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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

getting older
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.




When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.


More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

1. Playing with dogs

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Doggos are basically furry children, so this one’s a no-brainer.

2. Legos

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The only thing NOT fun about Legos is stepping on one. Everything else is pure magic.

3. Popping bubble wrap

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With each satisfying “pop” sound, just imagine tiny bursts of dopamine flooding the brain.

4. Riding roller coasters

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While it’s true that riding roller coasters might become less physically possible with age, barring that limitation—you’re never too old to ride one.

5. Arcades

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Playing video games at home is cool, but there's a special thrill in seeing an arcade absolutely buzzing with different game sounds, colored lights and other people enjoying themselves.

6. Go-karts

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Because speeding in real life is irresponsible.

7. Pillow fights

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A quintessential sleepover activity that can easily be done with a roommate. Bonus points for surprise attacks.

8. Dinosaurs

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Whether in toy or nugget form, dinosaurs are a delight.

9. Dressing up for Halloween

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Halloween costumes can go from a fun form of playful expression in our younger years to a source of self-image issues in our teens and beyond (as so many things in life do). Hopefully though, dressing up for the spooky season can be a highlight on the calendar.

10. Water slides

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Roller coasters in liquid form!

11. Dolls

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We no longer have to hide our passion for toys under the serious moniker of “collecting.” Playing with dolls is a fun practice in storytelling and has even shown a very specific set of therapeutic benefits. Permission, granted!

12. Daydreaming

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Remember peacefully imagining made-up worlds while staring up at the clouds? Those were good times.

13. Swings

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Whether you are a traditionalist or prefer to go crazy and twist yourself up for some epic spins, a swing set is a perfect place to let your inner child out.

14. Taking sick days

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Everything is more fun when you do it during a time you technically should be somewhere else.


This article originally appeared on 9.7.22

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

People share the most beautiful thing someone's done for them and it's a balm for the soul

From random acts of kindness to anonymous altruism to loved ones stepping up for one another, this is the best of humanity in action.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich/YouTube, Screenshot comments from Upworthy/Instagram

We all can use reminders of the good in people.

News headlines have always skewed negative—"If it bleeds, it leads" is a saying for a reason—but combine the news with a contentious election year and the polarization we so often find on social media and the world can feel rather disheartening.

What we focus on is what we see, however, and if we want to see the good in the world, that's what we have to look at. Part of our mission here at Upworthy is to demonstrate that people are a force for good, and nowhere is that clearer than in the stories our audience shares with us.

We asked our readers, "What's the most beautiful thing someone has done for you?" and the responses are a needed reminder of what's wonderful about people. From random acts of kindness to anonymous altruism to family and community stepping up in the most inspiring ways, here are some examples of humans choosing kindness, thoughtfulness and selflessness to make one another's lives a little better.


"My very attentive GYN doctor kept me much longer at an appointment than it should’ve been. She did not want me to leave the room, being I expressed the verbal and manipulative abuse I was getting from my husband. She gave me a counseling session that I have no words to describe how it helped me."

"When I was going through cancer treatment, and too sick and tired from the chemotherapy to leave the house or be on my feet for very long, my boyfriend (now husband) would take me out and drive all day through various scenic places just so I could see things, feel the wind and smell the air with the windows down. It pulled me out of a very dark hole a few times and gave me the will to keep going!"

"My best friend took me in when my life was falling apart and encouraged me every day that I would survive. She fed me when I was too depressed to eat, she let me bring my cat ( and she was not a cat person) because she knew I needed him for comfort. My husband had cheated on me , my mom was dying and I made it through several months with her until I finally found the courage to stand up on my own again because of her constant faith in me . Her acts of kindness , compassion and love were gestures of beauty from her heart to mine ❤️"

"As a poor college student majoring in music, I sold my piano to pay tuition. My brother bought it back and gave it to me for Christmas that year. My daughter has that piano now."

"My 12 step sponsor. We had never met the day I asked her to sponsor me. We met at her house every Monday for 15 months. She brought me through the 12 steps and helped me learn to love myself, to forgive others, to make amends for my harms done and to be in service. I'm 7 yrs sober and happier than I ever imagined I could be. ❤️" "I once saw a man who looked exactly like my ex partner who’d passed away. It was shocking but also felt so surreal like he was standing in front of me again. I was crying so much but I asked that random stranger for a hug after explaining why. We stood hugging for a long time. It felt like the hug I never got to have. It was so kind of him. 💔 "

"When I had cancer, a lot of friends got together, unbeknownst to me, and folded 1,000 paper cranes. They signed and put kind words side them. Then they gave them to me at a party. I was blown away. They are now hanging in my house as art."

"Mentor me! I grew up in poverty in an unsavory environment. Throughout my life I was presented with wonderful mentors, in addition to the wonderful mother I have present in my life , who pushed me be the best version of myself in the world so that I didn’t have to be a statistic of my environment. Here I am, a happy and thriving man in life because of that attention."

"Probably the elderly couple who took me in as a grandkid adoptee when I was experiencing a lot of chaos and neglect in my family. I spent weeks at their house during the Summer for years and years, starting around age 4. They cooked me good food and sewed me clothes. They had professional photos taken of me for their mantelpiece. I thought they were my actual Grandparents."

"After deciding to leave an abusive marriage with my two small children in tow (ages 2 and 5), my best friend and some of her friends that I did not know packed my apartment, moved all our stuff, AND UNPACKED IT! We got to our new place and it looked like home. I will never forget this act of kindness. It was 18 years ago."

"I had just had my son and had a tough day. My coworker and friend who lived over 4.5 hours away was on the phone with me and could hear I was struggling. This beautiful human offered to drive down here, through LA traffic,to help over the weekend so that I could take care of me. I didn’t take her up on it, but that sheer act of kindness has stuck with me and I tell the story often. My son will be 15 and in high school in a few months and the thought of her complete selfless offer still brings me to tears."

"I had a panic attack outside a shopping centre, and 2 teenage girls saw me upset, came over and offered to get me water and gave me a big hug. Changed my day completely."

"My husband, who stayed by my side through my sickness. He put aside his desire to become a father, because he chose *me* as a partner above all. Throughout my endometriosis journey, 3 surgeries, and the 5 IVFs we had he stood by my side and supported me. We were blessed enough to become parents after all, after 7 rough years, but he would have stayed with me even if that hadn't happened. ❤️"

"When my 7-year old niece was dying, I was in charge of arranging my other siblings’ travel so we could all be with my niece (and my sister, her mom) to say goodbye. I was pregnant, distraught, and barely functioning. Any other time, searching up airfare and making travel arrangements would have been a snap, which is why I was assigned the job. My neighbor stopped by and found me sobbing on the floor. She calmly took over — called my all my family members, none of whom she knew, and arranged travel for strangers while I returned to the hospital. It seems small but when someone does a task for you when you are most in need, it’s gigantic. I will never forget the relief she brought me, and the time she gave me with my niece. Her kindness is inextricably linked to my grief, a bright light in all that darkness."

"My SIL made a freezer full of meals (maybe 25+ meals, desserts and snacks) for me when I was pregnant with my second. I didn’t have to cook for probably 2 months after we brought our baby girl home 🥹"

"Snuck my puppy into the hospital to visit me. Like she went full on incognito mode and put my puppy in a crate, covered it with a blanket and wheeled him in my room. The nurses considered it good medicine and looked the other way. It was in fact good medicine. I was in that bed for 3 weeks. It was and still is one of the most beautiful and special things anyone has ever done for me."

"My disabled son swims in the pool at the gym with a personal trainer. We pay ahead of time for half hour units. But for some reason his month is already paid for. Every month. I don’t know who does this but I’m so grateful."

"I was struggling with depression and basic functioning during my divorce.. finances were unbelievably tight..my kids & I took a train to visit my parents and left house keys with a friend so they could feed cats. When we returned, our house was stocked with food in pantry and fridge, even frozen meals to thaw..pads and tampons in the bathroom.. and a new oven. We had been cooking out of a toaster oven for a year because ours was broken & old and I couldn’t afford a replacement. 🥹"

"When I left my abuser I had a four year old and a four month old. We left with two backpacks and a handful of special items. I was so terrified to start over. A friend of mine posted on Facebook asking for resources to help me furnish my new condo and the post blew up. Strangers from all over my city came and brought blankets, dishes, furniture and a beautiful crib for my daughter. There was not a single item that I needed to purchase on my own. All I could do is cry and thank them all for their kindness. I had nothing to give in return except sheer gratitude. Some drove to me to drop off items and share their stories of survival with me. I remember feeling so awful when I left, doubting if I could stay gone and if I’d be able rebuild my life, but I did. Those people helped me to stand on my feet and gave me hope to help me find my voice again."

"I was bartending at a hotel in Bloomington Indiana where I went to College. I kept myself busy during the slow daytime hours, rug hooking, crafting a gift for my mother. A stranger traveling through town for business (Otis Elevators) sat at the bar for a beer after lunch. He asked what I was doing and I told him I was making a rug for my mother. Because my family is in St. Louis. He asked why I was still here since school was out. I told him I needed to make money so I stayed at this job. He asked if I go home often I said, not enough. It’s too expensive. We chatted for a while and I remember he was kind and 'fatherly' - not at all like the other men who had other things in mind.

The next evening when I came to work there was an envelope with my first name on it. Inside was a one-way ticket to St. Louis and a note that said, “go home and see your mom. “ I will never ever forget that man and how he made me feel. And yes, I went home for an extra hug from my mom. ❤️"

"When I was a kid in 9th grade, my teacher believed me when I told her I was being abused at home. She was the first adult to ever show concern. I think about Ms. Oliver every day. I just needed one person to help me."

"I live in Sacramento and l many years ago I had my purse stolen which is completely devastating. This was before cell phones and the phone book with all of my friends numbers were in it. A few months after it happened a package came in the mail, the return address was just a general San Francisco Post Office address. Inside the package was a number of things from my purse including my driver's license, my phone book, and some other things (some that weren't mine). There was a note inside with some misspellings and grammar errors, that said something along the lines of, I was hitchhiking and found some things on the side of the highway that looked like they were important, so I scrounged some money to send them to you. I think there was a signature, but there wasn't an address for me to send a thank you. This was a true act of selfless kindness, and I still appreciate it to this day."

"I have a facial deformity and I was bullied through elementary and high school and a bit in college. People stare at me, even today, rather than speaking to me as if I am a human being. This history has given me extremely low self esteem. I am 60 years old, but, for this reason, I don’t leave my house unless I absolutely have to (I am fortunate enough to work from home). One day, I was walking through Walmart, looking down, as I usually do, because I don’t like people staring at me, and a man, who must have sensed my unease, walked up to me and told me I was beautiful and to hold my head up and walk proud. It brought tears to my eyes and this random man hugged me - like a 'real' strong hug that a person who cares would give. It made my MONTH! I have no idea who he was, but I will love him forever. You always remember the way people make you feel."

If you loved these stories and want to read more like it, our book, "GOOD PEOPLE: Stories from the Best of Humanity" is available for pre-order now. Find it here.
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.

Pop Culture

Comedian debunks the popular '50% of marriages end in divorce' myth in viral video

Comedian and writer Alex Falcone explains how this "dumb statistic" is just plain wrong.

@alex_falcone/TikTok

How did we all come to believe this very inaccurate statistic?

We’ve all heard the statistic that “50% of marriages end in divorce” at least once in our adult lives. And considering that many of us probably know a few couples that have gotten divorced (including our own parents) we probably never gave its validity much of a second thought.

But romantics, rejoice! For this cynical statistic is, irrefutably, false. Recently comedian Alex Falcone took to TikTok to debunk this commonly believed myth.


In a now viral video, Falcone begins by saying that “first of all, it’s a dumb thing to measure,” because “until the 1970s, divorce law was very different. So really, it would have been a measurement of what percentage of couples are trapped in bad situations.”

What makes this a “dumb statistic,” Falcone continues, is that it doesn’t consider the duration of any marriage—from “the couple that held hands while the water came in on the Titanic counts exactly the same as someone who got hit by a bus on their honeymoon” to the “overachievers” who are “really good” at getting married and divorced over and over again.

Essentially, “if someone gets divorced five times, they get counted five times,” Falcone says. It’s easy to see how this can set the statistic askew very quickly.

But truly, the biggest Achilles' heel of this truism is that it’s nearly impossible to truly “track every single marriage that's ever happened” to accurately determine how they ended, be it divorce or death…not to mention track the ones that are still going strong.


@alex_falcone Unlearning: No, 50% of marriages don't end in divorce.
♬ original sound - Alex Falcone


Of course, you don’t have to take Falcone’s word for it. Experts have been debunking this myth for years (of course, they haven't done it in nearly as entertaining a way as Falcone). According to the New York Times, the highest the divorce rate has ever been was 41%. Elsewhere there are estimates closer to 23%.

And the United States Census Bureau states that divorce rates have been declining over the past decade. We can thank certain societal shifts for this, like people waiting until later in life to get married, and the rise of long term, non-marital relationships.

In 2021, the rate was just under 7%. Again, no tangible ways of getting an accurate assessment, but certainly nowhere near 50%.

So how did this myth come to be in the first place?

The prevailing theory leads back to post-World War II, when the Baby Boomer generation began marrying and starting families, during which there were projections that divorce rates would eventually get that high. So far, they never have.

Bottom line: statistics aren’t always reliable. This is an especially important thing for couples to remember so as to not invoke some kind of self-fulling prophecy. After all, we are far more well-equipped with knowledge and resources to help strengthen our relationships than ever before. So don’t give up on love just yet!

Love Stories

Man asks men to 'tell me about her' and their sweet responses have women falling to pieces

"Ok now I'm also a puddle. I know you warned me but I still wasn't ready."

Men answer 'tell me about her.' Women are now in tears.

We don't often get to hear people profess their love unless they're newly dating or posting about a special occasion on social media. There's often the old trope of men in long-term relationships or marriages complaining about their partners. It's written into many movie scripts, painting a mundane and somewhat grim view of marriage.

But surely if men hated being married so much they wouldn't keep asking women to promise to spend the rest of their lives with them. Turns out some men just needed to be asked the question in order to write beautiful prose about their partners. Luis Olivias asked men on the internet a simple question, "For the boys, go ahead and tell me about her."

Well, the guys did not disappoint. Their responses to such a simple prompt are leaving some women an emotional mess. It was as if these men were sitting there waiting for someone to ask and then listen to them talk about how much they love their partners.


"She's sleeping next to me with our beautiful 6 month old boy between us. She's giving me life a life I never deserved, I am truly blessed," one man writes.

"If there's another lifetime, I would stand where I first saw her hoping to meet her again," another says.

"She's that moment of peace when you pass under a bridge during a thunderstorm. Only this moment never ends," someone else shares.

TikTok that reads, "For the boys, go ahead and tell me about her."Lui posted a simple prompt to TikTok that created a flood of love.www.tiktok.com

And they just kept coming:

"I used to have nightmares, terrible nightmares. The first night I spent with her was the first night in a decade I went to sleep in peace."

"She honestly felt like home, a feeling I never felt til I met her. There's a calm surrender in her eyes that can bring you to your knees…everyone has their definition of perfect, mine is her."

"She's the peace I sought after spending my entire adult life up to this point at war. She's the forgiveness I never gave myself."

"She's the brightest light in every room she walks in. Every night I think I can't possibly love her more and then I wake up and I do."

That's a lot of love to take in, so take a breath because these men were not even remotely finished expressing their absolute Shakespearean level of love for their partners. Women peeked in on the conversation expecting something other than the tear-jerking gushing of men in love.

"All these men in love, I'm crying tears of happiness to see this amount of love still exist," a woman says.

Another woman, Megan Rose, made a tearful response video highlighting her favorite comments admitting the comment section left her in a puddle.

@_odriewdlocenotseht_

@Lui I was full snot bubble crying and had to share. WHATS THE OPPOSITE OF A TRIGGER WARNING?! This is that, it’s a 🌻GLIMMER WARNING🌻 #wholesome

The original post, which is only two still pictures, has over 81K comments, over 1 million likes and over 99K shares. It's truly a post where you can get lost in the comment section forgetting all concept of time.

Hopefully these men share their beautiful sentiments with the women in their lives so they're aware of how loved they are.