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Parenting
Tags: AbstinenceFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - TeensParentingTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconI got this after I read a letter from a stay-at-home mom on my radio program: Dr. Laura:I am a 26 year old Stay-At-Home Dad who never wanted children, and until I saw my daughter for the first time, I was terrified that I would resent her for changing my life in a way I'd never planned (and yes, I do appreciate the irony of my situation).' I have served in the military, managed people, and worked as a laborer.' I have done many difficult things in my life, but being a full-time parent is easily the most difficult (and most rewarding) job I have ever had.' My daughter is the light of my life, and, despite my earlier fears, has only helped to strengthen the relationship I share with my wife. [Recently], you read an email on your program from a stay-at-home mother titled "Staying Home is NOT a Sacrifice!"' I was awestricken, and admittedly, at the end of the letter, I cried.' I've been described as "unemotional" on more than one occasion, and was even surprised at myself with the chord that letter struck for me.' While I have never considered giving up my career and my life as a childless young adult a sacrifice, I'd also never put it all into perspective for myself.' I am surrounded by people who have shown nothing but great respect for my wife and I for the fact that we live a much different lifestyle than we did prior to our daughter being born, so I am personally (and thankfully) unfamiliar with the hostility that stay-at-home parents receive.' And while I doubt that the people who would hear or read this woman's letter would disagree with her, I, as a man and father, would like to add a little reinforcement to this woman's declaration.' Staying home is NOT a sacrifice!' The reward of staying home with the kids is not only the end result of children having full-time parents, but in the act itself.' We are not giving anything up to be with our children; we are getting so much more from them than we would otherwise. It's unfortunate to me that not everyone can enjoy the special bond that a stay-at-home parent forms with their children, and I wish that the whole world could see my little girl run at me full-bore, and crash head-first into my legs, begging to be picked up, so that she can give me a big sticky kiss and bury her face in my neck. Yes, I do sometimes miss skipping town for the weekend on a moment's notice to go drinking or fishing.' Yes, I do sometimes miss having the money to go buy a new toy whenever I feel like it.' I do sometimes miss being able to make love to my wife anywhere in our home at any time.' But one sticky kiss from my daughter is worth infinitely more than every beer I don't have, every record-breaking fish I don't catch, every new toy I don't buy, and every intimate moment that has to wait until the baby has gone to bed. A proud, stay-at-home Dad More >>

Tags: acceptanceAttitudeFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParenting
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05/13/2010
IconI received this poignant email about a heartbreaking topic, but Kelly has found inspiration in her loss, and that's the message I'd like to pass on to all of you: Dr. Laura:I listened to a call you took from a woman who had lost a baby (a twin), and wondered how to handle this as she tried to go forward in life.' I thought I'd share how my family has coped with our loss. My son was stillborn almost 13 years ago now.' He was my first baby, and the loss was devastating, especially since it was such a struggle to conceive him at all.' Three months after the loss I became pregnant again (huge surprise!).' How could I be happy for this baby when I was still mourning my son?' It was scary and hard, but I was determined to notice what would become good memories, so that I would have them to share with this child as she was growing up and wanting to hear how happy we were as we anticipated her arrival.' But I still struggled each year as the anniversary of my son's birth/death approached. And then I read a story about a woman who had been raped and left for dead.' After years of agonizing fear and dread as the anniversary of her attack approached each year, she decided to do something to change all that.' She used that date each year to celebrate her life, and the fact that she still had it.' By this time, we had already shared with our daughter that she had a brother in heaven who watched over her.' I decided to take that a step further. Rather than trying to cover up or explain my sadness at that time each year, I decided to make it a time of remembrance and appreciation.' If nothing else, my son's death taught me just how fleeting this life is, and there is not a moment to take for granted. It took me a long time to get to this place, but now, on that day each year, my husband, my daughter and I take that day off (no matter what) just to spend time with each other doing something fun, and remembering how appreciative we are that we have each other. We've been camping, spent a day at the park, went to the beach...anything that immersed us in each other.' And we take time out to remember our son, and thank him for that awesome lesson.' When it comes to the loss of a child, I really think every person has to find his or her own way.' I just thought I'd share ours, in hopes that it might help someone else. Kelly More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenHealthMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParenting
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Tags: Family/Relationships - TeensInternet-MediaInternet/MediaParentingTeens
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05/13/2010
IconI'm traveling this week, doing my radio program from Detroit and then from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, so I thought I'd feature a guest blogger today, who wrote in with the following comments: Hi, Dr. Laura!I am a stay-at-home mom of two beautiful children, ages 4 1/2 and almost 2.' I have been a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) since the middle of my first pregnancy.' I just picked up your book "In Praise of Stay-At-Home Moms," and read it cover-to-cover in two days.' At first, the book made me angry.' Not at anything you said, but it stirred up some old emotions in me that I thought I had buried long ago. You see, I have felt a lot of negativity from my in-laws since the day my husband and I decided that I would quit my job to stay home to raise our family.' My mother-in-law and father-in-law, and even both brothers-in-law and their wives, who all have children in day care, felt that I was not pulling my weight-that I was a burden on my husband, and that my children should be in day care.' Can you imagine?!! My husband and I lead a completely different lifestyle from them, but that didn't seem to matter to them. We don't have a thirty foot trailer for camping, and it's not important for us to have brand new SUVs or granite countertops.' We can have those material things in due time, if we choose. Reading your book made me think about the past again, the way my children and I have been treated over the years, and it brought back all the anger and resentment.' As I continued reading your book, it clicked!' My in-laws are jealous of the quality time that I get to spend with my children every day.' Also, the biggie for me:' happiness is a matter of perspective.' Both my husband and I feel like we are doing the right thing by having me stay-at-home and that's all that matters.' Period. In a quest to keep the right perspective, I have started journaling my proud "mommy moments," and I thought I would share this with you.' Perhaps this might help other SAHMs keep a positive outlook, too.' There's no denying that being a full-time stay-at-home mom is both rewarding and challenging.' So, I started journaling all the wonderful moments that I experience with my children on a daily basis - the moments I would never be able to experience via Mommy-cam. Today, my daughter lovingly brushed the hair away from my forehead and kissed me sweetly on my forehead, just as I have done to her countless times.' I wrote it down.' When my little boy wraps his pudgy arms around my legs and squeezes me with all his might, I write it down.' That way, when things get tough, which they will, I can quickly glance over my Mommy journal and see why I'm doing this again, to help me keep a positive outlook.' I know this won't make whatever is troubling me magically disappear, but I do think that seeing what's positive and wonderful in my life will help to clear my head and give me strength for Round 2 and 3. You have been such a wonderful influence on me, Dr. Laura.' Thank you for helping to lift my chin, so when people ask me what I do for a living, I can respond, smiling, "I am a proud FULL-time stay-at-home Mommy and I love my life." God bless you and yours, C. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenIn Praise of Stay-at-Home MomsMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingRegarding Dr. LauraStay-at-Home MomStay-At-Home-Moms
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Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenMilitaryMother's DayMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingValues
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05/13/2010
IconThe coordinator behind a children's coloring book that was pulled from FEMA's website recently is standing by her work, despite its controversial cover (which shows a child's drawing of the New York's "Twin Towers" on fire, with a plane flying toward them), according to Fox News.Ostensibly, this downloadable coloring book was created to help children cope with disaster, and was developed by Minnesota's Freeborn County Crisis Response Team after a tornado hit their area. "I stand firm that it was a very well thought out and useful resource for kids," Rose Olmstead told Fox News.' I think she is sadly mistaken.' I read the entire coloring book, and these are my observations and opinions:1. The title of the coloring book is "A Scary Thing Happened," a children's coloring book to help cope with disasters.' I would not have shown this to my child.' The cover has the World Trade Center towers burning, with a plane coming in for the second kill, a house with the roof blowing away due to a tornado, and a car that is smashed from the top - this doesn't resemble a car accident, so I don't know if a tornado was supposed to have hauled it up and then dropped it on its top before righting it, or what.' Can't figure that one out.'Here's where I take issue:' a tornado is an act of nature.' The tower disaster was an act of evil people determined to murder all those who didn't share their religion.' It's wrong to put these two together, because the explanations for these events are worlds apart, and people cope differently when other humans perpetrate heinous acts on purpose, than when nature does what nature does, or when accidents happen.' Coping with these two category types is psychologically different.' As you might guess, murder and mayhem perpetrated by man is much harder to deal with, because it becomes more personal.2. After highlighting terrorism on the cover, the book starts out showing excessive rain causing a flood, a tornado and a house fire - typical disasters for a community.' The text then says, "You may wonder why anybody would do this or why it happened to you." Well, are we blaming God for rain and high winds?' Who else could do this?' This is neither discussed nor explained. "...why it happened to you" is definitely a good question to ask, because that is what most people of any age would ask.' On the next page, the question is not answered.' The page just shows a child among three different images of terrorist-hijacked planes and World Trade Center towers.' This actually made me angry, because it was a pointless segue from the previous page.3. The next section is pretty good.' It talks about sadness, but then it throws in "You might think you made the disaster happen, but you didn't." What kid thinks a tornado or flood is their fault?' This book is just all mixed up with concepts, and ultimately, I don't believe it is helpful to children at all.4. One of the worst parts of the book is a section that mentions "In the disaster, there was no warning and no time to get ready." Well, people in flood, earthquake and tornado areas have family and community plans in place, and generally instruct their children on what to do.' The same goes for house fires.' This book leads children to believe that they have absolutely no power, because it does not inform them that there is such a thing as preparedness.' Coloring after the fact is cute, but preparedness before the fact helps children to anticipate and feel a sense of power vs. a feeling of helplessness.5.' Since this book doesn't really settle on one concept, it does not effectively deal with any, which is a shame, because the last part talks about discussing your feelings, doing good deeds, and taking care of yourself as a way to cope.'I stand with the people who wanted this book pulled because of the cover with the burning towers, but I stand with them more because of the quality of the effort than just because of a controversial cover.Disasters have different origins:' those that are natural are dealt with one way, while those that are perpetrated by humans are handled another way.' If FEMA wanted to do a book about how to deal with the fear that there are millions of people who want us dead because of their blind bigotry, hate, and misguided sense of spirituality, well, that's a very different book from this one. More >>

Tags: attitudeFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParentingPoliticsSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconPhilip Markoff, 23, the alleged Craigslist killer, has a loyal, faithful, supportive fianc'e.' The big question is....WHY?Authorities say he trolled Craigslist's erotic services section, where he met a 25 year old woman and lured her to a luxury hotel in Boston.' Supposedly, he meant only to steal money, but he also had a loaded gun, and allegedly shot her dead, presumably because she fought him.How's this for evidence:'1) the murdered woman's underwear was at his house2) the bullet that killed her came from our boy's gun, and if that isn't enough,3) his fingerprints were found on the wall of the hotel room where a stripper was tied up in an attempted robbery.What does his pathetic fianc'e do?' She proclaims her love and support and her complete disbelief that any of this is true, describing him as a loving and caring person.You've heard this story (including women who hunger to marry convicted murderers) way too often.' Why do women do this?Simple.' Question:' how humiliating is it to be associated with an evil person?' Answer:' Very!' So, if one takes the position that "I only know him as a good person," some of the humiliation is tempered.' After a little while, the healthiest of these women fade out of sight; the others make their identity "the fiancee OF (fill in the blank)."'Some women find glory in "standing by an evil man," because they believe it defines them as truly "good" to sacrifice and have such loyalty, faith, and belief.' Some women believe that their love can and will transform the man - that it will heal him, and then their own lives will have value, and he will be beholden to them, never leaving them and always loving them. Other women are frankly amoral, narcissistic, and/or sociopathic, and they identify with the perp.' That kinship keeps them connected. Still others want their 15 minutes of "reality show fame" and notice, and feel a most distorted sense of value from that exposure.All in all, this young woman's response ought to have been:' "I am shocked and horrified that I could not see that this man had two lives.' I am sorrowful for the woman who lost her life and her family and friends.' I regret the harm he's caused so many people.' This is going to take me a while to recover from, as I obviously had a brush with evil."Instead, her family quietly called the wedding hall and cancelled the reception, because Philip was probably not going to be available. More >>

Tags: MotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingWomen's Point of View
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Tags: Common SenseFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyParentingPersonal ResponsibilityRelationshipsRelativesValues
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05/13/2010
IconYour child is in school.' You believe your child is safe.' Your child comes home after school, hysterical and unwilling to ever go back.' The part of the world in which you thought your child would be safe just exploded in front of your eyes.What happened?' Well, if your name is Mrs. Redding, you just discovered that your child was stripped almost naked in front of more than one school official who had no legal right to do so.' You then find out that the school is perfectly fine with what happened, because they are "doing it because they feel an intense need to protect the safety of the students."' How's that for irony!This is what happened (as will be heard by the Supreme Court of the United States of America).' A 13 year old honor student in a small Arizona town was hauled down to the principal's office to strip down to her underwear, because another eighth grade student who was found with a cigarette and some pills pointed the finger at our victim.' The 13 year old denied having anything.' They searched her backpack:' nothing.' That's when the vice principal said the school nurse would conduct a strip search. "They saw everything.' It was really embarrassing.' These are people I see every day," said the victim.' The school did not call her mother, child services, or police; they just stripped her down.Believe it or not, after the school lost a lawsuit in a Federal appeals court, and the school was found liable, they have taken the case to the Supreme Court, who will hear the case tomorrow.'I agree that it's important for the school to find dangerous drugs and weapons.' Dangerous weapons can be found in a "pat-down," but even that is a kind of sexual harassment.'I believe that you parents should tell your children to always refuse to fully remove their clothes (except, perhaps, for jackets and coats), even if it is the principal who demands it .' Parents should make sure that the rules in their school district include sequestering the student, calling the parents and the police/child protective services before a child's body is touched, unless there is considerable reason to believe that the child is armed with a deadly weapon. More >>

Tags: EducationFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMarriageParentingSchoolSocial Issues
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