Mac Miller’s Parents Will Attend Grammys, Accept Award If He Wins

Mac Miller’s presence will be felt at the Grammy Awards, and not only through his music … we’ve learned the late rapper’s family will represent Mac at next month’s ceremony. Sources close to Mac’s fam tell TMZ … his parents will attend the…

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TMZ Celebrity News for Music


Parents, Alleged Victims of R. Kelly Take Chicago Prosecutor Up on Offer

At least 1 alleged victim of R. Kelly and families of 2 other alleged spoke Tuesday night, planning to present Chicago prosecutors with what they believe is sufficient evidence to prosecute the singer for sexual abuse and other crimes … TMZ has…

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TMZ Celebrity News for Celebrity Justice


Khloe Kardashian and Other Stars Celebrate Their First Christmas as Parents

True Thompson, Instagram, Christmas 2018It’s baby’s first Christmas!
Khloe Kardashian, Eva Longoria, John Stamos and Gabrielle Union are among stars who are celebrating their first Christmas as…


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Teen Mom OG‘s Maci Had An Emotional Breakthrough With Ryan’s Parents

Maci had a touching talk with Jen and Larry over their shared love for Ryan on the ‘Teen Mom OG’ finale.
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How to American: An Immigrant’s Guide to Disappointing Your Parents (Unabridged) – Jimmy O. Yang & Mike Judge – foreword

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How to American: An Immigrant’s Guide to Disappointing Your Parents (Unabridged)

Jimmy O. Yang & Mike Judge – foreword

Genre: Comedy

Price: $ 24.95

Publish Date: March 13, 2018

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Dating Guidelines For Single Parents

As a responsible parent, you’ll want to be very cautious about whom you date and eventually bring home for the safety and well-being of your child(ren). You may feel guilty or unsure about whether dating is OK. Of course it is, as long as you do it responsibly, and your children are not disrupted by your dating.
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Now Google Assistant Can Call Your Parents

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Actress Allison Mack Is Released To Her Parents On $5 Million Bail In Sex Trafficking Case

Mack is not allowed any contact with members of the alleged Nxivm cult.
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Marjory Stoneman Douglas Parents Freaked Out Over New Gun Threat

A student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School made threats with a gun and ammunition against another student, and parents want to know if more danger lurks on campus … yet the school has gone radio silent. A student at the school posted these…

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TMZ Celebrity News for Celebrity Justice


Even If You Live With Your Parents You Will Attract Tons of Hot Girls If You Overcome This Pitfall

Living with your parents doesn’t automatically make you a looser, just as having your own place doesn’t automatically make you an alpha-male. A loser with his own place is still a loser. An alpha male owns his life not real estate.
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Meet the Parents – Jay Roach

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Meet the Parents

Jay Roach

Genre: Comedy

Price: $ 4.99

Release Date: October 6, 2000


Male nurse Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) is poised to propose to his girlfriend Pam (Teri Polo) during a weekend stay at her parents' home. But here's the catch… he needs to ask her father first. Alas, the fur flies as Jack Byrnes, Pam's cat-crazy, ex-CIA father, played hysterically by Academy Award winner Robert De Niro, takes an immediate dislike to her less-than-truthful beau. Greg's quest for approval gets seriously sidetracked as Murphy's Law takes over and a hilarious string of mishaps turns him into a master of disaster and total pariah in the eyes of the entire family… all except his shell-shocked girlfriend, who can't believe she still loves her one-man wrecking crew. Meet the Parents, from the director of Austin Powers, is an uproarious blockbuster hit that bombards you with one laugh after another, as true love tries to conquer all, against all odds.

© © 2000 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

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George & Amal Clooney, Parents’ Night Out In Italy

George and Amal Clooney took a break from baby duty Sunday night and decided to go to a restaurant that rivals their fame. George and Amal hit up Harry’s Bar at the Piazza Risorgimento in Lake Como. She looks amazing … remember, she dropped the…

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Live Nation Sued By Parents of Hard Fest Concertgoer who OD’d on Molly

Live Nation put on a huge music festival knowing it would become a drug-fueled rave — caring more about money than attendee safety — and now a 22-year-old girl is dead because of it … according to a new suit. The parents of Roxanne Ngo, who died…

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Parents of alleged R. Kelly ‘victim’ speak out

A couple who claim their daughter is having a sexual relationship with R. Kelly, and that she is being manipulated by him into cutting off contact with the outside world, have responded to a video of her denying she’s being held by the Grammy-award winning singer.


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‘Love these people while you can’: See Aziz Ansari’s touching tribute to parents

Aziz Ansari’s real-life parents appear in his acclaimed new Netflix comedy, and the comedian took to Instagram to express his gratitude with a heartfelt message.


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Record Numbers Of Millennials Are Living With Their Parents

More millennials are living at home than since 1940, according to new data from The Pew Research Center.
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Article: Eli Manning Drops Off Dirty Game-Day Uniforms At Parents’ House

NEW ORLEANS—Retrieving a duffel bag full of his stained, fetid clothing from his trunk, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning dropped off all of his dirty game-day uniforms at his parents’ house Monday to be cleaned for the following week. “I usually stop at home once a week with all my dirty clothes from football, and then my mom washes and folds everything for me,” said Manning, adding that his mother makes sure he has enough clean socks to wear until his next visit. “I tried doing it myself my rookie year, but I accidentally bleached my home jersey, so I just have my mom do it since she knows about all the temperature settings on the washer and the right detergents to use and all that stuff. And before I leave, she always packs a bunch of frozen home-cooked meals for my road games. It’s great.” Manning …




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Andy Cohen And His Parents Share His Coming Out Story

Andy Cohen marked National Coming Out Day by interviewing his parents, Ev and Lou, on SiriusXM’s Andy Radio” this weekend. On the debut installment of “Free Advice with Ev & Lou Cohen,” the Cohens looked back at what happened when Andy first identified as gay. 

The Bravo TV personality, 47, turned introspective in the interview as his mother recalled suspecting her son might be gay after she saw him performing in the musical “Carousel.” Later, she uncovered gay porn under Andy’s bed and an emotional letter in which he’d opened up about his sexuality to a friend. 

Eventually, Ev confronted Andy, but asked her son to say the words out loud, ”because that made it real.” 

Pointing to Andy’s “dramatic” female friends, she joked, “I never would’ve liked your wife anyway.” 

Later in the interview, Ev Cohen revealed she had a difficult time accepting her son’s sexuality for about six months after he came out, and sought help from a psychiatrist. 

“It was 1989, and everybody — all these young men — were dying of AIDS, and I was worried you were gonna get AIDS,” she told Andy. “I had to mourn my expectations that you’d get married, that you’d have children. At that time, those were not possible.”

A good friend’s words quickly changed her mind, however, and Ev has been supportive of her son, as well as active in the gay community, ever since. 

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Gay Voices – The Huffington Post

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My Parents Were Consciously Uncoupling Before It Was A Thing

My parents were consciously uncoupling before conscious uncoupling was a thing, and they didn’t wait to be divorced to do it. Throughout their 21-year marriage, they never fought, at least not in front of my sister and me. Our home felt safe and stable.

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Divorce – The Huffington Post

Need to File for a Divorce!

How A 6-Year-Old Viewed Her Parents’ Divorce — And How It Affects Her Today

“When My Parents Split Up” is a HuffPost series that explores what it’s like to have your parents divorce at all ages, from infancy to adulthood. Want to share your experience as a child of divorce? Email us at divorce@huffingtonpost.com.

Maegan Ellicott was about six when her parents divorced. She can barely recall a time when they were married and her family was all under one roof. What she does remember is how hard her mom and dad tried to put the needs of their daughters first after the separation.

“It wasn’t perfect and it was still a very difficult experience for me and my family but I know how lucky my older sister and I were to have parents that handled divorce the way they did,” Elicott, 29, told The Huffington Post recently. 

Below, the Alaska resident shares how her parents were able to keep the peace — and how the split affected her views on marriage and long-term relationships. 

Breaking The News:

“I actually don’t recall how they broke the news; I don’t remember them discussing it with me and my sister or my Dad moving out. I do remember my Dad finding an apartment about a mile from the house we grew up in. I’m not sure if my lack of memories of this time period is because of my young age or because I simply don’t want to remember. My sister was 12 when they divorced and has told me they sat us down in the living room and discussed it with us very calmly.”

The Custody Arrangement:

“My parents had a fairly odd custody arrangement — they really tried to keep it 50/50. I spent Monday night to Wednesday morning at my Dad’s house. On Wednesday afternoon I went home from school with my Mom until Friday morning. I swapped houses every other weekend. Of course changing houses mid-school week meant I left a lot of things at houses — this brought my parents into a lot of contact. They also traded most holidays. The only thing set in stone was my Dad had Christmas Eve and my Mom had Christmas morning. And they both were sure to attend my birthday parties.”

The First Few Years:

“The constant moving back and forth was very confusing for many of my friends (especially because this was before smart phones and quick contact!) but I really don’t remember having problems with it. Kids are very adaptable. I remember having friends and later step-sisters (when my dad remarried) that only stayed every other weekend with their dads. I felt bad that they spent so little time with them. My parents worked hard to have a good relationship; I am sure it was incredibly difficult and painful for both of them but I have no memory of them fighting ever. My parents never complained about the other to me and I am so appreciative of that today.

 My Dad remarried when I was 10  and my Mom did the same when I was 13. Each time I gained two step-siblings. I think the fact that I was so young when they came into my family allowed me to really bond with them and grow up with them. I appreciate how fluid and flexible my family is and how distinctions based on birth parents were never important.”

 The Impact:

“I’ve realized that some of my views on relationships were definitely influenced by my parents’ divorce. I don’t value marriage at all. I have no desire to marry and do not see it as something to aspire to. I don’t think I ever dreamed of my wedding day like they say little girls do. This is not to say I don’t think you can be in a committed relationship but I don’t find marriage any more special than a committed relationship. It could all be because of the divorce or it could just be me. I guess I just don’t see it as necessarily permanent. I know it can be — my grandparents have been married 60+ years and are still very happy.  I just don’t desire it for myself. If someday I meet a person to whom marriage is really important I would consider it but I would prefer to just elope or go to a courthouse if that happened.” 

Her Relationship With Her Parents Today:

“Both my parents have been in their second marriages for approximately 20 years now and I am so lucky to have such a wonderful large family that gets along. All my major life events have been celebrated with both sides of my family present. When I graduated from my Master’s program, my Dad, stepmom and Mom all flew from California to Alaska for my graduation. We then traveled around Alaska for about a week together. For me it was normal, but I realize that many people can’t imagine a man traveling with his current and ex-wife without there being tension.

I’m visiting my family in a few months and today I woke up to an email from my stepmother telling everyone in the family when I would be home and that they would be hosting a family night while I’m there — included in the email was my Mom and her wife. Things like that mean the world to me.”

The Takeaway:

“Going from house to house was normal for me but my parents were also smart enough to get me in counseling very early and to continue it as needed throughout my childhood. It was so helpful. If you’re a parent reading this, know that while kids are very adaptable, it’s a good idea to find a child psychologist to talk to your children. It will help them work through all the changes in their lives.”

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Dr. Phil – The Huffington Post

To Date or Not to Date? For Divorced Parents, the Struggle Is Real

At a family dinner the other night, my cousin recounted a joke she played on me. Grace tried to embarrass me while I was pumping gas last week. I chatted with a woman on a different pump as she wiped the overflow of gasoline that spilled on her car. Grace lowered her window and called out “Honey! Are you almost finished? We don’t want to be late, sweetheart!”

My family is well aware of my history of pranking Grace. So, her story was well-received and had everyone laughing. That is, everyone except for my 11-year-old daughter, Gianna. Instead, Gianna jumped up, gave Grace a high-five and thanked her for ending my conversation. She continued to ask Grace to describe the woman I talked with and then thanked her again. I was surprised by Gianna’s response because her mother and I have been divorced for over four years. I guess she’s still not comfortable with the thought of her dad dating again. That’s understandable; adjusting to the fact that your parents are dating is difficult for most children. And it can be very intimidating for divorced parents as well.

In addition to the usual challenges that dating presents, divorced parents face three important questions:

1. Are you ready to begin dating?
2. Are your children ready for you to begin dating?
3. Are you ready to introduce your children to a new partner?

This article addresses these questions and offers tips to help you (and your children) transition through a difficult time. I expect some people will find it difficult to agree with my suggestions. After all, “Take things slowly with Mr. or Miss. Wonderful” is not advice that is easy to hear. That said, here are my general suggestions for dating after divorce.

Are You Ready to Begin Dating?

A divorce is probably one of the most painful and difficult experiences you will ever have. It can turn your life upside-down. Divorce involves separating your identity from your “other half” and starting life over again as a single person. And when you have children together, the difficulty is compounded by helping your children cope with their new reality. Healing takes time and a conscious effort.

I’m often asked to how long it takes to recover emotionally. While every situation is different, most people start to enjoy life again within six to 12 months after the divorce is final. Of course, that depends on the length of their marriage. Add one month to those numbers for every year of marriage after the first.

For many newly divorced parents, dating again is the last thing on their mind. Others believe that dating can help take the focus off their ex-partner and provide a needed boost in self-esteem. Either way, professionals suggest that divorced parents with school age children wait at least a year before they begin dating again. While dating again can be exciting and offer temporary distraction from your grief, beginning too soon may set you (and your children) up for more disappointment. What’s important is that you recognize when it’s too early to think about someone new. For a discussion on determining if you are ready to begin dating again, check out this article.

Are Your Children Ready?

Some parents are relieved to sign the divorce papers and feel like they can finally move on with life. But their children face a different reality. Legal finalization is often the beginning of the difficult family transitions they must handle. As parents move out of the marriage home and into separate residences, children face changes in daily routines as well as changes in supervision. Some will have to move from their primary home into a new neighborhood with different schools and peer groups. As a parent, you might experience relief and newfound freedom, but your children are just beginning to feel overwhelmed.

When you’ve decided that you’re emotionally ready to begin dating again, you’ll need to consider how difficult it will be for your children. If they’re having difficulty adjusting to their new life, adding another change will certainly complicate things.

Children find parental dating stressful for several reasons. Many will worry about having to share you with someone else. Others may be threatened and fear that if you fall in love, you’ll have less love for them. And for some children, the realization that their parents are dating again shatters any remaining hopes for their parents to reunite.

Your children are probably going to be anxious when you begin dating. That’s why it’s important to begin talking with your children and exploring their feelings before you sign up for your favorite online dating site. Invite them to talk about their fears, empathize with them, and validate their feelings. Reassurance that your love and care for them will not change goes a long way. So give them concrete examples of important family experiences that will always stay the same.

Should You Introduce Your New Partner to Your Children?

Most professionals recommend waiting until a relationship is serious before introducing your children. In my opinion, serious means you’ve been exclusively dating for at least six months and both see a future together. If you cannot see yourself with this person long term, it’s best skip that introduction.

When you’re ready, talk with your children about introducing them to your new partner. Plan a casual, but fun activity that your children will enjoy, tell them what to expect, and explain what you expect from them. Don’t be surprised if your children don’t take an immediate liking to your new friend. Take it slow and give your children the time they need to adjust. If you push the relationship on them too quickly, your plan will likely backfire and cause more problems.

The good news is your children want you to be happy. So, address their fears and give them some time. They will be happy about your new relationship too!

Have I missed any important considerations divorced parents face? Leave a comment and let’s start a discussion.

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Divorce – The Huffington Post

Need to File for a Divorce!

Man Says He Believes He Wrote Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’; Parents Say He’s Delusional

Riley, 23, insists he has written hundreds of songs for multiple artists, and even claims to have worked with Taylor Swift on “Shake It Off.”  

His parents, however, say they believe he’s delusional. And he is not credited on Taylor Swift’s — or any other famous musicians’ — songs that he claims to have written. 

“If his lips are moving, he’s pretty much lying,” says his mom, Robin, who turns to Dr. Phil for help on Monday’s show, “Our Son Claims He Is A Famous Songwriter: Could He Be Delusional Or A Master Manipulator?” 

In the video above, Dr. Phil tells Riley that he has known both Taylor and her mom for a number of years. “Is there any reason that she would tell me she’s never met you, heard of you, or worked with you on a song?” Dr. Phil asks. “Is there any reason you wouldn’t be listed on the song as a writer?” 

Riley at first sticks to his claim that he wrote “Shake it Off,” but, acknowledging that his former drug use may have affected his thinking, he says, “I definitely admit that there’s some questionable thought process going on … I’ve had to take into consideration that I might be wrong.” 

He adds, “I do believe that Taylor Swift and I are soul mates, and I love her with the kind of love that you would want forever and always.” 

What is this odd situation really all about? Could Riley just be manipulating those closest to him? Could his mom be enabling him? Find out as Dr. Phil attempts to unpack this bizarre story on Monday’s show. 

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Dr. Phil – The Huffington Post

Savvy Holidays Tips for Divorced Parents

How to Keep From Getting Into It With Your Ex

There is no time more sensitive for divorced parents and their children than around the holidays. And, the holidays are just around the corner. So how can you stay out of arguments and conflicts as you try to delicately navigate through this period — a time of the year when nostalgia fills the air, children are yanked back and forth, and feelings are often notoriously raw?

While holidays can be a difficult time because the season portends of a sense of idealism and hope (and you may not be riding that “goodwill” train) it’s important to keep a healthy perspective and some degree of objectivity. If you can do that, you can move through this period with a sense of good cheer and possibly some ease.. The following are some sensible tips on how to mitigate the tense situations that might have you going off on your ex and losing your cool:

1. Put the children first: Always! Despite the anger, resentment or hurt feelings you may be harboring, think about how any squabbling, tension or derogatory remarks about or to your ex will impact the kids. If you’re conscious of being a good role model (and you should be) that thought alone should keep you on the right track. Also, you don’t want the kids to blame you for being a Scrooge someday down the line because you decided to give your ex an earful while in the midst of a pick up or drop off. Sure, maybe it’s unfair he/she is trying to “out-gift” you or makes their holiday get together a bit more extravagant than yours, but think of the children. They often won’t voice how hard it is to enjoy the holidays in two different households, but in most instances it is. Think how you might make them feel if you get into it with your ex.

2. Find a constructive outlet to vent any negative feelings: This might include boxing lessons to volunteering for the needy at your local place of worship to indulging yourself in a guilty pleasure. I knew of one woman who would do her gift shopping with a philosophy of: One for them, one for me! To show the children she was gracious, she even purchased some small gifts for her ex and his new family (and for each purchase she bought one gift for herself!). Whatever you can do in a positive way to provide some levity or relief from the sorrow you may be feeling deep down; an activity, an act of charity or a different way of gift shopping just may help to stave off some of the negative feelings. And when it comes to giving some small, but thoughtful gift to your ex, it usually prompts him/her to be kinder.

3. Give all the way around: Notwithstanding the gifts to your ex and his/her family (it’s hard to be angry or derogatory toward anyone who gives you a gift during the holidays), try giving in other ways to keep the peace. Be flexible. If you are the militant type and want to keep to your regimented custody visitation schedule, for example, be willing to change it up a bit over the holidays. Doing so demonstrates to the children (and others) that you are truly in the spirit. Time share during the holidays with the kids is one of the biggest bones of contention. But, being generous with more give than take reinforces the true meaning of the holidays and what they stand for. Besides, such a gesture teaches the children a very valuable lesson — kindness, tolerance, strength….

4. Seek counseling: Lining up a trusted therapist or spiritual advisor who you can talk to on a regular basis as you move through this touchy period, is yet another means for staving off the urge to get into it with your ex. Though your advocate, this person is also the one who can talk some sense into you. He or she will likely make you think twice about saying the wrong thing to your ex or his or her family (especially in front of the kids). It is during these “advisor” sessions that you can really let loose. I knew a guy who booked sessions with his therapist every weekday from Thanksgiving through the New Year. He did this in order to have a safe haven to scream, cry or otherwise vent his hurt and frustration. In session, he would spout off everything he wanted to say to his ex and then some which made him feel better. He later told me that by the time he encountered his hostile ex he was so spent from his “venting” sessions he just handled her with a “whatever” attitude. His repetitive therapy paid off. The kids thought he was a hero for keeping his cool.

5. Look ahead: Keep your eye on that ball that falls on December 31 — the one that heralds in a New Year. Chances are you will feel a sense of relief and optimism as you look ahead, knowing that the holidays will soon be behind you and you can get back to what feels normal to you.

6. Re-purpose your energy: Being in a state of angst or frustration is draining; it takes a good deal of energy to maintain that state. Energy can be your best friend if you expend it positively. Take just one day as you approach the holidays — a day when you’re beginning to feel those angry or hopeless feelings you get as you anticipate the holidays — and track how much time and effort it has zapped from you. Instead of thinking of different negative scenarios you may encounter with your ex., think about ways to redecorate your living room; write that blog you promised you would do; contact your Congressperson with a letter of complaint…. There are countless ways to take the same energy and thought processes and do something else with them — something that is of benefit to you.

In sum, remember that warring with your ex during the holidays only causes more strife and discord. You want the opposite: A sense of peace and goodwill. It’s yours. You have the power to claim it!

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Divorce – The Huffington Post

Need to File for a Divorce!

Parents Say There’s One Thing Worse Than Having Son Diagnosed With Terminal Cancer

After their son, Kirk II, was diagnosed with liver cancer and told he had only six months to live, Laurie and Kirk Sr. claim that the woman who previously had left their son at the altar ran — not walked — to tie the knot this time.

“I believe Star was seeing dollar signs with my dying son. She married him for his life insurance money,” claims Laurie. “Star is manipulative, and she is out for Star … Star has physically, emotionally and financially destroyed my son.”

Star admits she has cheated on Kirk twice and that she hit him once, but she vehemently denies that she’s after his money. “Kirk’s family has judged me since day one,” says Star, who says she wishes they would back off. “They make me out to be this evil person.”

Why is Kirk II eager to save his marriage? Can it even be saved? Should his parents butt out? Watch more from Friday’s episode of Dr. Phil here.

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Dr. Phil – The Huffington Post

Hillary Clinton Fumed About Changing Passports For Same-Sex Parents In 2011

WASHINGTON – Hillary Clinton was furious about a 2011 State Department decision to replace the words “mother” and “father” with gender-neutral terms on U.S. passport applications, warning of the wrath of Sarah Palin, according to newly released emails.

“Who made the decision that State will not use the terms ‘mother and father’ and instead substitute ‘parent one and two’?” Clinton wrote in an email to staff on Jan. 8, 2011. The email was released Wednesday by the State Department as part of an ongoing dump of emails that Clinton sent from a personal account during her time as secretary of state.

“I’m not defending that decision, which I disagree w and knew nothing about, in front of this Congress. I could live w letting people in nontraditional families choose another descriptor so long as we retained the presumption of mother and father,” she wrote. “We need to address this today or we will be facing a huge Fox-generated media storm led by [Sarah] Palin et al.”

Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff at the time, responded, “Reaching out to folks to find out.”

The State Department’s proposed change was intended as a nod to people with same-sex parents. Clinton learned about it from a Washington Post story published the day before. The article featured a gay rights group praising government officials for acknowledging “that hundreds of thousands of kids in this country are being raised by same-sex parents.” Conservatives grumbled that the change reflected “the topsy-turvy world of left-wing political correctness.”

But the department ended up not making the change. The day after Clinton’s email, Mills sent Clinton an Associated Press story with the headline “State Department steps back on gender-neutral parentage, won’t replace terms ‘mother,’ ‘father.'” 

A spokesman for Clinton’s presidential campaign did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Clinton has had strong support from the gay and lesbian community in her presidential bid, but she’s also hit some bumps along the way.

In June 2014, she tangled with NPR’s Terry Gross (who tangles with Terry Gross?) over her evolution on same-sex marriage, and argued that marriage laws should be left up to individual states. Even at the time, Democrats had already abandoned that stance in favor of calling for constitutional protections.

And going back further, The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative news site, this week released audio recordings of Taylor Branch, a confidante of former President Bill Clinton, sharing conversations they’d had about Hillary’s supposed discomfort with gay people during her 2000 Senate race.

According to Branch, Bill said at the time that Hillary’s “conservative religious temperament” might make her uncomfortable with gay people “acting out or pushing her to the limit.”

But Clinton did a lot for the LGBT community during her time as secretary of state. She announced that gay diplomats would receive benefits similar to those received by their heterosexual counterparts, something they’d previously been denied. She also, in December 2011, gave a historic speech in Switzerland in which she addressed human rights abuses against LGBT people. Gay rights advocates said this was a first.

“Like being a woman, like being a racial, religious, tribal, or ethnic minority, being LGBT does not make you less human,” Clinton said in her 2011 speech. “And that is why gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.”

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Gay Voices – The Huffington Post

Chemistry.com gay - First Date 300x250

Stop Being Fragile Parents

2015-09-29-1443565473-9512539-adamelainehalloweenscan.png

I’ve been embarrassing my children for more than 30 years. They now are happy young adults with loving spouses, adorable children and rewarding careers. Obviously, my strategy worked.

Throughout their childhood, I didn’t worry about harming their delicate self-esteem. Nor did I hover over their every action, schedule daily enrichment activities, make them eat kale, or ensure their socks matched. Instead, I created chaos and commotion just to motivate them to find peace and create order in their lives. I’m altruistic like that.

Children today are so pampered that some timid parents will become marooned in a horrifying, never-ending reality show if they don’t stop appeasing and indulging their tiny terrors. News flash: Your Kid Isn’t a Child Pharaoh. To toughen kids for real life, bewildered parents should halt most organized activities and throw in these handy tips to challenge their children’s self-confidence and encourage self-reliance.

1. Criticize their artwork. If your first-grader comes home with a hand-drawn picture, be sure to say that the tree looks like a spider and the sun should be more round. Then throw it away. Maybe she’ll try harder.

2. Show favoritism. Is the older child has an attractive project, be sure to tape it to the refrigerator for months and often mention the talent to the younger one. Give the older child extra dessert.

3. Exhibit lazy behavior. Stay in bed on Saturday morning and tell them to make their own damn pancakes. This is how children learn responsibility and cooking skills.

4. Take your own time-out. If the children are throwing a fit in the car, pull over to the side, turn off the engine, lean back, and close your eyes. Say, “Mommy is going away for a while.” Then chant in a foreign language for 10 minutes. They’ll be too traumatized to make noise.

5. Condemn their friends. Be sure to mock their friend’s silly habits. And when your teenager has a basement full of rowdy kids, walk in wearing a clown nose, belch loudly, and walk out. This instills a fear in your child that never goes away.

6. Cry when you meet your child’s first date. Sob into a towel, run into your room, and slam the door. This action will test their patience, strengthen their loyalty to each other, and promote tolerance.

7. Threaten them, if necessary. If your high school senior won’t write thank you notes for graduation presents, threaten to publish an announcement on social media that your child is too lazy and ungrateful to appreciate gifts now or in the future.

8. Bribery works. That hellhole of a bedroom won’t get clean on its own. Hide a $ 10 bill somewhere in the room and tell them to tidy and organize everything to find it. Substitute a $ 20 bill for particularly egregious cases that harbor toxic diseases. If they demand more money, tell them to move out and find an apartment.

Finally, remember that children can sense an easy target. If mommy and daddy are too weak and delicate to assume their strong but loving roles as parents, the kids will rule the house before the youngest is out of diapers and could stay in diapers for ten years. Parents can reverse this pending disaster by starting now to embarrass their children on a regular basis so the kids find the courage to grow up, move out, and prove themselves.

Go buy a clown nose. Thank me later.

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The Price Kids Pay When Parents Go Through A Bitter Divorce

In the video above, Dr. Phil gives a wake-up call to feuding exes Melissa and Eddie, whose custody disputes and vitriol toward one another are negatively impacting their 9-year-old son.

What Children Need Most When Their Parents Divorce

“Let me tell you what happens to children who live in contentious divorce,” Dr. Phil says.

  • They have appreciably lower math skills.
  • They have appreciably lower social development.
  • They have appreciably lower achievement in college.
  • They are at higher risk for anxiety, stress and low self-esteem.
  • They have a higher frequency of health problems.
  • They have a two times higher divorce rate.
  • If they marry someone who is also from a divorced home, they have a three times higher divorce rate.
  • They have a five-year shorter life span, which means it’s eroding their overall constitutional strength.

“The kids that get caught in the middle of all this are paying the price,” he concludes.

Dos and Don’ts For Co-Parenting With Your Ex

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Need to File for a Divorce!

The Price Kids Pay When Parents Go Through A Bitter Divorce

In the video above, Dr. Phil gives a wake-up call to feuding exes Melissa and Eddie, whose custody disputes and vitriol toward one another are negatively impacting their 9-year-old son.

What Children Need Most When Their Parents Divorce

“Let me tell you what happens to children who live in contentious divorce,” Dr. Phil says.

  • They have appreciably lower math skills.
  • They have appreciably lower social development.
  • They have appreciably lower achievement in college.
  • They are at higher risk for anxiety, stress and low self-esteem.
  • They have a higher frequency of health problems.
  • They have a two times higher divorce rate.
  • If they marry someone who is also from a divorced home, they have a three times higher divorce rate.
  • They have a five-year shorter life span, which means it’s eroding their overall constitutional strength.

“The kids that get caught in the middle of all this are paying the price,” he concludes.

Dos and Don’ts For Co-Parenting With Your Ex

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Zoë Kravitz on Her Red Carpet Transformation, Calvin Klein Collection, and the Fashion Advice She Learned From Her Parents

Zoe Kravitz Calvin Klein spring 2016

With the heavy metal remix of Nina Simone’s “I’m Feeling Fine” whaling overhead at today’s Calvin Klein Collection show, where Francisco Costa’s throng of ’90s redux models slithered by in bias-cut slip dresses, oversized dusters, and elevated club-kid flatforms, the vibe of the Spring collection spoke to one chicly dressed woman on the front row in particular.

Zoë Kravitz, the actress, musician, and rock ’n’ roll offspring of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet, who quietly smoldered backstage in a steely floor-length satin gown from Klein’s Resort 2015 collection before the show, has been playing with a similar sense cool in her red carpet wardrobe of late.

Wearing only a smattering of minimalist jewelry and tattoos to accent her look, Kravitz is still able to make a big statement, a less-is-more design credo that aligns the brand and star in an unexpected way. It’s true, the tumble of waist-length braids she haphazardly scraped off her face to reveal her shaved head is a nice counterpoint to the languid gown. “People like to say that I have an ‘eclectic’ look, but there is a simplicity behind all of it,” Kravitz explains. “A white T-shirt is my favorite thing in my closet and I love the sleekness of Calvin Klein. When I think of Calvin Klein, I think Kate Moss in the ’90s, which was so effortless and beautiful.”



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Her stylist Andrew Mukamal who has been working with the actress for two years now, pipes up, declaring that the duo rarely do fashion events, but the connection between Kravitz and Klein felt right. “Today’s look is a pretty major moment. I knew she was wearing it the minute we confirmed she was coming to this. The look has that kind of ease that I think she has and Calvin has,” he says.

Kravitz concedes that working with Mukamal has helped elevate her look considerably, and given her style direction beyond her off-duty uniform of chunky UNIF black ankle platform booties and all black. “Fashion for me is all about inspiration, so if I feel inspired by something in the moment, I’ll just throw something really strange on. And Andrew really helped me have a thought out idea of what I want to represent when it comes to style and fashion.” As they beamed at one another, she laughed, “You’ve helped me evolve into a lady!”

The actress can also thank her style-icon parents for passing along plenty of invaluable fashion advice, and her mom and dad’s distinctive early ’90s bohemian style still resonates today. “They’ve always been so confident. They wore certain clothes way before they were considered cool, and I think that’s what gave me the confidence to be okay with making mistakes, making an ass of myself,” she says.  “When it comes to fashion, that’s what makes you progressive.”

 

Watch the Calvin Klein Collection Spring 2016 ready-to-wear show:

The post Zoë Kravitz on Her Red Carpet Transformation, Calvin Klein Collection, and the Fashion Advice She Learned From Her Parents appeared first on Vogue.

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Taking My Parents to Burning Man – Bryant “Spry Bry” Boesen & Joel Ashton McCarthy

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Taking My Parents to Burning Man

Bryant "Spry Bry" Boesen & Joel Ashton McCarthy

Genre: Documentary

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Release Date: July 11, 2015


Burning Man, the debauched arts festival, is not your average family vacation destination. But Bry, a reckless party animal, decides to rip his nearly retired parents from their all-American lives and throw them into the adventure of a lifetime. From director/star Bryant Boesen comes this raucous romp through the desert during one of America’s oldest (and most controversial) parties. As Bry and his folks drink heavily from the Dionysian side of life, they will all learn a bit about themselves and, more importantly, each other. Surprisingly touching and insightful, take a festive ride to Black Rock in this parental coming-of-age story.

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And he reveals who gives him the best style advice.

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Parents Television Council Slams VMAs for ‘Blatant Sexualization’ and Celebrating ‘Illegal Drugs

The Parents Television Council has condemned Sunday’s MTV’s Video Music Awards — a denunciation that, like the VMAs themselves, has become an…
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Please, Fuck Me Before My Parents Get Home

Hey there boys and girls; WE HAVE A WINNER! Once in a while, the stars align perfectly and a magnificently-hot video is born! Besides the perfect, natural lighting, amazing hole penetration close-ups and undeniable chemistry between the three of us, there’s this EPIC simultaneous orgasm scene between Hunter and Cody that will make your cock bounce! We met Cody a while ago and we cast him in a scene for our new site. On that shoot, we got to mess around a little bit but not nearly as much as we wanted. So, it just so happened that when Hunter and I were on our annual Orlando getaway, we hit up Cody to see if he was free to come hang with us. In an amazing coincidence he was already in Orlando with his family and SURPRISE-SURPRISE he was staying at the same complex as us! Cody sneaked away while his parents were out having lunch. We fucked like beasts! This video has all my favorites; a warm and sunny day, a beautiful and horned-up blond-haired, blue-eyed boy with a great body and sexy smile, two hungry Maverick Men, aggressive ass fucking and big cum shots!

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Hey there boys and girls; WE HAVE A WINNER! Once in a while, the stars align perfectly and a magnificently-hot video is born!

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Zendaya Defends ‘Selfless’ Parents

Does anyone shut down haters better than Zendaya? The singer recently penned a thoughtful rebuttal to trolls who poked fun at her mom and dad’s looks.


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10 Smart Back-To-School Tips For Divorced Parents

Back-to-school season is stressful for all parents but it’s a little more complicated when you’re divorced: Who’s doing the annual trek to Target to load up on school supplies — and more importantly, who’s paying? Are both of you listed on important school forms? 

 To make heading back to school a little less overwhelming for you and the kiddos, we asked HuffPost Divorce bloggers and readers on Facebook to share their tried-and-true advice. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Split the cost of back-to-school supplies. 

Between backpacks, calculators, school uniforms and that extra big box of Crayola crayons, your kids’ back-to-school supplies can end up costing a small fortune. To lessen the individual burden among parents, Lynsey Mattingly and her ex divvy up purchasing responsibilities.

“My ex and I always separate who’s buying what, with him buying the backpacks, lunch boxes and water bottles while I usually get the entire supply list the teachers send home,” she told us. “It comes out to about the same price and this way we are both playing to our strengths: he gets a few quality items that he’s better at picking out and I get the specific, detailed things.”

2. Create a shared Google calendar to keep everyone in the loop. 

Each school year, Elizabeth Denham dutifully updates the families’ shared Google calendar with the kids’ upcoming school events. This way, no one misses back-to-school night or a holiday performance. 

“For all of the really important events, I send invites through the calendar as soon as I enter the date so that I don’t have to remember to do it by phone,” she said. 

3. Drop the kids off together on the first day of school. 

The first day of school can be a scary, overwhelming experience for even the most confident kiddo. If at all possible, try to free up your schedules so both of you can drop the kids off and show your support, said Leah Porritt. 

“On the first morning of school this year, we met before and walked our son to school together,” she said. “He had both of us there to send him off to first grade and I think that meant a lot to him — even if the normal school year mornings are a mixture of mom, dad, stepparents or before-and-after care. For his sake, we put differences aside and make an effort to both be present together.”  

4. And if your ex can’t be there for day one, text a pic. 

If your ex is unable to make it that first day, be generous and send him or her a pic. (You have at least 20 on your camera roll — why not share the love?) 

“Texting a pic is an act of goodwill and will be greatly appreciated,” said blogger Valerie DeLoach. “And you never know — one kind act could change the whole dynamic of your current relationship.”  

5. Let your kids’ teachers know who’s who in your blended family. 

Your family tree likely got a lot more complicated post-divorce, especially if you or your ex remarried. Early on in the school year, fill your kids’ teachers in on who’s who in your family; that way, there’s no confusion when your child’s stepdad picks her up. 

“I do it because it can be confusing for teachers to hear my son talk about his parents, stepparents and numerous siblings on either side,”said Porritt. “He’s old enough now to explain who is who, but it makes it more comfortable for him if his teacher already understands his extended and blended family situation and doesn’t need to question him!”

Another bonus of touching base with your kids’ teacher? Backpacks that are a little less heavy, said reader Carmen Poff. 

“When my ex and I tell the teachers our kids have two homes, most will send home a second set of text books so they won’t have to haul them back and forth,” she said. 

6. Attend parent-teacher conferences together. 

Heading to parent-teacher conferences as a team — like writer Carolyn Flower does every year with her kids’ dad — sends a strong message to your children and their teachers: Regardless of what happened in the past, today we’re partners who have the kids’ best interests at heart. 

“As a collaboratively divorced family, we’ve never missed a parent-teacher meeting,” Flower said. “We feel that demonstrating we are still a team shows the children and the school they are loved and supported in all they do. It plants healthy seeds for successful mindsets.” 

7. If your ex lives out of state, have him or her call into the meeting. 

Don’t let distance interfere with both parents taking a proactive, involved role, said Honorée Corder. 

“Because my ex lives in another state, when it’s time for parent-teacher conferences, we schedule a time that works for both of us so he can be conferenced in,” she said. 

8. Set times when you and your ex can debrief on your kids’ progress at school. 

To ensure that no book report or soccer meet falls through the cracks, Kasey Ferris and her ex have have scheduled communication days where they discuss and update each other on their son’s life. 

“Every Sunday and Wednesday there’s an email exchange where we discuss the week, any tests coming up and updates on projects that need to be completed,” she said. “Anything crucial or time-sensitive is handled via text, but everything else goes into a Sunday/Wednesday email. It’s created a lot of peace between us.” 

9. Don’t leave your ex’s side out of the family tree.

Regardless of how you feel about your ex, your kids still need him or her in their lives. When there’s a family tree assignment — or a photo project that calls on family photos — rise above any bitterness and include your ex’s side of the family (yes, that includes new spouses). 

“If there is a project at school that asks for family photos I always make sure that the kids try to include pictures of their mom, their mom’s partner and kids as well as my own partner and kids,” said reader Barry Fraser. 

10. Create a group chat where you discuss your kids’ wins and progress. 

Start a group chat that includes the parents and the kids and send texts whenever your kids ace an assignment or need a little encouragement to bring that C grade up. It’s a little communication trick that has worked wonders for blogger Emma Bathie and her family. 

“The idea is to direct the reminders and notes to the kids but they’re there for both parents to see and comment on if needed,” she said. “It can also be a nice way for the parents to make positive/encouraging comments about each other in front of the kids (‘Hey Matt, I really appreciate you picking up the kids for me last night when I was stuck in a meeting and then traffic. It was really helpful!’) You’re also showing the kids you can be the grown-ups they need you to be.” 

Together, you’ve got this school year! 

 

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Back To School Tips For Parents Of LGBTQ Kids

Back to school time is filled with the excitement of new backpacks, teachers, and reunions with friends. But for lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender parents and students that excitement can be accompanied by anxiety and fear. New schools, classmates, and teachers may also mean coming out again to unknowing peers. This may happen in stride for some LGBTQ parents and students; others have legitimate concerns as another school year begins.

The goal for all students, however, is to provide them with a safe, productive, and supportive learning environment. The climate around LGBTQ issues may not always be the sunniest, but even in school districts where progress needs to be made, these goals are something all parents and students deserve and should expect. Here are ways you can advocate for yourself and your child as you begin another school year.

Talk
Before your child enters the classroom, schedule a time to sit down with their teacher(s) or school administrators to be sure everyone is comfortable and informed about your family’s structure and identity. Give the teacher the opportunity to ask you questions. Understanding breeds knowledge, and sometimes it is our job to inform others. As long as conversations are mutually beneficial and respectful, open lines of communication are necessary.

Talk to your child too. Ask them what they need to feel safe and supported in the classroom and relay that information to their teacher(s). This may include the use of their preferred name, pronouns, or the allowance of a specific friend to be with them during transitions to reduce the possibility of harassment.

Revisit these conversations and check-in frequently. And listen. Your child and their teacher(s) have first-hand knowledge of their school day; be sure you are giving them the opportunity to talk to you too. Everyone must be on the same page for your child to feel safe and comfortable to tackle a new school year.

Provide Resources

Even the most well-intentioned teachers may not know how to support students of LGBTQ parents or LGBTQ students. There are many resources available and they will find wonderfully helpful information through Welcoming Schools, a Human Rights Campaign project, or The Stonewall National Education Project. Both sites offer professional development tools, lessons, and ways to make sure all students feel safe and important in the classroom.

Another valuable organization is Trans Student Educational Resources, which is a youth-led group focusing on creating a more trans-friendly education system. And Gender Spectrum is a great resource to learn how to create “gender sensitive and inclusive environments for all children and teens.”

Your state may also have local programs dedicated to educating teachers on the important ways to embrace diversity.

Ignorance cannot be an excuse; material is available. Show your child’s teachers where to find it.

Expect Acceptance
And then expect them to use the resources. If necessary, use the school’s mission statement as an argument to provide your child with a safe and inclusive learning space. Amanda Rodhenburg, Director of Advocacy at Outright Vermont gave examples when looking at two different elementary schools’ mission statements. One stated they “strive to develop cultural competency in our students.” Rodhenburg stated, “If a teacher were reluctant to be inclusive about non-hetero families, I would tie the necessity to that very line.”

Another school listed goals that every child should be supported in school, home, and their community. Rodhenburg, “Again, I would tie the imperative for inclusivity to the goal of students being supported in school and at home. Y’all came up with that directive, now you have to stick with it.”

Dr. Molly Fechter-Leggett, clinical psychologist, also reminds parents to use the school’s guidance counselor as an ally and professional trained in LGBTQ issues to help families and students overcome feelings of exclusion. Dr. Fechter-Leggett says, “Counselors are the go-to allies for many kids who transition. If there are barriers with teachers, counselors can often work to help educate them about the social and emotional aspects of the child’s experience.” 

Posters, Safe Space stickers, inclusion of LGBTQ history into the classroom curriculum validate a child’s need for a safe learning space. Learning that a great author or famous scientist identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is also very empowering to a child who has parents with these identities or who may be LGBTQ themselves.

The quality and quantity of books with LBGTQ characters and themes are increasing every day. Be sure your school’s teachers know about them and expect them to be available to your child. Check here for a list of books for all ages.

Find or Create Community
Joining or creating a community of other like-minded students builds confidence and safe places for your child at school. It also increases visibility and improves the school’s climate towards diversity. The Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network) and theGay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) are national organizations with local chapters. If your child’s school doesn’t have a Gay-Straight Alliance, encourage them to start one.

Safety is Non-negotiable
If you find out your child is being bullied by another student, the first step may be to talk to their teacher or the school administration. Contacting your local LGBTQ resource center may be helpful too. Workers at these centers and youth advocacy leaders can help educate your child’s teacher(s) on the best way to create a cultural shift in the classroom to help prevent future situations.

If the bullying or harassment is coming from a teacher or school administrator, it may be necessary to contact your state’s Human Rights Commission to report discrimination. More of your rights can be found at GLAD.org.

Bottom line: Safety is non-negotiable. You have every right to speak up and to be heard.

All of the fun and exciting aspects of a new school year should not be overshadowed by ignorance. You, your family, and your child deserve the same respect and opportunities as every other family and student. It may take a little more work and time in some cases, but the benefits of a happy and confident student are well worth the extra energy.

Good luck parents!

Amber Leventry is a writer for The Next Family and lives in Vermont with her wife and three kids. 

 

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How to Help Parents Settle the Bill When They Keep Fighting Over Wedding Costs

Finance is never an easy topic, especially when the expenditure in question is a 200-person wedding with a budget-busting cake and five-star venue. Traditionally, wedding expenses are split between the families of the bride…


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Could Man Convicted Of Killing His Parents Be Innocent?

Just before Christmas 2008, Linda and Steven Riley were found brutally stabbed to death in their California home. Their son, Matthew, who found the bodies, was arrested, convicted of murder, and is now serving two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.

But Matthew’s aunt, Angela, believes her nephew is innocent while the real killer remains free. “In my eyes, this is a gross miscarriage of justice. My nephew Matt is completely innocent. He did not murder his own parents,” she says. Angela places the blame for his conviction in part on his wife, Jenny, saying her statements about events had differing versions, even when she was under oath. “I don’t think she really wanted him to wind up in prison. I think she just wanted to keep answering the question the way she felt the people wanted her to answer,” Angela explains.

Jenny is adamant her testimony was truthful and that she believes Matt killed his parents. “The only way that I can describe the way Matt was acting is that he wreaked of guilt. It seemed like Matt was hiding something from me,” she says, recalling how Matt attempted suicide two days after his parents were found dead. “Why would he do that if he wasn’t guilty? I felt extremely horrified. It’s the father of my children. How could he murder his own flesh and blood?”

She admits her story about the events on the night of the murder changed, but explains, “I had never testified before. I felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. I did not want to be the one to nail his coffin shut. I changed my story a lot … But there’s not a doubt in my mind that murdered his parents.”

Watch the video above as Angela questions Jenny’s testimony, and see what happens when the two women confront each other for the first time since the trial. 

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An Open Letter to My Future Parents In-Law

The night we booked our dream wedding venue, my fiance’s mother called in a panic because she forgot to mail their birthday gift to me. After chatting a few minutes, the bright pink elephant in the room was broached: Would they attend our wedding?
The heartbreaking conversation that followed boiled down to they wouldn’t attend because they “follow the Bible.”

Days later my birthday card arrived, enclosed with a gift card, and signed “Love, Russ & Pat.” Every speck of glitter that fell from it mocked us. Over 17 years they had built such a convincing facade of acceptance. With painful clarity, I realized whenever they had cryptically said they were “praying for us,” it wasn’t for a safe drive home or for Tim and his brother to make amends. They never outwardly said it before, but their “love the sinner/hate the sin” mentality became obvious. Which is why their gift and the card ended up in a return envelope with the following letter.

July 20, 2015

Dear Russ & Pat:

Please, don’t discard this letter without reading it through. I write not to attack or disparage you or your beliefs. I would, however, issue you a challenge to really examine the actions you’ve taken in the name of those beliefs. Please, hear what I have to say. I think it is important you understand what has transpired and only wish to ask some admittedly difficult questions and beseech you to honestly consider them before dismissing me out of hand.

First of all, thank you for the birthday card and gift card; the sentiment was nice. I just wish it felt sincere — if not for me, then for your son, Tim. Oh, I know you love him (indeed both of us) in the best way you know how. Just like I know a lifetime of learning doctrine to mean one thing is not easy to reconcile with conflicting truths or even admit that it may be at least partially flawed. But not to even make an attempt to understand that the love you have for your living flesh-and-blood son should trump millennia-old religious texts written at a time when slavery was status quo, women were property and eating pork or shellfish was punishable by death or banishment is disheartening. No person can take every single Biblical tenet as literal law. You may protest that you do, but you and I both know the reverse is true, even if only to a degree.

Russ, surely you never shunned your wife as unclean during a certain time of the month to the extent you wouldn’t even share furniture with her. Pat, surely you wouldn’t agree to Russ keeping concubines or to you marrying his brother if he should die. And I’m pretty sure Carolyn wasn’t shunned, banished or condemned to death for divorcing one husband and taking another. So why do you take the fleeting six references to gay people in both the Old and New Testaments as nonnegotiable truth and law? Why won’t you at least entertain the possibility that the way in which scripture on this particular topic has been taught, like so many others that came before it regarding anti-miscegenation, race, slavery and women, may be flawed and tainted by archaic bias falsely cloaked under the insidious fallacy of “love the sinner, hate the sin”? Being gay is not a choice. It is not some addiction or disease that can be cured. It is innate and immutable. You can no more successfully hope and pray for a person’s orientation to change than you could hope and pray for a tomato to change into a brick.

Believe me. I wasted years of my youth trying to change because people I loved and respected expected it of me. I didn’t want to face what seemed like at the time would be an eternity of ostracism and hatred and loneliness. I tried and I tried. And I failed. And it took me a long time to realize that being who I am would lead to none of those fates — but hating myself for being who I am would. Finally, I learned that being gay is an inborn trait no different than height and hair color. After all, if it weren’t, don’t you think centuries of fervent efforts to rid humanity of it would have shown at least some modicum of success? Yet here we are.

I, and all gay people like me and your son, could no sooner turn heterosexual than you could will your eyes to change colors. And just like possessing eye colors that not everyone shares, being gay is just one in a pantheon of benignly healthy and natural human traits. We are born gay and someday, far in the future, we will die gay. Just as you are born with the eye color you will die with. It is a neuropsychological and biological fact. So, when you “hate the sin” in this instance, you are indeed hating the “sinner.”

The only choice any of us has in the matter is how we react to what is a perfectly natural form of human life. My mother could not accept it at first. She had been raised to believe as you do that gay people like your son and me are depraved and lascivious monsters. When I was forced out of the closet to her, she faced a choice: Believe what others had told her, or believe her own eyes, heart, mind and soul. Thankfully, after a difficult struggle that took a couple of years of hard honesty and self-examination, she embraced me unconditionally. Which is why I was giving you the benefit of the doubt. Experience taught me when people reject fear and instead open themselves to love, they change for the better.

Your actions and loving attitudes toward us over the past nearly two decades had given me hope that you acknowledged us as a committed couple who commanded at least some of the respect and dignity afforded to married couples like Tim’s brother and his wife. Our lack of marriage wasn’t through any lack of wanting. Had we been able to marry when we wanted, we would be celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary, not planning our wedding 17 years after we met and fell in love.

So I must admit, when Tim called you to find out if you would attend our wedding and you told him you would not even consider being there for him because you “just wouldn’t feel comfortable,” I was (and still am) shocked and deeply saddened. Look at your son. I mean honestly look at your son. He is loving, caring, generous of spirit, honest, creative, witty, helpful and talented in so many ways. That you will not allow yourselves to celebrate and love him unconditionally as I do is mindboggling. Instead you focus on one facet of his being that others have told you is flawed and detestable and condemn him for it. He may not show it, but he is devastated that the last 20 years of what he thought was growing acceptance on your part now feels like just so much lying (a sentiment I can’t help but share).

I hope this is not the case. The eternal optimist in me hopes your love for him truly is unconditional and is merely and unfortunately at odds with your faith to such an extent that you are unsure how you should act or how you should feel, but that, regardless, eventually you will land on the side of love rather than fear.

But the realist in me fears that is not the case. Deep down, I’m afraid that you are truly choosing how you’ve been taught to interpret your faith over allowing yourselves to love your son wholly and unconditionally. And to allow such a thing causes an astoundingly profound disservice to everyone involved.

Please prove the realist in me wrong. You are missing out on what should be a truly wonderful relationship with your son that is more than just awkward small talk made to hide your uncomfortable truth in a desperate attempt to keep him in your life. It would be real. It would be honest. It would be unconditionally loving. You would want to celebrate him as much as I do, not hide away who he is like a dirty secret.

As an aside, we don’t want to destroy marriage or “redefine” it. We want to join in its exalted status. To declare to each other and the world vows of love and fidelity to one another and only one another. You may feel uncomfortable with it, you may even loathe the very notion. But it is fact. Now that we legally can, we will be getting married this fall. I just wish you had chosen to be there and celebrate with us and the rest of those whom we hold dearest in our hearts.

But that moment has passed. The damage is done and I fear there is no going back. Regardless of your motives or justifications or future attempts to reconcile, the simple fact is you chose the words of an ancient book and the fire-breathing vitriol of preachers over the love of your own child.

This is why I must regretfully return your card and gift; I just don’t feel comfortable keeping them.

With sincere love and respect,

James

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Grown Son Asks Why His Parents Stay Together If Neither Is Happy

Randy was 15 years old when he first started seeing his parents fight — “a big emotional roller coaster” as he describes it – thinking they were on the verge of divorce, then they’d work it out, only to struggle once again.

“I can remember one specific instance where I left to go get food and came back, and my dad was gone, and his wedding ring was flushed down the toilet, and his phone was thrown in the pool,” recalls Randy, who’s now 18. “What hurts me the most is that my parents are still together and neither of them are happy.”

His mom says she is obsessed with proving his dad cheated – watch their story here.

In the video above, Randy describes his painful memories, and then Dr. Phil shares if he thinks Randy’s parents’ marriage can — or should — be saved.

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6 Times Parents Caught Their Mischievous Kids But Struggled To Keep A Straight Face

Every parent has been there — you catch your kids doing something crafty to reach the cookies, or painting the dog’s fur, or cutting their younger sibling’s hair. You start disciplining them, but there’s one little thing that gets in your way: the fact that the situation — and, more importantly, your kid — is undeniably hilarious. So you lose it, struggling to keep it together or even erupting into laughter.

Fortunately for us, some parents don’t just focus on fighting the laughs; they also take the opportunity to film or photograph their kids after they’ve been caught red-handed. In the spirit of celebrating parents who are strong and soft, we’ve partnered with Angel Soft to compile our favorite sidesplitting parental moments — the ones where the only thing harder than disciplining your kid is disciplining yourself to not burst out laughing.

1. The Lipstick Lovers

How in the world do you get lipstick off of kids faces?!! O.M.G. #kidsaretheworst #motd #lippies #makeup

A photo posted by Mack (@thesodakshack) on

Image: Mackenzie Tims

This definitely isn’t what lipstick was made for, but good luck explaining that to a kid. One minute, everything is business as usual. The next, you find your kids covered in your favorite shade of rouge — and you can bet they’re pretty proud of themselves. At least at first.

“They knew they were busted as soon as I caught them, red-handed at that!” says the children’s mom, Mackenzie Tims. “I managed to keep a straight face while scolding them for getting into makeup without asking, but I struggled to keep my composure once I put them in the tub and realized how hard it was going to be to get the lipstick off their faces.” The best part? Her 5-year-old sighed and told her, “I wish I didn’t do this; I’m going to be stuck this color forever!”

“I had to bury my face in a towel every time I cracked a smile to keep from letting on that this was one of the most hilarious things they had ever done,” admits Tims.

2. The Applesauce Artist

Video: Jessica Cook

It was basically inevitable that this mom would let out some laughs as she gave her son a talking-to about his applesauce adventures. How can you keep it together when someone so small makes such a big mess (he even got applesauce on the dog) and then tries to negotiate his way out in that sweet little voice? It can’t be done; but this mom still manages to lay down some serious discipline, giggles aside. Pro tip: Blaming it on the dog never pans out — and almost always leads to a timeout.

3. The Future Picassos

Video: Cheryl Edwards

What do you do when three little boys draw all over the walls? You make them scrub, of course. If you think cleaning constitutes punishment, though, think again; these brothers are having a little too much fun washing the walls after they used them as their personal canvases.

“It was a struggle to keep a straight face when they were covered in markers in a freshly ‘decorated’ room and working to clean it off,” says mom Cheryl Edwards. Still, she puts the boys to work cleaning while stifling a laugh, which earns her major bonus parent points in our book.

4. The Tornadoes

Image: @making our dream/@happy.healthy.mama/@kidsaretheworst

Lesson learned: Never trust a kid in a store. All it takes is an instant; and in that instant, whether you’re catching up with a friend or examining your next purchase, you’ll find that each and every item from the shelves is littered along the aisle, all thanks to your oh-so-happy toddler.

That’s exactly what moms Michelle Fontin and Sarah Mandel found when they ran into each other on a shopping trip. “We watched [our kids] out of the corner of our eye, but at some point, pure mayhem had happened in the ‘throw’ blanket aisle,” Fontin recalls. “The damage had already been done, and the kids were super happy tossing everything around. So we actually let them play a bit longer while we finished our conversation.” Taking a moment to appreciate the hilarity (and preserve it for posterity’s sake) is what it’s all about, after all. “When it was time to go, we made them put everything back,” she explains. “To be honest — and I think most moms will agree — this disaster was worth an uninterrupted time of adult conversation with a dear friend!”

5. The Tagger

Ella proud of spelling her name #2010flashback #kidsaretheworst #think #EV

A photo posted by Knut Espen Bryhn (@kebr) on

Image: Knut Espen Bryhn

Sure, she doesn’t have a license to drive (give it another decade, maybe), but why should that stop her from claiming her wheels? After all, successfully spelling your name is cause for celebration — and in this case, cause for graffiting the car.

“It was impossible to get angry about this, mainly because of that smile that met me, so proud,” explains Ella’s father, Knut Espen Bryhn, who Instagrammed the automobile art. “And second, because I knew it [was] easy to clean off. I just had to laugh at it and explain that this was not a good idea.” Way to go, patient parents who reiterate the rules and take advantage of photo ops. We’re forever impressed by your balancing act.

6. The Storyteller

Video: Sherrica Sims/Rumble

This little doughnut thief is adamant that she’s innocent until proven guilty — despite that her half-eaten treat is hiding in plain sight. We’ve never seen a kid try to talk her way out of trouble quite as well as this smooth-talking storyteller, and her mom deserves some major kudos for keeping it together as she reminds Tiffany of the rules. Bonus points to Mom for playing along with the story — and for poking holes in it when her daughter is clearly the culprit.

Angel Soft is proud to celebrate parents who can lay down the law, but still appreciate the humor in life’s little messes. Parents are both soft and strong, which is why Angel Soft products are too; learn more at AngelSoft.com.

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Is This Teen ‘Bullying’ Her Parents?

Ann and Mike say they’ve lost control of their 16-year-old daughter, Kristi, whom they say is angry, violent, refuses to go to school, smokes marijuana, and has no respect for authority. After getting to know the family dynamics and watching home videos of how they interact, Dr. Phil suggests that Kristi is bullying her parents. See for yourself in the home videos above.

Can Dr. Phil help turn this family around? See what happens on Dr. Phil Monday — watch clips here or check local listings.

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Tony Stewart Sued — Kevin Ward’s Parents … Tony Recklessly Killed Our Son

Tony Stewart could have avoided striking and killing Kevin Ward Jr. but instead chose to terrorize Ward by driving recklessly… so claims Ward’s parents, who have filed a wrongful death suit. The parents say Stewart had complete disregard for…

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News in Brief: Winning Argument With Aging Parents Less Satisfying Than It Once Was

CINCINNATI—After firmly telling them that she was okay paying city prices and that she would not move back to her hometown just because it was cheaper, local woman Ellen Wallace, 40, confirmed Thursday that winning an argument with her parents has become much less satisfying as they have gotten older. “We used to get into these half-hour-long ordeals where we’d both get pretty worked up, but now they seem to run out of energy pretty quickly and just stop talking if I go on for more than a few minutes,” said Wallace, who explained that she used to relish those times when she could get her parents to give some ground on a disagreement, but that their advancing age had left them unwilling, or unable, to put up much more than a meager challenge that she could easily shout down. “They gave me a little pushback just now …



The Onion

News in Brief: Good News Kept From Parents Out Of Fear Of Proving Them Right

DANBURY, CT—Saying she wants no part of the conversation that would inevitably result if she broke the good news, local medical billing technician Jenny Comers reported Friday that she’s keeping word of her recent pay raise from her parents out of fear of proving them right. “If I tell them about the raise, they’ll immediately attribute it to the advice they gave a while back about how being assertive and clearly stating what you want yields positive results—there’s no way I’m giving them that satisfaction,” said Comers, who earlier this week requested a one-on-one meeting with her supervisor, directly asked for a pay increase, and within a matter of minutes received a bump in her salary, a course of action she had previously dismissed as futile and “completely ridiculous” when it was proposed by her mother and father during a phone call three weeks …



The Onion

Parents Fear Son’s Video Game ‘Addiction’ Could Kill Him

Sarah says her 23-year-old son, Justin, is so consumed with playing video games that he dropped out of college, can’t hold a job, and is emaciated after losing more than 50 pounds. “I absolutely believe Justin’s video game addiction is killing him,” she says about her son, who can spend 30 hours straight in front of a computer screen playing video games.

Justin’s stepfather, Graham, agrees that the situation is “dire.” He says, “When he is gaming, he is completely tuned out. It’s almost catatonic … It’s prevented him from launching as an adult.” He and Sarah say they’ve tried cutting off the gaming and have given Justin ultimatums, to no avail. “At the end of the day, I think Justin is an escapist,” says Graham. “If you took gaming away, he would find some way to escape.”

Fighting tears, Justin admits, “I’d rather live in a virtual world than a real one … I enjoy gaming more than I enjoy life.”

What could be driving his behavior? Has his gaming become an addiction that actually could kill him? On Tuesday’s episode of Dr. Phil, the entire family gets a wake-up call about the health dangers Justin may face. How can he get his life on track? Watch more here.

Have a question for Dr. Phil? Ask it here!

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Apparently, All the Best New Male Models Have Famous Parents

Photo: Gianni Pucci / Indigitalimages.com

Still reeling in the “who’s that guy?” moment from the Chanel fall 2015 couture catwalk last week, when a bleach-blond, Greco-Roman-jawed man accompanied Julianne Moore down the runway? Well, allow us to enlighten you: That was none other than Gabriel-Kane Day-Lewis, yes, that Day-Lewis, as in son of Daniel Day-Lewis. How funny! You’re thinking, What a small world! But then consider that only a few weeks earlier, beloved thespian (and sometime Prada campaign sitter) Gary Oldman’s son, Charlie, prowled the runway for Saint Laurent. And they aren’t the only ones with famous last names who are now posing pretty and walking tough: Brooklyn Beckham, son of David and Victoria Beckham, has fronted a campaign for Polish label Reserved, while Jack Kilmer (son of Val) and Dylan Brosnan (son of Pierce) have joined Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent clan, while Patrick Schwarzenegger has appeared for Tom Ford’s eyewear campaign (alongside another celeb kid: Gigi Hadid) and Rafferty Law (son of Jude), walked for DKNY Men’s.

And beyond the blockbuster makers, descendants of Vogue-gracing models are included as well: Take it from Steven Meisel–favorite Nyima Ward, the long-locked brooding offspring of nineties model Trish Goff, who walked Anna Sui. One thing’s for certain, with New York Men’s Fashion Week kicking off today, this won’t be the last of famous faces to watch on the runway—and we’re not done hoping for a proud Papa sighting, or two.

The post Apparently, All the Best New Male Models Have Famous Parents appeared first on Vogue.

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News in Brief: Report: Nation’s Ditches Overflowing With Children Of Worried Parents

WASHINGTON—Saying that in most places they are piled up 5 or 6 feet high, a report released Thursday by the Pew Research Center revealed that every one of the country’s ditches is currently overflowing with the children of worried parents. “Following an exhaustive survey of ditches and gutters across the U.S., we found that every single one is presently filled beyond capacity with young children whose mothers and fathers are, at this moment, wondering where their kids are and when they’ll be back home,” said lead researcher Alicia Smith, noting that of the millions of 4- to 10-year-olds nationwide who had been allowed to play unsupervised in the backyard for a few minutes, bike to a nearby convenience store, or walk to a friend’s house just across the street, virtually all of them are now wedged in between countless others in a muddy, filth-strewn drainage …



The Onion

News in Brief: Parents Formally Announce Transfer Of Expectations To Second Child

GRAND JUNCTION, CO—Explaining that the adjustment made the most practical sense for all parties involved, local parents Beth and Ryan Morgan held a press conference Friday morning to announce the official transfer of expectations from their oldest child, Jeremy, to his younger sibling, Angie. “After a careful analysis of our prospective returns, we have opted to reassign all of our hopes and dreams for the future from our firstborn to our second child, effective as of 9 a.m. this morning,” said Beth Morgan, who claimed that their 16-year-old son’s inadequate progress in areas such as effective decision-making and academic achievement were the catalyst for his removal as the recipient of their emotional investment. “While we thank Jeremy for his years as the primary bearer of our expectations, in the long run we feel Angie is the right choice to attain professional success and relationship stability, give us …



The Onion

Parents Parody ‘Shut Up And Dance’ For An Energetic Double Pregnancy Announcement

These two couples wouldn’t dare look back now that they’re having two more babies.

Excited announcers: Videographer Jon Murray and his wife Danielle — along with Jon’s brother Aaron and sister-in-law Liz.

Due dates: Jon and Danielle are due December 21, and Liz and Aaron are due January 8.

Announcement method of choice: The two couples created a music video parody of Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance.”

Standout lyrics: “We don’t get much sleep at night,” “We know your thoughts / Yes, we know how it happens / We just like having kids,” and “We don’t know how to act ’cause we’re adding two more Murrays.”

“We’re having one more baby!”: Jon and Danielle are already parents to three little daughters, and they wanted to put as much enthusiasm into this pregnancy announcement as with their previous children. “It honestly can be hard to be pregnant with your third or fourth sometimes because you do get a lot of sarcastic or even sometimes rude comments from people,” they told The Huffington Post, adding, “We want everyone to know that having more than two kids is a blessing and that you can be just as excited for your third or fourth or fifth as you can be about your first!”

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Murphy’s Law for Parents of 3-Year-Olds

I am going to take my parenting “expert” hat off and put my mom-of-a-3-year-old hat on. I’ve been feeling under the weather, and although I’m a glass-half-full kind of gal, I started to write these to make myself laugh. I hope you have some chuckles too. And yes, these did actually happen.

Murphy’s Law for Parents of 3-Year-Olds

You will cut the wrong end of the freezie, stir the yogurt the wrong way, break the banana or use the wrong-colored cup.

The day you are late for an important appointment is the day you will unbuckle the car seat, as you always do, and your 3-year-old will shriek like he is being stabbed and refuse to get out.

The timer will beep, reminding you to take your very expensive tenderloin steak off the BBQ, at the same time your 3-year-old yells frantically from the bathroom that he is done pooping and needs your help.

The amount of time your 3-year-old spends on his bike without training wheels is inversely related to how much time it took you to find the tools and get the training wheels off.

The moment you finally sit down at the end of the day, and finally decide on a movie to watch, your 3-year-old will slink into the living room, saying, “I can’t sleep.”

You will cut the grilled cheese sandwich the wrong way. And put the ketchup in the wrong spot.

The morning of the scheduled weekend away BY YOURSELF that you have been waiting for all year, you will discover you have a fever — that your 3-year-old had days before.

The milk will get spilled, so you might as well just leave the paper towel holder on the table.

The words “I want to do it!” go with “Uh-oh.”

The moment you high-five yourself for getting your 3-year-old out the door — dressed, bladder emptied, tummy filled, teeth cleaned, ON TIME — is the moment you realize you didn’t eat breakfast.

You will walk out of the house with your shirt on inside-out. A few times. You may even get to work and realize you still have your pajamas on.

andrea nair

If you take the wagon, he will want to walk. If you don’t take the wagon, he will refuse to walk.

The day your 3-year-old discovers where the scissors are kept is the day you leave your well-thought-out to-do list on the kitchen table.

The night you forget to put the mattress cover on the bed is the night your 3-year-old will pee so fiercely, you’d swear an adult did it.

When you finally feel confident enough to wear more expensive pieces of clothing around the kids, your 3-year-old will manage to get himself some yogurt and want a big hug for his accomplishment.

Your 3-year-old’s favorite pair of shorts — that he must wear every day — will be white. Well, at first, anyway.

The first time you try leaving your child inside while you go out and do some backyard weeding, he will 1) go out the front door, 2) poop on the front lawn and 3) be discovered by your husband, who will just happen to come home early that day.

(By the way, in between fits of laughter, he said, “I love that that happened on your watch!“)

Andrea Nair is on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

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One Quality That Sets Successful Parents Apart

In his “Tip of the Day” video above, Dr. Phil talks about what makes a successful parent. “When you look at children as a project, you have to think about them in three phases. They start out being totally dependent on you, then they move into a phase of preparation. This is where they’re learning, going to school, developing social skills, a sense of self, self-esteem, self-worth. And then they move into the phase of performance. It’s really hard sometimes to let them go to the next level, because it’s an unknown. It’s scary for you; it’s scary for them. But when children go to the next level, you want them to do it with a sense of confidence, a sense of knowing that they can meet the responsibilities.”

In other words, your roles are going to change as your children’s stages of life change. Dr. Phil sums it up: “Don’t resist the change; embrace the change.”

Have a question for Dr. Phil? Ask it here!

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5 Things My Husband Teaches Our Daughter About Working Parents

Dear Jason,

You’ve worked full-time since our daughter Lily was born 10 years ago; I had that first summer off to be with her, and then I too went back to work, in a complicated algorithm of multiple part-time gigs. As is true for most families with two working parents, this was dictated by the economy, not whim or simple choice. Day jobs notwithstanding, we both dove into hands-on parenting from the start.

But as I met other people with infants, I discovered that this was not universal, especially for single-worker families; often, whoever was employed (typically a dad) felt entitled to leave all concrete parenthood to the at-home partner (most often a mom). I’ve also watched this dynamic solidify as kids got older, even after the at-home parent returned to work. (And this is in a state considered the bluest of the blue!)

For all our flaws and failings (which Lily will surely recount in therapy someday), I’m glad that kind of imbalance is not our way of life, and that you don’t see parenthood in those terms. Instead, you’re modeling how to share the burdens and privileges of raising a child, teaching lessons I hope she’ll recall in the future if she chooses to be a mom.

1. Parenting is work.
Any task you do for hours and hours, week after week, knowing that there are both high expectations and serious consequences for failure, qualifies as work (no matter how much you love it). In the first months, when I was home alone with the baby, and then during the year I only worked a few days a week, you never treated the time I spent with her as a “day off” for me. True leisure, the power of choice when it comes to one’s use of time, is in short supply for stay-at-home parents, and you respected that. You made sure I got time out of the apartment, swapped out with me when possible, and never whined, “I had to work all day while you stayed at home.”

2. Workers still parent.
I’ve observed a fair number of dads who think their real work is done when they leave the office, and that simple presence at home is good enough; some feel as if fielding requests for other contributions to family life implies that their daytime efforts are not appreciated. But even when you had that one miserable job with the co-worker from hell, you never questioned the need to go straight from work to pick Lily up from her after-school program, or to take your turn at doing the bedtime ritual. If Lily was sick, you were quick to offer up your own personal days to stay with her. Why? Because that’s your job, too.

3. Chores don’t know gender.
Coming home from paid work to face domestic chores is never a thrill. Cooking, laundry, housecleaning, helping with homework, packing lunches — there’s no holiday bonus for any of it. A fair number of my friends who are working moms have complained that the bulk of these tasks still fall to them, though their husbands could help if they chose to. We each have our default chores, but Lily isn’t witnessing a division of duty by gender: in you, she sees a parent who can find time after work to wash her favorite dress for the school concert and repair her bicycle. As is demonstrated by many same-sex couples, and as stay-at-home dads prove every day, a Y chromosome doesn’t render you physically incapable of cooking a meal or sweeping a floor.

4. “It’s not my job” doesn’t fly.
Because we both work, all of these in-house chores must be accomplished in the few hours between arriving home and falling into bed. Sometimes, it’s just not possible for one dad to do all his tasks; instead of keeping a rigid mental tally of who-did-what, we pitch in. When the laundry (“your” task) started feeling endless a couple of years ago, you asked me to help fold it more often, so I did. When my work hours changed and kept me away from home longer, you picked up some of the dog-walking (“my” task). From dishes to dry cleaning, Lily sees a constant hand-off system — which means that when she tries to duck out of a task that isn’t “hers,” she knows what we’ll say: “We’re a family. We all do our part.”

5. Vacation time is required.
Few people love any job so much that they never need a day off. The reality of being a parent is that, unlike with other types of work, you can’t predictably clock in and clock out. (And forget about setting your own hours.) But the healthiest, happiest parents are ones who do get breaks — and whose partners consider this essential. You safeguard my writing time and send me off to the movies when I’m stressed. And I return the favor, making sure you hop on your bicycle and ride off into some free time. I know that having a few hours to yourself is restorative and makes it possible for you to keep doing all the kinds of work you do so well.

To Lily, none of this is unusual; it’s just how parents are. I’m grateful that she has you for a dad.

Happy Father’s Day,
Dave

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What It’s Like To Have Your Parents Split Up As A 4-Year-Old

toria sheffield

“When My Parents Split Up” is a HuffPost series that explores what it’s like to have your parents divorce at all ages, from infancy to adulthood. Want to share your experience as a child of divorce? Email us at divorce@huffingtonpost.com.

Brooklyn-based writer Toria Sheffield was only 4 when her parents split up in the early ’90s. Though she’s not entirely sure how they broached the subject, she’s certain their decision to divorce was ultimately for the best.

Below, Sheffield, a writer who runs a lifestyle parody blog called facematters, tells us more about growing up with divorced parents.

Breaking The News:
“My memory is all a little hazy now. In my mind, no one sat me down and told me exactly what was happening. Things just sort of happened and my little 4-year-old self accepted events as they came. I remember my dad leaving with a suitcase and I remember him coming back a different day to show us the house where my sister and I would now go when we saw him. I remember feeling a little confused at first, but there was also definitely a sense of, ‘Well…OK, I guess!’ Four-year-olds are generally pretty malleable like that. My older sister, who is four years older than me probably has a totally different perspective on it.”

The Custody Arrangement:
“My parents had joint custody of us which in practice meant mom’s house Monday through Thursday and dad’s house Friday and Saturday nights. Since I was so young when the arrangements were made I honestly don’t really remember life being any other way. The mom’s house/dad’s house thing was as normal to me as I’m sure having both parents under one roof was to other kids.”

The First Few Years:
“I think in some ways, my parents divorcing when I was so young was the best possible way it could have happened. There was no real sense on my part of change or loss. The world made sense because at that age whatever happens around you is normal and just the way things are supposed to be. If a friend at school had told me about their parents living together, I probably would have just thought, ‘Weird. I wonder how that works.'”

The Impact:
“I think growing up without parents who are married and never really knowing them as married has just made me way less concerned with being married myself. I like being in love and I like the idea of having a committed partner, but my happiness and sense of self definitely aren’t dependent on it. Needless to say, I was never too broken up about being from a ‘broken’ home.”

toria sheffield
Toria with her mom last year.

Her Relationship With Her Parents Today:
“My mom drives me insane but in a good way. We talk all the time and she is one of the few people in the world I can be my total self around. My dad passed away in 2002 but he was and still is my idol in a lot of ways. They weren’t married for most of my childhood but they were (and continue to be) great parents.”

The Takeaway:
“My advice for 4-year-olds is really advice for their parents. Parents: kids that age are little sponges! As hard as it may be, try your best not to badmouth your ex in front of them and really try not to put your kids in the middle. Let your kids be kids, not little mediators or marriage counselors.”

Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Divorce on Facebook.

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Fisher-Price And Proud Parenting’s New Campaign Aims To Increase Visibility Of LGBT Parents

Fisher-Price is hoping to increase the visibility of same-sex parents with a new, all-inclusive photo campaign.

The toy company has teamed up with Proud Parenting, an online community forum for LGBT parents, for the launch of the Proud Parenting LGBT Family Photo Gallery. The project is a curated photo collection of LGBT parents and their families that will be featured across digital media outlets and promoted by Gay Ad Network on a number of websites and mobile apps. You can check out the photo gallery on the web, as well as on Facebook and Instagram.

proud parenting

Proud Parenting Editor-in-Chief Jeff Bennett says he hopes the campaign will help “lead the way for a new generation of families.” A press release pointed to an estimated three million LGBT Americans who are parents, and six million Americans who have a parent who identifies as LGBT.

proud parenting campaign

“Fisher-Price is proud to help all parents give their children the best possible start in life,” Hailey Sullivan, Fisher-Price’s Director of Marketing, said in a press release. Meanwhile, the effort also earned praise from Gabriel Blau of the Family Equality Council, who applauded Fisher-Price for “sharing our family stories with the nation.”

Fisher-Price is owned by Mattel, whose iconic lineup of brands also includes Barbie, Hot Wheels and American Girl, among others.

View more photos from the campaign:

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Rachel Dolezal to NBC: “No Biological Proof” My White Parents Gave Birth to Me


“There are no medical witnesses to my birth,” Dolezal told Savannah Guthrie on ‘NBC Nightly News.’

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7 celebrity mini-mes: Kids who look exactly like their famous parents

It’s not unusual to see celebrity kids take after their famous parents, inheriting their enviable genes and impeccable style.




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One Quality That Sets Successful Parents Apart

In his “Tip of the Day” video above, Dr. Phil talks about what makes a successful parent. “When you look at children as a project, you have to think about them in three phases. They start out being totally dependent on you, then they move into a phase of preparation. This is where they’re learning, going to school, developing social skills, a sense of self, self-esteem, self-worth. And then they move into the phase of performance. It’s really hard sometimes to let them go to the next level, because it’s an unknown. It’s scary for you; it’s scary for them. But when children go to the next level, you want them to do it with a sense of confidence, a sense of knowing that they can meet the responsibilities.”

In other words, your roles are going to change as your children’s stages of life change. Dr. Phil sums it up: “Don’t resist the change; embrace the change.”

Have a question for Dr. Phil? Ask it here!

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Jill & Jessa Duggar — We Had Locked Bedrooms After Molestation … Our Parents DID Protect Us (VIDEO)

Two of Josh Duggar’s younger sisters came out swinging for him, and for their parents — saying they took several steps to protect the girls in the family after Josh confessed to molesting them. Jill and Jessa told FOX…

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Jill & Jessa Duggar — We Had Locked Bedrooms After Molestation … Our Parents DID Protect Us (VIDEO)

Two of Josh Duggar’s younger sisters came out swinging for him, and for their parents — saying they took several steps to protect the girls in the family after Josh confessed to molesting them. Jill and Jessa told FOX…

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No Wonder My Parents Drank: Tales from a Stand-Up Dad – Jay Mohr

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’19 Kids’ Parents to Fox News: “We Felt We’re Failures”


The TLC reality stars discussed the history behind Josh Duggar’s sexual molestation allegations in an interview with Megyn Kelly.

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News: Parents Worried Children Old Enough To Remember Family Vacation

YOUNGSTOWN, OH—Fearing that their kids’ impressions of the experience could quite possibly remain with them for the rest of their lives, parents Joel and Bethany Weyandt told reporters Tuesday they are worried their children are old enough to remember the details of their recent family vacation.

The husband and wife said their son, Michael, 6, and daughter, Nora, 5, have both reached an age at which they are capable of forming and retaining distinct memories, stoking the couple’s concerns that the kids will be able to recall numerous details of their trip to Hershey, PA, from the oppressive heat, to the numerous barbs the parents uttered at one another, to the hours spent waiting in various lines.

“It’s sad to think that the kids are probably going to remember everything we went through on this trip—the tiny little hotel room, Michael’s ear infection, all of …





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News: Parents Worried Children Old Enough To Remember Family Vacation

YOUNGSTOWN, OH—Fearing that their kids’ impressions of the experience could quite possibly remain with them for the rest of their lives, parents Joel and Bethany Weyandt told reporters Tuesday they are worried their children are old enough to remember the details of their recent family vacation.

The husband and wife said their son, Michael, 6, and daughter, Nora, 5, have both reached an age at which they are capable of forming and retaining distinct memories, stoking the couple’s concerns that the kids will be able to recall numerous details of their trip to Hershey, PA, from the oppressive heat, to the numerous barbs the parents uttered at one another, to the hours spent waiting in various lines.

“It’s sad to think that the kids are probably going to remember everything we went through on this trip—the tiny little hotel room, Michael’s ear infection, all of …





The Onion

News: Parents Worried Children Old Enough To Remember Family Vacation

YOUNGSTOWN, OH—Fearing that their kids’ impressions of the experience could quite possibly remain with them for the rest of their lives, parents Joel and Bethany Weyandt told reporters Tuesday they are worried their children are old enough to remember the details of their recent family vacation.

The husband and wife said their son, Michael, 6, and daughter, Nora, 5, have both reached an age at which they are capable of forming and retaining distinct memories, stoking the couple’s concerns that the kids will be able to recall numerous details of their trip to Hershey, PA, from the oppressive heat, to the numerous barbs the parents uttered at one another, to the hours spent waiting in various lines.

“It’s sad to think that the kids are probably going to remember everything we went through on this trip—the tiny little hotel room, Michael’s ear infection, all of …





The Onion

Parents Combat Gender Stereotypes With Futuristic Kids’ Clothing Line

Designer Tiffe Fermaint and her fiancé Keith Walker hope that their kids’ clothing line will provide a cool alternative to the countless children’s brands that promote harmful gender stereotypes.

Inspired by the birth of their daughter Violet, Fermaint and Walker launched Baby Teith in 2013. Fermaint told The Huffington Post that she searched in vain for clothing that was gender neutral and eco-friendly, made from organic cotton. “I was tired of seeing nothing but pink body suits with the word ‘princess’ blinged out in rhinestones in the girls’ department,” she said, adding, “There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just not my style.”

Seeking options for her daughter, the mom used her experience in fashion as a designer and visual stylist to create her own clothing line. Baby Teith was a hit with Fermaint’s friends, and after many requests, she opened an Etsy shop to sell her designs to other parents. The designer and her fiancé eventually both quit their jobs to focus on Baby Teith full time.

baby teith

The mom describes her children’s clothes as “fun, comfortable and memorable” and says she hopes her vivid, futuristic prints inspire their little wearers’ imaginations. From moon and nebula images to a design inspired by VHS tape glitches, each print is truly unique.

“Our newest collection for fall available through our Kickstarter Project is called Medieval Time Traveler,” Fermaints said. “It is inspired by the courage of Joan of Arc is meant to empower children.”

Last month, Fermaint and Walker launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the brand’s production through an ethical manufacturer and bring Baby Teith to a major trade show.

baby teith pics

The couple hopes the message behind their designs reaches the mainstream kids’ clothing world. “We genuinely believe that in this day and age, gender stereotypes are outdated,” Fermaint told HuffPost. “We want our daughter to form her own opinions on the subject and feel that she can dress any way she wishes.”

“Instilling this notion before she forms opinions like ‘Pink is just for girls and I have to wear pink because I am a girl’ can be an important step,” she continued. “We are extremely happy to see more clothing in the market that are gender neutral. The market is changing and we hope that bigger brands take notice. This is a huge step for gender equality.”

The Baby Teith Kickstarter campaign ends on June 6, and so far, they’ve raised almost 70 percent of their $ 10,000 goal. The brand also won the Phoenix New Times newspaper’s 2014 award for “Best Kids Clothing.”

As for their very first customer, Fermaint says her daughter really enjoys Baby Teith clothes. “She may not be able to articulate how much she loves the garments yet, but we like to assume they are her favorite.”

Keep scrolling and follow Baby Teith on Facebook and Instagram for a sample of what the brand has to offer.

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How Jessica Alba Built A $1 Billion Company Selling Parents Peace Of Mind

It’s Kombucha Thursday at the Santa Monica headquarters of The Honest Company, which means that groups of young, stylish workers gather at communal tables in a converted toy factory to slurp fashionable fermented tea.

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Are Single Parents All Created Equal?

I recently wrote an article entitled, “10 Things This Single Mom Wants Her Kids to Know,” in which I discussed raising my three children post-divorce almost entirely on my own. You can read it here.

My now ex husband has been living overseas for more than five years, beginning (almost to the day) two years prior to when we officially separated during January of 2012. Although we legally agreed to joint custody, the reality is, due to my ex’s proximity (or lack thereof) to our children, I retain full physical custody of them most of the time. So when I titled my article and referred to myself as a single mom (which I wholeheartedly believe I am), I didn’t anticipate being met with criticism from others who argued I am not, in fact, a single mother because my children’s father continues to play a role in their lives.

To that I say, bullshit.

My ex husband and I are, for the most part, amicable, though we still occasionally hit bumps in the road like so many other divorced couples parenting children from two separate homes, ours being located some 8,000 miles apart.

Almost daily, my ex communicates with our children via FaceTime, text or email, and either visits or travels with them during most major school holidays and for a few days every couple of months or so. He pays support — to them and to me.

I, in turn, stay flexible, accommodating last minute trips so he can see the kids whenever he is able.

We both love our children.

Our situation “works.” Is it a perfect one? No. Are there worse? Yes. Are there better? Yes, to that as well. Am I a single mom? Well, I guess that all depends on how the term “single mom” is defined.

If you ask me, I will tell you I am a single mom — with an emphatic YES.

I have debated this topic on numerous occasions with my own mom, once a single mom herself. She has since remarried and been married for more than 25 years, but from the time I was 13 years old and my brother 10 when my father suffered a massive heart attack and died, she raised us alone. And by alone I mean without financial assistance, little money, and limited emotional support from family and friends. And after being a homemaker for the entire duration of her marriage, following my father’s death my mom returned to work as an administrative assistant in order to make ends meet.

My mom’s single parenting experience and my own are by no means the same. I acknowledge and appreciate that. I lived through both (though one as a child of a single mom), and I contend neither scenario is more representative of single parenthood than the other.

By way of comparison, my mother was a widow and I am divorced, and my ex is still involved in his children’s lives whereas my own father could no longer be. But, in many ways, our situations are not all that different. And it’s these similarities, I argue, that make a divorced mom (or dad) also a single mom (or dad).

Leaving money out of the equation for just a moment, let me say, single parenting is a state of mind, regardless of how much involvement an ex spouse has in his or her children’s lives. And it’s this state of mind that pervades every thought we as divorced parents have throughout each day. Divorced single parents are never and, I repeat, NEVER at rest. Even when not physically with our children, we are mentally worried about them, particularly as we relinquish control and knowledge of our children’s whereabouts to an ex spouse.

Of course, there is a broad spectrum as to how much comfort we take in the care our children receive from their other parent. Every family varies. But I venture to say, even in those best-case scenarios, regardless of how loving and capable the other parent is, and how much faith we have in them, a little part of us still feels trepidation when our children walk out the door. Not to mention that post-divorce feeling of no longer being included in what was once deemed “family” time.

It defies logic then that the most difficult divorced single parenting moments often come when we are with our children. Those times when they long for their other parent, the one they no longer see as much or at all (or, in some cases, never saw to begin with), whether en route to the bathroom or at the kitchen table while eating breakfast before school or dinner after a long day. That parent who is late to or cannot attend every Little League game, piano recital, or school concert, or who never attends at all. How many of us would rather suffer such disappointment ourselves than watch our children endure it?

For a divorced single parent, time is NOT money.

It’s also important to acknowledge the physical toll parenting after divorce takes. I would think due to its obviousness, it shouldn’t require much explanation. Yet I often find it does, especially to those married parents who don’t quite “get” the difference. From last minute trips to doctors, dentists, and the ER, to late night trips to the 24-hour pharmacy and kids home sick from school; from car trouble to carpooling with car trouble, to juggling play dates, school activities, and endless household chores, divorced single parents, when we are enjoying custody, are parenting solo, meaning there is no partner there to… partner.

Add work, financial pressure, special needs (whether a parent’s or a child’s), and whatever else we can or cannot foresee, it should be easy to see how exhausting, both mentally and physically, a divorced single parent’s life can be.

Not always.

Of course, if we are single parents by divorce, it’s possible we weren’t getting such support during our marriage and that’s why we are, among other reasons, no longer married. But it doesn’t change the basic premise we as divorced single parents may still not be getting what we need, what EVERY human being needs at one time or another — an extra pair of hands, a hug, the security of having someone in our corner, or maybe, just maybe, even a special someone who will hold us in their arms as we drift off to sleep.

Single parenting is a way of life, whether we are parenting our kids on our own full-time, part-time or sometimes, or during those times when our children are with their other parent and we are “off” for the day, night or week. Where our children sleep is merely a matter of geography.

No, not all single parents are created equal. Some of us have it easier than others, and in different ways. Some of us have it more difficult, and in different ways. We can debate until we are blue in the face what constitutes those “better” or “worse” situations. But what I bet most of us can agree on is, although we would never have wished the difficulties single parenting entail upon ourselves, we also wouldn’t trade our lives for anyone else’s.

Follow Stacey on Twitter, Facebook, and DivorcedMoms.com

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The Way Parents Fight Affects Kids’ Self-Esteem (In All Kinds Of Families)

Children soak up everything they see, feel, and hear. Parents may believe they are giving their children all the love they need, but they send a conflicting message when they fail to reconcile their own relationships with their former partners. There are plenty of things parents can do to protect their children from the damaging impact of long-term conflict during and after divorce.

When parents argue excessively and for too long, it can leave children feeling insecure and fearful. Even if it’s not the parents’ intention to cause harm, ongoing conflict can threaten a child’s sense of safety. Truth be told, parents forget that children are vulnerable to feeling in the middle between their parents’ arguments. High parental conflict can send them into high alert. As a result, children may have difficulty sleeping, concentrating on school or social activities; or be plagued with fear and anxiety about their future.

5 Tips for resolving disagreements with your ex-spouse constructively:

1. Use self-control and only let out some of your anger. If you’re frustrated or angry at your ex you don’t have to say everything you’re thinking. Your children won’t benefit from you showing your anger openly to their other parent so be careful what you say in front of them. Kids don’t want to hear negative things about either one of their parents.
2. Avoid name-calling and blameful comments such as: “You never pick up Kylie on time.” Instead say what you want and state it in a positive way such as: “I would appreciate it if you’d be on time picking up Kylie since she worries you’re not coming and gets upset when you’re late.”
3. Resolve conflicts in a positive way. Learn the art of compromise and apologize when you do something wrong. Being cordial and businesslike is a good place to start. Take a short break if you feel flooded.
4. Keep your children out of the middle and don’t make them a go-between to avoid loyalty conflicts. Communicate clearly and directly to your former spouse – not through your child.
5. Develop a parenting plan that’s geared to the level of conflict between you and your ex-spouse. For instance, the higher the conflict, the less flexible the plan. Discuss hot-button issues such as holidays, finances, and problems that may arise with your children’s school work or with friends. Seek professional help if needed, such as mediation or counseling, if you believe you won’t be successful doing this on your own.

Many studies show that being raised in a high-conflict divorced family can cause children to have low self-esteem and feelings of unworthiness. It can leave him or her with the ultimate feeling of rejection. Many kids internalize the breakup of their family and feel it is their fault. Logically, many kids understand that the dissolution of their parents’ marriage didn’t have to do with them. Often, parents take great pains to make sure their children understand they aren’t to blame for the breakup. But kids often experience a disconnect between logic and emotions, leaving them with low self-esteem.

Growing up, a child may see his or her parents fight constantly, but sleep in the same bed every night. They might have complained about one another, but acted upset when the other went away. Sometimes parents don’t fight openly in front of children, but tension and anger seethe beneath the surface. These contradictions play a powerful game with a child’s head. When a child is left with unexplained contradictions, he or she will try to explain them to themselves, often coming up with incomplete or incorrect conclusions. Thus when kids can’t understand the turmoil around them, they tend to internalize this pain and blame themselves. This is true for children who are exposed to high conflict in both divorced and intact homes.

Let’s face it, marital conflict can have negative consequences for children whether their parents are married or divorced. In a longitudinal study spanning over many years, renowned divorce researcher Paul Amato found that conflict in intact families was associated with emotional problems in children. Amato points out that many of the problems children of divorce face begin during the pre-divorce period since it is a time of increased conflict for most parents. Thus, an increase in emotional problems experienced by children after divorce may well be due not only to dealing with their parents’ divorce but marital conflict that led up to it.

Learning new skills to protect children from the harmful effects of parental conflict during and after divorce is worth the effort. According to divorce expert and therapist Gary Direnfeld, “Not all separations are alike and not all parental separations spell disaster for their children. The social science research advises that the most salient factor determining risk for poor developmental outcomes for children of divorce is the level of conflict between their parents.”

Unfortunately, the outcomes for children growing up in high conflict divorced families aren’t always favorable. For instance, fifteen year old Olivia’s insecurities are far more than that of an average high school student. They reveal the deep anxiety and low self-worth of a teenager impacted by a being raised in a divorced home where she was in the middle between hostile parents who never learned to resolve conflicts in a constructive way. Olivia’s parents divorced when she was ten years old. She remembers growing up that she always felt like she was walking on eggshells. Her parents argued a lot throughout her early years. “It’s so sad when I look back,” she says. “I missed out on a lot. I’ve learned not to speak up.”

But this insecurity has also robbed her of her ability to be vulnerable with others, assert herself in relationships, and love herself. With hesitation in her voice, she explains, “I’m learning to be more comfortable with myself and not take my parents’ problems to heart, but it feels hard. I don’t know how to interpret some of their arguments – especially now that they live apart.” Olivia reveals that although she is working on herself and her ability to make friends and take risks, she finds it difficult to be close to others and to spread her wings socially. The shame from her childhood has been a barrier for Olivia in building healthy relationships.

The experience of feeling safe and loved is what all children want and deserve – despite the configuration of their family. In some cases, a child’s self-esteem can improve after his or her parents’ divorce if there’s a reduction in conflict and they feel loved and protected. Parents need to avoid exposing their child to high-conflict that involves the child, is physically violent, threatening or abusive; and conflict in which the child feels caught in the middle.

As children try to make sense of the world around them, it’s important that they are able to predict the behaviors and responses of important people in their lives. If kids experience a great deal of upheaval and unpredictability, they’ll be wary of the world around them. They won’t know what to expect, and they’ll be unsure of their own actions. Further, parents must continually validate their children’s abilities in order for them to feel self-confident and sure or themselves and their place in the world. If this reinforcement is absent or inconsistent from parents, children won’t develop healthy self-esteem.

While it’s impossible to avoid conflict completely, parents who learn to control their emotions bestow their children with the gifts of security and self-esteem they’ll need to thrive and become resilient adults.

Follow Terry Gaspard MSW, LICSW on Facebook, Twitter and movingpastdivorce.com

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Candice Bergen: My parents never told me they loved me

Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress Candice Bergen is out with a new memoir called “A Fine Romance,” where she writes how her parents never told her they loved her as a little girl.? She tells Kathie Lee and Hoda that she started writing the book three years after the deadline.




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9 Questions All Parents Needs To Ask Themselves

As a parent, you’re the head of your family, and therefore you occupy an unbelievably powerful role in shaping the tone, texture, mood and quality of this interconnected and vitally important unit. You’re a system manager. By successfully managing this system, you can parent your way to a phenomenal family — and avoid the problems and erosion seen in so many of the families in your very own neighborhood.

But ask yourself:

1. What kind of family manager have you been up until now?

2. Are you working on a day-to-day basis at managing your family, treating it as a project, giving it the priority it deserves?

2 Things That Set Effective Parents Apart

3. Are you creating a family environment that brings out the best in your child?

4. Do you have the skills necessary to give your child his or her best chance at succeeding in this world?

5. Have you overcome any “family legacy” that has contaminated the way in which you define and parent your family?

6. If the other parent is in the home or active in the children’s lives post-divorce, do the two of you have a parenting plan that provides guidance based on consistent values?

Do You Have The Wrong Priorities As A Parent?

7. Do you have a plan and an objective in mind for what successful parenting is and will yield in your child’s life?

8. Have you created an environment that generates feelings of safety, security, belongingness, self-confidence and strength for the children or children in your charge?

9. Is your family nurturing your child’s individuality and acting to ensure that he or she will become the unique and authentic person God intended?

7 Tools For Parenting With Purpose

You are writing your children’s future with your answers. Those questions are just a beginning of the self-examination you must be willing to do if you’re going to strengthen the foundation on which your children are basing their lives.

If you want a healthy and nurturing family, and successful and productive children, you must commit yourself to acquiring the insight and skills necessary to live the values that you know in your heart are so important.

Modified excerpt from Family First: Your Step-by-Step Plan for Creating a Phenomenal Family by Dr. Phil McGraw (Free Press).

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You Have To See This ’70s Throwback Pic Of Kourtney Kardashian And Her Parents

Kourtney Kardashian posts throwback picture of her and her parents from the ’70s.
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American Voices: Parents Let Kids Play On Vietnam War Memorial

Parents visiting Washington, D.C. with their kids this week sparked outrage and controversy by encouraging them to climb and play on the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, which honors U.S.




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Catelynn Lowell, Tyler Baltierra My how time flies!

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Why (Most) Newly Divorced Parents Should Wait to Date

Life changes dramatically when divorce happens.

And divorce does happen, like an affliction, a disease leaving scars that fade with time but never fully disappear. At least it felt that way for me. At the age of 31, with a two year old son, divorce left me scarred by the transformation it forced upon me. I was no longer a wife. I lived on my own for the first time, had my own mortgage, saw my child only 50 percent of the time, and learned how to fix hot water heaters, toilets, and broken sprinklers (because I had to). Dad showed me how to turn off the circuit breaker, shut off the water and a heap of other home-ownership things I never wanted to know. I was also financially dependent on myself since my ex and I opted not to pursue spousal or child support.

I was definitely overwhelmed and quickly learned there’s very little easing-in to divorce.

What’s more, “motherhood” and “dating” suddenly took residence in my life at the same exact time and were no longer mutually exclusive. Like so many newly single parents, I struggled to consider a new life where the focus wasn’t solely on family and career but included new independence and a dating scene I hadn’t considered for twelve years. The sweetness and purity of motherhood were sharply juxtaposed against the sexy dating scene. One day, I was changing diapers and rocking my child to sleep. The next, I was wearing a little black dress and heels while trying to rock-out a new life.

The paradox was unsettling.

Reconciling how HotWheels cars, pacifiers and baggies of crushed cheerios shared space in my purse with valet parking tickets and new tubes of red lipstick, was staggering. The world was off-kilter and I felt as if I was slipping over the edge with nothing to anchor me. I struggled (oh, how I struggled) as I laughed and cried at the cruel absurdity of it all. I often asked, “Is this really my life?” But I already knew the answer — this was my life, a life filled with uncertainty and a barrage of constant change (and broken garbage disposals and roof leaks). And dating.

Like many newly single moms, I was compelled to join the dating scene to fill the void of my ex’s absence and escape an empty house’s silence. It seemed reasonable. Even well-intentioned family and friends suggested I “get out there” and “meet someone new” and “have fun.”

So I did. Or, rather, I tried.

I got dressed-up on nights I didn’t have my son, met dates at restaurants and shared edited versions of myself while I listened to theirs. You know, dating. I worried about everything from whether to split the bill, to whether he thought I was pretty enough, to whether he would drug my cocktail (all while worrying about what my ex was feeding our son.) When I returned to a too-quiet home, I called mom to tell her I was home safely from the dangerous dating scene where clawing serial killers were ready to kidnap me, the girl who was newly divorced from the second boy she’d ever kissed.

I was so naïve.

Dating as a divorced mom felt like an odd betrayal. Even though I dated on nights I didn’t have my son, he was always on my mind. Taking attention away from him (even when he wasn’t with me) felt wrong. What’s more, finalized divorces have no correlation to emotional healing. My marriage ended before my heart fully caught-up to the finality of it all. And while I realize many divorced moms and dads are eager to date and invigorated by the prospect of meeting someone knew, I just wasn’t one of them yet.

When it comes to life’s more humbling experiences, dating as a divorced parent was second only to divorce itself. I felt the need to explain I was a mother, my most important role. Sure, I had a career and hobbies, but when I met a man the words, “I have a two year old,” burst from my lips. I felt compelled to explain away my divorce and how I ended-up a young, single mom. I felt the need to downplay my divorce (“Oh, you know, it happens to so many people”) or to apologize for it (“Well, I’m not proud of it but it happened to me, so…”)

Looking back, I lacked the confidence and self-esteem necessary to date with dignity. No one should date when they’re self-conscious of their past. I should have waited until I’d come to terms with my mistakes, learned from them, and moved forward wisely. I should have eased into dating by going out with friends in familiar environments. I should have spent time as an observer of the scene, not a participant. I should have adapted to my new life without the added pressure of finding someone else. Oh, the retrospective clarity of should have.

Parenthood and dating can co-exist but those who manage them well are not struggling to acclimate to newly single lives. Those ready to date are no longer mired in a post-divorce world but have adapted, grown and stretched into their new normal. They’ve come to terms with any guilt they may feel as parents and found ways to balance time with their children and time they’re alone. They’ve progressed from being overwhelmed by divorce to reconciling its occurrence. And they’ve healed to where parenthood and dating no longer collide but can share space in their life so they can mindfully and healthfully meet someone new.
Divorce – The Huffington Post

Need to File for a Divorce!

A Guy Secretly Recorded An Argument With His Parents In 1985; Some Genius Has Now Animated It

For 16 years, from the age of 12 to 28, Mike Cohen secretly recorded his interactions with his parents. Years later, Cohen’s friend, Rodd Perry, decided to take one of these vintage recordings and animate it.

The result is pure gold.

In the video above, which has racked up more than 230,000 views this week, watch the drama unfold when Cohen’s parents walk into his room and give him an earful. The audio in the clip is said to have been recorded in 1985, during one of Cohen’s visits home during college.

In a post on Reddit this week, Perry explained that the video was his “first attempt” at animation. He said he used both Photoshop and Final Cut to create the viral clip.

Watch the video above.
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Shocked Parents Film Family’s Reaction To Finding Out Their Ultrasound Was Wrong

Parents Kyle and Danielle Williams were in for a big surprise on March 3 when their new baby — whom an ultrasound technician had said would be a girl — came out all boy.

“I was speechless and couldn’t believe my eyes,” Kyle told The Huffington Post. “I had been up 24 hours and thought my eyes were playing tricks on me.” Her husband in shock, Danielle didn’t hear the news until the doctor gave his congratulations on the birth of her baby boy. “She was in disbelief and thought we were all joking,” Kyle recalled.

After getting over their initial surprise, Kyle and Danielle decided to film the reactions of their various family members as they told them the girl they were all expecting turned out to be a boy. The final video, which has reached over 120,000 views on YouTube in just three days, features some truly golden moments — like the bit where Danielle’s mother Linda Monday-Jones learns her new grandchild’s sex while changing the baby’s diaper.

The family had to quickly shift from their baby name choice, Charlee, to Bentley Thomas Williams. But ultimately, when the Williams — who already have a 2-year-old daughter named Peyton — learned that the ultrasound technician had made a mistake, Kyle says, “We didn’t care. We are just happy to have a healthy baby.”

And as for little Peyton, “Our daughter really doesn’t fully understand the confusion I don’t think.,” Kyle said. “She was happy just to have a new baby sibling.”

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Comedy – The Huffington Post
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The Moment Eddie Routh’s Parents Learned He Killed ‘American Sniper’ Chris Kyle

Jodi and Ray Routh’s son, Eddie, a Marine Corps veteran, was recently convicted of murdering former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle — the man who inspired the movie American Sniper — and Kyle’s friend, Chris Littlefield. The parents say their son, who was suffering from PTSD and severe mental illness, had sought treatment from the VA and was released from the hospital a week before the shootings.

In the video above, Jodi takes Dr. Phil through the moment she found out her son killed Kyle and Littlefield. “Our daughter Laura calls. She is hysterical, and I knew the moment I heard her voice that something really had gone wrong. And she tells me Eddie’s killed two people,” Jodi says. “My heart just kept saying, ‘No, no. Eddie could never do this.’”

Jodi says she had a gut feeling who the victims were. “When she told me he was driving a black truck, I knew that truck. I’ve seen it before,” she says. “I knew it was Chris’ truck. I had Chris’ number in my phone, and I dialed it, and no one answered. It was a heart-stopping moment.”

Dr. Phil’s entire interview with the Rouths airs Monday.

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Dr. Phil – The Huffington Post

Parents Of The Man Who Killed ‘American Sniper’ Speak Out For The First Time Since Their Son’s Conviction (VIDEO)

Weeks after Eddie Ray Routh was convicted of killing former U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle — the inspiration behind the movie American Sniper — and Kyle’s friend, Chad Littlefield, Routh’s parents share what they would tell Kyle and Littlefield if they had the chance. Watch the video above, and tune in for Dr. Phil’s interview airing Monday.

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Dr. Phil – The Huffington Post

Meghan Trainor Is All About Positivity and Parents on That Bass Tour in NYC: Concert Review


“Moms! Shout out to the moms dancing their butts off tonight — you look great!”

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Hollywood Reporter – Music Reviews

Corey’s Parents Support His Choice to Move | 2 Fat 2 Fly | Oprah Winfrey Network

When Corey’s mother first learned of his plans to move to Atlanta, she was shaken by the news and had trouble accepting his decision. Now that she and Corey’s father have had time to reflect on the idea, they realize that this life-changing move is what’s best their son and his burgeoning career.

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2 Things That Set Effective Parents Apart (VIDEO)

In his “Tip of the Day,” Dr. Phil explains that there are two important factors for being an effective parent. “One is the unconditional love that is never more purer than from parent to a child. There’s no jealousy, there’s no envy, it is the purest kind of love,” he says. “And number two, you need a really good plan.” A plan is your strategy for socializing your children, for helping them understand the difference between good and bad people in the world, and for passing on a legacy of solid values. Watch the video above to be reminded that ultimately, you’re raising adults, not children.

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Dr. Phil – The Huffington Post

Parents Say They Are Convinced Their 7-Year-Old Will Kill Someone (VIDEO)

Kim and her ex-husband, Ryan, say they are terrified of their 7-year-old son, Rylan, whom they adopted from a drug-addicted mother. “I would say Rylan has an obsession with knives. He talks about stabbing us with them, about how he’s going to lift them up over his head and plunge them into our chests so he that he gets the best impact,” says Kim, who has three other children. “My biggest fear is that we’re raising a school shooter, a mass murderer, a serial killer.”

Looking back, she claims that at 18 months old, Rylan would hold his breath until he passed out; at 3, he placed multiple knives inside a watermelon; and at 4, he became more aggressive with his siblings and hurt animals. Now, she says that Rylan has an imaginary friend named Bleeder, whom he says tells him to kill his entire family.

“We have not lived a normal day in probably the last three years,” says Rylan’s dad, Ryan. “When he loses all control, our last resort is a therapeutic hold. We’ve had to hold him for upwards of 45 minutes to an hour.”

He adds, “I do worry about Rylan killing someone.” Turning to Dr. Phil, he says, “We are out of options. I know that I can’t help him. I need help.”

Watch Tuesday’s episode of Dr. Phil to hear how Dr. Phil believes these parents can help their child, who has been hospitalized for nearly half his life.

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Dr. Phil – The Huffington Post

7 Judgmental Things People Say To Single Parents And How I Respond

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During my divorce I was on the receiving end of many comments. These comments varied widely, and generally said more about the speaker than me or my situation, as unsolicited comments often do.

“You mean you won’t see your kids EVERY SINGLE DAY?” Nope.

“I would never allow that to happen.” Okay.

“But won’t you miss them?” Yup.

“What kind of a mother doesn’t have her kids ALL the time?” This one.

“Even sharing custody with their father is unacceptable.” Actually, studies show that is the best arrangement for the kids.

“Don’t you want to be home with your babies?” Well, they’re 3 and 5, in preschool and kindergarten. As a working mom, with a career, and now as a single mother, it would probably be irresponsible to quit my job and attempt to live off child support and state aid. Not a very good example for my kids either.

“Maybe you can work it out.” Wow. What a great idea. I guess the last two years of both couples and individual therapy was just for giggles.

On the soccer field I was the only mom among several dads coaching kindergarten boys soccer, AND I was a divorcee. I say divorcee because it sounds sexy. Really, I was chubby, hair pulled back, in a fleece with a whistle. Still, I felt a little judged being out there, 3-year-old daughter on my hip, teaching the boys to kick with the side of their foot not their toes, and to spread out for Christmas sake! All the other moms were pleasantly chirping on the sidelines. I got some looks.

Now my kids are 8 and 10. Life is still very challenging. Being a single mom is not easy. I struggle financially. I am always in a hurry. I miss my kids when they are with their dad. With all that stress I try to be patient but often fail. If I lose my temper while out for a walk with my kids, Judgey Mcjudgerton is sure to walk by with their words of wisdom at the exact moment I do not want to hear them.

On the upside, I have found love again. For real this time. In it for the long haul. Soul mates. No we aren’t getting married. I have something new to explain.

“You’re not getting married?” No.

“What are you doing?” Being in a relationship forever.

“Is that a new thing?” Nope.

“Why don’t you get married?” Been there, done that.

“What about major healthcare decisions and death benefits?” We will cross that bridge when we get closer to it.

Domestic partners. Partners for life. Spiritual partners. Lovers. Best friends. Shacking up. Living in sin. Blended family. Call it whatever you want. Give us the stink eye. Support us. Love us. Hate us.

We are a family. My family. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Divorce – The Huffington Post

Need to File for a Divorce!

Passengers Feel Sorry For Flustered Toddler Traveling With Loud, Obnoxious Parents

DENVER—Expressing their sympathy for the difficult and humiliating situation he was currently enduring, passengers seated in Terminal B of Denver International Airport told reporters Friday how sorry they felt for a flustered toddler who was traveli…




The Onion

Divorcing Parents: 4 Ways You Can Be Super Heroes To Your Children

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Divorcing parents: you can be super heroes to your children. Here’s the plot twist: becoming their super hero means accepting that your children deserve to experience both a “Super-Mom” and “Super-Dad.” Your marriage is ending, but your relationship as co-parents continues. Super hero status depends on whether you exercise your powers to communicate positively with your children about their other co-parent. They need your permission and encouragement, demonstrated by all of your words and actions, to enjoy their relationship with your ex-spouse and feel supported for doing so.

This may sound flat-out horrible to you! The worse it sounds, the more you probably need to hear it. Amidst the overwhelming challenges presented by your divorce, your first act of heroism is to begin thinking about one another as co-parents, and move away from “ex-talk.” Your number one priority now is to make the healthiest possible choices–big and small–for your kids. Please consider these four commitments you can make as co-parents that will change the course of your children’s lives and in the process, possibly save yours too.

1. Begin to access your super power–choose a healthier divorce.

The best decision divorcing spouses can make is choosing divorce mediation, instead of an ugly street fight in court. Most legal battles cause harm to your children. Litigation encourages spouses to become enemies. The increased intensity and duration of conflict can damage your child’s development and cause serious long-term problems. Consider how doubling-down on negative feelings about your spouse in a divorce war might affect your children, who need both of you as a source of love and stability in their lives, especially during a time of epic change.

In divorce mediation, you and your spouse together, with the help of a qualified neutral mediator, will address all of issues that a judge would decide: property and debt division, support issues and child custody (in mediation called a “parenting plan”). By avoiding court and engaging in respectful communication, you will stay in control of your own future and lower your family’s stress level. This is your first step–and an essential one–toward building a more peaceful co-parenting future and setting the stage to become super heroes to your children.

2. Be truthful–but tell them only what they need to know.

Child specialists agree that parents need to communicate honestly and in advance that the separation is happening, the reasons behind it, and what the future might look like for the family. While specific approaches vary depending on age, renowned child psychologist and pioneering custody mediator, Donald Saposnek, Ph.D., urges parents to agree upon a truthful, carefully framed “mutual story of the divorce.”

First, parents should tell their children together about the divorce. Children need to hear “one mutual and consistent story” about why and how the divorce will happen, according to Saposnek. Telling your children a “mutual story,” in which neither parent is “bad,” joint responsibility for the divorce is taken and personal details are spared, will help them view the divorce as a “family re-organization” rather than a “break-up.” It will allow them to bond with both of you within the re-organized family from the outset.

For example, instead of Mom telling the children that the divorce is a result of Dad’s cheating and lack of care for the family, and Dad telling the children that Mom has been mean to him for years, a “mutual story” would focus on how much Mom and Dad both love them. It would also express how they will always be safe and cared for, and that although this may be difficult for everyone for a time, everything will be okay.

“Mommy and Daddy tried as hard as they could to live happily together but we have grown-up problems that we just can’t fix, so we’ve both decided that we shouldn’t be married anymore. We will always love you and take good care of you and be your Mommy and Daddy. You need to know that our divorce is not your fault. You haven’t done anything wrong. We are both very proud of you. Even though Mom and Dad will live in two different houses, you will see us both and we will keep loving you, and taking care of you and will each have special time with you. We both agree that it is important for us not to fight anymore and that we will be happier living in separate places.”

The “tell them what they need to know” approach applies after your divorce too. Spare the details as questions may arise or bumps occur in your co-parenting relationship. Agree on how you may need to elaborate on the mutual story as time goes on.

3. Never argue with or criticize your co-parent in the presence of your children.

The true hero is a parent who prevents an argument from occurring in front of their children, not the parent who wins an argument. Never argue or fight with one another in front of your kids. It is a sin against their childhood. There is no excuse for it. So, learn to control yourself. Perhaps agree with your co-parent on a “code word” for when tense moments arise that signals: “we-both-need-to-STOP-NOW-because-continuing-will-permanently-damage-our-children.” Whatever it takes.

Speaking negatively about or criticizing your co-parent within earshot of your kids is equally harmful. Many child experts would call it “emotional child abuse.” When you attack your co-parent, you are also attacking your children. This makes sense because children view themselves as being a part of both of you. A condescending comment or a display of anger about your co-parent will cause unnatural stress on your children and can make them feel belittled and lower their self-esteem.

You are still entitled to your feelings and need to express them, but not to your children or anywhere near them. Beware: They can probably hear you talking on the phone in your house, or with a friend or relative while they sit in the backseat of your car.

4. Proactively support your children’s relationship with your co-parent.

In addition to shielding your children from negativity, by positively reinforcing your co-parent when communicating with your children, you will advance healthy child development. I’m not claiming that it will be easy! In order to “talk the positive talk” with your children, it helps to “walk the positive walk” with your co-parent.

First, get yourself in the right frame of mind. Keep reminding yourself that your goal as a parent is not to win a popularity contest. Even if it were, omitting opportunities to positively support your co-parent would not help you win one in the end. Understand that for a while you may need to just “go through the motions” of practicing positive communication.

Second, find consensus with your co-parent about fostering a supportive co-parenting relationship. Agree that your children have an absolute right to a positive and full relationship with both of you. Agree that you will both look for ways to support your children’s relationship with the other, regardless of your personal feelings at any given moment. Agree to continuously communicate with each other about child’s needs.

Building this foundation of mutual understanding may allow positive communications about your co-parent come more naturally. If you’ve undertaken divorce mediation with a sophisticated mediator, you’ll lay the groundwork there. Many co-parents also greatly benefit from the expert advice of a therapist or social worker, during or post-divorce, who specializes in healthy co-parenting.

And finally, just do it. Here are some tips.

1. Refer to one another “Mommy” and “Daddy” or “Mom and “Dad” rather than “your Mom/Mother” or “your Dad/Father.”

2. Sincerely encourage your children to call or FaceTime the other during your own parenting time.

3. Celebrate the time, activities, and fun moments your children had with your co-parent.

“I’m excited to hear what you and Daddy did this weekend! … Wow, you went to the train park–that must have been so fun.”

“Cool new backpack. Did Mommy get that for you? I love it.”

4. Have a photo–or a few–of your children with your co-parent in your home. It can be a reminder that you are both there for them, wherever they go. You can be clear that even though you and your co-parent are no longer married, you still respect one another as co-parents.

5. Make a list of ten positive memories or good characteristics of your co-parent. Share them, one by one, when the time is right. Repeat them too. You might tell the story of your co-parents’ reaction when your child was born, a time your co-parent did a good deed for someone else or share a talent that your co-parent possesses.

The most heroic gift you can give your children is taking every opportunity possible to speak positively about your co-parent. Divorce in itself will not likely damage your children. However, how you choose to get divorced and behave after your divorce will make the difference. Choose to be super heroes to your kids. In doing so, you may also discover that you are the greatest super hero to yourself.

Michael Aurit, JD, MDR is a professional mediator, attorney, and Founder of The Aurit Center for Divorce Mediation in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is a member of the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section (ABA-DR), The Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM), The Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR), and the Maricopa County Association of Family Mediators (MCAFM). He holds his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law and Masters of Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine. To learn more, visit AuritMediation.com or contact Michael at michael@auritmediation.com.
Divorce – The Huffington Post

Need to File for a Divorce!

Spot-On Bon Jovi Parody Takes On Parents’ Instagram Addictions

In our social media-crazed culture, people often feel like life isn’t actually happening if it’s not documented on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/etc. This is the theme of the newest parody video from What’s Up Moms, “Livin’ for the Share.”

Parodying Bon Jovi’s karaoke-ready hit “Livin’ on a Prayer,” the moms highlight their often comical determination when it comes to capturing the perfect vacation photo to share on social media. From dead batteries to bad lighting to an overload of selfies, it’s clear no obstacle is too big for parents set on documenting their family memories.

And, summing up what so many parents know to be true, the captions at the beginning of the video read, “for every perfect photo, there are 100 that didn’t make the cut.”

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Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Tindering With Parents

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Of LGBT Youth and Their Parents

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Diriye Osman (photo by Tom Hensher)

No one who has ever come out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender to their family, particularly their parents, will ever forget that life-altering moment. The LGBT individual’s entire future hinges on the outcome of how their courage will be perceived by their loved ones. Sometimes the connective thread will be cut; other times that bond will be deepened, enriched by this new reality.

Make no mistake: coming out of the closet requires courage. By coming out of the closet, the LGBT individual in question is re-introducing themselves to an often hostile world, and most of the time that hostility stems from one’s own home. We sometimes forget that the mythology and history that surrounds the meaning of what constitutes a home is so deeply embedded in all cultures that the loss of it devastates every member of the family. When we think of home, we think of symbiosis and solace, community and kinship. This is why most LGBT men and women who are rejected by their families spend a lifetime trying to recreate through emotionally enriching friendship networks the familial solidarity they have lost. In some instances the whole enterprise devolves into an unwieldy simulacrum. In other cases, it’s nothing short of a success story of self-parenting and community-building.

The latter example is my story. Nearly six years ago, when I came out as gay to my own family, I was rejected. At the time I went to see a counsellor who had experienced similar circumstances with his own family. His advice was simple. Give it two years, he said. Your heart will break a million times during the course of those two years. After that, he said, you’ll begin to see things in a positive light. When he told me this I wanted to laugh, because it seemed like the most meaningless, homespun deception. Over the following two years, I woke up every night drenched in sweat from fighting demons in my sleep. Even though I was in a loving, fulfilling relationship, every time I listened to an innocuous pop song I struggled to hold it together. The most anodyne activities — whether it was having casual drinks with friends or reading a book – required energy and stamina that I no longer possessed. My psychological and emotional substratum had assembled a powerful revolt against any internal forward motion. I was trapped in misery for precisely two years. Gradually, the painful memories receded. I regained my confidence but I now wore my thorns. I was no longer afraid of confrontation because I knew the consequences of remaining silent. I had risked my sanity in order to come out and lead a life free of prejudice. I no longer suffered from night terrors.

There’s a flipside to this story because you have only heard my half of it. A friend of mine once said that the parents of LGBT youth often experience a variation of the trauma that their LGBT progeny go through when they come out of the closet. I didn’t believe him at the time so I asked him to elaborate. His reasoning was simple. You’re a totally different person in their eyes now, he said, and some parents experience grief for the child they feel they have lost. I dismissed this assessment as prejudice disguised as victimhood and went about reconstructing my life.

Three years ago, I was standing under the summer sun waiting for my bus to arrive. I sparked a cigarette and inhaled deeply. As I was enjoying my smoke, someone came up from behind me and placed their hands over my eyes. I did not panic. I recognized the fragrance of this individual, the feel of their palms. I turned to face my mother. She was smiling but she also had tears in her eyes. We hugged and kissed. She seemed ecstatic to see me but I was startled by my lack of emotion. I had waited for years for this moment and now that it was here it was strangely anti-climactic. We talked for about three minutes, until our individual buses arrived, before hugging each other quickly and promising to keep in touch. As I got on my bus and headed towards my destination, I realized that my mother was grieving for the son she had lost. She did not have the tools that I had, the counsellors and psychotherapists who guided me through my own grief, my ability to write and paint my way out of sadness and depression. I had healed and moved on. She hadn’t. Like the distillation of saltwater, something had been lost and something had been gained. My sadness had lifted and in its place was a congealed self-protectiveness. By then more than two years had passed since that initial rejection and the counsellor who had once told me that the trauma would subside had been proven right. Not only had my trauma subsided but I had learned to care a lot less. The connective thread had been cut.

I removed my copy of Amy Hempel’s Reasons to Live from my bag and I started reading.

Diriye Osman is the Polari Prize-winning author of Fairytales for Lost Children (Team Angelica), a collection of acclaimed short stories about the LGBT Somali experience. You can purchase Fairytales for Lost Children here. You can connect with Diriye Osman via Tumblr. He will be performing at The Huddersfield Literature Festival, The Polari Salon and The London Short Story Festival.
Gay Voices – The Huffington Post

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It’s Never Too Late to Mend: What My Parents’ Divorce Taught Me About Heartbreak

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Last week, I sat down to dinner with both of my parents for the first time in eight years. The last time the three of us had dinner was the day they told me they were getting divorced.

I was in college and my mom had called to ask if I wanted to fly home for fall break. I didn’t really think anything of it. I was really excited to get out of the snow for a few days, so I said yes. Both of my parents picked me up from the airport and took me to an Indian buffet for lunch on the way home. I ate too much naan and made jokes and completely missed any warning signs.

As I stepped into our house, I immediately noticed the liquor cabinet was empty; not a bottle of alcohol or a wine glass to be seen. When my Dad asked if we could all sit down in the living room to talk, my mind lunged ahead for answers. In split seconds, I reasoned from the empty liquor cabinet that one of my parents was about to tell me they had a drinking problem. I remember reassuring myself “Okay, this is a curve ball, but we will figure it out.” As I sat down and braced myself for the news, some very unexpected words came out of my Dad’s mouth:

“Ellen, your mom and I are getting divorced.”

It turns out the liquor cabinet was empty not because one of my parents had a drinking problem, but because my Dad had moved out and the contents of the liquor cabinet were now in his apartment down the street. He was the wine connoisseur of the family. That made more sense.

But when you’re an adult and your parents have been married for decades, the concept of divorce can seem so foreign. You’re usually not living at home anymore, so you miss the signs that would have given you a hint. You don’t see the interactions and hear the conversations, so you just assume everything is as it was when you left. I had just assumed that my parents would stay together forever because they had made it past my childhood and young adulthood. Divorce was not an option.

I often talk about the romantic breakups that inspired my website Mend, but my parents’ divorce was really the most influential breakup in my life. The breakup of my family taught me more about mending and resilience and forgiveness than any loss of a romantic partner ever has. Until very recently, it felt too raw and painful to write about.

Though it was impossible for me to comprehend when it first happened, I can see now that both of my parents are kinder, happier and more authentic now that they’ve gone their separate ways. As Louis C.K. says, “No good marriage ever ends in divorce.” I understand what he means now. I am thankful that I no longer have to manage the tension of a marriage that wasn’t working.

And as I learned for the first time last week, enough time has passed where I no longer have to manage the tension of their divorce either. I realized at dinner that our hearts have finally mended. Enough water has flowed under the bridge of life, and enough work has been done individually on all of our parts, where we can now just coexist without feeling pain or anger.

In place of those things, there is just ease. I was so relieved to find at dinner that there was still a chemistry of comfort between my parents that was not erased by divorce; a special connection that exists between two people who made a life and kids together, even if they’ve since parted ways. I have mourned the loss of that for years, wondering if any of our jokes and shared sayings and old stories would ever be resurrected, but I don’t have to pay homage to that gravestone anymore. Our memories will always be there, ready for a “Remember when…” the next time we all have dinner. And it won’t be another eight years.

Before we ate, I looked at both of my parents and gave my best effort to deliver a toast. “This is the best gift,” I said. I couldn’t manage more words for my gratitude, though the occasion certainly deserved them.

So, what did I learn about heartbreak this year? I learned that it is never too late to mend. I learned that sometimes your heart has to break completely apart in order to be whole again. My parents had to get divorced in order for us to be where we are now. All of those cracks and tears have mended to form something better than what was there before; kinder hearts, more compassionate hearts, more authentic hearts. We’re all better for it. If you had told me that eight years ago, I would have told you to fuck off. But now, I’m grateful.

Though I know it will be hard to remember this the next time my heart breaks, I will strive to have faith that something better awaits. And that faith is what I wish for all of you in 2015.

Happy New Year.

This post originally appeared on my website Mend.
Divorce – The Huffington Post

Need to File for a Divorce!

Netflix to Help Parents Trick Kids With Fake New Year’s Eve Countdown

Netflix will offer parents a special kid-friendly countdown that lets children celebrate the New Year before midnight, CNNMoney reports. The on-demand special will be hosted by King Julien, the titular animated lemur from the new Netflix series, All Hail King Julien and allows parents to pretend it’s midnight at any time.

The three-minute clip is……
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The 15 Biggest Misconceptions About Single Parents

The number of single parent households has skyrocketed in recent years. But despite their growing numbers, single parents still have to contend with lingering misconceptions about what the experience is like. (No, every weekend the ex has the kids is not a non-stop party. It’s more like a non-stop laundry and sleep-fest.)

Below, HuffPost Divorce readers share the most annoying misconceptions about single parenthood they’ve encountered through the years. See what they had to say, then share your experience in the comments.

1. “People think that the kids, especially the boys, desperately need fathers no matter how amazing the mom may be.”

2. “Contrary to popular belief, we’re not all desperate to find a significant other. It didn’t work out the first time and actually, being a single parent makes you more fussy about who you want around.”

3. “People always ask ‘How do you do it [with three kids]?’ How wouldn’t I do it? You don’t think about it, you just do what you have to.”

4. “There’s a misconception that every divorcé has to be a single parent. Some are fortunate to have a good parenting relationship with their kid’s other parent — there’s a big difference between single parenting and co-parenting.”

5. “That we at least ‘get a break’ while they are with the other parent. I don’t know about everyone else, but my ‘break’ normally consists of doing everything I can’t do with the kids. Oh, and sleep — much needed sleep.”

6. “I can’t stand it when women say they know what it’s like to be a single mom because their partners work a lot! No way in hell is that the same thing. You still have the emotional and mental support, financial stability and your kids have a father. Your family is intact and you have the comfort of knowing he loves and misses you. He gets home and helps out and it’s all back to normal again. A single parent has none of that.”

7. “The term ‘single mother’ conjures ideas of hardship. It’s definitely hard but it’s no hardship.”

8. “Outsiders think that we all ‘chose’ to do it on our own and because of that, we shouldn’t complain because it’s our own ‘fault.’ Right…”

9. “Nope, our families are not ‘broken.‘”

10. “They think that when the kids are with my ex, they’re not on my mind. My kids are on my mind just as much, sometimes more, when I don’t have them. I worry a lot and even though it’s been three years, I still cry at night when I see their empty bed or their toys.”

11. “That a person can successfully do it all by themselves. Married or not, it really does take a village.”

12. “Too many people seem to think we’re all either on welfare or that we got half ‘his’ stuff. Oh, and that we ditch our kids every chance we get for drunken sexcapades and wild girl’s nights out.”

13. “That as a single stay-at-home mom, you have too much time on your hands and must be bored. Hah!”

14 “One misconception I’ve come across is that I must be pretty miserable or feel trapped as a single mom. I am so much happier as a single mama than I was in my marriage.”

15. “That the kids will grow up to be screwed up in some way. The truth is, divorce often leads to a happier home environment and the kids grow up to be fit adults.”

16.That it’s not a choice to be single. Single parents can be happy, fulfilled and complete.”

Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Divorce on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our newsletter here.
Divorce – The Huffington Post

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Adult Children With Recently Divorced Parents: 10 Ways to Navigate the Holidays

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When I was 27 years old, my family went on a trip to the mountains for Christmas. While we drove in a snow storm late at night from the airport to the cabin we rented, it somehow came out that my dad would not be joining us. In fact, my parents would be getting a divorce. Next, imagine the family shit show that ensued while driving through that snow storm. No one was happy that Christmas despite being in a beautiful winter wonderland. While my brothers and cousins went skiing on Christmas Day, I was so sad I couldn’t get out of bed. My aunt and uncle comforted me and eventually managed to coax me out of bed. I tried to be grateful for my many blessings that Christmas, but I just felt so sad. For my brothers and me, our parents’ marriage and the façade of having a “perfect” family dissolved on Christmas 2008.

I’ll never forget the first Christmas after that fateful one. At that next Christmas gathering of extended family, no one asked about my parent that wasn’t present or even acknowledged that they still existed on this earth despite the fact that they had been an active member of the family for 30 years. I was hurt. I felt that I had to pretend that everything was normal even though I was so sad and frustrated inside. I ended up in tears with my sweet Grandmother comforting me.

Now 6 years later, things are better. In fact, things are better than they were before my parents split, but there are always dynamics to navigate through. When your parents divorce when you are an adult, you may be relied upon by your parents for emotional support, to be a messenger from one parent to the other, and you may feel guilt ridden if one parent is alone on a holiday. Sometimes you have to parent your own parents. And that can be uncomfortable.

The holidays are still somewhat stressful and anxiety provoking for my brothers and me because of figuring out what holiday will be spent with whom and how not to hurt our parents’ feelings. This year, I decided to do something different. For the first time, I will not be going “home” for Christmas. Instead, I decided to do exactly what I want and not be driven by the desire to please my family. While I love them dearly and will miss them, I am also happy about creating my own Christmas this year.

Here is my advice for the holidays to all the other adult children of recently divorced parents out there:

1) Be authentically you and stop pretending everything is ok. Pretending is more painful. You don’t need to announce to the entire holiday gathering of extended family that you are sad and feeling uneasy over your parents recent split. Try and confide in someone empathetic at your family gathering–perhaps your favorite cousin or an uncle with whom you are close. You will most likely find comfort in expressing your feelings to someone outside of your immediate family.

2) Create boundaries. If you are going to your hometown, stay at a hotel or a friend’s home instead of with your family. You may need your space. Sometimes staying in your childhood home amidst your parents recent divorce can make the wounds worse.

3) If you have siblings, rely on each other for emotional support. If you don’t have siblings, ask for support from a friend who has had a similar experience. I am so thankful for my brothers, especially over the last 6 years.

4) Host one of the holidays at your own home. Ask your family to your home for the holidays and start creating a new way of doing the holidays. Planning and preparing to host might just be the distraction you need.

5) Humor! If you can make light of the challenging situation with managing your parents recent divorce, you can diffuse (at least temporarily) the sadness and anxiety.

6) Do what you want to do for the holidays and not what you are “expected” to do. Don’t try to please your family by being the “good daughter” or “good son” by joining the family gathering if you are not up for it this year. Do your own thing and let go of the guilt.

7) Remember you are not responsible for your parents’ happiness. While of course grown children can enhance a parent’s feelings of happiness and joy, your parents should not derive the bulk of their inner happiness from you.

8) Excuse your family members. If you are at a family gathering and your extended family members don’t ask about your other parent not present or don’t acknowledge the difficult situation you are going through, know that they love you dearly but are limited in their ability to expresses their feelings. They simply just don’t know how to do it. Excuse them for this.

9) You are not alone. Remember almost everyone–those that have divorced parents and those with married parents–deal with some level of challenging family dynamics during the holidays. There are plenty of other family- shit-show-holiday-showdowns going on out there too!

10) If a family member of an adult child whose parents recently split is reading this, express your empathy in whatever way to can. Ask about the other parent not present. It goes along way and provides comfort for your loved one.
Divorce – The Huffington Post

Need to File for a Divorce!

The Ultimate Parents’ Guide to the Holidays

With years of scouring the children’s market and 10 kids among the three of them, the founders of Babyccino Kids are well-versed in all things child. Just take a peek at their blog for brilliant craft ideas, extensive travel guides, cultural insights, and new items and brands. A long-distance correspondence among the three friends—who were spread across Europe (Courtney Adamo in London, Emily Walmsley in […]
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MillionaireMatch.com - the best dating site for sexy, successful singles!
MillionaireMatch.com – the best dating site for sexy, successful singles!

Growing Up Without Parents – The Oprah Winfrey Show – OWN

Original airdate: November 10, 2009
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Kim and Matt were home the night their uncle Eric Wrinkles broke into their house and shot their parents to death. Watch as they share what life has been like without a mom and dad.

See more memorable clips from The Oprah Winfrey Show –

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Will the New Couple’s Parents Hit It Off? – Life with La Toya – OWN

Tune in for an all-new episode of Life with La Toya Saturday at 10/9c.
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With marriage around the corner, it’s time for the in-laws to finally meet. But since La Toya and Jeffré come from two different worlds, will opposites attract or will reality come crashing down and threaten to destroy their relationship?

To learn more about Life With La Toya, visit http://www.oprah.com/LifeWithLaToya

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Arsenio Hall on His First Talk Show—in His Parents’ Basement – The Oprah Winfrey Show – OWN

Original airdate: February 7, 1992
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Long before then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton played the saxophone on his stage, a young Arsenio Hall was interviewing neighborhood kids at his parents’ house. Watch as Arsenio talks about the place where he first started to develop his late-night voice.

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Russian parents group asks Putin to cancel Elton John concert: media

British musician Elton John performs during the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NevadaMOSCOW (Reuters) – A Russian parents' committee has asked President Vladimir Putin to cancel a planned concert by gay musician Elton John, saying he intended to violate a ban on "homosexual propaganda". In an open letter to Putin, the local parents' group in central Ural region was reported by media as saying: "The singer intends to come out in support of local sodomites and break the current Russian law, directed at protecting children. …



Music News Headlines – Yahoo News

How Teenagers Always See Their Parents' "Subconscious Agendas" – Oprah's Lifeclass – OWN

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Young people are uniquely talented at seeing through false fronts, and the award-winning author of The Conscious Parent, Dr. Shefali Tsabary, says teenagers are the best at this. Watch as she reveals why kids are often so good at detecting when you’re not being completely forthright with them.

For more Oprah’s Lifeclass, visit http://www.oprah.com/OprahsLifeclass

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Russian parents group asks Putin to cancel Elton John concert: media

British musician Elton John performs during the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NevadaMOSCOW (Reuters) – A Russian parents' committee has asked President Vladimir Putin to cancel a planned concert by gay musician Elton John, saying he intended to violate a ban on "homosexual propaganda". In an open letter to Putin, the local parents' group in central Ural region was reported by media as saying: "The singer intends to come out in support of local sodomites and break the current Russian law, directed at protecting children. …



Music News Headlines – Yahoo News