I only have a few guilty pleasures anymore; one of them is watching Dr. Phil as I do cardio at the Y after a full day of teaching.
Today’s show got me very involved- so much that I almost had to stop exercising because I was starting to cry.
It involved a whole family. The parents were married for 13 years and had three children- two girls (15 and 9) and an 8 year old boy. The parents’ marriage was in a shambles. The father had been away on the road for several years and felt out of place upon his return. He used his size as an intimidation factor with the younger children and had pretty much checked out as a husband. The mother appeared to have a sense of entitlement and seemed to aggravate the situation. Both parents favored the younger opposite sex child while leaving the older sister out in the cold.
It should come as no surprise that the children were suffering immensely- the younger ones were acting out at everyone, while the older was isolating in her room just to find peace.
The first half of the show was spent getting to know just how dysfunctional the family was. Yelling parents, violent kids, and an older sibling caught in the middle. But once Dr. Phil had the couple look each other in the eyes and tearfully express their desire to make things right, there seemed to be hope.
Then the 15 year old came out. She explained how she felt the burden of trying to keep the family together. Through all of this, she still manages to get good grades and learn several languages (Spanish, Russian, Finnish, Chinese and Japanese, to name a few). Dr. Phil had her close her eyes and imagine talking to a girl who’s taking on the role of peacemaker to her family and blaming herself for failing to solve all the problems. This is when it hit me. [Click here to watch the video.] This is what she says:
“You should watch to see what NOT to do when you are married and have a family. That way, you won’t make that mistake. And your family can thrive in the future, even if, right now, it’s falling apart.”
This young lady is so wise beyond her years. But what really got me emotional was that she received more L.O.V.E. from Dr. Phil in 3 minutes than she’s ever had from her parents over the past several years.
What’s also chilling to me is that this family was not an off-the-charts scenario. I’m sure many people would be able to identify with some of their own family’s behavior.
This teenager is the exact reason I started #153Promise. I want to reach out to parents everywhere so they can become aware of their actions and make sure they are practicing trauma-free parenting. No child should be using their mom and dad as examples of what NOT to do later on in life.
I applaud her insight and maturity to realize that she wants to leave a better legacy for her children than what she’s been given in her life.
Make it your #153Promise to be a positive example for your children.