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 Family

Here’s How 9 Other Countries Celebrate Mother’s Day

The holiday has roots in America, but it's celebrated around the world

Sons, daughters and husbands across the U.S. were picking up their last-minute gifts this week ahead of the annual ritual to honor mothers. Like every year since it became a national holiday a century ago, moms will be showered with cards, chocolates and flowers on Sunday.

But Mother’s Day, unlike those All-American dates of Thanksgiving and July 4, is not exceptional to the U.S. In many countries, religious or cultural holidays revolving around women and families have evolved into the their own celebrations of motherhood. In other countries, the Hallmark-card-giving American holiday has merely been imported. And in still others, it’s something of a mix.

Here’s a look at how nine countries around the world honor their moms.

France

A 1950 law in France establishes the “fetes des meres” on the fourth Sunday in May (May 25 this year), except when it overlaps with Pentecost, in which case it’s pushed back a week. But beyond the date, Mother’s Day in France looks very similar to in the U.S.—cards and flowers are bestowed and family dinners are had.

China

While relatively new to the country, the imported holiday of Mother’s Day aligned with traditions of filial piety in China, as it has in countries the world-over. On the second Sunday of May, an increasing number of Chinese celebrate the day with gifts and festivities.

U.K.

As early as the 16th century, the U.K. observed on the fourth Sunday of Lent a day called Mothering Sunday, when families came together to attend church. In the early 20th century, Mothering Sunday—which had evolved into a tradition of spending family time at home—was fused with the Hallmark-card-giving American holiday, but it has retained its traditional name and date (March 15 this year).

Mexico

Mexico takes very Mother’s Day very seriously. In fact, Manuel Gutierrez, president of the national association of restaurateurs, told the Washington Post in 2012 that May 10—whatever the day of the week—is the busiest day of the year for Mexican restaurants. Flowers are a must, but the day is also filled with music, food, celebrations, and often a morning serenade of the song “Las Mananitas” from mariachi singers:

“Awaken, my dear, awaken/ and see that the day has dawned/ now the little birds are singing/ and the moon has set.”

India

Mother’s Day is a rather new phenomenon in India, but the imported holiday is making up for lost time. On the second Sunday of May (May 11 this year, just like in the U.S.), mothers are showered with flowers, cards and gifts.

Japan

Japan initially aligned Haha no Hi with the birthday of Empress Koujun, whose tenure spanned most of the 20th century. But Mother’s Day has since been moved to the second Sunday in May, when the Japanese load their mothers with gifts—primarily flowers. A recent poll of 1,000 adult men found that 87% planned to give something to their moms.

Russia

In the former Soviet Union, mothers were celebrated on International Women’s Day on March 8, a celebratory date that has since become an internationally-observed day to honor women and reflect on the goal for gender equality. In 1998, post-Soviet Russia introduced Mother’s Day on the last Sunday in November, but most of the gift giving still happens in March.

Egypt

Mother’s Day in Egypt and several other Arab countries falls on March 21, the first day of spring. The widely observed unofficial national holiday is a day of gift-giving and celebration.

Thailand

The holiday is observed on Aug. 12 to mark the birthday of the revered Queen Sirikit. Ceremonies and parades celebrate the dual intentions of the holiday, with jasmine the go-to gift.

TIME Parenting

A Case for Parenting the Dolphin–Not Tiger–Mom Way

Today
Amy Chua appears on NBC News' "Today" show. NBC NewsWire—NBC NewsWire via Getty Images

Today’s disturbing trend of over-parenting is interfering with kids' self-motivation and ability to adapt.

I just accomplished my childhood dream of becoming an author, but my mom won’t be able to read my book. She never went to school, so she can’t read. Because of this, she never hovered over my homework and didn’t even know I applied to medical school when I was 19. She didn’t read any parenting books or blogs either. My mom parented me (and my four siblings) simply with what she felt in her gut was right for her kids and family. Like most parents of her generation and those that came before her, my mom raised her children by looking and listening to her parental intuition.

My mom was a Dolphin Mom, which means she was a collaborative (authoritative) parent. She was not a controlling (authoritarian) Tiger Mom, or a indulging (permissive) Jellyfish Mom. In addition to this parenting style, my Dolphin Mom prioritized long-term goals of living a healthy, balanced life with connection and purpose over short-term goals of medals and test scores.

As a psychiatrist and medical director, I have seen firsthand how modern-day parents are fast losing that knowledge gifted to us by nature. I believe this disconnect from our parental intuition partly explains the great paradox of our time: that we are the most involved group of parents in human history, yet our children have the highest rates of anxiety, depression, obesity and addiction than ever before. Today’s disturbing trend of over-parenting is under-preparing our children for a rapidly changing and ultra-competitive 21st Century by interfering with their self-motivation and ability to adapt.

This Mother’s Day, I will thank my mom for being a Dolphin Mom, for not over-parenting and for nurturing my nature and self-motivation. And for those who want to follow her example, this is how she parented:

Dolphin Moms are balanced and collaborative.

My mom was not an over-controlling, overbearing Tiger Mom. Nor was she a permissive, directionless Jellyfish Mom. My mom was the balance of these extremes, firm yet flexible. She had rules and expectations, including expecting us to do well in academics and be disciplined. But she also valued our autonomy, individual passions and independent choices.

Dolphin Moms do not overschedule.

I was never in a single scheduled activity. My parents didn’t have the time, money or interest to sign me up. My mom believed that the smartest people were not the busiest, but the most peaceful. Like many of today’s grandparents, she is horrified at our hurried lifestyles – and I agree. I’ve seen far too many kids who are sleep deprived, stressed out and burnt out simply because of the schedules imposed on them by their parents.

Dolphin Moms do not over instruct.

My mom believed in classroom learning, but also real-world learning. I learned math by counting change for passengers in my dad’s taxi. I learned spelling by translating documents to English. I learned that living in the real world is what ultimately prepares you for the real world. And without schedules and constant instruction, I learned to play freely and vigorously. It was not until I became an expert on the science of self-motivation did I realize the power of play. Play is directly linked to the development of our prefrontal cortex and helps a child develop vital social, intellectual and emotional skills that cannot be acquired any other way.

Dolphin Moms don’t over protect.

Of course, my mom protected me from serious harm, but she didn’t shelter me from life’s ups and downs. She let me make my own mistakes – plenty of them! And as long as I was okay, she didn’t rescue me when I fell down. My mom was known for saying, “It’s your choice, but it’s also your mess to clean up if it doesn’t work out.”

Dolphin Moms create a pod of support.

Social connection and bonding are the centerpieces of our culture. Dolphin Moms encourage their children to connect and contribute to others in a meaningful way. This forms essential social skills, character, values and a sense of community for mom and their children. My mom expected me to be fully independent yet fully connected to my family and community. She expected me to live a healthy life of balance, meaning and purpose.

Dolphin Moms adapt.

My mom did not parent all five of her kids the exact same way, nor did she stick to the same methods as her kids grew up. She constantly adapted to her changing kids and their changing environment.

As a mom of three, I have learned more about parenting from my mom than from my 15 years of academic training, my 12 years of clinical practice and all the books and blogs that I read. So although my mom will wait for the audiobook version of my book, The Dolphin Way: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy, and Motivated Kids Without Turning Into a Tiger, she doesn’t really need to. She has lived The Dolphin Way her whole life.

Dr. Shimi Kang is a Harvard-trained physician and an expert in the neuroscience, psychology and day-to-day reality of human motivation. She is currently the Medical Director for Child and Youth Mental Health for the city of Vancouver and a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia.

TIME Parenting

What Mothers Really Want for Mother’s Day

Elderly Care
Enrique Pellejer—flickr Editorial/Getty Images

Sandwich generation moms need flexible work schedules and family leave policies more than they need cards, flowers and jewelry.

Last year, Mother’s Day spending on brunches, jewelry, salon appointments, flowers and greeting cards topped $20 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. And no doubt retailers hope to meet that amount this year too. Brands like American Greetings and Kay Jewelers, a Mother’s Day advertising regular, portray the holiday, and therefore motherhood, as an event for young women doted on by attentive husbands and young children. But for many, both the holiday and the reality are as much about being a mother as they are about having, and caring for, their own mothers. And mothers taking care of mothers need more than mimosas and manicures to cope with life in the sandwich generation.

Last year, I started the day having breakfast at home with my family. I then drove more than an hour with my kids to visit my mother, while my husband headed out to visit his. I spent the afternoon with my elderly parents, providing lunch and a cake and doing a few odd jobs for them at their home. I returned home after six to start the Sunday night routine: showers, stray homework assignments and stressing about the impending workweek. I went to bed that night feeling a mixture of emotions: grateful for another year with my mother, guilty for wanting the day to myself, overwhelmed by all that my parents needed and I couldn’t give them in a five-hour visit and, as always, exhausted.

Based on data from the National Alliance for Caregiving, the AARP and Pew Research, I’m pretty much an average caregiver in the sandwich generation: female, married, late 40s, a living parent or parents age 65 or older, at least one dependent child and feeling pressed for time. Luckily for me, because I’m also among the 40% of women who serve as primary breadwinners for their household, I won’t experience the same career and financial setbacks that many caregivers do—at least I hope.

The Census Bureau reports there are 39.6 million eldercare providers in the U.S., and the majority of them are women. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP, 70% of them suffer work-related difficulties as a result of their caregiving roles, with female caregivers in particular at risk of financial hardship. That’s because many women report changing their work arrangements to accommodate their caregiving duties by switching to a less demanding job, taking time off or quitting altogether. I know I’ve considered it. But as a result of women making career changes to accommodate their caregiving responsibilities, they are more likely to lose job-related benefits and suffer lost wages. In fact, a study from MetLife and the National Alliance for Caregiving calculated women lose an estimated $324,044 in wages due to caregiving. Often, a working mother’s time out of the office during her childbearing years is compounded by the time she takes off later to care for her parents. With one in three American women already living in poverty or on the brink, it’s imperative we find a way to support these working mothers and daughters.

So while brunches and spa treatments are certainly welcome on Sunday, May 11, a more meaningful way to honor mothers is to recognize their multifaceted roles as parents, adult children and breadwinners, and to advocate for workplace solutions such as flexible schedules and family leave policies, and access to financial and career planning tools. That’s how we keep mothers at work: allow their mothers to age with dignity and raise the next generation of compassionate caregivers. And what mother wouldn’t want that on Mother’s Day?

Liz O’Donnell is the author of the book Mogul, Mom & Maid: the Balancing Act of the Modern Woman and founder of Hello Ladies, named one of the top 100 websites for women by Forbes and a Best of the Net by Working Mother Magazine.

TIME Family

7 Terrible Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

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Ariel Skelley—Getty Images/Blend Images

Searching for a last-minute gift for your mom? Here's what not to buy

Sunday is Mother’s Day and it’s not too late to buy mom a gift—but that means it’s also not too late to mess it up. Here’s what not to do.

Makeup and clothing

Unless you know your mom really well, you’re probably going to screw this one up. Makeup has to be matched with things like skin tone and really isn’t something you can give as a gift. Sometimes it’s hard to judge people’s taste in clothing. And unless you’re getting her a scarf (which you’re not—it’s May), clothing can be particularly dangerous if you pick out anything too small or too big.

Something that’s really for you

Do not get your mom a book you want to read, a movie you want to see or tickets to a play, concert or show to which you’d like to go. That’s a gift for yourself, not for her. She’ll probably play along, but if she’s smart, she’ll drag you to something she would rather see next year, and you’ll be stuck snoozing through an opera.

A pet

This probably falls under the something-for-you category. She doesn’t want another member of the family to clean and feed.

Anything that has to do with exercise or anti-aging

A gift that implies she needs to work out more or that reminds her she’s getting older is a bad idea. This rule is not limited to Mother’s Day. Do not ever buy anyone these things as a gift.

Cleaning supplies and kitchen appliances

Seems obvious that you shouldn’t give your mom a gift that says, “Happy Mother’s Day. Please clean up after my mess,” or “Please make me a sandwich.” However, I’m told that a colleague’s father once bought his wife a garbage can (albeit, a very pretty garbage can)… so maybe not so obvious.

Breakfast in bed made by children who can’t cook

A homemade breakfast by your small children sounds cute, but it’s not going to taste good. Same goes for significant others who never do the cooking. You’re better off springing for brunch reservations.

A homemade card if you’re over the age of 10

It’s not cute anymore.*

*One exception: if you make your living as a designer or an artist or something else creative, and you spent more than 2 hours on the card.

TIME Education

My Fight With California to Treat My Autistic Son

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Young boy with autism selecting the right combination of beads to string together. Large beads allow the boy to better manipulate the objects to develop fine motor skills. Linda Epstein—Getty Images

When Ana Beatriz Cholo's son turned three, state and local agencies tried to pull the plug on her child's special education.

“Freeze!”

The kindergartners stop what they are doing.

“Now, everybody stomp your feet!” The children oblige and watch carefully for their teacher’s next command.

“Everybody freeze again!”

“Good,” she compliments them. Her band of mimics, which includes my 6-year-old son Jude, is doing a nice job of following her movements and looking at her face.

When Jude seamlessly makes the transition from one activity to the next, he is rewarded with a “Great job!” and one minute of individual play with an action figure of his choice. When his minute is up and his teacher requests that he re-join his peers, he asks politely, “Can I have another minute, please?”

“Yes, Jude,” his teacher responds. “Nice asking!”

Jude is one of 10 kids with autism spectrum disorders in this special education class in a public school in Seal Beach, Orange County, that I got to visit one recent morning. It’s one of the components of a program I’ve put together so Jude can learn effectively and interact better with other kids. As a parent of a kid with autism, let me tell you, I’ve had to learn a lot, too.

In 2006, I moved back home to California from the Midwest, where I had been working as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune. Even though I was now working for the Associated Press in downtown Los Angeles, I wanted to live in Seal Beach because it was close to where my parents lived and because the Los Alamitos Unified School District (which oversees public schools in Seal Beach) had, among other attributes, high test scores. My daughter had been accepted into the Orange County High School of the Arts and I was looking for a good junior high school for my second oldest child.

I had no idea what the special education programs were like, and I didn’t care. But after we’d been here nearly five years, my youngest son, Jude, was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder when he was 2 ½.

At first glance, you would probably not detect anything “different” about Jude. Kids along the autism spectrum commonly have difficulties with communication, behavior, and social interaction, but there’s a wide variation in how this neurodevelopmental condition affects each one. My adorable boy with olive-green eyes and a disarming smile is very verbal and loves socializing with other kids his age. If you engage him in conversation, he may charm you and lure you into a conversation about his favorite video game, “Angry Birds ‘Go.’” He may even impress you by saying something profoundly insightful for his age.

Jude’s challenges are focused mainly on his communication, behavior, and what his teachers and therapists call “non-compliance” issues. When Jude loses his temper he bites, kicks, punches, pinches, scratches, or throws things. He’s not fully potty-trained, and persuading him to go to the bathroom often results in arguments, tears, tantrums, and, yes, messy accidents. He cannot, like children who develop typically, learn language, play, and social skills by observation. He has to be taught.

When I heard Jude’s diagnosis, I was scared, confused, and worried about his future. Would he still be able to attend college, get a job, and get married? Would he ever be able to live independently?

The county initially funded therapy for Jude through the Orange County Regional Center and asked us to pick from several providers they were contracted with. Back then, there was no Yelp for special education services. Because we were clueless at the time, Jude’s father and I were more likely to pick the provider with the most professional-looking website.

After doing some research and talking to experts in the field, we realized we wanted services that followed the principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), which, generally speaking, is used to increase functional skills and reduce challenging and interfering behaviors. ABA has undergone rigorous research at UCLA and is supported by 40 years of scientific research, which means a lot to Jude’s father and me.

Some parents like to experiment with different techniques and methods, but there is also a lot of anecdotal “evidence” out there. I never paid attention to actress Jenny McCarthy until I realized she was peddling misinformation on the alleged dangers of vaccinations. Minerals, gluten- and casein-free diets, and chelation therapy are also sold as remedies that will “cure” autism but these so-called treatments seem to me to be just pseudo-science.

A few months into his first treatment, we faced another hurdle. At 3, children need to meet certain criteria to continue receiving services from the county. For whatever reason, we were told that our son did not meet the criteria. We were incredulous; we suspected state and local agencies were under pressure to cut their budgets. Autism advocates told us that if parents don’t fight to get services, they often won’t get them.

At the time, Jude’s vocabulary was less than 25 words, his temper tantrums were fierce, and he was being threatened with getting kicked out of his regular daycare. We took out a loan and hired a clinical psychologist to conduct a thorough assessment, which proved he fit the criteria for continued services. The price tag was $3,500, but her 25-page report was worth it. Jude would continue to get state-funded therapy, and he would also begin attending a public preschool class for 3-year-olds with autism.

But school is just one of the three kinds of support that are recommended for Jude: a therapy team from the Culver City-based Lovaas Institute visits him at a regular district-run afterschool daycare and also at home. The 10 hours a week of additional therapy is funded by Jude’s father’s medical insurance. This kind of therapy is no longer covered by the county or the state, as it was just two years ago.

These additional services are important because he needs the reinforcement: recently his case supervisor at Lovaas said his therapists would begin pulling Jude out of his regular play at daycare for one-on-one sessions to practice socialization skills. The therapists will teach Jude to say, “What are you guys doing? Can I play with you?” when he wants to join the action. The therapists will also hone in on behaviors he should not engage in, for example, getting too close to his peers’ faces or touching them. I just wish these therapists – mostly young adults – didn’t all move on so quickly. Some of them worked with him for just a few months, leaving Jude feeling abandoned on an ever-changing Conga line.

It hasn’t been easy to juggle all this additional care and pay the up-front costs for it. We started twice-a-week speech therapy for Jude in 2012 at Cal State Long Beach. But I had to take off work early and pay $500 per semester. I was staying up until midnight or 2 a.m. to catch up on work and this took a toll on our family’s emotional health. We just couldn’t keep doing it. On top of everything else, Jude has also had to deal with the 2012 death of my mother, who had been spending time with him almost daily, and my split-up with his father.

All told, my son seems to be improving, but it’s uneven. Before, he would get frustrated simply getting ready for school in the morning. He would resist going to the bathroom, getting dressed, and walking out the door. Now, he’s at least open to the idea of going potty first thing in the morning and then getting dressed. And I know now to “prime” him for the transition from an activity he likes to one he doesn’t – for instance, telling him while he’s playing in the evening, “In 10 minutes, we’re going to have dinner. What are we going to do in 10 minutes?”

For the future, I want Jude to be able to make friends and hang out with his pals and talk about the stuff they are interested in. I’d love for him to attend college and experience living in a dorm, dating, studying, and dreaming of his future. But I try not to get ahead of myself: I know he needs to find his own way, his own tribe, and embrace the uniqueness that is his own. Do I want him to be “normal”? No, I don’t wish that upon anyone. How boring! And besides, what is normal?

Ana Beatriz Cholo is a freelance writer and photographer based in Los Angeles. This piece originally appeared at Zocalo Public Square.

TIME career

Leaning In at Work, Traditionalist at Home: Women Who Hide Their Success

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Retro housewife Bojan Kontrec—Getty Images/Vetta

Why we need to stop worrying about emasculating men

I once hid my raise from my live-in boyfriend for a full year before he found out. I was already the decision-maker in our relationship, and I didn’t want him to feel bad that he made less than I did.

It’s the kind of scenario we hear often: ambitious, hard-charging women purposely shaving off a couple digits when talking about money with their partners. Women who subtly downplay their accomplishments in order to protect their boyfriends’ egos. Those who play the damsel in distress to cater to some caveman-like need to save. Even toning down an online dating profile – deleting accolades and advanced degrees – to sound less “intimidating” to potential suitors.

“I would let him make the decisions even when I knew they weren’t the right ones,” one friend told me recently, of her (not coincidentally) now ex-husband.

“I never reveal where I got my PhD on a first date,” said another, who is an Ivy League grad.

“I think my biggest fear in a relationship,” a New York editor quipped over brunch recently, “is emasculating the guy and ending up alone.”

It’s a feminist by day, traditionalist by night way of life, and it would make our Second Wave mothers cringe. By day, these women are successful and self-assured – part of a cohort dominating the working world and outpacing their male peers in college and advanced degrees. The under 30 set are outearning their male counterparts in nearly every major city in America. And when it comes to married couples, the number of female breadwinners has been steadily rising: 24 percent of wives now make more than their husbands.

And yet when it comes to their romantic lives, these women are unabashedly shrinking violets, their behavior influenced by age-old stereotypes about men, women and power that have simply not shifted as quickly as the working world. They’re also being influenced by a bevy of advice books – including a new one, When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women, by financial advisor and journalist Farnoosh Torabi.

One part financial manual and two parts primer in retro-femininity, the book is a guide, she says, for single women whose success may intimidate potential suitors. Rule No. 1: Face the Facts. And the facts, she explains are clear. “When a woman makes more than her man, the odds are stacked against her in many ways: she’s less likely to get married, more likely to be unhappier in marriage, and there are many psychological and sexual costs,” writes Torabi.

Torabi is wrestling with the contradictions of a particular cultural moment: women are less dependent and passive than ever before. And yet, as Ronald Levant, the editor of the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity, put it recently, “men are stuck” – caught between caveman-like desires to protect and provide, and the fact that more and more women are the ones doing the providing. One recent study found that men subconsciously suffer a bruised ego when their wives or girlfriends excel — regardless of whether they are in direct competition. Another survey, from Pew, found that 28 percent of Americans believe that it is “generally better for a marriage if the husband earns more than his wife.”

Where that leaves us? If you believe Torabi, with a complicated set of rules to follow – lest we end up, as the Princeton Mom warned, a “spinster with cats.” Not only must we achieve at work, we must stroke our partner’s ego. We can land the big deal, but we still must play the damsel in distress. We can go to Pilates, but might still consider asking him to lift that box – to make him feel like a man. Oh, and we may be the primary breadwinner, but we should still let him pay in public (as Torabi often does with her own husband) – even if it’s coming out of a joint checking account.

“Calling it stroking his ego can sound controversial, but money is a huge source of power and self worth for a lot of people,” she says. “So you have to understand that.”

Or better yet: you can reject it altogether.

Yes, men have been breadwinners for 10,000 years. They’ve been conditioned to be dominant. Hunters, gatherers … you know the drill. But let’s give dudes some credit.

College-aged men and women almost universally say they desire unions in which housework, child-rearing, ambition and moneymaking will be respectfully negotiated and shared. There are plenty of men – as a recent Cosmo survey on the topic helped made clear — who would happily date a woman who made more money than they did (and like it). (Of more than 1,000 straight men ages 18 to 35, nearly half say they’ve dated a woman who made more money than they did. Fifty seven percent say they are “more attracted” to a woman who is ambitious at work.)

We are, as the biological anthropologist Helen Fisher recently told me, “in a time of tremendous transformation.”

So here’s a rule for when you make more than your male partner: Don’t believe everything you read.

TIME viral

WATCH: Mom’s Dance Party Backfires in the Most Hilarious Way Possible

Turn down for what?

+ READ ARTICLE

Moms are just like the rest of us. And that means that sometimes they need to bust a move to a little T. I. and have a dance party of one in the living room.

However, being a mom, it may be worth sweeping the vicinity for breakable objects and wandering children, first. That’s the lesson to be learned from watching this video where a mom is trying to turn things up and ends up knocking them down instead.

The woman described the series of events that lead to her viral video in her YouTube comments: “I decided to enter an online dance off for moms, but was a little hesitant about posting a clip of me dancing on the Internet. I wanted to practice a little before and this is an outtake from my ‘warm-up.’” Now more than 1.4 million people have seen her not only dancing, but knocking her kid in the face with her booty. Viva la internet!

MORE: Authorities Seize Speakers from Man Who Repeatedly Blasted Céline Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On”

MORE: Here’s the Rap Anthem About Bounce Houses You Never Knew You Needed

TIME Family

Firstborn Girls Are the Best at Life

The Davos World Economic Forum 2014
Sheryl Sandberg, billionaire and chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., pauses during a panel session on day four of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

A new study finds that firstborn girls are more likely to be ambitious and to pursue higher educational degrees than their younger siblings

Firstborn girls are more likely than their siblings to succeed, according to a study from the University of Essex.

Scientists applied modeling techniques to data from the British Household Panel Survey, which contains 1503 sibling clusters and a total of 3552 people. They examined both within-and between-family variances to find that birth order actually does affect academic success.

Firstborns are most likely to be “ambitious” and “accomplished” compared to their younger siblings. And firstborn girls turn out to be the most ambitious: they are 13 percent more likley to aspire to attend graduate school than firstborn boys. These statistics are true regardless of how many siblings you have and what gender combination they are.

But those who are truly the most likely to succeed are eldest siblings with a significant age gap between themselves and their younger siblings (four years or more): those eldest siblings are more likely to pursue advanced degrees.

“Educational disparities exist not only between families but also within families,” lead researcher Feifei Bu writes in the study. “It is interesting that we observe a distinct firstborn advantage in education, even though parents in modern society are more likely to be egalitarian in the way they treat their children.”

Previous research has shown that eldest siblings tend to develop a higher IQ, and scientists have posed many theories as to why. One obvious hypothesis is that parents invest more resources into the first child than into any other (by numbers two, three and four you might realize that playing only Mozart for your toddler is not a worthwhile task). But why female firstborns would do better than male ones is still a mystery.

But there’s really no empirical proof quite like celebrities. And what more evidence do you need than knowing that Beyoncé, Hillary Clinton, Sheryl Sandberg, Oprah, J.K. Rowling, Lena Dunham, Kate Middleton and Angela Merkel were all firstborns?

TIME relationships

The Science of Happily Ever After: How Millennials Beat the Odds to Find Love

Millennials know that living happily ever after is a long shot, but they're not giving up. Here are some of the strategies young people are using to find love.

Like generations before them, millennials were told bedtime stories that ended happily ever after, but they have grown up to find a new technology-driven dating scene that has lost the plot. I’ve spoken with many millennials while touring for my new book, The Science of Happily Ever After, and the question I hear over and over is: “Does happily ever after even exist?”

It’s a fair question from a group of young people who watched almost 50% of their parents’ generation divorce, another 10% permanently separate and another 7% remain in unhappy marriages. Maybe it’s because I’m from Gen X, but a one-in-three chance of finding enduring love sounds a little depressing to me. But millennials are an optimistic bunch, so they’re usually relieved to hear that enduring love exists, even if they know that the odds are not in their favor.

Although singles of all ages yearn to find enduring love, many are uncertain about how to navigate the thousands of dating partners that are now available through online dating sites and mobile apps. Technology has given singles far more choice than previous generations, which sounds good in theory, but people are finding that the sheer volume and speed produced by dating technologies quickly becomes overwhelming.

It’s what social psychologist Barry Schwartz calls the “tyranny of freedom”: a feeling of being overwhelmed, uncertain and anxious when we are given too many choices and no updated framework for managing those choices. Singles of all ages feel dizzied from the carousel of Tinder photos, resigned to the hundreds of online dating messages sitting in their inboxes and weary from serial hookups that eventually give one’s love life an unbearable lightness. Collectively, these changes can give single young people a feeling of derealization, far away from the days of getting to know the girls next door over a milkshake at the soda fountain.

However, millennials are accustomed to a postmodern world that does not always provide genuine experiences. They didn’t have to put worms on their fishing lines, but instead were fed genetically modified fish, raised in a fake stream on a fish farm, that was colored to look more fish-like. They watched the economy almost collapse after Wall Street sold loans of loans, packaged in algorithmically complex securities, which led everyone to forget what the loans were worth in the first place. Millennials watched what happens when life becomes representations of representations and they decided that this is no way to live.

Now they are finding that the convenience of Tinder geolocation or algorithmic online matches can insert a layer of artifice, which makes it harder to really get to know someone. Like other aspects of their lives, millennials want to find a process that is more organic, a method of dating that is more real. Maybe that’s why millennials seem less inclined than previous generations to fall in love with the idea of marriage and instead are determined to find the right person for marriage.

I decided to write The Science of Happily Ever After based on the premise that good relationships come from choosing good partners. I do not promise love in ten days or the one secret to finding your soulmate, but instead provide a framework and methods for assessing the traits that really matter while choosing a partner. As I have talked about the book with university students around the country, I have realized that millennials have certain tendencies that are already changing the way we date and that there are a few things we can learn from them. Here are a few valuable lessons from the way millennials search for love:

  • Be Clear About Your Goal: It sounds obvious that singles need a goal, but previous generations often felt trapped by narrow societal views of marriage. Millennials are generally more open to diversity, which has broadened our views of what can be a happy marriage, including changes in beliefs about gender roles, support of gay marriage and more favorable attitudes about interracial marriage.
  • Be Smart: Millennials are generally optimistic, but they delight in smart, contrarian views of cultural standards. They eagerly latch onto research findings that demonstrate how holding onto fairy tale notions of the beautiful princess, powerful princes, and fate delivering a soulmate, actually make it less likely that one’s love story will end happily ever after.
  • Find Undervalued Traits: Millennials do not want fate to provide the answer, they want to find an answer through their resourcefulness. They love the Moneyball aspect of the book, the idea that just as there were undervalued traits in baseball players that were key to winning, there are also undervalued traits in romantic partners that are key to happy relationships.
  • Take Action: Although millennials deliberate before acting, they don’t ruminate, which makes them amenable to solution focused psychological approaches. They want to create dating habits that create creating congruence between what they know are the right decisions in relationships and how they actually act.
  • Keep The Faith: Millennials may be dissatisfied with modern dating, but they are not giving up. They know that who you choose as a marital partner is one of the most important decisions you make in your lifetime and they are powered by an optimism that they will find a better way to do it.

Ty Tashiro, Ph.D. is a relationship expert and author of The Science of Happily Ever After: What Really Matters in the Quest for Enduring Love. Visit him online at www.tytashiro.net.

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