"What an extraordinary difference there was between a body full of person and a body that was empty. And the difference, the thing that had gone out of the stinking Mexican bandit, was greater than all of Mexico."
Ian Fleming (via his character, "James Bond") reflecting on the magnitude of the soul in his book, "Goldfinger."


"As long as you have fear, it is sometimes inevitable that you experience what you fear in order to lose the fear. If you desire health in a spirit of fearing sickness, you prevent health. If you fear the aging process, you prevent eternal youth. If you fear loneliness, you prevent real companionship. If you fear companionship, you prevent self-containment. So it goes on and on. If you fear poverty, you prevent abundance."



Emily Yoffe in her "Dear Prudence" column today responded to a reader who wrote in that her husband had a two year affair with their 20-something nanny. I couldn't resist responding in a comment to the exchange.  The question, Yoffe's reponse and my comment follow:
Q. Stopping Former Nanny From Sleeping With Other Dads: My children attended a wonderful preschool until they turned 5. When our youngest child left the preschool my husband and I hired their favorite caretaker, twentysomething Kate, to be their part-time nanny. Over the past three years, Kate has practically become part of our family. Last year, I wrote her a recommendation that helped her gain entry into a prestigious special-education college program. Last week, I found out Kate and my husband have been carrying on an affair for two years. I don't know yet if my marriage will be salvageable, but Kate is no longer working for us. I know Kate wants to continue to work as a child care provider. I think that if most moms and facilities knew about her past, they wouldn't give her the time of day. I'm also worried she'll betray other families the way she betrayed mine. I'm not sure how to make sure she doesn't work in a child care setting without going down a seriously psychotic path, like mass-emailing every day care in our city. Should I do my best to forget about Kate? Or is there a sane and justified way I can keep her from hurting other families?

A: How horrible to find you've brought such a viper into your home. The pain of this infidelity is magnified by the intimacy Kate has been granted to your family, and by finding out you are living the most tawdry of domestic clich├ęs. You have a lot facing you. You must deal with this betrayal, decide the future of your marriage, and look out for your children's emotional well-being. That means there's no room in your life for Kate. (Remember the real miscreant here is your husband. He either initiated the affair or came hither in response to her come-hither glances.) Of course you'd like to have a disclaimer follow Kate for life: "Hire her and she'll screw your husband." You'd probably like to see it posted on the entrance gates to her college. But you need to focus on what you can control, not how to exact revenge against the babysitter. However, if she works her way through college by working for other families, and one happens to call you for a reference, you can succinctly explain the reason you had to let Kate go.

PL: Oh please! I'm a grown-up, sexually vibrant 50-something man and I can't imagine carrying on an affair with a 20-something nanny. You know why? Because my 50-something wife and I have worked on ourselves and worked on our marriage throughout the years to keep it thriving. We have a great sex-life and a high level of open communication that would make it absurd for one of us to have an affair - in our own home, no less! - without the other knowing. Stop using words like "betrayal" to create the illusion of victimhood when the people in question, mainly the older married couple, are clearly not taking responsibility for what's amiss in the relationship. The nanny did them a favor.
Peter Loffredo, LCSW 


"Questions like whether to breast-feed or bottle-feed, or at what age to introduce solid foods, though still important, no longer carry the same urgency. Attachment theory suggests that babies thrive emotionally because of the overall quality of the care they've experienced, not because of specific techniques. A bottle-fed baby whose mother is sensitively attuned will do better than a breastfed baby whose mother is mechanical and distant."
(Psychologists Mary Ainsworth and John Bowlby, FOUNDERS OF THE ATTACHMENT PARENTING METHOD!)
I don't know, she doesn't look "mechanical and distant," does she?!


Now, THIS is not only funny, but it hits the nail right on the head as only humor can when exposing the preposterous truth!



Yep. This is from an ad by OREO COOKIES that ran in South Korea with the caption: "Milk's Favorite Cookie!"

I didn't make this up. GO HERE to read the story.


In case the implications of my positions expressed in many posts on this blog over the last few years on the subject of parenting aren't clear, in case I haven't directly said where I think things must lead if human beings are indeed evolving towards that "Highly Enlightened Society" mentioned in the "Conversation With God" books, let me state it now for the record, as such:

Parents are the least qualified of all adults to raise children.

Now, of course, I am saying it in that way somewhat for tongue-in-cheek impact, but here's what I genuinely and specifically mean - getting pregnant requires no further act beyond having sexual intercourse, maybe even only once, during the time when a woman is ovulating. That's it. Period. And once pregnant, if a decision is made to take the pregnancy to term and have a child, parenting does not have the prerequisites in our society's 3-dimensional value system and sensibilities that things like getting a job does, or that even driving a car does. In fact, you don't need a degree in anything, nor do you need a license or to have passed a test of any sort to become a parent. You do not even have to be of sound mind or body to become a parent; you don't have to be mature or wise or educated, including in sexuality or contraception, anatomy, child-development or child-rearing, and you certainly do not have to be self-actualized to become a parent in our society. All you literally have to do, then, to become a parent is fuck somebody, get pregnant and have the baby. Voila! Instant parent.

In Conversations With God, the "radical" statement is made that in a Highly Enlightened Society, the young would bear the children and the elders would raise them. Think about that! Really! 

You see, as both as a seasoned parent and as a psychotherapist and expert in childhood development, I can tell you that a young parent (i.e. - under 40) has only youthful energy to offer a child, as in the ability to play soccer with them, which is basically no different than what a child can get from its own peers. On the other hand, a self-actualized older adult has wisdom to offer, experience, groundedness in life, and the ability to actually guide a child through some of life's mazes, something, in other words that a child can't get from its peers.

And PLEASE, don't use the "L" word with me! I have seen way too much abuse and exploitation of children by biological parents, and even more narcissistic, vicarious acting out through children by biological parents, all who claim to "love" their kids. I know too much to be fooled into thinking that love for a child is biological and restricted to "natural" parents. 


Love is a universal force that comes through someone who has opened that channel, and it comes in greater quantities as a function of sincere self-work and self-actualization, not from genetics or "blood."

Some who've read my strong opinions on these subjects over the years have tried to suggest that I just don't like children. Quite the contrary. I love children. That's why I am so vociferous, see? 

It's parents I don't like.

Why? Because almost none who become parents do so because they are actualized and gratified in their well-lived lives, so in love with their romantic partner, and so loving of themselves, that they experience the calling of another soul wanting to come through them and be born into this world and go with that flow from that place. That would be quite beautiful, wouldn't it? 

You see, a parent starting from that place, doesn't idealize and project and transfer onto a child. That parent allows love to flow through them to the child, but that parent also knows that raising a child is a job that requires as professional an approach as their career, with as much clarity and focus and planning, and with as much time away from the job as necessary to replenish oneself. A common and sure sign of dysfunctional parenting is when you hear the pseudo-superdedicated Park Slope-type parents talk with sighs about how their sex lives are on on hold because they have kids. 


Too bad for those kids, huh?

Okay, folks, I think I'm done for now. I hope I've made my positions on the matter of parenting a bit clearer, and thank you and congratulations to all the adults among you that have chosen to express your generativity by giving back to the world in ways other than adding to the population.


Below is a letter [edited] I wrote to the NY Times in September of 1999... twelve and a half years ago! I was very chagrined at the time by the way the media and people in general would respond to the horror of shootings of children by children, such as in the infamous Columbine and Scottsboro killings in the 90's. The typical story line would be that these killer kids were otherwise normal, just "shy" or "quiet" until they inexplicably turned murderous.

"Nonsense!" was my position. Apparently, this position of mine was so radical that I got a call from one Barry Farber, a nationally syndicated conservative radio host and author, asking me to be on his national radio show. On the show, I basically said that psychopathy and its lethal subdivision, sociopathy, are not subtle disorders, nor difficult to diagnose if one really wanted to look. A psychopathic character structure in progress is already being formed by the age of 4, and is certainly discernible to any astute parent or clinician. [My version of the Psychopathic Character Structure chart can be found HERE.) The numbness to pain, the cold sadism, the disconnectedness from emotions, the lack of tears, etc. Barry was so impressed by my supposedly avant garde "theory" that he proclaimed on the air that I should head a President's commission on the subject!

Cut to today, Mother's Day, 2012, and guess what? I'm not living in Washington, D.C., but still shaking my head at parents and the so-called experts in my profession. But as is so often the case, years later, the experts are starting to catch on. Yep. There is a featured article in the NY Times Magazine section today entitled: "Can You Call A 9-Year-Old A Psychopath?!"

Here's a funny excerpt:

"Currently, there is no standard test for psychopathy in children, but a growing number of psychologists believe that psychopathy, like autism, is a distinct neurological condition — one that can be identified in children as young as 5. Crucial to this diagnosis are callous-unemotional traits, which most researchers now believe distinguish “fledgling psychopaths” from children with ordinaryconduct disorder, who are also impulsive and hard to control and exhibit hostile or violent behavior. According to some studies, roughly one-third of children with severe behavioral problems — like the aggressive disobedience that Michael displays — also test above normal on callous-unemotional traits. (Narcissism and impulsivity, which are part of the adult diagnostic criteria, are difficult to apply to children, who are narcissistic and impulsive by nature.)"


Here's my rather neutered letter from 1999: 

"The Shooting Spree Next Door"
Published: September 19, 1999
To the Editor:
As a psychotherapist who works with people afflicted with psychopathic disorders, I was disheartened by your implication that it is a kind of wishful thinking on the part of society to believe that shootings like the one in Fort Worth, Tex., can have a discernible psychological pathology, and therefore, a possible cure (editorial, Sept. 17). Rather, you say, ''there is only one overriding pathology, and it is guns.''
In fact, the psychopathy that can lead to such shootings is generally understood by mental health professionals to be a psychiatric disorder marked by a lack of empathy for other living beings and a numbness in general to feelings, combined with paranoid and grandiose delusional thinking that, unlike typical psychosis, can be hidden from the untrained eye behind a seemingly appropriate, acceptable facade.
Requiring mental and emotional evaluations as often as we require physical exams for school-age children would be a lot more practical and appropriate than focusing on eliminating guns through the legal system.


Over a year ago, I wrote a piece for the FPL blog entitled, "HAVING CHILDREN? GET A DIVORCE!" It spun off an article by Elizabeth LaMotte, LCSW, called, "DIVORCE'S LITTLE SECRET", in which she outlined the benefits to parents of being in a divorced situation.

Today, in the Huffington Post, there is a piece entitled, "Divorce And Kids: 5 Ways Divorce Benefits Kids", by Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D., in which Dr. Bennett outlines divorces benefits to children.

Both of these articles are worth reading, folks. Really.

The point is, and my regular readers are very familiar with my observations on these matters, most people's reasons for getting married and having kids are at best flawed, generally suspect, and motivated by the compulsions of character structure and ego, so of course, marriage and parenting as we've institutionally constructed them are disasters. If the goal of marriage is to enhance love, Eros and sex between two people in love, and if the goal of parenting is to facilitate the self-actualization of growing human beings, then by even the lowest bar, marriage and parenting are abject failures

None of the traditional, structured aspects of marriage and parenting support healthy development or selfhood. If they did, we would have a lot of happy adults running things instead of the psychopaths, crooks and liars we currently have, and healthy, happy, joyfully expressive children would populate our schoolyards instead of the hyper, depressed, medicated version of kids we currently have, right?! 

And don't be fooled - none of the supposed "non-traditional" approaches to the above, such as stilted variations of polyamory, where "puppy piles" pass for actual openness and intimacy, or the nearly psychotic concept of hip parenting currently in the news, "Attachment Parenting," support growth either, because they are merely disguised ways to mask massive schizoid disconnection and rampant co-dependence.

There are no substitutes for the real things in life, folks. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not only our inalienable rights, they are the road to creating a world where peace, prosperity and harmony rule, but you cannot get there by avoiding the self-work necessary to clear away the mental and emotional debris of your character structures... and everybody has a character structure... unless you were born on another planet.

Meanwhile, if you're married or have kids, and are still refusing to do the self-work, at least think about splitting up. If you're not married with kids... well, you get it. I hope!



It’s over. Bird is packing up his gear on the bench. Two hot chicks - one black, one white - are waiting for him nearby. The rest of City Rock is milling about the parking lot.

You must be Bird.

The big man turns around to see the reporter. Bird just sniffs at him.

JASON (cont’d)
My name’s Jason Lamb. Maybe you heard of me?

Bird sniffs again.

JASON (cont’d)
Reporter for the Post. Anyway, Bird... can I call you Bird? Anyway, I’m doing a story on this... softball craze for Father’s Day, so I thought maybe I could interview you. Might even get your picture in the paper.

Ain’t got no father...

Uh... oh... well, still...

(brightening slightly)
But I got kids. You could put their picture in the paper.

Oh... yeah, that’s a great idea!

I was gonna bring ‘em to the game for Father’s Day.

You got it! Great!
(taking out his pad)
So let me ask you a few questions...

Hey, you’re from the Post, right?

They see the ever-wired Rick come bounding over.

RICK (cont’d)
Jason Lamb, right? Man, I LOVE the way you HATE the Yankees.

He shakes Jason’s hand too vigorously.

RICK (cont’d)
Rick Berg. Copy Editor at Playtime Magazine. You writing about City Rock?

About the softball thing, and I’m gonna feature Mr. Bird here.

ELI (O.S.)

They all turn around to see Eli, City Rock’s resident macho rooster, strutting over.

ELI (cont’d)
Not taking anything away from the big guy, but no story on City Rock would be complete without a little coverage of their star pitcher... who also happens to be the owner of the best Cadillac dealership in Sunnyside, Queens!

Eli looks to his young nerdy sidekick, JEFFREY, for validation.

Yep. That’s our Coupe De Ville right over there!

Our Coupe De Ville?!

Oh... yeah, right. And you are?

Eli. Like I said, owner of...

The best Cadillac dealership...

In Sunnyside, Queens.


You got that right.


Come on, guys! Do some field research, will ya?!

HERE is another article on the "existence of the G-spot" debate!



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