Dr. Phil McGraw, arguably the most recognizable and respected psychologist in the world, dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Tuesday to discuss a number of topics, including the riots ravaging the city of Baltimore.
But first, Dr. Phil, 64, opened up about his greatest frustration after nearly 40 years on the job.
“I think the thing that is the most difficult is when you have parents, for example, that just absolutely don’t get what their job is,” Dr. Phil said on Tiki and Tierney. “I think the job of parents is to prepare their children for the next level of life. And somehow, some parents just don’t get that. They think their job is to win a popularity contest or they think their job is to coddle their children or they think their job is to hand their child everything they want in their life – and that’s just not it. Our job is to get them ready for the world, and the world doesn’t think they’re the cutest little thing that ever came along. The world doesn’t think that they just need to show up. They need to teach them how to get along, how to earn it – and they just don’t get that. That confounds me. I don’t understand it.”
One mother, it seems, tried teaching her son a lesson Monday in Baltimore. In fact, it may have been the most poignant image of the day, as a woman smacked her son for participating in the riots, which were a response to the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died April 19 after suffering a spinal cord injury in police custody.
“I have to tell you something,” Dr. Phil said. “You always hear that saying, ‘Never say never,’ and I have said I would never endorse a mother hitting their child on or about the head. That is no way to discipline a child. I would never say that is okay to do. I stand corrected. That mother yesterday – going out there, grabbing that kid by the scruff of the neck and boxing his ears and dragging his ass home – good job, mom. I just had to stand up and cheer for that woman – assuming that was her son and not just some random kid who was walking home from school. But if that was her kid and he was out there looting and he was doing what we think he was doing, then I just had to commend her.”
Dr. Phil couldn’t help but wonder about the parents of the other young people participating in the riots.
“Where in the world were the parents of these young people out there throwing rocks?” he asked. “You start a fire, the fire department comes and they cut the hoses. I’m sorry. I got to throw the bull-(bleep) flag on that. Come on. In what way does that help the Freddie Gray situation? In what way does that help advance the dialogue? In what way does that help correct the situation up there? It absolutely does not. It just doesn’t. That’s not good. It doesn’t help.
“Now, I don’t know what happened with (Gray),” Dr. Phil continued. “It sounds to me like it was an abuse of power. It sounds to me like it wasn’t a good situation. But that doesn’t help.”
Dr. Phil hopes that Al Sharpton’s presence in Baltimore this week will quell – not incite – the protestors.
“I know Al Sharpton,” Dr. Phil said. “If Al Sharpton is truly a leader – and he’s a friend of mine and I’ve had him on the show – then go up there and tell everybody to go home. If you’re an agitator, then go up there and start yelling and screaming, ‘We have had enough.’ If you are truly a leader, tell everybody to go home, have some reasonable meetings with some reasonable people and start some movement for change. If you’re an agitator, then go up there and start yelling from the pulpit. I’m going to be interested to see what he does.”
Asked what the most dangerous human emotion is, Dr. Phil said apathy.
“I’ve said it a million times,” he said. “If you don’t have a passion in your life, you need to get one.”