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Mom shares tear-jerking story that taught her to say 'no' to her kids a little less often

"Just because someone is young does not mean they are promised time."

saying no to kids, gentle parenting
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For a lot of parents, the word 'no' is almost a gut reaction.

For a lot of parents, the word 'no' is almost a gut reaction.

"Can we get ice cream?" "No."

"Can I stay up a little later? "No."

"Can we put on the 'Moana' soundtrack for the 40th time today?" "NO!"

It makes total sense. Kids and teenagers are constantly pushing boundaries, testing limits, and asking for things (some reasonable and some not).

Usually, as a parent, you have to shut it down.


One mom recently shared a powerful story about why — though it comes easy to us — we shouldn't always say no without thinking things through.

Rachel Ann Carpenter posted on Facebook sharing the story of her then-9-year-old daughter Nevaeh ... who wanted to dye her hair pink.

"I initially said no because I know how judgmental people can be when it comes to children with colored hair," Carpenter writes in a Facebook message. "I also figured since she was only 9 she had her whole life to change her hair if she wanted!"

So she said it. 'No.'

But then, Nevaeh had a terrible accident.

"A few days later at a camp they were doing a demonstration involving fire and something went wrong and it caught her on fire. She had horrible burns over 70% of her body. This time last year we were in the hospital with her not knowing if she was going to live or not."
Life is way to short to say NO all of the time. This time last year she asked me if she could have pink hair and I said...
Posted by Rachel Ann Carpenter on Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Nevaeh was lucky to survive the fire. And a year later, she asked again if she could dye her hair.

This time, her mom gave an emphatic "Yes!"

"Just because someone is young does not mean they are promised time," Carpenter says. "I was so glad she was still here to ask me. It is just hair, hair color will fade. Something so easy as colored hair made her extremely happy."

The story highlights a tough question for parents: Are you drawing real, important boundaries with your kids? Or just saying "no" out of fear or habit?

It's our job to protect our children from danger or grave mistakes that may severely impact their life, but we can't protect them against every scraped knee from running too fast on the playground — nor should we.

Most experts agree that taking risks, exploring, experimenting with identity, and making mistakes are all important parts of growing up. Psychologist Randy Cale tells "Psychologies" parents should aim to only step in when safety is a serious concern or when the consequences of a behavior won't be immediately apparent to them (like eating ice cream for dinner every single night).

And beyond all the child psychology, sometimes it's just more fun to say "yes."

"It is so important to let your children live a little," Carpenter says. "As adults it's easy to forget what it's like to be a child and how easy it is to make them happy."

This article originally appeared on 08.03.17

All images provided by Prudential Emerging Visionaries

Collins after being selected by Prudential Emerging Visionaries

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A changemaker is anyone who takes creative action to solve an ongoing problem—be it in one’s own community or throughout the world.

And when it comes to creating positive change, enthusiasm and a fresh perspective can hold just as much power as years of experience. That’s why, every year, Prudential Emerging Visionaries celebrates young people for their innovative solutions to financial and societal challenges in their communities.

This national program awards 25 young leaders (ages 14-18) up to $15,000 to devote to their passion projects. Additionally, winners receive a trip to Prudential’s headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, where they receive coaching, skills development, and networking opportunities with mentors to help take their innovative solutions to the next level.

For 18-year-old Sydnie Collins, one of the 2023 winners, this meant being able to take her podcast, “Perfect Timing,” to the next level.

Since 2020, the Maryland-based teen has provided a safe platform that promotes youth positivity by giving young people the space to celebrate their achievements and combat mental health stigmas. The idea came during the height of Covid-19, when Collins recalled social media “becoming a dark space flooded with news,” which greatly affected her own anxiety and depression.

Knowing that she couldn’t be the only one feeling this way, “Perfect Timing” seemed like a valuable way to give back to her community. Over the course of 109 episodes, Collins has interviewed a wide range of guests—from other young influencers to celebrities, from innovators to nonprofit leaders—all to remind Gen Z that “their dreams are tangible.”

That mission statement has since evolved beyond creating inspiring content and has expanded to hosting events and speaking publicly at summits and workshops. One of Collins’ favorite moments so far has been raising $7,000 to take 200 underserved girls to see “The Little Mermaid” on its opening weekend, to “let them know they are enough” and that there’s an “older sister” in their corner.

Of course, as with most new projects, funding for “Perfect Timing” has come entirely out of Collins’ pocket. Thankfully, the funding she earned from being selected as a Prudential Emerging Visionary is going toward upgraded recording equipment, the support of expert producers, and skill-building classes to help her become a better host and public speaker. She’ll even be able to lease an office space that allows for a live audience.

Plus, after meeting with the 24 other Prudential Emerging Visionaries and her Prudential employee coach, who is helping her develop specific action steps to connect with her target audience, Collins has more confidence in a “grander path” for her work.

“I learned that my network could extend to multiple spaces beyond my realm of podcasting and journalism when industry leaders are willing to share their expertise, time, and financial support,” she told Upworthy. “It only takes one person to change, and two people to expand that change.”

Prudential Emerging Visionaries is currently seeking applicants for 2024. Winners may receive up to $15,000 in awards and an all-expenses-paid trip to Prudential’s headquarters with a parent or guardian, as well as ongoing coaching and skills development to grow their projects.

If you or someone you know between the ages of 14 -18 not only displays a bold vision for the future but is taking action to bring that vision to life, click here to learn more. Applications are due by Nov. 2, 2023.
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These powerful before-and-after photos reveal just how beautiful aging can be.


Centenarians — people 100 years or older — are a rarity. Their lives are often scrutinized as holding the key to aging.

Czech photographer Jan Langer's portrait series "Faces of Century" shows them in a different light: as human beings aged by years of experience, but at their deepest level, unchanged by the passing of time.

In the series, Langer juxtaposes his portraits with another portrait of the subject from decades earlier. He recreates the original pose and lighting as closely as he can — he wants us to see them not just as they are now, but how they have and haven't changed over time. That is the key to the series.

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From childhood memories to modern munchies: Little Spoon caters to Millennial and Gen Z parents

They combine classic childhood favorites with modern nutritional standards – and it tastes amazing!

Oh, the simpler times! Pogs flipping in the schoolyard, the snap of a brightly colored slap bracelet adorning a wrist, and the joy of opening a lunchbox to reveal a smorgasbord of treats. The lunchboxes of the 90s and early 00s were filled with neon-colored fruit gummies, buildable pizzas or sandwiches with the crust meticulously cut off. Despite these artificial flavors and lackluster nutrition, the thrill of opening a vibrant, flavor-filled lunchbox remains unmatched.

Fast-forward to the 2020s. Now, as parents, we face a conundrum: ensuring our kids’ lunches and snacks are just as nutritious as they are fun. While we fondly remember our fluorescent fruit snacks, there's now a clear understanding of the need for real fruits, veggies, and fewer additives in those packs. Luckily, Little Spoon, a direct-to-consumer kid’s food company, has taken on the challenge of reimagining the classics with the wisdom of today.


Lunchers + Snacks
Little Spoon
Lunchers Meal Subscription
$8+ per meal at Little Spoon


Little Spoon's Mission

Today's parents, equipped with an avalanche of research and access to global cuisines, are on a quest to strike a balance between fun and fuel when it comes to feeding their families. And Little Spoon is here to help. They craft meals and snacks that tick every box: fresh, organic, non-GMO, and absolutely delicious. This company understands the delicate dance between nostalgia and nutrition, offering dishes and snacks that feel familiar yet are crafted with today's well-researched standards in mind.

Tying the Old with the New

Remember that rush of excitement from flipping a POG or the satisfying snap of a slap bracelet? Little Spoon certainly does. And they've seamlessly woven the fabrics of our cherished memories into their modern narrative by partnering with iconic brands from the past. These limited-edition collaborations feature beloved relics like the co-branded POG™ and the ever-mystical Magic 8 Ball Keychain, bridging generations with a touch of retro flair.

But it's not just about looking back; it's also about embracing today. Little Spoon teamed up with present-day trendsetters: the edgy designs of Milk Teeth shirts, the practical elegance of STATE Bags' lunch boxes, and the playful vibes of Bauble Bar Kids' custom bracelets. They've curated a collection that resonates with the here and now, ensuring your kids rock the lunchroom with both style and substance.

In essence, Little Spoon's genius lies in its harmonious blend of the old and the new. It's a tribute to the past, an acknowledgment of how far we've come in understanding nutrition, and a pledge to keep pushing the boundaries for the sake of our kids' health.

For parents yearning for a fresh and health-conscious twist on their childhood favorites, Little Spoon has unveiled some epic new products. Introducing: Lunchers and snacks.

Lunchers: Healthy Build-It-Yourself Lunches

Little Spoon’s Lunchers are a game-changing solution that transforms lunchtime into a win-win occasion for parents and children alike.

Imagine a lunch that takes no time to prepare yet brings over 11g of protein in each meal, ensuring your young ones have the energy to fuel their day. Each offering is a carefully constructed masterpiece, boasting better-for-you ingredients to foster a lifetime of healthy habits from a young age. These are meals that seamlessly journey from your fridge to your child's bag, ready to tantalize their taste buds without any fuss.


Lunchers + Snacks
Little Spoon
Lunchers Meal Subscription
$8+ per meal at Little Spoon


But these Lunchers are more than just a quick solution; they are an experience. Each meal is crafted with non-GMO ingredients, featuring hidden veggies and superfoods to nurture your child's growth. It's a pioneering approach that ensures your kiddos are introduced to a world of balanced, nutritious recipes that don't skimp on taste or fun.

Snacks: Healthy, Junk-Free Snack Time

Navigating the world of kids' snacks can often feel like a precarious balancing act. Luckily, Little Spoon is here to add a sprinkle of joy and a ton of nutrition to your kiddo's snack time, fostering healthy habits without compromising on the fun of snacking.

Dive into the delightful world of Veggie Loops, where the humble chickpea takes center stage. These baked, not fried, crunchy loops combine craveable flavors and hidden veggies, promising a snack that's as fun as it is nourishing. Crafted with avocado oil and packing 2-3g of protein per serving, they're a true testament to plant-focused snacking.

Then, there's the dippable delight - Dipsters. These aren't your ordinary dips; they're clean, oat-based dips that pack a powerful punch of flavor. Sweetened with maple syrup and made with a comforting blend of olive and coconut oil, each dip has a hint of hidden veggie, making snack time a nutritious affair.

Introduce your kids to the vibrant world of Fruit Rippers, a rippable fruit snack made with real fruit and devoid of any artificial flavorings or colorings. Talk about a certified crowd pleaser.

And let's not overlook the Oatbakes, soft-baked bars made with real fruits and veggies and a superfood trio of chia, flax, and hemp seeds offer a perfect blend of taste and nourishment with every bite.

Order Now For 25% Off Your First Purchase.

The journey from slap bracelets and POGs to nutrition-filled, fun lunches is more than just a walk down memory lane—it's about embracing new standards without losing the fun of old favorites. As we ride the wave of change, it's vital we offer our children the best of both worlds: a hint of our cherished past and a healthier future.


Lunchers + Snacks
Little Spoon
Lunchers Meal Subscription
$8+ per meal at Little Spoon


And right now, there’s never been a better time to give Little Spoon a try. That’s because new customers get 25% off their first order. So click here to learn more, and let Little Spoon transform your kids’ lunchtime into a delightfully healthy trip down memory.

A concerned woman gets a DNA test.

A woman, 35, and her husband, 38, had been married for 10 years and during that time became good friends with a neighbor in her 20s. Two years after they met the neighbor she had a son. She said the father wasn’t in the son’s life because he was a one-night fling.

The woman had health issues, so the couple happily took care of the child when she was in the hospital. Sadly, the woman died when the child was young, so the couple became his foster parents and legally adopted him at the age of 7.

Years later, when their adopted son was 10, and their biological child was 5, the mother noticed that both children looked a lot alike. “Now that they are 10 and 5 years old and they looked so much like each other that I begin to have suspicions,” the woman wrote on the Reddit Relationship Advice subforum.

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Planet

Easy (and free!) ways to save the ocean

The ocean is the heart of our planet. It needs our help to be healthy.

Ocean Wise

Volunteers at a local shoreline cleanup

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The ocean covers over 71% of the Earth’s surface and serves as our planet’s heart. Ocean currents circulate vital heat, moisture, and nutrients around the globe to influence and regulate our climate, similar to the human circulatory system. Cool, right?

Our ocean systems provide us with everything from fresh oxygen to fresh food. We need it to survive and thrive—and when the ocean struggles to function healthfully, the whole world is affected.

Pollution, overfishing, and climate change are the three biggest challenges preventing the ocean from doing its job, and it needs our help now more than ever. Humans created the problem; now humans are responsible for solving it.

#BeOceanWise is a global rallying cry to do what you can for the ocean, because we need the ocean and the ocean needs us. If you’re wondering how—or if—you can make a difference, the answer is a resounding YES. There are a myriad of ways you can help, even if you don’t live near a body of water. For example, you can focus on reducing the amount of plastic you purchase for yourself or your family.

Another easy way to help clean up our oceans is to be aware of what’s known as the “dirty dozen.” Every year, scientists release an updated list of the most-found litter scattered along shorelines. The biggest culprit? Single-use beverage and food items such as foam cups, straws, bottle caps, and cigarette butts. If you can’t cut single-use plastic out of your life completely, we understand. Just make sure to correctly recycle plastic when you are finished using it. A staggering 3 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans annually. Imagine the difference we could make if everyone recycled!

The 2022 "Dirty Dozen" ListOcean Wise

If you live near a shoreline, help clean it up! Organize or join an effort to take action and make a positive impact in your community alongside your friends, family, or colleagues. You can also tag @oceanwise on social if you spot a beach that needs some love. The location will be added to Ocean Wise’s system so you can submit data on the litter found during future Shoreline Cleanups. This data helps Ocean Wise work with businesses and governments to stop plastic pollution at its source. In Canada, Ocean Wise data helped inform a federal ban on unnecessary single-use plastics. Small but important actions like these greatly help reduce the litter that ends up in our ocean.

Ocean Wise, a conservation organization on a mission to restore and protect our oceans, is focused on empowering and educating everyone from individuals to governments on how to protect our waters. They are making conservation happen through five big initiatives: monitoring and protecting whales, fighting climate change and restoring biodiversity, innovating for a plastic-free ocean, protecting and restoring fish stocks, and finally, educating and empowering youth. The non-profit believes that in order to rebuild a resilient and vibrant ocean within the next ten years, everyone needs to take action.

Become an Ocean Wise ally and share your knowledge with others. The more people who know how badly the ocean needs our help, the better! Now is a great time to commit to being a part of something bigger and get our oceans healthy again.

Health

Teenager creates eye-opening videos that shatter stereotypes surrounding autism and girls

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via paigelayle / Instagram

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