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Parenting
05/13/2010
IconI get thousands of emails, letters and faxes every week.' They can be funny, sobering, trivial, deep.' Every once in a while one comes in that just takes my breath away.' This is one of those: "I am terminally ill with cancer.' I AM GOING TO BE HAPPY EVERY DAY.' Life is a very great gift.' I am very grateful for each day.' Even if all you get in life is one sunrise or one sunset; life is a fantastic present. I DO NOT FEEL GUILTY FOR MY HAPPINESS." She asked me not to use her name. More >>

Tags: EducationFamily/Relationships - FamilyHalloweenHolidaysMarriageMovie ReviewMoviesParentingQuote of the WeekRelationshipsRelativesThanksgiving
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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
IconAs always, I LOVE being on the Larry King Show.' The original intent of my appearance last night was to promote the release of my New York Times bestseller, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage," in paperback,' but the fun thing about being with Larry is that he expands the experience by asking anything from politics to sex to celebrity nonsense to one's personal life, and so forth.' Last night was no exception.The Larry King producers have added a new dimension to the program - one I enjoyed tremendously: the "man" on the street short video questions.' My favorite was a young man asking about his girlfriend's determination to have him take money from her father.' He wanted to know if his inclination to not do so was out of line.' I instantly heralded him as a "real man," and suggested he dump this "daddy's girl" for a real woman.'Just prior to my appearance on the show, Arianna Huffington (great hair, by the way) was included in a panel of political pundits.' After she left, I noticed she had forgotten her Blackberry and compact.' I called to her and she was most grateful and gracious, acknowledging that she "owed me one."' I sincerely hope she remembers that the next time she mentions me in her blog.All-in-all a great experience, and you can read the transcript from the program by clicking here .'''' Oh yeah...do you like my new hair-do?' Takes me - brace yourselves - only 10 minutes from shower to coif! More >>

Tags: adoptionMarriageParenting
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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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Tags: CharityParentingRegarding Dr. LauraValues
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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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05/13/2010
IconAs we head into Thanksgiving, and the beginning of the biggest shopping season of the year, it's time to take a stand regarding the kind of toys we buy our kids.' Case in point:1. Mattell, Inc. recalled 675,000 Barbie' Accessory toys because the paint on the surface of the accessories contained excessive levels of lead.' Lead can cause learning and behavior problems and even death.2. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled roughly 4 million arts and crafts toys called Aqua Dots because several children in the United States and Australia were hospitalized after swallowing some of the toy's beads.' The beads had a chemical coating that evidently was related to GHB, the "date rape" drug.3. An additional 175,000 Curious George plush dolls made by Marvel Toys were recalled because of lead on the toys' plastic faces.This past summer, the toy industry recalled more than 22 million toys because of serious danger issues.' The common denominator seems to be that all these toys are made in China.' China is the world's number one producer of toys, due to cheap labor and manufacturing costs.' While the world's governments lazily deal with tougher controls to intercept dangerous toys before they hurt our children, how about we parents taking control and only purchasing toys made in the U.S.A. this holiday season?' We should be supporting our own economy anyway.If you don't know how to find toys made in the USA, here's a start - a parent single-handedly took up the charge and created a website that links to USA-made toys. toysmadeinamerica.com/ .If you want detailed information on toys that have been recalled by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, you can find a list of all the latest recalls at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/category/toy.html . More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingPoliticsSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconI got this eloquent email recently, and wanted to share it with all of you, as it addresses the consequences of some behaviors that often come up from callers to my radio show:"Two months ago, I left my wife and children and moved into a condo about a mile from our home.' This morning, I was moved to write the following, just to help me vent my frustration over the treatment from my wife that led to this painful and damaging decision, called "For Years:" For years, you behaved as if it didn't matter whether I came or went, so I went. For years, you were unsatisfied with the income I brought in, even though it was way more than enough to allow you to stay home with the children. Now you have less, and you get to go to work. For years, you behaved as if my touch meant nothing to you. Now, it's gone. For years, you never complimented me on the household repairs I made, keeping up the lawn and garden, cleaning and organizing the garage and the hundreds of things I did to keep our home balanced and running. Now, you can do them. For years, you complained I didn't do enough housework.' Now it's all yours. For years, you chose not to attend community and social events that were important to me.' Now they're not an option. For years, you expected me to read your mind when you were hurt or upset.' Never could, never will. For years, you punished me with your silence.' Now you have plenty. For years, you would not share information about our kids' schedules, doctor's appointments and so on.' Now some attorneys will help you polish your communication skills. For years, I chose to love you, protect you, provide for you, confide in you, and have fun with you.' Now, I don't. For years, you behaved as a long-suffering martyr.' Now you can be one. For years, I chose to raise your son as my own.' Now, he's hurting. For years, you treated me as the lesser parent.' Now I am. For years, our precious young daughter has watched this debacle. What do you think she's learned? For years.... P.S.' I bought and read "The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage" months ago, and asked my wife to read it with me.' She laughed."(Signed)Still My Kids' Dadin Southern California More >>

Tags: ChildrenMarriageParenting
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05/13/2010
IconLike most people in this country, I have been glued to the television coverage of the fires raging through San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, etc.' Unlike many of you, I just need to look out my kitchen window to see and smell the eerie smoky brown sky that hangs over my neighborhood.' From this vantage point I can understand the fear and shock that is consuming the millions who are experiencing up close and very personally the ravages of Mother Nature.''''''' Much of the California coastline is burning.' Almost one million people have been evacuated and over one thousand homes and some communities have been burned to the ground.' An unknown number of people have died and scores have been injured; mostly firefighters.''''''People are living out of their cars, in the homes of friends, relatives or gracious strangers; hotels are crammed, and thousands are in stadiums.' What is remarkable about this disaster is how well San Diego has handled this.' The local government got right into gear with evacuations, physical support and fire-fighting; the people, although devastated, have been cooperative, positive, virtually non-complaining, non-violent, and mutually supportive.' Charitable and supportive donations from people far and wide have been administered successfully.' No hysteria, blaming, or violence.' Listening to the stories of gratitude in the midst of hardship has been inspiring.'''' 'Nonetheless, it is important to consider the longer term emotional and psychological issues resulting from this disaster, the largest in California's history.' My family survived a house-fire in the early '90's.' A faulty electrical connection in a socket sent a spark across the room onto a bed and in mere seconds the entire room was ablaze.' I tried to put the fire out and realized that the fumes and smoke were even more dangerous.' I called the Fire Department immediately, grabbed my wallet and my son and left the house.' Between the flames and the efforts of the Fire Department, our house was totaled but without damage to our neighbors.'''' 'We lost just about everything.' Our first reaction was shock.' It was difficult to absorb being in a home one moment, and standing in front of a burning building in the next.'''' 'For the most part, the people involved in the California fires have whole neighborhoods that are gone and don't seem to have the option of "continuing with life."' Their stresses, grief, and fears will need to be addressed.' Most people are ultimately quite resilient, and after months of reasonable, normal hyper-emotional reactions, get back into life without long-lasting impact.'''' 'Children are more vulnerable to these disasters and special attention needs to be paid to their well-being.' The more up-front and personal the exposure to the disaster, the greater the post-disaster impact will be.' The loss of a home and destruction of a community are obviously high-distress events leading to grief and trauma.'''' 'Children under the age of 2 have little real understanding of what has happened and don't have life experiences to tap into to give them a sense of immediate or future safety.' They pretty much are experiencing sensory overload as the sights, sounds, smells stay imprinted in their young minds and may be activated in the future.' Also, children of this age are not equipped to discuss their fears.' It is very important that small children not be separated from their parents during these disasters.' The parents are the ultimate security and measure by which they will react; if parents stay calm, children feel more reassured.'''' 'Children up to age five may start regressing in their behavior because of their confusion and fear.' They may have nightmares, stop eating and sleeping, and report stomach aches which are really a sign of distress.'''' 'To assist young children:1.' Give verbal reassurance and physical comfort2.' Try to keep eating and sleeping routines intact3.' Avoid being separated from them because of the comfort they need from' you and because they fear abandonment.4.' Let them talk and talk and talk and talk about what they feel, especially'about losing pets, their toys, etc.5. Try to minimize their exposure to images of fires on television and any other' disturbing input.6. Get them playing -- this will be good for them and for you!''' 'School age children can become obsessed with their fears over these events.' This would be a good time for you not to be so concerned with your expectations of proper behavior and performance in school (if they have access) and with you.' However, while it is important for you to let them talk again and again about the disaster and their opinions and feelings, you should also set some gentle limits on "acting-out" behaviors of anger, and so forth.' It might be good to say something like, "You know, it is quite reasonable for all of us to be angry or feeling kind of crazy over what's happened.' Let's keep 'showing it' to five minutes each hour or so, then the rest of the time we can make plans, take a walk, figure out meals, play a game, sing a song, help somebody else..."'''' 'Allow school-aged children to participate in actions geared to "take care of immediate business."' That way they have a sense of power in a seemingly powerless situation and feel useful - which is a positive and rewarding experience.'''' 'Some children may be slow to show distress, taking weeks or months for signs or symptoms of their distress to appear.' Don't push for "feelings" to be expressed; instead, be watchful of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) depression: persistent sad or irritable mood, loss of interest in activities once enjoyed,' a significant change in appetite or body weight, difficulty sleeping or oversleeping, loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt, difficulty concentration and/or recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.'''' 'Five or more of these symptoms over several weeks may indicate a need for professional intervention.'''' 'Remember, supportive parents, friends, family members, teachers, and other adults make all the difference in the ability of children to cope with disaster.'''' 'For more information, click on: " Helping Children Handle Disaster-Related Anxiety - National Mental Health Association "To hear Dr. Laura in an on-air interview with KFI-AM regarding this issue, click here More >>

Tags: ChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMilitaryParentingSocial IssuesValues
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