Sign up for the Dr. Phil Newsletter
Twitter Facebook YouTube

Raising Teens

As your child approaches the teen years, is your relationship changing? Is your teen acting out, doing poorly in school or disobeying your rules? Do you worry about new technology influencing your child? What’s your biggest challenge? Share your struggles and successes.
Replied By: blackpannther on Nov 19, 2015, 2:23PM - In reply to ekypg1
Hi. I've read what you wrote. Why do you think I picked that tilte? Because in this case, your are the beholder & you are blind to your own beauty. You think beauty is in the physical appearance? A friend once told me that "Beauty is only skin deep but ugliness goes all the way to the bone." It means a person who is beautiful in appearance can look ugly to the rest of the world if he or she is ugly on the inside. The most unattractive person who has the most beautiful heart can actually be a beautiful person in physical appearance. Are you a good person? Nobody cares that you had all your teeth removed. I had all mine removed as well because my past anorexia. No vitamines or nutrients to keep my teeth strong. Ooops. Oh well, nothing I can do about it now. I have scoliosis, can't turn my neck. Something like degenerative bones or something like that. I have depression, anxiety disorder, & panic disorder. Talk about falling apart at the seams. LOL. Anyway, I'm on SSI & if anyone judges that, I don't care. I may not be supermodel gorgeous but I know I'm beautiful because on Christmas, I feed the lonely in my home. I buy the food, I cook the food & my children watch me do this then I know I'm setting a good example for them. Around the table, we talk like we're family because I know that's what they need. In doing that, knowing that I enjoy it & they are happy & fed & they feel wanted by somebody then I know I can look into the mirrow & see a beautiful person. I tell you this because I wanted you to know that if you dig deep down inside yourself, you will find a diamond beneath all of that rubble. Do you remember the Ugly Ducking? Spoiler Alert, They found out he wasn't a duckling at all, he is a swan. You need to pick yourself up, list the good qualities about yourself & then look in the mirror. Look past what you think you've been seeing, keep telling yourself that your beautiful & why your beautiful because if you can't do that for yourself, then how can your daughter feel that way about herself? You know what? Christmas is coming up, take her out & pick someone or a family in need & make a project out of them. It doesn't have to cost money to do something nice for someone else but help them with something even if it is just to be their friend. Something like that can make someone else feel good & in return you will feel good as well & in time if you both will allow it, your self image will change & your self esteem will start to change as well & if anyone tries to put you down, then tell yourself, they are the ones ugly because ugly words came out of their mouths. As for being fat, I don't know what you look like but going for walks will help you feel good in that department as well. Helping people can also help in that department & as for your being old, they are saying now that age is just a number.  Vaulinteer work is the key, get your daughter involved. And remember, you need to fix your own self image before you can fix your daughter's because even teenagers mimic what they see. I hope my very looooong response helps & stay beautiful.
Replied By: blackpannther on Nov 19, 2015, 1:52PM
How do I respond to that? I've had problems with my teenage daughter. Then when she turned seventeen, my ex husband, her so-called father. We had joint legal custody of her while I had sole physical custody. That is supposed to mean something isn't it? Anyway, my ex came up with this idiotic plan how he was going 2 rip custody away from me without taking me to court. Yeah right. Atleast I thought that way until the day I took my nine year old to her wellchild appointment. I can't neglect my other 2 children just to sit & watch to make sure my 17 year old wasn't going to run off & get married especiallty since I had no clue that her dad, her & her husband were planning this behind my back. Anyway. After I got home from my 9 year old's Well Child appointment, it was fair week so I knew my 17 year old wanted to go to the fair. We have been getting along swimmingly well, no I know why bec next thing I know is I am getting a text from my ex husband, her selfish, childish father, telling me that he had signed his permission for her to get married then he sent me a picture of her marraige certificate. If that weren't enough, he had a cop escort them over to my home so that she can pack her things & leave. The cop told me there is nothing he can do, she had emancipated herself with her dad written consent even though she is still in school. It was a week after her 17th Birthday. All of this was because her dad didn't want to pay Child Support. Oh I took off after him & a cop stood in between me & him so that I couldn't hurt him & in the mean time he is yelling that I should want them to be happy because they love each other. If they love each other then they could have waited until next year when she turned 18. They still could have gotten married if it was true love bec true love is willing to wait. Her husband is 19.  I don't think anyone could help me at this point.  It's all too late. Her dad took off to a different state. That's another story in iteself. If you want to know EVERYthing, Then read my blog. It is a rather interesting story although it is 100 percent true. My case is beyond help but I just wanted to share my story with you anyway.
Replied By: momintbay on Nov 10, 2015, 5:32PM - In reply to ekypg1
How can you expect your daughter to have high self esteem when you speak the way you do about yourself.
Replied By: ekypg1 on Nov 7, 2015, 9:38AM
I can't do anything to make my daughter to clean up anything, not even herself. Her room is a desaster area, she won't do laundry so her clothes are borrored from brother ir she wears them dirty. She stopped bathing, brushing her teeth. She is in alternative school because she has had failing grades since middle school. She has low self esteem and in the last 3 years she put on 60 pounds. She never exercises or goes out.
Because she is 18 and I have no car, I can't get her to her counselor or doctors. She was recently dropped because she is no show for all appointments.
Can anyone help.
Oh, and just want you to know that I am on SSD and been unable to get a job since 2008. I had all my teeth removed in 2012 because an error in fact that my insurance would not pay for fillings or root canals but for extractions.
It is hard to get a job when all you can see is a fat ugly old woman with depression to compete with attractive young and full of energy folk.
I am not of good health so I have a hard time with myself.
Replied By: DrPhilBoard1 on Nov 2, 2015, 11:51AM - In reply to ebahena

The app is called Doctor on Demand, here's a link to their website:

Dr. Phil Team
Replied By: ebahena on Nov 2, 2015, 11:11AM
Dr. phil is always talking about the app for therapy you can contact a therapist on the app, does any one know the name of it?
Replied By: cochese on Oct 2, 2015, 3:20PM - In reply to christinaa4101
[quote]I have a soon to be 14 yr old daughter that has been changing drastically within the past 2 years. I found out that she started cutting. She has gone from ab honor roll to almost all f's. I have takin her to a rehab place that lasted 6 weeks. Gone to a counselor and nothing seems to be helping. I do not know what to do. They are superficial cuts, but I worry about her being alone, hurting herself to an extreme. I try to get her to talk to me but she will only say what she wants. I ask her why she cuts and the reasons vary. [/quote]

 She's hurting because of self-image, sex, boys, friends, and the constant, relentless, bombardment of sexual images in the media, music, society, and American culture she's exposed to every day of her life.  And she won't tell you about it either.  You have to already know why and should have prepared her for it beginning at a very early age.  Only saying that not to hurt you but to warn others, dads mostly, with little jewels in their lives:  start showing her loving attention at a very early age.  Teach her, protect her, help her, love her, and pay her attention.  By the time she's 13, she'll not easily want to disappoint you:  She has a very special place in her heart for you and it's that which you can use to most influence her and help her get through adolesence relatively unharmed.
Replied By: cochese on Oct 2, 2015, 2:32PM - In reply to heartsforkiwi

She needs dad but not just dad but someone that shows her he loves her, cares about her, and wants her to be a healthy girl.  She needs him and she wants him and she's hurt he's not there for her.  Dad need to talk to her.  I'm not suggesting her interest in sex would stop but he has an influence on her:  she has a very special place in her heart for him and if he acts right, she'll not easily want to disappoint him.   Not saying this would solve the texting issue.  It probably wouldn't but I am suggesting dad taking a loving interest in her life, understanding he will never have anything more precious then her, and paying her attention, ruby earrings for Valentine, and talking to her about sex as uncomfortable as that would be for him, will help get her through adolesence relatively unharmed 

Replied By: alholland712 on May 4, 2015, 6:31PM
I have watched many Dr. Phil shows that cover issues between parents and chiclren and I have to say I am stunned. I have 4 children a son 20, daughters 14, 11, 10. I have raised two boys of my cousin for 2 years and boys of a friend for 3 1/2 years so I feel I have experience with children. I have a difficult understanding why so many parents on the show are victims and helpless. It's society, it's T.V., it's the internet...When in reality it's the parents and their influences. Parents are forgetting that they are in charge. Kids are not our equals and due to physical and emotional development...They shouldn't be. If you don't like what your daughter is wearing stop it. Many people say it's not that easy but it is. One mother said we didn't like how she was dressing so we took away her computer and her cell phone... What? If you didn't like what she was wearing throw away the inappropriate clothing. 

Another issue is the privacy rights of teens. It is easy they have none. I have wonderful daughters who get A's in school, have never been in trouble in school or with the law. They know they have no privacy. They have very limited internet. They have no cell phones. They can use the landline. No non educational electronics during the school week. When they are grounded from something they don't try to sneak it because they know it would be a bad idea. My 20 year old moved out and I have never searched his house or computer or phone. He has his own place and he has privacy rights, but as long as they live in my house...Privacy is not a right. I monitor what they watch, what they listen to and where they go on the net. They are not allowed to use the internet in private areas. My kids are happy and healthy. They play outside during the week. They ride bikes and play board games. Electronics are not a necessity. Parents need to remember why they had children. Were they trying to grow friends (Which to me is pathetic) or did they want to be a parent. People say my kids are ruled and that I am overbearing, but my kids friend's mother's tell me how polite and respectful my kids are. People come up to me in restaurants and say WOW! your kids are so well behaved. 

My kids are not unhappy. They do not feel controlled. They are happy, healthy and respectful kids. They know what makes me mad and what doesn't.Maybe I am just blessed, but maybe my parenting has something to do with my kids. Parents need to take back the control and raise their children. Children are not born with an internal compas saying this is good and this is bad. They need limits and guidance to understand those boundaries. My children have never cussed at me. They may say things about me to their friends but they would never consider saying it to my face. Become a parent and take control. Don't allow your child to be the boss. If that was how God intended things to be they would leave us shortly after birth. Just my thoughts.
Replied By: heartsforkiwi on Apr 26, 2015, 9:59PM
I'm looking for some advice on how to handle a situation with my 14-year old daughter.  To give some background, I'm a single mom and my daughter has always been a really good kid.  She's in the gifted program at school, makes really good grades and has a big heart.  Her father sees her occassionally, but not very involved in her life and never has been, so I've handled all the parenting decisions myself for her whole life.  My daughter and I are relatively close and have a good relationship, but a little more strained lately as she enters her teenage years.  I expected this.  When she got her iPad, she gave me the password for it and I told that I may occassionally monitor what she's doing, but as long as she gives me no reason not to trust her I would not breathe down her back.  I've never had a problem until now.  I just found out that her and and a few of her female friends are "role playing" with each other via text messages.  For example, my daughter is pretending to be someone named "Sarah" and her friend is pretending to be someone named "Tom" and they act out various scenarios.  The problem is that the majority of this role playing is sexual in nature - and some of it is even down right dirty.   I was mortified to discover this and I'm not sure how to handle this discussion with her.  We have in the past had conversations about puberty, sex, etc... so I'm not afraid to have those kind of discussions with her, but I'm not sure how to make her understand that this is not appropriate behavior for a 14 year old.   I've thought of telling her that I'm going to monitor her very closely now, but then I'm afraid she'll just delete these text conversations so that I don't see them.  I know this is going to be very embarrassing for her when I bring it up and I intend to minimize that embarrassment as much as I can, but I'm very concerned.  I do know the girls she is doing this with, so it's not an issue that she's talking like this with strangers.  I can say with near certain confidence that my daughter is not sexually active but this is so difficult for me to wrap my head around because when I was her age, I wasn't even thinking that way.  I know it's a whole new era these days, but I'm not sure how to best handle this.  Has anyone ever encountered a situation like this before?  If so, how did you handle it?  
Showing 1-10 of total 203 Comments