Overprotective Moms: Ashlee and Teresa

Overprotective Moms: Ashlee and Teresa
"The last time we were on your show, your advice was great, but my mom is still overprotective," complains 14-year-old Ashlee.

Her mother, Teresa, agrees. "I am paranoid and very overprotective," she says.

Ashlee says she can't go to the mall, visit friends or play in her front yard without Teresa's supervision. "I'm 14. I'm not 5," she says.

Teresa knows that she goes overboard when it comes to parenting. "When she goes to bed, I check her at least two or three times a night," she says. "When she's out of my sight, fear overcomes me. I just lose control. I get a really sick feeling. My eyes will bulge out and I'll get a real panicked look on my face."

Ashlee longs for more freedom. "I feel like I'm in a bubble, a bubble that I cannot get out of. My mom goes on the Internet, and checks my e-mails. When I tell her I need my privacy, she says, ‘Ashlee, the only time you're going to get privacy is when you're 18.'"

Teresa says that some of her possessiveness is justified. "Since the show, we found out that we have a child molester in the cul-de-sac right next to us. I just want to cut the guys balls off," she fumes. Yet, she says she wants to change. "I don't like being that way, I know that I need to get help, because if I don't it's going to ruin Ashlee's life."

Addressing Teresa, Dr. Phil says, "I totally supported you in taking care of and monitoring everything she was doing. I said also she needs to start learning the ways of the world. You heard the first part, but you didn't hear the second part."

Teresa tries to explain. "I heard the first part where she can't go to the 7-Eleven or to the mall, and then I did agree [she could go to] the movies. She did get to go to the movies. The other two were out of the question," she says.

"You say she's naïve. How would she not be?" Dr. Phil counters. "Our job as parents is to socialize our children. Do you fear that you're not doing that?"

"She socializes great. Like I said, she will talk to anybody. I don't fear that. I fear that what I'm doing is causing her damage because all of her other friends are able to do these things, and I just can't get over the fact that something bad will happen once she walks out that door," she admits.

Teresa is now homeschooling Ashlee, and doesn't want her daughter going away to college. "She can go, but she just has to live at home. She can't live in a dorm," she stresses.

"I hope you like her husband," Dr. Phil jokes.

Dr. Phil lists Ashlee's grievances against her mother: " You say you're going to watch her 24/7, and you know you can't do that … You don't even trust your own husband to watch your children."


"No, no, no!" Teresa says adamantly.

Dr. Phil continues, "You don't let her ride her bike around the block. She can't walk to a store three-and-a-half blocks away. If she walks to her friend's house one block away, you watch her the entire way, and then she has to call once she's inside the door."

"Because in that cul de sac, is where the molester is," Teresa points out.

"You don't allow her to ride the bus unless you or your husband follows the bus in your car … You won't let them play in the front yard …You told her no sex until 18 or she goes to jail. What would the charge be?" Dr. Phil teases.

"I didn't think of that at the time," she replies sheepishly.