Parenthood by Proxy: Don't Have Them If You Won't Raise Them

Parenthood by Proxy: Don't Have Them If You Won't Raise Them

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by Laura Schlessinger, Dr. 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

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Overview

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.

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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

ISBN-13:
9780694523214
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/25/2000
Edition description:
Abridged, 2 CDs
Product dimensions:
5.72(w) x 4.96(h) x 1.03(d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a licensed marriage and family therapist, the author of ten New York Times bestsellers, and a regular columnist for NewsMax. She is the number one female talk-show host and the third-most-listened-to talk-show host in America. Her award-winning radio program is heard on more than 250 stations internationally, XM Satellite Radio, and the Armed Forces Network, and is streamed and podcast on her website and YouTube channel. She lives in Southern California with her husband.

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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?

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