- Family and Parenting
Dr. Laura ism's
Dr. Laura Schessinger
I listened to Dr. Laura way back in the day on AM radio. This was before I had ever married, or had a child.
OK, let's face it, I didn't know jack shit back then, but I certainly thought I did. Or at least I tried to let the world think I did
- know jack shit that is.
And I certainly had an opinion about Dr. Laura. Can we say beee aaaah tch!
Well not back then, that phrase wasn't even around.
Why did I think she was a beee aaaah tch?
You know back then - I honestly don't even remember what I thought of her ideas, suggestions or advise. I just remember being completely turned off by how blunt she was with her callers. Being the people pleaser that I was I could not possibly imagine coming across to anyone in this way.
The hear and now
Hearing Dr. Laura now, I realize I'm like a lot of people who call in and tell her, "I just found you again on Sirius!"
Just to be clear, I don't agree with Dr. Laura on every issue, like her political points of view, and a few other hot button issues.
But I LOVE what she has to say about relationships, kids and family.
So now, rather than just hearing her, I am actually listening to the Dr. Laura show.
Here are my five favorite Dr. Laura ism's
"Choose wisely, treat kindly"
Choose wisely when choosing a spouse, then treat kindly.
Now choosing wisely means making an educated choice, which means asking questions, having discussions and learning about the other person.
Did I take the time to learn about the other person? Did I ask questions? Uh... not really, no. My main driving force was - are you ready - LUST. You never acted on this impulse? Really? Never?
It wasn't until Hubby number 3 that I took my time and asked questions. Thing one and Thing two husbands? Well lets just leave it at that.
"I am my husband's girlfriend"
Dr. Laura says, "From their mothers to their girlfriends to their wives, men look to women for attention, affection and approval. That's why women have all the power in relationships..."
"She's my woman. He's my man."
I love when Dr. Laura uses these terms. It implies ownership, not in a possessive way, but in a protective way. When you treat kindly, and yet look out for the needs of "your man," how tempted will he be to stray?
Some women even go so far as to say, "I am my husband's sex kitten" Now what man wouldn't LOVE that!!
So listen up Bee aaah tch's! Once you realize this is true, it's easier to treat kindly
"I am my kids mom"
This is really the most important one in my book. Especially since there are so many of us that have screwed up in the marriage department.
Which screws up the kidlets.
Actually, this is my most favorite thing about Dr. Laura. This Bee aaah tch not only believes that children come first, she points out all of the ways we may think we are putting our children first, when we are not.
No institutionalized day care, or even Pre-K. Children need full time mommies. That's what it means to be your kid's mom.
Many mom callers point out how scared they are to quit working. Dr. Laura very adamantly points out that children confront scary things every day. Going to school is scary, stepping up to bat the ball, playing a piece at the piano recital, not coming in last at the swim meet, getting teased by other kids, getting ready for school by themselves.
SO many things that are scary for children. COME ON PEOPLE! Put yourself in the child's place.
She is absolutely right about this one.
"Divorced with minor children? Don't date, have sex or marry until the children turn 18"
Don't date, and especially don't get married. Dr. Laura points out the divorce rate among 2nd marriages is 70%!
I'm all fine with statistics, but the real point here is that dating, second marriages and step parenting is NOT the way to "Put the children first."
Imagine being a kid. Dad has a new wife and kids, they're with him all the time and now I have to share him with them at my "visits." To make matters worse, I have to listen to the new wife, abide by her rules, show respect, etc. Yukk! My feelings hurt just thinking of this.
And if mom re-marries? Some new dude that I have to share the TV, the hot water, the kitchen and the time I had with mom, and now I have to follow his lead? Yeah right. Good Gawd! What if he walks in on me in the bathroom!
Oh Chickens and Biscuits!! Now they're having a kid of their own! Well where the hell do I fit in?
Best scenario, stay in the marriage until the kids are 18 and out. If you have to get divorced then focus on the kids only.
Why do we feel it's OK to put our social life or our sex life for gods sake, above our children?
"Blood is NOT thicker than morality"
I love, love, love this quote. So many people call in that have problems with Aunt Bridget the alcoholic, or Brother Bartholomew who rages at people. What about Uncle Farthead the pedophile?
You DON'T have to be around these people, just because they are family. Will other family members be upset? Yep - oh well.
On more than one occasion I've heard Dr. Laura reference Charles Manson, "If he was your brother would you still go to the wedding?"
Especially don't bring the kids around to these events. Why would you put them in the position of having to experience the alcoholism or raging? Or chancing it with the swept under the rug pedophile?
Don't have kids and you HAVE to go? "Smile and be nice"
The main message being - don't get so invested! If you go to a family event and you know there's going to be trouble, don't argue.
When I was a bartender I was taught to never argue with a drunk. "There's an alien in the corner with an elephant? Oh, that's nice. No I'm sorry you can't have another drink."
"Now go do the right thing."
Dr. Laura closes the show with this comment. How hard is it to do the right thing?
Well it can actually be pretty confusing. We may think we are doing the right thing, especially when you figure in all the messages that society gives us.
How many people have thought they had to get divorced because children don't want to see there parents unhappy? We fool ourselves into thinking little Salmon will be happier when parents have an additional spouse and he goes from an in tact family to visits with his own parents.
Adults who have children should be mature enough to know how NOT to let the kids see they're unhappy. Putting the kidlets first, that would be the right thing.
Society has consistently given the message that working moms are OK. Day care is OK. No matter how much little Apple cries when you leave her at daycare.
Society easily accepts that step parenting is normal for children.
Oh that Bee aaah tch, ahem, Dr. Laura - she seems to have a handle on doing the right thing.
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OK, it was a little over five
But who's counting?
Learning the hard way
If I'd have tuned in to that Bee aaah tch years back, would things be different? Probably.
In fact if I had tuned in prior to getting married to Thing One or Thing Two, or prior to having a child, I'm certain she would have helped me a lot.
If you've ever called Dr. Laura and been on her program, I would love to hear from you.
Now go do the right thing.