It's not just about inclusivity — here are six other benefits to boys and girls playing.

It's not just the trendy thing to do.

Have you ever walked past a playground and seen groups of girls playing separately from groups of boys?

Sure, really young kids may not be very discerning in their choice of play partners, but once kids become aware of their gender, they often silo off into their respective gendered groups. Girls may start gathering in a group that plays with dolls or puzzles, while boys may prefer to get dirty and play fight.

Photo via Pixabay.


And while there's nothing wrong with some separation, if it becomes the norm, over time it could end up working against kids as they come into their teen years. If they aren't encouraged to play with kids of the opposite sex, they might eventually feel like they aren't meant to, or that they aren't welcome in those groups.

Even though the 'boys only' clubhouse from "The Little Rascals" might sound like an extreme example, it's not a far cry from what women still experience in certain professions that remain more male-dominated — these women end up feeling like they aren't welcome.

Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem/Unsplash

Thankfully, however, more and more youth programs are encouraging boys and girls to play together in order to help break down the barrier before it develops.

And this style of play isn't just helping kids feel included. There are many other benefits to inclusivity. Here are 6 of them:

1. It can help kids work together more effectively later in life.

Since boys and girls' brains and bodies are somewhat different, how they interact with the world also tends to diverge. But, if they're allowed to play together from an early age, they'll learn to adapt to each other's styles of interacting, which should help them communicate better as adults.

Photo by Mi Pham/Unsplash.

Dr. Gail Saltz, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the NY Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of medicine and the author of Amazing You, elaborates:

"Children learn from being exposed to new ideas. They learn coping skills from being exposed to and having to manage compromising with others who play differently, they learn tools regarding collaboration, disagreement, compromise, resolving conflict, delayed gratification and frustration tolerance."

2. When boys play with girls, they may be more well-behaved

Both a 2001 study of preschoolers and a 2011 study of adolescents found that regular interaction between the sexes both during and after school leads to an overall decrease in aggression in boys. So if you have a boy who's prone to outbursts, it might be helpful to set up some playdates with girls in his class.

3. Making all toys fair game helps build confidence in both genders.

Photo by Unsplash/Sandy Millar.

If there's no separation between toys and activities, both boys and girls will feel more confident to explore the things they're drawn to, regardless of the gender it might've originally been associated with.

"By allowing boys and girls to play together with a variety of toys, including trucks, cars, play dough, musical instruments, dolls, puppets, and legos, you’re teaching that both genders are equal and okay," explains Katie Ziskind, a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), in an email. "Puppets and music are great gender neutral toys for expressive and creative play. "

4. Inclusivity can help promote creative thinking.

Photo via Pixabay.

Piggy-backing on that idea from the first point above, when boys and girls get comfortable interacting with each other, they learn to be more accepting and sensitive to behaviors that are a bit different from their own. They also pick up new ways of relating, thinking and feeling, which can ultimately help them develop into more well-rounded people.

"Some of our most innovative thinking comes from exploring the area of overlap in thinking between two disparate minds," notes Dr. Saltz.

5. Parents can personally benefit too.

Kids certainly learn behaviors from their parents, but it goes both ways. If kids start being more accepting and positive towards the opposite sex, it may encourage their parents to be more mindful about their behavior as well.

This is also an important lesson for parents who want to show their kids why it's important to be accepting of everyone. When you show your kids what that looks like, they'll be more inclined to follow suit.

6. It helps emphasize the importance of the individual.

Photo via Pixabay.

When kids are free to play any way they want with whomever they want, it helps them feel less inhibited by stereotypes that still exist in the world around them. It also encourages them to express who they are or want to be, and embrace all their eccentricities rather than shy away from them.

Encouraging kids to try different things, even if they're the only girl or boy doing it, will ultimately help them find their way in life, and realize that there's nothing wrong with taking the road less traveled. In fact, they'll probably better off for it.

All this is not to say that boys and girls should never play separately. However, since that's more often the default, it's important to realize the benefits of a neutral play zone, too.

"Playing together as children teaches females that they can be strong, physically active, and have a career one day while being a leader in the workplace," writes Ziskind. "Men are taught that it’s okay to cry, that being emotional is a sign of deeper strength and wisdom, and to nurture themselves."

There are so many wonderful things about us that can help us be happier and more comfortable in our own skin. Knowing that, it only makes sense to inspire inclusivity in kids from the moment they start to play with others.

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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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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.

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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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