Feb. 22, 2012 at 8:53 PM ET
Uggh, another disturbing new trend involving teen girls and the internet. Dozens of tween and young teen girls have decided to poll the YouTube audience to find out how pretty or ugly internet trolls think they are. The girls pose and flaunt, asking strangers to tell them if they're cute. While the girls post videos with headlines reading, "Am I ugly?," the main question for many viewers is whether these vulnerable girls should have such unrestricted internet access. Please, check your kids' YouTube accounts.
Is asking other moms for help really mooching?
So many of us are marooned on Mom Island. We've talked about it before; we love our kids more than anything but sometimes we need a little help. Whether we're a stay-at-home mom who needs someone to watch her kids while she goes to the doctor, or a working mom who needs someone to help out with childcare during an early release day from school, we all need help once in a while. But so often we feel guilty asking for it. Or, if we do bravely ask for it, people will accuse us of being "mooches." Recently, a mom complained that a friend was repeatedly asking her to provide free child care in the name of friendship. In response to that, some moms wonder, if that's not what friends do for each other, then what is it that friends do, exactly?
Sports Parents: Put down the playbook and pick up the pom poms.
The agony of a crushing defeat. The pain of a missed goal or failed tackle. That's nothing compared to the post-game critique by parents. One coach and sports administrator who's interviewed hundreds of college athletes says that for many kids, their worst sports memory involves the play-by-play analysis on the ride home. What made those same athletes feel great? Having a parent say something as simple as, "I love watching you play."
You're not an annoying helicopter parent -- or are you?
If you've ever carried a mobile four-year-old down the stairs because they whined, you might be a helicopter mom. If you've ever wiped your child's bottom even though they can do it themselves, you might be a helicopter mom. If you've ever tied your son's shoes even though he can tie them himself, you might be a helicopter mom. When we think of micromanaging moms, we tend to think of the extremes, the uptight ones from the commercials with their travel-sized antibacterial lotion ever at the ready. But, what about some of the smaller, more subtle ways we hover? Don't worry, there's help. Experts advise that we stop doing things for our kids that they can do for themselves. One idea is to help your child, however young, build her resume. Can he put on his jammies on his own? Put that on a chart with a star next to it. Going to the bathroom without assistance? Put it on a chart with a star next to it. Perhaps our favorite bit of advice is to carve out time each day to sit and have a cup of coffee. If your kids come to you during that time (and it's not an emergency), you calmly explain that you're having coffee and will help them in 10 minutes. This will give you a moment of peace and help them learn some self-sufficiency.
A five-year-old lives his life as one of the youngest transgender kids.
Some kids just feel like they were born in the wrong body. A five-year-old boy in Britain is gaining attention for being one of the youngest transgender children. He first told his parents he was a girl when he was only three years old. At first, his parents thought it was just a phase and largely dismissed it. But, more and more, he got upset when people called him a boy and he started asking to wear girls' clothes. He even got so upset that he tried to cut off his penis in frustration. After meeting with experts, his parents began to let him dress as a girl and grow his hair long. His mom has said “I would love to have my son back, but I want him to be happy. If this is the route he wants to take, if this is what makes him happy, then so be it. I would rather him have my full support." While many have applauded his parents' support, some wonder whether a child that young can really know something so big and monumental.
Dana Macario is a TODAY Moms contributor and Seattle mom to two sleep-depriving toddlers. Once properly caffeinated, she also blogs at www.18years2life.com.