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Topic : 06/10 Deadly Kids

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Created on : Friday, October 12, 2007, 02:54:58 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 10/18/07) What if you feared your own child? Dr. Phil's guests say they worry that one day they may die at the hands of their offspring. Steven and Tori say Steven's 9-year-old son, Donovan, poisoned his siblings and then laced Tori's drink with aquarium cleaner. They say he laughed after his family members went to the hospital and has not shown remorse for his sinister acts. He's now in a treatment facility, but should Tori and Steven allow him back into their home once he's released? Then, Susie narrowly escaped death after her stepson tried to brutally kill her with a gun and then a knife. He's now behind bars, so why does she fear he will try to finish the job? And, Carrie and Lance fear their son, Michael, will be the next shocking murder headline. They say he threatened to cut his teacher's eyes out with a knife and kill his younger sister. When Michael becomes enraged, Carrie locks herself in the bedroom for fear of what he might do. Find out what Dr. Phil cameras caught on tape while at Carrie and Lance's house. And, why do the parents feel their son's behavior is influencing their daughter? What does Dr. Phil think is at the root of Michael's rage? Talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.

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June 11, 2008, 1:36 pm CDT

Unbelievable, I feel for you!

Quote From: educator52

I haven't seen it discussed here on the message board, and it wasn NOT discussed on the show: these children affect everyone in school.  As a Nationally Board Certified primary teacher (first grade) with over a decade of experience I can tell you the effect on other children in the classroom is devastating.  Education comes to a halt when an explosive or violent child's outburst has to be dealt with.  My students have had to watch violence, hear threats, cursing, suicide threats and out of control behavior.  The school district moves slowly, hesitant to 'label' a child, they move even slower when the child's parents are apathetic or adversarial.  It is distressing that 20-40 percent of classroom time is taken up with one child vs. teaching all of them.  It is even more distressing that teachers are often blamed for not being able to 'control' their students.  I'm a classic example of how much abuse a teacher must take while being blamed for lack of control.

I have two scars (stitches) from a sweet boy who had violent outbursts who was in my first grade class 8 years ago... both scars are from bite marks that were so deep and long (he tore the skin by shaking my arm like a dog does a toy) that I had to have stitches.  The parents said, 'he's not a problem at home, why can't you do something?'  He had no rules at home, no siblings, punched walls, broke windows out, choked the dog so often they gave it away, shattered 4 tv screens with a bat... sure he was no problem at home.

These were the two events that scared me, I hesitate to type out the other 115 instances of threats and violence directed at me or the other students (and documented) over the 162 days he was in my classroom with 25 other students.  It still took 162 days to move him into a special program for violent children.  HIS rights were protected...no mentioned the other students's rights except me.  No one mentioned my rights. 

I have an unhealed wound right now from an apathetic child with violent outbursts.  I was stabbed by his pencil; the doctor had to cut out the pencil tip it was buried so deep.  I just had the  stiches removed, the scar will be terrific; the other children are still suffering... he uses up to 40 percent of the teaching day being disruptive to a degree that halts learning and teaching.  They are afraid of him, and now of school. 
I've tried over 23 different methods of behavior modification this school year (we are on day 178 out of 180) and none have worked.  Administrative support consists of removing the child for a maximum of 20 minutes per outburst... it often takes 20 minutes to get an administrator to respond to an outburst.

Who's going to stop this?  Who's going to stand up and say, "Get him the hell out of the regular classroom!"  Why should 25 other students suffer because he is violent and his parents blame me?
I think you should get hazard pay in addition to whatever pittance you make as a teacher.  I think your job is probably more prone to violence than police officers these days.  Congrats for making 10 years on the job putting up with all that nonsense.  Funny how the parents don't see anything they need to do but expect you to discipline their wild child when they can't even keep them in line.  Everything you said was right about affecting other students and taking time away from them.  Too bad they are now getting scared to go to school at such a young age.  Doesn't start them off too well in life, now does it?  Hang in there but when you finally quit, I'll understand and so will everyone else.
 
June 11, 2008, 3:28 pm CDT

06/10 Deadly Kids

Quote From: getrealtime

Her girls are not learning what it is to be a mother, to love them so, that you protect them over all others.

 

Instead they are learning that love for their mother new man come before them,  sad......

another women that puts her man before her children....shame shame

I agree with you. Especially after twice hearing Tori, yesterday at 9 am and 6 pm, admit that Donovan's weird, threatening behavior began immediately after she began dating Stephen. Shame on her for marrying him and endangering her own children.

 
June 11, 2008, 4:23 pm CDT

06/10 Deadly Kids

Quote From: zoespil

 cndrilla, I totally agree with you, no man or woman is worth these kinds of problems.  The husband sits there like a poor mope that has not clue why this has happened.  I must have missed the first part of the show, where is the biological mother?  If you have a kid like this you spend 24/7 and all your resources on the child, not on dating and another womans children.  This woman should hit the road with her children.  Dr. Phil is very patient with these people. 
I agree. Stephen isn't worth the "hell" Donovan is putting Tori and her three girls through. She should hit the road. And, actually should have when she noticed Donovan's rotten attitude. When she and Stephen first began dating. Instead of letting infatuation take over.
 
June 11, 2008, 4:28 pm CDT

06/10 Deadly Kids

Quote From: cndrlla

I have to agree with you!

 

I do believe that some children are simply born bad....and I believe these kids shown today are some of them. Look in their eyes and it's like looking into a black hole. I seriously doubt if any intervention will do any good.....but, I truly hope that I'm wrong and that there somehow is hope for these kids.

 

I'll tell you one thing, though:  I would NEVER lock myself in my room out of fear of my own child....or stepchild...or any child, for that matter. My house, MY rules!! What the hell does that kid do when his mother is locked in her room? Whoopee...he has the place all to himself to wreak havoc...which, I'm sure, is his goal.

 

I'm really tired of parents letting kids rule. The goal of these parents HAS to be to get them out of the house and into an in-house treatment facility where they cannot harm anyone. Permanently, if necessary!

I agree with you. No evil kids, Dr Phil? No evil men? No evil women? Evil is a reality. And, Dr Phil can't wish, or rationalize, it away.
 
June 11, 2008, 7:56 pm CDT

Donovan needs intense psychological and medical help

Quote From: lexisue

I think Donovan should stay locked up in a mental place away from the rest of us.  I don't think he can be rehabilitated and if they let him come home, he'll probably finish the job he started.  Those biological parents would also be exposing him to the rest of society and we certainly don't deserve him.  I think part of his problem is in his gene material and the rest is coming from his biological Mom and what she is saying to him.  I think her words are triggering his behaviour.  So if he gets out, he should live with her and make her life a living Hell.  We'll see how long it takes before he decides to poison her and ends up in prison for life.  To the stepmom in this picture, if your husband lets him come back into your family, protect yourself and your children.  Get a divorce!  I know we accept marriage for better or worse, but I don't think worse should include your death or your children's death.  You didn't sign up for that when you married him.  Neither did your children.  It may be hard for him to choose his wife over his son, but his son's behaviour is violent and shows no signs of stopping.  Therefore, Dad, keep your son away from your current family before you lose them too.

Donovan's just a kid.  O.K. a kid that has made some scary adult choices, but still a kid.  We as a society cannot lock Donovan up forever.  Obviously, this is a complicated matter...with many variables.  I do believe that every child discussed on the show needs intense psychological and medical attention.  It could be metal poisoning, or severe psychological issues manifesting with rage and emotion. 

 

If Donovan was my child, I wouldn't throw him away in some dark room.  I would take the help Dr. Phil is providing.  I would even request that Donovan be given mild sedatives during the day and sleeping pills at night.  Sensors and locked doors can only do so much.  If a child is that violent to him/herself and/or the family then they must be sedated.  The only other option is to put the child in an institution, or what you refer to as a lock down facility. 

 

I would also research how other countries (e.g. Sweden, France, Denmark, Spain, England, etc...) deal with violent behavior in children.  Most countries do not simply put their children in a dark room and throw away the key. 

 
June 12, 2008, 4:55 pm CDT

hatchetface:

Quote From: hatchetface

No I didn't miss that part.  What I'm saying is that there is more to the story as I know first hand.  I wish that would have been discussed.  It would have given greater insight into this boy's issues.   
Please contact me via the email address provided in my profile.
 
June 13, 2008, 9:40 am CDT

Sedating him

Quote From: roaringredhead

Donovan's just a kid.  O.K. a kid that has made some scary adult choices, but still a kid.  We as a society cannot lock Donovan up forever.  Obviously, this is a complicated matter...with many variables.  I do believe that every child discussed on the show needs intense psychological and medical attention.  It could be metal poisoning, or severe psychological issues manifesting with rage and emotion. 

 

If Donovan was my child, I wouldn't throw him away in some dark room.  I would take the help Dr. Phil is providing.  I would even request that Donovan be given mild sedatives during the day and sleeping pills at night.  Sensors and locked doors can only do so much.  If a child is that violent to him/herself and/or the family then they must be sedated.  The only other option is to put the child in an institution, or what you refer to as a lock down facility. 

 

I would also research how other countries (e.g. Sweden, France, Denmark, Spain, England, etc...) deal with violent behavior in children.  Most countries do not simply put their children in a dark room and throw away the key. 

So how does sedating him help anything?  He's just half asleep during the day and out all night.  How does that fix anything about his behaviour other than knock him out?  I don't get it....  That doesn't fix the initial problem.  Sedation doesn't cure an anger problem.  I also agree with the person who mentioned that the stepmom should not have married Donovan's dad.  When she first noticed the anger problem starting, she should have taken herself and her children out of this picture.  I wonder how many times she wished she had never married her husband.  And was it worth all this?
 
June 13, 2008, 10:26 am CDT

No bad kids!!

I just saw the show yesterday as I am a full time teacher and a mother of two! I am glad  to see the topic is out there, but was disappointed that two important aspects were missing in the discussion of these children! These aspects were their PAST and their FUTURE!

 

I work in a residential treatment facility  for children with severe emotional, behavioral, and educational disorders and have taught children like the ones on the show for four years. While I do agree that "children learn what they live" nothing about the past experiences, turning points, trauma, etc was discussed. I do believe that children can be born with neurological imbalances that create difficulties in living a "normal" life, but do not think children are born "bad". Children are molded into people as they are growing. If they see hate and violence and have imbalances these behaviors can be brought out in a severe way. If they are shown love, compassion, and dealt with in a kind and loving manner, the behaviors are likely to still occur (due to imbalance) however, can be treated!

 

 I did notice that two of the three children came from divorced families and that one had a sibling die, however, their issues are so severe that those traumas seem small. I deal with children with no parents, parents that neglected, abused them (sexually or physically), have diagnosed PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), ADHD/ADD, are bipolar, have borderline personalities, and some of which are psychotic... to say the least.

 

No treatment options for children like these were discussed with the audience. I was disappointed that no resources for parents were given!  It seemed that the behaviors were brought to light in a manner in which parents were the ones to blame and needed to take responsibility for their children's actions. When in reality, parents do the best they can and when they don't know what is wrong, don't have resources for help, and are left to rely on the educational or judicial system to "fix" the problem, it just makes parents feel like shutting down because (in my experience...) the first thing they are asked is "what did YOU do? or what DIDN'T you do to create this in your child?" Parents I have dealt with don't want to be in the spotlight, are embarrassed, ashamed, confused and are at times afraid to ask for help in fear of being blamed for the issue! This makes me sad.

 

As a parent of "normal" children, I struggle with discipline, education, developmental, and personality issues and feel overwhelmed at times. I know how I feel after dealing with children with violent behaviors for only 8 hrs a day and can't imagine what is would be like 24-7!  We as a community should be willing to help others.

 

Dr. Phil, while I appreciate you doing shows like this one and bringing out the topic; I think a show with warning signs, common disorders that go along with aggression or "hot topic disorders" (alphabet soup of ADHD, PTSD, ODD, SAD, etc) would be a wonderful way to educate the community so parents aren't always made to be the bad guys when dealing with children and disorders!

 

Thanks for always being real and honest about the topics you discuss!

 
June 17, 2008, 3:51 pm CDT

A belated thought

I am viewing this show on a rerun today, and still have not see it in its entirety, as I wanted to share some thoughts on what I have seen and heard thus far on the show.

Several of the Moms are step-moms, with not much background being given about the biological mother.

Did any of the biological mothers use drugs or alcohol while pregnant? We have heard about children of these women having a growth retardation in the part of the brain that deals with conscience. The children grow up violent and show no remorse. These kids seem likely candidates -- if someone would do some background check on prenatal care, it might shed some light on this.
 
June 17, 2008, 8:20 pm CDT

06/10 Deadly Kids

Quote From: cmancuso717

He is just a child it is obvious that this child needs help with maybe medicine and intense theapy. Pet theapy wouldn't hurt either so that he can be responcible to take care of something he loves and he should be able to pick out himself, and get unconditional love back.  We don't treat the diagnose we should treat the symtoms.  A battery of test should be run and look at the enviroment as well.  The child for the houses safty as well as his own should not just go right back into the home and maybe the family should all be apart of his theapy and go to the place he is at first. Some one on one with each member first then a family theapy sessions as well. He obviously has some deep seeded things going on.  When he does go home theapy should diffenitly continue in the home as well on a daily basis. Art theapy, pet theapy, and intense theapy.  He needs to feel normal and do things that other children do his own age and have hobbies and get involved in sports eventually.. The negative behavior can not be placed too much acknowlegment  on, and the positive behavior should be rewarded in some way. I will be praying for this child and the family and it wouldn't hurt to ask for prayer from the viewers. God can move mountains. God Bless  Sincerely, connie from NJ "There are no hopeless situations, only people who think hopelessly"

the little boy Michael has some serious problems - I've met a little boy who reminds me of him (a family friends son) tempermental, aggressive and threatens other people and himself. out ....of......control. I think maybe with some serious 24/7 therapy and costant survelliance maybe the kid could lead some sort of  a 'normal' childhood. ...but more than likely it seems like this is always going to be a constant struggle. Hopefully he wont wind up really hurting someone before its too late. Thank goodness they went on the show to get some help! and yeah...I definately would keep all furry animals away from this kid b/c they would wind up hurt or dead. .......if he can hurt his sister ....what's an animal to him?!...just another thing to be aggressive with...... he's aggressive with himself for crying out loud! I feel so so so sorry for the parents bc this is obviously not their doing.

 
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