Dr. Laura
Dr. Laura, America's #1 Relationship Talk Radio Host
On: SiriusXM Triumph Channel 111
Call 1-800-DR LAURA (1-800-375-2872) 11am - 2pm PT
Parenting
05/13/2010
IconTurns out that the latter leads to the former!' Recent research by the University of Buffalo Department of Communication and the University of Hawaii reveals that the people who watch reality television visit social networking websites to engage in behaviors like the celebrities they see on shows like American Idol or Survivor .When people on reality TV are rewarded for their behavior, it communicates to the (usually) young audience that these behaviors are good things.' These so-called "reality" TV shows depict people being exploitive, deceitful, hyper-emotional, vengeful, conspiratorial, sexually promiscuous, generally undignified, immodest, self-centered, and basically exhibitionistic.According to the university research, "heavy reality TV viewers may adapt personality traits association with celebrities....Reality TV even may be to blame for the erosion of the distinction between the everyday world and the celebrity world." This phenomenon is encouraging young folks to make personal information about themselves publicly available online.' We've all heard about the proliferation of youngsters sending photos to each other and through the Internet, revealing their genitals and showing themselves engaged in various sexual acts.' Instead of this being "shameful," it's trendy.' Parents are becoming way too lax in allowing their children access to electronic equipment, from cell phones to the Internet, without any supervision.' So, with a little "push" and little "pull" back, kids are getting themselves into situations which will impact them for a lifetime.When children behave like out-of-control celebrities, including drug use, sex, having out-of-wedlock babies, "shacking up," and testing their parents' limits as well as the limits of the law, they are less likely to be studying, participating in sports, or contributing charitably in their neighborhoods. More >>

Tags: divorceFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyFamily/Relationships - TeensInternetInternet-MediaInternet/MediaParentingRelationshipsRelativesSexSexualitySocial NetworkingTeens
PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/13/2010
IconI've been hearing from a lot of stay-at-home moms, and sharing some of their letters with you.' I got this one from a woman who is not a mother, but who has strong feelings about those who stay at home with their kids: My grandmother was a homemaker.' My mother was divorced, and raised us without our "sperm donor" father, because she chose to leave an abuser.' She worked at a company at night, so that she could walk us to school and help with homework (I didn't realize the magnitude of this when I was young, but I surely do now). I'm over 40 now, and don't have any children, and I work full-time.' However, with every job that I've ever taken, I've always known in the back of my mind that it would never be a "career," because I would eventually leave to be a stay-at-home mom.' So, I had to come up with something that I could do to generate income and stay at home:' writing. I haven't quite pursued my writing "career" yet.' I watch pregnant women around my office leave, have their babies, and come back.' Some of them are married, and some not.' Either way, I am dumbfounded that they would not rather be at home all day with the baby. I never wanted to have children as a single woman without a husband.' First, because I didn't want to have to do everything by myself.' As it is now, I hate taking out my own trash, and wished that I had a husband who didn't mind taking on that chore!' And second, because each parent's role is important.' They both matter and make a great contribution.' It's what all children want:' a mommy and a daddy who are together and care about each other.' So, as I get older and my biological clock "explodes," I've never been tempted to do it alone, i.e., just have a baby because that's what I want. Maybe one day, I'll have a MAN who loves to call me his "girlfriend."' In the meantime, I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that I'll miss that joy of being able to stay at home with my baby and welcoming my husband home at the end of a hard day at work to provide for us. More >>

Tags: CommitmentFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyMarriageParentingPersonal ResponsibilityRelativesStay-At-Home-Moms
PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/13/2010
IconAfter posting a blog last Thursday (9/11/08) about "shame," I got this response from a reader: I grew up in a Roman Catholic family.' I attended parochial school, and I also became pregnant at 17.' I was shamed and ostracized for what I had done, but I have to say that the "shaming" I received from my family and community actually led me back onto the right track. I completed my high school diploma by attending school in the morning, and I began college at night (I was admitted to a local university because I was an honor student in my high school).' I attended college with 30 and 40 year-olds!' Ultimately, I graduated college and became a Certified Public Accountant. This was a difficult path, and I recommend it to no one.' I sacrificed much:' my young adulthood.' I did not do the things other kids my age did.' I took care of my baby, I studied, and I cleaned houses.' Although I was ashamed of becoming pregnant so young and out-of-wedlock, I loved my child more than life itself, and I always placed my child's needs before mine.' I did not "party."' I did not hang out with friends.' I did not do things just for myself, and most of all, I did not whine. I don't think most teens are capable of this, and most babies are probably better off being placed for adoption.' I had my family's help - I was not tossed onto the streets, but my parents' expectations were high, and "I" was my child's caregiver (not my mom).' I was the one up at night with my sick baby.' I was the one who took him to the park and the doctor's office, and I was the one he came to depend on most. I have been happily married now for many years to a man I am so blessed to have as my husband.' I have three beautiful children.' I have chosen to stay home with my younger kids and not work outside of the house.' I ALWAYS hated to leave my oldest child and felt tremendous guilt when I headed off to school for the day or to clean houses. It's an absolute treasure to be a stay-at-home mom.' My job in life now is to provide a warm home environment, and to be there for my hubby and kids.' By the way, the baby boy I had at 17 is now an honor student at [a major university], and quite a wonderful young man.' To this day, I still feel remorse that my oldest did not have the same childhood as my other two kids.' I feel I cheated him, and I suppose I always will. More >>

Tags: ChristmasCommitmentFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyFamily/Relationships - TeensHolidaysMarriageMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingPersonal ResponsibilityPregnancyRelativesSocial IssuesTeens
PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/13/2010
IconRecently, I came across a newspaper's Letter to the Editor written by a well-known television personality.' She'd gotten pregnant out-of-wedlock at 17, and had to endure "...[my] mother's disappointment, my father's anger, the priest's admonishment...[T]he shame and ridicule were more than I could bear.' I was no good.' I had messed up.' I knew it.' My dreams and life were shattered.' Days later, I was married off and sent away.' I said I did not love this man.' I was told: 'You made your bed; now you must lie in it.'" She went on to recount the damage to her self-esteem (which she called "life-threatening" ) and described being ostracized and condemned as a "bad" girl, "when I had tried hard all my life to do well and make my parents proud." While it's natural to feel compassion for someone who has faced that kind of negative reaction from all the significant adults in her life, it's important to point out that this situation was not all about her .' And it seems like this author still doesn't get it.' It is about the innocent, dependent child who finds himself or herself in an unprepared, chaotic, non-committed, immature and fragile situation by being born to a teenager and her male counterpart who are having a sexual relationship and are not prepared for the biological consequences:' a pregnancy.The concept of "feeling shame" is a very human, emotional/social mechanism.' Its purpose is to deter people from engaging in behaviors that will have negative consequences for them, for others who may be victimized by their behavior, and for the community and society as a whole.'' The motivation behind those who rage against "shame" is to dissociate behavior from consequence.' These days, judgment of others is considered a bad thing because it hurts feelings, but having hurt feelings (particularly if they're the result of actions which cause pain to others) is a good thing; it is part of having a conscience.' Only good people feel guilt.' Only good people suffer from doing ill to others.' It's human, natural, expected and respected for people to suffer over their wrongdoing.' To complain, however, that wrongdoing should not result in any negative reaction is immature and defensive and contrary to the notion of taking responsibility for how one's actions impact others.The author of the letter complains about having to marry the young man - whom she didn't love - in order to legitimize the baby and take responsibility as a family for the child's welfare.' Why is that a bad thing?' Why was she having sexual relations with someone for whom she didn't have the highest regard and wouldn't have chosen to be the father of her future children?'' Is it not in the best interest of the child to have the foundation of a family?Submitting to responsibility for a dependent child seems like a noble action to me.' Staying mutually committed for the well-being of another human being sounds noble to me.' And many can report that people so inclined grow together and build a strong love and family foundation. These ideals, however, don't often resonate with people who marry this young.' That is why adoption is often the best solution for the child.The author of this letter was making the point that the media shouldn't focus on those young men and women who make this sort of "mistake," because it hurts their feelings and because these are private issues.' Generally, these are private issues, but when people in the public eye and their families display behaviors which undermine role-modeling obligations or expectations, it should be examined publicly, because impressionable youngsters take their cues from their environment.' When there is no public "shame" for destructive, hurtful or illegal behaviors our children see and emulate, the disasters grow exponentially.The author writes : "If my pregnancy - my deepest shame - had been broadcast for all to know about, I might have taken my life." Clearly, now that the author is a mature woman, she is making her own "shameful" history public and is not suicidal.' Maturity is an important factor in dealing with serious issues, which is precisely why children should not be engaging in activities that endanger the lives of innocent people (as we've seen with fetuses being aborted or newborns tossed in dumpsters or toilets).' The young women themselves are at risk when they have a child's view of how "life is over" just because they're embarrassed.'So, instead of railing about how upsetting shame is to a pregnant youngster, it is important to point out to all the other young people out there what dangerous ground they tread when they "walk" as responsible adults, but in reality have the footprints of na've children.' Taking this story public is a way to warn children away from playing with the "perks" of committed adults when they are in no position to take on the responsibilities of their actions, nor to cope well with the emotional fallout.We are in an era which judges "judgment" as evil.' It isn't.' Morals, values, principles and ethics are prophylactics against pain and destruction, and not just somebody's evil attempt to wrest momentary pleasure from the grip of innocent bystanders. More >>

Tags: CommitmentDatingFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyFamily/Relationships - TeensMarriageMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingPersonal ResponsibilityPregnancyRelativesSocial IssuesTeens
PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/13/2010
IconToday, I'm turning my blog over to Nicole, who wrote the following: Dr. Laura: I'm glad to be able to tell you I'm sorry, but you had nothing to do with my long-ago-made decision to be an at-home mom to my children.' I made that choice long before I started listening to you (at the ancient age of 19). I am nearly 29 and extremely proud to tell you that my very own Mom was "her kids' mom" all my growing-up life.' She did this while it was very popular to go to work, have a career and leave kids with the sitter or latch-key programs.' I had very little idea that moms even went to work until friends or teachers would ask me what my mom "did."' I'd look at them weirdly and think it was a funny question to ask...she lives at home and bakes, fixes our meals, does the laundry, picks us up from school every day, and watches my younger siblings!' Who else would do those things if Mom didn't? I remember going home in the first grade and asking Mom what her job title was, because the teacher needed to know for our yearbook.' "Homemaker," she'd say proudly!' She has been my biggest influence in modeling and reinforcing what a stay-at-home mom should look like...creative, resourceful, smart, kind, loving and self-sacrificing (and always beautiful)!' Your preaching, teaching, and nagging only reinforces the atmosphere I grew up with. Thanks for all you do for all the women who didn't grow up with my Mom. Nicole P.S.' I will give you this - you did help me when I was seeking and selecting my husband.' I had to find a man who would SUPPORT me in my long-ago-made "choice of lifestyle."' I found him, and COULD NOT have done ANY better!' And, of course, Mom approves too! More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenParentingStay-at-Home MomStay-At-Home-Moms
PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/13/2010
IconI recently wrote a column for a publication in which I reiterated my position on day-care, and one of my comments was: "Tearing children away from their homes and families [for day care] is somewhere between sinister and cruel." A reader of the column wrote a letter-to-the-editor taking exception to my comment and countering with: "...there are many benefits to day care, including health screenings, nutritious meals, socialization and active play away from the TV." Could not agree with her more!' Where mothers and fathers can't or won't provide their children with food, medical care, friends in the park, and attention and play, being shunted over to an institutionalized setting may definitely be a godsend!I'm still waiting, however, for the proof that children do better or equal in day-care than with a loving, attentive, involved mommy or daddy. More >>

Tags: appreciateAttitudeFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParentingValues
PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/13/2010
IconI am extremely disappointed in the choice of Sarah Palin as the Vice Presidential candidate of the Republican Party.' I will still vote for Senator McCain, because I am very concerned about having a fundamental leftist, especially one who is a marvelous orator, as President.At first, I thought it amusing that McCain picked a pretty, smart, and tough female to counter the racist/sexist accusations going back and forth between parties.' I remember how Oprah Winfrey got caught in the cross-fire as she stepped up to the political table to support Obama with pride that a black man could rise to such heights in the USA, only to get slammed by feminists who told her it was gender, not race, that she should back.' Understandably, Ms. Winfrey pulled back from it all.Forget gender and race.' I'm frankly and sadly caught in the dilemma of having to balance policy versus example in touting a candidate for the office of the First Family.' I was ferociously attacked (what's new?) when I spoke out strongly against Bill Clinton's dalliances in the Oval Office.' That situation quickly turned into a debate whether "private has anything to do with public."' Nonsense.' Role models are very important.' Children and young adults look to those who are visible and successful as a road map of what is acceptable behavior and emulate those actions over the morals and values their parents and churches have taught and tried to reinforce.' It's a tough go these days, when the "bad that men or women do" is used for entertainment purposes without judgment, or is excused because of political or financial considerations.I'm stunned - couldn't the Republican Party find one competent female with adult children to run for Vice President with McCain?'' I realize his advisors probably didn't want a "mature" woman, as the Democrats keep harping on his age.' But really, what kind of role model is a woman whose fifth child was recently born with a serious issue, Down Syndrome, and then goes back to the job of Governor within days of the birth?I am haunted by the family pictures of the Palins during political photo-ops, showing the eldest daughter, now pregnant with her own child, cuddling the family's newborn.' When Mom and Dad both work full-time (no matter how many folks get involved with the children), it becomes a somewhat chaotic situation.' Certainly, if a child becomes ill and is rushed to the hospital, and you're on the hotline with both Israel and Iran as nuclear tempers are flaring, where's your attention going to be?' Where should your attention be?' Well, once you put your hand on the Bible and make that oath, your attention has to be with the government of the United States of America.I am positively moved that neither Sarah nor her daughter were willing to terminate the lives of their unborn children.' This is in sharp contrast to Obama's statement that "When it comes specifically to HIV/AIDS, the most important prevention is education, which should include...which should include abstinence education and teaching children...teaching children, you know, that sex is not something casual.' But it should also include - it should also include other, you know, information about contraception, because, look, I've got two daughters, 9 years old and 6 years old.' I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals.' But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby." (March, 2008) So, one Vice Presidential candidate and her daughter demonstrate, under conditions of great stress, that babies are valued human beings, not punishment.' However, that same VP candidate came forth in April of 2008 with a proclamation for "Family Child Care Week," in which she wrote: "These professionals are positive role models for the children they care for and the communities they serve." Clearly, Palin sees the need for positive role models.' I suggest that they be Mommy and Daddy, and not the hired help.Child-care facilities are a necessity when mothers and fathers (when they exist at all) are unwilling or incapable of caring for their offspring.' Unfortunately, they have become a mainstay of the feminista mentality that nothing should stand in the way of a woman's ambition - nothing, including her family.Any full-time working wife and mother knows that the family takes the short end of the stick.' Marriages and the welfare of children suffer when a stressed-out mother doesn't have time to be a woman, a wife, and a hands-on Mommy. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingPoliticsSocial Issues
PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/13/2010
IconOne of the main issues for the Democrats is their passion for getting children into preschools.' Democratic Presidential candidate Obama says he believes in universal preschool, and that he'd pump billions of dollars into early childhood education, promising improved academic performance.Sadly, the past 50 years have seen a huge increase in families who put kids in pre-school:' from 16% to 70%!' In addition to being separated from parents way too early, the problem is that fourth-grade reading, science, and math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) haven't gone up since the early 1970's.' Hmmm.For decades, I've read the studies about Head Start.' Those studies indicate an immediate gain on IQ tests and other cognitive measures, but show that in later years, those scores become indistinguishable from non-Head Start kids.Why the heck is there such determination to take small children away from their homes and mothers, and put them in an institutionalized setting, which does not add to their lives, but actually subtracts from them?' A 2005 study from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley (neither of which is known as a conservative institution) found that kindergartners with 15 or more hours of preschool every week were less motivated and more aggressive in class than other kids.In Canada, the C.D. Howe Institute found a higher incidence of anxiety, hyperactivity, and poor social skills among kids in Quebec after the introduction of universal preschool.'As you might imagine, the only preschool programs that seem to do more good than harm are targeted at children who come from extremely poor families (often those with neglectful and/or addicted parents).' Even so, the return (adult crime, earnings, wealth and welfare dependence) were much smaller (16 cents for every dollar spent) than Obama's notion of a $10 return.' Universal preschool programs in Oklahoma, Georgia and Tennessee (2006, Education Week' analysis) find no statistical difference in the performance of preschool and non-preschool students on any subject after the first grade.Enough with the government intruding on parents' abilities to make educational choices for their children by guilt or mandate, without any substantiation that there is a positive benefit.' Common sense should tell you that small children are best served by a loving mommy.The reality is that the overwhelming majority of children come from loving homes with attentive parents.' Tearing children away from their homes and families for government-run, institutionalized learning programs that demonstrate absolutely no concrete benefit to the children is somewhere between sinister and cruel.By the way, Obama's daughters go to a private school whose annual fee in middle school runs around $20,000. More >>

Tags: Day CareEducationFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParentingPreschoolValues
PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/13/2010
IconNo, I don't mean by the age of forty; I mean that if the trends of the past thirty years continue, it's possible that every American adult could be overweight forty years from now.' This is the warning coming from the Federal government's Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.' You can read all about this in the journal Obesity (online 7/24/08). They estimate that 86% of American adults will be overweight by 2030, with an obesity rate of 51%.' By 2048, all U.S. adults could be at least mildly overweight, a/k/a fat .The researchers also estimate that the healthcare costs directly related to excess body weight will double each decade, and reach almost $1 trillion in 2030, accounting for at least one of every six healthcare dollars spent in the USA.Being fat is voluntary.' Healthcare costs are skyrocketing, largely because people "volunteer" to move less and eat more.' Our Presidential candidates can mull over healthcare plans, but we need to take more personal responsibility for the state of our own health. More >>

Tags: ChildrenHealthParenting
PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/13/2010
IconAndrew Klavan, an award-winning author of mystery novels, wrote a brilliant op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal (7/25/08) in which he stated exactly what I believe.'He pointed out that liberal Hollywood films about the war on terror ( In the Valley of Elah, Rendition , and Redacted ) have all failed, largely because they propose to make the actions and philosophies of terrorists and coalition forces moral "equivalents," because they disrespect the military, and "seem unable to distinguish the difference between America and Islamo-fascism." These films depict "good" guys as indistinguishable from "bad" guys, ultimately "denigrating the very heroes who defend us." Klavan points out that the big blockbuster The Dark Knight , is a conservative movie about the war, like 300 before it, and these films value morality, faith, self-sacrifice and the nobility of fighting for the right.' Liberal, ultimately anti-American, films are realistic and direct, while conservative, pro-values films are usually fantasies using comic-inspired heroes ( Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Spiderman 3 ).What makes the real world difficult is that "good" guys must defend values in a world that does not universally embrace them, and that puts "good" guys in the awful position of sometimes having to be intolerant, unkind, and brutal in order to ultimately defend the "good" values we love.As a psychotherapist, I talk to people on the air every day who try to keep out of the way of conflict, confrontation, and judgment, so they will be liked and seen as "good" guys.' I remind them that "good" guys risk, and sometimes cross the line, to stand between evil and the innocent who need protection from the few.Instead, as Klavan points out, "When heroes arise who take those difficulties on themselves, it is tempting for the rest of us to turn our backs on them, to vilify them in order to protect our own appearance of righteousness.' We prosecute and execute the violent soldier or the cruel interrogator in order to parade ourselves as paragons of the peaceful values they preserve." That means that sometimes good men have to kill ("murder" is to kill an innocent) to preserve life; that sometimes they must violate values in order to maintain those values.' That's just a fact of real life in which good and evil have always co-existed. More >>

Tags: CharityInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMilitaryMovie ReviewMoviesParentingReligionValues
PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
Make an Appointment
Stay Connected
or connect at a place below
Normal Gear
Latest Poll
Who handles the finances in your home?
Archives  |  Results
Programs
About Dr. Laura
Letters
E-mail of the Day
From Listeners
Audio & Video
YouTube Videos
Stay at Home
Parenting
Relationships
Simple Savings
Work at Home
Tip of the Week
Subscription
Membership
Help & Support
Family Premium Help Center
Podcast Help
Contact Us
Legal
Terms of Use
© 2019 DrLaura.com. Take on the Day, LLC
Dr. Laura is a registered trademark of Take On The Day, LLC.
Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy
Powered By Nox Solutions