The Latest Debates: Discplining Others Kids

"I don't care if we're in a restaurant, or an airplane or a public pool, I think I have a right to say what I'd like to kids who are not doing what they're supposed to do," says Veronica, who has no children, and thinks parents should be required to have a license to have children. "I love kids. I don't have an issue with the kids; it's with the parents." Veronica is so passionate about this issue, she built a comedy act around it. "I'm ready to debate anybody on it," she declares.


"I don't want you to tell my kids what they should be doing," says Karla, mother to three young children. "Would you go to the park and tell somebody else's dog to sit?" Karla says that only other parents with three kids can understand how hard

it can be.


One day she brought her children to church, and they were acting a little rambunctious. Her pastor told her that she could only bring them to church one at a time so she could teach them how to behave in church.


"I don't need your advice and your opinion," Karla says. "Bring on the debate Dr. Phil!"


Dr. Phil addresses Karla. "Do you think your kids should be able to disrupt and run wild because you have three and there's only one of you?" he asks.

"I can't keep them under the kind of control that people need. Does that mean I'm supposed to sit in my house and never leave the house because my kids can be disruptive?" Karla asks.

"I do disagree with something you said," Dr. Phil tells her. "You said, 'I can't control all three of them.' Yes, you can. There are ways to do that."

Dr. Phil addresses Veronica, "You say, 'If you can't control them, then don't bring them.'"

Veronica explains. "You should be able to know when to remove your child from a public situation if they're bothering other people," she says. "I don't understand why that's not OK for me to say something."

"Do you really think that you have the right to go intervene with a 3- or 4- or 5-year-old child that's not behaving to your standards?" Dr. Phil asks her.

"When they're disrupting people around them, that's when I have a right to step in," she explains, but notes, "I criticize parents more than I do the kids."

Karla chimes in. "If you have a problem with something my kids are doing, you come to me," she says. "If you try to say something to my kids, that undermines me as a parent."

"So is it OK if I say, 'Oh, you're such a lovely little girl. You're behaving so well.' Can I say, 'Oh my God, you just kicked me in the ankle. Don't do that again'?" Veronica says. "It's OK to say something good, but I can't say something negative."


Dr. Phil says to Karla, "If you've got kids running wild, that's not OK." He tells Veronica that parents don't want strangers coming up and parenting their child. "Most parents have

a relationship. They have a value system. They have something they want to do, and if you came up to my child, you have no credibility with me whatsoever. I don't know who you are or what you're saying. You could scare this child," he explains.

"If the child's interacting with me and they're disturbing me, do I have a right to say something?" Veronica asks Dr. Phil. "I don't run around just randomly screaming at children."

Dr. Phil looks at the audience and asks, "Do you agree that if you go to a restaurant to

have a quiet dinner or you pay money for a show ticket, that you're entitled to a peaceful enjoyment of the show?" The audience applauds. Dr. Phil looks at Robin, sitting in the audience, and asks if she remembers when Jay was 1 or 2 years old and they were on the road playing in a tennis tournament. They went to a restaurant and Jay started screaming and yelling. "Do you remember what you said to him?" he asks her.

"I said, 'When you're 13, I'm going to spank you for this,'" she says.

"She took him out of the restaurant, and as she did, she went around to each of the tables and said, 'I am so sorry,'" Dr. Phil adds.


He asks Karla, "Would you do that? Would you take your kids out [of the restaurant], or would you just let them disrupt everybody's dinner?"

"I tried to take them out, but I've got three of them and I've got two hands, and a lot of times it takes me five or 10 minutes to get them back out of that restaurant," Karla explains. "During the entire time I'm getting glares, I'm getting comments. I'm getting snide remarks."

"I don't have a problem with kids misbehaving in public. It's a normal thing. It's going to happen," Veronica says. "I have a problem with parents who don't take the time to deal with your children misbehaving, and I think a lot of times they take the easy way out which is tune them out."

"If you had kids, you would realize you actually stop hearing it after a while," Karla responds.

"You should not do that," Veronica says.

Dr. Phil interjects. "I do have kids, and frankly, there are some things and skills that every parent can use, other than just intimidation, to control children," he tells Karla. "There are times if they become disruptive they need to learn, 'If you do this, you go home.'"

"We are constantly going home," Karla says. "And I would like to be

able to leave my house."

"You shouldn't have to be like you're stamping out a fire all the time," Dr. Phil tells Karla.

"That's what I feel like everyday," she says.

"We need to give you some help in that regard," Dr. Phil tells her. He explains that children need to learn that there are different types of behaviors for different situations. He suggests that she read Family First.


He reminds Veronica that if she has a problem with kids, she should talk with the parents.