TIME Work & Life

Sheryl Sandberg and Princeton Mom Want You to Fast Track Your Life

Sheryl Sandberg and Susan Patton
Paul Morigi, Peter Kramer—Getty Images

Their two new books push women in different directions, but they agree on one thing: whatever young women want out of life, they need to get cracking

Two new books promise young women the secrets to achieving their wildest dreams. Facebook exec Sheryl Sandberg’s upcoming Lean In for Graduates is a how-to guide for early 20-somethings hoping to get a head start on their careers. And Marry Smart by Susan Patton (widely known as the “Princeton Mom”) cautions women to focus on their love lives in college so that they can snag a “good” husband and have kids while they still can.

Sandberg and Patton have about as much in common as Kim Jung Un and Beyonce; one has become a feminist role model, the other is the second coming of Phyllis Schlafly. But if you listen closely, they’re both saying the same thing; whether we want a picket-fence family or a professional blastoff, recent graduates like me need to get cracking, because our biology means we may only have one shot at getting it right. Even “leaning in” is almost as much about preparing for a family as it is about winning at work; the idea is to get good enough, fast enough, that your career becomes childproof.

Charlotte Alter – TIME

You could say that when it comes to advising women my age, both Sandberg and Patton have set their watches to Hurry Up Time. Now we don’t just have to be “twice as good to go half as far,” as novelist Fannie Hurst once said, we also have to be twice as fast. Men and cats have nine lives to get it right. Women have only one, so there’s no room for mistakes.

Patton is candid about a young woman’s need for speed when it comes to getting serious about her personal life: “Work will wait; your fertility won’t,” she said on the Today Show. “If you spend the first 10 years out of college focused entirely on building your career, when you finally get around to looking for a husband you’ll be in your 30s, competing with women in their 20s,” she cautioned young women in her Wall Street Journal op-ed. “If you want to have children, your biological clock will be ticking loud enough to ward off any potential suitors.”

Sandberg’s message is more subtle, but equally urgent. “There’s no question that the world moves faster today,” she writes in the introduction to the new Lean In for Graduates. “This means that grabbing opportunities is more important than ever.”

I should note that I fully subscribe to the “Lean In” movement that encourages women to commit to their careers and aim for leadership roles. But what’s left unsaid in that philosophy is the notion that much of “leaning in” is about gaining the clout to be able to lean out when you need to. High-powered executives like Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer can demand an onsite nursery, in her case, or time off or a flexible schedule or any number of things a mom might want. Office administrative assistants or mid-level managers–not so much.

In a frequently quoted chapter of Lean In, “Don’t Leave Before You Leave,” Sandberg encourages women not to hold back at work just because they think they might have children. But the unstated implication is that women should “lean in” especially if they want to have children. The more valued you are at your company, the easier it is get the flexibility you need, and the more you want to return to work after your maternity leave. If your career is a marathon, you want to sprint as far as you can before you start dealing with the complexity of a family.

In other words, there is no room for dilly-dallying in the worlds of Susan Patton and Sheryl Sandberg. Like so much of what young women hear, their advice is punctuated by the persistent tick of the biological clock, thudding under the floorboards like a telltale heart.

And Patton and Sandberg aren’t the only ones out there giving well-meaning advice to my generation and the next one. Actress and writer Amy Poehler’s “Ask Amy” web series helps girls deal with pressing real-life problems. Publications like Cosmopolitan and The New York Times regularly publish roundups of the “best advice for young women in the workplace.” Memoir/polemics like Tina Fey’s 2011 Bossypants and Caitlin Moran’s 2012 How to Be a Woman are huge bestsellers.

But where is all the advice for young men? A quick Google search delivers only reprinted texts from the 1850s and a few choice nuggets from Ben Franklin. Young men aren’t warned about the perils of their future mistakes, or cautioned that one missed opportunity could leave them childless or unfulfilled. Instead, lots of men seem to be following the advice given to young tech entrepreneurs about how to build a good startup. “Fail early, fail fast, fail often” has become a mantra among the young Zuckerberg-wannabes of Silicon Valley. Or, as LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman put it, “you jump off a cliff and you assemble an airplane on the way down.”

Maybe the need for deliberate planning comes from an assumption that women are on a different timeline, one that leaves no room for error, while men have room to experiment. They can go to Nepal for a few years, spend a few more years touring with their band, and then decide it’s time to start medical school at 30. (There are heroic women medical students who also have children, but that particular balancing act is a tough one.) Men can live with someone for a 15 years and then change their minds about marriage, or they can get married early, then divorce, then get married again at 50 and start a brand new family. For women, that’s almost biologically impossible.

In short, men have the luxury of time. Most women don’t. If you subscribe to the Patton/Sandberg model, then you think women have to make sure to get it right on the first try, which is why we need so much strategic advice.

The scary truth is that Sandberg and Patton are probably right. Women do have to plan more. Our mistakes do cost us more. It’s not fair, but it’s not wrong. And it’s making me sweat just to think about it.

So if you’re a millennial woman, you probably don’t have time to be reading pieces like this or books like theirs. Just get cracking. Love, Susan Patton and Sheryl Sandberg.

TIME Family & Parenting

How To Have A Happy Family – 7 Tips Backed By Research

Family sharing meal
Getty Images

1) Having Dinner Together Matters

Kids who have dinner with their families do better across pretty much every conceivable metric.

Via The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More:

A recent wave of research shows that children who eat dinner with their families are less likely to drink, smoke, do drugs, get pregnant, commit suicide, and develop eating disorders. Additional research found that children who enjoy family meals have larger vocabularies, better manners, healthier diets, and higher self-esteem. The most comprehensive survey done on this topic, a University of Michigan report that examined how American children spent their time between 1981 and 1997, discovered that the amount of time children spent eating meals at home was the single biggest predictor of better academic achievement and fewer behavioral problems. Mealtime was more influential than time spent in school, studying, attending religious services, or playing sports.

Doesn’t work for your family’s schedule? It doesn’t have to be dinner. And it doesn’t have to be every night.

Via The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More:

Many of the benefits of family mealtime can be enjoyed without sitting down together every night. Even the folks at Columbia University’s center on addiction, the ones responsible for a lot of the research on family dinner, say having joint meals as infrequently as once a week makes a difference.

2) Share The Family History

Children who know the stories of those who came before them have higher self-esteem and a sense of control over their lives.

Via The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More:

Marshall and Robyn asked those questions of four dozen families in the summer of 2001, and also taped several of their dinner table conversations. They then compared the children’s results to a battery of psychological tests and reached some overwhelming conclusions. The more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem, and the more successfully they believed their families functioned.

I’ve posted many times about the power of story. Having a family narrative is great for children.

Via The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More:

“The most healthful narrative,” Marshall continued, “…It’s called the oscillating family narrative. ‘Dear, let me tell you, we’ve had ups and downs in our family. We built a family business. Your grandfather was a pillar of the community. Your mother was on the board of the hospital. But we also had setbacks. You had an uncle who was once arrested. We had a house burn down. Your father lost a job. But no matter what happened, we always stuck together as a family.’ ”

Marshall says that children who have the most balance and self-confidence in their lives do so because of what he and Robyn call a strong “intergenerational self.” They know they belong to something bigger than themselves.

3) Reduce Stress

Not easy, I know, but it’s what kids want from their parents more than anything else.

Via The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More:

In a survey of a thousand families, Ellen Galinsky, the head of the Families and Work Institute and the author of Mind in the Making, asked children, “If you were granted one wish about your parents, what would it be?” Most parents predicted their kids would say spending more time with them. They were wrong. The kids’ number one wish was that their parents were less tired and less stressed.

…Studies have shown that parental stress weakens children’s brains, depletes their immune systems, and increases their risk of obesity, mental illness, diabetes, allergies, even tooth decay.

Here’s how to reduce stress.

4) Be Part Of A Larger Community

Tons of research shows religious families are happier. Why is that?

Further study has shown it’s the friends that a religious community provides. A community of ten supportive friends makes families happier.

Via The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More:

The most comprehensive study ever done on this topic, in 2010, gives some clues about why this might be. After examining studies of more than three thousand adults, Chaeyoon Lin and Robert Putnam found that what religion you practice or however close you feel to God makes no difference in your overall life satisfaction. What matters is the number of friends you have in your religious community. Ten is the magic number; if you have that many, you’ll be happier. Religious people, in other words, are happier because they feel connected to a community of like-minded people.

5) Use Checklists

I’ve posted before about the amazing power of a simple checklist, as described in Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right.

Bruce Feiler applies the same research to helping families.

Via The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More:

I was interested in applying his technique to the problems families face when leaving home for a trip. He gave me a number of recommendations.

1. Create different lists for different times in the process. “Checklists have to be linked in time and space,” Pronovost said. “So I have a checklist for ICU admissions, and another for blood transfusions. You should have a checklist for one week before the trip. Then two days before you’ll likely need another. Then one more for when you’re walking out the door. But you always need time to recover, so if you have one for when you’re at the airport, it’s too late.”

2. Make it specific. “A checklist should take less than a minute to complete,” he said. “Each item should be a very specific behavior. Avoid vague language.”

3. Killer items only. “Target your checklist on things that commonly go wrong,” he told me. “If you put down things you don’t fail at, you’ll drive people crazy. This has been borne out in aviation, where accidents have been caused by checklist fatigue.”

4. The rule of seven. “I have a rule that checklists can be only seven items,” Pronovost said. “It’s the same reason our telephone numbers are seven digits. Otherwise, people will take shortcuts and items will get missed.”

5. Include the kids. “I would sit down with them and say, ‘Hey, girls, I’m trying to improve how we travel, so I made a checklist. Does this make sense to you? What else can you add?’ ”

6) Empower The Children!

Down with parental dictatorship! Kids do better when they make plans themselves or at least have a say.

You should even allow them to pick their own punishments. It creates greater motivation to obey the rules.

Via The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More:

Scientists at the University of California and elsewhere found that kids who plan their own time, set weekly goals, and evaluate their own work build up their prefrontal cortex and other parts of the brain that help them exert greater cognitive control over their lives. These so-called executive skills aid children with self-discipline, avoiding distractions, and weighing the pros and cons of their choices.

By picking their own punishments, children become more internally driven to avoid them. By choosing their own rewards, children become more intrinsically motivated to achieve them. Let your kids take a greater role in raising themselves.

7) Grandmoms Have Superpowers

Scores of studies show the incredible benefits that grandmom brings, like teaching kids to cooperate and to be compassionate.

Children who spend time with their grandparents are more social, do better in school and show more concern for others.

Via The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More:

Countless studies have shown the extraordinary benefits grandmothers have on contemporary families. A meta-analysis of sixty-six studies completed in 1992 found that mothers who have more support from grandmothers have less stress and more well-adjusted children

So what are these grandmothers actually doing? They’re teaching children core social skills like how to cooperate, how to be compassionate, how to be considerate. Researchers at Brigham Young University in Utah interviewed 408 adolescents about their relationship with their grandparents. When grandparents are involved, the study found, the children are more social, more involved in school, and more likely to show concern for others.

I hope this post helps your family be happier.

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Related posts:

Parent myths: How much of what your parents told you was crap?

Important Life Lessons: What’s The Most Important Life Lesson Older People Feel You Must Know?

What 10 things should you do every day to improve your life?

This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

TIME Family

This Little Girl Is Amazing at Yoga

Laura Kasperzak has nearly 750,000 instagram followers, but all eyes are on her daughter Mini

Is your sun salute in a sorry state? Feeling down about your downward dog? If so it might be time to get some pointers from a real pro: the young daughter of New Jersey yoga instructor Laura Kasperzak, whose wildly-popular instagrams often feature her little cutie pie as well.

Not only does four-year-old Mini have great form, she’s also a natural on camera. As her mom — who has been honing her craft for the last 17 years — told BabyCenter, “She’s the ham of my two children, and loves to be photographed. Just recently she was doing a headstand and said ‘Mommy, take a picture!’ After I did she said ‘Let me see.’ She goes, ‘Oh no, mommy, we have to do it again. I wasn’t smiling.’”

While not all of Mini’s moves are traditional, shall we say, they’re still delightful nonetheless. Here’s hoping her willingness to give anything a go helps you shake the winter doldrums and get revved up for the official start of spring. ‘Cuz after all, if a four-year-old can do this stuff, surely you can too. Right?

Here are a few of our favorite mother-daughter poses:

You can see more pics of Mini and her mom here.

TIME Family

How Not to Talk About Sex With Your Teenage Daughter

Why Is the Sex Talk Between Mothers and Daughters So Difficult
Cavan Image/Getty Images

The author reveals what worked for her—at least on the second try

The other day I was at the gym finishing my workout when a mom I know asked for my advice about “the sex talk.” She was struggling, she confided, to bring up the subject with her teenage daughter—afraid that discussing sex was somehow tantamount to giving her the green light to have it.

You would think that for a generation of parents who grew up during an era of “free love” and whose own kids are being raised at a time when the culture is awash in sexual imagery that this would be an easy conversation to have. But it is, in fact, the sex talk—the anticipation of exploring with their daughters issues of love, intimacy, relationships and the mechanics of sex—that seems to flummox otherwise smart, accomplished, open-minded, articulate women.

I was reminded of this again last week when a writer I admire, Hanna Rosin, penned a piece at Slate under the headline “Sex Talk Fail.” Rosin is a writer at The Atlantic; founder of DoubleX, Slate’s women’s section; and the author of The End of Men. And even she has been at a loss for words when trying to talk to her teen daughter about sex.

“I am nearly 100 percent sure that the talk will not go well,” she wrote in her piece. “My aborted attempts so far have not been promising.”

Though I am not unfamiliar with the trepidation associated with said talk, I approached my own first attempt with what turned out to be unwarranted confidence. When my daughter, Emma, now 21, was 13 years old and about to enter the yearlong Bar and Bat Mitzvah circuit, rumors abounded about the “Bar Mitzvah blowjob.

It turned out to be urban myth, but I lived in fear that some acned, brace-faced boy would approach my innocent daughter at a Bar Mitzvah party and demand that she service him. I imagined her caught unaware, uninformed and unprepared. And as much as I dreaded it, I was convinced that it was my maternal duty to clue her in.

I did some online research, read a handful of articles and consulted a few books. And when I finally steeled myself for this mother-daughter talk, I was sure that I was prepared. I planned an outing to a small café, ordered a latte, bought my daughter a hot chocolate and dove right in: “Emma, I’m sure you’ve heard about the Bar Mitzvah blowjob,” I said.

Without giving her a chance to speak, and before I lost my nerve, I told her that she should not—under any circumstances—engage in such an intimate act. I explained that this should only occur when she was older, more mature and in a committed relationship, and that it should be reciprocal, if she so desired. And, of course, I told her that you could get a sexually transmitted disease from oral sex.

When I was finally done, she stared at me, shrugged her shoulders and said: “What’s a blowjob?”

Totally taken aback, I suddenly found myself in a public place awkwardly trying to explain it, in detail. Her response: “Eww! Can we go home now?”

Well, one thing I was pretty certain of—if I ever tried this again, it couldn’t go worse. And lucky for me, it didn’t.

For one thing, I was unexpectedly given a big assist by Emma’s school, where “Human Development” is taught in seventh, eighth and tenth grades. The program covers a range of topics, including menstruation, STDs, setting boundaries and safe sex. This not only made my job easier because she learned the basics there, but also because talking about sex at school with her teachers and among her peers demystified the subject, making it less awkward to talk about with me.

What that meant over the years was rather than trying to have a single, all-important, have-to-get-it-perfect talk, we were able to discuss different subjects more casually, broaching them as they came up—first date, first kiss, first boyfriend. It also meant that when the sex talk really mattered, both of us were a little more ready, if not completely at ease.

In our case, this was when Emma was a junior in high school and had a steady boyfriend. I was certain that the topic of sex was going to come up between them, if it hadn’t already. And though I knew she had learned about sex at school, I had things that I wanted to tell her myself: about choice, about love, about commitment, about intimacy. I wanted to talk to her about the things that reflected our family’s values.

And so this time, remembering what an educator once told me about how the lack of eye contact helps teens to talk—or at least to listen—I slipped under Emma’s covers, right before she was about to go to sleep. I told her plainly that I wanted to talk to her about sex. Her immediate reaction was to say, “Oh, no you’re not.” She pulled the covers over her head.

I explained that she didn’t have to say a word, but that she did have to listen. I told her that I thought she was still too young to have sex, and that I hoped she would wait. I said that having sex complicated relationships and that the older she was, the better able she would be to handle it. I made clear that just because her boyfriend, a year and half older than she, might be ready, it didn’t mean she had to be. Having sex for the first time—and every time after that—was her choice. I told her that she should always feel comfortable and safe, and if she didn’t, she should listen to her gut and say no.

Finally, I told her that even though I thought she was too young, if she decided to have sex with her boyfriend, I would help her get birth control—no questions asked, and no judgment rendered. I wanted her to know that it was always okay to talk to me.

In retrospect, I have come to think that the sex talk is difficult for a host of reasons: As moms, we have no real role models in this regard. There is no standard message that fits all families. And the entire exercise signifies that our daughters are growing up and away from us, which can be emotionally difficult for everyone.

As for Emma’s teenage brother, well, I’ve happily left that to his dad. As Rosin points out, “Some sex-talk traditions are worth preserving.”

TIME Family

Watch the Moment When a Toddler Learns Taking Cookies from Strangers is Wrong

We've all been there.

In a video going viral in Korea, watch as a little girl learns the difference between receiving cookies and ice cream from her parents versus receiving cookies and ice cream from a stranger.

An excerpt from the conversation:

Adult: “If a strange man says, ‘Let’s go eat cookies!’ You say…”

Child: “I like that.” (smiles)

Adult: “You have to say ‘No!'”

(h/t Viral Viral Videos)

TIME Family

Man Jokes in Obituary: Now My Wife Can Buy The Mink Coat She Always Wanted

It has gone viral since his grandson posted it on Reddit.

Walter George Bruhl Jr., Marine Corps veteran and longtime DuPont Co. employee, passed away in Florida Sunday at 80 years old, and on Tuesday, the Cape Gazette published a hilarious obituary that he wrote for himself.

The Philadelphia native who lived and worked in Delaware jokes that now his wife can purchase the mink coat he never let her buy because he thought “only minks should wear mink.”

Here are other funny lines from the write-up, which is going viral after his grandson Sam Bruhl posted it on Reddit, USA Today reports:

  • “His spirit was released from his worn-out shell of a body and is now exploring the universe.”
  • “He was surrounded by his loving wife of 57 years, Helene Sellers Bruhl, who will now be able to purchase the mink coat which he had always refused her because he believed only minks should wear mink.”
  • “There will be no viewing since his wife refuses to honor his request to have him standing in the corner of the room with a glass of Jack Daniels in his hand so he would appear natural to visitors.”
  • “Cremation will take place at the family’s convenience, and his ashes will be kept in an urn until they get tired of having it around.”

TIME has also rounded-up other famous last words that have gone viral in recent years, from Waffle House’s most loyal customer to the man whose final request was that, in lieu of flowers, people write their members of Congress and petition for a repeal of Daylight Savings Time.

TIME Family

The Only Thing Better Than Great TV Shows is Dressing a Baby Up Like All of the Main Characters

Adds a lighter twist to some of the darkest shows on TV

Photographer Karen Abad recently posted adorable photos on Tumblr of Olivia (“Olive”), her best friend’s baby daughter, dressed up like the main characters of hit TV shows. And suddenly, the baby versions of Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), the conniving Vice President in House of Cards, and Walter White (Bryan Cranston), the meth maker in Breaking Bad, do not seem malicious after all.

Walter White from Breaking Bad Karen Abad
Michonne from The Walking Dead Karen Abad
Rust Cohle from True Detective Karen Abad
Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones Karen Abad
Hannah Horvath from Girls Karen Abad
TIME society

5 Things You Should Know About Working Dads

Father trying to work while holding baby
Peter Cade—Getty Images

Work-family balance isn’t a women’s issue – it’s a family one

My wife and I both work, but since she is a musical theater actress, sometimes she has to work late, really late. On those days, we get my son up, fed, dressed and ready for school before we go to work. At my job, I put in a full morning, work through lunch at my desk, leave a few hours early while taking work home—all so I can get back in time for the afternoon bus. At home, I help with homework, cook dinner, play light-sabers and Legos, supervise bathtime, cuddle my son and tuck him in. My wife comes home just in time for a good-night kiss. I spend an hour or two working on my laptop and my wife chills out with Downton Abbey before we go to bed. Some days, she’s home earlier; on others, we’re all home for family game night. Each day is a little different.

I’m no hero, no “superdad.” I’m just one of the millions of dads who are putting in the work to provide for their families, to balance their careers with their spouses’ and, most importantly, to be a loving, involved father. My work-family juggle is typical, but as a society, we don’t think much about the challenges faced by working fathers.

When the media does pay attention to fathers, it tends to focus on the stay-at-home variety. This makes sense, as SAHDs are breaking down barriers as to what society considers a “real man” and are demonstrating that men and women can succeed outside of traditional gender roles—all to the benefit of their families, children and our society. Go SAHDs!

(MORE: 5 Myths About Stay-At-Home Dads)

But the fact is that most fathers work outside the home. And their main concern—balancing a successful career with the time and energy needed to be a loving, involved father—has received comparatively scant attention. To fill the void, here are five things we should all know about today’s working dad:

  1. This generation of fathers works as hard and for as many hours as prior generations. They face at least as many financial pressures and a world with less job and financial security than dads who have come before. Even with the rise of breadwinner moms and dual-income couples, fathers are the sole or primary providers for 85% of dual-parent households.
  2. Fathers today aspire to career success. 76% of those surveyed in Boston College’s New Dad studies wish to be promoted to positions of greater responsibility and 58% express a strong desire to move into senior management.
  3. Today’s dad has tripled the time he spends caring for his children and does twice the housework, compared to fathers of a generation ago. 65% of dads see their role as both provider and caretaker, and 85% aspire to fully sharing parenting with their spouses (however, only about 30% report that they do so).
  4. Workplaces and corporate cultures have not kept up with these changes. Research shows that men who adjust their work for family are often seen as insufficiently committed to their work and “unmanly,” facing stigma and career consequences. Employers still expect men to be “all in” for work even when they are sharing care at home.
  5. 50% of working dads say they find it very or somewhat difficult to balance work and family responsibilities. In fact, more fathers today (about two-thirds) report work-family conflict and stress than working moms.

Needless to say, this is quite a set of challenges, and they deserve attention. I believe that when more attention is paid to men’s work-family issues:

  • These issues become more normal and acceptable to talk about in homes and workplaces across the country
  • Fathers who struggle with work-family balance will realize they are not alone, and will be more willing to reach out for help and to connect with fellow dads
  • Supervisors and business leaders will realize this is a serious business issue that requires thought and attention
  • Fathers, mothers, kids, families, society and even employers will benefit

We still have a long way to go, but, for the first time, the tide is beginning to turn and dads’ work-family issues are starting to be discussed. As a dad and a fatherhood advocate, I couldn’t be happier. When working dads are supported, families are stronger.

Work-family balance is not a woman’s issue. And it’s not a man’s issue. It’s a family issue that affects us all. It’s time we started talking more about it.

Scott Behson, PhD, is a Professor of Management at Fairleigh Dickinson University, a busy involved dad, and an overall grateful guy. He runs Fathers, Work, and Family, a blog dedicated to helping fathers better balance work and family, and encouraging more supportive workplaces. He also writes on work and family issues for Harvard Business Review (HBR) Blogs, Huffington Post and The Good Men Project. He lives in Nyack, NY with his wife, Amy, and son, Nick. Contact him on Twitter (@ScottBehson), Facebook, LinkedIn or email.

TIME Courts

NJ Teen Suing Parents For Child Support Loses First Round

Rachel Canning
High school senior Rachel Canning, 18, appears in Morris County Superior Court in Morristown, N.J., Tuesday, March 4, 2014. Bob Karp—AP

Rachel Canning, 18, wanted $600 a month in support as well as tuition fees paid for her private schooling

A judge has rejected the first round of a New Jersey 18-year-old’s lawsuit against her parents whom she says abandoned her and refused to pay her school costs, a decision that could set an important precedent for a family’s obligation to support an of-age child who has left home.

The family court judge rejected Rachel Canning’s request for $600 a month in support as well as tuition fees paid for her private schooling, Reuters reports, after Canning claimed her parents kicked her out of her house in November 2013. Canning, 18, wants her parents to pay for her college and high school tuition, and living expenses.

Her parents say Canning left home voluntarily, and had severe behavioral problems.

The case could set legal parameters on whether New Jersey parents are required to pay for their children’s college education and offer other support after their child has left home, say family law experts.

Another hearing date is set for next month.


TIME viral

Baby Bootcamp: Tot Leads Her Dad Through An Intense Workout

Out of the mouths of babes

Hey, that new bootcamp instructor is a total babe. No, really.

Michael Stansbury noticed that his baby daughter, Lilly Ann, was quite the drill sergeant, so he decided to set up a camera and follow along as she put him through his paces. The tiny tot set up quite the routine for dear old dad with many reps of Push up! Plank! Push up! Bow pose! Crawl! before they both collapsed from exhaustion.

Stansbury posted the resulting workout video to YouTube, so if you’re looking for a tough new workout routine to shed those last few pounds of baby fat before swimsuit season starts, let this little girl show you how to train to be a babe. It worked for her!

MORE: This Baby Is Terrified Of Brian Williams

MORE: This Interactive Map Shows How Baby Names Have Spread Nationwide

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