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Anti-vaxxer mom changes mind when 3 kids fall ill

Anti-vaxxer mom changes mind when 3 kids fall ill

A Chicago area mother and teacher  is speaking out after her anti-vaccination stance led to her three children becoming severely ill.

WLS-TV reported that Kristen O'Meara was once a believer in anti-vaccination research, but when her children got rotavirus, she changed her mind.

>> Read more trending stories

"It was awful, and it didn't have to happen, because I could have had them vaccinated," O'Meara told WLS-TV. "I felt guilty. I felt really guilty."

O'Meara and her husband also got sick.

O'Meara said after reading materials that said why vaccines could be harmful, she became convinced they were harmful and decided not to have her children vaccinated.

"I put my kids at risk," she told WLS-TV. "I wish that I had taken more time to research from both sides before my children were born."

Although there are  parents who believe in anti-vaccination because of concern over autism links, the American Academy of Pediatrics said it has routinely been disproven.

Her children, a 5-year old and 3-year-old twins, underwent an aggressive regimen to catch up on missed vaccines and are doing well.

WLS-TV reported that had O'Meara stuck to her anti-vaccination stance, her children could have died.

"I'm here because I wanted to share my personal story," O'Meara told WLS-TV. "If it does help someone change their mind, then that's great."

Use debate as teachable moment, parenting expert says

The presidential race might be one of the most negative and nasty campaigns in modern U.S. history, with candidates being attacked as criminals, racists, sexists and liars. And even if parents don't like it, children are being exposed to it in school, on television and online.

Parenting expert Stacy Skelly said parents need to look for teachable moments in this year's presidential election.

>> Read more trending stories

"It actually gives you a chance to say, 'Here is what is happening in the world around you, and here is how you can think about it,'" said Skelly, who works for educational research think tank Pearson. "Explain the process instead of focusing on some of the nastiness we've been hearing."

Skelly said the first presidential debate can also be an opportunity to talk about bullying, and what behaviors are and are not acceptable.

Skelly said that among the questions that parents could consider asking their children when politics turn negative are, "Is that the way you want to be treated?" or, "What would you do if you saw someone being treated poorly?"

She said parents can play a role in raising the next generation of voters.

Skelly said it's important not to try to shield children from politics, but to discuss the policies of political parties and the importance of voting.

Dad's heart breaks when he sees son's loneliness noted on paper

People around the country are responding to a dad’s plea for help after seeing his son’s loneliness highlighted on one of his class assignments.

<script>(function(d, s, id) {</span><br /><span>  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];</span><br /><span>  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;</span><br /><span>  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;</span><br /><span>  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.7";</span><br /><span>  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);</span><br /><span>}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>"No One": For those of you who don't know, my youngest son, Christopher, is on the autistic spectrum.  I went to his...Posted by Bob Cornelius on Monday, September 19, 2016

>> See the viral Facebook post

Bob Cornelius of Rockaway, New Jersey, visited his 11-year-old son’s open house night, where he saw some of his son’s work posted on a bulletin board. Cornelius took a photo and didn’t notice anything was off until he took a closer look later that night.

Christopher has autism, which Cornelius said makes it hard for Christopher to make friends.

Under a question that asked students to list some of their friends, Christopher wrote, “No one.” Cornelius said those words were “like a gut punch.”

“Never have five letters cut so deep, and they weren’t even directed at me … it was just an overly simplistic statement that spoke volumes,” Cornelius wrote. “And because I know him so well, and because I have a pretty good handle on him after raising him for 11 years, I know this disconnect makes him feel lonely.”

Cornelius doesn’t blame Christopher’s fellow classmates for excluding him, noting that those kids are also developing their social skills. Instead, he asked fellow parents to encourage their kids to befriend classmates who may seem different.

>> Read more trending stories

“I don’t mean to imply that parents that don’t have this conversation with their kids are bad people, but only that somewhere in between working, soccer practice, and homework, it never occurred to them to have this particular conversation,” Cornelius wrote.

Cornelius said even just one friend would help his son tremendously.

“And the child that will finally reach out to him, that will help him, that will include him, will be the kindest child, the child that does the right thing by going above and beyond,” Cornelius wrote. “He will be Charlie Bucket.”

Since posting the story Monday, it has been shared more than 46,000 times.

Read more here.

Mom fires back on internet haters after she colors her daughter's hair

A Florida mom is coming under fire after she decided to give her daughter the hairstyle of the child's dreams.

Mary Thomaston, who is a colorist by trade, dyed her 6-year-old daughter's hair, giving the girl what's called "unicorn hair," The Huffington Post reported.

>> Read more trending stories 

Thomaston's daughter Lyra had been asking for the pastel-colored dye job that includes long teal locks, and a purple sun shaved on the right side of her hair.

A photo posted by Mary Thomaston (@marythomaston) on Aug 21, 2016 at 6:29pm PDT

Thomaston received hundreds of responses to the post of her daughter's hair, many in support of allowing Lyra be unique, but some people took to the web to complain that a child shouldn't have her hair dyed, even saying that it was dangerous, TampaBay.com reported.

Thomaston said that she used hair color that will wash out and that she was not harmed during the coloring process, using products from Manic Panic N.Y.C., which bills itself as alternative hair color.

Viral photos of man grabbing girl's hair in Walmart spark controversy

Police in Texas are investigating after a concerned shopper at a Cleveland Walmart shared several photos on social media of a man grabbing a child's hair.

>> Watch the news report from KPRC

According to Houston's KPRC, Erika Burch took several photos Monday after she saw the man "dragging this little girl by the hair" in the store.

Another witness, Ora Schumann, told KPRC that the man became angry with the girl "because she wasn't standing right next to the basket."

Burch said the girl told the man, "Please stop. I promise I won't do it again. Please stop!"

>> Read more trending stories

Burch said that when she confronted the man, he told her, "You need to mind your own business."

She later called police and shared her photos on Facebook.

>> See one of the images here

Posted by Erika Burch on Monday, September 19, 2016

"It just so happened a cop was in Walmart," Burch wrote in the post, which has been shared more than 115,000 times. "He came running as we are exchanging terrible words with this [expletive]!"

Burch wrote that the officer's sergeant said they couldn't arrest the man "because there were no visible bruises, nor was her hair missing."

Burch added, "The sergeant ... said, 'He has the right to discipline his children."

Cleveland police said they are investigating the incident.

"The Cleveland Police Department has received numerous calls in regards to a child having her hair pulled last night at Cleveland Walmart," the department wrote on its Facebook page. "We want to assure the community this case is currently being investigated by our Detective Division. CPS has been contacted per our policy and is also investigating this case. A joint investigation is currently being conducted by both agencies."

>> See the post here

The Cleveland Police Department has received numerous calls in regards to a child having her hair pulled last night at...Posted by Cleveland Police Department on Tuesday, September 20, 2016

KPRC reports that nobody has been charged.

Meanwhile, the images sparked heated discussions on social media.

>> Click here or scroll down to see what people were saying

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/viral-photos-of-man-grabbing-girl-s-hair-in-walmar/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/viral-photos-of-man-grabbing-girl-s-hair-in-walmar.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script>[View the story "Viral photos of man grabbing girl's hair in Walmart spark outrage" on Storify]

Son pays tribute to late father with tongue-in-cheek obituary

A Texas man's tongue-in-cheek obituary is making headlines for its references to "his rickety old body" and love of scotch. 

According to Houston's KPRC, after 74-year-old Howard Wayne Neal of Lolita died Sept. 11, his son, Eric, decided to pay a humorous tribute to his late father, known as Wayne.

>> Georgia man died 'not wanting to witness' 2016 election results

"Wayne Neal has exited his rickety old body, having lived twice as long as he expected and way longer then [sic] he deserved," Eric Neal wrote in his father's obituary, which appeared in the Victoria Advocate. "He often wished in his later years that he had not treated his body like a Tavern [sic]."

>> Children honor father with unique, offbeat obituary

Eric described his dad as "a modest man who very seldom bragged about all of his treasures on Facebook."

"By the Way [sic], who the hell taught him about Facebook?" Eric wrote.

>> Read more trending stories

Wayne also "had a passion for old cars, scotch, his construction company, scotch, travel and oh yeah scotch. Did we mention scotch?" Eric wrote.

>> Two women compete with obituaries of the same man

Wayne "is survived by his favorite son Buddy and another kid, some grandchildren, a few more great grandchildren, a trilogy of brothers, and one sister," Eric added. KPRC reports that Buddy was Wayne's dog.

>> Read the entire obituary here

​Posted by Wayne Neal on Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mother says 11-year-old son died mimicking prank YouTube video

A Georgia mother says her son mimicked a “hang myself” prank video on YouTube and accidentally killed himself.

Cantenecia Stokes of East Point said she was horrified to see her 11-year-old son hanging from a rope in his bedroom closet last Saturday morning.

“I lost my baby because of something he didn’t know really completely about,” Stokes said.

She told WSB-TV’s Matt Johnson that Aundreis Bass accidentally hanged himself after watching prank videos about hanging on YouTube.

That's what his three younger siblings told her as they watched him hang himself while their mother was making them breakfast.

Stokes said they told her he wasn't breathing, and she ran to cut him down and call 911.

>> Read more trending stories

“I got a (breath) and that was it, and I panicked because I still wasn’t getting a response,” Stokes said.

She says her first-born child had every reason to live.

He loved drawing, listening to music and basketball.

She later found out he didn't want to follow through with what he had done.

“He panicked and he was trying to take himself out, and he didn’t know if you pull you're only worsening, it's tightening,” Stokes said.

He was pronounced dead four days later at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.

Now Stokes says she is not letting her other children use the internet unsupervised.

“It's gotten to the point where it's taking away our kids,” Stokes said.

She wants other parents to know about the type of disturbing videos that their children may be watching.

“I just don’t want nobody else to have to suffer what I went through,” Stokes said.

Children get their intelligence from their mothers, report says

A new report said we may get most of our smarts from our mothers.

>> Read more trending stories  

The report, documented by Jennifer Delgado, of the blog Psychology Spot, said that recent studies have pointed to intelligence in children coming from the mother rather than the father. According to Delgado, the basis of the thesis comes from "conditioned genes," or ones that "behave differently depending on their origin," which work "only if they come from the mother."

Delgado said that about half of one's intelligence is hereditary and that the best predictor of intelligence was the IQ of the child's mother. She cited studies she said were conducted by the University of Ulm, Germany, and the University of Cambridge, and identified a study that found that "the ratio of young people's intelligence varied only an average of 15 points from that of their mothers."

The report also cites a study conducted by the University of Minnesota that found that "children who have developed a strong attachment with their mothers develop a capacity of playing complex symbolic games at the age of two, are most persevering, and show less frustration during the troubleshooting."

Delgado's report is unconfirmed.

Read more at Psychology Spot.

'Sit With Us' app finds lunch buddies for lonely children

A new app created by a 16-year-old California girl aims to make sure no child eats his or her school lunch alone.

>> Read more trending stories  

Natalie Hampton developed the idea for the Sit With Us app, which launched Sept. 9, to help students find kindness and welcoming groups with whom to eat in school lunchrooms across the country.

"Lunch might seem really small, but I think these are the small steps that make a school more inclusive," Hampton told the Washington Post. "It doesn't seem like you're asking that much, but once you get people in the mindset, it starts to change the way students think about each other. It makes a huge difference in how they treat each other."

The now-high school junior told the Los Angeles Daily News that she was inspired to create the app after she ate lunch alone for her entire seventh-grade school year. She said the experience made her feel lonely and vulnerable and made her a target for bullying, which lasted into her eight-grade year.

Hampton told the Daily News that she suffered from nightmares, stress and depression as a result of the bullying, and at one point, she was hospitalized for health issues.

>>Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news  

"I was a shell of the person I was. When I walked into a classroom, I was planning an escape route," Hampton said.

The app allows students to connect with other students at their schools, chat with other users to coordinate a lunch, post featured lunches for others to join and search for lunches nearby.

Users create a profile, add friends and describe their interests. Users have the option to designate themselves as "ambassadors" who create "open lunch" events and invite others to join them. The open lunch events serve as go-aheads for all interested students to join the ambassadors' table.

"Sit With Us was born because I am committed to making sure that other kids don't suffer as I did. I believe that seemingly small, incremental changes in the overall dynamic of a school community can bring about change, so that everyone feels welcome and included, " Hampton wrote on the app's official website. "I believe that every school has upstanders like me, who are happy and willing to invite anyone to join the lunch table. It is my hope, with people pledging to be ambassadors at their schools, that no one will feel left out."

Hampton said the new app is especially helpful because the electronic process prevents children from being publicly rejected and being considered social outcasts by their peers. 

"This way it's very private. It's through the phone. No one else has to know," Hampton told Audie Cornish on NPR's "All Things Considered." "And you know that you're not going to be rejected once you get to the table."

The Sit With Us app is free and recommended for children of middle school age and older.

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