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  • What Really Happens when Dad's in Charge

    You've always wanted to know what dad gets up to when you're at work and he's watching the kids. Or, to put it this way, maybe you don't actually want to know but feel it's in your child's interest to find out.

    Plus: Not Your Father's Fatherhood

    Either way, the Lords of the Playground are at your service. Launching today, this new comedy video series explores child-rearing from pop's playground perch. Whether it's discipline in action (check out 'Counting') the thrill of meeting new people ('The Number') or the pitfalls of baby talk ('Babble') with these videos, the Lords will have you rolling on the blacktop. Watch and learn how dad does it.

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  • 7 Things You Don’t Know About the Flu

    © Veer

    By Sasha Emmons
    We are
    in the midst of the worst flu season in 10 years, with almost every state in the union reporting widespread outbreaks. Yet with all the headlines about this year's super-flu, some misconceptions remain. We talked to three experts to sort flu fact from fiction.

    1. The flu vaccine will not give you flu

    The flu shot does not contain live viruses, so it's impossible for you to get sick from them, says microbiologist Ted Myatt, Ph.D., senior scientist at the consulting firm Environmental Health and Engineering and director of research compliance at University of Rhode Island. "Although the nasal-spray version of the vaccine does contain the live virus, it's manipulated so you get the immune reaction you're looking for but the virus is not strong enough to make you sick," says Myatt.

    Plus: Your Stomach Flu Survival Guide

    2. The flu shot does not always work right away

    One reason people might believe they've gotten sick from a flu shot is that

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  • Can Close Friends Substitute for Family?

    Courtesy of Parenting

    By Christina Vercelletto

    Remember Uncle Joey on Full House? Who was he anyway? He did Popeye impersonations and helped with homework. The kids loved him as much as their blood relative Uncle Jesse. And it appears a lot of people relate to the Tanner family. When we asked our Facebook fans "Do your kids call anyone who isn't a biological relative an aunt, uncle, or cousin?" we got a whopping 800-plus likes and 306 comments in one day. "Our handpicked family is more dependable than the 'real deal,'" commented Jennifer O.

    "Adopted" family members may be childhood friends, college roommates, or neighbors. Take me, for example. I'm an only child. It felt so natural that my BFF would be "aunt" that I announced my first pregnancy by telling her "Your daughter is going to be a cousin!" Aunt Camille and Uncle Michael, with whom I share zero DNA, have been there for birthdays, a hurricane evacuation, basketball games, and hospital stays. On a recent cruise, our kids posed together for

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  • 8 Things You Should Never Say to Your Kid

    Big discipline mistakes you might be making (and how to fix them). Plus, get more toddler discipline advice

    By Amanda May of
    © Stephanie Rausser

    You know the drill: You give your child an ultimatum -- "Get dressed or we're staying home!" -- and naturally she says, "Okay, we'll stay home!" Might as well plant a big "L" on your forehead. We all see our discipline efforts backfire on occasion (hey, you're tired!), and of course there are those battles just not worth fighting (no kid ever flunked preschool because his teeth were furry). But you do need to prove you're the parent at least some of the time. Learning to avoid these discipline land mines can help you hop to it.

    Way to Blow It #1: Tell a Big Ole Lie

    "My two-year-old daughter, Chloe, fights me about going to her babysitter's house every Monday," says New Jersey mom Gina Kane. One morning when Chloe refused to get out of the car, "I pointed to the house next door and told her it was a daycare center run by the caveman

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  • "Autism is Not a Shameful Secret"

    © Lee Clower

    By Jacqueline Laurita
    For those of you who don't know me, I'm one of the original cast members of Bravo's hit reality television series The Real Housewives of New Jersey. I signed on to this show back in 2008 without taking into consideration how much my life could change. I never stopped to think that there would be a greater purpose to it. You see, my 3-year-old son, Nicholas, has autism. We kept it under wraps until we could figure out what was wrong, and what we were going to do about it, but that time has come.

    Honestly, I'm glad it's out there. I don't think people should be afraid or ashamed to share their struggles. When you open up, you often find that it's the support and generosity of others that can provide the strength and tools you need to get through it. Ever since my husband, Chris, and I went public about our son's diagnosis in People magazine, the support has been overwhelming. Thousands of you have reached out to us with knowledge, resources, and success

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  • Dad Sick of Son’s Video Game-Playing Hires Online Hit Men

    Stock XchngBy Jeana Lee Tahnk

    There are a lot of crazy stories out there about what parents are doing in response to their kids' online antics. Remember Tommy Jordan? He was the father who shot his daughter's laptop after reading one of her Facebook posts. And of course, Denise Abbott, the mom who posted a photo of her daughter with an "x" over her mouth, also because of Facebook.

    A recent story coming out of China might surpass both of these parenting tactics in terms of craziness. According to Mashable, a dad in China was so tired by his son's incessant video game playing, he actually hired online assassins to kill off all the characters his son was managing online.

    Kotaku reports that the son was an unemployed 23-year-old who had a real penchant for gaming. His dad, Mr. Feng, unhappy with his son's jobless status decided to take matters into his own hands. Thinking that by killing off all his son's characters would help spur him into job-finding mode, Mr. Feng somehow found

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  • The 'Undesirable Impact' of China's One Child Policy

    VeerBy Leonora Desar

    China's controversial one-child policy may have a negative impact on the country's economy, according to a new study published in the journal Science.

    Researchers found that those born under the one-child policy are much less trusting, optimistic, conscientious and competitive.

    The study underscores an "undesirable impact" of the policy, said Hong Kong professor Joseph Cheng in an interview with Al Jazeera. The decline of young workers entering the labor force could also contribute to an economic slowdown and a drop in economic consumption as soon as 2015.

    Plus: Why More Parents Are Opting To Have One Child

    Researchers studied 421 subjects, comparing those born just before the policy's inception with those born just after. In a series of economic experiments designed to gauge levels of risk-taking and trust, participants invested or exchanged small amounts of money. On average, those born under the policy were found to be less trusting and more

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  • Introducing: Lords of the Playground

    By Jason Kravits
    I remember the first time I brought my son to the playground.

    He was about a year old and it was a beautiful spring day. I slathered him in sunscreen, plopped him into the sandbox and gave him his favorite little yellow truck. I took a couple of steps back to sit on a nearby bench - not too far away, of course. Had to be ready to pounce in case he decided to shove a fistful of sand into his mouth. I glanced around at all the happy children, the smiling faces, the ever-watchful caretakers. And one simple thought entered my mind.

    What am I doing here?

    I looked back at my son. His mouth was full of sand.

    What was I doing there? I mean, I could change the oil in my car faster than I could change a diaper, and with less leakage! Yet there I was, surrounded by strollers and sippy-cups, baby wipes and baby bjorns. It was a Tuesday at 11AM and the only other adult male in sight was emptying garbage cans into a large rolling bin. You know, working. And

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  • How Young is Too Young for School?

    warrengoldswain for Veer

    By The Editors of Parenting Magazine

    Are the early childhood education programs cropping up everywhere a smart jump-start or glorified daycare?

    Don't worry: Enrolling your 2-year-old in school won't make you a Tiger Mom. Early preschools, or Two's programs, are popping up across the country and they have real benefits for the pre-pre-K set, says Amanda Brooks, founder of the Brooks School in New York City. Unlike many daycare centers, these transitional preschools offer enrichment programs like art, music, dance, sensory play, and technology-and educators with credentials, says Brooks. But Two's programs are different from traditional pre-K's, which start at age 3, because the school day is less structured and the process of acclimating to school, socializing, and language acquisition is done at a slower pace. You can enroll your child in just two half days (about three hours) a week, for example-ideal for a child who needs some time socializing with other kids but not daily

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  • Recess is Necessary, Says AAP

    © Veer

    By Brian Braiker
    The American Academy of Pediatrics can come off as, well, a little strict. No screentime before the age of 2! Bouncy castles are too dangerous!

    But what's this? The AAP has come out with a new policy statement declaring recess a "necessary break from the demands of school."

    That's right: recess! Bring it on!

    Plus: Do Girls Get Enough Exercise?

    Published in this month's issue of Pediatrics, "The Crucial Role of Recess in Schools" concludes that safe and supervised recess "offers children cognitive, physical, emotional and social benefits. It should be used as a complement to physical education classes, not a substitute, and whether it's spent indoors or outdoors, recess should provide free, unstructured play or activity."

    Kids, it gets better. The AAP also explicitly declares that recess should never be withheld as punishment because it can negatively affect academic performance and social development.

    Plus: Why Kids Need Recess and

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