TIME viral

Watch Kids React in Utter Bemusement at the Sight of an Old Computer

"I don't get it, and I also don't get the 1970s"

Kids these days are accustomed to smartphones and iPads and laptops they can tuck under their arms and tote around effortlessly. But show them a computer from the 1970s and they become much less tech savvy — and much more confused. Watch here as a group of young kids share their (totally hilarious) reactions to this seemingly ancient machine.

TIME medicine

Illinois House Approves Medical Cannabis for Epileptic Kids

A home-grown marijuana plant is seen at an undisclosed location in Israel
A homegrown marijuana plant is seen at an undisclosed location on Jan. 28, 2014 Baz Ratner—Reuters

Minors suffering from epilepsy should be allowed to use medical marijuana to reduce seizures, the Illinois house voted on Wednesday

Kids under 18 could be allowed to use medical marijuana after the house in Illinois expanded the state’s medical-pot law to include epileptic children.

The plan to let minors use medical marijuana passed 98-18 in the house on Wednesday and will now go back to the state’s senate. It was passed there in April but will now be reviewed as the house made an amendment stipulating that the marijuana must not be smoked.

“These people are not interested in getting high,” Democratic state representative Lou Lang, who sponsored the bill, told the Chicago Sun-Times. “These are folks that are interested in alleviating their seizures.”

The active ingredient in marijuana can help reduce the seizures of epileptic minors, parents have said.

TIME Italy

Italian Navy Rescues Hundreds in All-Night Operation

Italian Navy Ship Grecale Carries 206 Migrant Survivors From Recent Shipwreck
Sant'Egidio Community volunteers hold flowers while waiting arrival of Italian Navy Ship Grecale arriving at the Port of Catania, carrying 206 migrants and 17 bodies of the victims of a shipwrecked boat between Sicily and the north of Africa on May 13, 2014 Tullio M. Puglia—Getty Images

Some 500 migrants traveled across the Mediterranean Sea in two fishing boats that were tied together

The Italian navy saved almost 500 migrants in a mission that lasted from Monday night to Tuesday morning and including more than 100 children.

After two tethered fishing boats that had been traveling across the Mediterranean Sea ran into distress off the coast of Sicily, the Associated Press reported that Italy’s navy took 74 women and 133 children on board their vessels, while 281 men were given life-preservers and instructed to hold tight until their Tuesday rescue. Most travelers came from Egypt, Syria, and Bangledesh, AP reports.

While the navy hasn’t disclosed how many of the children were with their families and how many were unaccompanied minors, Save the Children recently raised the alarm over what it alleges to be Italy’s failure to protect migrant children.

Since April 30, 3,848 minors and 2,744 unaccompanied minors have arrived in Italy, AP reported.

[AP]

TIME Japan

Japan Is Desperate to Rescue Its Economy from an Early Grave

General Images of Economy Ahead Of Nationwide Quarterly Land Price Data Release
Pedestrians cross an intersection in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. Kiyoshi Ota—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Any less than 100 million people would spell doom for the nation's economy, officials warned, while neglecting one glaringly easy fix

Japan’s battle against gray hairs took an unusual turn this week when the Ministry of Commerce set the very lowest acceptable bound for its aging population: 100 million people. Beyond this point, there lays a “crisis.”

Or so warned Akio Mimura, head of Japan’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Mimura urged the government to make 100 million the official population target, backed by policies that would promote childrearing. “If we don’t do anything, an extremely difficult future will be waiting for us,” Mimura said.

His concerns are well founded. Japan has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world, with each woman bearing an average of 1.4 children. At that rate, demographers project a plunge from 127 million people today to 87 million by 2060, sapping the workforce of its vital young workers and putting an enormous strain on state finances.

The shrinkage has already begun. In 2013, Japan’s population declined by a record-breaking 244,000 people.

All of which has led to some rather creative policy proposals from the Chamber of Commerce, such as retaining 70-year-old’s in the workforce, doubling government expenditures on childcare and encouraging men to ask working women out on a date.

But once again, policymakers dodged the quickest fix, namely to import workers from abroad. The island nation has an outstandingly small number of immigrants. They form less than 2% of the population, compared with a wealthy country average of 11%. Japan could triple the number of foreigners and still not approach the norm among wealthy nations.

Migrants
Source: UN Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Of course there’s a reason for policymakers’ skittishness around the issue. Immigration reform consistently takes a beating at the polls. One recent survey by Asahi Shimbun newspaper asked respondents if they would accept more immigrants to preserve “economic vitality.” Even with the positive spin, 65% opposed.

Japan Immigration Bureau’s motto is, “internationalization in compliance with the rules.” A simple rule rewrite could alleviate Japan’s demographic fix. It certainly would be easier than prodding the nation’s families to have another 13 million babies. But judging from this week’s presentation from the Chamber of Commerce, it remains politically stillborn.

 

TIME Parenting

How Children Have Become Their Parents’ Bullies

It used to be that kids were scared of their parents. Now parents seem scared of their kids.

At a toy store, I witnessed a common but ludicrous dynamic; a 4-year-old child was emotionally bullying his mother. The helpless mom repeatedly explained to her son that he was not getting a present because it was not his birthday – they were there to buy his friend a present. It was exhausting watching her quickly lose ground. The more the mother talked and explained, the more her little boy screamed, reaching a crescendo with a full-blown kicking and earsplitting tantrum on the floor. The scene upstaged the shoppers, and I was struck by how powerless the mother looked as she was taken down by her 4 year old.

It used to be that kids were scared of their parents and now parents seem scared of their kids. The pendulum has swung from children being seen and not heard to being heard and perpetually indulged. Parents seem so uncomfortable with setting limits and taking their rightful position as captain of the family ship. Their hearts are in the right place; they want to be more attentive to their kids’ needs than their parents had been to theirs. But we have over corrected, turning into a generation of “parent pleasers,” rarely saying no for fear of hurting our children’s feelings. And as a result, putting a child to bed or leaving a toy store becomes an ordeal.

It is unsafe for a child to have that much power; kids today are more demanding and more anxious. When parents are skittish about asserting their parental authority, too often kids learn that “no” means “maybe.” That gives kids wiggle room to keep negotiating, throwing fits and emotionally bullying their parents. This reinforces the bad behavior and fuels the notion that the louder they whine, the more they get. Push fast forward on a child who consistently throws tantrums and gets his way. What teacher would want to teach him, what employer would hire him, and who would want to date him?

We have to be able to tolerate our children’s stormy emotions without rushing in to fix them or we are unintentionally crippling our kids. We are trying to grow resilient kids, not fragile, entitled ones. Buying another child a present teaches your child about doing for others, and that the world does not revolve around him. What great life lessons!

Let’s remind ourselves that discipline actually means to teach, not to punish or shame, and that setting loving limits will help raise a thriving child. We can acknowledge and empathize with our children’s feelings but still hold the line: “I know you want a new toy, but we are not buying you one today.” Period. And if the child continues to have a tantrum, you have to leave the store. You need to do what is right for your children, even if it means tolerating a brief drop in your popularity polls. You are the one with experience and perspective – a perspective that children just don’t have. Your job is not to please your child; your job is to parent your child. We have to be able to hold a loving space for our child’s anger or hurt feelings while staying the course.

So how did the toy store debacle end? The mom, drained and exhausted by her child’s tantrum was at the register, purchasing two toys – not realizing that the real gift would have been saying no!

Robin Berman, MD, is a mother, psychiatrist, associate professor at UCLA and author of Permission to Parent: How to Raise Your Child with Love & Limits.

TIME Holidays

100-Year-Olds Moms Share Insights On What It Means to Be a Mother

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the first Mother's Day

This Mother’s Day, why not take some advice from three women who’ve been moms for a very, very long time?

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the holiday, Mashable sat down with three centenarians to discuss what motherhood means to them. The women reflect on the great parts of being a mom along with the hardest parts — like raising children during wartime.

“When you see your kid go away, and then you see the papers with the casualties,” Sadie Adler says. “It was shattering.”

Adler also offered the following advice to today’s parents: “Listen to your children and treat them as a grown-up.”

TIME Odd Spending

6 Mother’s Day Factoids to Show You’re Not a Horrible, Ungrateful Son or Daughter

In advance of your Mother’s Day plans (or lack thereof) not going over well today, here’s some ammunition for making the case that you—and your mom—could have done a lot worse.

Moms get more love than dads. Or at least we spend a lot more on moms. According to the National Retail Federation, average household spending on Mother’s Day is roughly $50 higher than it is for Fathers Day.

Mother’s Day = Scam Day. The Better Business Bureau warns that consumers should “proceed with caution to avoid falling victim to a Mother’s Day scam,” which might consist of phony coupons and vouchers, a phishing e-mail, or an e-card of mysterious origin that is “as likely to contain destructive malware as warm wishes,” notes Consumer Reports. So if you’re desperate, you can use the possibility of a scam as an excuse for why you didn’t pony up and get mom a gift. You know: “Sorry, ma, just trying to save you from the horrors of identity theft.”

Thoughtful, hand-picked gifts are overrated. In a survey conducted on the behalf of PriceGrabber, the majority of consumers (60%) said they’d just order something online as a Mother’s Day gift. As for what moms want on Mother’s Day, 29% said they favored the not-remotely-personalized gift of a gift card, which was the second most common answer after a “gift” that doesn’t cost anything—spending quality time with one’s family (44%).

Mom would probably return whatever you picked anyway. Nine out of ten consumers polled by RetailMeNot.com said they suspect that their mothers have returned or exchanged a Mother’s Day gift at least once. (Only 30% of the moms surveyed admitted to doing so, but what else do you think they would say.)

Tons of sons and husbands whip up plans at the last minute. Among the men polled by MyTime.com, 42% said they’ll make Mother’s Day plans only a few days beforehand or just throw something together on Mother’s Day itself. So you’re in good (or at least abundant) company if you’re totally winging it at the last minute. Just don’t be among the 6% of men who have forgotten about Mother’s Day altogether in the past.

Thousands must think moms really love beer and wings. Some 35,000 people reportedly brought their moms to Hooters last year on Mother’s Day. So on Sunday you can tell your mom, “Hey, at least I didn’t drag you to Hooters last year for your big day.” And if you did—hey, moms eat there free after all on Mother’s Day—at least you weren’t the only one.

TIME TIME 100

Restaurateur Alice Waters on The Edible Schoolyard Project

This California Restaurateur is teaching kids across the world about healthy eating.

Restaurateur Alice Waters decided after the birth of her daughter that she wanted to improve the way children ate and thought about food.

Waters teamed up with Martin Luther King Middle School in Berkeley, Calif. and the Edible Schoolyard Project was born.

“I felt like I was an activist from the very beginning,” Waters said. “I felt like I could change the world, if we all changed the way we ate.”

The Edible Schoolyard Project has been teaching children since 2005 about basic foods they can grow and pick themselves. From the garden to the classroom, children involved in the project are responsible for creating healthy, filling meals. The program has become successful, branching out to over 3,500 locations worldwide, including five more fully-equipped edible schoolyards.

TIME Family

6 Insulting Terms for Adults Who Live With Their Parents

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yubomojao—Getty Images/Flickr Select

More often than not, the phrases coined to describe the rising ranks of grown adults living with their parents are subtle backhanded insults. And sometimes the insults aren’t subtle at all. Here are a handful of phrases that have popped up in recent years to categorize the millions of adults who live with their parents—typically moving back home for financial reasons after living on their own for a few years, or perhaps a few decades.

“Boomerang Generation”
This is probably the most common (and also probably the least offensive) phrase for describing the legions of young Americans in their mid-20s to mid-30s who have moved back in with their parents after a stint of independent living. A 2012 Pew Research Center study focused on this increasingly large group—report title: “The Boomerang Generation”—indicated that while a majority were frustrated they didn’t have enough money to live the life they wanted, most were also happy with their living arrangements bunking with mom and dad once again.

“Boomerangers”
Members of this special breed of boomerang offspring are not only old enough to live independently, but also old enough to have adult children of their own. Essentially, they’re middle-aged Baby Boomers who have fallen on times so tough that they’ve been forced to move back in with their elderly parents, who are likely to be retired and perhaps not in the best financial condition themselves. The rise of “boomerangers” was understandably noticeable during the heyday of the Great Recession in 2009, and the unfortunate trend hasn’t gone away. Just this week the Los Angeles Times ran a story on the increase in adults in California ages 50 to 64 who have moved back home with mom and/or dad—a 68% rise from 2007 to 2012.

Earlier this year, Le Monde attempted to chronicle the rise of this trend in France, a task that proved difficult because “middle-aged people who live with their parents are often ashamed,” and few were willing to speak about their first-hand experiences.

(MORE: Being 30 and Living With Your Parents Isn’t Lame — It’s Awesome!)

It’s no coincidence that many “Boomerangers” also have another (insulting) label slapped on them: “Unemployables.” As CNN Money noted, because workers in their 50s who lost their jobs in recent years were less likely than younger people to subsequently become re-employed, a Boston College study dubbed them the “new unemployables.”

“Go-Nowhere Generation”
This phrase is largely credited to a New York Times op-ed that encouraged young Americans to move to hop on a Greyhound bus and move to a state with low unemployment, such as North Dakota. The column’s authors wrote that they expected few to follow that advice, because “young people are too happy at home checking Facebook,” among other reasons. “Generation Y has become Generation Why Bother,” the op-ed sums up.

“Growing-Ups”
A Clark University professor’s research into young adults who have no good job prospects and no clear career path—and who of course still live with their parents—refers to them as “growing-ups,” as well as the more positive “emerging adults.”

“Failed Fledglings”
Leave it to the United Kingdom to come up with this humdinger. According to a survey published last summer, some three million parents over age 50 had grown children living at home—a category the poll called “failed fledglings.” A corresponding 16-page “Parent Motivators” booklet was published in order to help parents cope with adult kids back in the nest, and the contents reportedly included “tips about how to get rid of children who you would prefer to have moved out.”

(MORE: This Is AT&T’s Plan to Smother Google Fiber)

“Parasite Single”
Masahiro Yamada, a sociology professor at Tokyo Gakugei University, came up with this lovely phrase to describe Japanese women (men too, but it’s mostly women) in their 20s and 30s who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s and had decent jobs—but were considered parasitic because they never got married, hadn’t yet had children, and lived a carefree consumerist lifestyle under their parents’ roofs. Interestingly, news outlets noted a widespread effort to marry parasite singles off in Japan via dating services and old-fashioned family matchmaking in the late ’00s—about the same time that the Great Recession was wreaking havoc across the globe, sending tens of millions of adult children boomeranging back into their parents’ homes.

TIME medicine

Study: Children Given Codeine in ER Despite Risks

Too many kids are getting codeine in emergency rooms, say the authors of a new study, which estimates that at least half-a-million children receive prescriptions each year

The painkiller codeine is prescribed to kids in at least half-a-million emergency room visits, a new study suggests, despite recommendations in place to limit its use among children.

Only 3% of children’s ER trips in 2010 resulted in a codeine prescription, but with kids making 25 million ER visits each year, authors of the study say too many children are getting the opiate, the Associated Press reports.

The study, published Monday in Pediatrics, analyzed national data from 2000 to 2010 on emergency room visits by children between the ages of 3 to 17. The study’s authors say the annual number of visits that led to codeine prescriptions ranged from approximately 560,000 to 877,000, though the frequency of codeine treatment slightly declined during the study.

A pediatric drug expert told the AP that codeine use has likely declined further since the study ended after last year’s strict warning from the Food and Drug Administration about the drug’s risks and possible complications.

[AP]

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