TIME public health

California Governor Jerry Brown Signs Mandatory Vaccine Law

Law abolishes exemptions for personal beliefs

California Governor Jerry Brown signed a mandatory school vaccination bill into law Tuesday, abolishing the “personal belief” exemption that many parents use as a loophole to avoid vaccinating their children.

Now, under California law, which is among the strictest in the country, children would not be able to enroll in public school unless they have been vaccinated against diseases like measles and whooping cough. The law includes an exemption for children who have a medical reason to remain unvaccinated (like an immune system disorder) and can prove it with a doctor’s note. Parents who decline to vaccinate their children for personal or religious reasons will have to home-school them or send them to a public independent study program off school grounds.

Students who are unvaccinated because of “personal belief” who are already in public elementary school can stay until they’re in 7th grade, and then the parents will either have to vaccinate them or home-school them. Daycare students can stay until kindergarten, when they have to be either vaccinated or home-schooled. In the fall of 2014, almost 3% of California kindergartners were unvaccinated because of personal belief. Preschools in the most affluent areas are also the least likely to vaccinate, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The bill was proposed after a measles outbreak at Disneyland infected more 150 people, and many needed to be hospitalized. Supporters of the law argue that it is based on medical consensus that vaccinations improve public health. Opponents—who have been picketing outside the California legislature—argue that it’s an attack on personal freedom.

TIME Internet

How To Keep Your Kids Safe Online This Summer

Kids Online Safety
Mike Kemp—Getty Images/Blend Images RM Children using a tablet.

School's out for summer — meaning there's lots of time for web surfing

For kids, summertime is a brief window of freedom they yearn for all school year long. Parents, meanwhile, look at it a little differently. Sure, pool parties, camping trips and sleepovers are full of laughter and fun, but they also provide parents with lots to worry about.

But that’s just offline — the Internet, where parents have even less of a view into their children’s activity, can be a troublesome hotspot in the warm school-less months. These five tips can help keep your children safe online in the summertime, even though they really ought to be outside playing anyway.

1. Have a conversation about using the Internet. This might seem like a no-brainer to some, but in today’s busy world, parents should be careful not to leave anything unsaid. Specifically, be sure to cover what kind of information kids shouldn’t share online, like their real names, where they live, or other identifying information.

“We try to get parents to start these conversations and lessons early,” says Ju’Riese Colon, the executive director of external affairs for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. For parents who don’t know where to begin these conversations, the center has a program called NetSmartz that’s designed to help kids ages five to 18 stay safe online, whether that’s on a smartphone, in a chat room, or while gaming.

2. Figure out what your kids’ devices can do. Almost everyone knows smartphones can take photos and videos, and computers can do, well, almost anything, but parents are often surprised what other devices can do.

“If you’re going to put it in your children’s hands, get to know it a little bit, get to know its abilities, whether it’s a gaming device, a cellphone, something that streams music, or an e-book reader,” says Colon. For instance, parents who aren’t very tech-savvy may not know that Kindles can surf the web, or that Xbox One gaming consoles support Skype video chatting.

In fact, gaming consoles have progressed a long way from the Nintendos of our youth. “Almost every game allows you to interact with others,” says Colon. This is problematic because it’s providing a new forum for people to reach children. Colon doesn’t necessarily think parents should ban their kids from online multiplayer games, but she does recommend making sure the online conversations in those games — whether they involve voice or text chats — stick to the topic at hand. So, if you’re on a co-operative mission, strategize around how to capture that flag. If the talk extents beyond that into real-world information, children should say “game over.”

3. Follow your kids online. Gaining independence is part of growing up, which is why parents have such a difficult time with their kids hanging out unsupervised with friends. But just as you wouldn’t send your children outside without knowing where they are, you shouldn’t send them out into the virtual world unmonitored either, says Colon. For instance, parents should create accounts on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networks their kids want to use, and supervise their activity on those forums.

But before doing that, check to see if your children — at their particular ages — should even be on these sites. For instance, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube require that users be at least 13 years old. WhatsApp requires its users to be 16; Vine allows users who are 17 and older.

4. Know who your kids are connecting with. In addition to joining the same social networks as your child, it’s a smart plan to friend their friends, too. While some might find this to be the kind of thing a helicopter parent would do, it’s really just responsible parenting to know what your kids talk about on- or off-line. Of course boys will be boys and girls will be girls, but it’s important that they learn among peers, not amidst strangers.

That’s why it’s important to follow the accounts that follow your child. To begin with, if they are strangers or people posting inappropriate content, you can see what your child sees and tell him or her to block them. Or, if they are your kids’ friends, you can have talks about whether what they’re posting online is appropriate and about what’s happening in their world in general.

5. Set some limits. Everything is great in moderation — especially the Internet. But that doesn’t just mean parents should limit the time their kids spend on the web. Parents should also communicate where children can and cannot visit.

It’s impossible to keep track of every app or site that’s appealing to teens or kids, says Colon, so she recommends getting some help. One place to start is with your Internet Service Provider — they may have parental tools and filters designed to keep some of the more prurient online content out of your home. Secondly, look to the device your child is using to access the web. Linking app stores to your credit card (and not giving the password or card number to your little one) will ensure they need your permission before they can install new apps. The Parental Controls preference on Macs and Windows computers can also keep children on the straight and narrow, as well.

Parents reading this who feel like there’s a lack of quick tricks and shortcuts to keeping their kids safe online may be overlooking the common thread throughout these five tips: communication. The biggest key to keeping your children safe online isn’t walling off the Internet or crippling their computers (though a little bit of that can help), it’s helping them understand how big the world is, and which places within it are safe to roam.

“They’re inquisitive — that’s what children are, and that’s what makes them so wonderful,” says Colon. “But at the same time, we need to guide them in the direction in which they need to go.” And that’s never more true than in the summertime — even if the best place for them is outside.

TIME Parenting

What to Tell Your Kids about Water Safety

Jordan Siemens—Getty Images

Drowning is leading cause of accidental death for children

Summer means a lot of us will head for the water.

But when we do, says Tom Griffiths, founder of the Aquatic Safety Research Group, and former Director of Aquatics and Safety Officer for Athletics at Penn State University, we need to be alert. Because, depending on their age group, drowning is consistently the first or second leading cause of accidental death for children.

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Most of the wisdom of the past, Griffiths says, focused on paying close attention while kids are in the water. But no parent can be alert enough to fully protect a child. In fact, some cognitive psychologists have come to the conclusion that “lifeguarding is really an impossible task,” he says. A busy waterside, filled with lots of kids, is just “too much stimulus for the human brain.”

His solution?

At all ages, he says, kids should be in Coast-Guard approved life jackets–ones that fit. “No one has ever drowned in a properly fitting life jacket,” Griffiths says. So until they can pass a standard swim test, Griffiths says, kids should be wearing one.

And while parents may worry that kids will resist, his research shows that when pools offer life jackets, attendance actually goes up–probably because both parents and kids feel safer with the extra protection. Even more important, the number of water rescues plummets, by as much as 90%.

In elementary school, Griffiths says, parents should begin by helping kids view life jackets as a standard safety measure, “like buckling up a seatbelt, or wearing a helmet on a bike.” Having to wear a life jacket can also give kids an incentive to learn how to swim, according to Griffiths: “now the prize is they get out of their jacket.”

Middle school kids should be encouraged to do whatever it takes to get comfortable in the water, whether that’s formal swimming lessons, or just spending time in water sports or activities. But Griffiths also encourages parents to help kids avoid risky behavior in the water. One that’s especially popular, and dangerous, is breath-holding contests. Instead, parents can encourage kids to concentrate on breath control and relaxation.

High school kids may get overconfident, Griffiths says. Many teenagers overestimate how good they are at swimming, even though studies show that almost half of Americans can hardly swim at all. That kind of bravado is especially common under peer pressure. So parents can talk with kids about being realistic about their abilities. Another warning Griffiths suggests parents give to older kids: never dive until they know how deep the water is, because “95% of injuries resulting in paralysis are in less than 5 feet of water.”

The good news, according to Griffiths, is that, with the right strategies, “drowning is so easily preventable.” And as more and more parents rely on a combination of life jackets and swim lessons, he believes the rate will decrease even further.

MONEY First-Time Dad

3 Financial Lessons For Dads on Father’s Day


You may want a tie, or a car. But you should know these three things this Sunday.

One day last August, my then six-month-old son fell face first from his swing onto the wooden floor half-a-foot below. Luke was a mobile tyke even then and I had forgotten to strap him into his seat, despite repeated instructions from Mrs. Tepper who had left him in my charge an hour earlier.

Panic ensued. I rushed into his room after I heard the thud and consoled my understandably miserable infant. A bump quickly rose on his forehead and I phoned our doctor thinking I had caused serious and permanent injury. The pediatrician asked me (in that tone doctors have when you call them off-hours for questions apparently beneath their dignity) if Luke was vomiting or unconscious. No. Any kind of bleeding? No. Keep an eye on him, but he’s probably fine. Which he was.

But I spent the rest of the night in silent terror as the bump deepened. When he finally went to sleep that night, I snuck into his room and put a finger beneath his nose. Yes, he was still breathing.

Fast-forward to last month. Luke had determined to test the limits of his physical universe and ran headfirst into the side of our bathtub. He came away with a bloody, swollen nose. Mrs. Tepper called the doctor for instructions (and a dose of vague condescension), while I tended to Luke. But there was no panic, no unease, no nagging fear that our son had endured some critical blow. I didn’t feel the need to check his breathing in the middle of the night. Parenting, like most things, improves with time.

The same is true of your ability to deal with money. I had just started at MONEY when Mrs. Tepper became pregnant, so it’s not as if we had ample time to set up an emergency fund or sketch out a meaningful budget before his birth. Over the course of our first full year as parents, we’ve had to learn the finances of parenting—even if one of us writes for a personal finance brand.

Here is some of the hard-won wisdom I’ve gleaned from my sometimes beautiful parenting grind.

You’ll Spend More Than You Think

There’s a strange cognitive dissonance that new parents must embrace. The decision to bring a child into the world, at least in my case, tends to be uninformed by finances. Are we ready to care for children is more of a question of values and love than a cold calculation of what you can afford. We didn’t estimate the weekly cost of child care, how long Mrs. Tepper would take off for maternity leave, how much of that was paid, and how we’d afford rent and food without her paycheck. We didn’t look into how a newborn would inflate our insurance premiums, which of our policies should cover the tyke, or how much a delivery would set us back. And we were completely ignorant of the price tag on all the day-to-day items, from strollers and cribs to diapers and wipes, that he would need. We both had jobs and figured we’d figure it out.

But bearing a child is an intimately financial decision, especially since our society does so little to palliate the pocketbooks of new parents (whether it’s paid leave, child or health care.) We’ll likely spend a quarter-million dollars on Luke before he hits college-which could easily cost another quarter-million dollars. How is it even possible to spend that much?

Experience informs. Putting aside child care, which cost us more than $15,000 over the past 12 months, it’s not terribly difficult to see where the money goes. Not only did his stroller run us close to $1,000, but we just spent another $50 on something called the Parent Organizer, a device that attaches to the stroller and holds the coffee you need to drink to stay awake because you haven’t slept well in over a year, and some fabric cleaner that removes spilled milk (and coffee) from the stroller. We spent about $1,000 this year on diapers and wipes and creams that make him happy and don’t cause his skin to break out in hives. Our credit card statements are filled with hundreds of similar purchases.

I’m glad we didn’t budget out our lives before we decided to have Luke. Parenting shouldn’t be a decision based solely on affordability. Life is too short. But, in case you were curious, this is why your friends with kids aren’t particularly enthusiastic about your two-week excursion to Lisbon.

Be an Equal and Honest Partner with Your Spouse

Couples tend to obfuscate when it comes to discussing money and finances. Most avoid the topic, as an American Express survey found, while others lie to their partners about money. While you may know that you need to chat about budgeting and debt and spending, as a recent MONEY survey found, the actual process of doing so can be less than enjoyable.

In the grand scheme of things, Mrs. Tepper and I haven’t been adults for all that long. We’ve been out of grad school for about three years, married for almost two, and parents for 17 months. Crafting budgets that account for all of the expenses surrounding Luke is hard enough, not to mention the difficulty coming up with a plan for saving for college without going broke. For a few pointers, I turned to CFP Board consumer advocate Eleanor Blayney.

First and foremost, says Blayney, learn what money means to your spouse. “For some it means security, so they’re looking to save, while for others it offers prestige.” If your husband or wife is a hoarder or a spendthrift, there’s often a reason why. Knowing where your partner comes from can help decrease tension and clarify his or her point-of-view.

Next Blayney recommends you and your spouse go into separate rooms and estimate how your after-tax income is being spent. That is, each of you should write down how much you believe you’re putting toward three buckets: 1) fixed, non-variable expenses (like your mortgage and child care); 2) non-discretionary, variable expenses (food and transportation, for example); and purely discretionary expenses (like entertainment).

After you’ve complied your list, Blayney suggests, “pour a glass of wine and compare notes. Identify real discrepancies in your outlook and find common ground.”

Everyone should be involved in financial decision-making. When the dynamics of a family evolve, spouses often take different domains of domestic responsibility, from managing the children’s homework to paying the bills. If one spouse is completely removed from any understanding of financial decision-making, or appreciation for long-term goals like retirement, conflicts can metastasize with time.

Therefore, be completely transparent about your financial choices. Both spouses should appreciate the savings rate and investing choices that are being made and what benefits this long-term planning will produce. Think of it as “marriage insurance.”

“Focus on common goals—whether it’s a boat or retirement, “says Blayney. “You’ve got to decide as a couple how much to save together.”

Consider Your Mortality

If you have a child and a spouse who depend on your income to support their lives, you need life and disability insurance. The concern for a lot of parents can revolve around which type of insurance to get and for how long. (Not to mention confronting your inevitable demise.)

“I’ll have clients who have gone to buy insurance and the broker asked how much can you afford?” says Dallas-based financial coach and planner Katie Brewer. “They’ll come away with much more than they need.” That’s money that could be put to better use elsewhere. The best route is to buy a 20-to-30 year term policy that covers about 10 times your income. You should only worry about covering your income for a certain period of time, and term insurance is the cleaner alternative. You can most likely to find low cost options through your employer, but you may be restricted in the amount you can insure. Check out Mint.com’s life insurance calculator for more coverage selections.

When you sign-up, don’t forget disability insurance. Like life insurance you can generally find low-cost options in your benefits package. If you can’t, look to reduce the price on an individual policy by delaying the period before you receive benefits – from three months to six. Brewer also recommends looking for a group discount through an alumni or professional group – she’s insured through the Financial Planning Association. Keep in mind, whatever Social Security disability benefits you receive will be subtracted from your payout, which is also subjected to taxes. That’s why maintaining a robust emergency fund is so vital.

Read next: The 3 Most Important Money Lessons My Dad Taught Me

MONEY freebies

Here’s How to Get a Free Jurassic World Lego Toy

vn-thanh.vo On Saturday, Toys R Us is giving away mini LEGO Jurassic World gates. For sets like the one seen here, you'll have to pay up.

This promotion is dino-mite!

To get your child hyped to see Jurassic World—not to mention eager to buy Legos and other toys—Toys R Us is hosting a big “Make & Take” Legos event this weekend.

From 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at all Toys R Us locations, kids ages 5 and up are welcomed to build a mini Lego Jurassic World gate and then take it home, free of charge.

Oh, and wouldn’t you know: Toys R Us currently stocks several other brand new Jurassic World Lego sets, and these are most certainly not free.

MONEY Sports

5 Sports Struggling to Reach Kids

It goes without saying, but if you ever have to launch a campaign to convince people that something is cool, it's probably not.

Kids today! They’re overscheduled with activities, and they’ve got no attention spans thanks to social media, video games, smartphones, and assorted other screens. That’s the gist of how today’s younger generations have been routinely portrayed. And these factors are among the reasons cited for waning interest and participation in sports that once captured the attention—and dollars—of the masses, but are now considered too old-fashioned, too time-consuming, too unexciting, or just too uncool by kids today.

These struggling sports aren’t simply conceding defeat, however. They’re introducing marketing initiatives and new business models to win over younger consumers as if the future of these sports depends on them—which is pretty much the case.

  • Bowling

    Bowling alley with neon lights

    The number of bowling alleys in America has been on a steady decline for years, dropping roughly 25% from 1998 (5,400 alleys) to 2013 (just under 4,000). Bowling alleys once thrived thanks to active bowling leagues around the country, but participation has dwindled, perhaps as part of the broader trend of Americans detaching from society and their local communities, as explained in the groundbreaking 2000 book Bowling Alone.

    That might not be the only reason interest in bowling has faded. “People’s social tastes change, too,” Wayne State University assistant sociology professor David Merolla told the Detroit Free Press. “It’s also possible bowling isn’t what people do anymore.”

    In recent years, emerging entertainment brands like Pinstack and Latitude 360 have aimed to reinvent the faded old bowling alley concept and attract more young people by adding all sorts of bells and whistles—or rather, ropes courses, laser tag, rock climbing walls, bumper cars, restaurants, and concert and comedy venues, all under one roof. Latitude 360, which plans on opening a location in lower Manhattan in late 2015, bills itself as a “cruise ship on land.” An ongoing Kids Bowl Free summertime promotion encourages children (and their families) to bowl too.

  • Golf

    Jordan Spieth of the U.S. grins as he wears his Champion's green jacket on the putting green after winning the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia April 12, 2015.
    Brian Snyder—Reuters Jordan Spieth of the U.S. grins as he wears his Champion's green jacket on the putting green after winning the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia April 12, 2015.

    Jordan Speith and Rory McIlroy are among the young golf champions who have been heralded as the sport’s potential saviors. And why might the sport need saving? The reasons include that it’s too snobby, too hard, too expensive, or just not cool or too time-consuming for our fast-moving culture.

    Perhaps the most obvious sign of golf’s struggles is that the number of courses in America is expected to plummet for years to come. To boost participation and interest in the sport, golf associations and country clubs have tried everything from pushing the idea of playing nine holes rather than the full 18, to using oversized holes on courses to make the game less frustrating—and perhaps even fun.

  • Boxing

    Boxing: Mayweather vs Pacquiao
    Mark J. Rebilas—USA TODAY Sports/Reuters Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena, May 2, 2015.

    The big Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao match in Las Vegas was a huge money maker, but it didn’t help endear the sport to casual fans. Dozens of lawsuits have been filed by spectators who want their money back because the match was so boring (and because Pacquiao didn’t disclose an injury to prior to the fight).

    The heightened attention given to boxing with the “Fight of the Century” was also an anomaly. Interest in boxing among fans has been described as struggling, dead, or “undead” at least since the rise of mixed martial arts into the mainstream. Prior to the most recent “Fight of the Century,” many boxing pay-per-view events have drawn disappointing viewer numbers, and some have argued that PPV format is to blame as the reason so many casual fans stopped keeping up with the sport.

    “What’s hurting boxing is they’re not putting it on free television,” boxing great Evander Holyfield theorized in 2011. In March, boxing returned to prime time network television for the first time in three decades, with Saturday broadcasts of Premier Boxing Champions on NBC. Thus far, boxing on network TV has proved to be the equal of UFC in terms of viewer numbers.

    Interestingly, while the consensus is that fan interest in boxing has dwindled, participation in boxing has been on the upswing over the past decade, as it’s become a trendy fitness activity among men and women alike. Still, the American Association of Pediatricians vigorously opposes youths being involved in amateur boxing because of the serious risk of brain injury. On a related note, fewer kids are playing football across the U.S., though the trend may come as a result of children increasingly specializing in one sport for most of the year, rather than just concerns about head injuries.

  • Fishing

    Alex Wong—Getty Images Local students of Septima Clark Public Charter School participate during a fishing event at the Constitution Gardens Pond of the National Mall in Washington, DC.

    According to a 2014 report, there was a net loss of 1.2 million fishing participants in the previous year: Overall, 9.9 million people gave up fishing, while only 8.7 participants picked up the sport, representing a decrease of 21%. The poll shows that households with kids are more likely to fish: 17.5%, versus 12% of households without young children. But teenagers are the group least likely to be interested in fishing: Only 6.6% of people ages 13 to 17 who don’t fish said they were considering taking up the sport, compared to 43% of those 45 or over.

    Unsurprisingly, the outdoors seems to be deemed less cool the older a child gets. Among kids ages 6 to 12, 44% say outdoor recreation is “cool,” compared to 34% of 13- to 17-year-olds. Nearly half (47%) of first-time adult fishing participants said they perceived the sport as “exciting,” but significant numbers also described the sport as “time consuming” (25%), uninteresting (16.5%), and “not for someone like me” (12%). The poll doesn’t reveal such perceptions with regard to children or teenagers specifically, but presumably an above-average portion of easily distracted, smartphone-addicted teens think fishing is too boring.

    The insights of an outdoors recreation analyst quoted in 2007—when a study showed the number of fishing participants had dropped 16% over the previous 10 years—seems to hold up well: “Thirty years ago, people would get up and go fishing,” he said. “Now you get up and you have a soccer game at 9, a baseball game at 11, a team picnic at 1 — it’s much more structured time. Video games also are part of it.”

    It’s understandable why the fishing industry is so eager to encourage kids to give the sport a try: 84% of adult participants say they were introduced to fishing by the time they turned 12. Of course, it helps if you actually catch a fish: 40% of men said the most enjoyable thing about fishing was (what else?) catching a fish, and 37% said the worse thing about fishing was (what else?) not catching a fish. Yet 19% of survey participants who fish said they caught nothing on their most recent fishing trip.

    National Fishing & Boating Week, held the first week of June each year (June 6-14 in 2015), provides families a good excuse to give fishing a try. On one or more days during this week, most states allow fishing on public bodies of water without the requirement (or fee) of a permit.

  • Baseball

    As part of a season-long program titled "Calling All Kids", the players of the Boston Red Sox were accompanied by children during pre-game introductions.
    Jim Davis—Boston Globe via Getty Images As part of a season-long program titled "Calling All Kids", the players of the Boston Red Sox were accompanied by children during pre-game introductions.

    Studies have shown participation and interest in baseball has fallen year after year among children. Between 2002 and 2013, the number of children who played baseball dropped 41%. Polls indicate that teens identifying themselves as “avid” baseball fans are on the decline, while the fan base in professional soccer and basketball have been rising. (The NFL has the highest percentage of avid teen fans, overall.)

    Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has been on a mission to win over younger fans, which seems like an essential move because the future of baseball as a business relies on it. “Our research shows the two biggest determinants of fan avidity are did you play as a kid? And how old were you when your parents took you to the ballpark for the first time?” Manfred said at the start of this season.

    Hence the proliferation of family ticket deals and kids clubs offered by virtually every MLB team. The promotions include free tickets and team swag, with the hope that playing up to kids now pays off down the road.

MONEY freebies

Free Doritos Locos Tacos for High School Seniors at Taco Bell on Saturday

Doritos Locos tacos
Patrick T. Fallon—Bloomberg via Getty Images Doritos Locos tacos

How about that for a graduation gift!

All graduating high school seniors in America are receiving a very special gift on Saturday, June 6, courtesy of Taco Bell. The fast food chain has dubbed Saturday as National Graduation Day, when new graduates will get a pat on the back in the form of a free Doritos Locos Taco.

To secure a freebie, all a student needs to do to get is head to Taco Bell and flash a high school ID, as well as a smartphone showing a Taco Bell ad that will be revealed on Saturday via Twitter and Facebook.

The giveaway is being presented as one of many ways the Taco Bell Foundation is celebrating high school graduates this year. To help inspire young people to earn their diplomas, the chain is encouraging teens to share thoughts dreams about their potential via social media with the hashtag #RecognizePotential.


How to Go to the Movies for $1 This Summer

The LEGO Movie
Warner Bros.—Courtesy Everett Collection The LEGO Movie

Bring the kids for less than the cost of a large popcorn this summer.

The average price of a movie ticket was $8.17 last year. Thanks to bargain-priced kids’ movie programs that get under way around the time the school ends, that same sum could cover admission to 10 films this summer—and leave you with a little left over to pay for a snack.

No fewer than three movie theater brands are hosting special kids’ movie programs this summer. Before getting your hopes up too high, you can forget about seeing just-released films at these super-cheap prices. While the particulars of each are slightly different, they all involve the showing of older, second-run movies like Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Rio 2, and Penguins of Madagascar. The specially priced showings are limited to weekday mornings too.

The tradeoff is that instead of paying $8 or $12 for a first-run movie ticket—or perhaps $6 for a matinee—admission to the kids’ program films is usually just $1 or $2 apiece. That’s the walk-up price. Families also have the option of paying for admission to 10 movies in advance at the bargain-basement price of maybe $5 or $7, depending on theater.

Yes, this is the full movie theater experience, so you should go in expecting your kids to beg for popcorn, soda, and Raisinets. One reason theaters host these programs is to upsell patrons on overpriced extras. That’s how theaters make money, after all. Another reason theaters want to draw in kids on slow weekdays is that this is the perfect target audience for advertising new movies coming out this summer, such as Hotel Transylvania 2—which just so happens to sponsor at least one of the kids’ movie programs, and which will most certainly not be available to see this summer for $1.

All in all, it’s still a pretty great deal. Sure, you could rent the movies they’re showing at Redbox for $1.50, or perhaps even borrow a copy from the local library or stream it on Netflix for free. And yes, there’s a strong likelihood you’ll have to cope with a child begging for candy and a return to the theater to see Hotel Transylvania 2 at full price. These are tradeoffs a parent can live with considering you’re paying only $1 or 50¢ for the thrill of “going to the movies” an icily air-conditioned theater this summer. Here are the particulars:

Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse
Hundreds of Cinemark theaters around the country—41 in California alone—host this 10-week program in which walk-up admission to one kids’ movie per week is just $1. Alternately, families can buy admission to all 10 films in advance for a mere $5, or 50¢ per show. Generally speaking, the programs kick off around the time kids start summer vacation. The specially priced shows are older releases like Rio 2, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, The Nut Job, and Night at the Museum: The Secret Tomb, and they are limited to specific times on weekday mornings—perhaps 10 a.m. on Wednesdays or Thursdays.

Harkins Theatres Summer Movie Fun
Harkins is a small theater chain with 30 locations in five states in the Western U.S., more than half of which are in Arizona. It has run a summer kids movie program for more than three decades. This summer, theaters will show second-run films like Puss in Boots and The Box Trolls over the course of 10 weeks, on weekday mornings starting in late May or early June. Walk-up admission is $2 per movie, or a pass for all 10 movies runs $5 or $7, depending on the location.

Regal Summer Movie Express
The Annie reboot, Madagascar 3, Muppets Most Wanted, The Lego Movie, Penguins of Madagascar, Paddington, and Turbo are among the movies being shown for $1 each over nine weeks this summer at Regal theaters around the country. All showings are 10 a.m., generally on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, starting in mid- or late June.

TIME Family

‘Helicopter Parenting’ Hurts Kids Regardless of Love or Support, Study Says

Getty Images

Sorry, Tiger Moms

So-called “helicopter parenting” is detrimental to children no matter how loving the parents might be, a new study by professors at Brigham Young University (BYU) finds.

The study, a follow up to 2012 research that suggested children of such controlling parents are less engaged in the classroom, surveyed 483 students from four American universities on their parents’ behavior and their own self-esteem and academics, Science Daily reports. This time, researchers explored whether characteristics such as support and warmth might neutralize the negative effects of helicopter parenting. Not only did the study conclude that they do not, but it also suggested that lack of warmth can take the situation from bad to worse, amplifying low self-esteem and high-risk behaviors such as binge drinking.

For the purposes of the study, researchers defined “helicopter parenting” as including such over-involved habits such as solving children’s problems and making important decisions for them, while warmth was measured in terms of availability to talk and spending quality time.

The study contradicts popular parenting philosophies, such as the one espoused in the 2011 bestseller Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.

“From our past work, we thought there might be something positive about helicopter parenting under certain conditions, but we’re just not finding it,” study author Larry Nelson told Science Daily. Instead, while the data indicated that warmth reduced the negative effects of controlling parenting, it did not nullify them completely. “Overall, stepping in and doing for a child what the child developmentally should be doing for him or herself, is negative,” Nelson said.

[Science Daily]

TIME Amazon

This Kindle Deal Is Perfect For Keeping Your Kids Reading This Summer

And you get to save some cash

As school nears summer recess, Amazon has jumped on a commercial opportunity involving students: Summer reading lists.

The tech giant is offering an e-reader package targeted toward children that includes a Kindle device, a protective cover, and a two-year warranty. Whereas normally those three items would run a person about $140, the new deal prices them together at $99.

Parents need not worry about their kids slacking off and using the device to play games either: The Kindle e-reader, unlike a Kindle tablet, supports only books—not apps. It also comes with “Kindle FreeTime,” a progress tracker parents can use to prevent their children from accessing recreational content on other Amazon devices until they’ve met certain goals. For example: finishing a chapter in a book before popping open, say, Angry Birds.

FreeTime puts social media, websites and the Kindle store off limits, too. Parents can instead choose what books to make available on the e-reader, which comes with four gigabytes of storage, five different colored covers—dark blue, green, purple, red, and black—and can stay charged for up to four weeks, assuming that the user only reads for a half hour per day and doesn’t use wireless.

The company has assembled its own recommended summer reading lists as well, including selections for the categories “Baby-Age 2,” “Ages 3-5,” “Ages 6-8,” and “Ages 9-12.” There are nearly 3,500 books total in the company’s “summer reading for kids” collection.

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