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Parenting
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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05/13/2010
IconSome actors talk about how and from where they get their "motivation" in the portrayal of some character.' Actors usually get the role and then search for the motivation behind the role.' I am the exact opposite.' I get motivated about something, and then go out and make it happen.For years, I have been striving to have women re-establish their sacred place in the universe by influencing them to value their womanhood, and not simply resign themselves to being worker bees or unattached sexual objects.' My latest book, In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms , is my contribution to that end, reminding women that 1) they are the spiritual center of the family, and 2) that their love' and attention cannot be replaced by hired help.' I've been working very hard to have mothers and wives value themselves in these roles and not feel "less," but instead, enjoy the esteemed pedestal once again.To "bring it home," so to speak, I decided to do an extravaganza of an event, called In Praise of Mom , to applaud and recognize the beauty and importance of mothers everywhere.' Why am I so emotional about this?' Simple.' I almost missed out on this most incredible miracle (and sometime pain in the neck) called motherhood.In the 1960s, I was seduced by the feminist anger that proclaimed that husbands and kids were in the way of getting power and respect.' We lost way too much because of the anger vented on men and mothering.' As many of you may know, I did not have the most mothering mommy possible, and that probably contributed to my negativity at the time.' But at age 35, I had an epiphany.' What I was missing from my life was being a wife and a mommy.I now know the glories and agonies of being a mommy, and I am grateful I didn't miss out on one minute of it.' I receive calls every day from women who are mothers of good kids, troubled kids, confusing kids, rambunctious kids, curious kids, risk-taking kids and more.' For a mom, the well-being of her child and family is number one .' It occurred to me that I should use the opportunity afforded by the release of my new book to celebrate Mother's Day in a new, fun, touching, memorable way.' As my son is in the military (as are many of yours), we won't be together on Mother's Day.' The next best thing is for all us mothers to get together and laugh and hug about our trials, tribulations, and exaltations of motherhood. In Praise of Mom will be a one-time only event on Tuesday, May 5 in a movie theater near you...and it will be beamed live by satellite to more than 400 theaters around the country.' Let's get all the moms in our lives together and applaud ourselves! To purchase tickets, click here . More >>

Tags: MotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingRegarding Dr. Laura
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05/13/2010
IconI don't see morality, ethics, or character in too many places in our society these days, so when I do, it's time for rejoicing and handing out kudos. So, kudos go out to G. Craig Hanson, the president of Simmons Media Group, which owns KXRK-FM radio in Salt Lake City, who dumped a morally repulsive and exploitative commercial off his station.There's an infidelity dating service, The Ashley Madison Agency, on the Internet for people "looking for a little something on the side."' They boast - yechh - over 3.6 million members in the United States and Canada.' These are people looking for a quick "hump" without their dates, fianc's, and spouses knowing anything about it.The ads are off KXRK-FM, but they're supposedly still airing in Salt Lake City on 97.5, The Blaze.The President and CEO of Ashley Madison, Noel Biderman, says he aims to buy TV spots and billboard space in Utah, and labeled as "hypocritical" the media outlets that refuse to take his ads.You know, I get called "hypocritical" all the time, because it's a "nice" swear word to use to discount somebody else's point of view.' A hypocrite actually is someone who says they believe one way, while (secretly) they behave the opposite.' A "teacher" (as opposed to a hypocrite), for example, is someone who formerly smoked and has quit, and now campaigns to get others to do so in order to have a good and healthful life.'People like Biderman call others who judge them negatively "hypocrites" because, in their world, they can't imagine people with different values as being real, serious, happy, and successful.' They just see the potential for a dark side in everyone and decide to try to make money off of it.So, "poo poohs" to Noel Biderman, who wants to provide people with the opportunities to betray their vows and diminish their own characters with ads providing affair "match-ups," and kudos to KXRK-FM's president G. Craig Hanson of Salt Lake City who said the scum won't float on his lake. More >>

Tags: AdulteryBullyingDatingInfidelityInternet-MediaInternet/MediaParenting
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05/13/2010
IconWhen I was a kid, we spent most of our time outside playing...something.' Riding bikes, playing ball, walking, running, performing dramatic vignettes, or finding clues in twigs, among other activities.' Imagination, strategy, and fresh air were the mainstay of life then.And then....the incredible technology age came along, with chatter, Twitter, and pics, texting and more.' You don't have to be a rocket scientist to guess that that isn't very good.Kids today aren't on "friendship" sites to get help with their math homework or discourse on all things philosophical.' They're basically trying to make a mark, to be somebody, or to impress somebody, all without having done a damn thing to actually earn the attention.But why should they?' Look at what they see on television:' reality show after reality show where people get "famous" for behaving badly and creating nothing of value or beauty.' Ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich may even be getting his own television show after being tossed out of office because of severe wrongdoing.That's where kids get the idea that "outrageous" is more important than goodness, patience, commitment to a goal, and values beyond their own immediate "fantasy" gratification.' I don't know how you parents can shield your children from this "Pinocchio Island," which ultimately degenerates the value of living and giving to merely depraved acting out.' Removing all TVs and never going to the movies might be a start - maybe the Amish have it right in that regard.' They have long held that so-called "modern" advances don't necessarily advance the human spirit.It breaks my heart to hear all the stories each day of children and young adults who, in a rush to feel the power of adulthood freedom, don't get the matched message of responsibility and nobility.' Religion in this country is breaking down as people go to Easter services or Passover dinners as mostly a yearly reunion, as opposed to a daily profound observance.' Families are breaking down with "shack-up," out-of-wedlock children lost in a morass of adult yearnings for easy intimacy.' And so it goes.Do I sound negative?' You bet.' I am worried.' I am heartened by the emails and calls from families struggling in the midst of all this societal turmoil, which has robbed them of the support and respect they so dearly need to help their children find a good and righteous path in life.' My heart goes out to them, and, hopefully, there will be more like them. More >>

Tags: DepressionFamily/Relationships - ChildrenHealthInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMental HealthParentingPersonal ResponsibilityReality TV
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05/13/2010
IconA caller with a seemingly simple question has been haunting my mind since Monday.' The caller was a stay-at-home mom with four children under the age of six.' I thought I was heroic chasing after one child who never napped.' I can't imagine four little tykes going in different directions, all with different personalities and needs.' Wow.After asking some sneaky questions, I discerned that she was - in two words - BURNED OUT.' It's difficult to get around the understandable embarrassment or shame that a mother has for even thinking that she wished she were on another planet away from the children for a while.' But this is a totally understandable and normal reaction to a lovely, but draining, situation.When a woman is at a job, she can take a number of bathroom breaks, coffee breaks, and a lunch break which may even include shopping (a great tension releaser!).' When taking care of a number of children whose needs are relentless and inconsistent, it's easy to see how one brain and heart can be overwhelmed if the kids don't nap - mine never did, and I remember feeling mentally exhausted.Mothers do, but shouldn't, feel guilt at not always being thrilled out of their ears to be taking care of their children.' My first argument is that there is no one with any career or activity who doesn't regularly feel the same way.' Human beings need breaks - changes of scenery and input - and activities that help let off steam and revive one's sense of joy in life.' That's why in my book, In Praise of Stay-At-Home Moms , I've written about the necessity of taking guilt-free breaks - and taking them before you break!First, to the husbands:' Make sure you command and demand that your beloved wife and mother of your progeny go out with her girlfriends, go have a one-hour bath with bubbles and wine, or go ride her bike with a bike club for a morning - something so that she can feel revived and relaxed.' Plan it for her if she's stubborn (the stubbornness usually comes from feeling guilty).' Tell her that a GOOD mother takes care of herself so that the "giving" flows more readily.Second, to you mothers:' Grandma is useful for a break while you do nothing or something that relaxes you.' I told this caller to get one of those carriers that attaches to a bicycle, and get a child bike seat affixed behind her bike seat - that takes care of three kids right there, and one is in kindergarten.' Take 'em all on a bike ride to picnic or relax in a park - that's only one of the things I did with my child.' Turn on an exercise video and dance along with the music to get a workout - the kids will join in, or play next to you with their toys.'My message is:' no guilt.' Any profession has tools that must be taken care of to keep working properly:' a computer, a saw and hammer...whatever.' For us mothers, the tool is ourselves.' So, no guilt.' Take it as a responsibility to keep yourself loose and refreshed.My final message is that being home with your children opens up many opportunities if you think out of the perimeter of your property.' It isn't supposed to be a "work farm."' It's supposed to be a joyous home.' Oh, and here's why that caller stuck in my mind:' I heard a depth of sadness in her voice that seriously worried me, and I realized that many of you moms try so hard that you forget to take care of yourselves.' In doing so, you lose contact with your mission in the first place.' When that happens, your children miss you.So, ladies, turn on that music and dance and sing around the house and enjoy! More >>

Tags: DepressionFamily/Relationships - ChildrenHealthIn Praise of Stay-at-Home MomsMental HealthMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingRegarding Dr. LauraStay-At-Home-Moms
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05/13/2010
IconI am just sickened.' It seems the "male" who impregnated Sarah Palin's teenage daughter outside of wedlock (and now, with no wedlock to be had) is going on television shows to give "his side" of the story.' What "sides" are there to be had when two teens breach basic moral good sense and have sex when they are in no position emotionally, psychologically or financially to raise a family?' Now there is yet another poor child in the world without an intact, covenantly committed, grown-up and secure two-parent, mom and dad family.' Sad.In the old days, the man "did the right thing," and marriage was the solution.' These days, men just walk away, or women declare that they "don't need" a guy - they can do it all themselves.' Well, the abandonment by a dad is devastating to a child in many painful ways, and no woman, no matter how nurturing, can offer any child what they lose in not having that paternal influence.So, instead of tarring and feathering this young man for daring to "kiss and tell," he's being treated like something special, with polite interviews on television!' I find this utterly disgusting, but typical for TV, which goes looking for situations like this to exploit for ratings, e.g., "We have an exclusive interview with the boy who knocked up Sarah Palin's daughter!"During the election, Mrs. Palin paraded her pregnant daughter and the sperm donor around to display family values, saying they were "engaged."' That, too, was a disgusting display, especially with John McCain embracing this shameful young man on international television."Normalizing" children born without the protective womb of family is an assault on the well-being of children everywhere, and a bad influence on young men and women who too often follow that old adage:' "Monkey see, monkey do."Children should be our first concern and responsibility - not our incidental playthings. More >>

Tags: ChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - TeensParentingPersonal ResponsibilityTeensValues
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Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenParentingSexStay-at-Home MomStay-At-Home-Moms
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05/13/2010
IconWhen I was a child in school, my parents were called in each and every year to have a conference with the principal about my inattention, underachievement, and disruption of the class because I talked too much - all the things that would have me doused in Ritalin today.I get way too many calls from mothers that their local school is threatening to drug their child (usually a son) with Ritalin to cure his ADHD, and thereby control his behavior.' I always tell them:' NO.' There are numerous reasons why children (and especially boys) won't sit still and won't pay attention.' Sometimes they're bored, sometimes there is so much turmoil at home that they're acting out, and sometimes they just have so much energy that they can't sit still.' Schools have virtually thrown out recess breaks and physical education.' Sometimes, too, they're just the sort of kids who need more one-on-one attention in order to keep focused.' Of course, there's also the possibility that there are other problems.There's an important (and not surprising to me) piece of news published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry :' that stimulant drugs like Ritalin that are used to treat ADHD do not improve children's symptoms in the long term.The latest report tracked almost 500 children for eight years, and found that those still taking stimulant medication fared no better in the reduction of symptoms such as inattention and hyperactivity or in social functioning than those who had not taken medication.' The difference was clear in less than two years.Behavioral treatments are going to have a much bigger benefit in the long term.' It's easy to find a doctor who will prescribe Ritalin.' However, it takes some time to find a doctor experienced in behavioral intervention, and for many "too busy" folks, popping a pill seems easier and more expedient than ongoing behavioral techniques that will require their time and energies to learn and utilize at home.Here in Los Angeles, we have The Drake Institute , which is expert in this area.' These ongoing interventions are costly, and not all insurance will cover them, which is, indeed, a problem.I remember reading on the air an email from a grandfather whose grandson was the child of a two-career household.' The grandfather was retired.' He found out they were going to "Ritalin-ize" his grandson, and immediately took over.' He homeschooled this child and spent the entire day combining school work with structured play and discipline'' The child blossomed.' He wrote: "I sometimes think that it is not the child who has attention-deficit problems, but the parents who give the child a deficit of attention." While that may be true in a lot of cases, there are still those children whose impulse control and thinking processes need special attention.' Find a good behavioral therapist with the experience to make a difference, and realize that you, as a parent, will have to spend the time to understand, learn and help your child mature in a healthy and productive way.' Stop with the popping of potent pills as a first and last resort.....please. More >>

Tags: ChildrenFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyHealthParentingRelationshipsRelatives
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Tags: AbuseChild AbuseFamily/Relationships - ChildrenIn Praise of Stay-at-Home MomsMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingRegarding Dr. LauraSexStay-at-Home MomStay-At-Home-Moms
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05/13/2010
IconWhen I brought our one child into the universe, I pushed hard for 12 hours, but he must have been holding on for dear life, because I ended up having a C-section.' I was a bit bummed that I couldn't just pop him out in 20 minutes like the 22 year old down the hall - humphff!They had to give me morphine so, of course, I was out like a light until morning.' The first minute my eyes were open, there was the nurse with my little miracle.' She reminded me that I had signed up for breastfeeding, and...well, here she was and he was hungry.In my sad little stupor, I mumbled "I haven't been able to do anything right yet...I don't know if I can do this." She said it was easy, and then showed me how to hold him.' The side of his cheek touched my breast, his eyes perked up (typical guy!), and he went right on, and all the pain of the night before just evaporated and I fell in love.' Imagine - my own body feeding my own child.' Seriously cool!All of this is not idle reminiscing on my part.' It is a lead-in to the story that there is a new Rhode Island law that allows a woman to breastfeed or bottle-feed her child in any place open to the public.' This new law permits a woman to allege a violation of her civil rights if she is prevented from breastfeeding in public.Now, breastfeeding is very important, not only for the mommy/child bond, but to pass on the mother's immune factors to the child for the first 6 months, saving everybody time, money, and discomfort with infants getting sick.' One might also suggest that it is the responsibility of the mommy to breastfeed for the health of her child, but there is more to the story.Dr. Laura Viehmann, a Breastfeeding Coordinator for the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics said "Too often, mothers are asked to stop breastfeeding, to move to a private location, or to cover themselves up when they breastfeed at a playground, at the airport, in a restaurant, or in other public places." This is where the typical separation of rights vs. responsibilities occurs.' I breastfed my son whenever he was hungry, wherever I was...but I never imposed this lovely experience on strangers at another restaurant table, or passers-by in the mall, or a pew in a house of worship.' I would either go to a private place for the peaceful setting, or I would take a thin diaper and cover us both up...kind of like "tenting" us.'While at that time, my breast was a source of life fluids for my son, as modestly endowed as I am, the breast is still a source of sexual stimulation to half the population.' Perhaps women who breastfeed uncovered in public with men around should be charged with sexual harassment?' While I'm kidding, of course, I don't think my point is a minor one.People are always "crumbing" about their privacy, and' yet they're willing to show their underwear with pants that barely stay up, or skirts that barely stay down.' My point is that while breastfeeding is a sacred, wonderful, natural part of mothering, it deserves respect, and we hardly show respect for something by parading it in front of strangers.I was a breastfeeding woman, and I always showed respect for the situational expectations of others.' I also never brought our son to a fancy, adult restaurant when he was an unpredictably screaming baby.' To me, breastfeeding is a sacred bonding moment between mother and child - like the passionate act that brought that child into being is between husband and wife.' These sacred moments are private, and should be kept that way with a simple draped cloth.Exposing yourself in full view of potentially unwilling onlookers is less about bonding and feeding, and more about exhibitionism or disrespect for others, or an attitude that nobody else in the world matters - like that Sixties mantra of "if you don't like it, it's YOUR problem."' No matter how you look at it, special things are put on pedestals and treated as special. More >>

Tags: HealthMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingPersonal Responsibility
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