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Family
05/13/2010
IconIt seems that it's very much in the nature of human nature to expect more without having more expected of us.' Because so much energy is being focused on the cost of health care and the proposed programs for universal health insurance, the flip side of the equation is starting to get attention.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unveiled a free website application last week called LEANWorks, designed to motivate employers to start "healthy living" and weight loss programs for their employees, because being overweight is a major cause of certain illnesses, and also contributes to missed work days and higher insurance costs.' Of course, representatives of organizations like the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance are up in arms over this.A keystone to the LEANWorks program is the "obesity cost calculator" for companies to estimate how much their obese and overweight employees are costing them in higher insurance rates and missed work days each year.' The ultimate point is to get preventive programs in place.Of course, the "fat advocates" don't want responsibility - just perks.' They are claiming everything from prejudice to discrimination.' In their view, facts are irrelevant.' It's just their "feelings" that count.'It's no secret that obesity is a big risk factor for chronic diseases.' Obesity has accounted for over 25% of the rise in medical costs between 1987 and 2001, according to Dr. Bill Dietz, Director of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity at the CDC.' While it is also true that people of normal weight have medical issues which result in work day losses and higher insurance costs, most of their conditions are not as controllable as excess body fat.It is the moral responsibility of those who are overweight and obese, of those who smoke, of those who abuse alcohol and various drugs to correct their activities for the greater good of the community which has to take on responsibility for the negative consequences of their behavior, and their lack of self-discipline and commitment to health.If the greater "we" is responsible for taking financial hits in order to cater to the predictable consequences of your actions, then you become accountable to the greater "we," and we cut out the nonsense about discrimination and prejudice against fat.' It isn't healthy, plain and simple.' And now that you think about it, it isn't fair , either. More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreFamilyFinancesObesityPersonal ResponsibilityRelationshipsRelativesSocial Issues
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Tags: Common SenseFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyParentingPersonal ResponsibilityRelationshipsRelativesValues
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05/13/2010
IconWhen I was a child in school, my parents were called in each and every year to have a conference with the principal about my inattention, underachievement, and disruption of the class because I talked too much - all the things that would have me doused in Ritalin today.I get way too many calls from mothers that their local school is threatening to drug their child (usually a son) with Ritalin to cure his ADHD, and thereby control his behavior.' I always tell them:' NO.' There are numerous reasons why children (and especially boys) won't sit still and won't pay attention.' Sometimes they're bored, sometimes there is so much turmoil at home that they're acting out, and sometimes they just have so much energy that they can't sit still.' Schools have virtually thrown out recess breaks and physical education.' Sometimes, too, they're just the sort of kids who need more one-on-one attention in order to keep focused.' Of course, there's also the possibility that there are other problems.There's an important (and not surprising to me) piece of news published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry :' that stimulant drugs like Ritalin that are used to treat ADHD do not improve children's symptoms in the long term.The latest report tracked almost 500 children for eight years, and found that those still taking stimulant medication fared no better in the reduction of symptoms such as inattention and hyperactivity or in social functioning than those who had not taken medication.' The difference was clear in less than two years.Behavioral treatments are going to have a much bigger benefit in the long term.' It's easy to find a doctor who will prescribe Ritalin.' However, it takes some time to find a doctor experienced in behavioral intervention, and for many "too busy" folks, popping a pill seems easier and more expedient than ongoing behavioral techniques that will require their time and energies to learn and utilize at home.Here in Los Angeles, we have The Drake Institute , which is expert in this area.' These ongoing interventions are costly, and not all insurance will cover them, which is, indeed, a problem.I remember reading on the air an email from a grandfather whose grandson was the child of a two-career household.' The grandfather was retired.' He found out they were going to "Ritalin-ize" his grandson, and immediately took over.' He homeschooled this child and spent the entire day combining school work with structured play and discipline'' The child blossomed.' He wrote: "I sometimes think that it is not the child who has attention-deficit problems, but the parents who give the child a deficit of attention." While that may be true in a lot of cases, there are still those children whose impulse control and thinking processes need special attention.' Find a good behavioral therapist with the experience to make a difference, and realize that you, as a parent, will have to spend the time to understand, learn and help your child mature in a healthy and productive way.' Stop with the popping of potent pills as a first and last resort.....please. More >>

Tags: ChildrenFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyHealthParentingRelationshipsRelatives
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05/13/2010
IconWhen my now 6'3" son was a little guy, housework was secondary in priority to interacting with him.' One of my most wonderful memories is of taking him on a walk (and pulling him in his Radio Flyer-like wagon) to the huge parking lot of the local Target.' I would put him in one of the shopping carts, and run like mad, twisting and turning and twirling the cart until he whooped with delight.' This would go on for the better part of an hour.' Thinking back, I got a good aerobic exercise workout, and he got a Disneyland-like ride.' At the time, though, it was just about having fun together.One of the constant complaints I get (especially from at-home moms), is about the drudgery of housework, particularly about how it is never-ending and repetitive.' Frankly, I liked knowing the parameters involved with housework:' bathrooms, kitchen, and washing and folding laundry.' Folding laundry was my meditative exercise.' I found it quite relaxing.Attitude is the essential issue in dealing with anything in life.' I had a recent caller to my radio program who was still working through her rotten childhood by yelling and being physical with her kids...but in a bad way.' After a bit of a lecture from me on finally having fun in her life, and my giving her examples of getting kids to do things (like putting toys away or getting their pajamas on) with fun (complete with giggles and applause), she wrote me back and thanked me.' Then I received this email from another listener: I am in the middle of three loads of laundry (I have four boys ages 7,10, 12 and 14, so I have a lot of laundry), and wanted to thank you for being my "housework buddy."' You may not realize it, but you've been helping me with my housework for the last 3 months.' How?' I've always hated and avoided doing housework, because I never saw the value in it.' Instead, I took part-time jobs while the kids were in school and hired a housekeeper once a week.' While she put a dent in the mess, there was still a lot of housework left, and I asked my full-time working husband to help out on the weekend.' This meant that our weekends weren't much fun. After listening to you talk to a caller about what a great gift she was giving her family by keeping the house neat, I decided to devote the three hours you're on the air to housework.' I can now happily listen to you from any room in the house.' While I still don't enjoy housework, my family and I do enjoy having a clean, well-organized home.' And we have a lot more fun on the weekend.' So, thank you for being my "housework buddy" and keeping me company while I work! DebraSan Diego Everything we do is of value, even if it is the same thing every day (which, of course, it doesn't have to be).' Creativity in how we approach situations changes everything about how we feel and how much we appreciate life, love, and family.' So, whatever it is you have to do, find a way to make it fun. More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceFamilyFamily/Relationships - FamilyMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodPersonal ResponsibilityRelativesStay-At-Home-MomsValues
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05/13/2010
IconI just turned 62.' In my life, I have seen blacks go from the back of the bus to the White House.' I have seen women gain respect in the workplace.But I have also seen an explosion in divorces.' Abortions.' Out-of-wedlock kids...on purpose.I have seen a collapse of the values that made and can still make America great.' I have seen an abdication of personal responsibility in favor of the adoption of victimhood and situational ethics.'There are many things that concern me about our new president.' Many policies that frankly, make me nervous.' But there are some things that I am impressed by, and hope he will set a tone and become a role model for our society.I am impressed by President Obama's work ethic.' I am impressed by his clear love for his wife and family.I am impressed that during the campaign, Michelle Obama made sure she was home with her daughters 5 days a week.I am impressed that they have invited the children's grandmother to live with them in the White House.I am impressed that the first black president got there through his own hard work and not because of affirmative action programs.I am impressed that President Obama took the time to visit with some of our wounded warriors from Iraq and Afghanistan the day before he took office as Commander-in-Chief.Now, I hope that through these actions, our new president will serve as a role model for all Americans - to take their vows and responsibilities as seriously as the day they made them.And that's my take on today. More >>

Tags: BehaviorcomplimentFamilyFamily/Relationships - FamilyMorals, Ethics, ValuesRelativesValues
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05/13/2010
IconI understand that Ann Coulter - not a woman to mince words - has been on numerous radio and television programs pointing out that most of the children and young adults with all sorts of emotional, educational, criminal, and relationship problems are the product of un-wed mothers.' While on the television program " The View ," the one conservative co-host challenged Ms. Coulter by suggesting that this is the problem because of the men who walk away from their responsibilities.' The audience went wild with enthusiasm, undoubtedly happy that the "blame" moved from women to men.Frankly, my friends - that really doesn't wash.' Of course a man should feel and be morally responsible and obligated to the children of his loins.' However, women's bodies are the place where the creation and gestation of new life occurs - which gives them the greater obligation to be circumspect about when and with whom they have sexual intercourse.' Many women, lesbian or heterosexual, are having babies without the participation of a father in the child's life ... on purpose!' Many women have abortions against the wishes of the man who would be "father."' The situation is therefore quite complicated.Yet the fact remains: the optimal circumstance in which to raise a child is in the bosom of a married mom and dad.' Facts are facts, in spite of emotions.' That there are exceptions gives hope to the few, and ignores the pain of the many.I hold women more accountable for the well-being of children because they have the majority of the power; legally, physiologically, and emotionally. More >>

Tags: ChildrenEducationFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyMarriageParentingRelationshipsRelativesSocial Issues
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05/13/2010
IconAt a recent media fundraiser, I was asked how a parent in southern California could best tell a child why he or she would have to go to bed hungry.' My answer (which was met with some silence) was that in southern California, there is absolutely no reason for any child to go to bed hungry, and that parents should do whatever it takes, legally, to make sure that didn't happen.That means going to your local church and other available community resources for temporary assistance, getting some part-time, even menial, work in the evening for some extra income, going to "big box" stores with friends or relatives to pool your resources and buy cheaply in bulk....I could go on and on.I remember one point in my own family's life when we went through every pocket of every jacket and pair of pants, every drawer, and every little "box-like" entity in the house to pool together enough money to go to McDonald's with our son.' I remember crying in the mall one day, because we didn't have enough cash for a second pair of shoes for him.' I remember being angry and scared, and I remember hunkering down with my husband to figure out how to solve the problem.' I've been there. Dave Ramsey is in print and on just about every television program, giving good advice on what to do about your financial situation.' Check him out. More >>

Tags: CharityChildrenEconomyFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyFinancesParentingRelativesSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconI'm a licensed psychotherapist (MFT), and I'd like to offer the following to help you parents deal with your children when so much that is scary to them is happening locally and internationally.It is impossible for your children to not notice things like fires burning homes down, or hearing about gang violence, murders of children, store robberies and the like.' It is natural for parents to want to protect their children from ugly realities and have them immersed in their innocence as long as possible; it's just a bad idea not to answer their questions, even when the subject matter brings a sense of horror to your own heart.I've gotten a number of emails inquiring about how to answer questions like: "Why would God let all those homes burn down?" As children develop their notions of the Divine from whatever house of worship you attend, they tend, with their yet immature perspectives, to equate God with one of the characters in a Disney feature film with a magic wand, carpet or genii."Honey, God didn't burn down anybody's home; God created all the wonderful trees and flowers, and left it up to us to keep them trimmed, make our homes as fire-safe as possible, and not be careless with fire...as were those college students at the Tea Garden in California."An answer such as this places responsibilities on humans to take care of all their blessings, lest unfortunate, sad, and desperate things happen. "Dad," your child may have asked after Black Friday, "Why did those people crush the man in Wal-Mart? " "Sweetie," sometimes people get so focused on what they want or what they think they need - you know, they get greedy-that they don't even notice they are hurting other people's feelings or bodies." "Mommy, why are those terrorist people blowing other people up all over the world?" "My love, there are people who wish to believe that they and their way of living and believing about God is the only way.' When people are unable or unwilling to share the world with others' beliefs (as long as those beliefs do no harm to others), this is the sort of ugly thing that they do." "Mom, will they come here to get us too?" "Well, sweetie, it is possible and that is why we have so many police all over the world getting information and doing things to stop them.' Since 9/11, we've been saved by our government staying alert.' And God forbid, should something more happen here, we will have the courage to stand against it.I realize I sound like I'm politicizing some of these issues, and I don't really mean to.' I'm simply pointing out how I believe you, as parents, should handle the questions your children ask.' Don't hide from the questions; don't lie for the sake of a false sense of security.' Children need to know - age appropriately - the realities of life within the context of something they can hold on to to feel safe or at the very least, prepared.Some of the situations you'll have to contend with are far more personal.' For example, "Why is Mom/Dad leaving us?"' "Grandpa died when he was asleep.' Could I die when I go to sleep?"' "Cousin Andrea is having a baby and she's only 15 years old.' Can I have a baby, too?"' "Why did Uncle George kill himself?' What made him so sad?' I get sad too sometimes." In each situation, you must fill the vacuum of the child's lack of understanding with something that makes sense - or they will fill it with ideas that are far more destructive than the truth.' Always be reassuring that they are loved, will be taken care of, and that because something happens to someone they love, it doesn't mean it will happen to them.And always try to leave a moral message.' For instance, "As for Cousin Andrea, don't you think it is better for a baby to have a grown-up, married Mom and Dad like you have?"' This answer takes it from the "romantic" and brings it home. More >>

Tags: EducationFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyParentingRelationshipsRelatives
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05/13/2010
IconIn 2005, Britain changed the law protecting anonymous sperm donors and allowed children to learn the identity of donor fathers (which is bad news) and limited the number of women who can use sperm from one donor (which is good news).In 1991, Britain registered some 500 sperm donors; since the change in the law, the numbers have dropped by 40%.' Obviously, the men were anonymously donating sperm for the financial compensation, and not for the purpose of fatherhood.' Once the anonymity factor was gone, motivation declined as these men likely felt threatened by potential future responsibilities to a child they had no intention of taking any responsibility for; either financially or emotionally.Another concern about anonymity is the sanctity of the family.' I have always advised married, infertile folks who have called my program to keep their plans a complete secret.' I don't believe it is in the best interest of children to have a sense that the wonderful man protecting, providing, and loving them is not their daddy.' Anything which interferes with that child/father bond should be avoided whenever possible.' And, I never thought the origin of the haploid DNA contribution was as significant as the ultimate parent/child relationship.Britain capped the number of babies which can be created from one donor.' Sperm from one man can now be used to produce only 10 babies (in Holland the number is 25).' The United States does not cap sperm donations at all...and I think that is ridiculous.' You certainly don't want anonymous sperm in one geographical location to be used to make scores of babies who are unaware of their genetic relationship.' The statistical probability of them meeting, falling in love, marrying (aw, I'm such a romantic) and then having children is not insignificant.' This is a factor that could lead to obvious medical problems for their offspring. More >>

Tags: FamilyMarriageMorals, Ethics, ValuesRelationshipsRelativesSocial Issues
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05/13/2010
IconThe world's finances are being shaken to their core because of - well - cheating and greed.' Nonetheless, people are being laid off, large companies are going out of business, small businesses can hardly pay for even minor fees to keep themselves afloat, and the price of gas keeps yo-yoing.' The good news is that you can buy a car for under sticker price...as long as you don't need a loan; you can also buy a house for a pittance...as long as you don't need a loan.A number of financial advisors have reported that their biggest problem is not the most obvious one, which is explaining what folks should and shouldn't do with their cash, savings, and investments.' As it turns out, their biggest problem is how husbands and wives are turning on each other with blame and rage or turning away from each other with blame and fear.Feelings of concern, anxiety, sadness, confusion and fear are, frankly, reasonable emotions when tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes hit your community...it is reasonable to slap your own - and maybe each other's - foreheads, regretful that you both didn't plan better.' But ultimately, it happened to each of you and all of your neighbors and you have to respond in a constructive way despite your personal pain.Feelings of concern, anxiety, sadness, confusion and fear are, frankly, reasonable responses when the financial bottom falls out from under you.' It's not unusual to want to look for the cause of the disaster whether it is a bank CEO, the President, the Treasurer, modest-income people who borrowed to live beyond their means....or....your spouse."Kicking the dog" because you are upset with your day is animal cruelty.' Kicking your husband or wife when you are both in the same lifeboat is also cruel, and it is destructive to the marriage and the family.Perhaps it is true that one or both of you made some financially unwise moves with investments or by spending too much and living beyond your means with credit cards and loans.' I think that in these situations it is always best for the person in charge of the "errors" to simply own up to screwing up, apologize, and then offer to help make things right.' Once your spouse has thrown himself or herself on your mercy, do not ever make them feel stupid or bad in an attempt to regain a sense of superiority or control.'When things go wrong, turn TO each other with compassion, solace, and a pledge to be a team and work it through together, survive it together, brainstorm together, and work together.' No matter how sad you feel, this is the time for lots of attention and great sex.' Endorphins and orgasms go a long way to keeping you both cheerful about life and life with each other.The financial situation in America and the world, as well as the Dow, will come back up.' Make sure your marriage weathers the storm so that you can both be there to enjoy it. More >>

Tags: BudgetFamilyFamily/Relationships - FamilyFinancesMarriageMoneyRelationshipsRelativesSexSexuality
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