As I have gotten older, I have been thinking back on how I could have changed my way of raising my children:
I would have been more involved in their school projects, activities. I would have known what kind of kids they were hanging out with. I would have been more involved their everyday life. I was the male role model they would base their future love interests on. I would talk them more about how men think about women. I would have been more loving and understanding, not so tough. I would have been softer with my daughters. I would have not given them everything they always wanted, I would have required more from them, like doing chores. Not spoiling. I never had very much in life and I wanted them to have everything I did not have. I would have not argued with my wife in front of the children. I would have spent more time on a one-on-one basis.
Replied By: tkerr2353 on Oct 7, 2010, 4:42AM
I'd like to see you and Erin be about the mission now of "decontaminating" these grandchildren.  If there is anything that regrets can teach us that is useful is that being awake and thinking about how we impact lives saves us from bringing hard things to bear others.... especially on little shoulders.  Whether your regrets are pertinent or not to what evolved, no one can ever know because the business of molding the pathway of a child is so multifactorial especially these days and doubly so in your case for the Dr. Phil show itself. It made it's own huge impact in your lives... for better and worse.
     (Better in strengthening you and your wife's mature inclinations and worse for strengthening your daughters' far fetched notions which, their generation is saddled with already for all the exposures to the unreal.  You and Erin knew that the party would end at some point or another for your realistic grounding and for that, you could make use of the show's advantages.  Your daughters didn't have that sensibility... the show was a reward system for bad behavior... no different than any of those base "reality" shows broadcasted where the object is to see the twisted and unbecoming.  Your girls got their 15 minutes of fame and the special treatment  to savor and  live on for a good long while. It was a huge impact.)
    However, reflections in general can/should help us know that painting the painting the canvas ahead with a finer brush and more skill are required.  I would hope that it is your thinking to 'decontaminate" the atmosphere these grandchildren live in.  I would want them as free as possible from the past of their mother or their aunt so that they might grow and thrive unlabored by the "hand me downs" which do not have to be part of their lives.  And this is up to you and Erin to do for them. 
     I hope you and she stay clear of your daughters' problems and troubles; give no more than a wistful smile and " Well, I expect that you will figure things out for yourself" to their miseries.  I hope that you and Erin will be just plain tired of talk about the girls to have any talk about them in the house.  I hope that you are very no-nonsense about Alexandra's involvement with the children (and you keep a lid on Katherine's influence on them) to leave these kids to have their own lives not under the shadow of what their mother did.  I hope that the love you have for your girls is now made far less demonstrable to them and reserved for these little ones.  I hope you have wisdom in what you say to the children about their mom and their dads... wisdom to know what there is to say that will be helpful to those kids. I guess I am saying, shut that party down and keep it from coming upon your grandchildren.
      (Something that I said to my son rattling from the desertion of his father at the right age was this: "Kid, when the questions inanswerable come upon you, ask yourself this: Why labor to understand what can't be understood...the cruel, the unthinking, the lousy? Why not labor to understand how great is done in the face of every challenge? Because that labor would be worth it..... I had three sons to be exposed to some really harmful/hurtful stuff and it showed in them at various times... One son was an heroin addict by age 14 and another incarcerated at 17 years old.  So, I would say it was a tough go and that I have my regrets, too.  However, all three of these boys live lives productive and lives they love in their adulthood.  I would like to think that they do have fulfilling lives for what I resolved to do with my regrets and for them knowing there were few safety nets. 
Replied By: KateBauer on Sep 27, 2010, 8:30AM
You may have made a lot of mistakes bringing up your daughters. Having an affair was just plan old stupid, not valuing your wife enough and so on, but I swear  there is something seriously wrong with Alexander.  Having 3 children by the age of 22 to 3 different men show she may be lacking activity in her frontal lobe.  Now with the latest being born drug addicted shows how little she thinks of her children.  I know you & Erin didn't plan on having a second family at this stage of your life.  I hope Alexander considers getting sterilized before number 4.  My heart aches for the children and especially the new baby(what an awful way to come into this world).  Good luck to you and Erin.  I think you, Erin, and Dr. Phil need to have Alexander really hit rock bottom.  She doesn't appreciate your help, Erin's, or Dr. Phil's.  I sadly don't believe she will change.  Hopefully, Katherine has learned from her sister and will mature and make better choices for her life.
Replied By: deannej on Sep 24, 2010, 7:39AM
I wanted to respond with something wise to say, but have read so many responses with such good advise, that all I can say is that I pray you and your family are able to let go of the hurt, anger and bitterness.  I pray that you all have some peace, some healing, and be able to enjoy your years with your grandchildren.  I pray that both daughters are able to come to awareness of their destructive paths they have chosen and chose to change their lives around to a better path with healing, forgiveness, and love.  God bless you all.
Replied By: sequoia721 on Sep 23, 2010, 2:17AM
First let me start by saying I have been following your family since the first show. It breaks my heart to see Alexandria go down the path that she is. It also scares me to no end. I have 5 children .4 girls and 1 boy. 
Ironically,my 11 year old is named Alexandria as well. We have been struggeling with her for 3 years now. She is more mature than her 11 years and watching your Alex puts real fear in me of what is to come for our daughter. I have no doubt the roas is goinig to get alot more rough with her.
I understand your wife completely! To some it looks as if she comes off as heartless and uncaring. I know because I thought the same thing at first. But we are feeling the same towards our daughter and she is only 11. There comes to a point where you feel there is nothing left you can do and it takes its toll on you.
I have often thought about what we could do better as parents because we do not want to see her go down the same road as Alex. I have the utmost respect for both you and Erin. My marriage almost fell apart because of our daughter and it still may. You both are doing a wonderful job with your grankids and i dont know that i would be able to do what you have done. Not just one but 3.
YOu whole family are in our prayers. If you have any advise on how we can prevent our daughter going down this path please let us know. I know I have not given you much information about our situation but if you or Erin are willing to message with us I will be glad to share more with you.
Take care
Replied By: axiris on Sep 23, 2010, 1:11AM
I think that writing about your feeling will help you express yourself better. You shuld write manny time when your upset, becouse I think expressing yourself is very important for your well being espesialy when you have tough times.
Replied By: micheler on Sep 22, 2010, 11:48AM
I'm so pleased that you've admitted accountability. It's just the thing alot of fathers need to hear from someone with your experience.  You're absolutely right in that a father has more responsibility and power in their position as role model to their children.  However, it's CRITICAL with girls.  My daughter is 15 and is experiencing alot of the same issues.  I commend you for you courage in moving forward and taking ownership of your past mistakes.  I'm not judging and I'm not criticizing.  I'm sure you did the best you knew how given the way you were raised.  We all suffer.  We're all human.  We all make mistakes.  We all have to continue to learn and grow and move forward with faith.  Good luck.
Replied By: lanosrep on Sep 22, 2010, 8:05AM
I think it's very commendable that you and Erin are taking care of your three wonderful grandchildren.  It's good to reflect and see where you went wrong, but right now it seems you are doing what's right and that's what matters.
Addiction can happen to anyone.  Sometimes it's mom and dad's fault., and sometimes it's not, but as long as you are being the best man you can be now, then well, that's all that matters.
You're daughter is all grown up now with three kids of her own (well their your kids right now), all you can do is wait and see if Alex cleans up.  Time will tell. 
I wish you all the best.  Your grandchildren are wonderful and I wish that the little one gets by without too many stuggles.
Replied By: bjackino on Sep 21, 2010, 6:52PM
What wonderful insight into what assisted in bringing this girl to such a mess.  You are a brave man & I am  pleasantly surprised at your honesty.
Replied By: ozarkherp on Sep 21, 2010, 3:47PM
Both you and Erin  posted that you would not have spoiled your family as much as you did.  I could have told you that years ago when you first appeared on the Dr. Phil show.  I thought then this family would go down the tubes, as it seemed to "made for TV' and being famous went to everyone's head.  I'm sorry for your current woes, but I think you're wrong to not let some or all of these grandchildren being adopted out.  If Alexandra keeps up like this, and/or her sister goes the same route, you're gonna be over your heads with babies to raise while you're in your 60s, 70s, 80s.

Replied By: angielephant on Sep 21, 2010, 2:12PM
Marty,  I too look back and see so many things that I could have done differently in raising my son.  He'll be 22 in a couple of weeks with a precious son of his own who will be 4 in November.  Thankfully he and his girlfriend are still together and raising our grandson together.  I'm proud of my son and all that he's done and still doing to be a good dad... but I so wish that I could have been a better parent myself.  I think I did the best I could at the time... with what I knew at the time...  but with maturity, I see plenty that I could have done better.  I would have done the same thing that you and Erin are doing in raising your grandchildren... if that had been necessary... but I thank God that my grandson is living with his parents in a loving home.  Keep the faith... hang in there!!
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