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2011 Shows

(Original Air Date: 01/14/11) Is reality television glorifying teen pregnancy? Dr. Phil takes a closer look at the media’s portrayal of young motherhood, and asks -- is it accurate to real life? What message -- if any -- is it sending to teens? Jeanie and Charles say their 16-year-old daughter, Emily's, pregnancy has created havoc at home with the family in constant conflict over what is best for Emily and her unborn child. Emily strongly believes she is ready to be a mom, but a pop quiz on the costs of a baby, and a visit from four teen moms, give this teen a reality check she didn’t expect. Will Emily have a change of heart? Plus, hear what Dr. Phil thinks is best -- and who he says no one is talking about at all.

Find out what happened on the show.
Replied By: johnplusfour on Mar 7, 2014, 10:24AM
Dr. Phil; please listen.. Long time listener, first time caller. I was absolutely shocked to watch how you dealt with this situation. Have you thought for a moment how this could potentially affect the moral compass of your impressionable viewers? Allowing them to think that it's ok to abandon your family (the unborn child) when your family has the money, the love, and willingness to care for a child.

Me? Married 17 years. 2/3 of our children are now in high school, Service vet and full time American worker. We had our children at 19, 22, and 25. Life isn't always perfect but we never give up on our family no matter what. God forbid if one of our boys got a girl pregnant; we would all be involved 110%. It would not matter the cost. We would make it work. No parent is completely ready their first time because they don't have that experience. But it does not mean that they won't do everything that they can to prepare for it. Being a parent does not end when your kid turns 18, 28, or 48. You educate your children throughout YOUR lifetime. You give them the mental tools necessary to prepare for whatever journey they choose to embark. If your child says "I do not want to abandon my own child"; then it's done. Your child is now a parent.

Your show portrayed constant barratement of a 16 year old pregnant girl. Showing her in view of the audience how ignorant she was in regard to the financial obligations of parenthood and life in general. You could do the same with any young couple attempting parenthood. As if she didn't have a difficult enough time with all these events plus the chemical changes occuring in her body. I'm sure that did wonders for her self worth. Not once did you target this step father about his unwillingness to support his wife in caring for her own child. What kind of example is that to set for what a husband should feel is his obligations. He chose to marry for life a woman with a child from another marriage. That is all inclusive Dr. Phil. 

Maybe it's just my emotions about the situation. But I feel that telling that girl to consider giving up on her child is equivelant to asking you to give up on one of your children if you were to become bankrupt respectively. The logical direction of that episode is that an obligation of children should be weighted against an association of money and apparent educational success in life. Happiness occurs within and SHOULD be irrelavent to materiel, monetary, or educational constraints. I'm not saying that one should not have goals and educational aspirations in life. I'm saying that they should not take precidence over one's own child; born or unborn.
Replied By: birger on Mar 6, 2014, 8:21PM
I have twin 14 year old daughters, at 12 years old they were given rights of confidentiality and decision making regarding pregnancy.  It is shocking to me that 12 year old girls have the right to make decisions that will affect a tiny baby and parents that support them.  A 12 year old does not have insight enough to make any of these decisions, nor do older teens, in my opinion.  

With that said, my sister became pregnant at 16 and is a complete success story.  My niece is now in her 20's and both mom and daughter have wonderful, full and complete lives.  Both are educated and beautiful, strong women.  It can be done with a lot of love and support from family.  
Replied By: debrisyat on Mar 6, 2014, 12:08PM
This is so sad.  Who would want this kid to be their mother?  Who wants a mother who figures she'll give parenting a "try?  No sane person would hand a baby over to a 16 year old thinking it is an acceptable thing to do. No sane person would step up and say, "Hey, I want that for a mother.  Yeah give me the kid who hasn't got an education, a job, or the ability to think past what makes her happy."  This is sickening.  Dr. Phil has this one right.  No one is thinking of this baby.  If people could sign up for their parents, this kid would not see her name on the top of anyone's list.
Replied By: paulab12 on Aug 28, 2013, 2:34AM
Dr Phil said if she used childcare she wouldn't be a proper mother.  Does this only apply to single mothers or are all mothers that work not proper mothers who should put their children up for adoption?
Replied By: xnightingale17 on Jun 17, 2013, 8:48PM
I'm really upset. WIth what Dr. Phil was saying, does he mean that only rich 16-year old teens have the right to be a mother to her child? I don't understand. If he was in that family's place, i don't think that he'd consider having Avery for an adoption. It isn't only rich people who has the right to try and raise their own baby. Please reconsider your advice Dr. Phil. It's really disturbing.
Replied By: xnightingale17 on Jun 17, 2013, 8:33PM
It's just plain ridiculous.
Replied By: xnightingale17 on Jun 17, 2013, 8:26PM
Out of all the shows that he had, (and I love the Dr. Phil show by the way), this is just the only episode that I can't understand Dr. Phil's advice. Why persuade the family to put the baby in adoption? Can't the daughter's mom help her to take care of the baby? Why not? If I got pregnant at 16 or 15 or even 13, I wouldn't get the baby into adoption. And if I was the baby, and I could speak as a baby, why would I want to grow up with a mother who isn't my biological mother? My gosh. I really don't understand. Please enlighten me. Giving up a baby isn't that easy.
Replied By: paulab12 on Feb 23, 2013, 2:24AM - In reply to pemper
I m sorry that you are experiencing problems conceiving.  Having said that jsut because she is young doesn't mean she owes you a baby.  We are encouraging girls to leave having children until their firtile years are getting less.  You have a better chance of being pregnant in your early 20's than in your early 30's so why are we telling our kids to delay?
Replied By: vallib on Sep 29, 2011, 6:10AM - In reply to georgegpkal
You are so right. This show aired in Australia today 29 Sept 2011 and I was really shocked by Dr Phil's treatment of this distressed, immature girl and by his failure to look into the family dynamics and offer insights into how this situation arose. He offered no practical help other than adoption counseling. Really coming to grips with the situation would have involved a deeper analysis and a more creative approach in suggesting ways that the wider family and community could be of assistance I really felt for the mother, who was trying to do her best in a difficult situation without the support of her partner and I felt that the girl was treated unkindly and unnecessarily humiliated to make the point that teenage pregnancies are, in general, to be avoided. I am puzzled that Dr Phil showed no interest in Emily as a young person with serious emotional problems who need his help and I disagree that her desire to keep the child is selfishness. It is more likely a visceral maternal instinct to be present and care for her child. The program was all about economics not love. The arrival of an unplanned baby is not the worst thing that can happen. It may bring them great joy.
Replied By: sharmainelf on Sep 29, 2011, 2:00AM
This show only aired in Australia today.  I have teenage children and have wondered what I would do if I were told that I would soon be a grandmother.  That part wouldn't bother me, but the thought of my children having to grow up too soon would be my angst. 

Emily seems to be in a fairytale world.  I was surprised that she felt so strongly about raising her baby and even considering the adoption route - even as far as declining Dr Phil's team of assistance.

Schools have those "make believe" babies that girls in high school take home for 3 nights as part of a Baby and You lesson.  My daughter had to bring one home when she was 14 and my son was 11.  I think that this is the best form of "birth control" for teenagers.  This "baby" cried at all times (apparently 34 times in 24 hours) and my daughter had to rock/feed/change it to try to make it stop crying.  At one stage my son got up to see to the baby in the middle of the night as my daughter was so tired after being up all night.  She took this really seriously as students were told that there is a microchip in the doll and that they would be assessed from data retrieved from the doll.

Now wouldn't this be a great 1 week trial for Emily - oh and no going out, no mobile phone, no luxuries for the week either. 

I think it would be great if every teenager had to experience looking after a "baby" for a week - might make them think twice about having sex before you are ready for the possible consequences.
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