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Teens
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
IconSFLA, Students for Life of America, are furious because of video of one of their undercover investigations has been pulled from YouTube.' Evidently, according to Kristin Hawkins who heads the organization, "Last week SFLA posted a video on YouTube exposing Planned Parenthood in Charlotte, North Carolina, covering up statutory rape of a 15-year-old girl." Here's the story: a college woman volunteering for SFLA entered a Planned Parenthood clinic in Charlotte, posing as a 15-year-old girl who had unprotected sex with the mother's adult, shack-up boyfriend.' She told that staff that the stud had suggested she come to Planned Un-Parenthood and get the "morning-after" pill.'''''Planned Un-Parenthood gave her the pills, and made an appointment for her to start taking birth control pills without parental knowledge or consent.' SFLA also proved that the crime was not reported by PP to local police, which is a violation of North Carolina Law.According to Ms. Hawkins, YouTube said the tape had inappropriate content - damn right it did: it showed PP breaking laws...that's pretty inappropriate.' As it turns out, YouTube has also yanked previous pro-life organization videos while it does, according to Ms. Hawkins, continue to play videos which show, for example, a young man desecrating the Eucharist.To watch SF's video visit studentsforlife.org I'm always impressed with the star-studded and blinged out locals who attend the yearly Santa Barbara Planned Un-Parenthood fund raising events even with the ongoing' stream of information demonstrating their cavalier attitude towards minor women pregnant by adult men, their disrespect for parental rights, as well as their resistance to diving full force into the adoption realm. More >>

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

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

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

Tags: CommitmentDatingFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyFamily/Relationships - TeensMarriageMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingPersonal ResponsibilityPregnancyRelativesSocial IssuesTeens
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05/13/2010
IconThe teen pregnancy rate is up for the first time since 1991, according to a report released by the National Institutes of Health, and is a cause for concern. "This is one of the key indicators for the health of the teen population," said Edward Sondik, Director of the National Center for Health Statistics. "Not only does this affect teen health at this point, but their health and well being for the next 20 to 40 years, as well as the health and well-being of their children." This is one of the most self-centered actions a female can take.' It is obviously not in the best interest of a child to be robbed of a father, a two-parent home, and a committed relationship which would give the child the security and role-modeling he or she needs to fulfill hopes and plans for a loving, secure marital future.It's very "in" lately to be a pregnant Hollywood star, and lots of money is offered for exclusive pictures of the heirs to celebrity notoriety or fame.' It doesn't seem to matter if the star is married or not - there is no judgment, no condemnation, no "clucking," no criticism, no shame, and no consequences.' It is just all "okay."'When people do the wrong thing, repent, and then do the right thing, you'd think that they would be idolized.' Nope.' The media tends to humiliate and denounce them as hypocrites.' So, the "act" is irrelevant; the only thing that is relevant in current day society is that you must never say that anything is "wrong."' If you do dare to call anything "wrong," then you will be attacked.'But back to the children.' Children having children is in no way a positive thing for either child.' There is sufficient research and practical experience to confirm the problems encountered by children without an intact family.' Why is this ignored?' Why is this denigrated or dismissed?' Why doesn't anybody care about the children?' Why is it all about how the female "feels" - which, I'm sure, isn't too great, once the reality sinks in that caring for an infant involves a lot of sacrifice and stress.Kids have very little to connect to these days.' That might sound like an odd comment considering all the means of communication available:' email, text messages, cell phones, and Internet social networking sites, but paradoxically, as the number of technological advances continues to grow, the sense of truly being bonded and connected one-on-one in the non-virtual space continues to diminish...significantly.' When one has a site with 200 "friends," one really doesn't have a true friend.With parents not around to connect with kids because of busy careers or divorce, or because they're shacking up or never got married, having a baby of one's own seems like an obvious way for a kid to get attention, bond to someone, and have some "hands-on" love.' Unfortunately, it doesn't play out that way as the child-mothers discover that children are seriously dependent beings.I remember when actresses like Ingrid Bergman (who left her husband and child to go to Europe to have an affair with one of her directors) were shunned from Hollywood for such behavior,' Now, having affairs, abandoning children, and giving birth out-of-wedlock are met with magazine covers and more job offers based on increased visibility.When children have children, it's largely because nobody is taking care of them; they're lonely and lost.' But we should never point a finger or suggest fault - after all, someone's feelings might be hurt!' And we all know that "feelings" are the most important value - right?' Dead wrong. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - TeensMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingPersonal ResponsibilityPregnancySocial IssuesTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconAll media outlets recently went "buzzy" over the alleged conspiracy by a group of minor girls to get themselves pregnant.' My immediate concern went to the babies these children were so carelessly producing.' The real issue for me is that the babies are going to be born into troubled circumstances.It is terribly sad that these children had so little to hold on to and look forward to that they used this as a way to feel connected, important, and/or loved.' I can only hope that their babies will - because of all this critical scrutiny - be adopted into loving two-parent (Mom and Dad), mature, stable marriages and families.' This ultimately is in the best interest of the children. More >>

Tags: CommitmentFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - TeensMarriageMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingPregnancySocial IssuesTeens
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05/13/2010
IconThe University of Mississippi's Potency Monitoring Project tracked the average amount of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in samples seized by law enforcement agencies from 1975 through 2007.' They found that the average amount of THC reached 9.6% in 2007, representing more than a doubling of marijuana potency since 1983.John Walters, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy cited "baby boomer parents who might have misguided notions that the drug contains the weaker potency levels of the 1970's.' Marijuana potency has grown steeply over the past decade, with serious implications for young people - the risk of psychological, cognitive and respiratory problems, and the potential for users to become dependent on drugs such as cocaine and heroin." [AP, 6/12/08] A report from the Office found that a teenager who has been depressed in the past year was more than twice as likely to have used marijuana than teenagers who have not reported being depressed - that's 25% compared to the 12% for non-depressed teenagers.' The study said marijuana use increased the risk (by 40%) of developing mental disorders.It's certainly not your Grandma's pot anymore. More >>

Tags: AddictionEducationFamily/Relationships - TeenskindergartenMarijuanaParentingSocial IssuesTeens
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05/13/2010
IconJ.C. Penney officials are upset about a racy, fake advertisement on YouTube, in which the retailer appears to be endorsing teen sex.' The "fake" ad'was not done with their knowledge or permission.The video, called "Speed Dressing," ends with teens telling the girls' mother that they're heading down to the basement to watch TV.' As they head toward the basement door, the words "Today's the day to get away with it" flash on the screen, echoing Penney's use of the phrase "Today's the day to..." in a series of ads it launched last year.' Penney's logo and slogan then appear on the screen.The title refers to the beginning of the video which shows two teenagers in their own respective bedrooms stripping down to their underwear and then timing themselves as they race to put their clothes back on.'The amoral part of this story is the response of Alan Siegel, chief executive of New York strategic-branding company Siegel + Gale. "It's not going to reflect well on the brand in Middle America, but the ad is nicely done and the people in it are attractive; young people in New York and LA will get a kick out of it," he said.The potential impact on young people is irrelevant, however, as long as it's clever and attractive?' Amoral thinking at best. More >>

Tags: AttitudeFamily/Relationships - TeensSexSexualitySocial IssuesTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconI watched an amazing video on YouTube of a University of Wisconsin sophomore and student senator, Roderick King, knocking over 4000 white crosses that "Pointers for Life," a pro-life club, obtained permission to place on campus grounds.' The display was meant to symbolize the 4,000 unborn babies who are aborted each and every day in the United States of America.So far, no disciplinary action whatsoever has been taken against Mr. King, and the student government has decided to put the issue off until next semester....uh...that's in the Fall.' I guess they figure we'll all forget about it and they don't have to punish one of "their own."' Whom do I mean by that?Ian Ivey, with The Leadership Institute, a conservative organization which trains and places conservative leaders into public policy positions, the media, and schools said: "It was an astonishing thing to see the video of the student senator just with clearly no respect, no regard at all to either the rights of the students who had set up that display, or the intent of the display and the real meaning of that display.' This is the kind of thing that happens on college campuses on a regular basis, where conservatives face this kind of oppression...mostly from students, but especially from student government associations who are thoroughly dominated by a leftist agenda." More >>

Tags: EducationFamily/Relationships - TeensMorals, Ethics, ValuesSchoolSocial IssuesTeensValues
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