Parenthood by Proxy by Laura Schlessinger, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Parenthood by Proxy

Parenthood by Proxy

3.3 6
by Laura Schlessinger

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Children's welfare is the driving force behind Dr. Laura Schlessinger's mission. A devoted mother to her son, Deryk, she identifies herself as "her kid's mom" because that's her most important job.

Never one to shy away from tough truths, Dr. Laura marshalls compelling evidence for the widespread neglect of America's children and convincingly condemns the


Children's welfare is the driving force behind Dr. Laura Schlessinger's mission. A devoted mother to her son, Deryk, she identifies herself as "her kid's mom" because that's her most important job.

Never one to shy away from tough truths, Dr. Laura marshalls compelling evidence for the widespread neglect of America's children and convincingly condemns the numerous rationalizations to excuse it. Parents, special interest groups, and professionals in education and psychology all contribute to a dangerous trend that places adult fulfillment above obligation to children. Parenthood by Proxy addresses the serious causes and effects of this national crisis, among them the high rate of divorce, serial marriages, single parenting, the premature sexualization of children, dual-career families, disdain for religion, the redefinition of immoral behavior as lifestyle choices, and societal intolerance for the concept of judgment.

In Parenthood by Proxy, Dr. Laura exhorts parents to make their own children their top priority and, if necessary, to change their lives to do so. In her inimitable, straight-shooting style, Dr. Laura entreats parents to involve themselves in their children's hearts, minds, and souls, to cherish and protect them, and to commit to the essential task of teaching them right from wrong. She acknowledges that parents no longer get much support from neighbors or public and private institutions, but she urges mothers and fathers to work even harder to counteract the prevailing culture of selfishness and irresponsibility.

Parenthood by Proxy covers all aspects of parenting, from childbearing to discipline, from multiple families to being role models. Dr. Laura also tackles such cultural and societal concerns as abortion, modern sexuality, drug and alcohol use, violence, discipline, and a child's right to privacy.

Parenthood by Proxy is a passionate and provocative summation of the perils of parenting and a road map to safety for America's families.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Sociologist and controversial radio talk show host "Dr. Laura" sends a clear message: parenting should be limited to traditional families of two parents, one of whom stays home with the children. Divorced or single people, homosexuals, and couples who both work should not have children; those who do are self-centered and contribute to the moral decline of society. Daycare users and providers, psychologists, abortion rights supporters, fertility specialists, and the American Library Association are just a few other targets of Dr. Laura's anger (and her epilog informs readers that her book is indeed written out of anger toward those who disagree with her). While many public libraries will want to buy this book to provide a different viewpoint and because Dr. Laura is well known, this reviewer does not think that Parenthood by Proxy has any place in any caring and considerate dialog on child rearing. Such a book promotes a climate of intolerance and hate. To belittle and negate the efforts of many caring parents from a wide variety of lifestyles who are raising moral, happy, and achieving children does not contribute to our understanding of parenthood. Not recommended.--Kay Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills, MD Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1 ED
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.97(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Death of the Family

Here, Dad. I'd like you to sign this form and have it notarized:

"I, the undersigned Dad, attest that I have never parented before, and insofar as I have no experience in the job, I am liable for my mistakes and I agree to pay for any counseling in perpetuity Calvin may require as a result of my parental ineptitude."

I don't see how you're allowed to have a kid without signing one of those!

Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson, 1993

"The Family Must Go!"

"The nuclear family structure has to be abolished before women can be totally liberated was the opinion of 100 participants in the first statewide [Wisconsin] Women's Liberation Conference . . ." (The Sentinel, May 11, 1970). The article goes on to say that "Feminists at the conference believe a child shouldn't be limited to one mother or father. They say the child would benefit from being reared by a variety of individuals."

Mrs. Carl W. Thompson, then associated with the Center for Women's and Family Living at the University of Wisconsin, and wife of Senator Thompson, prophesied that "In twenty years there won't be the formal marriage as today. It's happening now. These [fluid, unmarried couplings] are meaningful relationships. They just don't want to get into the traditional thing. "

While many feminists have decried marriage, parenthood, and child care as oppressive, degrading, and designed to enslave women, most folks yearn for the love, commitment, home, hearth, and attachments that marriage and families provide however imperfectly.

Nonetheless, the paranoia and hyper-individualism projected by that conference did accurately portend the destruction of the family. Under the mantle of exaggerated freedom of expression and experience came a loosening of the ties that bind us. No-fault, no-stigma divorce; shacking up without shame; bearing children out of wedlock as a privilege; aborting babies for personal convenience; birth control for pregnancy-free promiscuity; tolerating single parenting and gay adoption as valid social experiments; and constant propaganda promoting child-free parenting through day care have all served to undermine the value and very existence of the family unit.

Family is what kids need and want. "Almost one-quarter (22 percent) of Generation X (ages eighteen to twenty-four) say that a lack of family structure and guidance are the most important issues it faces . . ." according to a poll reported in USA Today (October 30, 1995). These concerns take precedence over AIDS and illiteracy (each 15 percent), violence (14 percent), and drugs (9 percent). "'The collapse of many of our social institutions, like the family, has left its mark on them,' said Ross Goldstein of Generation Insights that tracks social trends."

There is no question that Generation X has been damaged by the coming to pass of Mrs. Thompson's greatest dream.

According to an article on the politics of Gen X in the August 1999 issue of the Atlantic Monthly:

Gen Xers have internalized core beliefs and characteristics that bode ill for the future of American democracy. This generation is more likely to describe itself as having a negative attitude toward America, and as placing little importance on citizenship and national identity, than its predecessors. And Xers exhibit a more materialist and individualistic streak than did their parents at a similar age. Moreover, there is a general decline in social trust among the young, whether that is trust in their fellow citizens, in established institutions or in elected officials. These tendencies are, of course, related: heightened individualism and materialism, as Alexis de Tocqueville pointed out, tend to isolate people from one another, weakening the communal bonds that give meaning and force to notions of national identity and the common good.

The article minimizes the influence on Xer apathy of the breakdown of the traditional family where children learn about love, commitment, obligation, compassion, and duty. Instead, the analysis goes on at great length about the importance of the politics of the economy. Yet, later, the text offers that "There are numerous indications that Xers-many of whom grew up without a formal religion-are actively searching for a moral compass to guide their lives, and a recent poll suggests that the highest priority for the majority of young adults is building a strong and close-knit family."

No matter what, it always comes back to the family. It is within the family, and best in the context of a relationship with G-d, that children come to believe life in general, and their life in particular, is worth living and has meaning and ultimate purpose. Otherwise, children are left with only the most self-centered survival mode-acquire and compete. I haven't read too many autobiographies of folks who described themselves as happy with only those two concepts to guide and comfort them. Have you?

Meet the Author

Dr. Laura Schlessinger, a licensed marriage and family therapist, is one of the most popular talk-show hosts in radio history and the only woman to win the prestigious Marconi Award for syndicated radio. She is the author of twelve New York Times bestsellers, writes a daily blog, and is a regular Newsmax columnist. She is heard daily on Sirius/XM Channel 155 live, and her program is streamed and podcast on Dr. Schlessinger has her own YouTube Channel ( She is also the skipper and driver of a racing sailboat program that won the 2010 international race from Newport Beach to Cabo San Lucas. She and her husband live in Southern California.

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Parenthood by Proxy 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I essentially agree with Dr. Laura's stance on child-rearing and parenting. But, unfortunately, in this book she is so hellbent on making her point that she regularly cites blatantly bias sources that completely undermine any chances of winning over 'non-believers'. (Too bad--she has so many good and legitimate references here as well.) And then there's the length! All Schlessinger does for 10+ hours is whine and harang and harang and harang and harang and harang. Would've been nice if she'd taken some time to offer up some solutions. Dr. Laura's written some great books, but have the aspirin--and a stiff drink--handy if you're gonna listen to this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Quotes and notes from too many other sources make up this book and takes up way too much of my time. Little time that I have to read, I'd rather feel ok about parenting and less about who's right and where the source came from. Way too dry and repeated phrases she first tells us not to do than a few pages further down - tells us to do it. Come on Laura, can't you just speak for yourself and step down off of your mountain? Who cares when you share why you think you walk while others balk? How about finding a new way to present good basic ideas without putting everyone in the same boat but only you having a life preserver.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you listen to Dr.Laura's radio show then you know how she feels about raising children being your number one priority, and how daycare is detrimental.She is not just giving off her opinion in this book, she is backing up her feelings and beliefs with references and factual data, including reputable studies.Her top priority in the book is children and doing right by them and explaining that being their primary caregiver is the best way to do that.I enjoyed the book and thought she explained things in such a way that someone who may differ in opinion would not be offended by it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wondered how Dr. Laura would be able to write an entire book on this subject and, quite honestly, she doesn't She has a lot of help from other media sources as page after page is supplemented with quotes, studies and excerpts from articles. It is tough to get through but when she does get to her own writing, beliefs and principles, she's at her best. I recommend it because I believe in her message.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you listen to Dr. Laura regularly on her radio show, you already know what she is going to write in this book. But, it is interesting how she demonstrates how little support there is out there for stay-at-home parents and the family in general in our society. Basically this book is a bunch of quotes that make the pungent point over and over again that we need to put our kids before everything else. Something that I many people in our 'me-first' society seem to have forgotten. Would be a great baby shower gift (if you have the guts!)...