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Values
05/13/2010
IconThose of you who listen to my radio program know that I end each hour with "Now, go do the right thing!"' Well, I'm happy to report that that phrase was brought home to me last week.After working on a local telethon, my husband and I went to a local restaurant with our best friend.' When we arrived, there was only a table for two available, and people at every occupied table were just starting their meals. It was going to be a long wait!I looked around the restaurant again and noticed a tall gentleman sitting side-by-side with a young child.' They were each at a table for two that had been pushed together so they could sit next to each other.' I said nothing, and hopefully, my face betrayed nothing.'It was barely a moment later when the gentleman motioned over the server and he and the child got up and moved to that available table for two.' When he saw me notice this move, he pointed to his table for us to take it.' As he sat down at his new table, I went over to hug him.' I said, "That is so kind of you.' Thank you so much!"' He came back with "It was the right thing to do."He warmed my heart.' He taught the boy a lesson in selfless generosity.' He was a role model for everyone in the restaurant who noticed, and now you know about him, too.That's the kind of "global warming" for which I believe human beings should be responsible. More >>

Tags: Morals, Ethics, ValuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconWe live in a time where millions of children spend all day away from their families in facilities that have big screen TVs to amuse them, and they have caregivers for whom English is not required.' This is also the time when parents buy ever-increasing numbers of electronic gizmos to occupy their children's time - sometimes to "make them smarter," or to "make them buzz off," so that busy, busy parents can have some "well-earned down time."Whether its TV, computer games, or hand-held devices, more and more parents are inundating even babies with all of this mass-produced "input."' A recent study reported that about 40% of families with babies and young children keep the television on at all times.' "Always on" TV damages the children's ability to play imaginatively and to develop language skills.' Obviously, it reduces the number of nurturing interactions between parents and children, too.There are many so-called studies which identify programs that provide a positive influence (like "Barney," which teaches kids politeness and social cooperation).' The problem with all of these studies is that they never compare these TV-watching children to those raised in TV-free households to compare the shows to the loving attention of a parent.The problem is that we are living in a time of rising juvenile obesity and inactivity, and ever-increasing "diagnoses" of ADD and ADHD (which I believe most of the time is "kids being kids," and/or kids who don't get proper attention paid to them, with direction, support, and consequences).' This is also a time of more childhood sexual activity, leading to STDs, pregnancies, abortions and broken hearts with confused minds.So, this Christmas-time, change your adult life around and give your children "stuff to do" -- some with you and some on their own - to exercise their imaginations and give them a sense of accomplishment. More >>

Tags: ChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconI don't know how many of you know, but a little over a week ago, in New York City, a guy and a few of his friends, were on the subway - the Q train - and there were groups of people on the train, and four people come on, all Jewish.' Somebody screams out "Merry Christmas," and in good feeling, they yelled back "And a Happy Hanukkah."'Almost instantly, at least ten guys closed in on them.' One of the guys immediately hiked up his sleeve to show a tattoo of Christ, and said "Happy Hanukkah?' That's when the Jews killed Jesus."' The group then increased to fourteen, men and women, who began taunting the four Jews, and called them "dirty Jews," and "Jew bitches."' And a fight ensued.Is that why I'm telling you this story?' No.' I'm going to go back about 25 years, and I was at an art museum in Pasadena, and there was an event showing gratitude to what Jews call "the righteous Gentiles."' That is the most magnificent thing in Jewish tradition to say about a non-Jew:' to call them a "righteous Gentile."' And these are the folks who, during World War II, risked their lives and the lives of their children to save Jews from the Nazis.' When any of these people were caught, they would be shot, hung upside down in the town.' They'd watch their children die, and then they'd be killed.' You would think a lot of people would go, "Y'know what?'' I'm not going to do this.' I don't want to risk my kids and myself."' But the righteous Gentiles, who were Christian, risked everything.'' And the important part of this entire exhibit, was the part where they asked these people why were you willing to risk everything?' The lives of your children, for goodness sakes, to save a Jew?' And they all gave exactly the same answer.' I read all these reports, and I couldn't believe it - they just had me in tears.' They all said the same simple thing:' because I was brought up that that's the right thing to do. To protect people against evil - that's how I was brought up.' It was the right thing to do.' Very simple.Back to last week.' All of a sudden, these four guys and gals are being pummeled, and one person gets into the fray.' A Muslim, from Bangladesh, jumped to their aid, and was likewise pummeled and taunted, and he risked his life to help four Jews.' As one of the young people who was attacked (an honor student at Hunter College) said:' "A random Muslim guy jumped in and helped a Jewish guy on Hanukkah.' THAT is a miracle.' He's basically a hero.' He jumped in to help us."'This young man who jumped in was called a hero, and his answer was: "I just did what I had to do.' My parents raised me that way.' My father always said 'stand up for people and do good to your fellow man.'' I'm not a hero," he said.' "I did what people should do every day.' I just did what I had to do, because my parents raised me that way."' No jihad, but a commitment to stand up for people and do good for your fellow man.He also added, "It's pretty sad that someone would get offended over someone just saying 'Happy Hanukkah.'' I don't know why they flipped out so much.' They must be angry people."' Poor guy.' He's got two black eyes, and celebrated Hanukkah with the four people he helped.'One thing I don't understand is why the ten people who were arrested have not been charged with a hate crime.' I personally don't believe in hate crimes - I think if you call somebody a "dirty" something - a dirty black, a dirty Jew, dirty anything, you shouldn't get more years in jail.' You should get all those extra years in jail just for hurting them - I don't think special categories of people should exist.' It should be the maximum period.' Nonetheless, since the law is on the books, I'd sure like to know why New York hasn't charged them with a hate crime.' "Dirty Jew" and "Jew bitches" and an attack?' Sounds like a hate crime.One of the guys, who sounds like a real moron, is sadly, the son of a city firefighter, who's in Iraq right now.' This idiot teenager pleaded guilty to a 2005 bias crime against blacks.' Now it's Jews.' And you know what he said?' "I'm trying to stay out of trouble.' When I get out, I want to go into the military." I don't think so.' I don't think he's military material.' He's a jerk.' Here he is'attacking blacks and attacking Jews, and he says "I'm not a racist." More >>

Tags: Morals, Ethics, ValuesRacismSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
Icon'Tis the season to be giving...so give generously...but also give wisely.You might have heard a recent report about Congressional hearings regarding a number of Veteran's Charities.' It seems that one of the two worst performing charitable categories is "Veterans and Military."' It is a sorry story that hundreds of millions of dollars raised in the name of injured military are being squandered by charities that take advantage of our compassion for the soldiers that have sacrificed their lives and health to protect us and our international interests.The American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP), in assessing some 26 charitable organizations that support our soldiers and veterans, only 4 came away with an A rating.For over 30 years I have been involved in raising money for worthy causes and I've learned a lot during that time.' One of the things I have learned is to perform due diligence on any charity before I commit my time and effort, endorsement, and funds.That is exactly what I did with Operation Enduring Freedom Family Fund .' So why do I support Operation Family Fund, including getting dunked, a pie in the face, and grueling runs?'1. 100% volunteers.' No one is paid a salary.2. 100% of donations go to program services that directly benefit the families of our fallen and wounded heroes.But I encourage you to do your own research, not just for Operation Family Fund but for any charitable organization you want to support.' For more information about OFF, including their tax returns for the past three years, as well as information about thousands of other charities - go to www.guidestar.org/ .' You'll have to join as a member, but that basic membership is free.' You will then be able to access information about all the charities you are considering donating to.I know a lot of my listeners have donated money to Operation Family Fund and I want to assure them that Mike Cash and his wonderful organization use your dollars in the most productive and effective way.The $26,000 I raised in my Christmas Holiday Jewelry Boutique went directly to help a lot of military families have a better Christmas than they would have had with a house foreclosure, repossession of a car, or no money for Christmas presents for their children.I'm proud of the work OFF has done to financially and emotionally support our military families after a cataclysmic injury or valiant death.' And, I want you to feel secure that whatever you're willing and able to contribute actually touches the home and heart of these noble families. More >>

Tags: Charitychild's humorHumorMilitaryValuesVeterans
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Tags: CharityParentingRegarding Dr. LauraValues
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05/13/2010
IconWhen a woman wishes to diminish her own value (as well as that of the covenant of marriage) by cohabitating with a man who is not willing to make the vow of committing his life to her, it's a shame.' When a woman with children does so, it too often becomes a crime.Thirty years ago, nearly 80% of America's children lived with both their Mommy and Daddy, who were married.' Now, only two-thirds of them do.' Of all families with children, nearly 30% are now one-parent families, up from 17% in 1977.' The net result is instability, neglect, and the likelihood that children will be in homes with adults who have no biological tie to them.Children living in homes with unrelated adults are nearly fifty times as likely to die of inflicted injuries as are children living with their bio-parents. ( Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, 2005 ).' Children of single parents had a 77% greater risk of being harmed by physical abuse than children living with both parents ( National Incidence Study, 1996 ). Children living in stepfamilies, or with single parents are at higher risk of physical or sexual assault than children living with their bio-parents ( University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children Research Center ). Girls whose parents divorce are at significantly higher risk of sexual assault, regardless of which bio-parent they live with ( Family Law, Washington and Lee University ).It is righteous to judge the lifestyles of people who have children, because the results of their choices can result in harm (psychological, physical or sexual), as well as death to innocent children.' "Six year old Oscar Jimenez, Jr. was beaten to death in California, then buried under fertilizer and cement.' Two year old Devon Shackleford drowned in an Arizona swimming pool.' Jayden Cangro, also two, died after being thrown across a room in Utah.' In each case, as in many others every year, the alleged or convicted perpetrator had been the boyfriend of the child's mother. ( Associated Press, November 18, 2007 ).The recent "Baby Grace" case was no different.' According to news reports, the mother's boyfriend beat the child to death because the child didn't address him politely.'I am firm in my beliefs and advice that young women, pregnant out-of-wedlock, need to consider adoption as in the best interest of the child, and that divorced parents should not marry again until the children are grown (and if they do, they shouldn't marry someone with children or create more children, because they will be sidelining their own children).Of course, I get everything from "antsy" to angry feedback for these recommendations, as adults feel entitled to their happiness, freedom, and sexual adventures.' My point of view is that the children's needs should eclipse the privileges of adult desires.A week ago, a 29 year old female caller to my radio program, with two small children from her first marriage, was now divorcing her second husband.' Two divorces before the age of 30!' Her question was should she let the new "ex-to-be" see the kids?' How about this for a life?' Each weekend, you alternate between different "daddies."I suggested she not date again until the children graduated high school. More >>

Tags: ChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingShacking UpShacking-UpValues
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05/13/2010
IconAs we head into Thanksgiving, and the beginning of the biggest shopping season of the year, it's time to take a stand regarding the kind of toys we buy our kids.' Case in point:1. Mattell, Inc. recalled 675,000 Barbie' Accessory toys because the paint on the surface of the accessories contained excessive levels of lead.' Lead can cause learning and behavior problems and even death.2. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled roughly 4 million arts and crafts toys called Aqua Dots because several children in the United States and Australia were hospitalized after swallowing some of the toy's beads.' The beads had a chemical coating that evidently was related to GHB, the "date rape" drug.3. An additional 175,000 Curious George plush dolls made by Marvel Toys were recalled because of lead on the toys' plastic faces.This past summer, the toy industry recalled more than 22 million toys because of serious danger issues.' The common denominator seems to be that all these toys are made in China.' China is the world's number one producer of toys, due to cheap labor and manufacturing costs.' While the world's governments lazily deal with tougher controls to intercept dangerous toys before they hurt our children, how about we parents taking control and only purchasing toys made in the U.S.A. this holiday season?' We should be supporting our own economy anyway.If you don't know how to find toys made in the USA, here's a start - a parent single-handedly took up the charge and created a website that links to USA-made toys. toysmadeinamerica.com/ .If you want detailed information on toys that have been recalled by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, you can find a list of all the latest recalls at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/category/toy.html . More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingPoliticsSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconForgive my rage, but a lawsuit is the most gentle response I can think of for what I'd like to have happen to the members and leaders of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas.'These pseudo-pious creeps traverse America showing up at the funerals of our fallen military carrying signs that read 'Thank God for dead soldiers' sent to fight for the 'United States of Sodomy.'' They believe that the death of US servicemen and women in Iraq is God's punishment for this country's 'tolerance of homosexuality.'' Townsfolk from across the land, local police and firefighters, Patriot Guard bikers and others have shown up each time to try to build a compassionate barrier between these vulgar desecrators and the mourning family and friends.'These religious types defend their hateful and ugly behavior by protesting that 'it is in response to the need for a warning to the country that 'your wicked ways are going to be your doom shortly.''' Church members say they're motivated by the fear of God and their need to warn America about its moral decay, rather than a desire to hurt anybody.' Oh, please.'Of course the issue of free speech (forget responsible or compassionate speech) is at the fore.' Last week, a jury ordered the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church and his two daughters to pay $10.9 million to the family of a Marine who died in Iraq, after members of the church picketed his funeral holding signs including 'God hates fags,' and 'You're going to hell.''This decision, which is being appealed, is likely to become an important test for what kind of speech is protected by the US Constitution.' In addition to the issue of whether or not the Church's hateful speech was protected, the appeal will also turn on whether Judge Richard Bennett's instructions to the jury on the First Amendment were too broad.' Bennett warned jurors that the protection of free speech has limits, including vulgar, offensive, and shocking statements and that the jury had to decide whether Westboro's actions would be highly offensive to a 'reasonable person,' and whether these actions were so offensive and shocking as to not be entitled to First Amendment protection.'Sounds like a slam dunk to any reasonable person, and the jury obviously agreed.' Our fallen heroes deserve our respect, especially at their funerals, which is something we should all remember this Veterans' Day holiday. More >>

Tags: MilitarySocial IssuesValuesVeterans
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05/13/2010
IconThis is a "huzzah" to a bunch of Democrats for doing the right thing, and we have to join them.'A group of Congressmen has asked the Department of Veterans' Affairs to reconsider its obnoxious, disgusting, and horrible ban on the flag-folding ceremony at military funerals, after the agency decided last month to "streamline" burials at Federal cemeteries.' It gets worse.However, the attempt to jerk their heads around in the right direction is being led by Representative Heath Shuler (D-NC).' He wrote a letter to the head of the Department of Veterans' Affairs which said: Dear Acting Secretary Mansfield: We are writing to express our concern regarding recently announced policies banning the traditional flag-folding recitations by Memorial Honor Detail volunteers. The flag-folding recitation is a long-standing tradition which brings comfort to the living and honor to the deceased.' The recitations accompanying each fold pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of our veterans and their families, the nation they proudly serve, and the belief that they hold dear. As our nation loses 1,500 World War II veterans every day, we feel that it is vital to insure that the final rites for these American heroes will be permitted to include the freedoms of speech and religious expression enshrined in our Constitution, and defended by their service. We ask that you please reconsider the policy and allow the Memorial Honor Detail volunteers to perform the traditional flag-folding recitation if requested by the family of the deceased... Now this letter was co-signed, and I want to give kudos to the representatives who co-signed it, and they're all Democrats.' Ask me where the Republicans are on this.' I don't know - maybe nobody called them up.' But it's co-signed by Representative Chris Carney (D-PA), Brad Ellsworth (D-IN)...and these are all great guys for doing this...Baron Hill (D-IN), Tim Holden (D-PA), Nick Lampson (D-TX), Jim Marshall (D-GA), Jim Matheson (D-UT), Mick McIntyre (D-NC), Mike Ross (D-AR), Gene Taylor (D-MS), and John Tanner (D-TN).Now I want to give you the second part of the problem, and it's so obnoxious, that it's hard for me to even write.' By the way, there's nothing in the Constitution that bans religion.' Our Constitution disallows the state to have a religion that we all have to follow, but it doesn't ban religion.' That is so abused by the atheists trying to take God out of everything, that I'm tired of it, and we have to fight back.' This is the moment to fight back, and I'll give you the address on how to do it.A complaint - one, lousy complaint....one! - made this happen.' The complaint about the recitation for the 11th fold, which says "in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" garnered a complaint at the California cemetery and prompted the ban.' One lousy comment!By the way, the 12th fold recitation is geared to Christians, saying "the fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies in their eyes God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost." It's just terrible...just terrible, as one World War II Navy veteran, Bobby Castillo, 85, said:'' "It's a slap in the face to every veteran.' When we got back from the war, we didn't ask for a whole lot.' We just want to give our veterans the respect they deserve.' No one has ever complained about us.' I just don't understand."'' He is part of a 16-member detail that has performed military honors at more than 1,400 services.' They were preparing to read the flag-folding remarks at the Riverside (CA) cemetery when graveyard staff stopped them.'Charlie Waters, parliamentarian for the American Legion of California said he's advising Memorial Honor Details to ignore the edict.' "This is nuts," Walter said.' "There are 26 million veterans in this country and they're not going to take us all to prison."So, I'm very grateful to Representative Heath Shuler (D-NC), and I think we have to join in turning this around.' This is disgusting.' You take a tradition that's been going on for so long, and because one person doesn't want to hear "God," it stops?' No.' Let's turn this around.' Turn this completely around, and this is how you're going to do it.'You have to be polite, so send your letters to:The Honorable Gordon H. MansfieldActing Secretary of Veterans Affairs810 Vermont Avenue, N.W.Washington, DC' 20420Phone: 202-273-4817Email: Gordon.Mansfield@va.gov Send a letter, make a phone call, and send an email.' I want this man inundated.' I want millions of you to do this, to counteract one person who thinks they can rip God out of the universe, when our Constitution does not demand that.All of this information is on my website www.drlaura.com//action/index.html?mode=view&tile=1&id=14918 .' I am unbelievably grateful to these dozen Democrats who stood up to the plate immediately.' "Hoo-ah" to all of them!UPDATEWe spoke to Congressman Shuler's office and they're still going forward with legislation to rescind this order.' While the "clarification" from the Department of Veterans Affairs only covers volunteer honor guards, many of the cemeteries have Federal employees performing the flag-folding.'In addition, we heard from a soldier currently serving on a state Honor Guard, who told us that they often work in co-operation with local Veterans Service Organizations' honor guards.' The Veterans Service Organizations not only donate their time, but they have to maintain their uniforms, pay for gas to get to the funerals, pay for blank ammunition and weapon servicing.' They're supposed to be paid a small amount for their services, but while Congress has authorized the program to do this, they haven't actually funded it.' We need to do a lot more to honor our veterans, both living and deceased. More >>

Tags: FeminismMilitarySocial IssuesValuesVeterans
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05/13/2010
IconLike most people in this country, I have been glued to the television coverage of the fires raging through San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, etc.' Unlike many of you, I just need to look out my kitchen window to see and smell the eerie smoky brown sky that hangs over my neighborhood.' From this vantage point I can understand the fear and shock that is consuming the millions who are experiencing up close and very personally the ravages of Mother Nature.''''''' Much of the California coastline is burning.' Almost one million people have been evacuated and over one thousand homes and some communities have been burned to the ground.' An unknown number of people have died and scores have been injured; mostly firefighters.''''''People are living out of their cars, in the homes of friends, relatives or gracious strangers; hotels are crammed, and thousands are in stadiums.' What is remarkable about this disaster is how well San Diego has handled this.' The local government got right into gear with evacuations, physical support and fire-fighting; the people, although devastated, have been cooperative, positive, virtually non-complaining, non-violent, and mutually supportive.' Charitable and supportive donations from people far and wide have been administered successfully.' No hysteria, blaming, or violence.' Listening to the stories of gratitude in the midst of hardship has been inspiring.'''' 'Nonetheless, it is important to consider the longer term emotional and psychological issues resulting from this disaster, the largest in California's history.' My family survived a house-fire in the early '90's.' A faulty electrical connection in a socket sent a spark across the room onto a bed and in mere seconds the entire room was ablaze.' I tried to put the fire out and realized that the fumes and smoke were even more dangerous.' I called the Fire Department immediately, grabbed my wallet and my son and left the house.' Between the flames and the efforts of the Fire Department, our house was totaled but without damage to our neighbors.'''' 'We lost just about everything.' Our first reaction was shock.' It was difficult to absorb being in a home one moment, and standing in front of a burning building in the next.'''' 'For the most part, the people involved in the California fires have whole neighborhoods that are gone and don't seem to have the option of "continuing with life."' Their stresses, grief, and fears will need to be addressed.' Most people are ultimately quite resilient, and after months of reasonable, normal hyper-emotional reactions, get back into life without long-lasting impact.'''' 'Children are more vulnerable to these disasters and special attention needs to be paid to their well-being.' The more up-front and personal the exposure to the disaster, the greater the post-disaster impact will be.' The loss of a home and destruction of a community are obviously high-distress events leading to grief and trauma.'''' 'Children under the age of 2 have little real understanding of what has happened and don't have life experiences to tap into to give them a sense of immediate or future safety.' They pretty much are experiencing sensory overload as the sights, sounds, smells stay imprinted in their young minds and may be activated in the future.' Also, children of this age are not equipped to discuss their fears.' It is very important that small children not be separated from their parents during these disasters.' The parents are the ultimate security and measure by which they will react; if parents stay calm, children feel more reassured.'''' 'Children up to age five may start regressing in their behavior because of their confusion and fear.' They may have nightmares, stop eating and sleeping, and report stomach aches which are really a sign of distress.'''' 'To assist young children:1.' Give verbal reassurance and physical comfort2.' Try to keep eating and sleeping routines intact3.' Avoid being separated from them because of the comfort they need from' you and because they fear abandonment.4.' Let them talk and talk and talk and talk about what they feel, especially'about losing pets, their toys, etc.5. Try to minimize their exposure to images of fires on television and any other' disturbing input.6. Get them playing -- this will be good for them and for you!''' 'School age children can become obsessed with their fears over these events.' This would be a good time for you not to be so concerned with your expectations of proper behavior and performance in school (if they have access) and with you.' However, while it is important for you to let them talk again and again about the disaster and their opinions and feelings, you should also set some gentle limits on "acting-out" behaviors of anger, and so forth.' It might be good to say something like, "You know, it is quite reasonable for all of us to be angry or feeling kind of crazy over what's happened.' Let's keep 'showing it' to five minutes each hour or so, then the rest of the time we can make plans, take a walk, figure out meals, play a game, sing a song, help somebody else..."'''' 'Allow school-aged children to participate in actions geared to "take care of immediate business."' That way they have a sense of power in a seemingly powerless situation and feel useful - which is a positive and rewarding experience.'''' 'Some children may be slow to show distress, taking weeks or months for signs or symptoms of their distress to appear.' Don't push for "feelings" to be expressed; instead, be watchful of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) depression: persistent sad or irritable mood, loss of interest in activities once enjoyed,' a significant change in appetite or body weight, difficulty sleeping or oversleeping, loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt, difficulty concentration and/or recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.'''' 'Five or more of these symptoms over several weeks may indicate a need for professional intervention.'''' 'Remember, supportive parents, friends, family members, teachers, and other adults make all the difference in the ability of children to cope with disaster.'''' 'For more information, click on: " Helping Children Handle Disaster-Related Anxiety - National Mental Health Association "To hear Dr. Laura in an on-air interview with KFI-AM regarding this issue, click here More >>

Tags: ChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMilitaryParentingSocial IssuesValues
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