Best-Dressed Pets Contest Official Rules

Written on October 20, 2014 at 2:34 pm , by

Official Rules

Void outside the 50 United States, District of Columbia and where prohibited. Do not proceed to enter if you are not at least 21 years of age and a legal resident of, and located within, one of the 50 United States, or the District of Columbia, at the time of entry. By participating, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are binding and final in all matters relating to this contest.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR ABILITY TO WIN.

CONTEST PERIOD:  Best Dressed Pets Contest (“Contest”) begins at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time (“E.T.”) on September 2, 2014 and ends at 11:59 p.m. E.T. on November 2, 2014 (“Contest Period”).

SPONSOR:  Meredith Corporation, 1716 Locust St., Des Moines, Iowa (“Sponsor”).

HOW TO ENTER:  During the Contest Period, there are two (2) ways to enter:

1)    Via Instagram: Using your web-enabled mobile device, launch the Instagram Application and follow FamilyCircleMag on Instagram or visit instagram.com/familycirclemag in an Internet browser to locate and follow “FamilyCircleMag” Then, using your mobile device, capture and upload one (1) photo of your pet dressed up to Instagram and include the hashtag #FAMILYCIRCLEPETSCONTEST to receive one (1) entry (“Entry”);

2)    OR Via Email: Send one (1) photo of your pet dressed up to pets@familycircle.com to receive one (1) entry (“Entry”).

There is no cost to enter. Entries are final upon submission.  Entries generated by script, macro or other automated means or practices, or by any means which subvert the entry process will be void. All Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. E.T. on November 2, 2014 to be eligible. Entries will not be acknowledged or returned.

Entry may not contain, as determined by the Sponsor, in its sole discretion, any content that:

  • is sexually explicit or suggestive; unnecessarily violent or derogatory of any ethnic, racial, gender, religious, professional or age group; profane or pornographic; contains nudity;
  • promotes alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, firearms/weapons (or the use of any of the foregoing); promotes any activities that may appear unsafe or dangerous; promotes any particular political agenda or message;
  • is obscene or offensive; endorses any form of hate or hate group; appears to duplicate any other submitted Entries;
  • defames, misrepresents or contains disparaging remarks about other people or companies;
  • contains trademarks, logos, or trade dress (such as distinctive packaging or building exteriors/interiors) owned by others, without permission;
  • contains any personal identification, such as license plate numbers, personal names, e-mail addresses or street addresses;
  • contains copyrighted materials owned by others (including photographs, sculptures, paintings, and other works of art or images published on or in websites, television, movies or other media), without permission;
  • contains materials embodying the names, likenesses, voices, or other indicia identifying any person, including, without limitation, celebrities and/or other public or private figures, living or dead, without permission;
  • contains look-alikes of celebrities or other public or private figures, living or dead;
  • communicates messages or images inconsistent with the positive images and/or good will to which Sponsor wishes to associate; and/or
  • violates any law.

Entry must be the original, unprofessional work of the entrant, may not have been previously published, may not have won previous awards, and must not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity.  If the Entry contains any material or elements that are not owned by the entrant, and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, the entrant is responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the Entry, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the use and exhibition of the Entry by Sponsor in the manner set forth in these Official Rules, including, without limitation, name and likeness permissions from any person who appears in or is identifiable in the Entry. Sponsor reserves the right to request proof of these permissions in a form acceptable to Sponsor from any entrant at any time. Failure to provide such proof may, if requested, render Entry null and void.  By submitting an Entry, entrant warrants and represents that he/she and any persons appearing or who are identifiable in the Entry consent to the submission and use of the Entry in the Contest and to its use as otherwise set forth herein. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to verify any element of any Entry or related materials and to disqualify any entrant whose participation may subject the Contest, Sponsor, or Sponsor’s advertisers, clients, or customers to controversy, negative publicity, scorn, or ridicule.

By submitting your Entry, you agree that your Entry conforms to these Official Rules and that Sponsor, in its sole discretion, may disqualify your Entry for any reason, including if it determines, in its sole discretion, that your Entry fails to conform to these Official Rules in any way or otherwise contains unacceptable content as determined by Sponsor, in its sole discretion.

By submitting an Entry, entrant hereby grants permission for the Entry to be posted at http://www.familycircle.com or other websites. Entrant agrees that Released Parties (as defined below) are not responsible for any unauthorized use of Entries by third parties. Released Parties do not guarantee the posting of any Entry and reserve the right to remove any posted Entry at any time whatsoever and/or for any reason. Entrants agree that they will not use the Entry for any other purpose, including, without limitation, posting the Entry to any online social networks, without the express consent of Sponsor in each instance.

This CONTEST is IN NO WAY sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated WITH INSTAGRAM. BY ENTERING, You UNDERSTAND YOU are providing your information TO Sponsor and not to INSTAGRAM.

LIMIT:  One (1) Entry per person and per email address and per Instagram account throughout the Contest Period, regardless of method of entry.   Entries received from any person, email address, Instagram account in excess of the stated limitation will be void. You may only use one (1) email address and one (1) Instagram account to enter this Contest.

ELIGIBILITY: This Contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States, and the District of Columbia, 21 years of age or older. Employees of Sponsor, Petco Animal Supplies, Inc. and any other organizations affiliated with the sponsorship, fulfillment, administration, prize support, advertisement or promotion of the Contest and/or their respective parents, agents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies, and their immediate family members (regardless of where they reside) or household members, whether or not related, are not eligible to enter or win. “Immediate family members” shall mean spouses, parents, step-parents, children, step-children, siblings, step-siblings, and their respective spouses.  “Household members” shall mean people who share the same residence at least three months a year.

WINNER DETERMINATION:

 

Judging: On or about 11/7/14, a panel of qualified judges selected by the Sponsor in its sole discretion, will judge all eligible Entries received throughout the Contest Period based on the following criteria: Creativity (40%), Uniqueness (30%) and Adherence to Contest Theme (30%). The thirty (30) Entries with the highest total scores will be deemed potential finalists and will advance to the voting round. In the event of a tie, an additional, tie-breaking judge will judge the tied Entries based on the criteria above to determine the potential finalist. Sponsor reserves the right to select fewer than thirty (30) potential finalists if, it determines in its sole discretion, it does not receive a sufficient number of eligible and qualified Entries.

 

Potential finalists will be notified via email, phone, mail or Instagram and may be required to complete and return an Affidavit of Eligibility/Ownership, IRS W9 form, License of Work and Release of Liability/Publicity within ten (10) days of date of notification or an alternate finalist may be notified. If a potential finalist is notified via Instagram, he/she must follow the instructions provided by Sponsor to contact and provide Sponsor with his/her full and complete personal information. If such documents are not returned within the specified time period, a finalist notification is returned as undeliverable, Sponsor is unable to contact a potential finalist or a potential finalist is not in compliance with these Official Rules, an alternate finalist will be notified at Sponsor’s sole discretion.

 

Voting Round: From 12:00 a.m. E.T. on November 10, 2014 to 11:59 p.m.  E.T. on November 14, 2014 (“Voting Period”), the thirty (30) finalist Entries will be posted on Facebook for public voting.  Limit one (1) vote per person and per Facebook account per day throughout the Voting Period.  The three (3) finalist Entries with the highest total number of valid votes will be deemed the winners, subject to verification of eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules. In the event of a tie in the Voting Period, the finalist Entry among the tied Entries with the highest score in Creativity from the judging round will be deemed the winner, subject to verification of eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules. All results are unofficial until verified by Sponsor.

 

VOTE COUNTS DISPLAYED ONLINE MAY NOT BE ACCURATE. RESULTS ARE UNOFFICIAL UNTIL ALL ONLINE VOTES HAVE BEEN TALLIED AND VERIFIED BY SPONSOR. VOTES RECEIVED IN EXCESS OF THE STATED LIMITATION WILL BE VOID. ENTRANTS ARE PROHIBITED FROM OBTAINING VOTES BY ANY FRAUDULENT OR INAPPROPRIATE MEANS, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, OFFERING PRIZES OR OTHER INDUCEMENTS TO MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC, AS DETERMINED BY THE SPONSOR IN ITS SOLE DISCRETION.

 

PRIZES (3): Grand Prize (1): A $1,000 Petco Gift Card; Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): $1,000. Second Place Prize (1): A $500 Petco Gift Card; Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): $500. Third Place Prize (1): A $200 Petco Gift Card; Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): $200. Total ARV of all prizes: $1,700. Prizes are awarded “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied by Sponsor. Winners may not substitute, assign or transfer a prize or redeem prize for cash, but Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to substitute a prize (or portion thereof) with one of comparable or greater value. Winners are responsible for all applicable federal, state and local taxes, if any, as well as any other costs and expenses associated with prize acceptance and use not specified herein as being provided. Gift cards are subject to certain terms and conditions as specified by issuer.  The awarding of any prize is contingent upon full compliance with these Official Rules. All prize details are at Sponsor’s sole discretion.

 

PRIVACY:   When you enter the Contest, we collect personally identifying information about you, including your name, complete mailing address, and email address. Your information will not be sold or rented to third parties. Entrants must fully complete and submit all non-optional data requested on the entry form to be eligible. Incomplete Entries are void. Entrants may be given the option to receive commercial e-mails from Sponsor; however, such emails are optional. Eligibility to participate in the Contest is not dependent upon entrant’s consent to receive e-mails and such consent will not affect entrant’s ability to win. For more information about how Sponsor uses the information you provide, see Sponsor’s privacy policy at http://www.meredith.com/privacy.html.  IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO SHARE YOUR INFORMATION, PLEASE DO NOT ENTER THIS CONTEST.

 

LICENSE FOR USE OF ENTRIES: By submitting an Entry, each entrant grants, and represents and warrants that the entrant has the rights and authority necessary to grant, Sponsor an irrevocable, non-exclusive, fully sublicensable license and right to exploit, edit, modify, and distribute the Entry and all elements of such Entry, including, without limitation, the photo and the likenesses of any pets, individuals and locations embodied therein, in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity without compensation, permission or notification to entrant or any third party.

 

ARBITRATION: Except where prohibited by law, as a condition of participating in this Contest, entrant agrees that:  (1) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; and exclusively by final and binding arbitration under the rules of the American Arbitration Association and held at a AAA regional office in New York, NY; (2) the Federal Arbitration Act shall govern the interpretation, enforcement and all proceedings at such arbitration; and (3) judgment upon such arbitration award may be entered in any court having jurisdiction. Under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental or consequential damages including attorney’s fees or any other damages, other than for entrant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e., costs associated with participating in this Contest), and entrant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.

 

RELEASES:  By participating in this Contest, entrants agree to release Sponsor, Petco Animal Supplies, Inc., Instagram and any other organizations affiliated with the sponsorship, fulfillment, administration, prize support, advertisement or promotion of the Contest and each of their respective parents, agents, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, and prize suppliers, and each of their respective officers, directors, agents, representatives and employees, as well as each of their respective successors, representatives and assigns (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from any and all actions, claims, injury, loss or damage arising in any manner, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from participation in this Contest and/or acceptance or use of any prize.

 

MISCELLANEOUS: Released Parties are not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, damaged, inaccurate, stolen, undelivered, garbled or misdirected Entries, photos, hashtags, and/or votes; or for lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties, or other errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing or otherwise relating to or in connection with the Contest, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the Contest, the processing of Entries, photos or hashtags, the announcement of the prizes, the tabulation of votes, or in any Contest-related materials. Released Parties are also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest. Released Parties are not responsible for injury or damage to entrants’ or to any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participating in this Contest or downloading materials from or use of the website.  Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion to disqualify any person tampering with the entry process, the operation of the web site or otherwise in violation of these Official Rules. In the event of cancellation or termination, Sponsor reserves the right to determine the potential finalists and/or potential winners from among all eligible, non-suspect Entries received prior to date of cancellation or termination using the judging criteria detailed herein.  In the event of a dispute regarding online entry, Entry will be deemed made by the authorized account holder of the e-mail account associated with the Entry and he/she must comply with these Official Rules.  The authorized account holder is the natural person who is assigned the e-mail address by the Internet Service Provider (ISP), on-line service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE  LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS CONTEST IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS, AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR WILL DISQUALIFY ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL AND RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) AND OTHER REMEDIES FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

 

Except where prohibited by law, entry constitutes permission to use each entrant’s name, hometown (city and state), voice, biographical information, likeness, photograph and any statements regarding this Contest in all media now known or hereafter discovered, for any purpose, including without limitation, in connection with, and to promote, market or advertise, the Contest, in whole or in part, without review, approval, credit or attribution, notification or payment from or to entrant or any person or entity, worldwide, in perpetuity, or on a winners’ list, if applicable. Contest is subject to all applicable U. S. federal, state and local laws and regulations.

 

WINNERS’ NAMES: For winners’ names, available after November 24, 2014, send a separate, self-addressed, stamped envelope to Winners’ List, Best Dressed Pets Contest, 805 Third Avenue, c/o Family Circle, 24th Floor, New York, NY 10022.

 

 

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Save Money on Eyeglasses

Written on October 15, 2014 at 3:49 pm , by

 

Right after my son Cole got his driver’s license, he realized glasses were a must if he wanted to drive after dark. Dutifully, I took him to the eye doctor, and an hour later, he had picked out great-looking frames. Unfortunately, I was down hundreds of dollars. Next time, buying online will be a no-brainer. Should anyone in your family need glasses or contact lenses, take advantage of my research.

Warby Parker: If you question the whole buying-without-trying thing, Warby Parker’s Home Try-On kit is the answer. Choose any five pairs of the company’s fun, fashion-forward frames and they’ll ship them to you—free—in an easy-to-return postage-paid package. If something appeals to you, just upload a prescription and order your specs. Most eyeglasses run $95 per pair. (Progressives cost more.) Plus, through the Buy A Pair, Give A Pair program, glasses are donated to people in need (a million pairs and counting). warbyparker.com

EyeBuyDirect: This site boasts a surprisingly large selection of eyeglasses under $10—from there, you add prescription lenses, special coatings for computer and gaming use and other options. (Also worth noting: There are over 200 frames specifically made for kids.) The nifty EyeTry tool allows you to upload a photo, then virtually play around with and compare frames ad infinitum. eyebuydirect.com 

Goggles4U.com: Among the many basic frames are various chichi designer options (hello, Calvin Klein, Nicole Miller, Versace) and any kind of lens you could want: distance, reading, bifocal and progressive. You can get a pair of prescription glasses delivered for under $15—at that price, consider stocking up to soften the blow against seemingly inevitable loss or breakage . goggles4U.com

Glasses.com: When only big-name frames will do, there’s a huge selection of more than 90 well-known brands. Ray-Ban, Oakley, Smith Optics and similar high-end picks still don’t come cheap, but thanks to the Unbeatable Price Guarantee, you’re sure to pay less for them here than anywhere else. With many glasses, you pay only for the frames— prescription lenses are on the house. glassses.com 

ReadingGlasses.com For anyone who’s struggling to see fine print, this site is the clear choice. Shop more than 50 brands that range in magnification from +0.75 to +4.00. readingglasses.com 

Vision Direct The more you buy, the more you save at this virtual superstore for contacts, owned by Walgreens. Bonus: You automatically get a 5% discount on most products every time you shop. Best-known brands include Acuvue, PureVision, Dailies and SofLens. visiondirect.com

 


Tips for Handling a Breakup as a Parent

Written on October 10, 2014 at 11:15 am , by

Breaking up is (especially) hard to do when you’re a parent. You may not be hitched to your ex anymore, but you’re connected through your kids. Communicate while keeping the peace with these smart strategies.

Set talk terms. If face-to-face is too painful, go with emails, texting or phone calls.

Stick to  ground rules. No bringing up past incidents, no cursing and no threatening.

Organize your thoughts. Write down topics that need to be discussed before you pick up the phone, checking off each item as you address it.

Put the kids first. Their welfare is the priority, so avoid placing them in the middle of situations. When in doubt, ask yourself: What’s best for them?

Choose words carefully. Replace phrases like “you always” or “you never” with “I feel” or “maybe we should consider.”

Listen harder. Sometimes instead of reacting, just reflect. Consider saying, “Let me think about that and get back to you.”

Forgive. Let go of old offenses and accept an “I’m sorry”—or be strong enough to offer one.

 Janet Taylor, MD, MPH, a mother of four, is a psychiatrist in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @drjanet. Read more of her posts here.

Got a question for Dr. Janet? Email her at askdrjanet@familycircle.com.

 


Modern Life: Two Dads, Two Kids and Two Dogs Make a Happy Home in the Heartland

Written on October 8, 2014 at 10:13 am , by

 

Mornings that begin with a big family hug are a sweet way to start the day for Chris Osner-Hackett, his husband, Bob Osner-Hackett, and daughters Cai and Ava. Their busy schedules are tempered by calm weekend activities like Friday movie night, long walks with their two dogs, and jaunts to the Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market.

(Note: Questions answered by Chris Osner-Hackett unless otherwise indicated.)

Which three words best capture your family?
Loving, grateful and supportive.

How would you describe your parenting styles?
Bob and I have completely different parenting styles. While we’re both supportive of our girls trying new things, Bob is by far the adventurer while I lean toward measured caution. Chris is the worrier and Bob is the encourager. We share the role of disciplinarian. Our styles, for the most, complement each other.

Have you felt accepted by your community?
Yes! First and foremost, we have a truly supportive network of family and friends who love and accept our family unconditionally. We have truly felt welcome wherever we have lived—whether Ohio, New Jersey or Michigan. We like to think it’s because once people get to know our family, it doesn’t matter that we are gay dads. Or it could just be that everyone loves Bob. Sure, there’s an occasional stare where you know someone’s thinking, “Must be dads’ night out with the kids” or “What is the dynamic of that family?” It really doesn’t faze the girls or us.

What surprises you most about parenthood?
How two children brought up in the same home could be so totally different. We have a serious and logical 8-year-old with a dry sense of humor, and a three-and-half-year-old who is animated, boisterous and keeps us laughing.

What are the biggest challenges that your family faces?
Finding time to have a sit-down dinner together. —Chris Osner-Hackettt

No different than any other family—balancing the needs/wants of both a three-and-half- and an 8-year-old. We do believe we may face tougher challenges in the years ahead as we deal with questions around adoption and our nontraditional family.

What is the best moment of the day?
When Ava, our three-and-a-half-year-old, initiates the morning family hug.

What happens on a typical weekend?
The kids love Friday movie night. Saturdays are usually filled with dog walks around the lake, the Kalamazoo Farmer’s Market and lots of outdoor activities, like bike riding and tennis.

What are your tips for balancing work and family?
We are fortunate that Bob is able to be a stay-at-home parent. The benefit of having him home with the girls cannot be measured. As for me, I’m fortunate that my employer allows for good work/life balance, allowing me to prioritize the kids’ activities (sports, plays, lessons).

What is dinnertime like at your home?
Organized chaos—while our goal is to have a sit-down family meal, it doesn’t always go that way. Dinners are often preempted by an 8-year-old that, like daddy, is a picky eater, and a three-and-a-half-year-old who would rather play than eat, and the uncertainty of Chris’s arrival time.

Are you cooking this Thanksgiving? Any specialties?
Chris likes to boast about his homemade pumpkin pie, which he claimed for years was a family recipe until one year when he learned that “the secret family recipe” could also be found on the side of the Libby’s Pure Pumpkin can! —Bob Osner-Hackett

 

How did you feel when the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was struck down and you were able to make your marriage legal? What was that moment like?
A big step forward, however, there’s still a lot of work to be done at the individual state level. We’ve been together for 14 years and have considered ourselves “married” since our June 2003 commitment ceremony in Maui. We then filed for a domestic partnership while living in New Jersey, and finally had a legal wedding in Toronto in September 2013, post-DOMA. The striking down of DOMA, while momentous and exciting for the LGBT community, didn’t change the way we felt about each other. We had felt married for 10 years.

What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about homes with same-sex parents?
The biggest misconception is probably that children need parents of both genders; that with same-sex parents a kid is missing out by not having both a mom and a dad present. We believe this to be false for many reasons. Our daughters know of their circumstances. We’ve been open and honest about their adoptions and the fact that not all families are alike. We have also surrounded them with strong female role models—they have three grandmothers plus godmothers and many aunts/great-aunts/surrogate aunts that are very active in their lives. As long as kids are shown love every day and have a committed person in their lives dedicated to providing them a safe, loving environment, it shouldn’t matter what their gender is. In the end, love makes a family.

 

 


Have You Talked to Your Kids About Hannah Graham?

Written on October 7, 2014 at 1:44 pm , by

 

As an 8-year-old thrilled to be in the beautiful, green outdoors of Michigan for summer camp, I learned a lifelong lesson. While splashing in the cool water, I heard a whistle blow. It was a “buddy check.” The piercing sound meant that you had to quickly find your assigned buddy. Panic ensued when it was determined that a camper—my assigned buddy—was missing.

Thankfully, I had been told in advance that this would happen. The camp counselors had planned the exercise to keep the head swim counselor on his toes and teach the campers the importance of looking out for your buddy. Their scheme worked. I have never forgotten the emotion and chaos of that afternoon, as well as the relief when the camper turned up on the sandy shores of the beach.

With my own daughters, I’ve tried to pass along the importance of simply staying in contact with and keeping an eye on friends in social situations, especially late at night. I still say it, tolerating the rolled eyes or silence as they saunter out my door.

Hannah Graham

A few weekends ago I went to visit my youngest daughter, who is now in her fourth year at the University of Virginia. It was the same weekend that first-year student Hannah Graham went missing. Like most of you, I have watched the news coverage hoping that Hannah will be found safe, and feeling heartbroken at the sight of the anguish etched into the faces of her loving parents.

Tragedies have a way of generating what-ifs and identifying ways to prevent them from happening again. One of the more touching tips came from Hannah’s devastated parents, John and Sue Graham, who stated: ”For those students planning to unwind this weekend, please be extra vigilant when you are out and walk with a buddy.”

We can also remind our teenagers to keep their cell phones charged, to let their friends know where they are going, to never leave a party or event with someone they don’t know, to keep their eyes on their cups at all times, and to choose someone to buddy up with and call the police immediately if they can’t locate them. It’s better to raise a false alarm then to lose time in a search.

My prayers and thoughts are with the Graham family and any other families with missing loved ones. May they all return safely.

 

 

 

 

Have you talked to your child about buddying up whether they’re at the beach or on a college campus? Post a comment and tell me what you suggested.

Janet Taylor, MD, MPH, a mother of four, is a psychiatrist in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @drjanet. Read more of her posts here.

Got a question for Dr. Janet? Email her at askdrjanet@familycircle.com.

 


What’s Up with Your Son and His Sneaker Obsession?

Written on October 7, 2014 at 1:06 pm , by

 

 

When little boys get into their first superhero costume, magic occurs. They know they have super powers. They think they can fly, bend steel and outrun the wind. A few years later, when it dawns on boys that maybe their Batman capes don’t give them these powers, they seek out something else. Sneakers.

A boy’s love affair with his “kicks” is intense. If you’ve ever seen a boy lace up his new sneakers (that word moms usually use) and run around the shoe store, you know what I mean. In the right pair, boys believe they will jump higher and run faster. You can see it in the gleam in their eyes—they are invincible.

But there’s nothing new about shoes being a big deal for boys. From Vans to PF Flyers to Chuck Taylors (“Chucks”), shoes matter. The love of kicks is deep. And for this generation of boys, it’s basketball shoes.

The first Air Jordans came onto the market in 1985, right after Michael Jordan first laced up those black-and-red shoes to match the colors of the Chicago Bulls. David Stern, the NBA commissioner at the time, fined Jordan five thousand dollars each time he stepped out on the court because his shoes didn’t have enough white on them. There was nothing David Stern could have done to make Michael Jordan or his shoes look cooler. Jordan was breaking the rules and he looked good doing it.

But why else are shoes such a big deal for boys?

Shoes are the fashion choice that all boys can participate in without being teased. When you go with your son to a store like Foot Locker and the salesperson in that black-and-white striped shirt comes over to your son, what does he ask? Does he ask what size shoe your son wears? No. The smart ones say, “Hey, man, what are your colors?” What other article of clothing could that happen with? Where else could that question be asked without drawing embarrassment from your kid?

The last time I went with my sons, I had a hard time holding back my laughter as I listened to their intense discussion with the salesman. I watched them wander in front of the wall of shoes, saw their intense gaze and subsequent handling of the shoes while they each stared off visualizing their future greatness on the basketball court. The entire thing was completely ridiculous—a fact that I kept to myself.

What isn’t ridiculous and what parents need to be very aware of, is that shoes are a huge indicator among boys about status and money. The shoes boys most covet are heavily marketed to them and extremely expensive. (Nike Kobes are about $170 and LeBrons can go up to $250.) If parents are willing to pay for them, that says a lot about how they’re buying into the marketing campaigns that are targeting our boys and, by extension, our wallets.

Also keep in mind that boys often have judgments about who has the right to wear these shoes. As in, if you wear them but you can’t hold your own athletically, boys are going to make fun of you to your face or ridicule you behind your back.

I am writing about this to suggest that when your son is begging for new shoes and spends hours looking at his various options online, don’t make fun of him or belittle his apparent superficiality. Instead, see this an opportunity to talk about financial responsibility and perception of his image. Tell him how much you are willing to spend. If he still insists that he has to get expensive shoes, tell him he has to use his savings or work to pay for the rest. Then ask him how he thinks his life will be better if he has the shoes he covets and really listen to his answers, because he is giving you a window into his world.

But what if you’re having the opposite experience and your son won’t get rid of his shoes. Are you that mom who’s desperate to buy him new ones because the old ones are so disgusting? The reason he’s doing this may be because he doesn’t want to buy into the materialism of the other kids. Boys can do things for amazing reasons, but it’s hard to see—even when it’s right in front of our eyes. Again, this is an opportunity to look beyond the shoes and ask the boys in our lives why they’re doing things that make so little sense to us. The strange thing is that if we do, we really may learn something.

How does your son feel about his favorite pair of sneakers? Post a comment and tell me.

Rosalind Wiseman is the author of the new best seller Masterminds and Wingmen as well as Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads. For more info, go to rosalindwiseman.com. Read more of Rosalind’s parenting advice, here

Do you have a parenting question? Email askrosalind@familycircle.com.

 


You Make It, We Post It!

Written on September 22, 2014 at 12:25 pm , by

This week’s featured chef is Instagram user @thecraftyhostess who made our slow cooker dinner, Chicken in Marsala Sauce!

 

 Want to be featured here as next week’s chef?

Here’s how: Make a Family Circle recipe, take a photo and share it on Instagram by tagging @FamilyCircleMag and #FCMADEIT.

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You Make It, We Post It!

Written on September 15, 2014 at 4:58 pm , by

This week’s featured chef is Instagram user @sugarcoatedcali who made our seasonal dessert, Salted Caramel Apple Cake!

 Want to be featured here as next week’s chef?

Here’s how: Make a Family Circle recipe, take a photo and share it on Instagram by tagging @FamilyCircleMag and #FCMADEIT.

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Keep Your Naked Selfie Covered

Written on September 12, 2014 at 5:00 am , by

We’re used to hearing celebrities bare all in interviews and watching them bare all on movie screens. But this month, when news broke of hackers using the iCloud to leak nude photos of stars like Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, many were shocked. How did the hackers pull it off? What other information could be hacked into? Who’s at risk? Aside from the obvious concerns about such a privacy breach, however, another issue loomed. Why take a naked photo?

Maybe it’s because I don’t even like to pose for, much less share, a photo of myself in a bathing suit sans cover-up. So I can’t help but wonder why folks want naked selfies.

One group worth approaching to answer that question: teenagers. Most teens sext to maintain or ignite a relationship, or are pressured into the behavior. A recent study indicated that more than 50% of college students sent sexually explicit texts—with or without photos—as minors. (About a quarter admitted to sending sexually explicit photographs.) These numbers would indicate that among young people sexting is increasing in prevalence. In fact, it has tripled or quadrupled in some ages and categories of teens over the past five years. Boys and girls sext at the same rate, but boys forward more.

As moms and dads, we need to shift our focus to parenting in the digital age. We need to talk to our children and teens about sending pictures, receiving pictures and passing them on. We need to tell them that not everyone is doing it and cyberspace does not have a button for forgiveness. Images that are deleted can be retrieved, and pictures that are sent can be passed along.

The message to our children and teens should be clear and consistent. Do not ever post or send a naked or half-naked selfie to anyone. Ever. They should delete images that are sent to them and not forward them. I want to remind young people that there are many ways to feel good about yourself: practice kindness to others, volunteer in schools and communities, simply contribute to the common good. But keep your naked selfie covered.

Have you talked to your child about sexting? Do you think your son or daughter would ever do it? Post a comment and tell me.

Janet Taylor, MD, MPH, a mother of four, is a psychiatrist in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @drjanet. Read more of her posts here.

Got a question for Dr. Janet? Email her at askdrjanet@familycircle.com.


The Downside of Dress Codes

Written on September 11, 2014 at 5:36 pm , by

A few days before I started sixth grade at a private school, I went with my mother to get my uniforms. While she beamed, I remember miserably pulling the green-and-white-striped dress over my head. My mother, like many parents to this day, believed that uniforms were the answer to stopping social competition among students and contributed to an overall positive school atmosphere.

But here’s the problem: Way too often administrators and teachers enforce their school’s dress code by disrespecting and shaming their students, as with a recent incident involving a superintendent in Oklahoma. Not only is this unethical but it contributes to a school environment where the children don’t trust the adults to exercise their authority ethically. What should be a moment in the hall of “Please take off your hat” or “That skirt is a little short” becomes a humiliating power struggle where the child has no opportunity to learn whatever lesson the adult believes they are trying to teach.

Before I go on, let’s articulate the standard arguments to support school uniforms and dress codes. It is said that they:

1. Set a standard for students that learning environments should be given respect and prepares them for a professional environment as adults.

2. Contribute to students respecting themselves.

3. Decrease materialism and social competition.

4. Stop children from wearing clothes that are offensive or promote illegal or unhealthy substances like drugs and alcohol.

5. Contribute to school spirit and unity.

On the face of it, all these goals are entirely reasonable. Unfortunately, uniforms aren’t a magic bullet to stop “fashion show” competition between students. Kids know who has more money either because the student boasts about it (which is common) or other people talk about it. If it’s important to a student to show how rich their family is, they will figure out a way to do so, from donning $300 headphones to sporting $200 sneakers to bragging about what cars their parents have.

What’s more, no matter how great the school or how well-intentioned the rules are, a dress code and the way it is enforced can mask double standards and abuse of power. For example, the way boys and girls get in trouble for violating dress codes is different. Boys get in trouble for wearing clothes that are “disrespectful.” However they define that (sagging and baggy pants, wearing a hat inside), far too many adults start the interaction with boys by using their power as an adult to dominate them in public (by yelling at them in the hallway in front of their peers). And if the boy doesn’t immediately comply, his behavior is seen as defiant and requiring punishment. I am not excusing bad manners, but adults need to have common sense when they talk to people with adolescent brains. No one likes to be called out in public—especially teens—and when you do that, the teachable moment is lost.

In contrast, girls get in trouble more often for violating the dress code and are usually accused of presenting themselves in sexually inappropriate ways. Girls who go through puberty earlier and/or are more voluptuous are also disproportionately targeted (which also disproportionately impacts African American and Latina girls). Yes, a girl with a voluptuous body can be distracting, but that doesn’t mean the male students around her should be held to such a low standard that they aren’t expected to treat her respectfully. Teaching girls to respect themselves should focus on being proud of who they are—not shaming them for looking sexually promiscuous. This is a teachable moment about your hopes for your girl.

If your kid’s school has a dress code, it’s critical to instruct your child how to accept the responsibility they have as a member of the school community while recognizing that sometimes the way the code is applied is unfair.

Whether you have a son or a daughter, here’s what you can say:

If someone talks to you about being out of dress code, do what they say. If you feel that they have been rude to you, I still want you to do what they say but then tell me and/or tell the administrator you trust the most. But if you’re genuinely confused about why you’re out of dress code, or what you’re wearing is important to you and it’s not communicating something rude or degrading about someone else, you have the right to respectfully ask why you are in violation. If you feel strongly about this, you can research your rights about freedom of expression in school and bring that to the administration. You may not get what you want, but it’s important to know your rights and I will support that.

 

Here’s what you should say specifically to your daughter:

This is difficult to speak about with you, but it’s important to me that I do. Your school has a dress code. For girls, that often means not presenting yourself in a sexual manner. I want you to be proud of your body and I never want you to be ashamed of it. But way more important to me than the dress code is you. You are a smart young woman with a lot to contribute to this world. Like all young women, you’re growing up in a world that dismisses your opinions and rights by trying to convince you that the most important thing about you is your physical appearance. Obviously, you are so much more than that. I want you to be proud and comfortable with how you look. But I also want you to be proud and comfortable about who you are beyond that. So I’d like you to think about that when you get dressed for school. Can you put the clothes you like and that are within the dress code on one side of your closet and the ones that are not on the other side? 

If administrators at your school are shaming girls, you need to speak out against it. Schools can have standards. They can even have standards that you disagree with but need to learn to live with. What you should not tolerate are adults who are responsible for the safety and education of your children to think enforcing the dress code gives them the right to shame and disrespect children.

How do you feel about dress codes at school? Post a comment and tell me below.

Rosalind Wiseman is the author of the new best seller Masterminds and Wingmen as well as Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads. For more info, go to rosalindwiseman.com. Read more of Rosalind’s parenting advice, here

Do you have a parenting question? Email askrosalind@familycircle.com.

 

 


Diet Tell-All: “It’s a Way to Honor Your Body While Slimming Down”

Written on September 9, 2014 at 8:20 am , by

 

By Karmen Lizzul, Family Circle creative director 

I was really excited to try Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live diet, as I had thought of doing it a couple of years ago when I first heard about it. Back then, I was moving and things got really hectic and I totally forgot about it.

The plan has so many of my favorite foods. I love vegetables and fruit and, as suggested, ate as much as I wanted during mealtimes. (Dr. Furhman recommends fasting between meals.) The six-week plan does not include meats or dairy. A salad and four fresh fruits are suggested daily. I loved eating all the fruit I wanted, but I did miss some stuff, like olive oil. I love my olive oil. And I am a creature of habit, so I missed my go-to dishes like poached eggs with whole wheat toast and grilled chicken. I did create a flexible new staple dish where switching up the vegetables let me change the flavor: a stir-fry with light coconut milk, Thai green curry and tofu. I would have it with a salad, and organic fruit for dessert. For a treat, I would bake an apple and sprinkle cinnamon on it.

It was hard at times, I won’t lie. One particularly tough day I was at the shore with friends and everyone was getting ice cream. I admit it: I caved. Dr. Fuhrman would not have been proud. But I still lost weight. I think that’s why this is a way to live more than a diet. It’s not as if I want to go back to eating processed foods, saturated fats and antibiotic-soaked meats. I like knowing that everything going into my body is clean. And even if I detour once in a while, it’s not as damaging as the way I ate before.

If you’re looking for a lifestyle change and a way to eat clean and healthy food, I highly recommend this diet. But I wouldn’t call it a diet. It’s really a new way to look at food and honor your body so it can take you on a long and happy journey.

 

 

Have you ever tried the Eat to Live diet? Post a comment and tell us about it.

Click here to read our feature “Losing It!“ from the October issue or here to see more blog posts from staffers on the diets they tried.


You Make It, We Post It!

Written on September 8, 2014 at 4:29 pm , by

This week’s featured chef is Instagram user @paxregina who made our classic meat lasagna!

Want to be featured here as next week’s chef?

Here’s how: Make a Family Circle recipe, take a photo and share it on Instagram by tagging @FamilyCircleMag and #FCMADEIT.

 

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