Kids Ask Dr. Phil: Olivia

A Female Wrestler
Dr. Phil talks a teen whose mother thinks it's unladylike to wrestle.
Olivia, 16, has been wrestling since the fifth grade. Her mother, Martha, thinks it's unladylike to wrestle. "Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I want her to be a lady," Martha declares. "I told her she could do anything she wanted to do, to reach for the stars. But I didn't know one of her stars was really going to be wrestling."

"My mom wants me to be in beauty pageants," Olivia says, admitting that she enjoys getting dressed up and putting on makeup. "It was fun, but I would rather wrestle. With wrestling, the adrenaline kicks when you almost have the pin."

Martha's worst fear is that Olivia will injure herself.
"I'm concerned about neck injuries," she confesses. "I'm very concerned about sexual harassment. I saw her wrestling a young man. I didn't like it ... I think people in the school will get the wrong idea."

Olivia adds, "My mom is scared I'm going to become the butt of all the jokes and I'm not going to grow up to be a lady. I'm going to get these big Arnold Schwarzeneger muscles and I'll be in my wedding dress with these bulging biceps."

She turns to Dr. Phil for help.
Acknowledging that Martha thinks it's unladylike to wrestle, Dr. Phil points out that Olivia is not the only female wrestler. "There are 5,000 high school girls wrestling throughout the country now," he says. Also, 2004 was the first year that women's wrestling was an Olympic sport and six colleges now have women's wrestling teams. "I wrestled when I was younger, and you do get in some compromising positions," Dr. Phil says, showing a picture of two women wrestling in a collegiate match. "Are you comfortable with that?" he asks Olivia.

"It's wrestling. It's all part of the game," Olivia answers.
Dr. Phil introduces Patricia Miranda, the 2004 bronze medal Olympic wrestler, who is on the phone. "Should they be concerned about this?" he asks Patricia.

"Women's wrestling is growing in the world, and very soon, you'll
have an NCAA sport that is exclusively for women," she answers. "But right now, the price you've got to pay " and especially as a parent to allow your kid to pursue her dream " is that for the next decade or so, we sort of have to infringe on the men's programs and say, 'Hey, let us train.' Olivia, if wrestling is truly going to be a passion of yours and you love dedicating and working hard for it, people come around. "

An elated Olivia responds, "I idolize you. You're awesome."
Addressing Martha, Dr. Phil says, "You've made the decision here and you've allowed her to pursue this. The number one tool that parents need is to have a definition of success for their kids. One of the elements of that definition should be that you help them discover their authentic self. I commend you for two things. One, being sensitive to the fact that she could be in a compromising situation and keeping a very close eye on that as an attentive parent. And two, having the courage to let her pursue something, even though it's not what you would do in a million years."

He tells Olivia to go for it.