Parenting 101: Parenting Bloopers: Justin, Adrienne

Basketball Whiz Kid
Dr. Phil helps guests solve common parenting bloopers.
"Justin is completely obsessed with basketball," says Adrienne, who's worried about her son.


"I think I may get drafted before I'm even in high school because I'm that good," says Justin, who has even said that he could be the first kid drafted from grade school!


Justin's grades have gone down to Ds and Fs, and he has been suspended from school at least 10 times. He also has no respect for his teachers or coach. "I always tell Justin that he needs something to fall back on in case the basketball thing doesn't work out," Adrienne says. She asks Dr. Phil, "I feel like I'm being slammed dunk by my son. How do I get him to stop dreaming about the NBA and focus more on his schoolwork?" Dr. Phil acknowledges that Justin is a great player, and tells Adrienne that he believes in nurturing a talent. "If a kid is really good at something, you want them to do that. You want them to develop that. No question about it," he says. Still, it's important to know that Justin only has a 3/100 of one percent chance of making it into the NBA.


Dr. Phil gives Adrienne some advice on how to get the basketball under control and Justin's attitude in check. "We know for sure

that kids will do lesser desirable behavior to get access to more desirable behavior. But you are not consistently requiring him to be respectful to you, to be respectful to coaches, and to do his homework," he says to her. "He needs to understand that basketball is a privilege," Dr. Phil tells her, which means that Justin needs to earn the right to play by getting his schoolwork done. He also advises, "You can not let this kid disrespect you, back talk you, back talk that coach and blow off school, because when he gets into high school, he's got to stay eligible."

Dr. Phil brings Justin out on stage to talk with him. "So they tell me that you can shoot the hoop," Dr. Phil says to him.


"Yeah, I shoot hoop a lot. I am pretty good, " Justin tells Dr. Phil. "Sometimes I get mad when my mom says, 'No. Go and do your homework.' Sometimes I just go and do it."


"If you practiced school as much as you practice basketball, how

do you think your grades would be?" Dr. Phil asks Justin.


"I think my grades would be good," Justin tells him.


Dr. Phil tells Justin that as he gets older and into high school, he can't play basketball unless he has good grades.

Justin, a huge fan of the Dallas Mavericks, gets a surprise message from two of the team's

star players, Michael Finley and Steve Nash.


In the video message, Steve tells Justin that it is important for him to know what it takes to be a good player. "People in the NBA don't want young kids who don't have any respect for their teachers or their teammates. They're going to always pass over that guy," he says.


Michael reinforces the need for an education. "Because of our success in the classroom, we were able to get recognition to different colleges and NBA teams. So we're living proof that education does count," he tells Justin.


They both remind him that it is important to study and work hard. They wish him good luck.

Dr. Phil asks Justin what he thinks about the video.


"I think I can study hard because sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I just don't want to study," Justin tells him.


"Well it's not about whether you want to or not," Dr. Phil responds. "If you've got a great jump shot but you can't add two and

two, they don't want to talk to you ... They're telling you, you're not going to get into college. You're not going to get into the pros, even if you're good, if you're not a good student," Dr. Phil warns him. He asks Justin if he believes that.


"Yeah, I believe it," Justin answers.


"So what are you going to do?" Dr. Phil wants to know.


"Try to step my grades up. Get a good report card," he says.


Dr. Phil gives Adrienne one last suggestion. "If he doesn't, my advice, is no basketball. I would find every basketball around and take the air out of it," Dr. Phil says. "I would take the hoop down. I would do whatever I had to do. If he did not study, he would not play basketball."


Adrienne agrees and Justin gives a disappointed look.