Sex, Drugs and More
Dr. Phil speaks with guests who wonder if they're making extreme parenting mistakes.
Ann is a single mother of a 13-year-old girl, and has always been more of a friend to her daughter than a parent. Ann tries to control her daughter's drinking by allowing her to drink and smoke at home. "I let my daughter drink here at home because I feel that they're going to find a way to do it anyway," says Ann, who is now worried that she made a mistake.

Ann recently found out that her daughter smokes pot, has an 18-year-old boyfriend, and although she denies that she's had intercourse, she admits to giving oral sex. "Being a mom of a 13-year-old girl who has an 18-year-old boyfriend gives me more concern than anything else," says Ann. "When I come home, I see this 18-year-old boy always in my house. I usually go to bed before them, and when I wake up in the morning, he is in the same bed with her."

Ann's biggest fear is that if she puts up restrictions now, her daughter will run away and rebel. She turns to Dr. Phil for advice.

Ann says that her daughter has no self-esteem or no identity, and she always follows others in order to be accepted.

Dr. Phil points out that although they moved from Ohio to North Carolina to get her daughter away from the bad crowd, she found the same type of friends to hang out with in their new state. "Does it occur to you that the common denominator is her mother?" he asks.

Ann points out that she only recently allowed her daughter to smoke and drink in front of her, because other parents told her it would prevent her from doing it outside the home without her supervision.

"Those parents who told you that are idiots," says Dr. Phil. He tells Ann that when he read the notes from her interviews with the show's producers, he thought it was a joke. "I said, 'I don't believe this. This may be a joke because this mother couldn't make this many mistakes in one situation.' ... It's almost incomprehensible for me to have a mother say, 'It makes sense to me to allow my child to drink, smoke, smoke pot, have an 18-year-old boyfriend' ... She's in the sixth grade Ann!"

"How do you suggest I stop her from doing it?" asks Ann.

"First off, you got to get involved," advises Dr. Phil. "You said, 'I don't want her to hate me.' Look, I promise you, she is going to hate you. She is so going to hate you when she's 15 and she's got a kid strapped to each leg, or has some type of sexually transmitted disease, or whatever. She's going to hate you. She's going to look at you some day and say, 'Why didn't you make me do right woman?' She's going to look at you like, 'Why were you so insecure that you had to run this popularity contest as a mother to be the cool mom so that fed your ego instead of having the guts to step up and do right by me as a child?'"

Dr. Phil tells Ann the first thing she has to do: "Before you do anything else, before the sun sets on you today, you need to run that 18-year-old boy off, and I'd call the cops on him!" The audience applauds.

"And what do I do when she runs away?" asks Ann. "Just deal with that then?"

"You're afraid that if you press, she's going to rebel, correct? Do you not think that she's rebelling now?" Dr. Phil asks. "She's drinking, smoking, doing drugs, and having sex, and she's in the sixth grade. Now, does that tell you that your plan isn't working?"

"Yes, it does. It's why I'm here," says Ann.

"Did you get what I'm saying about that 18-year-old boy? I'm fairly certain that's statutory rape," says Dr. Phil.

Dr. Phil spells it out. "You have a responsibility here, and the responsibility is this: You need to stop buying alcohol for these children. You need to stop allowing your child to drink, to smoke dope, to smoke. You need to call the cops if necessary to get that 18-year-old boy smoked off of her, because that is absolutely ridiculous and absurd. You're going to get a lot of practicing if you don't stop this right now because you're going to be raising your grandkids. Because she's going to wind up pregnant in a fast hurry if you don't stop this," he says.

Dr. Phil continues: "Don't be held hostage. You face it the way all of us who are parents face it. You manage it day to day. You get through Monday, then you get through Tuesday. You get involved in their lives. You set boundaries."

Dr. Phil tells Ann her daughter is out of control and in need of guidance. "She needs to be in drug rehab right now. I can tell you that this child is addicted to alcohol and drugs, in my opinion. And you need to go to parenting classes. You need to learn what is OK and what is not OK. You need to learn how to make requirements. You have a very intelligent daughter, she makes excellent grades. She's got a good head on her shoulders. She's just been given more freedom, no fencelines and so she doesn't know what's OK and what's not."

Dr. Phil offers to get Ann some help, if she's willing to understand that she owns a big part of this problem.

"I know," says Ann, getting emotional. "I know I do."

Dr. Phil tells her that he's going to follow up with her because he's not going to walk away from this.