Psychologist Phil McGraw, better known as Dr. Phil, has helped countless people with his tough-love, no-nonsense advice. The 70-year-old TV personality’s son Jordan McGraw has experienced it firsthand.
“He’s not Dr. Phil to me, he’s my dad. He likes to sit there and watch me figure stuff out on my own with a smile on his big bald head," Jordan, 34, told TODAY Parents. “But if I have a question, I know where to go.”
“I was like, ‘We’re really anxious about leaving Row. What do we do?’” the musician recalled. “He said, ‘You have to absolutely enjoy every minute. You need to keep having fun with each other.”
Dr. Phil remembers that conversation well.
“I don’t care how much you love your kid. You gotta take a break and recharge your batteries,” he told TODAY Parents. “It’s important for the child, too, because they learn, ‘Hey, Mom and Dad went away, but they came back!’ That’s how you get away from separation anxiety.”
Dr. Phil, who has been married to Robin McGraw for nearly 45 years, encourages Jordan and Stewart to regularly take time just for each other. The longtime friends got engaged in July 2020, said "I do" five months later and welcomed little Row in February.
"Everything happened during the pandemic. You couldn’t stack more stuff on top of a relationship at one if you tried,” Dr. Phil said.
“When you have children, you need to recognize that they’re joining your life — you’re not joining theirs,” Dr. Phil explained. “You don’t ever want to stop being a spouse when you start being a parent. I see that mistake made probably more than any one single mistake. Remember to be friends and lovers. It’s the greatest gift you can give your child, because it keeps you vibrant and alive.”
Dr. Phil said that Jordan and Stewart “come back recharged” after their weekly Sunday outing.
“We don’t rush home anymore,” Jordan revealed. “We really cherish that time.”
It’s a lesson Jordan hopes to remember this summer when he's opening for the Jonas Brothers on the "Remember This" tour, which kicks off in August.
“I’m definitely dreading that first goodbye,” Jordan shared. “But I’m gonna make a huge effort to be in the moment. And I plan on flying out to be with my family every chance that I get. If I only sleep on an airplane, that’s fine as long as I get to play with Row.”