Parenting Advice from Dr. Phil

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Satori1977

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I thought about posting this in P&CE, but decided this would be a better place for it.

http://blogs.babble.com/strollerderby/2011/02/07/dr-phil/

A woman wrote to Dr. Phil because her 5 year old son likse girl clothes and plays with barbies. Dr Phil thinks she should put a stop to it.

He then recommends that Robby (the boys mom) direct her son “in an unconfusing way.” He says, “Don’t buy him Barbie dolls or girl’s clothes. You don’t want to do things that seem to support the confusion at this stage of the game. Take the girl things away, and buy him boy toys.”

I for one think it is silly. I think a parent trying to impose restrictions of this kind on a child is harmful. You should encourage their interests, and let them be who they want to be. Who they are. This little boy isn't hurting anyone. Maybe it is a phase and he will grow out of it. Maybe he is gay, or trans. But who cares? If he is, won't this just confuse and hurt him later in life, when he has been told that his feelings are wrong?

The other issue I have with the article (and I don't know if this is the writer of the article, or Dr. Phil himself), but gender identity/confusion and sexuality are used interchangeably. They are completely different things. So if it is Dr Phil confusing the terms, how can he even claim to have advice on a subject that he obviously knows nothing about??
 

Mara

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It's kinda interesting that Dr. Phil has the nerve to condemn bullying of LGBT children while simultaneously doing things like this. This sort of thing is bullying of the highest order.

Gender variant behavior as a child is often associated with being gay or trans. It's not easy to tell ahead of time, and it doesn't always mean that. But if it is related to being gay, or especially if related to being trans, then trying to force the kid into male roles amounts to child abuse.

I imagine Dr. Phil is being inspired by hated enemy of the trans community, Dr. Zucker, who advocates the same thing.

EDIT: I've got to say I'm mildly annoyed that the article writer seems to be sweeping transsexualism under the rug and making this about orientation, though. Especially because that sort of thinking leads to portraying straight trans people as gay people of the wrong gender, and then ignoring gay trans people entirely.
 
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citymouse

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The man is a pompous, supercilious ass.
 

Steam&Ink

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It's kinda interesting that Dr. Phil has the nerve to condemn bullying of LGBT children while simultaneously doing things like this. This sort of thing is bullying of the highest order.

QFT. How ridiculous to tell a five-year-old that some parts of his imaginative play aren't acceptable, just because they don't suit an ignorant societal ideal based on his physical features. Unbelievable.
 

citymouse

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Yep and conservative to boot. He believes that men should take care of women blah blah blah.
I believe we should take care on one another.

In his book Singled Out, Richard Schickel writes some thing that maybe applied to us all, We give to each other and we received from each other, and in these acts of loving kindness, there is a special grace that fills up, at last, our wondering hearts. Good stuff that.

I've never heard Dr. Phil come close to articulating that.
 

bethany

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Does that mean I should take away my daughter's toys, so my son can't get hold of them? What about her pink leopard print size 3t leotard that he enjoys wearing?

Ezra.jpg
 

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If I remember right, Dr Phil does not have a valid medical license.

He's not a shrink; He's a clinical psycologist:

Dr. Phil holds a B.A. from Midwestern State University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from North Texas State University with a dual area of emphasis in clinical and behavioral medicine.
 

VP_Benni

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It reminds me of this story, and the followup.

Reading those makes me sad... :( It's horrible for those moms and the pastor to treat her that way just for allowing her son to dress like a girl. It was HALLOWEEN. Regardless of religion, it shouldn't matter whether he dressed like that or not, especially on a day where you're allowed to look like whatever you want. She's a good mom for standing up for her son. I wish my parents were like her.

~Amber~
 

thothguard51

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He's not a shrink; He's a clinical psycologist:

Dr. Phil holds a B.A. from Midwestern State University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from North Texas State University with a dual area of emphasis in clinical and behavioral medicine.

Didn't Texas revoke his license to practice? I read that somewhere...
 

PrincessofPersia

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My nephew wears his twin sister's clothes and plays with her toys. My sister lets him and encourages him to explore that stuff. He's also 5. Her husband and our step-father were against it and wanted her to put a stop to it so he wouldn't become a "homo" (their words). I'm proud of her for standing up to them.

Dr. Phil is an idiot.
 

Lydia Sharp

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My 7 y/o son who has worn my jewelry to school, on more than one occasion, just because he felt like wearing something pretty that day. Guess I'm ineligible for Mother of the Year now. Damn.
 

Satori1977

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I pretty much agree with everyone here, and am glad I am not the only one outraged (not that I thought I would be.)

Medi, I remember that story, but never followed up on it. So sad that her and her son have been treated so horribly by people that are supposed to love everyone.

I wonder what Dr Phil would say about my son. Almost 4 years old, and not the typical boy (not like other 4 year old boys I have seen lately). He is much more sensitive, and doesn't like to rough-house like they do. He is sweet, and quiet, and polite. His favorite things are trains, but he also like barbie dolls and princesses. He wears my high heels, and asks to wear make-up. Sometimes he tells me he wants to be a girl, or when he grows up, he will be a girl like me and his sister. He has also said that he has a boyfriend.

Should I be worried? Maybe a little. Because I know that if this isn't a phase, or he isn't just confused because he spends most of his time with me and his sister, his life won't be easy. Not that life is, but he would have to deal with difficulties that I can't even imagine. And as a monther, I want to protect my children from harm.

But will I try to change him? Tell him he can't be a girl when he grows up, can't wear make-up, or can't have a boyfriend. Hell no. My job as his mother is also to encourage his passions. Love and support him, no matter what. To teach him to love himself. And no one can tell me I am a bad mother for it.

If Dr Phil hasn't had his license revoked, it should be.
 

Atlantis

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I think it's stupid to assume that if a little boy enjoys girl's toys that he is going to grow up to be gay or trans. My brother is gay and he grew up playing with trains, cars, street sharks, power rangers and model planes. He played barbie dolls with his four sisters so could join in with our games. We played with him and his toys in return. My nephew is 3 and likes a show called the "Fairies" and at first his dad was real weird about it because it's so girly, but now he's okay with it. My sister tried to take him to a fairy concert once and complained that it was all girls there and that they only handed out girl's toys. My nephew didn't care. :)
 

JohnnyGottaKeyboard

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I think where the advice truly fails is that barring the child from playing with certain toys by attributuing some special quality to them ("these toys are special girl toys; you can't have them...") is only going to make him want them more. And I would not be at all surprised if this isn't how certain fetishes are born.

--from the gay father of a(n apparently straight) boy who only ever liked pokemon and videogames.
 

Kitty27

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Going by Dr.Phil's stereotypical reckoning,I should be a lesbian. I rough housed with boys,played with trucks,got in the mud,and can box with the best of them. Raised with three brothers,I totally didn't think I was a girl until I hit thirteen or so. I grew up to be a fashionable,high heel loving,make-up crazy woman. If I was gay,I'd totally be a lipstick lesbian,lol.

Let the child play with whatever he wants. A person's sexuality is not determined by the toys he plays with or clothes she wears. My kids play with whatever. My daughter is a crazed gamer and my son paints really emo stuff. My oldest son is obsessed with clothes,shoes,and looking just right. That's just who they are and it means zilch in determining if they will be gay or straight. Kitty27 doesn't approve of your shit,Dr.Phil.

I agree,Johnny. When something is forbidden,it becomes even more alluring. Bethany,he's a cutie pie!
 
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brainstorm77

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Dr. Phil:roll:That's my reaction whenever I hear anything about that man.
 

czjaba

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Kids grow up too fast as it is. Why can't we let them be little and enjoy their lives before we have to mess it up with society's rules of should's and should not's? What is better - to have a 5-yr-old boy play with girl toys, or a 5-yr-old kid that doesn't know how to play because nothing he wants seems appropriate? Kids don't have these issues. It's the parent, IMO, if this is an 'issue.'
 

PinkAmy

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Kids grow up too fast as it is. Why can't we let them be little and enjoy their lives before we have to mess it up with society's rules of should's and should not's? What is better - to have a 5-yr-old boy play with girl toys, or a 5-yr-old kid that doesn't know how to play because nothing he wants seems appropriate? Kids don't have these issues. It's the parent, IMO, if this is an 'issue.'
Agreed.

I was the girliest girl and I still am. There is so much pink in my apartment sometimes I can't find things because the pinks blend too much :D. I'm so girly that I love women. Stereotypes live in the gay community as well. You don't know how many people have told me I, "don't look gay" or that they "never would have guessed".
 

citymouse

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My two children are just 18 months apart in age. Dolls and Tonka trucks were all over the house. My son showed no interest in the dolls or Barbie coloring books. Like wise my daughter left the trucks alone. They did, however, play cars together. My daughter always picked the pink convertible, while my son went for the fire truck. Does this mean kinds are wired toward boy - girl things? Perhaps. Personally, I don't think these kinds of behaviors mean much.
 
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