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Marriage
05/13/2010
IconSue Shellenbarger writes a column for The Wall Street Journal that generally sends me up any available wall. The column is entitled "Home & Family," and I keep up with it if only to counter its content.She recently answered a reader's question ( 4/30/08 ) that had to do with a divorced father wanting to take his 10 year old son to his native Australia for 10 days, but his ex-wife is fighting the plan. The father contends that life lessons of such a vacation trump school. He's going to court for the right to take him, and asks Shellenbarger what she thinks.First of all, there are laws which prohibit one parent from taking a child out of the country without the express permission of the other. The reason is obvious: child-stealing. Secondly, having divorced parents at war with each other over a child hurts the child as he or she feels divided loyalties and tremendous anxiety. Thirdly, taking a child out of school for a protracted trip teaches the child that education is less of a priority than personal desires for fun. This father could arrange a summer trip when no school is missed. My guess is that this is a major power play.Shellenbarger not only doesn't deal with any of these issues, but she focuses on the whim of the child: if he would be comfortable with the trip; if he would see it as an adventure....in other words, just considering what the kid wants. What?? Of course the kid wants to be out of school and hanging out with dingos and kangaroos! "The ideal route would be for you and your ex-wife to set aside your personal feelings and focus on what he truly wants," contributes a New Jersey Marriage and Family Therapist. "[It] depends on your son's openness to the experience. Try to give him a free and honest choice, unfettered by feelings of loyalty to either of you or fear of letting you down." Is she kidding? How can a ten year old do that? And why put the burden on the child? Aren't the parents supposed to want and do what is best for the child? This is more of the "if it feels good it is good" school of thought - an experiment whose failure doesn't seem to curtail its perpetuation. More >>

Tags: DivorceFamily/Relationships - ChildrenInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMarriageParenting
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05/13/2010
IconEven as kids reach adolescence, they need more than ever for us to watch over them. Adolescence is not about letting go. It's about hanging on during a very bumpy ride. - Ron Taffe;'''''''''''''''' Author More >>

Tags: EducationFamily/Relationships - FamilyMarriageQuote of the WeekRelationshipsRelatives
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05/13/2010
IconOver a decade ago, as a guest on the Donahue television show, while I was attempting to explain the concepts of "Ten Stupid Things Women Do To Mess Up Their Lives" (my current book at the time) to a pre-arranged hostile audience, I was inundated with bitter challenges on the issue of day care, which, interestingly, wasn't even an issue in the book.Fed up with the nonsense, I took control from Donahue (no simple task) and challenged the audience members to stand up if, after dying and coming back a second time, they would actually choose to be raised by a nanny, baby-sitter, or day care center.' Funny thing....nobody got up.As I have pointed out numerous times here, in my book "Stupid Things Parents Do To Mess Up Their Kids," and on my radio program, adults have become so self-serving that the well-being and appropriate needs of children have been ferociously ignored or dismissed.' I've recently read national reports demonstrating that parents - even before they have children - are fighting for spots in day care centers!' I figure, if they can plan that far ahead, they certainly can plan to have a parent at home, or to wait to have children until they are able and willing to do the right thing for their family.I have been thoroughly amazed at how the injuries, abuse, and deaths of children in day care centers has left many attending families angry - but angry with the authorities for closing them down!' Can you imagine that?State auditors reviewing the California Department of Social Services compared the addresses of the state's licensed facilities (including foster family homes and day care centers) with the state's database of registered sex offenders, and found that the addresses of 49 sex offenders matched those of 46 child care facilities.' It should go without saying that convicted sex offenders shouldn't be employed in a facility for children.Nonetheless, of the 46 address matches, 25 were in Los Angeles, 8 in the Central California Valley, 7 in the San Francisco Bay area, 4 in San Diego, and 1 each in San Bernardino and Sacramento.' The verification process is under way - children are being interviewed, and some licenses are being suspended.' This "match up" procedure will surely miss the folks who got jobs under assumed names just to be nearer to children.It would seem that some people go to great lengths to be close to our kids...maybe we should be holding our kids even closer. More >>

Tags: AbuseChild AbuseMarriageSexSexuality
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05/13/2010
IconWith all the controversy about inappropriate sex (single women having babies out-of-wedlock on purpose, child sexual abuse in various religious orders, kids performing oral sex in middle school classrooms, etc.), it's nice to know that I can share with you a positive, healthy, and utterly lovely sexual story.Nancy K (I'm protecting her privacy!) wrote: I'd like to respond to your radio program caller who, sadly, had sex with his wife about once every three to six months due to an over-packed lifestyle.' I've been married for 27 years to a great guy.' We've had our ups and downs-family troubles, kid troubles, you name it - some of them pretty devastating,' but our marriage has survived due to commitment, faith in God, and the intimacy that holds us together when the storms hit. Since I can remember, we have sex every other day...yes, you read correctly.' Barring serious illness or surgery, even during the early years when our kids were young, through the teen years when we had kids all over the house, and now through the college years when my kids come home to visit, we have kept this pattern.' It has not always been easy!' Sometimes, we need to be creative.We have a lock on our door, and a television in the bedroom as a sound buffer.' We have even "snuck" away from our home for a quick evening in a local, cheap hotel, and returned before bedtime, all for the price of a dinner and a movie out.' Sometimes, he drops by at lunch, if he's out on a customer call, or I meet him. I estimate that to be approximately 4,914 sessions!' Mind you, not all of these times are steamy hours of sex.' Some last only minutes, but the connection is there, and I can say with confidence that I challenge anything or anyone to come between us, because we are truly one. When marriages allow all the intimacy to be sucked out of their lives, they will not have anything to cling to when trouble comes, and it will come in some form during your marriage.' I don't always feel like having sex, but I always feel like being close to him, and by seeing the best in my man, respecting him and his needs, and honoring him.' I find that I can almost always get "in the mood" because he values me. My hubby bought me "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" as a little gift one day - and I read it and loved it.' I picked up some new pointers, and used it as a refresher course to jump-start an already-good marriage. I quoted this letter in full because I believe that the most devastating aspect of a marriage is one in which the spouses take each other for granted, serve their own moods or desires, and don't wake up every day wondering what they can do to make the other's life worth living. More >>

Tags: MarriageSexSexuality
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05/13/2010
IconHe is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home. - Goethe More >>

Tags: EducationFamily/Relationships - FamilyMarriageQuote of the WeekRelationshipsRelatives
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05/13/2010
IconEvidently, there are so many identity thieves that the intense competition has driven the prices for stealing your identity way down. Credit card numbers were selling for as little as 40 cents each (dropping 50%), and access to your bank account was going to ten dollars in the second half of 2007, according to the latest twice-yearly "Internet Security Threat Report" from Symantec Corporation. Full identities - including a functioning credit card number, Social Security Number or equivalent, and a person's name, address and date of birth - are going for as little as two dollars apiece! Your life can be wrecked for about ten dollars. Stolen identities of European Union citizens, however, sell for considerably more than American identities - they go for about thirty dollars, because those identities can be used in multiple countries. More >>

Tags: choose wisely - treat kindlyChoose Wisely-Treat KindlyMarriageMorals, Ethics, Values
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05/13/2010
IconMany people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness.'It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose. - Helen Keller More >>

Tags: EducationFamily/Relationships - FamilyMarriageQuote of the WeekRelationshipsRelatives
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05/13/2010
IconDon't marry the person you think you can live with;marry only the individual you think you can't live without. - James C. Dobson More >>

Tags: EducationFamily/Relationships - FamilyMarriageQuote of the WeekRelationshipsRelatives
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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
IconPastor Alexander Hardy, Jr. of the New Dimension Worship Center in Frederick, Maryland banded together with 16 other churches to present Families United '08 two weekends ago.' This was a three-day conference for children and adults, including workshops and fun and games.' Sunday was even declared Marriage Day in Frederick, by way of a proclamation from the mayor and aldermen.The point of this effort was to send a message of hope and perseverance to younger adults.' The religious aspect was not incidental:' one participant said that building a relationship with God has made all the difference in building relationships with his wife and children: "When we got married, we didn't know God.' God has taught us to be humble; taught us we don't always have to be right or have it our way." All together, about 350 people attended this event, with six couples renewing their vows in front of their children and community.' Inspiring! More >>

Tags: Marriage
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