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Parenting
Tags: Family/Relationships - FamilyMarriageParentingPersonal ResponsibilityRelationshipsRelatives
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05/13/2010
IconEverybody wants to know what I think about Madonna's public comments during her' very public and rancorous divorce.' I think they pretty much match her general public image, demeanor, and behavior.' I have always found her incredibly objectionable, offensive and intentionally vulgar - all under the rubric of free-speech and free-spirit.To start, I'm not convinced that most current celebrity marriages are indeed commitments of mind, body, and soul as they are intended to be (think Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward).' For the most part, very 'out there' performers are exceedingly centered on themselves and want someone to adore them, serve them, be a reflection of their perceived wonderfulness or importance, fulfill a fantasy or simply put...the sex was great and the public relations aspect boosts their visibility.When the so-called object of their affections becomes tiresome, more or less important or successful, demanding, and no longer reflects a narcissistic boost...they are dispensed with.When a divorcing spouse makes public vulgar, insulting, and humiliating comments about the other spouse, children are devastated and tend to either compulsively go towards the attacked party to protect and defend them, or compulsively go towards the attacking parent so they won't also be victimized by that parent.' Either way, children become emotionally fragmented, confused, and distrustful - and that will likely be an issue for their whole lives, especially when they are ready to establish relationships.Celebrities with the usual chaos in their personal lives are the fodder of media sales and ratings.' Celebrities with quality relationships are ignored (Tom Selleck, for example).These celebrity musical chair relationships are obviously not a great image for our impressionable youth.' Quite frankly, most divorces don't need to happen at all.' Weathering lousy times is a sign of character and commitment.' Most of the time when folks call me all angry and convinced they need to divorce, they are simplifying the situation because they haven't taken the responsibility needed to help maintain a quality comradeship.' I tell them short of abuse, addictions, and repetitive affairs, they should treat the one they want so much to leave as though they loved them with their last breath - for a month - and then watch and feel what happens.If one parent decides to leave for selfish or foolish reasons, the truth of the situation can be spoken to the children without the nasty parts.' For example, "Your mother, sadly, has decided to leave to be with a man she met on the internet.' I'm hoping that she will find that she misses us all so much that she wants her life with us back.' Until then, let's pray and stay as positive as possible."This approach states the truth, which I believe children in this situation need, but opens the possibility for hope.' Children will over time form their own conclusions when mama never calls, visits, or comes home.' That parent will have destroyed the relationship with their children all by themselves.I try to remind folks considering leaving for less than important reasons to stick around and create the kind of homelife that will best send their children into their adulthood with optimism and an open heart.' I tell them that this is their moral obligation...to put themselves second. More >>

Tags: CommitmentDivorceFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMarriageParentingPersonal Responsibility
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05/13/2010
IconWhen was the last time you took your kids to the airport and bought some candy and magazines?' Did you notice what your kids see at their "short-eye-level" when you pay for your items?' They see what they can also notice at many grocery store check-out lines and magazine racks:' they see soft porn - half-naked, provocative photos of well-endowed men and women.Now, I'm no prude.' I wear jeans below my waist, and I have some belly-button "bling."' But I do believe that there ought to be such a thing as a free society maintaining its First Amendment rights, while at the same time jealously protecting the innocence of children.A recent female caller complained that her boyfriend occasionally looked at some photos or videos of naked women on the Internet.' It is unbelievable to me that, lately,' there is such hysteria about men viewing naked women or male/female sexual encounters.' Did somebody just discover that men are very interested in sex and are visually stimulated by viewing women's bodies?Of course, Internet porn can be a problem, particularly when it becomes compulsive and a substitute for real-life intimacy, or self-medication for emotional problems.' However, much of the time, it is just a curious male having a stimulating moment.I brought up to that caller that I thought the guys who do the workout ads for some of those exercise machines are "hunks," and exciting to see.' She agreed.' If all I did was play a continuous loop of these ads, I'd be having a serious emotional problem.' There is a huge difference between "casual," and "compulsive."That said, our society has a big problem making "crass" more casual in the public square.' The fashion police should arrest most of those young women with big bellies and big butts hanging over those ridiculously low-cut, tight jeans, and short, too-tight tops, as well as young men with no tops, and with their pants falling just at or below their pubic hair line.' Their parents either don't care, or have given up attempting to be leaders, or have joined the ranks of the "crass" themselves.This society should shun malls that harbor Victoria's Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Frederick's of Hollywood, as these are establishments which use provocative photos and displays to promote their products within clear view of families and children walking through the malls.' I mean, there you are with your adolescent sons and daughters, looking up at practically naked women and men in their underwear, with seductive looks in their eyes.' What are you supposed to say to your children about that?These images tell your children that sexuality, nudity, their bodies, and intimacy are just "everyday stuff" - no big deal, certainly not private, and definitely not special.' Is that the lesson you want them to learn?One mother of a 12 year old boy wrote to me that after they came home from their town's mall in which they personally experienced all of the stuff I've just mentioned, he suggested that they should do their shopping online from now on.Not a bad idea. More >>

Tags: ChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingSexSexualitySocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconA recent female caller wondered if she should stay with and even marry a guy who spent the full first year of their relationship being violent.I immediately said, "You're a grown woman.' If you want to play Russian Roulette with your life you have the right to do that.' Please, though, have your Fallopian tubes tied so that you can't bring any babies into this situation to either be hurt directly or indirectly by a messed up, violent home-life."She wanted to know if people can change.' Well, the correct answer is....YES!' Of course people can change.' When people are motivated and disciplined and committed to being, thinking, and doing things differently, they can most definitely evolve in a positive direction.' It does take time and simply acknowledging the need for change is not (contrary to popular thought) 50% of the problem.' You all know that's true because every one of you remembers making a New Year's Resolution - which clearly acknowledges a need for change - and even a plan....which just evaporated with time and ennui.Therefore, in the context of this woman's call, a person prone to violence is not one who is going to make a quick change.' The caller wanted to know if there was hope that in the future...no matter how distant...that he could be different.' Well, sure - IF he makes the commitment and is committed long term to whatever it takes to change his way of looking at the world, intimate relationships, and his own identity.An interesting fact is that when people do make such profound changes, they rarely are interested in the people who wanted them when they were less positively functional, as they recognize that it takes a less functional person to be attracted to same.' Said in a bit 'o different way: emotionally healthy people, even though they may protest love and compassion, just don't commit their lives to a recalcitrant, unwilling to change, difficult, or dangerous person.' It is because of their own sad inner dynamics that they find solace in being involved with an unhealthy person...it makes them feel needed or puts the responsibility for their unhappiness somewhere else or is simply a place to hide from the threat of not being capable of a good life.This particular caller thanked me for my advice...I asked her to tell me what my advice was; she said, "I don't want to play roulette with my life."' I gave her kudos for making a healthy and good choice.' I also told her that she'd feel stupid for the time already spent, lonely for the company, scared of being alone, and more...but that this decision was still a healthy and good choice.You see...she is the one in her life she had the power and the necessity to change; focusing on him was just a way to hide from that.I love the beginning of happy endings...and that call was one of those. More >>

Tags: ChildrenDatingHealthParentingPersonal ResponsibilityRelationshipsResponse To A Comment
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05/13/2010
IconI had an interesting call just the other day.' A husband and wife, each on their second marriages, called because the family dog, a dachshund, was consumed by a coyote.' The wife wanted to know how or if she could ever forgive her husband for this "National Geographic" moment.' It seems they've been feuding for quite a while: he doesn't like the dog to pee in the backyard and make the grass yellow; she doesn't like the dog to be loose in the street to pee because he could get eaten.'While these two were fighting, the dog got eaten.The righteousness in her presentation was astounding. It seemed she was willing to dismiss yet another marriage because she labeled her husband responsible for the dog's demise as he let the dog out.I asked her who the 'alpha' person in the dog's life was - every dog, no matter how attached to all family members, identifies the 'alpha' person as its owner and "main squeeze."' She immediately jumped in to say it was just everybody's dog.' He quietly offered that she had the dog before they married.' Oops!I then told her that she was responsible for the dog's death as she was not taking responsibility to walk the dog three or so times a day for its exercise and for it to eliminate itself where (a) it wouldn't damage their home property and (b) she could make sure the dog was safe.' That she was sad her dog was dead was reasonable; that she was looking for a cause of this event was reasonable; that she was blaming other than herself in combination with what is "nature's way" was plainly unreasonable.I suggested she apologize to her husband and promise, should she want another dog, to take personal responsibility for that animal.This leads me to a recent news headline, "Icelanders irate at lenders who ruined country." It seems that only one year after winning the United Nation's "best country to live in" poll, with its residents rated the most contented in the world, the result of a country's decision to swap cod fishing for a complex debt-laden economy exacted a heavy toll.They were encouraged by the government to upgrade to a more luxurious lifestyle by buying houses and cars that were financed by 100 percent loans with extraordinarily low interest rates based not on their own money, the strong krona, but based upon a spread of foreign currencies.According to news reports, "Icelanders are also increasingly angry, looking for somewhere to point blame for the country's spectacular fall."' "Somebody has to take responsibility," said one father complaining that his son has lost his savings.It took one 21 year old print machinist, Alvin Zogu, to give the most mature response: "We can learn from what they did wrong.' We can make better decisions." While governments and banks can offer "pie in the sky," it takes the individual decision to gorge themselves with pie while dangling in the air to cause the ultimate fall. More >>

Tags: ChildrenParentingPersonal ResponsibilityValues
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05/13/2010
IconHere's a simple test for you to contemplate:'What do you get when you leave a golden retriever dog in a car on a hot day with the windows cracked a bit, and the dog dies from being cooked in that car oven?' Well, you get arrested for felony animal cruelty, with bail set at $20,000 while you await your trial, which, if convicted, will get you about three years in jail.Okay, did you get that one right?' Probably.' Next test is:' What do you get when you leave a human child in a car on a hot day with the window not cracked a bit, and the child dies from being cooked in that car oven?' You get to be on Oprah! with an entire audience of dewy-eyed women exuding understanding and sympathy.Disgusting.Here are a few view responses to that program: "I too saw that Oprah episode.' I scoffed and hissed as I watched the 'sympathetic nodding' of Oprah's audience who were apparently relating to the distracted, forgetful 'busyness' of a mother who was asked by her husband to drop the baby off at day care that morning.' According to this woman, that was something her husband normally did, and it was outside of her daily routine. She had a lot on her mind and was concentrating on what the day had in store for her at work.' That was her reason for forgetting the baby in the car!' I just wanted to scream!' Then a thought came to my little pea brain.' I wondered if these 'understanding' women in the audience would actually 'understand' if their husbands forgot their birthday, Christmas, Valentine's Day, or Mother's Day because he was stressed and busy, concentrating on work, blah blah blah. Hmmmm.....yeah, I don't think so; we all know what these women would think of their controlling, nasty, insensitive husbands for forgetting these important things in life." Oh yes, there was one thing that mother did remember.' With the forgotten, ignored, unimportant human being in the back seat, she evidently did make a hurried stop to get donuts for the staff, which means the child was also left alone in the car while she got those all-important calorie-laden munchies.Right after I brought this travesty up on my radio program, I received an email from a single, twenty-three year old man, who had been watching this Oprah episode with his girlfriend of two years.' His immediate take was that the woman, the audience, and Oprah were being utterly disgusting, offering sympathy to a woman - a mother - who didn't have her child on her mind.' It seems he went on and on to his girlfriend about the sacred obligations of a mother - i.e., putting the child first - and about how awful it was to see women clucking in sympathy for this neglectful mother and not for the buried child. His girlfriend was in sympathy with the audience and was aghast that he would have such a "cold, cruel" non-understanding point of view.'''He decided at that moment to break off with her, because he couldn't see any woman with that point of view being his girlfriend, wife, and certainly not the mother of his precious children.I tell you, I was very impressed that we have such real men among our young people today.'When Oprah and other feminist, liberal, influential women take the point of view that children are not the first priority, when they coo over the "pain" of a mother who leaves her child to slowly cook to death in a car instead of storming the citadel demanding jail time for reckless endangerment, neglect and manslaughter, then we have women telling women to have compassion for irresponsibility, self-centeredness and murder.' When we have compassion for evil, we show disdain for the innocent victim.Shame on Oprah. More >>

Tags: ChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingPersonal Responsibility
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05/13/2010
IconIn response to last Thursday's (10/9/08) blog , in which I was critical of the Department of Feminist Studies at the University of California's Santa Barbara campus (and all those in the USA for that matter), I received a personal letter from Leila J. Rupp, Professor of Feminist Studies and Associate Dean of Social Sciences which confirmed that I was right in assuming that they would never invite me to address their students.' She writes: "You're right if all you have to offer is indoctrination.' We are interested in education." To reiterate my "points of indoctrination," I wondered whether this Feminist Studies program would be all inclusive: Is it going to be critical or celebratory over home-making, traditional family values, home schooling, religion, mothering only after marriage, qualities of a good wife, at-home mothering, avoiding divorce (except in cases of abuse, addiction or affairs) and choosing adoption over abortion? I also suggested avoiding abortion as birth control, "shacking up," friends with "benefits," and buying the lie that hired help and day care are equivalent or superior to a Mommy.It is amazing how these simple concepts have become "indoctrination" and controversial.' If these issues cannot be presented, what in the heck does the Feminist Studies program call "diversity?"' Perhaps it's just different ethnicities all saying the same thing. More >>

Tags: ChildrenParentingSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconAs long as you keep sending me stories like these, I'll continue to post them on this blog.' Today's email came from Lori: This is long overdue.' I started listening to your program 20 years ago, when I was in my twenties, newly married, and focused on my career.' I was in the middle of a graduate program that I had worked very hard to get into, when I got pregnant with my son.' I always thought your ideas that a parent should stay home with their child were ridiculous - I thought it was a crazy, backward notion.' That is what day care was for!! Then I had my son. He was six weeks old when I left him with a day care provider to continue my graduate program.' That was also the last time he was with a day care provider.' I physically and mentally could not stand to think that someone else was spending the day and providing for my son - something I should be doing and wanted to do.' After all, who could do it better?' My husband felt the same, so I quit graduate school and all my career plans went out the door so I could stay with my son full time.' While at first it wasn't easy, I can say without a doubt what a great decision that was! When my son and I went to the park or took a walk, I arranged it so I could listen to your radio program at the same time.' While I was sure about my decision, I had VERY LITTLE support from many others.' I got many comments or "put-downs" about what a waste of my life this was.' I felt like you were one of the few who supported me.' You were my advocate, and when I would feel especially down and question my decision, I would listen to you and it would lift me up, and I knew I was right. So, a belated thank you for what you gave me, my wonderfully supportive husband, and my son - who is now a smart, kind, funny, well-adjusted 16 year old.' Keep speaking up for us stay-at-home moms.' I can look back at that time of my life and say I absolutely have no regrets. More >>

Tags: choose wisely - treat kindlyChoose Wisely-Treat KindlyFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyMarriageMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingRelativesStay-At-Home-MomsValues
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Tags: FamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyParentingRelationshipsRelatives
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05/13/2010
IconFrom a listener to my radio program: Dr. Laura, I want to thank you for the special moments that you helped me have.' As a listener, my husband and I decided that I would stay home with our 2 month old baby boy even before he was born.' I must admit that it's hard financially, but we understand that our son is more important than luxury. Yesterday, I had a "tear-jerker" moment.' After feeding my son, I got up and started to clean the room.' After a while, I saw him moving.' He was putting his little hand above his head, feeling for the place where my arm had just been.' Then he stretched his arms and legs in front of him where I had been lying before.' I realized he was looking for me.' His little face began to prepare to cry.' I then placed my hand on his side.' "I'm right here, baby."' He then opened his eyes.' On seeing me, he smiled his gummy smile. I stayed there, smoothing out his hair, until he fell back to sleep, but I couldn't help thinking, what if I had been at work?' What if he was with a sitter or at day care?' I wouldn't have had that moment, and he wouldn't have been comforted. I know, because I used to work at a day care center - he would have been left crying, because he had been fed and his diaper had been changed. As an ex-day care worker, I know that children are not cared for lovingly.' They just have their physical needs met, but not their emotional needs. There were so many kids who called me "mommy," and that was only because I was doing her job while doing mine.' The fact was, "mommy" wasn't there.' But I was and am here for our son.' Thank you. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingStay-At-Home-MomsValues
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