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Family/Relationships - Children
05/13/2010
IconThe Claremont Institute ( http://www.claremont.org/ ) recently published two book reviews having to do with the significance of marriage to the well-being of children, and the cohesiveness of society in general.' The books reviewed are: "Marriage and Caste in America:' Separate and Unequal Families in a Post-Marital Age," by Kay S. Hymowitz, and "The Future of Marriage," by David Blankenhorn.These are two fascinating and informational books that you ought to read.' The reviewer, F. Carolyn Graglia, writes: "Over the past four decades, American adults have seemed more concerned with enjoying their own existence than with the generation and welfare of children." And in her book, Hymowitz writes: "Children of single mothers are less successful on just about every measure than children growing up with their married parents regardless of their income, race, or educational levels:' they are more prone to drug and alcohol abuse, to crime, and to school failure; they are less likely to graduate from college; they are more likelyl to have children at a young age, and more likely to do so when they are unmarried. Soaring divorce rates and out-of-wedlock births (37% of U. S.' births are illegitimate) have made ours a nation of separate and unequal families." The propensity to divorce is apparently correlated with two-income families. Hymowitz notes that the "traditional families, with breadwinner husband and stay-at-home wife had the lowest rate of divorce." Women employed 80% of the time since the birth of their first child are twice as likely to be divorced as stay-at-home moms.'Today, more than 40% of all first marriages end in divorce (the rates for second and third marriages are higher), and more than half of all U.S. children will spend "at least a significant part of their childhood living apart from their father." Shacking up, having babies out of wedlock as an entitlement for working women who don't have the time or inclination to create a marriage, having babies out of wedlock because of irresponsible sexual behavior (and not considering adoption to a two-parent mom and dad)...all of these now-normalized behaviors reek of narcissism and indicate that we worry less about children and more about adults being unfettered by morality, good sense, or compassion to the needs of children. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenMarriageParenting
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05/13/2010
IconIt's been all over the news.' A "nanny-cam" in the home of two twin preemies showed the nanny handling the children like trash bags.' I mean, if you know it's going to be shown on Nancy Grace's television program, it has to be bad!The single most important issue, however, was never addressed.' Where were their parents?' These delicate babies were in the hands of hired help and not their own parents.' Nowhere in the news pieces did anyone suggest that these parents had to work or risk being homeless.' Quite the contrary.There are babies who have been forgotten, neglected, and abused in day-care centers.' Now, nannies are doing the same in the parents' home.' Parents themselves are forgetting their own children in cars, which literally causes the children to be poached to death.' When will the tide turn back to parents making their children their number one priority, and moving their dual careers or owning "things" to a lower spot on their list?' Until then, more horrifying stories are sure to come. More >>

Tags: anxietyChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenHealthParentingStress
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05/13/2010
IconLast Thursday, I posted a blog about "passing the trash," a practice known within the educational system in which teachers who've allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct with a student resign and leave their school districts in exchange for confidentiality about their behavior.' I received many comments about that story, but this is one I want to share with you.' I've kept the writer's name confidential: Dr. Laura, as a former administrator of a small school district, let me tell you who the real villains are in these cases.' No school administration will admit it, but it's the teacher's union.' It's like going up against the mob, to come against one of their members.' And they don't care if their member is guilty or not.' They will use every tactic in the book to intimidate you into dropping your complaint.' Any time an administration tries to discipline teachers or even look into a complaint, the union is there fighting the administration.' They file lawsuits and nit pick at your procedures.' The teachers have free counsel and unlimited representation, covered by their dues.' Just to inquire into a complaint, the school [incurs] a great deal of cost, precious money that has to be taken from some other program or someone else's pocket. These types of complaints are the duty of the school board, and school boards are made up of volunteers - they don't get paid, but they can get sued, and must defend themselves with their own money.' It is a fight to correct an untenured teacher, and in fact, there is no way to fire or discipline a tenured one. We had a horrid teacher (and many complaints), and we tried everything under the sun to get him away from kids.' He had his ego stroked by being mean to kids.' We tried to pay him off and offer him early retirement, but he wouldn't go.' We were a small district with limited funds.' Eventually, the school had to close, and the man finally lost his job.' And no one around would hire him.' Our teacher was not a molester, but he was a "demeaner" - he enjoyed insulting kids. Although I do not agree with what these schools have done, I am not surprised.' If you have no proof that would hold up in court and kids who don't want to officially testify, but you know in your heart that this person has done these things, the teacher's union will spread [the word] that your school district is being very unfair to the teachers, and...will turn the hearing into a circus.' As parents and board members, you will do whatever it takes to get them out of your school - and hopefully, away from kids. More >>

Tags: EducationFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParentingSchool
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05/13/2010
IconBrace yourselves for this one: The Oregonian on February 18 exposed a demonic deal made in 2004 between the Salem-Keizer Public Schools and a teacher.' Here's the deal:' if the teacher resigned, they would conceal his alleged conduct (touching and grabbing butts) from the public.' Moreover, they promised not to reveal the teacher's behavior if potential employers called looking for a reference.' They would attribute his departure to personal reasons and make no reference to the agreement. The Oregonian confirmed 47 similar confidential settlement agreements. "During the past five years, nearly half of Oregon teachers disciplined for sexual misconduct with a child left their school districts with confidential agreements.... Some promised cash settlements, health insurance, and letters of recommendation as incentives for a resignation. The practice is so widespread, school officials across the country call it 'passing the trash.'" I think school systems around the country should be examined to ensure this "trash passing" isn't happening in your area.' Also, every parent has a moral obligation to every other parent and child to report such abuse to the police - in spite of embarrassment - so that these worms will be forced above ground.' And by "worms," I don't just mean the molesters.' I mean the administrations that would clean up their yards by dumping trash in another's yard and put unsuspecting children at risk.Disgusting. More >>

Tags: ChildrenEducationFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParentingSchool
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05/13/2010
IconWhat's happening (so many people wonder) that is making at least half of kindergartners engage in frequent fighting, aggression, and tantrums?' Is it ADD or ADHD or any more letters from the beginning of the alphabet?' Yes, it must be...so drug 'em into obedience!Over the last year, we've also seen many reports that pre-schoolers were being thrown out, because of "bad behavior," including an unwillingness to cooperate, to listen to "teachers," and even a tendency to assault other children.' Well, we can drug 'em for that, too.' Or, how 'bout yoga and other forms of meditation? (I personally find that foot massages take off my edges!).We have two choices:' figure out how to get control of these out-of-control kids, or how not to drive them to distraction in the first place.' I vote for "Door #2."A 2006 study in the journal "Early Childhood Research Quarterly" demonstrated that day-care children show increases in the stress hormone cortisol throughout the day compared to children at home.'A 2007 study, headed by Susanna Loeb, an Associate Professor of Education at Stanford University, found that children who spend more time in child-care centers early in life show more behavior problems in later years, compared with kids who have spent less time away from home and momma, and that the negative effects were greater among children who had entered child-care centers at earlier ages.It takes a momma and a daddy, and a warm, loving home to get a child ready to deal with the unpredictable, unfair, restrictive, and demanding realities of life.' Please give them that time with you . More >>

Tags: Common SenseEducationFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParentingSchoolValues
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05/13/2010
IconAn essay by Sara Schaefer Munoz in the "Home and Family" section of The Wall Street Journal (February 12, 2008) caught my eye.' The essay, entitled "For Single Moms, Access to Better-Paying Jobs is Key," talks about how difficult it is for single mothers to balance work/life issues.'First of all, it never distinguishes between widowed, divorced, and never-bothered-to-be-married moms.' The issues are quite different:' insurance, spousal and child support, his extended family's continual involvement, and so forth.' Contrast that to a woman who simply got pregnant by some guy.' The latter situation is far different and each of them requires its own newspaper column.' They are generally lumped together because of "political correctness" (no judgment and no hurt feelings), and not because the three situations vary widely due to the financial situation and the well-being of the children.The essay did the usual by suggesting available careers and child-care possibilities.' It was the "Readers Say" portion that requires a response from me. One reader wrote: "Maybe if more men took accountability for proper birth control, there would be fewer single mothers working two jobs to make ends meet." I just can't let this one go.' Oh my, are we unfairly picking on the woman?Here's how I see it:' it is in the woman's body that the miracle of conception, gestation, and ultimate birth of a new human being takes place.' It is legally the woman's prerogative to kill it or bring it to term.' No man has any legal say in the life or death of his child's first nine months of existence.' These two facts give the woman the overwhelming preponderance of responsibility.There are too many never-married mothers, because women have become more casual about sex (abortion is just another form of birth-control), and more casual about children (they don't really need a daddy). The children pay the price:' no dad in the home, and they're in day-care (which I call "day orphanages"), so momma can hopefully find a job.So, to get back to the title of the essay, "better-paying jobs" is not the key.' Marriage is. More >>

Tags: BudgetFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMoneyParenting
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05/13/2010
IconEarlier this week, I got a call from a 36 year old woman who has been "shacking up" with her boyfriend for four years.' She wants to have children, but senses his ambivalence.' The answer I gave her applies to all the otherwise intelligent women who do this.You should move out and say "I've decided I've made a horrible mistake and the next time I'm living under the same roof as a man, I'm going to be his wife!"You don't demand anything.' You don't threaten anything. You act like a dignified woman, instead of an unpaid whore.' It's as simple as that.' A man who loves and respects a woman wouldn't treat you like that.When I asked this caller "What would you tell your son?" at first, she didn't understand that I was raising a hypothetical question about how she would explain this behavior to her "future" child.' She started to say, "Well, if you're both happy, and you're both-" and I immediately cut in and said she should not make babies.' If you're going to do that to your kid, don't have any.' If you're going to tell your daughter "...as long as you're happy and you're screwing your brains out every night with a guy who doesn't want to commit his life to you, it's all okay!" - we don't need any more parents like that.'That's why we have such chaos in our whole society - because you think "happy" at any one moment is the highest value.' I think honor, sacrifice, and commitment are a higher honor than taking your daily "happiness" temperature, because a man staying true to his wife, who has terminal colon cancer, instead of dating is not happy .' Is he happy ?' Then that can't be the highest quotient!If you want the world to deal on "happiness," then you have to understand that your man will leave you any day you don't make him happy, and will not honor you or any vow, because he doesn't have to!' You've already taught him that if you're "happy," that's the only thing that matters.I don't think firemen are happy to run into burning buildings.' I don't think they're "happy" doing that.' I don't think police are "happy" to surround a building where somebody says he's going to shoot everybody.' I don't think they lay awake in the morning and go "Gee, that makes me happy!"' They have honor and sacrifice and duty and commitment to something higher than "feeling good" in and of themselves.' Don't have children if you're going to teach them about "happiness."' We have enough chaos in our society because people are doing what they "feel" like when it has no meaning and no projection into the future.'If you teach your sons to screw girls if it makes them happy, and as long as she's smiling and you don't have to make any commitment, don't make babies.' We just don't need any more parents like you.' We just don't. More >>

Tags: CommitmentFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMarriageMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingPersonal ResponsibilityShacking UpShacking-UpSocial Issues
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05/13/2010
IconWe live in a time where millions of children spend all day away from their families in facilities that have big screen TVs to amuse them, and they have caregivers for whom English is not required.' This is also the time when parents buy ever-increasing numbers of electronic gizmos to occupy their children's time - sometimes to "make them smarter," or to "make them buzz off," so that busy, busy parents can have some "well-earned down time."Whether its TV, computer games, or hand-held devices, more and more parents are inundating even babies with all of this mass-produced "input."' A recent study reported that about 40% of families with babies and young children keep the television on at all times.' "Always on" TV damages the children's ability to play imaginatively and to develop language skills.' Obviously, it reduces the number of nurturing interactions between parents and children, too.There are many so-called studies which identify programs that provide a positive influence (like "Barney," which teaches kids politeness and social cooperation).' The problem with all of these studies is that they never compare these TV-watching children to those raised in TV-free households to compare the shows to the loving attention of a parent.The problem is that we are living in a time of rising juvenile obesity and inactivity, and ever-increasing "diagnoses" of ADD and ADHD (which I believe most of the time is "kids being kids," and/or kids who don't get proper attention paid to them, with direction, support, and consequences).' This is also a time of more childhood sexual activity, leading to STDs, pregnancies, abortions and broken hearts with confused minds.So, this Christmas-time, change your adult life around and give your children "stuff to do" -- some with you and some on their own - to exercise their imaginations and give them a sense of accomplishment. More >>

Tags: ChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconWhen a woman wishes to diminish her own value (as well as that of the covenant of marriage) by cohabitating with a man who is not willing to make the vow of committing his life to her, it's a shame.' When a woman with children does so, it too often becomes a crime.Thirty years ago, nearly 80% of America's children lived with both their Mommy and Daddy, who were married.' Now, only two-thirds of them do.' Of all families with children, nearly 30% are now one-parent families, up from 17% in 1977.' The net result is instability, neglect, and the likelihood that children will be in homes with adults who have no biological tie to them.Children living in homes with unrelated adults are nearly fifty times as likely to die of inflicted injuries as are children living with their bio-parents. ( Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, 2005 ).' Children of single parents had a 77% greater risk of being harmed by physical abuse than children living with both parents ( National Incidence Study, 1996 ). Children living in stepfamilies, or with single parents are at higher risk of physical or sexual assault than children living with their bio-parents ( University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children Research Center ). Girls whose parents divorce are at significantly higher risk of sexual assault, regardless of which bio-parent they live with ( Family Law, Washington and Lee University ).It is righteous to judge the lifestyles of people who have children, because the results of their choices can result in harm (psychological, physical or sexual), as well as death to innocent children.' "Six year old Oscar Jimenez, Jr. was beaten to death in California, then buried under fertilizer and cement.' Two year old Devon Shackleford drowned in an Arizona swimming pool.' Jayden Cangro, also two, died after being thrown across a room in Utah.' In each case, as in many others every year, the alleged or convicted perpetrator had been the boyfriend of the child's mother. ( Associated Press, November 18, 2007 ).The recent "Baby Grace" case was no different.' According to news reports, the mother's boyfriend beat the child to death because the child didn't address him politely.'I am firm in my beliefs and advice that young women, pregnant out-of-wedlock, need to consider adoption as in the best interest of the child, and that divorced parents should not marry again until the children are grown (and if they do, they shouldn't marry someone with children or create more children, because they will be sidelining their own children).Of course, I get everything from "antsy" to angry feedback for these recommendations, as adults feel entitled to their happiness, freedom, and sexual adventures.' My point of view is that the children's needs should eclipse the privileges of adult desires.A week ago, a 29 year old female caller to my radio program, with two small children from her first marriage, was now divorcing her second husband.' Two divorces before the age of 30!' Her question was should she let the new "ex-to-be" see the kids?' How about this for a life?' Each weekend, you alternate between different "daddies."I suggested she not date again until the children graduated high school. More >>

Tags: ChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingShacking UpShacking-UpValues
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05/13/2010
IconI read the following email from Tina on the air the other day, but it's such a good story, particularly during this week following Thanksgiving , that I wanted to share it in this forum as well: Dr. Laura: I have to tell you about a recent shopping experience I had at the local Wal-Mart.' My family and I live in northern New York, just 15 minutes from Fort Drum.' This area is extremely "pro-military," and we like it, even though I can do away with the miserable winters. Driving to the store, I always pass through the base, and I saw all the "Welcome Home" banners hanging on the fence, meaning that a bunch of soldiers had just come home from Iraq.' When we got in the store, I couldn't help but notice soldiers who were shopping - the look on their faces was priceless!' These guys were happy to be shopping, happy to be alive, and happy to be home to family, friends, and community who are aware of their sacrifice and heroism. My six year old son was sort of oblivious to all of those dressed in fatigues until we reached the Lego aisle, and he saw a couple of soldiers in his favorite section.' He said, "Look, Mommy - some good guys!!"' "Yes, I see," I told him.' Then he asked the soldiers:' "Did you get the bad guys?"' "Yes, young man, we sure did," they assured him. My son was especially excited that the good guys liked Legos, too! Thanks. Tina More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenhusbandMarriageMilitaryParentingSocial IssuesWar
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