5 formerly overprotective parents explain what made them change their ways.

You can't stress the small stuff.

Diana, a mother to a 2-year-old, worries about every. little. thing.

"Whenever I look, I see something online that makes me question how I'm raising my son," Diana told Upworthy. "Am I giving him too much screen time? Is he eating well enough? Is he hitting his development milestones? I feel like I'm losing my mind."

A recent study showed that over two-thirds of American parents describe themselves as overprotective. Sure, there are some big items that parents will worry about until the end of time, like kidnapping, bullies, terrorism, etc. But obsessing over the small stuff takes away from the joy of raising children.


"I know being mom should be fun," Diana said. "But the constant second-guessing of my parenting decisions make me miserable."

How do you know what really matters? We talked to the people who know best: parents of adult children.

Five veteran parents shared what they worried about as newbies and how they refocused to raise happy men and women.

1. Meg worried that her kids watched waaaay too much television.

Meg has three kids. Her oldest is an 18-year-old son. When he was much younger, the television was constantly on.

"I used the television as a babysitter," Meg admitted. "How else could I get stuff done when my little ones needed constant attention?"

Fast-forward to today, and her son hardly ever watches television because he's busy with his studies and sports practices.

"It really wasn't much of a big deal after all," she said.

Meg spends a lot of time talking with her son, and their relationship is very strong because of it. Even if they look like siblings. Photo from Meg, used with permission.

What she says now: "We don't need to know everything as parents, but we need to know what our kids are thinking and how they make decisions. Doing so makes it easier to have the tough talks when they do things that aren't good for them. It's working so far."

2. Nina worried about how her daughter couldn't keep anything clean.

Nina has a tight relationship with her 22-year-old daughter Kiara, but it was extremely frustrating back in the day to see how messy her baby girl was.

"I put too much emphasis on Kiara maintaining a clean bedroom," Nina said. "Eventually, I realized that even though it didn't look great, it worked for her. There were bigger battles to fight."

Nina and her daughter share a very strong mother-daughter bond. Photo from Nina, used with permission.

What she says now: "The bottom line is we are all connected and we must take care of each other as human beings. As long as she works hard and cares about the well-being of others, I'll be happy."

3. Jana worried that she gave her daughter more responsibility than she could handle.

Jana's oldest daughter is 20, and she wanted to do everything in her power to make her independent at an early age by giving her a lot of responsibilities. The problem was she kept second-guessing herself.

"I kept thinking I was making her grow up too fast," Jana said. "My biggest fear was she would end up on a therapist's couch for the rest of her life due to me screwing her up so badly."

Jana's daughter truly understands the value of responsibility. Photo from Jana, used with permission.

What she says now: "We as parents worry that we're doing it wrong. But so far my daughter turned out all right."

4. Stephanie worried that she'd always need to be around to protect her daughter.

When Stephanie's daughter Molly was young, she felt overwhelmed trying to keep her safe.

"I was so concerned that she would hurt herself when I wasn't around," Stephanie said. "Living in California, I wondered what would happen if there was an earthquake and I couldn't get to her."

Eventually, she was able to step back and have peace with the fact that no matter how overprotective a parent is, bad stuff can happen.

Stephanie (left) used to worry about always being there to take care of Molly. Photo from Stephanie, used with permission.

What she says now: "I want my daughter to always think independently and be a leader. There is little value in popularity and fitting in. Being true to yourself is the most important thing."

5. Lester worried about the ridiculous outfits his kids liked to wear.

Lester and his wife, Sherry, have a son and daughter, and their kids' fashion sense was ... well, questionable when they were younger.

"I thought if their clothes didn't match or their hair was done properly, it was a reflection of me as a parent," Lester said. "Thankfully, I learned to let them embrace their own style without getting in their way."

As you can see, their fashion sense is on point now.

Lester's kids know they'll always have mom and dad's emotional support. Photo from Lester, used with permission.

What he says now: "We always let them know that they could come to us at any time and nothing would change our love. But they knew we weren't their friends, because they have plenty of those in their lives."

The next time you worry about your daughter skipping her nap or struggling with potty training, remember the big picture.

We can choose to add the small stuff to our mountainous pile of stress, or we can use the tips from these parents to remind ourselves that this too shall pass.

And when it does pass and our kids become adults, we'll miss every second of it.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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