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Parenting
05/13/2010
IconHere's some good news for the day after Mother's Day.' One delightful index of the movement away from the "feminist mother" mentality of "other-than-mother" care is the percentage of new moms who are breastfeeding.' While it is possible that some women squeeze out breast milk into a bottle for the hired help to administer to their baby, the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data indicate that 77% of new mothers breastfeed their infants, which is the highest rate in the United States in at least 20 years!The percentage of black infants who were breast-fed rose most dramatically - to 65%.' Only 36% were ever breast-fed in 1993-1994, the study found.' For whites, the figure rose to 79% from 62%.' For Hispanics, it increased to 80%, from 67%.The rates of breast feeding were lowest among women who were unmarried, poor, rural, younger than 20, and had a high school education or less.Experts emphasize that breast milk is better than formula at protecting babies against disease and childhood obesity. More >>

Tags: ChildrenHealthMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParenting
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05/13/2010
IconIn the feminista days of my youth (college in the 1960's) I took up the sword of the feminist movement's message that marriage and mothering were yokes of oppression.' Fortunately, I recovered from that ailment in time to become a wife and mother.' Since my "rehab," I've been a fervent supporter of adoption over abortion and mothering over institutionalized day-orphanages.' I'm grateful to be able to say that I've been able to influence over 30 years' worth of listeners to my radio program.'To celebrate this Mother's Day I have decided to share of some their letters and lives: TaShanique: I began listening to your radio program before I got pregnant, and when I discovered that I was expecting, it was clear what I had to do.' My husband gave me the go-ahead to quit my stressful job in March of 2007, even though my son wasn't due until late July.' I was prepared to be a stay-at-home mommy.' One thing I wasn't prepared for was all the backlash that I received.' I' heard that I was being arrogant in assuming that I could teach my child everything by sheltering him from the world; I would be spoiling my child by not exposing him to other people.' Also, after church one day, I yawned and someone said to me 'Why are you yawning?' You don't have a job so you shouldn't be tired!'' I thought it was a joke, until I saw he wasn't laughing. This may have not bothered most people, but I was suffering from postpartum depression and had a hard time with such negativity from others.' I also hadn't been receiving my regular 'dose' of Dr Laura, so I started to second- guess myself as to whether or not I had made the right choice. However, it seems like everything changed in one day.' I got stuck in traffic and turned to your broadcast and listened to you encourage mothers to 'go do the right thing.'' When I got home, my husband greeted me with a big hug and kiss, and told me that I was doing a great job and that he's proud to have me as his wife and the mother of his son.' I was doing the right thing; I was being my son's mother and my husband's wife. That same evening, a person who had been the most critical toward me called me and was very upset. The pediatrician who cares for her daughter begged her to remove her daughter from day-care because she is constantly ill and underweight.' She was upset at the pediatrician, and asked me what she should do.' I told her to go do the right thing, which she took to mean that it was time to criticize me once again for making the choice to stay at home.' I told her that I had to go make dinner for my family and hung up.' What she had to say didn't bother me. My husband and I are planning on having another baby next year.' This time I will be well prepared.' I am currently creating a list that contains the reasons why I stay at home.' That will ensure that even through postpartum depression that I won't forget that I did the right thing." Karen: I have been wanting to write to you since my first daughter was born 4 years ago to proclaim 'I am my Kid's Mom!' and to tell you that I could not have done that without your encouragement. My parents did not teach me that the most important job in the world was being a parent.' My father did not respect my mother's role as wife and mother, and my mother obviously resented being his wife.' While she did tell us that being a mother was her greatest joy, I am not sure that she ever would have stood on a mountaintop to proclaim, 'I am My Kid's Mom!' Since that time, my parents divorced.' My mother died a month before my wedding, and my greatest sadness is that I cannot share with her my complete joy and happiness in being a parent.' My father, having had some dramatic life changes, has completely supported me and continually tells me how proud he is that I am choosing to be a stay-at-home mom, and to be 'My Kid's Mom.'' By the way, he listens to you as well and I made him a t-shirt with a picture of him holding my daughter at 6 hours of age - the t-shirt says, 'I am my grand-daughter's grandpa!' I am now 42 years old.' I did not meet the man of my dreams until I was 36, so we had to work quickly to start our family.' When I met the love of my life, I knew that he was the man that I wanted to be the father of my children.' I was so right.' He and my daughter are glued to each other every waking moment; she is happy to sit in his lap and watch C-SPAN!' Every day that I see them together, I fall in love with him more and more.' My favorite pastime is listening to them over the baby monitor as they read and giggle together!!' He is definitely his kid's dad. I remember as a teenager saying that I never wanted to get married or have a family - I did not want to give up my independence.' If I did, I wanted to be able to afford a full-time nanny.' What a crock of crap!' The day my daughter was born I changed my voice mail.' Instead of the business response, it now says, 'You have reached the proud mama of K.R.A.' Sorry we can't take your call, but we are busy at the park, at the playgroup, at the pool, at music class, etc.' I was so worried about my professional identity before she was born.' Took me less than two minutes to toss my professional identity out of the window because 'I am my Kid's Mom!' While this is a great story, where do you fit in, Dr. Laura?' I never, ever would have wanted to be my kid's mom without your encouragement as well as some modeling from some of my friends.' So, thank you for your wisdom and nagging. Excelsa: I am a stay-at-home mom to my 1 year 7 month old daughter.' Each day I teach her several words and she repeats them after me.' I started with the simple words and progressed to more difficult ones.' I went through all the body parts, then animals, then constellations and other miscellaneous words.' Well, just when I was beginning to wrap things up, I said to my daughter, 'Honey, can you say love?'' She smiled her cute little smile and said, 'Mom.' Oh, my heart just melted.' My husband was listening, and he just picked up our daughter and gave her the biggest kiss and said, 'Yes, honey, Mommy is love.' Just thought I'd let you know that this is such a defining moment for me as a mother, and that I know I am doing a great job raising my daughter. Final Thought: A caller to my radio program described being a surrogate mother for her brother and sister-in-law.' Preliminary tests suggested that the baby has Down Syndrome.' The brother and sister-in-law want her to abort; she wanted my opinion.' I suggested that she get them in contact with parent groups of Down Syndrome children for support and information; and if that did not change their minds, to either keep the baby herself (she was married) or get them to sign away their rights and offer the child for adoption.' I received scores of letters from married women willing to adopt this child.'Happy Mother's Day. More >>

Tags: ChildrenMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParenting
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05/13/2010
IconSenator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) is adamant in his support for abortion on demand.' Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) is as adamant in his support for the illegalization of abortion.' However, as odd as it may seem, they have joined forces in a bill (S1810), the "Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Condition Awareness Act."' Their bill would require parents faced with pre- and post-natal diagnoses of disability to receive "timely, scientific, and nondirective counseling about the conditions" as well as "up-to-date, comprehensive information about life expectancy, development potential, and quality of life" for a child born with Down syndrome or any other genetic disability, as well as "referrals to providers of key support services." Their hope is that when parents receive a more complete picture, more of them will welcome their disabled babies into the world, instead of choosing termination.' Nice bedfellows. More >>

Tags: BudgetChildrenEconomyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParentingSex
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05/13/2010
Icon"Home-schooled students are routinely high performers on standardized academic tests, beating their public school peers on average by as much as 30 percentile points, regardless of the subject.' They perform well on tests like the SAT - and colleges actively recruit them both for their high scores and the diversity they bring to campus." (Wall Street Journal 3/22/08). The 166,000 families in California that choose to educate their children at home do so largely for three reasons:' religious, protecting their children from gangs and drugs, and mostly because they want to ensure their children a good education. Considering the overwhelming success of home-schooling, one would think it perplexing that a California court ruled in March that parents cannot home-school their children without government certification.' Fascinating, since non-credentialed parents spend their time teaching English, math and science precisely because they don't think the public schools do a good enough job! You should know that this whole court case was not about quality of education.' The case was initiated by the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services after one - ONE - home-schooled child reportedly complained of physical abuse by his father.' A lawyer assigned to that child invoked the truancy law to get the children enrolled in a public school and away from the parents (California law requires children between six and 18 to attend a full-time day school.' Failure to comply means breaking the truancy laws). So, a single case of parental abuse is being used to promote the certification of all parents who make that huge commitment to their children's education.' Unbelievable. Between 1999 and 2003, the rate of home-schooling increased by 29% and the performance results speak for themselves.' Of course, the California Teacher's Union is ecstatic about this outcome - in spite of the facts that demonstrate that, on the average, children do better academically outside of their classrooms. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenParentingSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconFor the life of me, I don't know what single women "by choice" tell their sons about what to look forward to in their futures.'"Randy" sent me the front page of her local newspaper, with an article touting "Moms Single By Choice."'' Randy writes: [The article is about w]omen in their late 30s or 40s who have no husbands but want a kid.' A few adopt, while sperm bank fertilization impregnates many of them. I have learned from listening to your radio program for the past two years that a woman's selfish desire to have a kid should be trumped by the needs of a child who would be best brought up in a two-parent family - mom and dad, married, with a stable home. Ninety percent of the article promotes this behavior as an acceptable "choice."' The article explains the pain a woman goes through when she realizes that Mr. Right is not coming as they age into their late 30s or early 40s.' The article sympathizes with these brave career women who can afford full-time nannies and day care.' One woman is quoted as saying that this was 'the best decision she ever made,' while the final word plainly says to 'go for it.'' There are a couple of brief paragraphs buried late in the article mentioning the conservative point of view.' It states that hundreds of studies have shows that mom and dad homes are superior to single-parent homes.' Also, very briefly stated is that 'choice mothers are, in effect, teaching their children that men are not important to families, marriages, or children.' I sympathize with the children of these single moms "by choice."' They are intentionally robbed of a father.' More than traditional money-earning, protecting and fixing things around the house, the dad does something else.' He has a place in the family where he shows monogamy and daily behavior as a father and man should behave.' He is a role model, and an example of the kind of person sons should grow up to resemble, and daughters should grow up to look for." Hey, Randy, in this "PC" and feminist-brainwashed society, whatever an adult wants always trumps what children need!' If a woman who never bothered to become "Miss Right," does want to devote herself to raising a child (without nannies and day-care), I'm all for her adopting an older or difficult-to-place child.' Now, that would be a God-send. More >>

Tags: AbortionFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyParentingRelativesValues
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05/13/2010
IconThe Claremont Institute ( http://www.claremont.org/ ) recently published two book reviews having to do with the significance of marriage to the well-being of children, and the cohesiveness of society in general.' The books reviewed are: "Marriage and Caste in America:' Separate and Unequal Families in a Post-Marital Age," by Kay S. Hymowitz, and "The Future of Marriage," by David Blankenhorn.These are two fascinating and informational books that you ought to read.' The reviewer, F. Carolyn Graglia, writes: "Over the past four decades, American adults have seemed more concerned with enjoying their own existence than with the generation and welfare of children." And in her book, Hymowitz writes: "Children of single mothers are less successful on just about every measure than children growing up with their married parents regardless of their income, race, or educational levels:' they are more prone to drug and alcohol abuse, to crime, and to school failure; they are less likely to graduate from college; they are more likelyl to have children at a young age, and more likely to do so when they are unmarried. Soaring divorce rates and out-of-wedlock births (37% of U. S.' births are illegitimate) have made ours a nation of separate and unequal families." The propensity to divorce is apparently correlated with two-income families. Hymowitz notes that the "traditional families, with breadwinner husband and stay-at-home wife had the lowest rate of divorce." Women employed 80% of the time since the birth of their first child are twice as likely to be divorced as stay-at-home moms.'Today, more than 40% of all first marriages end in divorce (the rates for second and third marriages are higher), and more than half of all U.S. children will spend "at least a significant part of their childhood living apart from their father." Shacking up, having babies out of wedlock as an entitlement for working women who don't have the time or inclination to create a marriage, having babies out of wedlock because of irresponsible sexual behavior (and not considering adoption to a two-parent mom and dad)...all of these now-normalized behaviors reek of narcissism and indicate that we worry less about children and more about adults being unfettered by morality, good sense, or compassion to the needs of children. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenMarriageParenting
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05/13/2010
IconThe Associated Press published a report on the New Jersey prosecutors who have subpoenaed records of JuicyCampus.com, a website that publishes anonymous, often malicious, gossip about college students.' For example, the Princeton University (yeah, the Ivy League school) site produces information such as "the most overrated Princeton student" with the commentary mostly filled with name-calling and slurs against homosexuals and Jews.The New Jersey Attorney General suggests that JuicyCampus may be violating the state's Consumer Fraud Act by implying that it doesn't allow offensive material, but then providing no enforcement of that rule, and no way for users to report or dispute the material.This site has recently expanded to more than 50 colleges, including Pepperdine University in California, whose student government voted overwhelmingly to request' a ban on the site, although the university has a policy against censoring websites.'The founder of JuicyCampus, Matt Ivester, seemingly is unconcerned about the backlash. "Like anything that is even remotely controversial, there are always people who demand censorship," he told the AP.It is typically disgusting of such types to invoke censorship issues when the true point is accountability and responsibility - concepts that have become four-letter words in American society.' This site, as abominable as it obviously is, is no different from the millions of blogger sites that already exist, full of hate, vitriol, lies, distortions and character assassinations all for the purpose of self-exaltation, power, meanness, and downright evil.'Our children obviously have learned all too well from the blogosphere and the general media.'Just the other day, I communicated with a "formerly esteemed" journalism professor (now retired), to question him on a piece he did about me and my "position" on marital infidelity.' He actually admitted that he did not vet the comments that were repeated and repeated all over the web; he admitted that he did not read the entire transcripts of my interviews; he admitted that he did not view the video on his own.' Can you imagine?' It's like the feathers released from a pillow on a breezy hill - all of them can never be reclaimed.I predicted that the Internet would further deplete what was left of the dignity of human discourse, as the basest of attitudes and impulses would be set free.' Any suggestion of the benefits of self-control, accountability, truth or fairness are countered with screams of "censorship!"' Defamation, libel, and slander against others are no longer seen as a line crossed, but as an opportunity for fame and money. "It is not possible for anyone to use this website to find out who you are or where you're located," assures a JuicyCampus privacy page. "We do not track any information that can be used by us to identify you." Cowards and evil-doers use these opportunities to spread their traditional ideas and hate as they hide behind "protection," while those they hurt have no protection at all. More >>

Tags: EducationParentingSchoolSocial Issues
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05/13/2010
IconAccording to the Wall Street Journal (March 14, 2008) restaurant owners have identified a "worrisome" long-term trend: "The number of harried working moms isn't growing the way it was." What??' This is a worrisome trend for marriages and children?' I think not!' Instead, this is a worrisome trend for businesses built on the virtual dissolution of family bonding and togetherness.Since the percentage of women in the work force has been dropping, the result is less money in the family budget for eating out.' Fatty, salt-laden, hyper-caloric, oversized meals will have to go by the wayside for warm, home-cooked meals filling the home with luscious aromas and bringing a family together around their own kitchen table.Ahh....not to worry!' Restaurants are coming up with ideas to undermine all that syrupy "homey" stuff:' offering children's books, Etch-A-Sketch toys and handheld video games to appeal to children who might drag in their parents; and also coming up with ideas of pre-cooked meals moms can buy at the grocery.There is always hope that the disgusting new television program, "The Secret Life of A Soccer Mom" will simply succeed in seducing moms and wives away from their families to go back into some "dream" job..... More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreexerciseHealthParenting
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05/13/2010
IconThe results of the first national study to measure the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) found in young women were released recently by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.According to the report, 3.2 million teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 19 were found to have the human papillovirus (HPV), chlamydia, genital herpes or trichomoniasis.' The study did not determine the number of girls who had HIV/AIDS, syphilis or gonorrhea.I don't know what qualifies as an epidemic here, but clearly, these numbers represent a crisis of monstrous proportions.' Responsible adults forming public should be figuring out how we can reverse the direction of these horrifying statistics.' The wholesale distribution of condoms and consensual counseling at the high school level has not dampened the levels of risky behavior among the nation's teens.' Sex education has apparently been successful at teaching our children how to do it...often, and clearly, not safely. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - TeensParentingSexTeens
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05/13/2010
IconMy, my, my.' My comments last week on why many men stray from their marriage vows generated more email to me than any one thing I've said in years.' 85% of the letters I received were wonderfully appreciative and supportive of what I said.' Men and women alike "got" what I was saying and acknowledged the need for husbands and wives to share the responsibility for the health of their marriages.'One wrote "After seeing you on The Today Show, I asked myself, 'Am I the kind of wife my husband wants to come home to?'' I look at each day as an opportunity to honor him.' Thank you for challenging me to have the courage to change.' My husband will never go a day without knowing his wife needs, loves and respects him." Another person emailed me because my comments motivated her to look at her own issues with the overall concept of personal responsibility.' This young woman wrote that she was motivated by my comments to stop her methamphetamine addiction: "I have chosen to quit.' Once you stop feeling like such a victim to some inanimate object (the pipe does not jump into your mouth on its own) you realize your power over it." Other folks, though, seemed absolutely apoplectic over my point of view that people need to take responsibility for their lives and their relationships.'Clearly this is the crux of the problem in this country.' The concept of promoting personal responsibility in a society that encourages victims to stay victims and glamorizes the bad behavior of celebrities and politicians seems to be a hot button that makes some folks' heads explode.' People tend to hold on to their anger, hurt and depression, especially if they don't have the tools they need to break out of the cycle of personal self-destruction.That's why I wrote Stop Whining, Start Living .' I wrote it because I wanted to help people enjoy their lives more and be more content inside themselves.' None of us can do that if we persist in the self-defeating notion that we are victims... that only leads to complaining and not LIVING.This book is not for people who want to embrace their problems - it's for people who want to solve them and move on to a more productive and happy life.' If you want to feel more in control of your situations in families, neighborhoods, jobs, etc., then you first have to look inside yourself and see what YOU are doing that you shouldn't be... or what you are NOT doing that you should be!' This is where the power to change everything comes in.Some people won't ever do this.' They hold on to sadness, victimhood and complaints.' But those who read Stop Whining with an open heart and mind will find the keys - through other people's real experiences and stories - to make their life easier and more pleasurable; to improve their lives as husbands, wives, parents, and friends, and to discover the joy of being an evolved human being.Getting letters and calls from people who have taken my advice to stop whining and turn themselves into productive members of society is all the inspiration I need to keep on keeping on.' That's what puts the smile on my face. Book signing tonight in Costa Mesa, California: And if you want to see me really smile and you live in L.A. or Orange County, come on down tonight to the Barnes and Noble at the Metro Pointe Mall in Costa Mesa at 7pm.' I'll be signing copies of the aforementioned new book, Stop Whining, Start Living for all of you who embrace your own personal responsibility. More >>

Tags: ChildrenMarriageMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingPersonal ResponsibilityValues
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