Archive for July, 2010

Is ‘Mad Men’s’ Betty Draper the worst TV mom ever?

“Mad Men” is back on the air this Sunday night, and we can’t wait to see Betty Draper resent and belittle poor Bobby and Sally with every interaction. (Just you wait Baby Eugene, your turn will come too.)

In the pantheon of TV mothers, Betty Draper may be the worst. She doesn’t seem to like her children at all and in fact seems determined to make them non-entities in their own home. (We haven’t even mentioned the CONSTANT drinking and smoking around her kids — and while pregnant. I also was shocked by scenes of her dieting while pregnant.)

Michael and I were trying to think of other bad TV moms. He suggested Roseanne and Peg from “Married with Children.” But I would argue that those mothers, while not the best at physically caring for their children, actually loved their kids. (Maybe Hyde’s mother on the “That …

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2 divorce questions from our readers: Ex not sending full child support; hubby keeps threatening divorce!

When I called out for your story ideas, we had two divorce questions. They were very different but I think both very good questions. So I’m going to package them both together and you can respond to either or both.

Here is questions No. 1:


July 2nd, 2010, 1:26 pm

Question for the divorced moms…I am a newly divorced mom. Have been granted child support by the courts since Jan. 2010. Have only gotten the full amount 1 time but $100 here $200 there to leave him behind. I am facing a huge financial mess b/c of this…any tips on taking him back to court for the money? Everytime I bring it up he says”you put a price tag on our children”…”They are just money makers to you” and things like that…I really want for my sake and the girls that we be civil but I HAVE to have the help!!!”

Question No. 2:


July 14th, 2010
8:37 pm

My husband has threatened me with divorce (in 7 years when my daughter turns 18) every time I disagree or have a different …

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Teen clothing line launches maternity line: Smart marketing or icky?

Forever 21, a popular teen clothing company has launched a new maternity line.


“Teen favorite clothing chain Forever 21 is facing controversy over its new maternity line, Love 21, which is launching in five states—Texas, California, Arizona, Alaska and Utah, this month.”

“The line is launching in three states with traditionally high rates of teen pregnancy. But Forever 21’s executive vice president, Larry Meyer, said any connection between the locations of stores carrying the line and pregnancy rates is a coincidence.” wondered if the maternity clothing line would glamorize pregnancy for teens but I don’t think they are trying to convince girls to get pregnant. I think sadly they are responding to a market that they think is not being served. I think their research is telling them there are a whole lot of pregnant teenagers who don’t want to dress like 30-year-old women who are pregnant.

I think they are responding to the market instead of …

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Court says cheerleading isn’t a sport! I beg to differ and so does my babysitter!

I am shocked by a Connecticut federal judge’s ruling that cheerleading doesn’t qualify as a sport under Title IX.

Here’s the background on the story from the Associated Press:

“Competitive cheerleading is not an official sport that colleges can use to meet gender-equity requirements, a federal judge ruled Wednesday in ordering a Connecticut school to keep its women’s volleyball team.”

“The volleyball players had sued Quinnipiac University after it announced last year that it would eliminate the team for budgetary reasons and replace it with a competitive cheer squad.”

“The school contended the cheer squad keeps it in compliance with Title IX, the 1972 federal law that mandates equal opportunities for men and women in athletics.”

Here’s the rub!!!

“Competitive cheer may, some time in the future, qualify as a sport under Title IX,” U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill wrote in his decision. “Today, however, the activity is still too underdeveloped and …

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Is A.D.H.D stigma gone? Do the drugs work?

Consumer Reports surveyed more than 900 parents whose children have been diagnosed with A.D.H.D. to find out what it’s like to live with A.D.H.D. today. Here’s a snapshot of what it found:

From The New York Times:

* 67 percent found drug therapy to be the most effective treatment, followed by switching to a more accommodating school (45 percent), giving one instruction at a time (39 percent), working with a private tutor or learning specialist (37 percent) and providing structure by maintaining a schedule of activities helped 35 percent.”

“* 84 percent of those in the survey tried medication at some point, and more than half of the children tried two or more medications in the past three years.”

“* Medications, parents say, are most helpful with improving academic performance and behavior at school (35 percent described it as very effective). They are not as useful in mitigating behavior at home (26 percent), improving social relationships (19 percent, or self …

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Are fart jokes the only way to get boys reading?

Boys have lagged behind girls in reading achievement for more than 20 years, but the gender gap now exists in nearly every state and has widened as much as 10 percentage points in some, according to an Associated Press story.

Obviously parents and educators are very concerned by this gender gap. So how can we convince little guys to read?

From the Associated Press:

“The angst among parents, teachers and librarians has been met by a steady stream of sports and historical nonfiction, potty humor, bloodthirsty vampires and action-packed graphic novels, fantasy and sleuthing.”

“Butts, farts. Whatever, said Amelia Yunker, a children’s librarian in Farmington Hills, Mich. She hosted a grossology party with slime and an armpit noise demonstration. ‘Just get ‘em reading. Worry about what they’re reading later.’ ”

“Adding online tie-ins or packaged prizes like the steady-selling “39 Clues” series has publishers meeting young readers halfway.”

“Patrick Carman has gone …

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Is hubby’s hobby too dangerous? Can you tell him ‘No!’?

Earlier this summer Tori Spelling’s husband Dean McDermott was pretty seriously hurt in a dirt bike accident. He was in ICU for several weeks with a punctured and collapsed lung. He just recently got out of the hospital. (I realize I am writing about Tori Spelling but stay with me. I swear there is a good conversation in this.)

Spelling has complained on her show Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood about Dean choosing a dangerous hobby and that it is not appropriate for a dad. In fact, described it as “On their show, Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood, the couple fought about Tori’s constant concern for Dean’s daredevil racing.”

From an older story on Extra after the crash first happened:

“When asked if she’ll force her husband to quit riding, Tori said she’s not sure if she can. She told ‘Extra’s’ Lauren Sanchez, ‘You can tell him, because I don’t know if I can do that. I’m not his parent. I’m his wife.’ ”

“For right now, the two are just focusing …

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Publix to launch healthier (also more expensive) version of Lunchables: Will moms bite?

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Publix will start offering a healthier, more expensive version of Lunchables but will moms and their kids bite?

Its lunches will include: meats on honey-wheat break or multigrain wraps with carrots or Stoneyfield low-fat yogurt and organic milk. They will cost $3.99 according to the Sentinel. Lunchables run between $2.65 to $3.50 at Publix.

The story says Walmart already offers prepacked lunches at about 2,000 of it’s stores but didn’t offer details on how healthy they are.

From the Orlando Sentinel:

“Eighty percent of mothers with school-aged children are supplementing their family incomes by working in direct sales or doing other home-based work, said Maria Bailey, who runs a Fort Lauderdale-based marketing firm focusing on moms. ‘The convenience factor is even that much more important,’ she said.”

(That is amazing stat — 80 percent of mothers working some type of gig.)

“And prepackaged lunches aren’t just for lunch anymore.”

” ‘It …

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Parents: Are you a Disney hater?

Are you a Disney Hater? Do you refuse to take your kids to Disney World, Disney Land or even EuroDisney? Do you hate Disney movies, toys and paraphernalia?

We have several friends with kids that are very anti-Disney, especially the theme parks. You would think their kids were asking their parents to be put on the racks in a torture chamber not ride in honey pots around Pooh’s storybook or fly across the sky with Peter Pan.

The same parents always groan on Facebook when we post photos from our Disney adventures. I have never pressed any of our friends about why they refuse to take their kids to the theme park, but I can make several guesses.

I think maybe they are worried about the commercialism and marketing aimed at their kids. There is no doubt they will be inundated with things their kids will want but we just say no. We bought three stuff animals and two shirts I think on the last trip and that was it.

I guess they also think it’s expensive but all theme parks are …

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Mother-in-law/son-in-law Battle Royale: Palin vs Johnston

So Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston have gotten back together and are re-engaged. Bristol says Johnston is making big progress — “like he’ll change a diaper without me even having to tell him.”

While that quote is shocking enough in itself, I don’t want to focus on Johnston’s ability to be a good dad (although you guys can discuss if you want), what I am thinking about is how painfully awful that relationship is going to be between Johnston and his mother-in-law Sarah Palin.

Palin’s saying all the right things. She’s going to try to give the boy a chance but I am telling you Thanksgiving is going to be frosty — not just this year but for the next 20 years.


“According to Bristol, Johnston is really changing. ‘Tons and tons of progress is being made,’ she says. ‘Like, he’ll change a diaper without me even having to tell him, or he’ll take him when I need a 15-minute break, or he’ll come over and help with Tripp, and all that stuff is just so much …

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