follow-Ups: April

Follow-Ups: April
Dr. Phil follows up with a memorable softball mom.

"When I left the show, I felt like I was attacked," says April, who was in a show about "Competitive Parents." "Dr. Phil called me obnoxious, and when I looked at the tape, I saw that I was obnoxious. I sounded like a lunatic. I felt ashamed of myself and sorry for my children. The audience didn't think I got it, but I did. I started making changes in my life immediately."
April has joined a gym and works out every day. She says that getting rid of her excess energy through exercise has made for a much happier household. She's also started bringing sunflower seeds to her daughter Amanda's softball games so that her mouth is busy chewing — instead of yelling!
Both April and Amanda are happy with the changes in their mother/daughter relationship. "Amanda and I have set rules," says April. "She's going to respect me and I'm going to respect her. She's allowed to play the 'Dr. Phil card' when I get out of line. Dr. Phil said he was going to check up on us. So if I get out of line, Amanda lets me know that she's going to let Dr. Phil know it."
"Now, after the show, my mom is a calm person," says Amanda. "That makes me a better player. Now it's like we're best friends. Thank you, Dr. Phil, for hitting a grand slam with my mom."
On her return visit to the show, Dr. Phil asks April what she learned from watching the tape of herself. "Just how obnoxious I was," replies April. "When you said I was a huge impediment to my children, that's when it hit me, because that is not what I want to be. And I spent way too much time with my children. That's another thing I got from watching the tape."
Dr. Phil asks April's 16-year-old son Zachary, who's seated in the audience, if there is anything else he'd like his mother to do that she's not doing.
"I want her to trust me more when I'm behind the wheel," he says. "When she's there, she yells, gets frustrated and scared."
"That's because he's going to hit a car!" exclaims April.
"Look, you're not going to yell him into being a better driver," explains Dr. Phil. "If anything, you're being distracting."
Turning to Zachary, Dr. Phil says, "You're saying you want her to trust you. What if you're not trustworthy?" He goes on to read statistics that the risk of having a car wreck is highest among 16-to 19-year-old boys.
"You are pretty high risk," Dr. Phil tells Zachary. "Is it the way she's coaching you that bothers you or is it what she's saying?"
"The problem is the way she says it," says Zachary.
Dr. Phil suggests that if Zachary makes a mistake like running a stop sign and then slamming on the brakes, April can have him go around the block and do it again every single time. "It will start shaping him to do it properly," says Dr. Phil. "And if a crash is imminent, it's OK to yell."
"When do I cross the line from being a parent to being a pushy mom?" asks April.
"The more we provide motivation from the outside, the more we diminish our children's motivation from the inside," explains Dr. Phil. "For example, one of the biggest mistakes parents make when a kid does well in a sport and comes off the field is to say, 'We're so proud of you.' The first thing that should be coming out of your mouth is, 'You should really be proud of yourself. You did that. You did it for you and you did it for your team.' We have to teach them how to feel. The next thing to say is, 'And we're proud of you too.' And it should be with the same passion and energy whether they lost or won, because you don't play your best every single day."