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    Playdates are a necessary evil of parenting, but there are some behaviors so horrific that they warrant a permanent playdate ban. What behaviors, you ask? I'll tell you!

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    Being voted homecoming queen is every teen's dream ... only when Anahi Alvarez was granted that title at Grand Prairie High School in Texas last Friday, she didn't bask in the glory. Instead, she handed the crown to her friend, Lillian Skinner.

    Why would any high schooler in her right mind pass on such an honor? Because in the days leading up to the event, a group of mean girls had allegedly bullied Skinner, playing a prank by informing her that she'd been nominated for homecoming court. Only she hadn't ... ouch! So when Skinner's friend Alvarez heard what had happened, she and another queen nominee, Naomi Martinez, came up with a plan: If either of them won the crown, they'd hand it to Skinner.

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    Admit it: you would have killed to have parents like Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith when you were 13. I know I would have saved myself a lot of humiliation and the trouble of telling lies my parents never believed anyway just so I could go do something stupid that I shouldn't have been doing in the first place. Well, Willow Smith has no such concerns.

    The ridiculously hip -- as in waaaay too hip for someone barely out of her tweens -- daughter of the coolest parents ever was recently photographed hanging out on her bed with actor Moises Arias. Oh yeah, Moises is 20 and isn't wearing a shirt. Sounds a lot like what you were doing at 13, right?!

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    The end of the school year is quickly approaching, and we all know what that means! No, it's not the promise of summer, or graduation for some, but the event most high schoolers eagerly await: the prom.

    But finding a date, and actually asking them, are events in their own right. 'Promposals,' as they've been so appropriately dubbed, are taking over. From celebrities to puppies to fast food, teens are literally using anything and anyone to outdo each other and snag a date to prom.

    The latest viral promposal? A proposition from Bryan Cranston, aka Walter White. Clearly, the girl can't refuse:

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    It's a gloriously summer-feeling spring evening and the setting sun has filled the street with golden light. There are five -- no, six, seven? I can't keep count, they're moving too quickly -- little boys playing in the quiet suburban neighborhood. Basketballs fly back and forth, squirt guns are deployed, somebody has a double-bladed plastic lightsaber and is making that bszzzzew, bszzzzew sound. My 8-year-old runs by with a neighbor boy, my 6-year-old is giggling with his younger cousin. They're filled with so much electric joy, it's pouring off them in visible waves.

    I'm sitting with the adults, watching this scene unfold. It's a suburban dream: kids playing, grownups chatting, everyone just a few steps from their own home. I'm thinking about our own neighborhood, and how it's nothing like this.

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    Have you or your daughter ever been called the "B-word?"

    And no, I don't mean that rude and incredibly disgusting "B-word," but the other one: bossy.

    Well, it turns out that assertive, intelligent, and confident young women (um, clearly all good things) are labeled as "bossy" and become discouraged from taking on leadership positions. They become afraid of asserting themselves.

    Let's be honest, wouldn't you be nervous and demoralized if someone kept calling you "bossy"? It's automatically going to lead to labels like "aggressive," "angry," and "too ambitious."

    Boys, on the other hand, do not have the same problem. First off, they're never called "bossy." Instead, they're "leaders." Hmm... seeing the difference here?

    These behaviors begin as early as grade school, and continue on to middle school, high school, college, and far, far beyond. We working ladies are not exempt from these similar judgments.

    But starting today, we're officially taking a stand and pledging to "Ban Bossy."

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    25 Simple Ways to Annoy Your Tween

    posted by Jenny Isenman February 21 at 3:49 PM in Big Kid
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    When your child hits tweenhood, everything becomes bothersome, especially you. All the injustices of the world are highlighted with eye-rolls, grunts, and blank stares. 

    I'm taking advantage of this time by being extra annoying. For instance, when I'm sitting in the garage waiting for J, my 12-year-old son, to exit the house, I watch the door intently. As soon as he cracks it open, I beep. J startles, without fail, and glares at me as if I've done something unforgivable, like smashed his Beats or released all the remaining Axe body spray from the can.

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    Sigh. Playdates. Somehow between the time we were kids and the time we had kids -- they turned into such a freakin' production. Remember back in the day when you'd call one of your friends (from the land line on the one phone in your house) and ask for him/her to come over -- and as long as both of your moms said it was fine, you had, like, an entire day of fun together?

    Yeah, that's just not the case anymore as far as our poor kiddos go. Nope. Instead of play time, they have play "dates." That have to be scheduled and such.

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    If there's any one thing that truly helps moms cope with and survive the toddler phase, it's having amazing friends who are right there going through the same challenges with you.

    There's really nothing better than having someone say, "I totally understand" or, "OMG. I'm having the worst time potty training little Joey too. Isn't it the pits?!?"

    But while mom friends are definitely essential, there are a few types of parents out there who will probably wind up doing you a lot more harm than good if you choose to associate with them.

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    It's not all that odd for teens to be a little embarrassed of their parents. One would think that for 15-year-old Malia Obama, having a dad that's the President of the United States would change that. Just maybe Dad would be someone she'd want to introduce to her friends.

    Well, think again. First Lady Michelle Obama recently joked with People about her daughter's distaste for introducing her friends to Dad when they come by the White House. Yes, even Malia is hesitant to introduce Barack to her friends.

    Her reason?

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