Dr. Phil speaks with guests who wonder if they're making extreme parenting mistakes.Dr. Phil comes back out on stage after the show to say hello and thank his audience for coming. He gives the audience an opportunity to comment on the show.
A man stands up and confirms Dr. Phil's advice to Kristine with his own observation: "Growing up, my best friend put his neighbor's animal underneath a train and killed it. And when I was an adult, I found out he was arrested for murder. And talking to people, relating this story to others at times, they say one of the most indicative things for problems in the future is when a child kills a neighbor's pet or something like that. And my thought was this is a very serious problem."
Dr. Phil agrees, and turns to Kristine, "What you're seeing with your son at this point predicts very bad adult behaviors. But it is not too late. It's not too late for you, and it's not too late for him, but it's got to stop right now, because you're coming up to a critical threshold here. When you get to puberty, and he starts taking on different characteristics, the game's going to change in a fast hurry, so this is something that is a matter of urgency. But it's not too late."
A woman in the audience has something to say to Kristine and her family: "Will you please get the animals in your house to a safe place? Either put them into an animal rescue house or a friend's place, even if it's just temporary, because I know you wouldn't want that in your heart or on your conscience if he was to harm another one."
Dr. Phil reiterates that he's going to help this family with a multifaceted intervention, and they will be addressing the pet issue.
Another audience member stands up with a question for Dr. Phil: "I just recently moved in with my son and my daughter-in-law. Do you have any advice about living there? There's a lot of anger between my son and daughter-in-law. It's around the kids and I try to intervene but I don't know the proper way to intervene."
"I think I'd get a tape of this show," responds Dr. Phil, continuing, "You giving advice is probably not the thing to do. They're probably not going to take that well coming from you. The best thing to do is maybe talk to them individually about it. People always try to make behavioral changes when things blow up. It's on the radar screen at that point, but that's not the time. You've got to catch it when things are calm, and have a discussion about a better way to handle it. Make no mistake, when you argue in front of the children, you change who they are. You write on the slate of their personality and it's in permanent ink."
A woman has a message for all the guests on the show: "You are very brave to come on today and share this, and you have made the first step. Since you've made it this far, you have it in yourself to keep going, and do what's right for your children."
Dr. Phil responds: "I've often said we get caught up in life's momentum, and the longer we've been doing something, the harder it is to create change, because you've got so much momentum. Like a bowling ball rolling down the hill, think what it would have to hit to make a right turn; it would have to be really substantial to change it's course. That's what I want this show to be for you guys, something to make this take a right turn. I want you to look back on this a year from now and say, 'It started that day.'"
Dr. Phil turns to Ann, "You're making choices out of fear ... but you can learn the confidence and techniques that are necessary to say no. I've got two sons, 17 and 24, and they learned to hear no, and frankly, they like that. People do love familiarity."
Dr. Phil continues: "I'll never forget, I had a friend in high school who was really a great, great guy. He'd fight a buzz saw, he was mean, and he was a fighter, and we hung out all the time. One night there was a game we wanted to see at the University of Kansas. There was an ice storm and we lived 25 miles away from Kansas City. He came over to go and we went down to my parents and said, 'Well, we're headed to the game,' and both my parents instantly said, 'Whoa, no you're not, you're not going anywhere. There's an ice storm out there, buddy, so just pack it back upstairs and play some of that ridiculous music you've been listening to.'
"So I argued for a little while and went back upstairs, and my friend who was so tough, I looked over, and he was crying, and I thought, 'I've never seen him cry before,' number one, and number two thought, 'God, he must've really wanted to see that game.' And I said, 'John, what's wrong? We can go to another game, it's OK.' And he sat on the edge of the bed for the longest time, and he said, 'You don't know what it would mean to me for my parents to care enough to tell me I couldn't get on an icy highway.' And I never forgot that. What music to his ears it would've been for his parents to say, 'You're too valuable to me to put yourself at risk. You're not going.' Sometimes [kids] want to hear no."