After two sisters in their 20s claim that their self-loathing and mental health issues stem from their tumultuous childhood, Dr. Phil steps in to help the entire family move forward.
He tells the parents, who refute the daughters' accusations: "You two as parents have a job when these kids are growing up, and it's to create an environment where these children feel safe. It's to create an environment where they learn about who they are. If they're scared, instead of venturing out they start turning inward. And when they turn inward and start to isolate, then that's when things can get really bad."
Dr. Phil continues: "You say you reacted to a lot of what they did. Your job as parents is to act, not to react. Your job is to be leaders."
Leonard, the father, admits that he had a tough disciplinary style -- which Dr. Phil calls a "bull in a china shop approach" -- with his two girls. "I know, I have my regrets," says Leonard. "I want to do better. I love them. People make mistakes, they do. And some of them are unforgivable."
Dr. Phil suggests that Leonard's daughters might be more forgiving if they saw a change in behavior. "It's hard to forgive someone for running over your foot if they keep running over your foot," he explains.
He tells both parents, "You have a lot of re-parenting to do. To do that you need to learn some new skills. You made some real mistakes."
To rebuild a relationship with your child, start with these five core parenting tips.