Why Do We Judge Parents For Putting Kids At Perceived -But Unreal- Risk?

A 9-year-old girl spent all day playing at a park near her home. She had a cell phone and a house key with her, and went home when she got tired. Was that dangerous? It sounds like typical behavior for a 9-year-old. But what if you knew she was there while her mother worked all day? Does that change anything about how dangerous her day at the park appears? An experiment shows that people don’t so much judge such a situation as dangerous because it’s objectivly dangerous, but because of how neglectful the parent appears. In fact, the morality of the reason a parent leaves a child unsupervised directly affects how dangerous the situation is perceived to be. Ashley Thomas, Kyle Stanford, and Barbara Sarnecka of the University of California at Irvine conducted an experiment that showed such bias.

To get at this question experimentally, Thomas and her collaborators created a series of vignettes in which a parent left a child unattended for some period of time, and participants indicated the risk of harm to the child during that period. For example, in one vignette, a 10-month-old was left alone for 15 minutes, asleep in the car in a cool, underground parking garage. In another vignette, an 8-year-old was left for an hour at a Starbucks, one block away from her parent's location.

To experimentally manipulate participants' moral attitude toward the parent, the experimenters varied the reason the child was left unattended across a set of six experiments with over 1,300 online participants. In some cases, the child was left alone unintentionally (for example, in one case, a mother is hit by a car and knocked unconscious after buckling her child into her car seat, thereby leaving the child unattended in the car seat). In other cases, the child was left unattended so the parent could go to work, do some volunteering, relax or meet a lover.

Not surprisingly, the parent's reason for leaving a child unattended affected participants' judgments of whether the parent had done something immoral: Ratings were over 3 on a 10-point scale even when the child was left unattended unintentionally, but they skyrocketed to nearly 8 when the parent left to meet a lover. Ratings for the other cases fell in between.

The researchers were motivated by an increasing number of parents who get into legal trouble for allowing their children to be unsupervised in situations that were once considered normal. The case of the 9-year-old girl was real, and her mother was arrested for child neglect. They talked about the research at NPR, and said the most surprising thing was how judgmental the participants were, and the most judgmental of all were mothers, who also overestimated the risk of danger the most. -via Digg

(Image credit: Flickr user Dave)


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Welcome to the Fourth Grade

Imagine you are nine years old and you don’t feel at all confident about moving up to the fourth grade. You don’t know who your teacher is going to be, or what you’ll be doing this year. And then your parents get an email from your new teacher, and it’s a music video!

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New teacher Dwayne Reed sent a video to his incoming students to show them what the next year will be like for them. I can imagine that other Chicago fourth-graders are already envious. -via Tastefully Offensive


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Cough

You can tell school is starting back when the kids begin trying to get out of going. This early in the year, they’re out of practice and not yet good at it. I had a child who was so deathly sick until about 9AM, then would perk up just fine, or at least enough to eat a greasy takeout lunch and watch TV. There were a couple of times I made her go to the second half of the school day. This is the latest from Lunarbaboon.


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Going Out In Public When You're A Parent- Mom Vs. Dad

There's a perceptible change in attitude when you meet a stranger in public for the first time with your child in tow, and lately this change seems to be working out better for dads than moms.

For some reason people are quick to criticize mothers for the way they're raising their child yet see the father as a hero for spending time with his kids, overlooking the same stuff they just criticized the mom for.

This comic strip was written by Chaunie Brusie and loosely based on her experiences, but as we all know parental experiences may vary, so there's bound to be a dad getting dissed in public somewhere!

-Via Babble


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Dad Photographs His Astronaut Son Going Where No Kid Wants To Go

It's hard for kids to be brave when they're faced with scary things like shots, barber shops and flying for the first time, but they're able to get through it all with support from their parents.

For some parents support means holding their child's hand, or wiping their tears away, but photographer Aaron Sheldon lent his son support by letting him dress up like an astronaut:

“The first shot we did in the project came about as my 4-year-old’s idea when I was helping him get over his fear of the doctors exam table. He decided to act brave like an astronaut and then asked if he could wear his spacesuit to his next appointment,”

Aaron continues to set up photo shoots starring his brave astronaut son, sharing the pics on his website Small Steps Are Giant Leaps in the hopes that other kids will be inspired to face their fears and dream big.

-Via design you trust


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Pics That Prove You're Doing A Good Job At Parenting

It can be hard for parents to tell how their kids are going to turn out, and what kind of person they're going to be, when they're really young.

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But when they do something that shows they truly care, and their actions prove they've been listening to our life lessons all along, they make their parents proud.

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Generous, caring and thoughtful kids serve as a good example to the other children they meet, demonstrating how kids can make a difference in the world if they work at it.

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Of course some, like this 9-year-old who makes small, portable shelters for homeless people, will work a lot harder than others, but don't let your little ones get discouraged.

Because as long as they're thinking about the welfare of others they're on the right track!

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See Good Parenting Summed Up In 15+ Pics here


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Going Through This Again

It’s a known fact that parents hate the cartoon Calliou because the title character is an unpleasant brat who whines and throws temper tantrums. My kids never watched the show, because I had already heard about it. Therefore, I don’t understand why other parents put up with it, when there are so many other children’s shows. I don’t know if Teletubbies is still available, but that was my favorite when my kids were preschoolers. Sesame Street was nice, too, although we probably watched more Disney movies on VHS than regular TV. This is the latest from Lunarbaboon.  


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The Highlight of the Ceremony

A bride and groom are repeating their wedding vows when those in attendance get a reason to pay attention.

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Yes, the flower girl stole the show, which is what you should expect when you put little children in the wedding party. It’s moments like these that make a wedding memorable. -via Tastefully Offensive


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9 Weird Facts About Babies

The following article is from Uncle John’s Factastic Bathroom Reader.

(Image credit: Flickr user Dave Herholz)

Babies: they’re even weirder than you thought.

1. They can’t taste salt. Babies are born with a well-developed sense of taste— but not for salt. Studies show that babies can’t taste salt until they’re about four months old. They can taste other flavors as well as adults can, especially sweet, bitter, and sour flavors (which might explain all the “baby tastes lemon” videos on YouTube)— and maybe even better: some studies indicate that babies actually have more taste buds than adults do.

2. They don’t shed tears. Babies cry an awful lot— but they can’t shed tears: they don’t have functional tear ducts until they’re between three and twelve weeks old. (They can, however, produce “basal tears”— the nonemotional tears we produce constantly to keep our eyes moist.)

3. They have no kneecaps.

Continue reading

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Little Boy Can't Understand Why Wire Bucket Can't Hold Water


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YouTube user RenoGeek and his son visited a children's museum. While there, the toddler tried to fill a wire mesh bucket with water. Unfortunately, the bucket was defective. It couldn't hold any water at all. I hope that he was able to get a refund for his admission ticket.

-via Tastefully Offensive


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Pokémon GO Baby Names

The explosion of the game Pokémon GO is leading to the inevitable: babies named after Pokémon. It’s not the first time someone’s done it, but the popularity of the name Eevee is growing, as well as Onix. Ash is also seen more often. There have been babies named Pikachu in Japan for years, and it may well happen in the U.S. soon, if it hasn’t already. These children will never be able to lie about their age. -via The Daily Dot


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Conversation Skills

(Fowl Language Comics/Brian Gordon)

Pretending to be interested in what other people have to say is an important life skill. Teach your kids by example, as they are trying to teach you. If successful, then we all learn how to fake sincerity as adults.


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Construction Workers Plays "Where's Waldo?" with Kids at Neighboring Hospital

(Photo: Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune)

This is Jason Haney, a construction manager working on a project for Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Indiana. He and his co-workers like to entertain the kids who look outside their windows. Last winter, they built a snowman. More recently, they decided to make a Waldo figure from the Where's Waldo? books.

Haney made the 8-foot tall figure from plywood and he and his daughter painted it. Haney and his co-workers hide it in the framework of the new building under construction until a kid spots it. Then they move Waldo somewhere else and start the game over.

(Photo: Hedi Prescott/Beacon Health System)

The South Bend Tribune reports that kids love it:

Arrihanna Williams, 7, and another child enjoyed watching as the crane above the hospital moved a big load of materials. When asked, Arrihanna was quick to point out where Waldo was standing from the playroom window.

Down the hall, 9-year-old Neveah Garza was in contact isolation and unable to leave her room. But her window overlooked the construction site and she enjoyed watching the men at work.

“Poor guys, they have to work in the sun,” she said.

In the past, she’s hunted for Waldo in library books and on an online site, she said, explaining how that worked. But it was a bit of a challenge to find the character at the building site.

“Mom found him first,” she said, pointing down at the site. “See he’s down there, by that fan thingy.”

-via Nerd Approved


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Polar Bear Tries to Eat Baby through the Glass


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A fun-size human appeared just outside the polar bear enclosure at the St. Louis Zoo in Missouri. It was the perfect snack. So the polar bear dove into the water and tried to snatch him. Alas, the glass got in the way. Keep trying! 

-via Telegraph


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A Chart Showing When It's Okay To Leave Kids Home Alone

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I grew up around a bunch of latchkey kids who walked themselves home from school every day and often had to make their own dinner because their parent(s) were always working.

This seemed quite normal, and made it easy to find kids to play with after school, but nowadays most parents wouldn't dream of letting their kids live that latchkey life.

Which brings up the question- when is a kid old enough to be left home alone?

This chart created by Thirty Handmade Days attempts to answer that question, breaking it down by age group and showing which states have laws against leaving kids home alone.

It seems a bit ridiculous to worry about leaving a 16-17 year old home alone, but what do you think- do you agree with this chart?

-Via CountryLiving


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The Touching Moment a Mom Hears Her Deceased Daughter's Heartbeat for the First Time in 10 Years


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Jade Stoner, 7 years old, was killed in a car accident. Seeing through her agony, her mother Debbie Stoner donated her daughter's organs.

Jade's heart went to Nellie-Ma Evans, a baby born with cardiomyopathy. She wouldn't have survived without a heart transpant.

That transplant was successful. Nellie-Ma is now 11 years old. Debbie Stoner recently met her. She placed her ear on Nellie-Ma's chest and listened to the sound of her daughter's heart, still beating 10 years later. Stoner described the experience to the Telegraph (auto-start):

"The first time I’d heard Jade’s heart beating was when I was pregnant with her at my ultrasound scan and it sounded just as strong," Mrs Stoner said.

"I knew her heart was no longer Jade’s because she’s no longer with us but it was a part of her.

"Although I lost the most precious thing in my life, she is continuing to live on, in a way."


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Hilarious Dad Shows Us How To Install A Baby Car Seat

Dadding ain't easy but it's necessary, so entry level dads who want to work towards father of the year rather than becoming a glorified babysitter have to start learning the tricks of the trade.

And that's why the dad from How To Dad started making videos and such- so he can show newbie dads how to dad it up like a pro.

In this installment How To Dad shows us the "This Dad" and "That Dad" method for installing a baby car seat.

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You may still feel like "That Dad" after watching the video, but at least you know you're not alone.

-Via Laughing Squid


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Little Girl Spoofs Matthew McConaughey's Lincoln Commercials

Have you ever seen those coma inducing Lincoln Motor Company commercials, featuring Matthew McConaughey speaking cryptically about how long he's been driving Lincolns and how you "have to go back to move forward"?

It turns out they're way more fun to watch when you replace McConaughey with a little girl and replace the Lincoln hybrid with a bright pink Barbie car.

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Filmmaker Eric Moyer created this fun commercial spoof starring his daughter Michelle to showcase her laid back attitude and Barbie girl swagger, the qualities which will make her a star someday. Mattel meet Michelle, the face of your new ad campaign!

-Via Laughing Squid


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Kids Say And Do The Darndest Things, And Then Their Parents Tweet About It

Twitter isn't good for much more than expressing random thoughts or sharing links, but it has proven to be an excellent source of candid comedy thanks to the proud parents who tweet about the odd stuff their kids do and say.

Finally kids who aren't old enough to be on Twitter can have a voice in this digital age of social media socialization and tweety talk, and we can get a good laugh at the adorably crazy stuff kids come up with.

Parents- enjoy your kiddos while they're too young to know the power of teenage hatred, and keep sharing those tweets about your kids so we can live and laugh vicariously through you.

Read 25 Things Kids Have Said That Will Actually Make You Laugh here


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Best Grandpa Ever Builds an Amusement Park in His Backyard

Disneyland may be the happiest place in the world, but select residents of Fullerton, California suggest that Dobbsland is even better.

Steve Dobbs, a retired engineer (naturally) bought a little electric train for his grandchildren to play with. They eventually tired of it, so he built a tunnel for he train to run through. That was interesting for a while, but, eventually, the kids found it boring.

To amuse them and himself, Dobbs built an entire miniature amusement park in his own backyard. It has animatronic characters, a clock tower, a roller coaster, and a toy submarine. Dobbsland even has your favorite characters, including Cinderella and Winnie the Pooh.


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The roller coaster is a special treat. Local engineering students designed it. The Orange County Register reports:

They used engineering principles to design the track’s trajectory, which had to fit the lawn’s 30-by-13-foot imprint.

“My main requirement was that I wanted it to be safe for little kids to ride, but also fun for teens and adults to ride,” Dobbs said.

Built at Cal Poly Pomona in three months, the coaster was dismantled by the student crew and moved to Dobbs’ home. (When disassembled, every Dobbsland attraction can fit in the home’s garage.)

Dynamic Testing Solutions’ chief financial officer rode and certified the coaster, which can support riders up to 185 pounds, goes forward and backward, tops out at 12 mph and is equipped with mechanisms measuring weight and g-force.

-via Gizmodo


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Training with Rocky Balboa

This baby is going to grow up to be a champion boxer, or else a movie star who plays one. He’s watching the training montage from Rocky II, and mimicking every move. He’s obviously a big fan, and has seen this scene few times before, because he knows what moves are coming up next. I particularly enjoyed his one-handed pushups. You go, kid! -via Tastefully Offensive


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Pinterest Baby Photo Shoots - Expectations Versus Reality

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W.C. Fields was famously quoted as saying “Never work with animals or children”, and that wasn't because he hated kids or critters- it's because animals and kids are too hard to control.

They don't understand why it's so important for them to hold still while the photographer takes their picture, and they become even more rambunctious when mommy or daddy tries to take the pics.

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All those amazing photos posted to Pinterest make people think it will be a snap to get the same results, but after a dozen or more shots they soon realize it's time to settle for "good enough".

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See 15+ Hilarious Pinterest Baby Photo Shoot Fails here


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Disney Princesses Just Wanted Breakfast

Zahara and Zamiyah Beary, ages five and seven, got up early on Thursday morning, put on their Disney Princess costumes and shower caps, and set out from their home in Park Slope, Brooklyn, to get breakfast. The girls’ parents were still asleep. The princesses first went to McDonald’s, then a bagel shop, but had no money to pay for their food. A bystander paid for their bagels. The girls then boarded a train and went to Manhattan! By that time, the police were alerted by the parents. Police found the girls at around 9:15, and took them to get hash browns at McDonald’s. The children were reunited with their parents at the 78th Street precinct. -via Fark


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Sophie Uses Her Feet

Sophi Green was born without arms, so she uses her feet of everything. While other children learned to eat and dress themselves, she did, too -with her feet. Now that she’s seven years old, it’s all second nature to her.

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Think you accomplished something by learning to use chopsticks? Try that with your feet! -via Viral Viral Videos


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Bruce Springsteen Invites a 4-Year Old Girl on Stage to Sing with Him


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The Boss was performing "Waitin' on a Sunny Day" at a concert in Oslo, Norway. A 4-year old girl named Hope was in the front row, thoroughly enjoying the music. She caught his attention. Springsteen invited Hope on stage and sang to her, then let her give a solo performance.

When they were done, he lifted Hope onto one of his shoulders and carried her around. Before she left, Springsteen gave Hope his harmonica. I hope that he wrote her a tardy note, too!

-via Tastefully Offensive


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Lawyers for Little Kids Whose Parents Are Not Fair


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Is some lady who calls herself "Mom" bossing you around, telling you what to do? Then you need the law firm of Whiney, Young & Moore to represent you. These crack attorneys will argue on your behalf, getting you the settlement that you deserve.

Laurel Coppock, Molly Erdman, and Megan Grano constitute BreakWomb, the sketch comedy group that shows the lighter side of being a mother. In this video, they're the lawyers that you never want your kids hiring.

-via Huffington Post


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Tornado in a Jar

Oliver is five years old. He’s had a YouTube account for a month or so, and this is his first science video, in which we learn how to make a tornado in a jar.

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After the tornado in a jar, Oliver has some tips on how to stay safe in the event of a tornado. You’ll have to supply your own consonants. Outside of the science lab, Oliver does not resemble a mad scientist. Although he may grow up to be one someday! -via Viral Viral Videos


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How to Dad


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How do you convince a baby to clean your house? It's really easy because before they hit the terrible twos, babies will do pretty much whatever you ask of them. The dad of the How to Dad YouTube channel shows how in his latest instructional video.

The entire channel is worth exploring, as it provides helpful tips for new dads, such as how to put a baby to sleep, how to get a child to fetch you a beer, and how to develop a dad bod.

-via Simone Giertz


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Name That Art

Soul Pancake staged a game. A young child, in this case, 5-year-old Alexa, describes famous works of art. Two art experts try to guess what piece she’s describing. If you want to play along, you should move the video out of your line of sight and just listen to the audio.

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In another video, 7-year-old Chris describes three other masterpieces. This is harder, because he’s starts out with abstract art.   

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A good time was had by all. -via Digg


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Awesome First Grade Teacher Lets Her Students Draw on Her Dress

(Photo: Chris-ShaRee Castlebury)

Chris-ShaRee Castlebury has a special gift for her "precious Picassos." She's a first grade teacher at Pat Henry Elementary School in Lawton, Oklahoma. Toward the end of the school year, she asks her students to draw on a dress with fabric markers, which she wears on the last day.

Castlebury calls it her "memory dress." It's her unique way to remember the children that she taught that year. She tells the Today show:

"It is a memory dress because I don't want to lose the beauty of the kids as they have to grow up and move on from me," Castlebury told TODAY in an email interview from South Korea, where her husband is stationed in the U.S. Army. "It is a wonderful thing, but so sad each year to fall in love with these kids and then have to say 'see ya later.'

-via Geekologie


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