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A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
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Family

What to do when you're the child of an alcoholic

My dad was an addict, and growing up with him taught me a lot.

alcoholism, kids and alcoholism, alcoholic parents
Photo with permission from writer Ashley Tieperman.

Ashley Tieperman and her father.


There was never just one moment in my family when we “found out" that my dad was an addict.

I think I always knew, but I never saw him actually drinking. Usually, he downed a fifth of vodka before he came home from work or hid tiny bottles in the garage and bathroom cabinets.


My name is Ashley, and I am the child of an addict. As a kid, I cried when our family dinner reservation shrunk from four to three after a man with glassy eyes stumbled through the door. I didn't guzzle the vodka, but I felt the heartbreak of missed birthdays. I feel like I should weigh 500 pounds from all the “I'm sorry" chocolate donuts. I had to grow up quicker, but it made me into the person I am today.

addiction, coping, 12 step programs, recovery

Me and my dad.

Photo with permission from writer Ashley Tieperman.

I spent many years shouting into journals about why this was happening to me. But this is the thing that no one will tell you about loving someone who has an addiction: it will force you to see the world through different eyes.

Here are some things I've learned:

1. When your family's yelling about burnt toast, they're probably also yelling about something else.

My family yelled about everything — and nothing — to avoid the messy stuff. We all handled my dad's addiction differently. My brother devoured sports. My mom took bubble baths. I slammed doors and slammed boyfriends for not understanding my family's secrets.

Regardless of the preferred coping mechanism, everyone feels pain differently.

2. Your "knight in shining armor" can't fix this.

Boyfriends became my great escape when I was young. But when I expected them to rescue me from the pain I grew up with, it never worked out. No matter how strapping they looked galloping in on those white horses, they couldn't save me or fix anything.

In the end, I realized that I had to find healing on my own before I could build a strong relationship.

3. “Don't tell anyone" is a normal phase.

When my dad punched holes in the wall, my mom covered them up with artwork. I wanted to rip the artwork down to expose all the holes, especially as a bratty teenager. But eventually I realized that it wasn't my choice. My parents had bills to pay and jobs to keep. I've learned it's common to cover up for dysfunction in your family, especially when it feels like the world expects perfection.

4. Friends probably won't get it, but you'll need them anyway.

Bulldozed by broken promises, I remember collapsing on a friend's couch from the crippling pain of unmet expectations. I hyperventilated. Things felt uncontrollable and hopeless. My friend rubbed my back and just listened.

These are the kinds of friends I will keep forever, the ones who crawled down into the dark places with me and didn't make me get back up until I was ready.

5. You can't fix addiction, but you can help.

When I was a teenager, I called a family meeting. I started by playing a Switchfoot song: “This is your life. Are you who you want to be?"

Let's skip to the punchline: It didn't work.

It wasn't just me. Nothing anyone did worked. My dad had to lose a lot — mostly himself — before he hit that place they call “rock bottom." And, in all honesty, I hate that label because “rock bottom" isn't just a one-and-done kind of place.

What can you do while you wait for someone to actually want to get help? Sometimes, you just wait. And you hope. And you pray. And you love. And you mostly just wait.

6. Recovery is awkward.

When a counselor gave me scripted lines to follow if my dad relapsed, I wanted to shred those “1-2-3 easy steps" into a million pieces.

For me, there was nothing easy about my dad's recovery. My whole family had to learn steps to a new dance when my dad went into recovery. The healing dance felt like shuffling and awkwardly stepping on toes. It was uncomfortable; new words, like trust and respect, take time to sink in. And that awkwardness is also OK.

7. I still can't talk about addiction in the past tense.

Nothing about an addict's life happens linearly. I learned that early on. My dad cycled through 12-step programs again and again, to the point where I just wanted to hurl whenever anyone tried to talk about it. And then we finally reached a point where it felt like recovery stuck.

But even now, I'll never say, “My dad used to deal with addiction." My whole family continues to wrestle with the highs and lows of life with an addict every single day.

8. Happy hours and wedding receptions aren't easy to attend.

My family will also probably never clink glasses of red wine or stock the fridge full of beer. I'm convinced happy hours and wedding receptions will get easier, but they might not. People get offended when my dad orders a Diet Coke instead of their fine whisky.

Plus, there's the paranoia factor. Surrounded by flowing liquor, I hate watching my dad crawl out of his skin, tempted to look “normal" and tackle small talk with people we barely know. I've learned that this fear will probably last for a while, and it's because I care.

9. If you close your eyes, the world doesn't just “get prettier."

With constant fear of the unknown, sometimes our world is not a pretty place. I remember watching the breaking news on 9/11 and feeling the terror of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers as if I was there.

My dad numbed the anxiety of these dark days with vodka, but this didn't paint a prettier world for him when he woke up the next day. I've dealt with the fear of the unknown with the help of boys, booze, and bad dancing on pool tables. Life hurts for everyone, and I think we all have to decide how we're going to handle the darkness.

10. Rip off the sign on your back that reads: “KICK ME. MY LIFE SUCKS."

Sometimes I look in the mirror and I see only my broken journey. In some twisted way, I'm comforted by the dysfunction because it's kept me company for so long. It's easy to let the shadow of my family's past follow me around and choose to drown in the darkness.

But every day, I'm learning to turn on the light. I have to write the next chapter in my recovery story, but I can't climb that mountain with all this crap weighing me down.

11. It's OK to forgive, too.

Some people have given me sucky advice about how I should write an anthem on daddy bashing, or how to hit the delete button on the things that shaped my story.

Instead, my dad and I are both learning to celebrate the little things, like the day that he could change my flat tire. On that day, I didn't have to wonder if he was too drunk to come help me.

I can't forget all the dark nights of my childhood.

But I've learned that for my own well-being, I can't harbor bitterness until I explode.

Instead, I can love my dad, day by day, and learn to trust in the New Dad — the one with clearer eyes and a full heart. The one who rescues me when I call.


This article was written by Ashley Tieperman and originally appeared on 04.27.16

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 woman looking at her phone while sitting on the toilet.

One of the most popular health trends over the last few years has been staying as hydrated as possible, evidenced by the massive popularity of 40-oz Stanely Quencher cups. The theory among those who obsess over hydration is that, when you pee clear, you’ve removed all the waste in your body and are enjoying the incredible benefits of being 100% hydrated. Congratulations.

However, according to Dr. Sermed Mezher, an NHS doctor in the UK, peeing clear isn’t always a sign of being healthy.


“If you’re peeing clear, that means you’re having more than 2.5 liters (85 ounces) of fluid per day, which means your kidneys are working overdrive to keep that water off your brain,” Dr. Mezher said. He goes on to add that when kidneys can't keep up with their water intake, it can cause water intoxication, which can lead to dangerous, even lethal, brain swelling.

Stop Trying to Get Your Pee Completely Clear #hydration. 

@drsermedmezher

Visit TikTok to discover videos!

According to Dr. Mezher, it's all about finding balance when it comes to hydration and the goal shouldn't be to pee clear all the time. "Of course, like most things in life, too much is not great, and too little isn't either," he continued. Two liters (68 ounces) [of water] is good for a healthy adult, and babies under six months shouldn't be given any water at all."

The news came as a bit of a shock to some folks in the comments. "One minute it's not enough water, the next it's too much... I'm tired," Tiyana wrote. "I always thought the goal was clear," Mountain Witch added.

If you have concerns about the color of your urine, please consult a doctor.


This article originally appeared on 3.26.24

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

School posts kindergarten to graduate transition, tears are flowing

Graduation season has befallen upon American parents and caregivers. There are many country songs that croon on about how children grow up so fast that you'll miss it if you take your eyes off of them for just a second. The month of May starts the flow of tears down proud parents' cheeks as they watch the little person they raised have their named called for their very last high school moment.

It's a feeling that is bitter-sweet and cannot be easily wrapped up in words to show the complexity of emotions both parents and graduates are experiencing. Mr. Tausch, principal of Louisville High School enlisted the help of the class of 2036 to honor how quickly the transition from kindergarten to high school graduate happens.

The video is beyond adorable featuring seven kindergarteners jumping "into" the camera only to come out on the other side in caps and gowns as high school seniors.


The short video is set to Elvis Presley's "Burning Love" and boy is it hitting people in the feels. Just about everyone that watches the video turns into a crying mess.

See if you can get through it without getting a little something in your eye:

"Whoever had the foresight to make this is a genius. I'm bawling," one person shares.

"Not me sobbing! My daughter is graduating this year and I still can't comprehend how time went by so quickly," another mom writes.

"I didn’t know where this was going.. but once that first kid jumped I instantly started bawling my eyes out congrats grads & under grads," someone cries.

"Oh my God, these are not my children and I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes. This is the most amazing graduation video I've ever seen," one commenter says.

People can't seem to get over how brilliant this video is or how emotional it made them over kids they don't know. Parents everywhere know what it feels like to put to bed a kindergartener and waking up a senior. A trippy time warp happens between those years and this video captures it perfectly.

Friendship

American coworkers surprise grieving Māori man with haka after he missed family funeral

He was stuck in America for his grandmother's funeral so his friends brought New Zealand to the states.

Representative photo Gary Stockbridge|Get Archive

American friends learn haka for grieving Māori man

It's not easy living away from family, especially when you live in a completely different country. The distance can become increasingly more difficult to adjust to when tragedy strikes your family back home. It can be cost prohibitive to fly back home and depending on your employer's attendance policy, it may be nearly impossible.

Jarom Ngakuru recently faced this very situation. The New Zealander of Māori descent is living in the United States while his family still resides in his home country. Unfortunately, when Ngakuru's grandmother died, he was unable to make the trip back to the island to give his proper goodbye.

Not being able to attend his grandmother's funeral left him sad and broken. He wanted nothing more than to be there with his family. Ngakuru's friends knew how important it was for him to send his grandmother off properly so the group of American colleagues worked in secret to learn the haka.


Haka is a traditional dance performed by Māori people for important events like weddings, funerals, and significant life events as a sign of respect. The dance has been known to bring viewers to tears, and this haka is doing the same. Not just because of the haka itself, but because of everything that went into a group of American men learning a dance from another culture to honor their friend and his grandmother.

Ngakuru uploaded the video to his TikTok page with the caption, "Hardest part about living in America is that we live so far away. I couldn't make it home for my nan's funeral and I was BROKEN! So my boys at work learned the haka without me knowing and brought home to me."

See why commenters could not stop crying below:

@jaromngakuru

Hardest part about living in america 🇺🇸 is that we live so far away. I couldnt make it home for my nans funeral and i was BROKEN! so my boys at work learned the haka without me knowing and brought home to me 🇳🇿🏠 #haka #grateful #maori #newzealand #brothers #fyp #foryou

"I don't think they even understand how beautiful of an act this is," one person writes.

"There is so much depth of emotion attached to the Haka I uncontrollably cry every time. This was beautiful," another says.

"Well I'm sobbing like a baby in my office now," a commenter reveals.

"You can feel the mana [spiritual power] and the aroha [love]they have for you they know your mamae [hurt], what a beautiful tribute to you and our culture. Arohanui [deep affection] for your loss," someone else writes.

Ngakuru explains in the comments that it's his brother-in-law, who is Tongan, leading the chant. He is also the one that taught their friends the haka in a single day. What an impressive show of love for their grieving friend. There's no doubt that Ngakuru will remember this for the rest of his life.

Pop Culture

Rural residents share things that people who've always lived in cities won't understand

Humans share so much in common, but our daily lives can be drastically different.

Country life has its own unique quirks.

If you were to travel around the U.S., you'd see probably note some cultural differences between various regions, from the East Coast to the West Coast, from the South to the Midwest. But what really gives Americans different experiences and perspectives is rural life vs. city life.

Americans have a huge expanse of land we call home, some of which is made up of densely populated cities with intertwining highways and some of which is vast farmland dotted with small towns. Rural and city folks share the most important things in common, of course—the desire to live in peace, the ability to take care of our families, the need for a community we can count on, the appreciation of beauty and nature—but our daily lives can look totally different from one another in sometimes dramatic ways.


Someone on Reddit asked, "Rural folks, what are the things city folks won't understand?" and the answers are a fascinating peek into life in the country for people who have lived their whole lives in cities. Here are some of the most popular responses:

There may not be traffic, but there are tractors

"Legitimately being late for school or appointments due to being stuck behind a tractor."Bimblelina

"I would always leave my house super early when it was planting season and harvest season."Sadimal

"We drove our tractors to high school one day per year to celebrate the agriculture that was all around us, wild times."TwinTowwa69

"When I was dating my now wife, we were long distance. I grew up in the middle of nowhere Missouri and has several farms around where I lived. One time I was talking to my then girlfriend on the phone and told her 'Ah crap, I'm stuck behind a tractor. Gonna be a long drive.'

She was silent for a moment before saying '....a tractor? What?' Then it occurred to me that her having grown up in a suburb of Atlanta, had never experienced such a thing."paddjo95

Personal wars with the wildlife

"You or someone you know has a personal vendetta against a wild animal in the area."NFL_MVP_Kevin_White

"I've never seen my father be more creative than when he's plotting against a racoon that has wronged him." reinvent___

"Oh my gosh yes. My dad's at war with a woodpecker. He’s even printed out an info pamphlet on woodpeckers and wrote in big letters “know thy enemy”. The amount of whirligigs and nets around the house is insane."jbird8806

"My uncle was in a war of attrition against beavers for literal decades." KMM2404

"Two of my neighbors have a shoot on sight policy for groundhogs. The one who is the most mild mannered was riding down the road on his side by side, and I see him slam the breaks, do a turnabout in a driveway, then heard a gunshot, then he sped off. Saw the groundhog the next morning. The other one, every time I hear a gunshot I wonder 'snake or groundhog?'"TacticoolPeter

So many random cows

"I own a house that sits smack in the middle of three cattle farms. The other night, I took my dog out to pee well after dark. There was a weird noise, and a pair of glowing eyes at the end of my driveway. It was, of course, a cow. I called my neighbor to the North. He drove his UTV down, inspected the cow, didn't recognize it, and called my neighbor to the south. He sent his teenage son over in a car with no catalytic converter/muffler. He also didn't recognize the cow. Finally, my neighbor from the West was summoned on his ATV. It was his cow. The rest of us stood there drinking beer and watching the Western neighbor drive his cow home with an ATV. Good times."EarhornJones

"My neighbor keeps her horses on our farm because we have some pastures already fenced in and the horses keep the grass level. One of the horses, Rose, loves to get out of the pasture and mosey around the farm — more than once she’s walked up to the house and bumped her nose against the window where I’m working inside to say hello. So of course I have to pop outside and pet her and then walk her back. 🤷🏼♀️ She’s a darling.

Neighbor also has a cow named Star who likes to come up and visit her equine sisters. A bit later, when my neighbor realizes the cow’s missing, I’ll see her trudging up the lane with a lead and then the cow meekly following behind her." Elphaba78

"Our cows got out last year for two days and I swear every old man for five miles was stoked to watch for them and help put them back. Word spread like wildfire they were out. Old men were texting on a group text and mounting their atvs and calling my husband. “I seen them on Troy’s place!” It was super helpful and entertaining."farmchic5038

So many random vegetables

"Leaving your car windows closed at church in the summer so you don't come back out to a car full of zucchini"Armyjeepguy

"There’s no escaping the zucchini. It will be left on the hood, or the roof, or the gardener will straight up accost you after mass and shove a bag of it in to your arms, or trick your children into bringing bags of it out to the car."MrsMeredith

"I'm from western Iowa. Instead of zucchini, it's always sweet corn."ProfessorRoyHinkley

"This is exactly the example I use to explain to people the difference between the city and the country. If you live in the country the only reason you lock your doors to your car is the people don’t put vegetables in it. No one believes it’s not a joke."Overall_Midnight_



There's no such thing as a quick run to the grocery store

"You need to carefully plan out your shopping needs because that trip to Walmart or Home Depot might be a two hour round trip." lockednchaste

"Moving rural taught me how to cook. I had to build up a well stocked pantry and freezer because the grocery store was an hour away. I had to learn how to plan meals because you needed to know what to thaw out. I learned so many substitutions because sometimes you just didn't make it to town and the milk, eggs, butter or what have you ran out. All that also got me more comfortable just throwing skillet dinners together because sometimes there just isn't time for recipes, but I knew what worked well together.

Also, canned and frozen foods. Fresh produce is only good for the first few days after grocery day." HplsslyDvtd2Sm1NtU

"I was on the phone with someone one day and realized I forgot milk at the store. They were utterly flabbergasted that i said it was going to have to wait until a few days later to go get because I was not going to do an hour minimum of driving total just to get one item." HobbyHoarder_

Pigs are much scarier than you'd think

"Full-grown pigs are massive, and terrifying. And they can and will eat someone if ever they get the opportunity."Heroic-Forger

"I'm reminded of my time at the University of Iowa. A fellow I knew, grad student age, but he wasn't actively attending, walked with a cane because of a gimpy leg. He'd broke it when he was a child, but he'd tell anyone who asked that he was mauled by a sow. He said the city people would just laugh it off as a joke. The country people would look at him in horror and say, 'And you're still alive?!?!'" – DrHugh

"Having to explain to my kid why everyone was so scared when Dorothy fell into the pig pen in Wizard of Oz was surreal. I can't even remember when a healthy fear of swine was instilled into me."tikierapokemon

"I've worked with wolves, literally had some of them lick my face. I was significantly more uncomfortable being in a pen with a large pig."Learningstuff247

Talking about the weather isn't just trivial small talk

"Weather changes your life. I've sat on the porch with my parents watching hail destroy our wheat crop days before it was due for harvest. There's nothing you can do. You just watch. I've also stood in a circle with my parents and older brother in the yard while we prayed for rain. For farmers, weather is destiny." Cranialscrewtop

"I took an English lit class in college and we read journal of a woman in the 1860s. Several people were really turned off by how much she wrote about the weather. As the only farm kid in the class I tried to explain to them how much of your life is dictated by the weather. Most of them just stared at me like I was nuts."msjammies73

"I'm not a farmer, I am from Nebraska. My relatives who live in a city in another state their whole lives don't understand why people here talk about the weather so much. It determines the local economy in a lot of ways."bubbajones5963

The sweet sound of snowy silence

"Standing on my back porch in winter and there is absolute dead silence." vankirk

"The absolute quiet during a heavy snow fall. I went out during one once to take pictures. Got some great shots but the experience of being the only one around is the closest I’ll get to being a pioneer and being the first to see something."naughtarneau

"I miss dead silence at night. I grew up with it in a small town, but since college I’ve lived in places with actual civilization. But whenever I’ve brought friends back to my town for a weekend, they’re freaked out by the nighttime silence." Petules

"Silent and DARK. I've lived in huge cities, suburbs, and back-end-of nowhere unincorporated areas. How dark it gets at night just amazed me in the rural areas."Nearby_Reality_5412

"It’s so beautiful. My favorite thing every year is to go for a jog during the first snowfall. No sound but your feet, your breath, and that soft sound of millions of snowflakes landing at once. It’s a bit of peace you just can’t get anywhere outside of a cave."xdrakennx


The Reddit thread has more responses, from not flushing the toilet during a power outage to why having multiple guns doesn't make you a gun nut, that are interesting reads about rural life. And of course, a reverse list could easily be made by city folks for people who have always lived in the country. The better we understand one another's basic daily experiences, the better we're able to see through one another's eyes and understand one another's perspectives.

Drew barrymore talks to her audience about smartphones.

It’s understandable for parents to put off giving their kid a smartphone ‘til the last moment possible. Because it can be the moment they change from a happy, carefree tween to a teenager whose face is constantly stuck in their phone.

A smartphone exposes them to all the dangers of social media and is connects them 24-7 to a device that manipulates them on a biochemical level. Further, recent research has shown there is a “fairly robust” consensus among academics that smartphones are linked to the rise in teen depression, loneliness and self-harm.

No wonder many parents are thinking twice about getting their kids a smartphone.

In a video recently shared by The Drew Barrymore Show, the daytime TV host revealed the struggle she’s having with her daughters, Olive, 11, and Frankie, 10, who are asking for smartphones.


“A lot of parents are giving their kids phones at very young ages, and it’s just access to everything,” Barrymore told her audience. “It’s really tough. I’m like very overwhelmed.”

Drew Barrymore on the challenge of parenting kids who want cellphones 

@thedrewbarrymoreshow

@Drew Barrymore on the challenge of parenting kids who want cellphones 🤳 #parents #parentsoftiktok #parenting

But even though she’s under extreme pressure from her kids, Barrymore is standing her ground. “I’m not going to give up. I’m not going to give in. I haven’t let my kids have phones yet,” she told the audience as it broke into applause.

Barrymore’s struggle with telling her children “no” is one that every parent faces.

“It’s amazing to have wanted so badly for my kids to love me and to love their environment and feel safe...None of us want our children to resent us,” she continued. “And we don’t want to be their enemy. It’s such a hard choice to say, ‘I don’t care if you hate me for this. I don’t care if you’re mad at me for this. I know that I am doing the right thing by you and I accept your anger.’”

“Nobody wants their kids to be angry with them. It’s not a great feeling,” she continued. Barrymore also understands that, as a parent, it’s easy to have a weak moment and give in because toeing the line can be tiresome. “I have to find the courage every day not to give in,” she said.

But in the end, Barrymore understands that every parent and child is different and that those who have bought their kids smartphones shouldn’t feel bad about the decision. “And by the way, if you’ve given your kids phones and you’re doing the hands up, you’re not wrong. There is no right and wrong. It’s just a hard thing to navigate,” she said.

The post went viral, attracting over 860,000 views and nearly 1300 comments. Many sent messages of support for Barrymore and those who share the same dilemma. "If your child is never mad at you, you aren't doing your job," Cheriek wrote. "Thanks for adding the last statement. I have told so many people that. There is no right or wrong on how you are raising your children." Julia Belgraves added.

How old are kids when they get their first smartphones these days? According to Common Sense Media, 42% of kids have a phone by age 10, 71% by 12 and 91% by 14. Unfortunately, there is no consensus on the right age to give a child a smartphone. Jerry Bubrick, PhD, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute says it depends on the child's maturity. “I tell parents that it’s not so much about a particular age as it is about a kid’s social awareness and understanding of what the technology means,” Dr. Bubrick told Child Mind.