Parenting Dilemmas: Adrianne

Parenting Dilemmas: Adrianne
Dr. Phil talks to a woman who wants to lose 50 pounds before her wedding.

A viewer writes in:
Dear Dr. Phil,
My three-year-old boy keeps neighing like a horse!
He does this at school and while we're out in public. It can be very embarrassing! Sometimes I laugh it off and other times I get mad and frustrated. Is this normal? If it is, how can I get him to stop? Because he always seems to do it at the most inappropriate times. Dr. Phil, can you please help me understand my son's obsession to play horsey?
Carnegie, Pennsylvania
Dr. Phil begins, "If that is the biggest problem you ever have, you are a blessed woman. Really. The problem you've got is that he's doing it at really inopportune times, which means he's not making right decisions and not picking up the cues of when it's OK to be playing make believe and when it's not OK ... That's a socialization process."

He suggests, "One of the things that you can do is join in — not in the restaurant. A make believe life, a rich fantasy life, is an indication of two things: It's an indication of really good intelligence and creativity, and secondly, it shows that he's comfortable enough to explore and do things. That's a good thing. The question is just containing it sometimes. You've got to give him some consequences that are very predictable."

Dr. Phil reiterates that a rich imagination is a good thing. "Some of the children that do less well in school, one of the common elements we find is that they don't have a rich fantasy life. They aren't creative, and that's not nurtured and welcomed in the home. So he obviously feels very comfortable with you and he's obviously very intelligent. But you need to let him know by joining in, 'This is the time that we can do this, but we can't do it when we're out. Mommy can't play horsey in the restaurant and you can't either.' And if he does, then a good consequence is that you won't do it with him."