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Topic : 08/16 The Hunt for Amanda

Number of Replies: 581
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Created on : Friday, February 03, 2006, 04:17:21 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Air Date: 02/07/06) Follow Dr. Phil inside an incredible family drama. Sixteen-year-old Amanda has been missing for over four months. Her parents, Paul and Linda, say she ran away with her boyfriend, George, and what they call his "Gypsy family." Dr. Phil puts his own investigator on the case in a hunt that stretches across 10 state lines. See Amanda’s tearful reunion with her mother, but then learn why their sweet moments together soon turn sour. Dr. Phil hears the teen's emotional confession about where she's been, and where she hopes to go next. Plus, the family erupts in a conflict so explosive, authorities have to be called to their hotel. What sets Amanda off? Dr. Phil puts some tough questions to George, and Amanda's family makes a heart-wrenching decision about their daughter's future. Can Amanda's life be set straight? Talk about the show here.

 

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February 7, 2006, 7:59 am CST

angry teenager

                I feel that when Amanda's parents took her phone away, that that was the best choice.  I feel that if you run away from your parents, don't talk to them, and don't respect their opinions, you get your freedoms taken away from you.   The daughter JUST RAN AWAY!!!!!! And won't talk to them.  OF COURSE they are going to take her phone away.   Any responsible parent would.  Would you rather have your daughter run away again, and find out they made plans on the phone?  I think not.  So they are being extra cautious in making sure their daughter is safe. 

             She made the choice to run away and not say where she was, and now she suffers the consequences.  Tough luck hun. 

             Now what I don't understand is why the boyfriend doesn't come to her house.  People who love each other will do anything to be with each other.  Why can she only go to his house?  The parents barely know the boyfriend, and Amanda expects them to let her sleep at his house.  Are you crazy??? She is constantly on the phone with him, and has no other life but him.  The parents need to take action, whip that girl into shape and force her to do some things.  I feel the parents are being to easy on her, and she is being spoiled.   Scream at the girl!!  They need to tell her that THEY are the parents, and SHE needs to respect them.  I feel that if the parents don't help the girl now, and let her do what she wants, she's going to have a life focused on her bofyriend.  She'll have no hobbies, no education, and basically no purpose in life.  

                             Another thing I dont understand is how is she getting the money, and why isn't the boyfriend in school?  Obviously, something fishy is going on, and I agree with the parents decision to be suspicious.    

 
February 7, 2006, 8:03 am CST

The Hunt for Amanda

I was surprised that Dr. Phil never addressed the way the parents kept grabbing the girl. Where was her privacy?  She only got angry when they were touching her. She deserved her space and respect too.  I am a 55 year old mother of 4 grown children and 5 grandchildren. With all our experiences good and bad over the years I feel I can say this and that Amanda wasn't given her space. She said "no", " stop", "don't touch me", what about those red flags?  She even said "please".  I never heard her swear. Granted the boyfriend didn't sound like the sharpest tack in the box, but he was at least respectul and willing to talk.  Dr. Phil what about the touching? I was appalled about the shower incident,  phone or no phone. My word, this is a y oung woman taking a shower. I think she will benefit from you help to learn coping skills but I think her mother needs more help. She was a scary woman. And her father has no spine or self respect. I have watched you since you were on Oprah, from NY, to TN to Ohio. I have your tapes and books and often quote you. Today I thougt you needed to address the parents attitude as well.  Thanks for letting me speak.
 
February 7, 2006, 8:06 am CST

Why shouldn't she choose george over the disfunctional home?

I am a 37 year old who (like Amanda) fell in love with a GYPSY Blacktopper. We have been married for 17 years and have three wonderful children.  I am thankful that my parents supported me in my decision to marry who made me happy.  We met at age 15 and it was obvious that we were very much inlove and should be together. I think that Amandas family have prejudices against George because they do not actually know of the "GYPSY" culture. I can say that I have lived a very fufilled life as a mother and wife of a blacktopper. 

 
February 7, 2006, 8:07 am CST

Amanda has problems

Quote From: themason

Rather than demonize Amanda, shouldn't we be looking at what factors would cause a 16 year old girl to choose to be 'adopted by' another family rather than live with her own? Doesn't anyone think it kind of telling that Amanda's Dad took flight immediately after she went to live with the 'so-slandered' gypsies? What about Dad's lie to Amanda when he said he had taken an active part in the search for her?   A great bit of focus was placed on Amanda's 'attitude'. Can we look at this objectively for a minute? What intrinsically free human being would not be irate to suddenly learn that they have been hunted? What intrinsically free human being would not be irate to have their freedom stolen from them? Television cameras? Police officers? How incredibly humiliating! What kind of parents would submit their child to that kind of humiliation and torture?   Amanda has made a choice. Whether this choice is right or wrong is not and should not be the issue.   Amanda wants a relationship with her parents. While away, she kept in contact with her mother by phone. Now that she is back, Amanda asks only for a compromise, and asks that she not be treated like a child. Stealing her possessions (cell phone), and invading her privacy (in her room, in the shower) is not the sort of behavior that bespeaks compromise. It shows sheer disrespect.   Amanda is not 'acting out' she is 'reacting out'.

A boyfriends family getting that involved with a minor, someone's child, someones family.  Not good.  It was obvious they were running and knew that they were hiding her.  No one's family is perfect, but it doesn't appear she has one so dysfunctional that it required running.  And if it were, taking her and running was not the responsible thing to do.  Report them then!  The boyfriends family was over involved with a girl that was not their responsibility or place.  Possibly her parents should have put the ax on that immediatly....but hind sight is 20/20.   

  

I have worked in mental health for years...there are BIG problems here!   

 
February 7, 2006, 8:13 am CST

02/07 The Hunt for Amanda

Quote From: liatsunami

 I'm kind of curious if the boy's family are REALLY gypsies or if they just live like them.   I think that a lot of people know very little about ethnic gypsy culture so they pass judgements based on improper understanding.  But that isn't the point here.

This girl's parents have a legal right to tell her how she will behave in their home until either a) she turns 18, b) the state for some reason emancipates her early,  or c) the state removes her from the home .  She can be as mad about it as she wants but that's the reality of it.  Sure she can run away again, but the police will just be able to go get her again.

On the flip side the young girl seemed to be doing just fine with her boyfriend's family.  She had her own money to do with as she pleased.  She seemed well taken care of as far as clothing, hygiene, shelter, and food was concerned. She actaully kept in contact with her mother,letting her know that she was alive and well,  rather than just disappear off the face of the earth.  While I don't condone her lying to her boyfriend's family I think the fact that she still wanted to be in contact with her family is a relatively responsible choice.

I just hope the boyfriend and the family don't get into too much trouble.   I mean legally they did so something wrong in transporting a minor over state lines without parental consent, but on the other hand what if they thought they were taking her out of a bad home situation?

Even though she's agreed to go to this boarding school I don't think it'll stop her from trying to run away again.  Time shall tell I suppose.

I hope the boys parents DO get into trouble and lots of it.  They knew.  They had to have known.  There were confrontations before they left town for Petes sake.  Even if you think you are rescueing a child from trouble you don't just take them out of the state. 

  

I don't like the idea of boarding school though.  Those parents need to learn how to parent just as much as that girl needs to grow up.   

  

As for the girl "doing just fine with her boyfriends family".  Oh please! What is she learning there? That her family is not worth any consideration?  That premarital sex is ok starting at such an early age? Hey everyone is doing it younger and younger...nothing WRONG with that.  Lets see the traits the girl displayed on the show...Deviance, deception, cursing, rebellion - lets guess which family she had learned all that with. 

  

And the boyfriend on the phone saying something to the effect of 'she never told us' - HELLO - If I'm gonna take your kid - for months at a time - AND keep her out of school AND take her out of state - Then you and I are going to talk at some point.  So lets just call that what it is - a load of crap. 

 
February 7, 2006, 8:17 am CST

I have a child at CCA

My daughter has been at CCA for 8 months. I can tell you right now that the child we took there and the child we visit today is not the same child. Drastic behavior requires drastic consequences and we were at our wits end. I don't care what "band aide" these kids use, there is so much anger, fear and pain that no wonder teen suicide is on the rise; no wonder self harm is becoming one of the biggest behavioral problems wth teens and no wonder places like Copper Canyon are flurishing. We spent years in therapy, waiting for the next shoe to fall and we knew we had to do something. It is incredibly expensive and was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life, but the decision to take my daughter out of the stew her life had become and place her somewhere where she gets the kind of reinforcement she needs on a 24 hour basis, will be one my husband and I will be glad we made for the rest of our lives. I realize there are no guarantees and she will still have choices to make. We have no idea what the future holds when she comes home from CCA, but we did have a pretty good idea as to what it would hold if we had done nothing. I have met Amanda and I think she is going to do well at CCA. Judy E
 
February 7, 2006, 8:23 am CST

I am on Amanda's side in this one.....

Wow!!!!  What a show!  I got really angry while I was watching this show.  First of all I felt like if Amanda wants to be away from her family then let her.  If she wants to ruin her life...let her it is her's to ruin.  I just know that you can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped.  Alawys trying to take her phone away is crazy...she'll just buy another one.  It's like the parents don't really love her but they want to control her and not let her grow up or be her own person.  They want to turn her over to an agency because this way they don't have to deal with her.  I guess in this story it is really important to me that Amanda knows I am own her side.  She feels like no one is.  I hope that she will live her own life make her own choices good or bad because once a child is 14 or 15 years old they are the person they are going to be.  Amanda you can go to a judge and tell them you want to llive on own and as long as have a steady job and show you have means of support they will allow this.  You may be happier going this rout I don't know.  I hope that things work out with you and your boyfriend and if it is meant to be it will be no matter what.  Maybe your boyfirned's family will adopt you...be certain of what you want and go for it.  I hope you find happiness in your life be it with your family or not.  Good luck to you. 

 
February 7, 2006, 8:28 am CST

dont look away

wow this is kinda scary cause i was Amanda not to long ago but my mom didnt care to do anything about what i was doing just as long as i stayed in school but i didnt but i ran away and i was with an older guy cause i was "in love" and the more people try to brake me and him up it just pushed me closer. i didnt want to run away i didnt want to be with an older guy i just wanted to feel like i was being heard and with me being with him i thought i was being heard and i could make changes to my life. and my mom sent me away for two months but u better believe as soon as i got out i ran away again just to be with him i really dont know what im trying to say here lol but i really dont know what to say to linda and paul cause if u take her away from him shes just gonna get closer and if u leave them together shes going to hate u for it later cause she wants to be all grown up and thats what i wanted and when i got it that was cool but now that i am all grown up i looked back and say to myself what kind of mother would let there 14yr mess up there life what kind of mother would turn her head when she knew about her kid being with and older guy so i guess what im tryin to say is dont turn ur head she will thank u for it later
 
February 7, 2006, 8:42 am CST

parents without resources

 Many people face similar problems with unreasonable teenage behavior that not only threatens family tranquility but endangers the child's life because of the bad choices being made . While obviously there is more than one person involved, and that the family dynamics in each situation is different, the fact remains that the child is out of control and other remedies other than home solutions are necessary to protect the teenager from herself. Children don't have the life experience most adults do and therefore are not equipped to make responsible decisions regarding their safety.

I agree with Dr. Phil with his opinions about this situation with Amanda and her family however: What can parents do when they don't have the financial resources being provided. The Copper Canyon camp I'm sure the camp provides the very best in personalized care and treatment. At a $25000 registration fee and over $5400 per month plus arrangements for transportation, few average working families can even consider this option. Most insurance companies might provide one month of care. Would one month be enough? This type of facility recommends an extended stay of at least two to four months or more  depending on the client. As much as any parent would like to provide the "best", most can't.

There are thousands of teenagers in jeopardy, many unwilling to undergo the family counseling necessary to help relieve the tensions. There are not a lot of resources available unless or until the child ends up in jail. Alternatives? Don't let it happen in the first place..well, to late, now what do you do?
 
February 7, 2006, 9:01 am CST

Mom and dad need to take charge

  

First of all let me say that I truly feel for this family. Mom and dad defiantly have their hands full.  In this family the 16 year old is in charge. I think that Amanda would deep down really appreciate it if her parents took charge. I am willing to bet that she feels out of control and desires for her parents to challenge her, and yank a knot in her tail. To make her behave. I think that Amanda would do great in a program likes Outward Bound. I think that Amanda probably has some deep hurts, and probably is not getting the male attention that she needs from her dad, therefore she is seeking it from someone else. 

  

  

I think that mom and dad need to absolutely take charge of the situation. Dad seems to passive. Amanda is very skilled at "divide and conquer"  (*Note the scene where Amanda said "I knew mom lied and dad didn't back his  wife up, and coward away at telling the real truth which was obvious to all that he truly was not as  involved  as he should have been in helping his wife find his daughter)  I think that dad's passiveness was highlighted in the shower scene where Amanda was uttering profanities and threw her tantrum that Dad just passively sat on the couch and failed to take control of the situation. It seems to me that these parents are afraid of Amanda. She is aggressive, she is out of control and she learned that by acting aggressively, and out of control mom and dad cower away and give into her desires, no matter how unreasonable. That is just not  right. 

  

Amanda: If you want to be treated like an adult you need to act like one. Acting like one means first and foremost taking responsibility for your actions and not blaming your decisions on your parents behavior.  2nd you need to apologize to your mother. She is your mother!  You demand that your parents recognize you, and your desires and that they respect you but you seemingly are absolutely unwilling to give them any respect.  You wreak of an "I don't care what anyone thinks" attitude. Be glad your not my daughter because you would have been on complete and total lock down with absolutely zero privileges. And by the way, telephones are privileges.  . The laws very from state to state but in the state that I live in children under 18 must obey the house hold rules and failure to do so will land someone like you in the DH with incorrigible child charges.  

  

Dad:  One of the things you need to do is to  PLUG INTO YOUR DAUGHTER  Love your daughter, as only a father can because the first person that comes along that loves her more than you do, is the one that she is going to marry. It seems to me that you are absent emotionally from your daughter.  If you don't she will be out the door and married by the time she is 18 to the first "joe" that comes along! I believe that if you were meeting her emotional needs she never would have run away., and never would have sought the attention that she did from this young boy.  2nd Back your wife up when she disciplines Amanda, don't let Amanda divide and conquer. Step up and lead this family. I am puzzled as to why you tolerate your daughters aggressiveness toward your wife??? She is your wife! My view is that your job is to protect your wife, even if it means protecting her from your own child!  

  

Mom: Don't fear Amanda. Don't be afraid of jerking a knot in her tail and doing whatever you have to do to get her to behave. Yeah sure, she will be a legal adult at 18 but she won't have the experience to back it up. She will still need and desire  guidance and love from you and your husband probably for the next several years of her life. I find that as a mom I want to just be merciful to the kids, but they need strong discipline at times. 

2ndly It seemed to me that there was a lot of emotional disconnect between you and your husband. I think on the show it said that he moved out after she ran away. I am sure that placed a lot of stress on your marriage, that was probably already in trouble. I really hope that your marriage doesn't dissolve, I really hope that the two of you can find a way to put your marriage back together and give your kids the greatest gift of all, a mom and dad under one roof who truly love and care for each other. You two are the role models. 

  

Amanda respect your parents and their decisions you might be surprised how much easier life becomes if you are willing to do that. They absolutely should not compromise with you when you are engaging in such dangerous behavior with people who hopefully are facing criminal charges for taking you across state lines. 

  

God Bless. 

  

  

  

  

 
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