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Values
05/13/2010
IconThis letter is from a listener who wishes to remain anonymous: Dr. Laura:I totally agree with you about how bad day care is, and how damaging it is for children.' Recently, I saw a mother who had just picked up her 18-month-old daughter from day care at 6 o'clock!' That's basically what time my kids go to bed!'' The baby was crying, grabbing at the mother's skirt, and refusing to let go.' The mother was getting annoyed, and kept saying, "Why are you acting like this?' What's wrong?" I felt so upset.' What a dumb question!' You neglected your baby for the entire day, she missed you, and is exhausted and stressed, and you're surprised that she's acting that way? I would think that a mother who has her child in day care the entire day would be the one crying and showering love and attention on her baby instead of getting mad at her.' The baby should be mad at the parent, not the other way around. And then, because parents don't see their baby all day, they put them to bed too late, which makes them more stressed and makes it even harder for them to cope with their emotions in day care.' When we, as parents, are tired, it's hard not to be fussy.' Well, imagine what it's like for a baby!' It's MUCH harder for them to handle being tired.' Parents need to do what's best for their children, not what's best for themselves, and if they don't want to, or if they think their children shouldn't stand in the way of their doing what they want, then don't have them! Why bring children into the world to give them to others to raise? Why bring children into the world if you are giving them the message that your job and your life are more important than them?' For those that say "Well, I'm just not the type to be home with my kids," or "I can't handle being with kids," then don't have them! I know of far too many babies that get attached to their nannies, and spend more time with them than with their own parents.' These babies wonder why their "parent" (that is, the nanny) is leaving them for the night.' Not only do they not have their real parents during most of the day, but then they don't have their "nanny parent" either. Sometimes, people say "I want my kids to have the best - the best car, the best house, the best toys."' Believe me, things are not what makes a baby happy.' Love and attention and kindness are what makes them happy. How sad. And then people wonder why children are so troubled, and why they "act out,"and why they would do anything for attention.' If a mother MUST work to feed her family, I understand, but the attitude shouldn't be that day care is the first choice .' The attitude needs to be "how sad that she cannot care for her baby." I think it's nuts that people think it's sad that my baby is home with me.' She is definitely happier than all the crying babies in the playground, but all the working mothers will' never know that their babies are crying, falling, or are just plain exhausted. More >>

Tags: DepressionFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMental HealthParentingStay-At-Home-MomsValues
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05/13/2010
Icon"Disney Accused by Catholic Cleric of Corrupting Children's Minds," was headline from The UK Telegraph that obviously caught my eye and curiosity.' I grew up with all the Disney cartoon movies...and save for Snow White shacking up with a lot of dwarfs with funny names - but no funny business - I can't think of anything corrupting about that Disney era.In fact, moral stories were always at the center: good guys and gals were ultimately saved and rewarded; and bad guys got their comeuppance in spades. What possible problem could Christopher Jamison, the Abbot of Worth in West Sussex, England have with Disney?He argues that the Disney Corporation pretends to provide stories with a moral message, but has actually helped to create a more materialistic culture which is in danger of losing its soul because of growing consumerism and the decline of religion.'Whoooo.' He's got something there.' These movies are wolves in grandma's clothing?' They present a dichotomy of good and bad and then market the heck out of it and make oodles of money seducing kids into buying all kinds of junk in the image of the cute - or nasty - images on the screen.Father Jamison targets the behavior of Disney in particular, which he says is "a classic example" of how consumerism is being sold as an alternative to finding happiness in traditional morality.' While he acknowledges that Disney stories carry messages showing good triumphing over evil (i.e., moral battles) he argues that this is part of a ploy to persuade people that they should buy Disney products in order to be a good and happy family and make them greedy for the merchandise that goes with them.While Father Jamison makes an obviously good point...it is a matter of the free market.' I don't begrudge Disney trying to make a buck selling stuffed animals and t-shirts based upon their story characters.' I do begrudge the weakness of parents saying, "Yes, dear," each time their child yells and demands something.' How 'bout instead of giving in so readily, you tell them to save up their money from putting out the trash or collecting leaves so they can buy their heart's desire for "101 Dalmatians" plastic or stuffed dogs?' The children will learn patience, and the art of saving toward a goal - actually gaining pride in earning what they desire.' In fact, after they work that hard and that long, that toy may not look as nearly as interesting a use of their hard-earned change.' This way, your children learn self-discipline, self-control and a real appreciation for the value of "junk," so they can make an informed decision as to how important it really is to them. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenMoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingSocial IssuesValues
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Tags: AttitudeBehaviorGratitudeHealthPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeValues
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05/13/2010
IconI'm just sickened to hear the news that Lori Drew was only convicted on three misdemeanor counts of unauthorized access to computers after she, her then 18 - year-old assistant, and her teen daughter plotted to humiliate a neighbor 13-year-old...who ended up killing herself because of the emotional pain she endured at their fingertips on the computer keys.You've probably heard the story: the young girl committed suicide in October of 2006 after the end of her online relationship with a fictitious 16-year-old-boy created on a fake MySpace account.' According to various news reports, the trio used the account to contact and befriend Megan.' Within a few days, Lori Drew encouraged her daughter and her assistant to on-line flirt with Megan; they planned to lure Megan to a mall to confront her with the hoax and taunt her.As things go and grow, another neighborhood girl got involved in the whole thing and sent Megan a message - as if she were the fictitious boy - that he didn't want to be friends anymore.' Lori Drew's assistant then, according to the District Attorney, wrote, "the world would be a better place without you in it."Twenty minutes later, Megan's mother found her hanging from her belt in her bedroom closet.I'm not a lawyer and I don't really understand all the legal machinations about what criminal behavior this planned cruelty constitutes, but it's clear that there's no real punishment for people who misrepresent themselves on an internet chat site with the INTENT to do emotional harm to a child known to have several psychiatric disorders.' Federal and state laws appear to be mute on this issue, and while companies like MySpace have "Terms Of Agreement" (which is kinda what "caught" Lori Drew, because she didn't abide by those terms), they don't have much in the way of "teeth" - often the most they can do is terminate the service of the offender.Imagine: one mother decided to drive another mother's child to devastating emotional pain as entertainment; she includes her own young teen daughter and a young adult employee....and they all have a great time of it.' No one charged the assistant or the daughter, even though they were all complicit in the intent to do emotional harm.'I hope there is a civil court for something like wrongful death so that these people pay some price for their evil cruelty.Now - add to that the parental responsibility of more supervision of this vulnerable, fragile, emotionally compromised child...her parents had reversed the lock on her bedroom for her "safety," as they were aware that she had problems.' Children without psychiatric issues ought not have unsupervised access to the internet or text messaging or any form of communication without parental oversight.' Children with psychiatric issues are at more risk.'Recently, another teenager, this one 19, overdosed with several medications to kill himself while his computer stayed on so that everyone on the net could watch him die.' There was a huge rageful response to folks waiting 12 hours before reporting this situation to the net site or the police...who came too late.It seems that he'd done this before, so many folks thought he was playing "wolf," others just didn't care, some showed concern, and others just "egged" him on....the same way folks on the ground often "egg on" a person threatening to jump from a tall building.' There are always creeps about.What was curious to me is that the reports of this event include that the boy died in his father's room and on his bed; that he used a combination of prescription and illegal medications.' Again we have a pathetically ill young man without proper supervision by those who could understand and help him.' It sounds like he needed hospitalization.The Internet gives young folks the attention and pseudo-importance they naturally crave.' It is also a conduit for evil...the same way electricity is neutral...unless you try to electrocute somebody with it.Parents have to be less casual about the evil that comes through all these technological marvels of communication. More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - TeensInternetInternet-MediaInternet/MediaParentingSAHM stay at home momTeensValues
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05/13/2010

Tags: BehaviorCharityCivilityForgivenessMorals, Ethics, ValuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconI'm all for feminists...in their place, of course (which clearly isn't in the kitchen; but I digress)Instead of marching in public to make sure that babies born even up to, but not including, their heads can be killed (also known as late term abortion), and that minors can abort their babies without mommy and daddy knowing, and demanding that the world provide day-care so that all mothers can dump their kids into the arms of hired help, and also that unmarried women can adopt babies in spite of the need of children for a daddy...how 'bout having these well- meaning activists go to Afghanistan and protect girls whose only wish is to go to school and be educated so they can participate in their society?'As reported by the Associated Press - and not for the first time - Taliban men on motorcycles attacked 15 girls on their way to school and squirted their faces with acid. The next morning, no girls showed up at school in Kandahar's Mirawais Mena girls' school.Arsonists have repeatedly attacked girls' schools and gunmen kill students.' UNICEF says there were 236 school-related attacks in Afghanistan in 2007.Activism is an important quality of people motivated with a mission to preserve and protect innocents.' Feminists go after fetuses...let them instead go after the Taliban.' I think it would make a huge statement and impact to have American women locked and loaded and protecting these young women who strive for the basic right to an education.If America's feminists would commit to such missions, I would respect and support them wholeheartedly. More >>

Tags: PoliticsSAHM stay at home momSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconAwwww...give me a break.' I'm actually supposed to feel sorry for this Oregon woman who is out $400,000 because of...well, GREED!' I feel as sorry for her as I feel for the folks who took out home loans they couldn't pay back or the CEOs of bankrupt companies who get to lose their jobs with tens of millions in severance pay.This woman mortgaged her house, took a lien out on the family car and ran through her husband's retirement account.' How and why?' Well, here it comes: she received an e-mail promising her $20.5 million if she would only help out a long-lost relative with a little money up front.' Her family and bank officials told her it was a scam and begged her to stop, but she was obsessed with the thought of becoming a multi-millionaire.This whole affair was a scheme called the "Nigerian scam" and it's familiar to many people with e-mail accounts.' Over the last several years, one of these has come to my email address.' They promise you zillions of dollars for just thousands of dollars necessary to jump-start some transfer of money or some business.I remember long ago seeing a Donohue TV program with six women all complaining that some guy scammed them by "wining and dining" them...on their own money!' The guys would say they were coming into lots of money, but they needed a place to live and money to spend until their golden ship came in....oh please....this was a study in denial: "I'm getting attention so I'll deep-six my brain."Back to this woman in Oregon.'' She's gotten herself and her husband into horrific debt and who knows if, how, or when they'll be able to get out of it.As a psychotherapist, I'm frankly happy with some aspects of America's economic crisis.' While stores are worried that people don't impulse buy any more, or that the purchase of frivolous, unnecessary, redundant or "show-off" things is dropping, I'm glad that so many adults, and hopefully their children, are learning an important lesson in the difference between want and need, and the potential devastation of leveraging yourself with debt for possessions that ultimately don't matter much.'During the recent California fires, people didn't run out of their homes with their cars, iPods or fancy clothes.' They left with photos of the family as their number one concern.'I don't feel sorry for that Oregonian - I feel sorry for the family she devastated financially with her greed. More >>

Tags: AbortionBudgetFinancesMoneyMorals, Ethics, ValuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconAds proclaiming, "Why believe in a god?' Just be good for goodness' sake" will appear on Washington D.C., buses starting this week and running through December.' The American Humanist Association recently announced the controversial $40,000 holiday campaign.Fred Edwords, spokesman for the humanist group told the Associated Press: "Our reason for doing it during the holidays is there are an awful lot of agnostics, atheists and other types of non-theists who feel a little alone during the holidays because of its association with traditional religion." No matter what side of the Christmas and God wars you may be on, that is one lame excuse for challenging the majority of people in the United States who are "believers" (92% according a poll by the Pew Research Center).'I am Jewish and have never felt "alone" because the end-of-the-year holiday event of the country was "Christian"; Christmas is a lovely spectacle no matter what your beliefs, and for those who are seriously Christian, it is additionally a sacred time.Last month, the British Humanist Association upped the ante with their bus sign campaign, which said: "There's probably no God.' Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." At least the American version still holds to the idea of doing good , while the British version is like letting kids go wild in a candy store claiming there are no such things as cavities or obesity.''''American Family Association president, Tim Wildmon, calls the American Humanist's ad, "...stupid.' How do we define 'good' if we don't believe in God?' God in his word, the Bible, tells us what's good and bad and right and wrong.' If we are each ourselves defining what's good, it's going to be a crazy world." Don Feder, editor of the "Boycott The New York Times" website, demanded equal space in the New York Times for the display of religious symbols as he perceives the paper to have a "relentless drive to secularize society." Feder writes: "The New York Times gives the game away when it insists that public property 'must be open to all religions on an equal basis - or open to none at all.'' In other words, a town that chooses to display the Ten Commandments - which are sacred to 90% of the American people and an integral part of our nation's heritage - has to give equal space to every other faith and New Age sect that's out there.' In reality, the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment was intended to prohibit a state church, like the Church of England.'"If the Founders thought giving one religion preference was odious, why was Congress's first official act to hire a Christian chaplain?' And why did the first Congress appropriate sums of money for Christian missionaries to the Indian tribes?' What about 'In God We Trust' on our currency and 'One Nation under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance - which clearly give preference to Judeo- Christian tradition over Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Summunism?" To read more from Don Feder's point of view: www.boycottnyt.com and www.aim.org . More >>

Tags: ChildrenParentingReligionValues
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05/13/2010
IconThere have been a number of lawsuits over the years concerning the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) during relatively casual sex in relatively casual relationships.' The New York Post published a story about a forty-seven-year old attorney who filed suit against his wife of twenty-two years, charging that her straying had left him with Herpes Simplex virus 2, an STD that caused him to experience "pain, suffering, emotional, mental, psychological and physical injuries and the loss of enjoyment of life."I guess he figured that if he had it, and had sex with her, that she'd contract it and then he'd blame it on her during their estrangement so that he could leverage his position with respect to collecting back monies he'd have to give her in a divorce.' I guess that's it...because she filed papers last month with the results of her blood test which was negative for HSV-2, commonly known as genital herpes, with which the lawyer husband says he's infected.Nonetheless, the question still remains: who is responsible for the transmission of an STD in a casual or dating relationship?' Is it the full responsibility of the infected individual to reveal in advance of any sexual activity that they have the communicable disease?' Or, is it the responsibility of each and every individual to not rely on the kindness of strangers?I believe that anyone who knowingly transmits an STD should be prosecuted criminally and sued civilly.' The severity of the consequences should match the seriousness of the STD.' Some of the STDs are curable with medication; others are simply controlled with medication; some may lead to a higher incidence of cancer; and some are a virtual death sentence.'Considering these factors, people who don't ask - much less are foolish enough to believe it when they're told, "No, I don't have anything," - who don't take precautions such as condoms (which aren't foolproof), who have multiple sexual partners, and who don't value the monogamous commitment of marriage after both people have complete physicals and blood tests to ensure a "clean slate," have to take some responsibility onto themselves for their foolishness.It's like this: when you let your dog loose off the leash and it runs into the streets to be run over by a speeding car...the car actually killed the dog; but you put the dog in the place where it could happen.' That is shared liability and shared moral obligation.DO ask, and DO tell; and be truthful. More >>

Tags: HealthMarriageSexSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconI know I have made myself quite a controversial subject by my insistence that children be loved, cared for and raised by their mommies and daddies instead of hired help and institutionalized child care. As I have said many times, children evolve each and every day...and those minutes need to be influenced by and experienced with the people who matter the most. This is why I am thrilled about the one-sided effect of the current economic problems in America.According to a recent report in USA Today , parents nationwide are telling day care providers that "they must scale back or abandon their services. Instead, they keep kids at home with grandparents or up-end their work-life balance because gas and food prices have become prohibitive and average child care costs outpace rent and mortgage payments - even for those drawing salaries." Of course, the day care industry is scurrying around trying to come up with a plan to save itself. Many are offering all kinds of hours and financial deals. The USA Today article, after noting that the 2005 U.S. Census Bureau data (the most recent available) indicated that 2.65 million preschoolers attended day care, and that current statistics of un-enrollment were not available, called the situation "distressing."Sure it's distressing for an industry that has been so effective in its marketing, that parents who actually raise their own children are made to feel guilty for doing so. But it is not distressing for the children, who will now be in the arms of people who love them and are there to teach, nurture, support, and experience life with them.Sure it's distressing for parents who have to reconsider and reconfigure their lives to accommodate raising their children. But, they will find surprising rewards in the true experience of family.The hysteria from the child care industry has included dire warnings that parents will leave their kids home alone, in cars, or with strangers who might hurt them. That sort of child neglect and endangerment goes on in spite of filled-up day care establishments and should be dealt with through social services (to help families make better adjustments in their priorities) or through the legal system (where children are removed to live with safer relatives or foster care).If it is true that every cloud has a silver lining, then the "shine" is there for many children of parents who can no longer pay the $3,000 to over $10,000 a year for day care, because mommy or daddy is coming home to you . More >>

Tags: EconomyFinancesParentingValues
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