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A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
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Dear world: This is what autism really feels like to me.

These are the things people don't tell you about living with autism.

The author, Jack’s mother, wrote this from Jack’s perspective based on conversations and observations of him at the Disney parks and in life.

Dear world,

Last week, my family went to Disney.


My mom and dad picked us all up from school at 12:14 on a Tuesday afternoon. I was in science and I was very surprised when I heard my name on the loudspeaker.

When I got in the car, they told my three brothers and my sister and me that we were going for a flu shot. We were all very mad about that.

Then my parents pulled the car over and said, "Why don’t we go to Disney instead?"

I didn’t know what to think about it. I was happy, but I also like to know about things a long time before they happen so I can think and talk and plan for them.

But this time my mom was all sneaky about it because she hates when I know about trips. I always want to pack my own suitcase full of the things that make me feel calm inside, like my special bunny and my Chapsticks.

Jack and his mom. Photo provided by Carrie Cariello, used with permission.

One time, we argued for two hours because I tried to pack my humidifier for our skiing trip. I kept showing her how it would fit into the suitcase fine as long as it didn’t have any water in it but after a while she shouted, "We are not taking that humidifier, Jack! Stop driving me so crazy!"

We got to Disney around 6:00 at night, and the first thing I did as soon as we got to our hotel was unwrap the soap in the bathroom.

I do this every time we go to a hotel. While everyone else is bouncing on the beds and wheeling the suitcases around, I go quietly into each bathroom and find the soap.

We had dinner in a crowded restaurant. I could tell everyone around me was happy-happy-happy, but I could not stop worrying about school. I was worried about missing something fun like a movie during class, and I kept asking my mother over and over to e-mail my teacher.

There was a man sitting right behind me and he was laughing so hard and weird it sounded like a donkey who had just heard the funniest joke ever.

Then my father ordered something pink and spiny called crab legs, and I could smell their fishy smell and it bothered me.

And there was a woman at the table next to us who was wearing a string of Christmas lights around her neck, and they were blinking on and off and on and off over and over again.

All of a sudden my brain could barely breathe.

It was already 9:23 p.m., and I really like to be in bed by 8:30 p.m., and because of this laughing and the blinking and the smelling I felt like my skin was trying to come off of my face.

I tried doing my newest trick, which is making my fingers dance and twitch in front of me. It makes me feel good, but I can tell it does not make my mom feel good because she leaned over and asked me to stop. She said we should have brought my stress ball, and if I had known about the trip, I would have reminded her a lot of times to pack it.

So I tried to keep my hands very still but I felt like a balloon that was going to pop. I had to do something, so I shouted, "What the f*&%!"

I know these words are bad, but sometimes they feel so good to say. They feel hot and salty on my tongue, and when I shout them, it’s like letting a little bit of air out of the balloon.

Words are very weird for me. If they sound even a little bit different, I have to double-check in my brain before I recognize them.

Like the way my bus driver likes to say, "This is the route home," and she says it like the root on a tree. When I hear her say this, I think of tall, straight trees with soft leaves.

Then one day we had a substitute bus driver and he said, "We’re going to take the same route home," except he didn’t say it like the tree root, he said it like "rowt," so then I had to do my double-checking and figure out what he meant.

In Disney, we went to visit places called parks every day, except they look nothing like regular parks that have slides and stuff.

These places are huge and crowded, and they have music and food and people called characters wandering around in their big silly costumes.

Jack and his family at Disney. Photo provided by Carrie Cariello, used with permission.

The minute we stepped into the park, everyone — especially my brothers and sister — started to be so bossy about me. It was making me really mad.

"Jack! Over here!"

"Where’s Jack?"

"Jack, stay with us!"

Finally I screamed, "Everyone stop BOSSING me!"

Mom took me aside and told me our family just wants to make sure I am safe and that I don’t wander off, but it still didn’t feel very good. I am 11, not a baby.

The ride called Space Mountain was so fun.

My dad took me and my brother Charlie back to the park until late one night, and we rode it all together, and it made me so happy. I could not stop talking about it.

Sometimes I can’t stop thinking or talking about things.

Like that night at dinner, I kept asking and talking about the death penalty because I saw something about it on the television at the airport. Whatever I am thinking about gets big and huge in my mind, and it pushes everything else to the side, like an elephant in a crowded elevator.

My mom got a little mad and said, "Jack! We are in Disney! Please stop talking about the death penalty."

The next day, we went to a place called Epcot, which was totally boring and not as fun as the park called the Magic Kingdom because it was all about learning.

We were in line to go on a ride inside of this big ball that looks just like one of the golf balls my dad keeps in the garage but tells us not to fool with, and I turned to my mom and asked when it was going to snow at home.

The lady in line behind us heard me, and she said, "Oh, you said it! You said that nasty word, snow!"

Jack and his family. Photo provided by Carrie Cariello, used with permission.

I had to do my double-checking because I didn’t think "snow" was was a nasty word. Snow is nice. It is cold and pretty and sometimes we don’t have to go to school if we get a lot of it.

"Snow is not NASTY. You are freaking WRONG."

When I said this to her, the smile disappeared from her face like someone had wiped it away with a sponge. My mom put her arms around my shoulders and turned me away, and then she turned back to the lady and said a few things quietly. I think she was telling them about my autism.

I used to hate when she did this because it made me feel bad.

But my mom tells me a lot that autism is not a secret — it is not something to feel embarrassed or ashamed of because it is as much a part of me as the freckle on my left leg.

World, all day long you flash and dance around me being your funny, stinky, noisy, happy, scary self. You confuse me.

See, I am like a fish inside an aquarium. I want to watch you from behind the glass. I want to stay in my school and eat my regular food and listen to my favorite radio station and go to bed at my normal time. I do not like surprise trips.

I am safe here, in my bubble. Your sounds are muted and hushed, and I can tell the difference between a nasty word and a nice word. I don’t have to listen to your big loud donkey laughs or shut my eyes against your blinking lights.

At Disney, we took something called a shuttle a lot.

My dad was always shouting, "Come on! We’re going to miss the shuttle!" and then when we got to the pick-up place it would have just left like a second ago so we’d stand around and wait another 20 minutes.

One night we were riding the shuttle very late. It was very dark inside, and I was sitting next to my mom and thinking about snow and nice words and nasty words, and then I remembered another word I didn’t know.

"Mom. What does for loner mean?"

"Well, it means, like, to be alone. A person who is alone. Why are you asking? Do you think you’re a loner?"

"Without you. For yes."

"Oh, Jack."

I could not see her face, but I could feel her wearing her sadness on her body like an itchy sweater, the kind she makes us wear for our Christmas picture. I put my head on her shoulder, and then she put her head on my head, and we stayed that way until the shuttle stopped, even though I don’t usually like to touch people for that long.

On our second-to-last day, we had lunch in an African restaurant called Sanaa, where we could look out the window while we ate and watch giraffes and ostriches strolling around.

Our server was a nice smiley man named Boylson. His name tag said he came from Botswana, which is in Africa, and he didn’t get mad when I shouted, "This food makes no SENSE TO ME."

After we were done eating this funny bread called naan and my brothers and sister wandered away from the table to look at the animals, I heard my mother ask Boylson if they had autism in Botswana.

She is not shy, my mom.

Photo via iStock.

"Oh, yes," he smiled at her. It was not a real smile that made his face look happy, but more like he stretched the corners of his mouth. "It is everywhere."

Then she asked about services and evaluations and doctors, and he just looked at her and smiled once more, gentle-like this time.

"You know, there was a boy in our village who could not hear a single sound. Nothing at all. But still, we found a way to talk to him. We loved him."

I was thinking hard about a boy who could not hear a single sound because I think that would be weird and also maybe kind of nice not to have to hear loud donkey laughs, but when I looked at my mother I could tell she wasn’t thinking about that boy at all. I could tell she was thinking about me.

My mom was thinking about always trying to find new ways to talk to me and to hear me and to love me — to nudge me out of my fish tank and into the wide, open world.

She knows I don’t want to be a loner.

I think I know the answer, world.

You and I, we can’t be something or someone we’re not. We can’t change all the way for each other. But this does not mean we won’t be friends.

So I think you should keep being your stinky, funny, loud, busy self. Tell your jokes and laugh your laughs and smell your smells.

I will continue to be myself. I will do my double-checking and try to understand your words and shrink the elephant in my brain so he’s smaller, more like a turtle.

In the meantime, if you happen to notice a boy standing in the airport and his fingers are dancing in front of his eyes, be kind.

Be tender.

I am trying.

From,

Jack

Ileah Parker (left) and Alexis Vandecoevering (right)

True

At 16, Alexis Vandecoevering already knew she wanted to work in the fire department. Having started out as a Junior Firefighter and spending her time on calls as a volunteer with the rest of her family, she’s set herself up for a successful career as either a firefighter or EMT from a young age.

Ileah Parker also leaned into her career interests at an early age. By 16, she had completed an internship with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, learning about Information Technology, Physical Therapy, Engineering, and Human Resources in healthcare, which allowed her to explore potential future pathways. She’s also a member of Eryn PiNK, an empowerment and mentoring program for black girls and young women.

While these commitments might sound like a lot for a teenager, it all comes down to school/life balance. This wouldn’t be possible for Alexis or Ileah without attending Pearson’s Connections Academy, a tuition-free online public school available in 31 states across the U.S., that not only helps students get ready for college but dive straight into college coursework and get a head start on career training as well.

“Connections Academy allowed me extensive flexibility, encouraged growth in all aspects of my life, whether academic, interpersonal, or financial, and let me explore options for my future career, schooling, and extracurricular endeavors,” said Ileah.

A recent survey by Connections Academy of over 1,000 students in grades 8-12 and over 1,000 parents or guardians across the U.S., highlights the importance of school/life balance when it comes to leading a fulfilling and successful life. The results show that students’ perception of their school/life balance has a significant impact on their time to consider career paths, with 76% of those with excellent or good school/life balance indicating they know what career path they are most interested in pursuing versus only 62% of those who have a fair to very poor school/life balance.

Additionally, students who report having a good or excellent school/life balance are more likely than their peers to report having a grade point average in the A-range (57% vs 35% of students with fair to very poor balance).

At Connections Academy, teens get guidance navigating post-secondary pathways, putting them in the best possible position for college and their careers. Connections Academy’s College and Career Readiness offering for middle and high school students connects them with employers, internships and clubs in Healthcare, IT, and Business.


“At Connections Academy, we are big proponents of encouraging students to think outside of the curriculum” added Dr. Lorna Bryant, Senior Director of Career Solutions in Pearson’s Virtual Learning division. “While academics are still very important, bringing in more career and college exposure opportunities to students during middle and high school can absolutely contribute to a more well-rounded school/life balance and help jumpstart that career search process.”

High school students can lean into career readiness curriculum by taking courses that meet their required high school credits, while also working toward micro-credentials through Coursera, and getting college credit applicable toward 150 bachelor’s degree programs in the U.S.

Alexis Vandecoevering in her firefighter uniform

Alexis, a Class of 2024 graduate, and Ileah, set to start her senior year with Connections Academy, are on track to land careers they’re passionate about, which is a key driver behind career decisions amongst students today.

Of the students surveyed who know what career field they want to pursue, passion and genuine interest is the most commonly given reasoning for both male and female students (54% and 66%, respectively).

Parents can support their kids with proper school/life balance by sharing helpful resources relating to their career interests. According to the survey, 48% of students want their parents to help them find jobs and 43% want their parents to share resources like reading materials relating to their chosen field.

While teens today have more challenges than ever to navigate, including an ever-changing job market, maintaining school/life balance and being given opportunities to explore career paths at an early age are sure to help them succeed.

Learn more about Connections Academy’s expanded College and Career Readiness offering here.

@thehalfdeaddad/TikTok

Dad on TikTok shared how he addressed his son's bullying.

What do you do when you find out your kid bullied someone? For many parents, the first step is forcing an apology. While this response is of course warranted, is it really effective? Some might argue that there are more constructive ways of handling the situation that teach a kid not only what they did wrong, but how to make things right again.

Single dad Patrick Forseth recently shared how he made a truly teachable moment out of his son, Lincoln, getting into trouble for bullying. Rather than forcing an apology, Forseth made sure his son was actively part of a solution.


The thought process behind his decision, which he explained in a now-viral TikTok video, is both simple and somewhat racial compared to how many parents have been encouraged to handle similar situations.

“I got an email a few days ago from my 9-year-old son's teacher that he had done a ‘prank’ to a fellow classmate and it ended up embarrassing the classmate and hurt his feelings,” the video begins.

At this point, Forseth doesn’t split hairs. “I don't care who you are, that's bullying,” he said. “If you do something to somebody that you know has the potential end result of them being embarrassed in front of a class or hurt—you’re bullying.”

So, Forseth and Lincoln sat down for a long talk (a talk, not a lecture) about appropriate punishment and how it would have felt to be on the receiving end of such a prank.

From there, Forseth told his son that he would decide how to make things right, making it a masterclass in taking true accountability.

“I demanded nothing out of him. I demanded no apology, I demanded no apology to the teacher,” he continued, adding, “I told him that we have the opportunity to go back and make things right. We can't take things back, but we can try to correct things and look for forgiveness.”

@thehalfdeaddad Replying to @sunshinyday1227 And then it’s my kid 🤦‍♂️😡 #endbullyingnow #talktoyourkidsmore #dadlifebestlife #singledadsover40 #teachyourchildren #ReadySetLift ♬ Get You The Moon - Kina

So what did Lincoln do? He went back to his school and actually talked to the other boy he pranked. After learning that they shared a love of Pokémon, he then went home to retrieve two of his favorite Pokémon cards as a peace offering, complete with a freshly cleaned case.

Lincoln would end up sharing with his dad that the other boy was so moved by the gesture that he would end up hugging him.

“I just want to encourage all parents to talk to your kids,” Forseth concluded. “Let's try to avoid just the swat on the butt [and] send them to their room. Doesn't teach them anything.”

In Forseth’s opinion, kids get far more insight by figuring out how to resolve a problem themselves. “That's what they're actually going to face in the real world once they move out of our nests.”

He certainly has a point. A slap on the wrist followed by being marched down somewhere to say, “I’m sorry,” only further humiliates kids most of the time. With this gentler approach, kids are taught the intrinsic value of making amends after wrongdoing, not to mention the power of their own autonomy. Imagine that—blips in judgment can end up being major character-building moments.

Kudos to this dad and his very smart parenting strategy.


This article originally appeared on 3.24.23

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

A wife can no longer take her husband's laziness.

A woman on Reddit is sharing a problem that far too many women experience: being married to a man who won’t do his fair share around the house. But this woman, who goes by the user name Fantastic_Guess1918, 28, appears to be in an extreme situation. Her husband, 33, does absolutely nothing and hasn’t worked in over a year.

She says the big problem is that he’s a “mama’s boy” who never had any responsibilities growing up and hasn’t taken on any as an adult. His mother owns a business and created a position he’s had since 16, but he never goes to work and still gets paid.

Even though he doesn’t bother going to work, the wife still takes on 100% of the domestic responsibilities in the home. She was so frustrated that she asked for help on the Relationship Advice forum.


“My husband and I have been married for 10+ years and I'm now learning what weaponized incompetence is,” she opens her story, referencing a passive-aggressive tactic people use to avoid responsibility. He also lives like a slob, making Mountain Dew pyramids on the side of the bed and throwing rotten food down the sink, even though they don’t have a garbage disposal.

“I was young and naive when we got married and assumed that he would grow up. That he would share the housework and not leave me with literally everything,” she continued. “I honestly didn't even expect 50/50. I would have taken 90% if he'd just do 10%. He did nothing. I mean NOTHING. I didn't want to put up with it and I tried my hardest not to. We argued about it all the time.”


lazy men, weaponized incompetance, mama's boyA wife can no longer take her husband's laziness. via Timur Weber/Pexels

To make things worse, Fantastic_Guess1918 has severe depression which makes keeping up with household duties even more difficult. She hopes to one day have two children, but those dreams have been dashed because she is already raising a childish husband.

The situation got so bad she gave an “empty threat” of divorce, and he did the dishes. “I was in shock, the first thing he's done. Immediately afterward my rocky confidence in his ability to change was shattered more when he approached me and wanted PRAISE for cleaning the dishes,” Fantastic_Guess1918 wrote.

“I just feel like I'm in such a bad place now, and I feel completely trapped,” she told the Relationship Advice forum. ”I don't want to leave; I just want things to be better. I want him to hear me. I want him to care about how stressed I constantly am.”

The good news is that the forum posters gave her some very good advice, although it probably wasn’t exactly what she wanted to hear.

1. Get a divorce

"I can't even begin to tell you how many women I've known in situations like this (it's literally in the triple digits). Absolutely NONE of those men EVER changed. If anything, they just got worse the longer their atrocious lack of effort was enabled/put up with."

"It's easier to dump a mama's boy than to divorce a mama's boy, and both are easier than trying to change a mama's boy."

2. You're choosing this

"You are choosing this life by staying. You are choosing to be stressed out by a partner who doesn’t care about you. He’s never had to care about or take care of anything or anyone. Why would he magically start now? Because you want him to? People don’t change just because we want them to; they change when THEY want to."

3. Get a job

“The ability to leave is to negotiate from strength with a partner. As long as you sit there saying 'I have nowhere to go!' you are giving him all the power. Open a private account, put your pay there.”

4. Reframe the narrative

“It helps to keep this perspective: you're not trapped, you're in planning mode. Once you start making a plan for your escape, you will feel FAR less trapped. It doesn't matter if that plan takes 1 year, 2 years or 3 years. You can come up with a plan that will allow you to leave your husband eventually.”

5. Stop working for him

“If he constantly leaves junk around the house, buy a big container and just drop all of errant junk into that container. If he doesn't cook or do laundry, only cook or do laundry for yourself. You can even buy yourself a locking mini fridge and keep your leftovers and groceries in that fridge so he doesn't benefit from your labor.”

“Find ways so his mess can remain his problem — even if that just means constantly putting his junk in the trash when he refuses to pick it up. Be petty with it (you've earned it) and have fun!”


lazy men, weaponized incompetance, mama's boyA wife can no longer take her husband's laziness.via Timur Weber/Pexels

6. Get a housekeeper

"Have him pay for a maid to do his half of the work and stop arguing about it. That’s the only way to continue the marriage. If he has 'don’t go to work for a year' money, he has housekeeper money."

7. Men don't grow up

"My dad told me something that made a huge impact on me. He said that men don’t 'grow up' and don’t 'mature.' They are who they are whether they’re 5, 15, or 55. That’s who they are and that's who they are always going to be."

8. Depression lies to you

"You are not trapped, that’s just the lie your depression tells you. You have the power to break free, you just don’t believe in yourself."

9. Get a support system

"Do you have a therapist, etc? You need someone to talk to about these issues! There are so many concerns you have implied may exist, but not delineated. Do you not have any kind of support system? Parents, siblings, old friends, other relatives? If not, it’s time for you to put on your big girl panties and get a life. You need to make a life for yourself! That includes a job, money management, housing, etc. This balloon you are living within is about to pop."

10. He was made that way

"The way your husband's mommy makes excuses for him and treats him like a baby is how so many momma's boys are raised. Mom Boys are raising defective men ON PURPOSE. Because they don’t want to be 'abandoned.' Do not be with a momma’s boy!! Look out for yourself."

Even though the woman said she didn’t want to leave her husband and only wanted him to understand her situation, she was given a lot of hard truths about her marriage. She is fighting an uphill battle trying to turn her husband into a responsible man when he was raised to let the women in his life do everything for him. So, the good news is that even though she may not want to leave him, she received a lot of practical advice on gaining independence from him so she can at least forge her own path instead of being dependent on a man who gives little in return.

Family

Mom explains the common Boomer parenting style that still affects many adults today

Many are relieved to finally have a term for this experience.

“What they want is dishonest harmony rather than honest conflict.”

There are certainly many things the Boomer parents generally did right when raising their kids. Teaching them the importance of manners and respect. That actions do, in fact, have consequences. That a little manners go a long way…all of these things are truly good values to instill in kids.

But—and we are speaking in broad strokes here—being able to openly discuss difficult feelings was not one of the skills passed down by this generation. And many Gen X and millennial kids can sadly attest to this.

This is why the term “dishonest harmony” is giving many folks of this age group some relief. They finally have a term to describe the lack of emotional validation they needed throughout childhood for the sake of saving face.


In a video posted to TikTok, a woman named Angela Baker begins by saying, “Fellow Gen X and millennials, let's talk about our parents and their need for dishonest harmony.”

Barker, who thankfully did not experience this phenomenon growing up, but says her husband “certainly” did, shared that when she’s tried to discuss this topic, the typical response she’d get from Boomers would be to “Stop talking about it. We don't need to hear about it. Move on. Be quiet.”

And it’s this attitude that’s at the core of dishonest harmony.

“What that’s showing is their lack of ability to handle the distress that they feel when we talk openly about uncomfortable things,” she says. “What they want is dishonest harmony rather than honest conflict.”



“Keep quiet about these hard issues. Suppress your pain, suppress your trauma. Definitely don't talk openly about it so that you can learn to heal and break the cycle,” she continues. “What matters most is that we have the appearance of harmony, even if there's nothing harmonious under the surface.”

Barker concludes by theorizing that it was this need to promote a certain facade that created most of the toxic parenting choices of that time period.

“The desire of boomer parents to have this perception that everything was sweet and hunky dory, rather than prioritizing the needs of their kids, is what drove a lot of the toxic parenting we experienced.”

Barker’s video made others feel so seen, as clearly indicated by the comments.

“How did I not hear about dishonest harmony until now? This describes my family dynamic to a T. And if you disrespect that illusion, you are automatically labeled as the problem. It’s frustrating,” one person wrote.

“THANK YOU SO MUCH! I'm a 49 yo biker sitting in my bedroom crying right now. You just put a name to my darkness!” added another

Many shared how they were refusing to repeat the cycle.

One wrote, “This is EXACTLY my family dynamic. I’m the problem because I won’t remain quiet. Not anymore. Not again.”

“I love when my kids tell me what I did wrong. It gives me a chance to acknowledge and apologize. Everyone wants to be heard,” said another.

Of course, no parenting style is perfect. And all parents are working with the current ideals of the time, their own inner programming and their inherent need to course correct child raising problems of the previous generation. Gen Alpha parents will probably cringe at certain parenting styles currently considered in vogue. It’s all part of the process.

But hopefully one thing we have learned as a collective is that true change happens when we summon the courage to have difficult conversations.

BRĒZ social tonics promote euphoria and relaxation

These THC and mushrooms drink are a refreshing alternative to alcohol.

Human beings have consumed alcohol for millennia. It's a staple of cultures all over the globe because it helps people relax and break the ice, thus making social gatherings and celebrations more enjoyable. Unfortunately, as we all know, alcohol also comes with some pretty huge drawbacks—including hangovers, addiction, high blood pressure, disturbed sleep patterns, and an increased risk of cancer. That’s why, in recent years, more and more people have decided that they want a healthier alternative to alcohol. And this is exactly what BRĒZ Lemon Elderflower social tonics were designed for. These innovative drinks help you achieve the perfect mix of euphoria and relaxation without the dreaded hangover, so you can enjoy an epic night with friends and actually wake up feeling refreshed.

Sounds pretty great, right? Well, let’s dig deeper into what makes this drink so unique.

The rise of non-alcoholic social beverages

In recent years, non-alcoholic beverages have surged in popularity as more people prioritize their health and wellness. This shift reflects a broader societal trend towards mindful living, where consumers seek out products that enhance their lifestyle without compromising their well-being. According to market research, the global non-alcoholic beverage market is expected to reach $1.6 trillion by 2026, driven by increasing demand for healthier alternatives to traditional alcoholic drinks.

BRĒZ Lemon Elderflower social tonics stand at the forefront of this movement. Combining the uplifting effects of THC and CBD with the cognitive benefits of Lion's Mane, BRĒZ offers a unique, sophisticated alternative for those looking to enjoy social occasions without the negative side effects of alcohol. This innovative approach not only caters to the health-conscious but also provides a refreshing experience that aligns with the growing trend towards sustainable and mindful consumption. As more people turn away from alcohol, BRĒZ is leading the charge in redefining how we socialize.

The science behind BRĒZ Lemon Elderflower

BRĒZ Lemon Elderflower social tonics are crafted with a carefully balanced blend of 2.5mg THC, 5mg CBD, and 1600mg Lion's Mane. Each ingredient plays a crucial role in delivering the drink's unique effects. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is known for its euphoric properties, while CBD (cannabidiol) offers calming and anti-inflammatory benefits. Lion's Mane, meanwhile, is a powerful mushroom extract that supports cognitive function and mental clarity.

The combination of ingredients in BRĒZ works synergistically to create a sense of euphoria and relaxation. The microdosed THC ensures a controlled, enjoyable experience without overwhelming the user with anxiety or paranoia. And unlike traditional edibles that can take hours to kick in, BRĒZ is formulated for rapid-absorption, so effects to be felt within minutes, which leads to less overconsumption.

Why BRĒZ is the healthier choice

Unlike alcoholic beverages, BRĒZ Lemon Elderflower social tonics offer numerous health benefits without the negative side effects. Alcohol causes dehydration, liver damage, and hangovers, which can ruin your next day. It has also been linked to more serious long-term health problems such as insomnia, high blood pressure, and increased risk of cancer. In contrast, BRĒZ combines scientifically formulated microdoses of THC, CBD, and Lion's Mane to provide a sense of euphoria and relaxation without the unpleasant side effects.

It should also be noted that BRĒZ isn’t just better for you. Because it is crafted with ingredients that are both natural and sustainable, this drink is also better for the planet. And consumers who want to know exactly what they are putting in their body can rest easy, because BRĒZ undergoes rigorous third-party testing to ensure safety, quality, and potency.

Parties Without Regrets

BRĒZ Lemon Elderflower social tonics offer a refreshing taste, numerous health benefits, and a balanced blend of euphoria and relaxation. As such, it’s a perfect NA option for a variety of social activities, from lively parties, to intimate gatherings, and even quiet evenings at home. It’s specifically designed to help you unwind and enjoy yourself without having to worry how you’ll get through the next day.

Ready to experience the revolution in social drinking for yourself? Visit BRĒZ's website to purchase BRĒZ Lemon Elderflower and see why so many are choosing BRĒZ as their go-to social tonic.

Democracy

This Map Reveals The True Value Of $100 In Each State

Your purchasing power can swing by 30% from state to state.

Image by Tax Foundation.

Map represents the value of 100 dollars.


As the cost of living in large cities continues to rise, more and more people are realizing that the value of a dollar in the United States is a very relative concept. For decades, cost of living indices have sought to address and benchmark the inconsistencies in what money will buy, but they are often so specific as to prevent a holistic picture or the ability to "browse" the data based on geographic location.

The Tax Foundation addressed many of these shortcomings using the most recent (2015) Bureau of Economic Analysis data to provide a familiar map of the United States overlaid with the relative value of what $100 is "worth" in each state. Granted, going state-by-state still introduces a fair amount of "smoothing" into the process — $100 will go farther in Los Angeles than in Fresno, for instance — but it does provide insight into where the value lies.


The map may not subvert one's intuitive assumptions, but it nonetheless quantities and presents the cost of living by geography in a brilliantly simple way. For instance, if you're looking for a beach lifestyle but don't want to pay California prices, try Florida, which is about as close to "average" — in terms of purchasing power, anyway — as any state in the Union. If you happen to find yourself in a "Brewster's Millions"-type situation, head to Hawaii, D.C., or New York. You'll burn through your money in no time.

income, money, economics, national average

The Relative Value of $100 in a state.

Image by Tax Foundation.

If you're quite fond of your cash and would prefer to keep it, get to Mississippi, which boasts a 16.1% premium on your cash from the national average.

The Tax Foundation notes that if you're using this map for a practical purpose, bear in mind that incomes also tend to rise in similar fashion, so one could safely assume that wages in these states are roughly inverse to the purchasing power $100 represents.


This article originally appeared on 08.17.17