JWoww ‘Wants What Is Best’ for Her Kids Amid Roger Drama

Jenni “JWoww” Farley doesn’t want her ongoing drama with estranged husband Roger Mathews to have any impact on their children: daughter Meilani, 4, and son Greyson, 2.

“Jenni’s stance has been the same the whole time — she just wants what is best for their kids,” a source tells Us Weekly exclusively. “From the day [their split] became public, Jenni has not commented about it. She wants her kids to be OK and she doesn’t want her kids to go on social media someday and see that their parents are fighting.”

The Jersey Shore: Family Vacation star, 32, filed a restraining order against Mathews, 43, in the early hours of Friday, December 14, after the pair got into an argument. He shared a series of 10 videos on Instagram about the drama, including some filmed in the back of a police car.

JWoww Wants What Is Best For Kids Amid Roger Drama
Roger Mathews, Jenni ‘JWoww’ Farley and their daughter, Meilani, attend DreamWorks Trolls The Experience in New York City on November 14, 2018. ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images

“My wife, earlier tonight, we had a disagreement because she’s leaving again tomorrow for work and promised my daughter that she would be hanging out with her all day, whereas my daughter has the flu. So I took umbrage to it, and a little bit of a disagreement I would say ensued,” Mathews said in one clip.

He went on to call Farley “completely, uncontrollably emotional” and claimed that she told their kids that “their dad is a piece of s–t and she’s sorry she ever had children with him.”

The MTV personality shared her side of the story in a statement shared on Instagram later on Friday morning. She said in part that she had the authorities involved “as she felt it was in her best interest, and in the best interests of her children to do so.”

JWoww Wants What Is Best For Kids Amid Roger Drama
Jenni ‘JWoww’ Farley attends the ‘Jersey Shore: Family Vacation’ premiere at HYDE Sunset: Kitchen + Cocktails in West Hollywood on March 29, 2018. Phillip Faraone/FilmMagic

Farley’s costar Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi also spoke out in her defense, in addition to sharing security footage of Farley talking to police. “My best friend has been through A LOT these past few months and my heart breaks for her,” Polizzi, 31, wrote on Instagram before calling her BFF “a damn good mother.”

Farley filed for divorce from Mathews in September after three years of marriage. However, they continued to spend time together in the weeks that followed, and Mathews told Us exclusively in November that he and Farley were “working on things.”

With reporting by Brody Brown

Us Weekly

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There May Be a Surprising Link Between Depression and Concussions in Kids Who Play Football

For years, studies have found that depression is an all-too-common symptom of concussions. Youth athletes, college athletes and retired NFL players who have suffered brain injuries are all at increased risk of mental illness. A new study, published in The Journal of Pediatrics, flips the relationship between concussions and depression, and asks a different question: Are kids who have depression more at risk of suffering a concussion while playing football?

Indeed, according to the new research, children who have been previously diagnosed with depression had a five-fold increased risk of suffering a concussion while playing football compared to those who did not have a depression diagnosis.

The study tracked 863 youth football players from ages 5 through 14 in the Seattle area over two recent seasons. Researchers found a 5.1% concussion incidence rate, higher than the reported rate in prior studies of youth football players, which ranged between 0.9% and 4.4%. The number of youth players who had been previously diagnosed with depression was small: just 16 out of the 863 players. Still, their greater odds of suffering a concussion was statistically significant, and provides more information for parents to consider when making the often difficult decision whether or not their sons should play football.

Dr. Sara Chrisman, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of adolescent medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital, offers potential explanations for this finding. Kids with a history of depression might be more likely to recognize concussion symptoms, like fatigue and wooziness, and report them, which could lead to higher rates of concussion diagnosis. “Often people with mental health issues are very in tune with uncomfortableness in their bodies,” says Chrisman. “They’re more likely to be aware of changes. What’s not as distressing to someone else, might be distressing to them.”

Chrisman also points to research that links depression with riskier behavior, particularly in younger men. “In general, depression makes people want to crawl into a hole,” Chrisman says. “But depression is expressed differently in different people.” If a child with a history of depression is more likely to play aggressively — perhaps throwing caution aside while making a tackle — he could increase his risk of becoming concussed. Children who behave recklessly are also more likely to see a psychologist, which raises the odds of a depression diagnosis. Kids with such diagnoses may bring these aggressive behaviors onto the football field.

The relationship between depression and concussions is ripe for further research. “To our knowledge,” Chrisman and her fellow researchers write, “depression history has not been previously reported as a risk factor for concussions in a prospective manner.” These findings add to the reported risks of football, but Chrisman also found some encouraging news for kids who play the sport. “In general, we found that kids weren’t going back to play football until they’ve recovered from their concussions,” she says. “That hasn’t been true in some prior studies. Some systems in place are working.”

Sports – TIME

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Man Arrested In Texas After Telling Kids Santa Isn’t Real

DALLAS (AP) — Police say a 31-year-old protester who told children Santa Claus is not real has been arrested for trespassing at a North Texas church.

Aaron Urbanski was arrested Saturday after authorities were called to a church in Cleburne, which was hosting a breakfast with Santa event. Police say they found three people demonstrating outside the church after responding to a trespassing complaint.

Authorities say Urbanski refused to leave and continued to cause a disturbance. Urbanski, who was charged with criminal trespass, has been booked into the Johnson County Law Enforcement Center.

Cleburne Mayor Scott Cain weighed in on Facebook, saying “Don’t Mess With Santa!” The mayor continued: “Guess they wanted coal in their stockings to go with a court appearance.”

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ENTERTAINMENT UPDATE:

The powerful impact of real-world learning experiences for kids

Real-world learning experiences, like summer camps, can significantly improve children’s knowledge in a matter of just days, a new study suggests. Researchers found that 4- to 9-year-old kids knew more about how animals are classified after a four-day camp at a zoo. It wasn’t that children who attended just knew more facts about animals, the researchers noted. The camp actually improved how they organized what they knew — a key component of learning.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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12.7.18 Clark Stinks; Free gifts for kids at Christmas

Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a “Clark Stinks” to share you can leave it here; Clark shares a long list of free gifts that will mean a lot to kids at Christmas time. 

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Watch the video
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Back To School Sale – Get up to 40% OFF stylish footwear at Payless.com

Holiday shopping: The best toys for kids make use of their imaginations, not a screen

The AAP recently recommended a more hands-on approach to playtime for kids.
ABC News: Health

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I have three healthy kids, but I’ll never forget the pain of my miscarriage

I have three healthy kids, but I’ll never forget the pain of my miscarriage


I have three healthy kids, but I’ll never forget the pain of my miscarriage

Trigger Warning: This essay describes graphic memories of a miscarriage.

When I gave birth to my son, I was certain it was the biggest accomplishment of my life. When anyone asked me how I liked motherhood, I proudly said it was the greatest thing I’d ever do. So, 10 months after our son made us parents for the first time, my husband and I decided we were ready for baby number two. Effortlessly, I became pregnant within a month. I was ecstatic. Yes, I’d have two babies in diapers at the same time, but the unconditional love was addictive. Creating that love by adding to our family made all the sense in the world.

My first doctor’s appointment confirming my pregnancy was exciting. My son had been unplanned, so my anxiety about being pregnant and unwed had prevented me from enjoying the first stage of that pregnancy. I was eager to enjoy every moment this second time around. After some lab work, I was confirmed to be officially pregnant.

My husband accompanied me to my next appointment a week later; he was as excited about our newest addition as I was. I slipped into my hospital gown while my husband and I flirted and laughed. Soon, we excitedly watched our baby show up on the screen for the first time. We were so eager that it took a moment to realize what the ultrasound machine revealed: A small 7-week-old fetus with no heartbeat.

My doctor seemed unperturbed as she instructed me to get dressed before leaving the room. I put on my clothes in silence. The joyful atmosphere from before was completely erased while we waited for the doctor to say what we already knew. Like one in four pregnancies, mine had ended in miscarriage.

My doctor confirmed it, and there was no explanation for what happened. There were no condolences given. She only stated the simple facts and told me the fetus should pass soon without trouble. I was too numb to respond.

That weekend was spent in tears as I experienced bleeding. I tried to rationalize the miscarriage. Why did it happen? What did I do to cause it? I wanted answers, but there was no way to find them.


I returned to work the following Monday, knowing that everyone was aware of my miscarriage. But I was relieved—having someone innocently ask about my pregnancy would set me off all over again. Instead, I was handled with kids gloves and I couldn’t bring myself to resent it. I felt more fragile than ever.

I was processing the weekly payroll in my office, and that’s when I felt it happening. I excused myself to a private bathroom and sat heavily on the seat. To this day, I can’t explain how it felt, but I could feel my body passing something more than blood. I knew my body had to release the remainders of the fetus, but I had no understanding of how physically substantial a miscarriage can be. I thought my bleeding over the weekend would be the end of it, but now I knew I was wrong. I affixed an oversized pad to my underwear and went back to my desk.

But I still felt it—those telltale uncomfortable signs of bleeding through my pad. I went back to the bathroom; it was like I’d entered a scene from a bloody horror movie. I quickly changed my pad, shaking as I cleaned myself as much as I could.

But I bled through the second pad, and this time, I was frantic. The bleeding wouldn’t stop. I was traumatized. Not knowing what to do, I took out my phone and called my boss. He answered with a chipper voice, no doubt expecting a payroll question.

“I’m miscarrying in the bathroom,” I told him. “Help me.”

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I don’t know if it was my words or the panicked way I said them, but he and our team’s head of HR knocked at the bathroom door almost instantly. Through the door, I explained what was happening. They wanted to call an ambulance; I wanted my husband. I wanted my parents. I didn’t want to experience this there.

They coaxed me out of the bathroom and I waited for my ride to the ER. I continued bleeding uncontrollably, shaking violently as my boss tried to keep me alert. I remember his comforting words, but they were overshadowed by the horrified look in his eyes.

Mumbled apologies tumbled from my lips—but I wasn’t even sure what I was sorry for. Scaring them? Bleeding all over the place? Bringing my trauma to work? Failing this baby as a mother?

My husband met me at the ER. We were ushered to a triage where we waited for far too long, and I felt the final drop of a heavy mass. Suddenly, the proof of my unborn second child laid on the floor of the triage. I couldn’t look at it.

Just like my OBGYN, the ER doctor walked in, gave me the facts of my miscarriage, and sent me away.

I wasn’t sure what was worse: leaving the fetus that had been in my womb behind or enduring heartless treatment from doctors in the most harrowing time of my life.


It took me years to talk about my miscarriage.

Instead, I did all the things you’re supposed to do. I named her June Jose for the month she was lost and for my father. My dad planted a flowering bush in her honor. I waited to have another child. I spent my third and fourth pregnancies doing everything I could to grow healthy babies—and I did. Still, there was a pain I couldn’t shake, that I still can’t.

In a strange way, I don’t think I’m meant to forget that pain. Living children spend their entire existences are spent filling us with joy, love, worry, frustration, and a litany of other feelings. We love them more each day, and they teach us in both subtle and grand ways. Children lost in pregnancy or infancy aren’t exempt from inspiring these feelings—they just do it in a different way. The what-ifs intensify those feelings. These children who were lost are simultaneously infinite in their possibilities and finite in their reality. I’ll never know for sure that my child was a girl. I’ll never know if she had my eyes or my husband’s smile. I’ll never know what it feels like to hold her.

No matter how full my heart is, there will always be a smaller corner of it that aches just for her, and I’ve accepted that it is supposed to be that way. My sorrow is never ending, but so is my love for the child I lost.

If you have suffered a pregnancy or infant loss, you can find your local chapter of Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support here, and get their help during this time.

The post I have three healthy kids, but I’ll never forget the pain of my miscarriage appeared first on HelloGiggles.

HelloGiggles

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Mariah Carey Slammed For Not Putting Seatbelts On Her Kids During Car Ride!

Safety first, singing second! The songstress was slammed on social media for not putting the seatbelts on her young ones while in the car.

Mariah Carey got mom shamed online as users were not at all happy about the fact that the star ignored this basic safety measure, especially since her adorable twins were involved!

It all started when the woman shared a clip on her Instagram page that showed the children in the backseat of a car.

While Moroccan and Monroe were super cute singing backup vocals for their mom’s hit All I Want For Christmas Is You, what a lot of Mariah’s followers really focused on was the fact that she had not strapped them in with a seatbelt.

‘Jesus buckle up your kids!!!! I lost a cousin in an accident he would not even have a scratch if he was buckled up!! You should get a visit from CPS! This hits a nerve and a traumatic memory for sure!’ one person commented.

And that was not the only upset user that felt like slamming Carey for her mistake.

‘How about you put your kids in seatbelts wtf how dare you! But when something happens, you find something to back you up HOW ABOUT BUCKLE THEM UP NOW,’ a second comment out of many similar ones reads. Yikes!

Do you think she deserves to be in hot water for her video of the kids in the car without seat belts on or not?

Is Mariah Carey an irresponsible mother or are people going too far with their mom-shaming?

Celebrity Insider

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Kristin Cavallari’s Christmas Tradition Keeps Her Kids ‘In Line’

Kristin Cavallari’s holiday tradition doesn’t involve caroling or decorating sugar cookies. 

“Growing up, the elves would come every day before Christmas, and if you were good, they’d leave a little something in your stocking, and if you were bad, you got coal,” Cavallari, 31, told Us Weekly exclusively at the Uncommon James pop-up shop at The Grove in Los Angeles on Tuesday, November 27.

Now, the Hills alum and her husband, Jay Cutler, do the same thing every December with their children, Camden, 6, Jaxon, 4, and Saylor, 3. “It’s a good way to keep your kids in line and have them be on their best behavior,” the Very Cavallari star told Us.

There will be plenty of presents under the tree this year at the couple’s Nashville home. Camden and Jaxon have already completed their Santa wish lists. “They had toy magazines come to the house and they cut things out and put them together,” Cavallari told Us.

Though daughter Saylor isn’t ready for scissors just yet, she verbally expressed what she wants. “She’s into her baby dolls right now, so I got her a little baby carrier,” the E! personality revealed. 

The whole family will feast on homemade meatballs and sauce on Christmas Eve — Cavallari swears by her dad’s recipe — and then on December 26, they will hop a flight to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The trip is Cavallari and the retired football player’s gift to each other. As the Balancing in Heels author shared with Us: “It’s more just about spending time together.”

Cavallari and the athlete, 35, tied the knot in June 2013. This will be their ninth Christmas together.

With reporting by Carly Sloane

Us Weekly

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U.S. sees humanitarian crisis as migrants arrive with kids who are not their own

Smugglers in Central America charge less if a minor is part of the cargo. Some parents have given up their children to other adults to help the adult enter the United States. These cases can be complicated. The families face hunger and threats, and there are disagreements about paternity and allegations of abuse.
World

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New York Parents Are Turning to Reiki Healers for Their Stressed Kids

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Frankie Martucci is 13. For the past three years, he has kept a familiar nighttime ritual in his Upper West Side bedroom. Rather than scrolling Instagram or watching TV before bed, the teenager lies on his back, then places his hands on his head, stomach, and torso. Martucci practices reiki, a touch-based healing technique.

“It’s a nice way to relax and calm down for at least a half-hour,” Martucci said. “It gets all the bad stuff out of the way, and you think of nothing. It clears your mind.”

Frankie learned how to practice reiki around three years ago, after his mother, Tamara, brought him and his brother to Pamela Miles, a reiki master since 1986 and author of Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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‘Teach Flu A Lesson’ Strives to Help Kids Stay Healthy This Season

No one wants to be sick, especially during the holidays, which is why it is especially important school-aged children get the annual flu vaccine this fall.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu is the leading cause of illness, and last year’s flu season was the deadliest in more than a decade. Young children are especially at risk. The flu spreads quickly in tight quarters such as elementary school classrooms, and children’s developing immune systems may be more susceptible to colds and flu. Children who live in low-income communities may be at even greater risk because their access to health care and preventive vaccines is often limited.

Thanks to the voluntary Teach Flu a Lesson program, thousands of underserved students throughout Southern California can receive increased protection against the influenza virus this season at no charge. The innovative partnership among Kaiser Permanente, the California Department of Public Health, 10 school districts, and 11 nursing schools is making more than 8,000 flu vaccines available at school-based vaccination clinics.

By providing the vaccine to communities with below-average vaccination rates, Teach Flu a Lesson helps ensure the most vulnerable communities can reduce their risk for infection and enjoy better health this winter.

“This program is so important — it is not only about protecting the individual child, but also protecting the school from a larger outbreak, and protecting the student’s family, including younger siblings,” said Margaret Khoury, MD, pediatric infectious disease specialist and regional lead of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Flu Vaccination Program.

“Reaching out to the community and making protection available to children every flu season is the way to go,” Dr Khoury said. “Removing obstacles to getting the flu shot is the key to our success and what makes this program a model.”

Bradley Jacoby, DO and Riverside Community College nursing students.

Bradley Jacoby, DO, Southern California Permanente Medical Group (bear costume), and Riverside Community College nursing students partner for the Teach Flu a Lesson program.

This year, Teach Flu a Lesson is expected to be especially successful because of the return of FluMist, the nasal spray vaccine option. Working with the California Department of Public Health, Kaiser Permanente is making both FluMist and the standard flu shot available to young students with their parent’s or guardian’s permission. Kaiser Permanente also helped to secure assistance from local nursing schools, whose nursing students are administering the vaccines.

“The FluMist is great,” said Kevin Moore, practice specialist at Kaiser Permanente, who helps lead the Teach Flu a Lesson program with Lisa Buffong, associate medical group administrator. “It is quick to administer and less traumatic for students compared to a shot, and we know it is just as effective.”

This year, 112 Southern California schools are hosting the vaccination clinics. Participating school districts include:

  • Antelope Valley: Lancaster
  • Los Angeles County: Baldwin Park and El Rancho
  • Orange County: Anaheim, Buena Park, Santa Ana, and Savana
  • Riverside County: Riverside
  • San Bernardino County: Yucaipa
  • South Bay: Torrance

“Every year, many students miss important instructional time in the classroom because they are home sick with the flu,” said Christopher Downing, superintendent, Anaheim Elementary School District. “The value of the Teach Flu a Lesson is that it helps lower this public health barrier and ensures access to a flu shot for all of our students.”

Now in its sixth year, Teach Flu a Lesson began at schools in early October and will continue through mid-December.

“As we head into the holiday season, the key to staying healthy for children is getting the vaccine, combined with handwashing, and of course healthy eating and sleep,” said Dr. Khoury. “That’s the recipe for wellness.”

To learn more about Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s work in the community, please visit http://community.kp.org.

The post ‘Teach Flu A Lesson’ Strives to Help Kids Stay Healthy This Season appeared first on Kaiser Permanente.

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Jeff Goldblum: I’m glad I waited to have kids

OHMYGOSSIP — Jeff Goldblum is “glad” he waited until later in life to have children.
The 66-year-old actor has two sons – Charlie, three, and River, 19 months – with his wife Emilie Livingston, and has said he’s pleased he waited until he was older to have his brood, because he can “enjoy” fatherhood more now that he’s less “self involved” than he used to be.
He said: “I am glad I didn’t have kids until now really. I don’t know that I was equipped and I was busy and probably more self involved than I’m possibly capable of now, we’ll see. I do enjoy my kids now.”
The ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ star admits it was Emilie’s idea to start a family, and says that although he was apprehensive about the idea at first, a trip to his therapist made him realise he was actually “wildly enthusiastic” about the prospect of fatherhood.
Speaking during an appearance on ‘The Jonathan Ross Show’ – which airs on Saturday (17.11.18) – he said: “After a couple of years during a sweet, sweet moment, she said, ‘Jeez, this is going so well, what if we had a baby?’ and I had flirted with the idea before and was glad that I hadn’t and had confirmed to myself that I wasn’t going to but because she said it, and because of what was going on between her and I, I thought, this is a serious and interesting proposition. And it wasn’t until a year later when we went to my therapist and excavated and brought to the surface all of my considerations that I became clear and wildly enthusiastic about it.”
Meanwhile, the ‘Independence Day’ star recently revealed he’d love to add a girl to his brood, but doesn’t think his 35-year-old spouse is as keen.
He admitted: “I’d love a little girl. The other week Emilie said, ‘Gee, I’d like to see you with a girl.’ But I don’t think she really wants it. I think she’s happy to stop with these two.”

Find us also on Twitter @OHMYGOSSIP and @OHMYGOSSIP_USA

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New concussion recommendations for kids

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated its concussion recommendations to support children and teens engaging in light physical activity and returning to school as they recover. The report, revised for the first time in eight years, also advises against complete removal of electronic devices.
Teen Health News — ScienceDaily

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Best Kids Gifts for 2018

If you buy something through this post, IGN may get a share of the sale. For more, read our Terms of Use.

Let’s face it, the holidays are all about kids. Oh, the most magical time of year, when gifts materialize out of thin air over night while you sleep. As wonderful as it is for the kids, finding the best gifts for kids isn’t exactly filled with sugar-plum delights. That’s why we’re helping you plan the perfect holiday for any kid with our guide to the best holiday gifts for kids, no matter which holiday or holidays you celebrate.

The Best Nerf Gifts for Kids

Kids love to battle it out with high-velocity foam darts, so consider one of the following Nerf toys for your 2018 gift giving needs.

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Skip the Hand Turkeys — Here Are 4 Crafts to Make With the Kids Instead

Stuck between Halloween and Christmas, Thanksgiving often gets the short end of the stick when it comes to getting creative and crafty.

Sure, there are the handprint turkeys your kid will bring home from school year after year, but we can do better than that.

After all, the little ones will need a fun, constructive outlet to keep them occupied while you’re busy preparing dinner. These four Thanksgiving crafts use inexpensive items you’re likely to have at home already.

1. Mini Salt Dough Cornucopia

Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder

The cornucopia is a popular Thanksgiving symbol. Usually the “horn of plenty” is filled with fruits and vegetables of the harvest. You can line the inside of this mini version with a little wax paper and fill it with M&Ms or candy corn instead.

What you’ll need:

  • One cup flour
  • ¼ cup salt
  • ½ cup warm water
  • Foil
  • Brown acrylic paint
  • Paint brush

How to create this craft:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Use foil to create a solid cone about 4 inches tall and about 2½ inches in diameter. Set aside.
  1. To create your salt dough, first mix the flour and salt together. Add the water in slowly, kneading the dough with your hands. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. If it’s too dry, add more water.
  1. On a floured flat surface, roll out your ball of dough into a circle about ¼ inch thick. It should be roughly 8 inches in diameter.
  1. Drape the flattened dough onto your foil cone (pointed end up). Shape the dough around the cone, removing extra dough. Use a pinch of the extra dough and add it to the pointed end of the cone, creating a curved hook.
  1. Place on a baking sheet and heat in the oven for an hour. Your dough should be hardened and dry.
  1. Once it has cooled, remove the foil from the center of your mini cornucopia. Paint and then let dry.

2. Tissue Paper Harvest Corn

Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder

Corn is noted as likely being among the food eaten at the first Thanksgiving. This simple craft is fun and easy to make.

What you’ll need:

  • Brown construction paper
  • Yellow, orange and red tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue

How to create this craft:

  1. Using the brown construction paper, cut out one large oval and two medium-size ovals.
  1. Glue the medium-size ovals to the bottom end of the large oval on diagonal angles to create an ear of corn with the husks peeling off.
  1. Crumple up small pieces of tissue paper to make the corn kernels. The number you’ll need will depend on the size of your large oval. You can place the “kernels” on top to gauge whether you have enough to fill it out.
  1. Once you have enough crumpled tissue paper, glue them to the large oval to create your harvest corn. Let it dry.

3. Sponge-Painted “THANKFUL” Sign

sponge painted "thankful" sign
Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder

This holiday is all about giving thanks. Say it with a burst of fall colors.

You can customize this craft by using different words, such as “thanks,” “Thanksgiving” or “love.”

What you’ll need:

  • White or light-colored construction paper
  • Paint in fall colors
  • Colored pencil
  • Sponge
  • Scissors
  • Tape

How to create this craft:

  1. On a piece of construction paper, write out the word “THANKFUL” in big block letters, all caps. The bigger, the better. You can use stencils here if you’re not comfortable free-handing it.
  1. Carefully cut out the inside of each letter, creating your own custom stencil of the entire word.
  1. Tape the THANKFUL stencil to another sheet of construction paper.
  1. Cut off a small piece of sponge, dip it in a fall color of your choice and blot over the stencil.
  1.  Repeat step 4 using a variety of fall colors until the void created by the stencil is well concentrated with paint.
  1.  Let dry and remove the stencil.
  1. If desired, you can use a colored pencil to refine the words and make them more readable.

4. Thankful Turkey

thankful turkey craft
Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder

Yes, I know we said we were going to move away from the old turkey craft, but this is an upgraded version. Plus you can use this as an opportunity for your kids to express what they’re grateful for this year.

What you’ll need:Construction paper in brown, yellow, orange and red

  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Black marker or colored pencil

How to create this craft:
Using the brown construction paper, cut out an oval, about 5 inches long and 3 inches wide. This will be the body of the turkey. Make a horizontal cut at the very bottom to create a flat end.

  1. Cut out a yellow triangle for a beak and a red heart for the piece of flesh that dangles from the beak. (It’s called a snood, by the way.)
  1. Glue the beak and snood (just turn the heart upside down and voila!) onto the brown turkey body and draw in two eyes. Glue the turkey body to the bottom a piece of white construction paper, but don’t put any adhesive on the edges of the turkey. Set aside.
  1. Cut the yellow, orange and red paper into nine 1-inch-wide strips (three strips for each color) about 8 inches long.
  1. Have your kids write one thing they’re thankful for on each strip. Only write on one half of the strip. Alternate between writing from the edge going toward the center of the strip and then writing from the center going toward the edge.
  1. Glue the ends of each strip together without creating a crease to create the turkey’s plumage feathers. Make sure the words are showing on the outside.
  1. Stick the feathers into the outer edges of the turkey body, making sure the words can be read. Glue the edges of the turkey down after you tuck in each strip.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She enjoys writing about parenting and money. She aspires to be one of those Pinterest moms. (It’s a work in progress.)

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Meet Clive Sefton, the Brighton based artist hosting November’s artrepublic Kids Club

We asked the local creative to puzzle out a few of our questions.

The first crossword puzzle was designed by Arthur Wynne and printed in the New York World in 1913, the earliest word search is credited to Spanish puzzle maker Pedro Ocon de Oro in the first half of the 20th century and Sudoku… well that’s got a non-Japanese heritage that goes back far further than the early Noughties brain-training craze. Graphic artist Clive Sefton has created his own play on the soup of letters – the original name for a word search – and it’s one that has the ability to ignite a similar warm, glowy feeling to the one you get after completing an energising workout. We’ll let the artist himself explain that one. As he prepares to host the November artrepublic Kids Club, we caught up with Sefton to talk typography, noticing hidden details, the challenges of long words and all things puzzle-based.

Brighton Word Search by Clive Sefton

 

Word searches, mazes, diamond hunts – all of your artworks are highly structured finished pieces, but also playful starting points. Is there a hidden life lesson in here for us?!

With a background in graphic design, I like clean, minimal design and good use of white space. I also enjoy artwork that people can interact with and that brings a smile to their faces. In creating my work I’ve discovered that finding a word or the correct path through a maze releases dopamine, the reward chemical, so people actually feel better for looking at my work!

With ‘One In A Million’, I love how people can view it so differently. Some people spend ages looking for the diamond, some people almost don’t care where the diamond is, and some people are more interested in the process or how much the diamond cost…!

Speaking of ‘One in a Million’ – how do you decide where to place each diamond? Is it random or incredibly specific?

I place the diamond in a random place in each one, though can position it in a specific place in a commissioned piece. This might be the coordinates of a geographic location or relate to a specific date. Only the person who owns the piece has the coordinates of where the diamond is hidden.

While we’re on the topic of pathways and finding things, can you talk us through your route to becoming a full-time artist?

I did a silkscreen printing course with Jane Sampson. Initially I was printing pictures of prawns and crabs but in exploring what I am interested in, specifically typography and ‘accessible’ artwork, the first ‘Brighton Word Search’ came about.

I did the course just after reading ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter so, as well as really enjoying doing the course, I did have this thought in the back of my mind about how good it would be to be able to make back the money that I had spent on it. The difficulty is taking the step to show your work to people you don’t know, as it’s only then that you can tell if people want to buy it.

We’re lucky in Brighton: we have so many opportunities to show our work with little cost up front, and there are so many artists and art buyers around. I first exhibited the Brighton Word Search in an Artists Open House and as well as selling all of the edition, I received my first commission.

Since then I’ve learnt so much and created different work, but I’m still creating Word Search pieces for people of all ages, and across the world.

Your images encourage people to deeply engage with the artwork – to hunt out the details or hidden pieces. What do you find yourself focusing on or looking at closely in art or life?

I love finding faces and animals in everyday life, apparently a phenomenon known as pareidolia. I had an idea a few years ago based on creating images from discarded chewing gum but that hasn’t quite seen the light of day… I also love repeating patterns and grids, whether it be lines on shutters, flyers posted on a wall or even just a sheet of labels!

On the flipside of that, are there any things you avoid focusing on at all costs?

I’m a bit of a perfectionist so many ideas get parked if it’s not quite right.

The longest word in the dictionary is 45 letters long (and a bit of a misery, as it goes) – how big would one of your word searches have to be to hide that monster?! And would you want to work on that scale?

I must admit I had to look up what the word is! A square piece with Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis it would require over 2000 letters in the complete piece – not too much of a problem for a print, but quite a bit of time to make using fridge magnets.

What is the most complex piece you’ve worked on to date? And can you give us any hints at upcoming projects we might want to look out for?

I’ve just created another word search commission using fridge magnets, which I really enjoyed making. I’m also working on another edition of ‘One In A Million’ as the original was so well received.

Finally, you’re hosting the artrepublic Kids Club in November. As a kid, what was your favourite activity and has it ever come into play in your work as an adult?

I used to really enjoy making small FIMO models that I sold to craft shops for window displays, usually in return for free FIMO!

 

Find out how your little ones can join in with the artrepublic Kids Club.

 

For more news stories and events visit our Brighton Gallery page.

The post Meet Clive Sefton, the Brighton based artist hosting November’s artrepublic Kids Club appeared first on artrepublic blog.

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Spanking ‘harms kids’: Leading doctors group advises against corporal punishment

New evidence links corporal punishment to an increased risk of negative behavioral, cognitive, psychosocial, and emotional outcomes for children, the AAP said.
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Pediatricians strengthen stance against spanking kids

The American Academy of Pediatrics has hardened its stance against spanking children as a form of parental discipline.


CNN.com – RSS Channel – Health

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Greece with kids: top family friendly islands you should visit

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When it comes to booking your next family holiday, there is so much to think about – where it is, how long it will take to get there, what there is to do for the kids, what there is to do for the adults (when you need a stiff drink after looking after the kids for the whole day), how much it will cost, and what the place can offer you. It’s not easy. But luckily, Greece is made up of over 200 inhabited islands that make the perfect family destinations. Here are the five best Greek islands to visit if you have a family.

Rhodes

Rhodes is one of the most beautiful islands in Greece, and well away from the bright lights, bars, and clubs of many of the ‘party islands.’ This island offers 30-miles worth of white sandy beaches which are perfect for building sandcastles, glorious water which is perfect for splashing and learning how to swim, and some of the best all inclusive hotels in Greece. There are kids’ clubs, cafes, water sports and more to keep the kids entertained. And if you fancy taking in a few of the sights, Rhodes’ Old Town is full of cobbled streets, trinket shops, medieval architecture, and relics.

Naxos

The island of Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades Islands and an incredibly popular vacation destination for families with children. With some of the best and longest beaches in Greece, you could spend hours playing and relaxing on the white sand and swimming in the ocean. Because the beaches are the island’s main attraction, there are so many activities – from horseback riding along the beach to water sports, and pedalo boats, you won’t get bored. If you want to tire the kids out, take them for a hike through the beautiful farms and villages throughout Naxos.

Alonissos

The island of Alonissos is located in a remote area of the Sporades and well away from the tourist traps of Greece. Alonissos is perfect for families with slightly older kids who don’t mind spending most of their day checking out what the island has to offer – but don’t worry, the beaches are still incredible. With the huge Alonissos National Marine Park to explore, you can take the kids out for a boat trip or Kayak to catch a glimpse of the rare seabirds and the Mediterranean Monk Seal, as well as dolphins.

Corfu

If you want a mix of fun and the sun – then Corfu is the perfect option. Located in the Ionian Islands, Corfu is an eclectic mix of pebbled coves, luscious sandy beaches, UNESCO-listed Old Town, incredible rock formations and luscious green inland. As well as checking out all of the sights the island has to offer, you can also take the kids to the famous Aqualand Water Park, or take a trip to the open-air cinema.

Milos

Milos is one of the most unusual Greek Islands. Created by underwater volcanic rock formations, the coast of Milos is rife with smooth cliff edges, sea caves and little coves that are perfect for snorkeling and exploring. The longest beach in Milos consists of three different beaches merging together and merges yellow, pink and red pebbles. With warm underwater springs, the sea will always be the perfect temperature for your family holiday.

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The post Greece with kids: top family friendly islands you should visit appeared first on Worldation.

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Remembrance Day Crafts to Make With Your Kids

Poppy-centric or Remembrance Day art is a great way to get your kids immersed in the day. It’s also a great opportunity for parents to teach them why this day is so important. Keep reading for five DIYs to get them (and you) started.

 

Pinwheel poppies

Photo Source: muminthemadhouse.com

Photo Source: muminthemadhouse.com

Details and instructions.

 

Felt poppies

Photo Source: hometalk.com

Photo Source: hometalk.com

Details and instructions.

 

Painted coffee filter poppies

Photo Source: happyhooligans.ca

Photo Source: happyhooligans.ca

Details and instructions.

 

Tissue paper poppies

Photo Source: playfullearning.net

Photo Source: playfullearning.net

Details and instructions.

 

Finger paint poppies

Photo Source: craftymorning.com

Photo Source: craftymorning.com

Details and instructions.

 

The post Remembrance Day Crafts to Make With Your Kids appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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Stealing Candy from a Baby! Jimmy Kimmel Gets Parents to Pull Halloween Candy Prank on Their Kids

Trick-or-treat! These kids didn’t get something good to eat!

For the eighth year in a row, Jimmy Kimmel has convinced parents to trick their children into thinking they ate all of their Halloween candy.

On the Nov. 1 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the 50-year-old television host presented his audience with a compilation of parents filming their kids’ reactions to the hilariously cruel prank which he has dubbed “I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy.”

“Now it’s time to find out just how easy it is to take candy from babies,” Kimmel began.

In the first clip, one small boy grimaces like Marvel’s Hulk after being told his mom and dad ate all of his treats.

The boy later tells his mom “You’re going to get sick.” He then says his parents are going to “poop all over the floor.”

In the next video, one boy is in such disbelief about his parents taking his candy that he repeatedly says “but it was in there,” in reference to his trick-or-treat bucket.

He later became too frustrated to speak and just screamed to the top of his lungs.

One little girl took the mature route and told her mom, “I’m so disappointed at you.”

Next up, was another boy who runs into his kitchen to find all three of his buckets completely empty. When his younger sister comes in and asks ‘What happened?’ he just breaks down in tears.

Some kids even resorted to violence after hearing what their parents had done.

One little boy, who was dressed as a firefighter, began hitting his dad on the forehead after his candy went missing.

A different boy also began hitting his father after being asked if he wanted broccoli instead.

RELATED: Round Two! Jimmy Kimmel Has More Parents Pull Halloween Candy Prank on Their Kids

Interestingly, not every kid was upset. In fact, some didn’t even mind that their parents took their treats.

“I’m not mad at all. I would never be mad at you because you’re my mom,” one little boy said and his mom responded with “You’re too sweet. It’s gross.”

One little girl said, “I forgive you mommy. I love you.”


PEOPLE.com

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‘Weed the People’ Explores Medical Marijuana for Kids With Cancer

Marijuana, both medicinal and recreational, is growing more mainstream. Medical marijuana is now legalized in a majority of states, and 62% of Americans support legalizing it outright — but in the political realm, the plant has long been controversial.

Now, a new documentary called Weed the People, which opens in some theaters in October, explores the potential of medical marijuana for childhood cancers and the regulatory hurdles facing people who want to use cannabis. The film, which was executive produced by former talk-show host Ricki Lake, follows five families using cannabis oils to treat pediatric cancers. Some of the children used cannabis alongside treatments like chemotherapy, while others turned to the drug after conventional treatments had failed.

Lake became interested in medical marijuana when her late ex-husband, Christian Evans, began researching cannabidiol (CBD) — a compound in marijuana that does not cause a high —for his own health issues, including chronic pain and ADHD. (Evans died by suicide last year.) The two met a young girl with a tumor disorder whose family was desperate to get her off chemotherapy, and they helped connect her with a doctor who specializes in medical marijuana. Lake and her production partner, director Abby Epstein, were inspired to find other families in similar situations and tell their stories on screen. They made Weed the People to explore the potential of medical marijuana, and the regulatory challenges families and researchers must overcome to use it.

“I want to get people seeing it as a medicine, seeing what it was able to do for these children, and fight for this medicine to be available to everyone who needs it,” Lake says. “It’s a human rights issue.”

The film paints a rosy, anecdotal picture of the effectiveness of cannabis oils; some of the children featured had their tumors shrink substantially or disappear entirely, even if they were using cannabis oils in place of chemotherapy and other conventional treatments. “You can’t say the ‘cure’ word,” Lake says, “but how else do you explain it?”

But the concept is far from proven and could even be dangerous. While there is some evidence that marijuana can ease chronic pain and chemotherapy side effects, the American Cancer Society (ACS) warns that “relying on marijuana alone as treatment while avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for cancer may have serious health consequences.” And while some studies have shown that compounds in marijuana can slow growth of or kill tumor cells in animals or lab dishes, evidence in humans — particularly around marijuana oils — is lacking, the ACS says. While conventional treatments like chemotherapy are still the standard, pediatric cancer providers are increasingly voicing their support for the use of medical marijuana, particularly in palliative or end-of-life care when other treatments may not be necessary.

More research is needed to learn about the potential effects and limitations of cannabis-derived medicines for both adult and pediatric cancers. As the families and experts in Weed the People see it, this lack of evidence is precisely the problem — and it’s exacerbated by current regulations around medical marijuana.

Marijuana, like heroin and LSD, is classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule I drug, meaning it has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” But in June, the FDA approved the first drug derived from marijuana, a purified version of CBD called Epidiolex, for kids and adults suffering from two rare forms of epilepsy; the DEA then rescheduled Epidiolex (but not CBD as a whole) to schedule V, the lowest restriction classification for controlled substances. Researchers who wish to study cannabis need a Schedule I drug license and must submit to background checks and site visits from the DEA.

The DEA also only permits one institution, the University of Mississippi, to grow marijuana for study, though DEA spokesperson Melvin Patterson says it is planning to grant additional licenses to other growers, which would “increase access to marijuana for researchers, potentially increase the number of available strains for research, and may foster additional research on marijuana.”

This means scientists are limited to studying only the products and formulations available from the University of Mississippi, which doesn’t include popular consumer products like vapes and edibles, says Dr. Jeff Chen, director of the University of California Los Angeles Cannabis Research Initiative. “At my office at UCLA, I look out my window and I can count two dispensaries that I can see,” Chen says. “We can’t touch that cannabis—not even to understand what’s in it.”

As a result of these challenges, many families who wish to use cannabis, including those in the documentary, are forced to buy it from sources outside the conventional medical system, and must trust that what they’re using is safe. “I just find it absolutely staggering to accept that in this day and age, with the billions of dollars that are spent on cancer research, the medicine we were relying on was made in somebody’s kitchen,” says Angela Smith in the film, whose son, Chico, uses cannabis oils to treat his soft tissue cancer.

Chen, who was not in the film but shares its frustration with current marijuana regulations, became swayed by the medical potential of cannabis compounds early in his career, when he encountered a young patient with epilepsy whose parents were treating her with CBD. Unfamiliar with CBD, Chen and his colleagues almost called Child Protective Services to intervene—until Chen looked into the compound further and saw how much he didn’t know.

“That’s when I realized that science had completely left cannabis in the dark,” Chen says. “It was time for science to step up and really to push on this issue. I felt a duty.” Today, Chen works to understand the health benefits and risks of marijuana and its many compounds, including CBD.

The film also touches on funding challenges associated with marijuana research, an impediment Chen has encountered with his own research. While the government does fund some marijuana research, Chen says the “vast majority” of federal dollars go toward understanding the harms of cannabis, not the potential benefits. Researchers who wish to study how marijuana may improve treatment for conditions ranging from cancer to chronic pain are largely left to find the money themselves, Chen says.

These roadblocks have led many researchers, including those quoted in the film, to call for looser marijuana scheduling, but the DEA denied two such petitions in 2016. Dr. Igor Grant, director of the Center for Medical Cannabis Research at the University of California San Diego, who was not in the film, agrees that current regulations have made research more difficult, and says marijuana probably doesn’t belong in schedule I. But he says he doesn’t believe that the government is actively trying to stifle cannabis research, as many people—including some in Weed the People—have alleged.

Grant says there’s some evidence that the barriers are becoming fewer. His lab recently made history by importing research-approved marijuana from Canada, a move that suggests U.S. researchers may soon have greater access to the plant. That access, combined with lighter regulations from the government, could open new doors, Grant says.

“You would have to both reschedule it and increase the availability of manufacturers,” he says. “This could be a joint effort between states, manufacturers, academia and federal [regulators].”

This type of collaboration is crucial, Lake says, and she hopes her documentary will garner public support for it. “I’m really hoping to reach the people who really have this idea that this drug is bad,” Lake says. “It’s a matter of just changing mindsets and having them fight to have access to this plant. I do believe change is coming.”


Entertainment – TIME

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It’s a jungle out there: Costa Rica with kids

Full of exotic animals and rainforests but also child-friendly, Costa Rica is the perfect natural playground for a family adventure

It’s dark in the rainforest, the air thick with strange croaks and chirps, and our group moves slowly, following José’s torchlight. As he gestures for us to stop, we gather around in silence, the adults as keen as the children to see what he’s spotted. There on a leaf, with its bulging orange eyes, neat green body and comically big tangerine feet, sits a Costa Rican tree frog. Cue delighted squeals all round.

“It’s so cute!” whispers my niece, Georgia, and I nod, partly relieved it’s not a boa constrictor or tarantula.

Continue reading…
Travel | The Guardian

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You Don’t Have To Be Scared of Halloween Costs With These Free Kids’ Events

Halloween doesn’t have to be a one-day celebration.

Let’s make the most of those kids’ costumes, shall we?

Several retail chains across the nation are hosting children’s events for the spookiest holiday of the year. They’re free entertainment for the little ones, which makes it a win-win for parents and kiddos alike.

1. Disney Store

Saturdays in October just got a lot more magical. The Disney Store will host its Haunted Halloween Party for kids 3 to 12. Partygoers will go home with free light-up Mickey Mouse pumpkin wristbands.

When: Oct. 20 and 27 at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Be sure to: Register in advance. Party attendance is limited to the first 20 children who RVSP for each time slot. Contact your local store to reserve your spot. Outlet locations won’t be hosting the Halloween events.

2. Bass Pro Shops

This outdoor recreation retailer will host eight days of free Halloween fun starting Oct. 20. Kids can create crafts, play games, walk in costume parades, take photos with the Peanuts gang and go trick-or-treating.

When: Oct. 20 and 21 from noon to 5 p.m., Oct. 26 from 5 to 7 p.m., Oct. 27 and 28 from noon to 5 p.m., Oct. 29 and 30 from 5 to 7 p.m. and Oct. 31 from 4 to 8 p.m.

Be sure to: Read this post for details on the schedule of events.

3. Michaels

The arts and craft chain will host several Halloween-themed classes this month, but the real treats are the free events. Children have the chance to create gooey slime creations on Oct. 21 and 27. Also on Oct. 27, little crafters can make three holiday-themed art projects — plus get their faces painted.

When: Ultimate Slime Party Oct. 21 from 2 to 4 p.m., Monster Bash Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. to noon and Monster Slime Party Oct. 27 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Be sure to: Register in advance online or by contacting your local Michaels.

4. Target

Target — a favorite retailer of moms everywhere — will host a  “PAW Patrol”-themed Halloween event for kids to party with their favorite pups from Adventure Bay. Enjoy the festivities and stay for a screening of a special episode of the PAW Patrol TV show.

When: Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Be sure to: Bring your kid in costume for trick-or-treating. There will be other giveaways as long as supplies last.

5. Simon Malls and Premium Outlets

Trick-or-treating at a mall is like the G-rated, child-centric version of barhopping for adults — except with there is candy instead of beer and everything is free.

Simon Property Group owns over 200 malls and outlet shopping centers in 37 states and Puerto Rico. Several locations will host Halloween activities for kids this year.

Tyrone Square Mall, my local mall in St. Petersburg, Florida, will host crafts and treat-or-treating on Oct. 31 from 5 to 8 p.m. Some locations will celebrate prior to Halloween. For example, Norfolk Premium Outlets in Norfolk, Virginia, will host trick-or-treating on Oct. 27 from 4 to 7 p.m.

When: Dates and times vary by location.

Be sure to: Contact your nearest Simon property for details.

Bonus: PetSmart

Parents of four-legged fur babies can visit PetSmart Oct. 20 and 21 for the store’s “Who’s Your Boo?” costume parade and Halloween event.

The stores will give out free pet treats and coupons to help you save money during your visit. The first seven guests who arrive at the each location’s event will get a free pet collar safety light.

When: Oct 20 and 21 from noon to 3 p.m.

Be sure to: Dress up your pet for the chance to win a prize.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She loves discovering free kids’ events. Her daughter has gone trick-or-treating at Bass Pro Shops and Tyrone Square Mall.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.


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12 Movie Moments That Messed Up Kids of the ’80s

The 1980s were filled with terrifying horror films, the likes of Freddy, Jason and Michael traumatising kids who caught their celluloid kills. But there was also a vicious streak running through the family films of the era. Which as maybe preparing the youth of the period for adulthood. But equally messed most of us up. The following 12 of the most disturbing movie moments from the decade.

Test of Manhood — Flash Gordon (1980)

Flash Gordon is a mad movie for many, many reasons. Most notably the sadomasochistic streak that runs throughout what’s ostensibly a movie aimed at children. But the ‘Test of Manhood’ on Arbia is also pretty messed up. The initiation involves a young man thrusting his arm through a hole in a tree, then endeavouring to avoid the sting of the pulsating creature that waits within. “Choose your passage, into this world, or the next,” the young Treeman is told. But he selects the wrong hole. And you should never select the wrong hole. The chap duly gets stung, and bright green puss oozes from his wrist. “Send me on my way,” he begs soon-to-be James Bond, Timothy Dalton. “Spare me the madness.” Which pre-007 does, killing him in cold, green blood. A moment that was made all the more disturbing for British youngsters when the actor playing ‘Young Treeman’ — Peter Duncan — started presenting educational children’s show Blue Peter that same year.

Medusa — Clash of the Titans (1981)


Medusa’s head in Clash of the Titans.

The 1980s were all about sword, sandals and sorcery epics. The violent Conan movies were aimed at teens and adults, while 1981’s Clash of the Titans — featuring adorable golden owl Bubo — was more family-friendly. Aside from the scene in which Perseus does battle with Medusa; a monstrous Gorgon, whose hair is made of snakes, and who turns men to stone with just a look. Which resulted in six-year-old me closing my eyes whenever she was onscreen. The character was brought to life via terrifying stop-motion, with Medusa so very messed up that even her blood transformed into deadly scorpions.

Earworm — Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)


The Ceti Eel.

The Ricardo Montalban iteration of Khan is the greatest villain in Star Trek history. And this scene features his most dastardly act. Having captured Chekov and Terrell, Khan educates them about Ceti Alpha V’s only remaining indigenous life-form. While poking it with tongs, Khan claims that the Ceti Eel killed 20 of his best people, including his wife. He explains that their young enter humans via the ear, and wrap themselves around the cerebral cortex, rendering the victim susceptible to suggestion, and precipitating madness followed by death. Khan then grabs a couple of the slugs and sticks them in helmets which are popped on our heroes’ heads. What follows is body horror worthy of David Cronenberg, the eels crawling ear-wards as Chekov and Tyrell emit terrified screams. Similar to audiences who had signed up for a sci-fi romp, and were now watching hardcore horror.

Robopocalypse — Superman III (1983)

I remember seeing Superman III with my family at the cinema, catching a glimpse at an image from this sequence on a lobby card, and being so scared that I asked to go home. My mum made me stay and told me it would be fine. It wasn’t. The sequence in question sees a super-computer turn the villainous Vera Webster into a cyborg, with metal soldered onto her skin as she makes an ungodly noise. Vera awakens more machine than woman, twisted and evil; firing lasers from her fingers and eyes. Pretty sure I started crying at that moment, and the sequence has haunted my dreams ever since.

Artax Dies — The NeverEnding Story (1984)


Think I’ve got something in my eye.

The concept of ‘The Nothing’ consuming vast chunks of Fantasia is enough to give any kid an existential crisis. Combined with the death of Artax in the Swamp of Sadness, it’s a wonder we weren’t all dribbling wrecks come the end of The NeverEnding Story. “Everyone knew that whoever lets the sadness overtake him would sink into the swamp,” we’re told via voiceover. And that’s exactly what happens to Atreyu’s trusty steed, with Artax looking genuinely heartbroken as he slowly descends. “Fight against the sadness,” pleads Atreyu. “You have to try. You have to care. For me. You’re my friend. I love you.” But it’s too late. Artax is gone.

“There is no Santa!” — Gremlins (1984)

In spite of its horror elements, Gremlins was also marketed squarely at kids. Indeed I remember requesting a Mogwai for Christmas, and being disappointed when I received a toy version and not the real thing. So families got a shock when they watched the actual film. The scene when a kindly teacher offers a Gremlin chocolate, and promptly gets his hand bitten off, is the one that upset me. But for the majority, it seems to be a monologue that’s funny if you’re an adult. But deeply disturbing if you are a kid. Explaining her hatred of Christmas, Kate (Phoebe Cates) reveals that her father once went missing on December 24th. Days later, she lit the fire in her living room, “And that’s when I noticed the smell.” Turns out Dad had slipped while climbing down the chimney — presents in hand — and broke his neck. “That’s how I discovered there was no Santa Claus,” says Kate, the adults in the audience laughing at the macabre story; their kids gently sobbing.

Heart Attack — Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)


Heart-stopping stuff.

Raiders of the Lost Ark had already messed us up with that climactic face-melt. Which has since been commemorated in a novelty candle. But Temple of Doom took Indiana Jones movies to the next level, via a scene in which a man watches as his beating heart is ripped from his chest. Then gets lowered into a river of molten lava. And it could have been worse. As according to Nizwar Karanj — the actor who played the unfortunate victim — there was more horror planned. “They made a life-like face of mine for the film, including my eyes,” he told Yahoo. “That was because, once the cage was lowered into this pit of molten lava, my body would disintegrate and you would see my face floating. But that scene was too gory for the censors, so they cut it!”

The Clone — The Last Starfighter (1984)

The above Tweet — and its subsequent comments — inspired me to write this article. As this moment not only scared me and my mates senseless. But also — as I discovered from the comments beneath — the writers of Arrival and Rogue One. It happens mid-way through The Last Starfighter, when Alex Keaton jets into space to save the universe, and he’s replaced by a Beta Simuloid. Which is a synthetic life-form that takes Keaton’s shape, effectively covering for him while he’s gone. But the Beta takes time to turn human, and before then, Alex’s younger brother catches a glimpse at the Beta in bed. And his pale, bloated, pulsating, skin-less form gave a generation of kids sleepless nights.

Library Ghost — Ghostbusters (1984)


Shhhhh.

Ghostbusters is horror. But it’s comedy-horror starring your favourite comedy stars. So it can’t be that scary, can it? Well yes. Yes, it can. The film kicks off with an elderly librarian having her rounds interrupted by flying index cards, only to come face-to-face with something that causes her to let out a blood-curdling scream. But when the Ghostbusters investigate, it’s just a sweet old lady. She happens to be a ghost, but she’s reading, and just wants a bit of quiet. So it’s inadvisable when Stanz yells “Get her!” Quick as a flash, the apparition transforms into a hellish monster that flies towards them, the Ghostbusters fleeing in fear; their young fans realising that the film might be less a laugh, and more an ordeal.

Losing Your Head — Return to Oz (1985)

We aren’t in Kansas any more, kids! The Wicked Witch of the West scared everyone in The Wizard of Oz. So belated sequel Return to Oz had its work cut out following the 1939 classic. The Wheelers were pretty messed up. But Princess Mombi losing her head was worse. The beautiful villain escorts Dorothy through her palace, where she has scores of severed heads on display. Settling in front of one she says, “I think number four will do for this afternoon.” Mombi then removes her own head, selects another, and holds it under her arm as it talks to Dorothy. All while every other severed head stares at the poor girl. Making this scene pure nightmare fuel.

Large Marge — Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)



Pee-Wee Herman is strange. An oddball man-child with a weirdly wonderful way of looking at the world. Which is probably why Tim Burton gravitated towards the character, making his feature film debut with Big Adventure in 1985. And committing to screen this massively messed up scene. Which kicks off with the title character being picked up by a truck while hitchhiking. The driver explaining that “on this very night, 10 years ago, along the same stretch of road, in a dense fog just like this, I saw the worst accident I’d ever seen.” She describes the sound and the twisted burning wreck, then says, “It looked like this!” as her face contorts into a stop-motion monstrosity of bulging eyes, rotting teeth, and a flailing tongue. Brought to life in terrifying fashion by the brothers responsible for both Critters and Killer Klowns From Outer Space. Pee-Wee makes a sharp exit as the driver says, “Be sure and tell ’em Large Marge sent ya!” Which Herman does at his destination, only to discover that his driver was killed in said car crash 10 years ago. Large Marge’s description of her own death making this one both horrific, and tragic.

Shoe Dip — Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)


Roger Rabbit’s most messed up scene.

Disney messed with ALL of us on this one. Creating truly terrifying villain Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd) for Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. Introducing the cutest character possible in the shape of a toon shoe. Then having the former plunge the latter into his deadly “Dip.” Traumatising audiences as the shoe screams, whimpers, then melts into a gooey stew. Thanks Uncle Walt!

1980s Action Movies That Forever Changed The Genre

The post 12 Movie Moments That Messed Up Kids of the ’80s appeared first on FANDOM.

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Kids’ sleep may suffer from moms’ tight work schedules

After studying the sleep habits of children from ages five to nine, researchers found that when mothers reported less flexibility in their work schedules, their children got less sleep. When they gained flexibility in their work schedules, their children slept more.
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‘Kids Are Alright’ creator shifts ‘juice’ from political to the personal

As a sitcom producer, Tim Doyle has a history of leaning into hot-button issues. He masterminded the “Ellen” coming-out episode in the late ’90s, and helped bring Tim Allen’s conservative politics into “Last Man Standing.”


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Kanye West Gave Kids Free Yeezys In Uganda, Still Sunken

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Kanye West is currently in Uganda and attempting to spread goodwill. The Sunken Place MC gave out free adidas Yeezys to the kids while visiting an orphanage in the city of Masulita in the East African nation. 

TMZ reports that Yeezy and Kim Kardashian got permission from Uganda’s Trump supporting President, Yoweri Museveni, to used his helicopter to fly to the charity event for kids. Kim and Ye, rocking day-glo fits, were greeted with cheers, even more so when they presented the free footwear.

Of course, West posted clips of the festivities on Twitter because it didn’t really happen if it isn’t documented on social media. We gotta give him credit for visiting the orphanage, though, respect.

Nevertheless, West has a LONG way to go after that Oval Office debacle, if he even cares.

More on the flip.

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‘Cool Kids’ star Vicki Lawrence: TV needs more rowdy seniors

The Cool Kids | Friday, 8:30 p.m., Fox Vicki Lawrence never felt she was part of the “in” crowd, despite getting her big break as a teenager on comedienne Carol Burnett’s 1967-78 variety show. But when Fox picked up her new sitcom, “The Cool Kids,” her former boss made sure to clarify her status. “I…
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How This Couple Made $332K Worth of Debt Disappear While Raising 4 Kids

Don’t we all wish life were more like “The Brady Bunch”?

Two parents, both in their second marriages, could blend their families. There would be comedic dysfunction, yet all would end well.

But reality is a much different show.

Kids, ex-spouses, custody battles and emotional trauma often contribute to the 67% of second marriages that end in divorce.

Plus, couples bring more financial assets — and debt — into a second marriage. Each person often has goals and spending habits they don’t intend to change.

Pete and Maria Sbashnig knew all that when they got married in 2008.

To keep things the same for their kids after their divorces, each had lived in houses they couldn’t afford on their single incomes and used credit cards to fill in the gaps.

Pete had been divorced for two years when he married Maria. He had joint custody of his son and daughter. Maria had been divorced for six years with full custody of her two daughters.

All four kids played sports, and the whole family would take trips for competitions and tournaments. The sporting events brought the family together, but financially, they added up.

I just remember being so overwhelmed with the family dynamic and the blending of the family that finances weren’t even a consideration,” Pete said.

About a year and a half into their marriage, Pete found a net worth calculator on Bank of America’s website. His 401(k) had almost six figures, so he thought he was doing pretty well.

Pete, a letter carrier, and Maria, a legal assistant, had never combined their finances, so he figured it was time to see where they stood.

Midway through listing their debts — which included two mortgages, a home equity line of credit, two car loans and over $ 60,000 in credit card debt — he realized it was going to surpass their assets. But he didn’t realize by how much.

Their total debt was $ 332,000, putting their net worth at a negative $ 244,000.

After looking at this number, I had an emotional breakdown,” Pete said. “I personally felt that I was a complete failure. I was in my mid-30s, already divorced once. We were struggling to keep the new family together, and now it looked like we were bankrupt.”

Maria knew she’d made some financial mistakes, such as taking out an interest-only mortgage. Still, she felt she was managing her finances well enough.  

“I had been on my own with my kids for six years,” she said. “I liked the fact that I had control over my own money because I was not letting anyone control me or my money.”

How They Started Blending Finances

 

A family of four sit down for dinner at their home.
Jordyn, Dylan, Maria and Pete eat dinner at their home in Spring Hill, Fl. Pete and Maria managed to put their four kids through college while chipping away at their debt. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

The next day on his mail route, Pete changed the radio station from the sports broadcast he typically listened. He came across a guy giving callers debt-payoff advice. That guy turned out to be debt-free living evangelist Dave Ramsey.

When Pete told Maria the advice he’d heard, she knew the timing was too perfect to be a coincidence; she took it as a sign.

So together, they set out to eliminate everything but their mortgages.

“[Pete] approached it like, ‘We’re in this together. We’ve been doing this ‘your debt/my debt’ and ‘your bills/my bills’ this whole time, but that’s not the way it’s supposed to be,’” Maria said.

They had $ 5,000 in cash, but they used all but $ 1,000 to pay down debt. That made Pete anxious.

“It’s not like $ 5,000 is a ton of money, but it felt like a big security blanket,” he said.

In the first couple months, they had setbacks. They had to replace their water heater and dryer, pay for a car repair and, to top it off, had a subterranean termite infestation.

But these troubles didn’t happen all in one day. None of them cost more than $ 1,000, so they paid for them using their emergency fund and replenished it every payday.

How Teamwork Helped Them Crush Their Debt

A married couple smile for the camera.
Pete umpired baseball games, mowed lawns and helped his dad with his landscaping business to earn extra income. Maria clipped coupons, cooked meals at home and limited school shopping. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Pete took side jobs to increase their income. He umpired baseball games, mowed lawns for people he delivered mail to, and helped his dad with his landscaping business.

Maria cut the family’s expenses. She clipped coupons, cooked meals at home and limited school shopping.

“He played offense, and I played defense,” Maria said.

They paid off $ 65,000 in 17 months while making less than $ 100,000 per year combined.

“The first year, we didn’t eat out,” Pete said. “We ate out once. We got two pizzas. We spent $ 19 on two pizzas.”

They saw that when they worked on their finances together, they did exponentially better than they did when they managed them separately.

After they tackled their short-term debt, they worked on the mortgage from Pete’s prior house — which was underwater — and its home equity line of credit. They finally sold it in 2013 and started focusing on the last debt: their mortgage.

What About the Kids?

A family spend time together in their kitchen.
Maria and Dylan watch as Jordyn shows off her new cat slippers. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

When Pete and Maria started paying down debt, their kids ranged in age from 8 to 14. Needless to say, the change in spending was an adjustment.

The kids started doing more chores around the house to earn money and were limited on what they could pick out at grocery and clothing stores.

They were all allowed to continue doing their sports and competitions — just without the frills, which sometimes caused resentment.

“They didn’t like the fact that we’d go to the baseball tournament and everyone was going out to eat, and we’re like, ‘Sorry, we’re going home,’” Maria said.

The Sbashnigs also wanted to make sure their children didn’t start their adult lives fighting to get out of debt, so they wanted to save for their college. But they made sure the kids had some skin in the game.

Their children all had to apply for scholarships. Ultimately, a state program paid for 75% of their tuitions. Pete and Maria supplemented the rest, along with housing and books.

With two kids now out of college and two entering their sophomore years, the Sbashnigs say their children are making their own financial decisions. They’ve seen what you can accomplish by saving and investing, and they’re on the path to doing well with money.

Debt-Free Now — So What’s Next?

A family prepare dinner together.
Maria makes dinner as Jordyn prepares dessert. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

In November 2017, Pete and Maria paid off their house — the culmination of a $ 332,000 debt-payoff journey that spanned almost a decade.

Now, Pete and Maria travel and live with a freedom they’ve never experienced before.

Shortly before they paid off the house, Maria’s employer cut her work-from-home hours. Because they were so close to being debt-free, she was able to take a part-time job at a law firm. The job change cut her income, but it allowed her to be at home even more. It was a choice they wouldn’t have even been able to consider before.

Moving forward, Pete and Maria want to help others in similar situations — people in divorced or blended families — through their blog, books and counseling.

Pete and Maria hope their story will encourage others to work together to get stronger.

“One Belgian horse can pull 8,000 pounds, but you put two of them together — and train them properly — they can pull three times that amount,” Pete said. “That was the same thing we found when we worked together.”

Jen Smith is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She gives money saving and debt payoff tips on Instagram at @savingwithspunk.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.


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This New Tool Can Help Parents Find the Best Sport for Their Kids

Kids these days: they have so many options when it comes to sports. There are organized travel teams, it seems, for every game: soccer, lacrosse, hoops, the works. While a child’s decision about which sport to play might not be as formative as, say, picking a college, it can sure feel that way. And potentially cost as much: fees and travel expenses for some club teams skyrocket to $ 10,000 per year and beyond.

In trying to navigate today’s youth sports scene, any guidance helps. That’s why a new tool released Thursday by the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program, called the Healthy Sport Index, couldn’t be more timely. The handy website allows families to weigh three factors in deciding what sport makes the most sense: safety, physical activity, and the sport’s psychosocial benefits. The index then provides a customized ranking of ten sports, based on where a child lands on a sliding scale of “low emphasis” to “high emphasis” for each of the three factors.

So say, for example, your son wants to put maximum emphasis on psychosocial benefits: he wants a sport that will help him develop social skills, cognitive skills, and otherwise enhance his mental health. He cares about a sport’s safety, but is willing to take some injury risk; so here, he falls in the middle of the scale. But he’s ambivalent about physical activity: your son doesn’t care how much energy he expends in practice. He gives it the lowest possible emphasis on the Heathy Sport Index scale. Based on this mix, the Healthy Sport Index puts swimming on top, while lacrosse comes in tenth.

Meanwhile, your daredevil daughter can care less about getting hurt, but places the highest possible emphasis on working out hard while playing her sport and developing useful life skills, like setting goals. Healthy Sport Index says: sign her up for tennis! (Cheerleading falls to the bottom here. The ten girls’ sports ranked by the Healthy Sport Index are basketball, cheerleading, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. For the boys it’s baseball, basketball, cross country, football, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, and wrestling.)

The Aspen Institute, in consultation with medical experts, compiled data for the index from a variety of sources. The National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study, produced by the Colorado School of Public Health, provided injury rates for various sports. For the psychosocial component, the Aspen Institute surveyed almost 1,300 high school athletes from across the country, and asked students whether their sport helped them improve in areas like sharing responsibility and patience. Researchers from North Carolina State University observed almost 700 hours of varsity practices to document the physical activity levels of each high school sport. The architects of the index were keen to account for the positive benefits of different sports, to counterbalance the downside risks.

“We talk a lot about injuries in youth sports, for good reason,” says Dr. Neeru Jayanthi, director of sports medicine research at Emory University. “But it’s important to look at all aspects of the athletic experience. If you just focus on one, you’re missing the boat.”

For example, football, which has witnessed participation declines due to well-founded worries about head injuries, ranks second among boys’ sports for psychosocial benefits. (Soccer comes in first.) High school football players reported more improvements in social skills and cognitive skills than athletes in any of the nine other sports. The Aspen Institute’s research was less encouraging for, say, boy’s lacrosse, which ranked ninth in safety, ahead of just football, and tenth in psychosocial benefits. Lacrosse players were most likely to cut class, binge drink, use marijuana and smoke cigarettes. In girls’ sports, basketball provided the most psychosocial upside, whereas cheerleading ranked tenth on both the psychosocial and physical activity scales.

Not that cheerleading or lacrosse or any other sport are at all detrimental, say the creators of the Healthy Sport Index. Every activity can have a positive impact on a kid’s life. “It’s better to be playing a sport,” says Jon Solomon, editorial director for the Aspen’s Sports & Society Program, “than to be sitting on the couch all day doing nothing.”

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Keep the Kids Busy for Free at Bass Pro Shops This Halloween Season

I’m not an outdoorsy person, but I’m a fan of Bass Pro Shops for one reason: They know how to do the holidays right with free activities for the kiddos.

My daughter’s first experience trick-or-treating was at Bass Pro Shops in Atlantic City, New Jersey, when she was 2 years old. This year, the outdoor recreation retailer is hosting eight days of free Halloween fun. There will be crafts, games, costume parades, photos with Charlie Brown and the gang and — of course — trick-or-treating.

Events will be held at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s stores, which are owned by the company. About 170 locations in 45 states and Canada will get in on the Halloween spirit with the exception of the retailer’s Islamorada, Florida, location.

The festivities start two weekends before the holiday. On Oct. 20 and 21 from noon to 5 p.m., children can create Frankenstein crafts, pose for photos and play pumpkin toss — a holiday-themed version of bean bag toss — for the chance to win small prizes. The stores will be selling a photo package for $ 5, but you can get one free 4-by-6 photo without buying anything.

From Oct. 26 to 30, the Frankenstein craft will be swapped out for a vampire bat craft. Families can go to Bass Pro Shops on Oct. 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. to make crafts and take photos.

More activities are scheduled the Saturday before Halloween (Oct. 27) with treat-or-treating from 3 to 5 p.m. and a costume parade at 4 p.m. The store’s pint-sized visitors can also make crafts, play pumpkin toss and take photos from noon to 5 p.m. on Oct. 27 and 28.

The action is light the two days leading up to Halloween — Oct. 29 and 30 — with just crafts and photos from 5 to 7 p.m.

The Halloween celebration culminates the evening of Oct. 31 with events from 4 to 8 p.m. Guests can take photos, play pumpkin toss and create crafts — this time a scarecrow — throughout the entire time.

From 5 to 7 p.m., children can decorate a cookie. Trick-or-treating will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. At 6 p.m., kids can walk in a costume parade.

My little one enjoyed her time collecting candy and making crafts at Bass Pro Shops. And I loved that I didn’t have to spend a dime.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She loves free kids’ events and is in favor of trick-or-treating that doesn’t involve going door to door.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.


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Without Safety Net Of Kids Or Spouse, ‘Elder Orphans’ Need Fearless Fallback Plan

It was a memorable place to have an “aha” moment about aging.

Peter Sperry had taken his 82-year-old father, who’d had a stroke and used a wheelchair, to Disney World. Just after they’d made their way through the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, nature called. Sperry took his father to the bathroom where, with difficulty, he changed the older man’s diaper.

“It came to me then: There isn’t going to be anyone to do this for me when I’m his age, and I needed to plan ahead,” said Sperry, now 61, recalling the experience several years ago.

Sperry never married, has no children and lives alone.

Like other “elder orphans” (older people without a spouse or children on whom they can depend) and “solo agers” (older adults without children, living alone), he’s expecting to move through later life without the safety net of a spouse, a son or a daughter who will step up to provide practical, physical and emotional support over time.

About 22 percent of older adults in the U.S. fall into this category or are at risk of doing so in the future, according to a 2016 study.

“This is an often overlooked, poorly understood group that needs more attention from the medical community,” said Dr. Maria Carney, the study’s lead author and chief of the division of geriatrics and palliative medicine at Northwell Health in N.Y. It’s also an especially vulnerable group, according to a recently released survey of 500 people who belong to the Elder Orphan Facebook Group, with 8,500 members.

Notably, 70 percent of survey respondents said they hadn’t identified a caregiver who would help if they became ill or disabled, while 35 percent said they didn’t have “friends or family to help them cope with life’s challenges.”

“What strikes me is how many of these elder orphans are woefully unprepared for aging,” said Carney, who reviewed the survey at my request.

Financial insecurity and health concerns are common among the survey respondents: a non-random sample consisting mostly of women in their 60s and 70s, most of them divorced or widowed and college-educated.

One-quarter of the group said they feared losing their housing; 23 percent reported not having enough money to meet basic needs at least once over the past year; 31 percent said they weren’t secure about their financial future.

In the survey, 40 percent of people admitted to depression; 37 percent, to anxiety. More than half (52 percent) confessed to being lonely.

Carol Marak, 67, who runs the Facebook group, understands members’ insecurities better than ever since suffering an accident several weeks ago. She cut her finger badly on a meat grinder while making chicken salad for dinner guests. Divorced and childless, Marak lives alone in an apartment tower in Dallas. She walked down the hall and asked neighbors — a married couple — to take her to the emergency room.

“I freaked out — and this wasn’t even that big of a deal,” Marak said. “Imagine people like me who break a hip and have a long period of disability and recovery,” she said. “What are they supposed to do?”

Sperry has thought a lot about who could be his caregiver down that road in a circumstance like that. No one fits the bill.

“It’s not like I don’t have family or friends: It’s just that the people who you can count on have to be specific types of family and friends,” he said. “Your sister or brother, they may be willing to help but not able to if they’re old themselves. Your nieces and nephews, they may be able, but they probably are not going to be willing.”

The solution Sperry thinks might work: moving to a continuing care retirement community with different levels of care when he begins to become less independent.  That’s an expensive proposition — entry fees range from about $ 100,000 to $ 400,000 and monthly fees from about $ 2,000 to $ 4,000.

Sperry, a longtime government employee, can afford it, but many people aging alone can’t.

Sperry also has a short-term plan: He wants to retire next year and relocate from Woodbridge, Va., to Greenville, S.C. — a popular retirement haven — in a home with design features to help him age in place. Those plans could be upended, however, if his widowed mother in Pennsylvania requires extra care.

In the meantime, Sperry is resolved to be pragmatic. “Do I look at my situation and say ‘Gee, there’s not going to be anyone there for me’ and start feeling sorry for myself? Or do I say ‘Gee, I’d better figure out how I’m going to take care of myself?’ I’m not going with pity — I don’t think that would be very pleasant,” he said.

Planning for challenges that can arise with advancing age is essential for people who go it alone, advised Sara Zeff Geber, a retirement coach and author of “Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers: A Retirement and Aging Roadmap for Single and Childless Adults.” A good way to start is to think about things that adult children do for older parents and consider how you’re going to do all of that yourself or with outside assistance, she said. In her book, Geber lists the responsibilities that adult children frequently take on: They serve as caregivers, help older parents figure out where to live, provide emotional and practical support, assist with financial issues such as managing money, and agree to serve as health care or legal decision-makers when a parent becomes incapacitated. Also, older parents often rely on adult children for regular social contact and a sense of connectedness.

In New York, Wendl Kornfeld, 69, began running year-long workshops for small groups of solo agers four years ago. Though married, she and her 80-year-old husband consider themselves future solo agers living together. “We figured out a long time ago one of us was going to survive the other,” she said.

At those gatherings, Kornfeld asked people to jettison denial about aging and imagine the absolute worst things that might happen to them, physically and socially. Then, people talked about how they might prepare for those eventualities.

“The whole purpose of these get-togethers was to be fearless, face issues head-on and not keep our heads in the sand,” Kornfeld said. “Then, we can plan for what might happen, stop worrying and start enjoying the best years of our lives.”

Kornfeld took her program to New York City’s Temple Emanu-El three years ago and is working with several synagogues and churches interested in launching similar initiatives. Meanwhile, elder orphans have begun meeting in-person in other cities, including Chicago; Dallas; Portland, Ore.; San Diego; and Seattle, after getting to know each other virtually on the Elder Orphan Facebook Group.

Kornfeld applauds that development. “So many solo agers identify as being introverted or shy or impatient with other people. They have a million reasons why they don’t go out,” she said. “I tell people, this may be hard for you, but you’ve got to leave the house because that’s where the world is.”


KHN’s coverage related to aging and improving care of older adults is supported in part by The John A. Hartford Foundation.

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Nurseries may trump informal or childminder care for kids’ psychological development

Attendance at a nursery/crèche staffed by professionals may be linked to better psychological development than being looked after by family/friends or a childminder in early childhood, suggests new research.
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Teachers use meditation apps in class to rewire kids’ brains, improve performance

 A 2015 report by NIH found that teaching children meditation can improve their cognitive, social and emotional skills as well as their academic performance. One trial found that  it can even lower symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
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