Dethroning the Drama Queen
Dr. Phil checks in with parents who were having a tough time disciplining their children.
Since appearing on the show, Jose and Ileana made big changes with how they were dealing with their 6-year-old daughter Janel. They took Dr. Phil's advice to heart: They stopped yelling, and they created some special one-on-one time with Janel.


"That was just awesome for her," says Ileana, who took Janel to an amusement park and was able to focus solely on her without the other kids around.


Although they've made a lot of progress with how Janel behaves, Jose and Ileana have noticed some new behaviors come out in her " like lying, never being satisfied with what she has, and being mean toward her little sister.


Jose has caught Janel lying and trying to manipulate him against Ileana to get what she wants. They want to know where this is coming from and ask Dr. Phil for help stopping the lying and getting her to be more appreciative of what she has.
Dr. Phil says Janel's attitude of being dissatisfied comes from being spoiled. "The reason for that is because you have given her too much," says Dr. Phil. "She has so many things that she appreciates nothing."


Dr. Phil explains that it's time to do some damage control and they have to be willing to take dramatic steps, including taking away all her toys when she's having a bad attitude. "I guarantee you, if all of a sudden there are no toys and she's left standing there with her face hanging out, then she'll appreciate when she gets to play with a toy," says Dr. Phil.


Jose says he feels conflicted since they created this problem by spoiling Janel. "We gave her everything," explains Jose, who admits to even buying her a portable DVD player when she was 3. "So we created this problem, but she has to pay the consequences for what we did, and I have a problem with that," he says.
"Well, that sucks for her," says Dr. Phil. "But you're right. You broke it, now you have to fix it. And I promise you, child protective services will not come and take your children because you locked her portable DVD player up in the closet!" Dr. Phil explains that overindulgence is a form of child abuse because it teaches kids the wrong message about the real world. "Give yourself permission to get past the guilt and set that aside," he tells Jose.


As for Janel's lying, Dr. Phil says it's a behavior that needs to be treated like any other behavior. "If she's caught in a lie, she has to pay a price. She needs to understand that lying has a serious, predictable, immediate consequence." Dr. Phil also explains how to get Janel to stop being mean to her younger sister. "You need to let her know for absolute sure that being angry and mean and aggressive with her little sister is the same as doing it to you," he says.
Dr. Phil explains that one of the ways to get a child to learn something is to get them to teach it, and a good teaching tool is to have Janel role-play with one of her dolls. "Have her teach the doll it's not nice to lie, you don't say things that aren't true and you don't be mean to your little sister. If she has to articulate these things to her doll, then that will put another link in her understanding," he says.


Dr. Phil sums it up: "You really need to do some guilt-free parenting. Be willing to take her toys away and let her earn them back. Treat the lying and the behavior with the little sister with consequences, and get her to role-play with her doll, it's a miraculous teaching tool."