Dr. Robin says that Rebecca is trying to make up for her perceived inadequacy as a single working mom by showering Brandon and Stephanie with gifts. This places so much emphasis on material goods that the children are learning to define themselves by material things.
"If they were to lose everything—if the rug gets pulled from underneath us—you've got to be able to still know that you are good enough," Dr. Robin says. "Right now, if they lose things, they're going to feel empty."
The solution to guilt, Dr. Robin says, won't come from stuff. "I want you to really recognize that what you're trying to do, which is to love them, to make up for your not being there, you can't do it with things. Things will never satisfy and never fill the sacred hole that only a mom and dad can do."
As for Rebecca's struggles as a single mom, Dr. Robin says, "You can't be dad, just be a good mom. Or if you're a dad, just be a good dad. Fill your own sense of being good enough and satisfied and that it's not about what you have...and then you can feel good about yourself."