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Family

Developmental scientist shared her 'anti-parenting advice' and parents are relieved

In a viral Twitter thread, Dorsa Amir addresses the "extreme pressure put on parents in the West."

parenting, dorsa amir, parenting tips
Photo by kabita Darlami on Unsplash, @DorsaAmir/Twitter

Parents, maybe give yourselves a break

For every grain of sand on all the world’s beaches, for every star in the known universe…there is a piece of well-intentioned but possibly stress-inducing parenting advice.

Whether it’s the astounding number of hidden dangers that parents might be unwittingly exposing their child to, or the myriad ways they might be missing on maximizing every moment of interaction, the internet is teeming with so much information that it can be impossible for parents to feel like they’re doing enough to protect and nurture their kids.

However, developmental scientist and mom Dorsa Amir has a bit of “anti-parenting advice” that help parents worry a little less about how they’re measuring up.

First and foremost—not everything has to be a learning opportunity. Honestly, this wisdom also applies to adults who feel the need to be consistently productive…raises hand while doing taxes and listening to a podcast on personal development

“Not everything has to be ‘educational.” wrote Amir. “It's truly completely okay (& indeed, good) for kids to play for the sake of play. They don't have to be learning the alphabet or animal noises. They can just do whatever silly thing they want to do. They are ALWAYS learning!”

Amir also encouraged parents to remove the pressure to be constant teachers, offering the reminder that “direct instruction” is actually quite rare, and that kids are “extremely good” at learning through observation.

This hands-off approach can be good for parents who also might feel they should provide neverending entertainment. According to Amir, “Kids should be allowed to experience boredom.”

“It's part of the human experience & it's okay if they're bored. You do not have to feel obligated to constantly entertain them or provide new activities for them. They should be allowed to generate their own activities & ideas,” she wrote.

Similarly, Amir stated that kids should experience arguments, disagreements, negative emotions and general conflict. Instead of “getting involved” to prevent these uncomfortable situations from happening, she suggests letting kids practice resolving and processing on their own.

Amir then gave full on permission to simply be the “boring” parent. Not the “zany cartoonish friend.” Not the supplier of “600 toys.” Not someone whose schedule “revolves 100% around your child’s preferences.” In fact, she noted that kids actually enjoy “mimicking” adults, so it’s completely okay to have them do household chores, play with “adult-utilized” objects instead of dolls or action figures and do “adult-centered” activities like grocery shopping.

Ultimately, Amir’s goal was not to bash any particular way of parenting, but rather to encourage parents—especially confused first-time parents—to give themselves a break. “There are a million different ways to be human and they’re all valid,” she wrote.

This anti-advice clearly struck a chord with parents who have indeed felt pressure.

“Loved this thread, thank you. I spend a lot of time worrying I’m a bad parent - are my kids spoilt? Are they sad? Am I overprotective? Is letting them walk alone to school dangerous? Have they eaten enough? Have they eaten too much Etc etc..,” wrote one person.

Another added: “Thanks for this!! The pressure in the US to be my toddler's entertainment 24/7 and to buy the best organic and educational everything marketed by influencers is absolutely bonkers.”

“Incredible thread. Those of us on the fence on becoming parents get overwhelmed with the frankly absurd expectations that modern parenting appears to require.…a post like this gives me hope!” commented one person, noting how intimidating these societal expectations could be for those who are still figuring out whether or not they want to start a family.

As Amir said—at the end of the day, we’re all human. Part of being human means making mistakes and allowing for imperfection. That goes for parents too.

You can check out the full thread here.

Health

4 simple hacks to help you meet your healthy eating goals

Trying to eat healthier? Try these 4 totally doable tricks.

Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash

Most of us want to eat healthier but need some help to make it happen.

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When it comes to choosing what to eat, we live in a uniquely challenging era. Never before have humans known more about nutrition and how to eat for optimal health, and yet we’ve never been more surrounded by distractions and temptations that derail us from making healthy choices.

Some people might be able to decide “I’m going to eat healthier!” and do so without any problem, but those folks are unicorns. Most of us know what we should do, but need a little help making it happen—like some simple hacks, tips and tricks for avoiding pitfalls on the road to healthier eating.

While recognizing that what works for one person may not work for another, here are some helpful habits and approaches that might help you move closer to your healthy eating goals.

man pulling chip out of a chip bagOur mouths loves chips. Our bodies not so much.Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

Goal: Snack on less junk food

Tip: Focus your willpower on the grocery store, not your home

Willpower is a limited commodity for most of us, and it is no match for a bag of potato chips sitting on top of the fridge. It’s just a fact. Channeling your willpower at the grocery store can save you from having to fight that battle at home. If you don’t bring chips into your house in the first place, you’ll find it a lot easier to reach for something healthier.

The key to successful shopping trips is to always go to the store with a specific list and a full stomach—you’ll feel much less tempted to buy the junky snack foods if you’re already satiated. Also, finding healthier alternatives that will still satisfy your cravings for salty or crunchy, or fatty foods helps. Sugar snap peas have a surprisingly satisfying crunch, apples and nut butter hit that sweet-and-salty craving, etc.

slice of cakeYou can eat well without giving up sweets completely.Photo by Caitlyn de Wild on Unsplash

Goal: Eat less sugar

Tip: Instead of “deprive,” think “delay” or “decrease and delight”

Sugar is a tricky one. Some people find it easier to cut out added sugars altogether, but that can create an all-or-nothing mindset that all too often results in “all.” Eating more whole foods and less processed foods can help us cut out a lot of ancillary sugar, but we still live in a world with birthday cakes and dessert courses.

One approach to dessert temptation is to delay instead of deprive. Tell yourself you can have any sweet you want…tomorrow. This mental trick flips the “I’ll just indulge today and start eating healthier tomorrow” idea on its head. It’s a lot easier to resist something you know you can have tomorrow than to say no to something you think you’ll never get to have again.

Another approach when you really want to enjoy a dessert at that moment is to decrease the amount and really truly savor it. Eat each bite slowly, delighting in the full taste and satisfaction of it. As soon as that delight starts to diminish, even a little, stop eating. You’ve gotten what you wanted out of it. You don’t have to finish it. (After all, you can always have more tomorrow!)

colorful fresh food on a plateA naturally colorful meal is a healthy meal.Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash

Goal: Eat healthier meals

Tip: Focus on fresh foods and plan meals ahead of time

Meal planning is easier than ever before. The internet is filled with countless tools—everything from recipes to shopping lists to meal planning apps—and it’s as awesome as it is overwhelming.

Planning ahead takes the guesswork and decision fatigue out of cooking, preventing the inevitable “Let’s just order a pizza.” You can have a repeating 3-week or 4-week menu of your favorite meals so you never have to think about what you’re going to eat, or you can meal plan once a week to try new recipes and keep things fresh.

It might help to designate one day a week to “shop and chop”—getting and prepping the ingredients for the week’s meals so they’re ready to go in your fridge or freezer.

woman holding blueberries in her handsOrganic foods are better for the Earth and for us.Photo by andrew welch on Unsplash

Goal: Eat more organic/humanely raised food

Tip: Utilize the “dirty dozen” and “clean 15” lists to prioritize

Many people choose organic because they want to avoid pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals. Organic food is also better for the planet, and according to the Mayo Clinic, studies have shown that organic produce is higher in certain nutrients.

Most people don’t buy everything organic, but there are some foods that should take priority over others. Each year, researchers from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) analyze thousands of samples of dozens of fruits and vegetables. From this data, they create a list of the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” fruits and vegetables, indicating what produce has the most and least pesticide residue. These lists give people a good place to start focusing their transition to more organic foods.

To make organic eating even simpler, you can shop O Organics® at your local Albertsons or Safeway stores. The O Organics brand offers a wide range of affordable USDA-certified organic products in every aisle. If you’re focusing on fresh foods, O Organics produce is always grown without synthetic pesticides, is farmed to conserve biodiversity, and is always non-GMO. All animal-based O Organics products are certified humane as well. Even switching part of your grocery list to organic can make a positive impact on the planet and the people you feed.

Healthy eating habits don’t have to be all or nothing, and they don’t have to be complicated. A few simple mindset changes at home and habit changes at the grocery store can make a big difference.

Angelina Jordan blew everyone away with her version of 'Bohemian Rhapsody."

At Upworthy, we've shared a lot of memorable "America's Got Talent" auditions, from physics-defying dance performances to jaw-dropping magic acts to heart-wrenching singer-songwriter stories. Now we're adding Angelina Jordan's "AGT: The Champions" audition to the list because wow.

Jordan came to "AGT: The Champions" in 2020 as the winner of Norway's Got Talent, which she won in 2014 at the mere age of 7 with her impressive ability to seemingly channel Billie Holiday. For the 2020 audition, she sang Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," but a version that no one had ever heard before.

With just her Amy Winehouse-ish voice, a guitar and a piano, Jordan brought the fan-favorite Queen anthem down to a smooth, melancholy ballad that's simply riveting to listen to.

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Joy

Woman's explanation of 'girl math' has some scratching their heads while others nod along

In so many ways it makes a lot of sense...if you don't think about how nonsensical it is.

Woman's explanation of 'girl math' has some people confused

If you've been on any social media platform lately then you've likely heard about the different types of math. No not the one that makes 80s babies cry (otherwise known as common core), but the silly "math" like "boy math" or "girl math." Each explanation more ridiculous than the next while some take on a more serious tone, it's the silly ones that keep people wanting more.

Kelley Lorraine posted a video of her sitting in the car with her husband as she tries to explain "girl math" to him. It didn't take long for him to express confusion, many times interjecting with questions and audible noises of disproval. What was interesting to me was that everything she said made perfect sense...as long as you don't think about it too much.

Kelley's version of "girl math" had to be one of the most oxymoronic-nonsensical-logical reasoning that's ever been explained for this "math" challenge.

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Around 1 a.m. on April 24, semi-truck drivers in the Oak Park area of Michigan received a distress call from area police: An unidentified man was standing on the edge of a local bridge, apparently ready to jump onto the freeway below.

Those drivers then did something amazing. They raced to the scene to help — and lined up their trucks under the bridge, providing a relatively safe landing space should the man jump.

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Joy

Jimmy Carter's former talent handler shares a sweet story about him meeting a young girl

The way Carter interacted with the second grader exemplifies the 99-year-old former president's genuine care and kindness.

Jimmy Carter has grown to become one of the most beloved former presidents in history.

Jimmy Carter turned 99 years old on October 1, 2023, with people from around the world paying tribute to the longest-living former president. Carter has been in hospice for the past 7 months, and as he nears the end of his long life, people are sharing their personal stories involving the man known for his decades of humanitarian, peace-building work after leaving the White House.

One story comes from Noel Casler, a comedian and talent handler who has worked with many celebrities and public figures. He took to X (formerly Twitter) to share an encounter he witnessed between Jimmy Carter and a young girl at the Goodwill Games.

"When I was Prez Carter’s talent handler it was the Goodwill Games in NYC. When Carter arrived I was to take him to [the] stage to join Ted Turner, Gov Pataki, Gerald Levin & Giuliani to kick off the event," he began.

On their way to the stage, Casler shared, a young girl who was a standout inner-city school student in around the second grade approached President Carter to say hello.

"You would have thought the world stopped for Jimmy Carter," Casler wrote. "He knelt down to look her in the eyes and began a long series of questions about the subjects she was studying, what her favorites were." When she said math and science were her among her favorites, Carter "lit up."

But what showcases Carter's caring personality is the way he treated her.

"He smiled and acted as if she was the only person there," Casler explained. "The thing is he didn't talk to her like she was a kid. There wasn't condescension of any air of I'm an ex-Prez wan a pic to show off."

"It was one man talking to the future generations and coming from a place of deep empathy, compassion and care for how we leave this planet and the lives of those upon it. Faith in action."

Casler wrote that he got nervous when they started calling for Carter to head to the stage, but the former president was "chill."

People frequently cite Carter's humility and compassion for others as highlights of his post-presidency legacy, and this interaction showcases those qualities beautifully.

Casler also expounded on Carter's ability to talk to anyone with ease.

"I’ve seen him on other occasions speak with full authority on the magic of Chuck Leavell’s left hand & hanging with the Allman Brothers. Carter is a renaissance man if ever there was one but his greatest gift is the example of how he lives in life," he wrote. "Happy 99th President Carter."

People loved reading this simple, personal story about a man who will leave the world with many such examples of his care and attention to whoever was in front of him.

"This is such a wonderful thread about a very special, compassionate man," wrote Nancy Sinatra. "Thank you, Noel. Thank you."

"Exactly who Jimmy Carter is," shared Jody Dean. "Once interviewed him and Ernie Banks on the same day. President Carter sat before Banks in our green room, listening to Ernie in rapt attention. An 8-year-old with a signed Ernie Banks baseball card could not have beamed more brightly."

"Jimmy Carter is the best human being to ever be president and it was honestly mean of us to make him do that," wrote Hunter Felt.

"Thank you, Noel, for this heartrending tribute. Carter is a jewel and remembering him always lifts my sagging spirits." shared Marina Margetts.

Happy 99th, Jimmy Carter, the former U.S. president whose legacy of human kindness and compassion will endure long after he leaves us.

Canva

Marty and Jess Ansen have spent nearly 500 days onboard Princess Cruise Lines

For many, if not most of us, the purpose of retirement is to sit back and enjoy life. A chance to see the world, take up new hobbies, explore what it means to simply exist without having to clock in.

So it’s almost no wonder that more and more retirees are finding themselves on cruise ships, where relaxation, adventure (and having someone else do your chores) are the name of the game.

Retired Australian couple Marty and Jess Ansen can certainly attest to this—having spent close to 500 days sailing around the world on their 51 back-to-back cruises.

That’s right. 51 cruises. Back. To. Back.

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Family

12 hilariously relatable comics about life as a new mom.

Embarrassing stains on your T-shirt, sniffing someone's bum to check if they have pooped, the first time having sex post-giving birth — as a new mom, your life turns upside-down.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

Some good not so good moments with babies.



Embarrassing stains on your T-shirt, sniffing someone's bum to check if they have pooped, the first time having sex post-giving birth — as a new mom, your life turns upside-down.

Illustrator Ingebritt ter Veld and Corinne de Vries, who works for Hippe-Birth Cards, a webshop for birth announcements, had babies shortly after one another.

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