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Jewish World Review /Dec. 18, 1998 /29 Kislev, 5759

Dr. Laura

Dr. Laura Parents afraid of firm values leave their children adrift

"STRIPPER ACCUSED OF FONDLING GIRLS AT PARTY" was the headline on an Associated Press story released Thanksgiving week. A male stripper was arrested on felony lewd conduct charges, accused of fondling at least four female teen-agers during his routine.

Well, how disgusting. What a creep! Hang him up by his G-string! But wait a minute. How did this naked guy force himself on FOUR girls in a room of 50? Wouldn't the other girls come to the rescue?

Then, an even more important question: What was a male stripper doing at a party for 15-year-old girls anyway?

Keep reading the story, and you get to the word "chaperoned." It turns out this party was at the HOME of one of the girls, and her mother helped orchestrate this paid event, billed as "Girls Night Out" on leaflets distributed at the high school. There was a charge for admission. The evidence is clearly represented by party photos taken of the night's festivities.

The events included one young "lady" who paid the stripper $20 for the privilege of performing oral sex on him. (I wonder if the stripper's defense attorney will use the definition of sex from President Bill Clinton's personal lexicon. "Look, Mom, no hands," meaning the stripper may have been "inappropriate," but this can't be called "sex.")

Partygoers told the police that the mother was involved in hiring the stripper. The mother says her daughter hired him without her knowledge. One thing for sure, the mother was there for the events and didn't stop them. The mother, by the way, is being arraigned on a felony charge of exposing minors to lewd material. Amen!

After reading the whole story, I frankly found the headline shocking. The main point to the headline writer was the male stripper fondling "girls" ---- as though he assaulted innocent minors. That is clearly misleading and diminishes the true horror of the incident. A parent of teen-age girls thought it was acceptable to throw a prepaid party with a male stripper and stood by while one guest paid to perform a "Monica" on him, as though this were a variation on bobbing for apples.

When the mother was confronted, her defense was that she "only let him continue his act to avoid embarrassing her daughter." Can you believe that? The mother cooperated in this disgusting situation in order that her daughter would not feel embarrassed? Yet she wasn't embarrassed to provide a paid-for-hire naked guy, gyrating vulgarly, finally prostituting himself as public entertainment for a bunch of immodest, inappropriately sexualized, immature girls?

Something frightening has happened to family culture when parents are more worried about their children's image, social status, peer acceptance and immediate sense of happiness than their children's values and morals. A significant portion of our nation's parents are more focused on their children's happiness than on their character development.

Not only does this shocking event underscore this fact, I hear it every day on my radio program. Parents call to ask:

"Should I report my adult son/daughter to the police for forging my signature on checks?"

"Should I pay for my 17-year-old daughter's 20-year-old boyfriend to come live here? She is so unhappy without him."

"Should I get my 16-year-old daughter breast implants? She'd be so much happier."

"Should I tell my drug-abusing 18-year-old son who brings home girls overnight that he needs to move out? I'm afraid he's a bad influence on the younger children."

"Should I get an attorney and fight my daughter's high school for barring her from graduation because she broke the rules and got drunk with her prom friends? I don't want her to miss graduation."

In all cases the parents tell me that they are loath to make their kids "unhappy," diminish their "self-esteem" or hurt the parent-child "rapport." I remind them that the only thing which stands between the rest of society and a self-centered, undisciplined, disrespectful, characterless human being is a parent willing to accede to behavior that would not have been tolerated by parents even a generation ago.

This deplorable and destructive situation is due to several factors. Parents afraid to exercise authority and dictate right and wrong are examples of tolerance run amok. Not all behavior is created equal, unlike people, who are. Their fear is due to their guilt about providing chaotic lives for their children with broken homes, full-time day care, shacking up, frequent moves, and their own self-centered careers and lifestyles.

Where adults do not value obligation and sacrifice, children never learn to elevate their own lives through self-discipline and adherence to values. Left on their own, they become potential cast members for "Lord of the Flies."


12/11/98: Spread righteousness by refusing to accept the 'code'

©1998,Universal Press Syndicate