TIME 10 Questions

Ice Cube Explains How to Rap About Being Poor When You’re Rich as Heck

Also discusses how to get kids to clean up their language.

Rapper-actor-producer Ice Cube, one of the stars of this weekend’s 22 Jump Street, has a new album in the works, Everthang’s Corrupt. When Cube visited Time for our 10 Questions page, we asked how the N.W.A. alum managed to rap about what it’s like to be poor when clearly he’s so successful.

While Cube, as he likes to be called, doesn’t give much money to political campaigns — “politicians not going to do more with my money than I can to help whatever cause or whatever situation I want to help”—he uses his music to do his own form of campaigning. He’s an Obama voter, too, and is happy with the President, despite the fact that Obama “reminds me of the black kid at a white school that don’t nobody want to play with. That’s fine—he goes in there and does his thing, does what he can.”

A longer version of the interview, in which Cube discusses some geometry and gives parenting tips, is below.

 

 

 

TIME Parenting

Parenting Advice From Ice Cube

Chapter 1: How To Make Sure Your Kids Don't Curse at Home

Ice Cube’s kids, not surprisingly, listened to a lot of rap music growing up. Two of his three kids are now rappers in their own right. But the man who reprises his role as a perpetually angry cop in 22 Jump Street is not about to tolerate bad language in his home.

In his interview in the luxuriously paper edition of TIME this week, Cube, as he likes to be known, says he doesn’t allow cursing in the home. “All kids got crazy language,” he says “I know kids cuss, they do their thing, but I tell them Don’t do it in the earshot of any adults or you’re in trouble.”

When they resist he breaks out his famous scowl, which, he claims, totally works as well on his kids as it works on Jonah Hill’s character in the movie.

Ice Cube’s two sons and one daughter have had significantly different upbringings from their dad’s. Cube’s childhood in south central L.A. was no easy ride, while they have wanted for nothing. He doesn’t worry about entitlement however. “We’ve been on the bottom of the barrel so long, just to have anybody in my generation or my family feel entitled means we’ve done something.”

For more of the interview, including Cube’s real name, watch below:

 

 

TIME

‘Cool’ Kids More Likely to Have Problems Later in Life

From left: Lindsay Lohan as Cady, Amanda Seyfried as Karen, Rachel McAdams as Regina and Lacey Chabert as Gretchen in Mean Girls.
Michael Gibson—AP

Being a nerd never felt so good

Growing up, movies taught us that being popular in high school wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The nerds and losers in Mean Girls, Sixteen Candles and Superbad may have gotten picked on, but they always got their happy ending and the assurance that one day they would grow up to be smarter, wealthier and happier than the cool kids. Now, research suggests that the revenge of the nerds is no longer a pipe dream: popular teens are more likely to have problems later in life.

A new decade-long study published Thursday in the journal Child Development found that people who tried to act “cool” in early adolescence were more likely to have issues with drugs, their social lives and criminal activity later in life.

Researchers at the University of Virginia gathered information from 184 teens, their peers and their families for ten years, beginning at age 13. The participants in the study all attended public school in either suburban or urban areas in the southeastern United States and came from a variety of racial and socio-economic backgrounds.

Teens who were considered cool at 13 tended to take part in delinquent behavior, engage in sexual activity earlier than their peers and placed a premium on hanging out with physically attractive people—you know, just like Regina George. But by the age of 22 these once-cool kids had fallen from social grace. Their peers rated them as less competent when it came to managing social relationships than others. The formerly popular youngsters were also more likely to become alcoholics, drug addicts and criminals.

“It appears that while so-called cool teens’ behavior might have been linked to early popularity, over time, these teens needed more and more extreme behaviors to try to appear cool, at least to a subgroup of other teens,” says Joseph P. Allen, a professor of psychology at UVA who led the study. “So they became involved in more serious criminal behavior and alcohol and drug use as adolescence progressed.”

In other words, kids who are cool in seventh and eighth grade are so desperate to stay cool as young adults that they engage in unadvisable activities. The takeaway? Teens are better off when they don’t care about what other people think—as hard as that may be.

TIME human behavior

Study: Kids Know When Adults Are Keeping Secrets

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Father and daughter having a talk Nick Daly—Getty Images

A new study from MIT shows that kids won't trust adults who don't tell them the whole truth

Lying about Santa Claus, how babies are born or whether there are cookies in the cookie jar could get parents into trouble. Children are extremely perceptive: past studies have shown that kids can tell when adults are lying to them. But telling children only part of the truth can get adults into trouble too. New research suggests that youngsters can tell when people commit “sins of omission” and even learn not to trust those people.

Researchers at MIT studied how 42 six and seven-year-olds evaluated information. They conducted two experiments. In the first study, the children were separated into two groups: one group got a toy that had four buttons, each of which performed a different function—lights, a windup mechanism, etc.; the other group got a toy that looked the same but only had one button, which activated the windup mechanism.

After the two groups of children had played with their respective toys, the researchers put on a show: a teacher puppet taught a student puppet how to use the toy, but only showed the student puppet the winup function. For the kids playing with the one-button toy, this was all the information; but for the kids playing with the four-button toy, the teacher puppet had left out crucial information.

The researchers then asked all the children to rate the teacher puppet in terms of how helpful it was on a scale from 1 to 20. The kids with the multi-functional toy noticed that the puppet hadn’t told them the whole story and gave it a lower score than the children with the single-function toys did.

The second experiment began with the same premise—splitting the children into two groups, letting them play with their simple or complex toys and then giving a puppet demonstration. But then after the demonstration, the researchers brought out another, totally different toy and gave it to both groups of children. This toy had four functions, and the teacher puppet demonstrated only one.

Children who had the multi-functional toy in the first part of the experiment—and therefore had seen an incomplete demonstration from that teacher puppet before—explored the toy more thoroughly than the children who only had the single-function toy. These children, it seems, had learned to not trust the teacher because of the first uninformative demonstration.

“This shows that children are not just sensitive to who’s right or wrong,” lead author Hyowon Gweon says. “Children can also evaluate others based on who’s providing information that is enough or not enough for accurate inference. They can also adjust how they learn from a teacher in the future, depending on whether the teacher has previously committed a sin of omission or not.”

So watch what you say parents: if you lie to your kids—or even keep secrets from them—they’ll learn to not trust you.

TIME Parenting

This Father’s Day Ad Will Make You Want to Call Your Dad Right Now

Dove reminds you of all those times you needed your dad

This Father’s Day, Dove is tugging at your heartstrings. Men+Care, the brand’s grooming line for men, launched the campaign Monday in an effort to celebrate the real role dads play in their kids’ lives.

It’s the male equivalent of Dove’s successful “Real Beauty” campaign, which some have criticized for using female empowerment to sell products.

But the beauty brand says this particular feel-good campaign is based on real data, according to Adweek. Dove surveyed 1,000 dads ages 25-54 and found that 75% of fathers feel like they’re responsible for their child’s emotional well-being. But only 20% of those surveyed said that aspect of their parenting duty is reflected in the media.

So instead of showing dads throwing a baseball or building the crib or laying down the law, Dove edited quick cuts of “calls for dad,” showing how fathers come running when you need help, comfort you when you’re scared and bring a smile to your face when you’re down.

TIME Parenting

Audra McDonald: Why I Thanked My Parents for Not Putting Me on ADHD Medication

American Theatre Wing's 68th Annual Tony Awards - Press Room
Audra McDonald attends American Theatre Wing's 68th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 8, 2014, in New York City. Walter McBride—Getty Images

The decision of whether or not to medicate a child is a personal, difficult and subjective one, the Tony winner writes in response to a TIME article

In response to an open letter to me, titled “Sorry, Audra McDonald — My Kid Needs His ADHD Meds.”

Dear Ms. Luscombe,

I would like first to congratulate you and your son, both on coping with his ADHD diagnosis and on coming to a solution that works for you.

If my speech in any way offended you, I do apologize. However, it was in no way, shape or form intended as a platform for me to denounce the use of medication for ADHD or any other psychological disorder. I myself have benefited from psychotropic drugs to help combat depression in my youth.

The decision of whether or not to medicate a child is a very personal, difficult and subjective one. What works for one child doesn’t necessarily work for another. But in the end, as a parent, all that matters is that you do everything within your power to help your child. You sound like a mother who is fiercely dedicated to your child and his well-being. My mother is also someone who was — and still is — quite fiercely dedicated to her children and their well-being. (In fact, she very much wanted to be the one to respond to your letter.) In the 1970s, when the term ADHD hadn’t even really been coined yet, and Ritalin was still a relatively new drug being prescribed for hyperactive children, my mother and late father were struggling with their very sensitive, overdramatic, hyperactive 8-year-old daughter, who was having serious issues in school. Growing up in my house, “Audra-induced anxiety,” as you put it, had quite a different connotation.

After months of increasingly frustrating, painful moments watching their child struggle, and after talking with psychologists and my teachers — but not yet having the benefit of decades of research, media and social discourse on what was still a relatively new medication — my parents happened to attend a performance at a local dinner theater. Although my family was a very musical one — my dad was a high school music teacher, my grandmothers both taught piano, and, as you yourself were kind enough to bring up in your letter, my aunts used to sing at various black churches in California in the ’50s and ’60s — we were not theatergoers. That night, at that theater in Fresno, Calif., my mother and father saw a troupe of young children performing in a pre-show cabaret. A lightbulb went off in their heads and they decided to encourage me to audition to be a member of this troupe, in hopes that it might be a good outlet for my energy, an oasis for my emotions and possibly a place for me to build some desperately needed confidence. That moment, that decision, that “lightbulb” was what put my feet on the first tiny bricks of the yellow brick road that led me toward the Oz that is my life in the theater. All because they were struggling with the question of how best to help their struggling, unhappy, hyperactive child.

If that moment had not happened — if they had decided to try another tactic (medication or anything else), and I had stayed on what had been my path up until that point — I have no doubt that while my life might have been a fantastic one, it would not have been one in the theater. I have my parents to thank for making what was ultimately a life-changing decision for me.

Last Sunday night, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and love for my parents, who put me on the path that somehow, miraculously led to my standing on that stage, clutching that Tony. I am ashamed to admit that I don’t think I had ever truly thanked them for that before. Unfortunately my father is now deceased, but my mom was there, and I’m so grateful that in the 90 seconds allotted a winner to say thank you — and as the completely addled wreck of an emotional mess that I was at that moment — I was able publicly, from that stage, to look into her tear-filled eyes and acknowledge her struggle and thank her for making that decision. Not for driving me to rehearsals, helping me with my lines or keeping me calm, as you suggest I should have said to her, but for the actual decision she made. That is exactly what I wanted to thank her for, and I did. It was a decision that was very personal, and it ended up being the right one for me. It was a moment for and about my parents and their love for me: nothing else and no one else.

Every parent, when faced with a decision like that, makes it on the basis of real, personal and specific circumstances relating to their child. For some, the right decision is to medicate, for some it is not. For some it is a bit of both, and for some it is any one of a million other variations on the treatment options available. The only common factor that goes into making that decision, which is indisputably true for almost all parents, is the indescribable amount of love they have for their child.

I’m positive that your son will someday recognize that he has a mother who is fiercely devoted to him and that every decision she ever made was out of love for the child he is and the adult he will become. My best wishes to you both.

Audra McDonald is a mother, activist and a six-time Tony Award–winning singer and actress.

TIME Culture

Halle Berry Ordered to Pay Almost $200K Per Year in Child Support

2014 Huading Film Awards - Press Room
Actress Halle Berry poses in the press room at the 2014 Huading Film Awards at The Montalban on June 1, 2014 in Hollywood, California. Jason LaVeris—FilmMagic

Berry and ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubrey settle dispute

A judge has ordered Halle Berry to pay her ex-boyfriend, Gabriel Aubry, $16,000 per month in child support, the Associated Press reports. The Oscar-winner will fork over $200,000 per year plus tuition money for the ex-couple’s six-year-old daughter Nahla. Berry must also make a retroactive payment of $115,000 and another $300,000 to Aubry’s attorneys to cover their fees.

Berry falls in line with a growing number of women who pay child support. A 2013 Pew report found that women are the sole or primary breadwinners in 40 percent of households with children under 18. Because the number of female breadwinners is at a peak and more men are asking for shared custody, cases of women paying child support are likely on the rise, too. A 2012 survey of divorce lawyers in the United States found that 56 percent of attorneys saw an increase in numbers paying child support since 2009.

Aubry, 38, and Berry, 47, dated from 2005 to 2010 but never married. In 2012, the couple became involved in a custody dispute over Nahla, when a judge blocked the X-Men: Days of Future Past star from moving their daughter to France to live with her and her now-husband Olivier Martinez. The fight culminated in a physical altercation between Aubry and Martinez in November of 2012, People reported. Aubry and Berry now share equal custody of the girl, according to court documents.

Martinez is Berry’s third husband. The two welcomed a son, Maceo, in October.

TIME

Paid Paternity Leave Saved My Family

"Paternity leave is not only good for families, it’s good for business."
"Paternity leave is not only good for families, it’s good for business." Chad Springer—Getty Images/Image Source

Before we talk (some more) about equal parenting, we need to enable dads to spend time at home

“So, how was your vacation?”

I can’t tell you how many people asked me that question when I returned from paternity leave following the births of my sons. Despite the sleepless nights, constant uncertainty, feedings every 90 minutes, and the avalanche of meconium-filled diapers, that’s how my paternity leave was seen by many. A vacation. Some time off to relax and recharge. Because what earthly purpose can men serve in the aftermath of childbirth? And what could businesses possibly have to gain by investing in paternity leave?

The answer, in both cases, is “more than you know.” Dads both want and need to be home in those early days, but it’s not so easy—an issue addressed yesterday at the White House Summit on Working Dads.

When my older son was born in 2008, my employer was one of the 85% of American companies that offers no paid paternity leave (only 1% fewer than offer paid maternity leave). That left me cobbling together nearly two weeks of vacation and sick time to help out at home, and despite having access to 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA leave, our financial situation at the time rendered that option moot.

During those first two weeks, my wife had health issues combined with the onslaught of severe postpartum depression. When I had to go back to work, I was out of time and options, a confused and harried new dad bidding a teary-eyed farewell to a wife struggling to take care of herself as well as a new baby. The stress from not having enough time at home quickly began to impact my work, resulting in an unhappy and unproductive employee, and a new dad who felt like he was constantly drowning.

By the time my second child was born last year, I had switched companies and had access to two weeks of fully paid paternity leave in addition to vacation time — all of which I was encouraged to take if I needed it. That extra time (and positive company attitude) was invaluable to me; it gave me peace of mind.

I was able to take care of my wife. I was able to supervise my oldest’s transition from only child to big brother. But most importantly, I was free to bond with my baby. I held him, changed him, got up at night to support my wife during feedings, learned his sounds, and developed a routine. Whether it’s moms striving for perfection or dads being hesitant (or already back at work) during those first few weeks, uninvolved dads lose out on so much of that initial experience that serves as a foundation for fatherhood. But paternity leave allowed me to be an active participant in parenting, as opposed to a bystander.

If we’re ever going to do more than just talk about men being equal partners in parenting, we need to make sure both parents can afford to have paid leave. So when discussing paid paternity leave, two vital things need to happen.

First off, companies need to recognize the societal shifts underway in America. Namely, more women are entering the workforce and becoming breadwinners, while men are asking if they can “have it all” as they place a greater emphasis on balancing work and life.

Second, fathers need to feel assured they’re not putting their career at risk by taking paternity leave, and that there’s no shame in it. However, that is easier said than done when people like New York Mets infielder Daniel Murphy — who attended the White House summit — are publicly blasted for taking paternity leave instead of immediately going back to work.

Murphy, who missed the first two games of this season for the birth of his son, was lambasted by sports radio hosts Boomer Esiason, Craig Carton, and Mike Francesa. Esiason said he would’ve had his wife schedule a c-section before the start of the season, while his co-host Carton said “You get your ass back to your team and you play baseball…there’s nothing you can do, you’re not breastfeeding the kid.”

Employers who maintain this antiquated attitude are putting themselves at risk in numerous ways. And Esiason’s suggestion (which he later apologized for) to have an elective c-section is especially troubling—it’s a major surgery that significantly extends recovery time, meaning dads would be home for even longer helping their wives recover. Call me crazy, but I don’t think sidelining your wife for a couple extra weeks just so you can go back to work sooner makes you a “real man.” Real men take care of their families.

Companies that refuse to identify what employees value will fail to attract top talent, be unable to retain existing high performers, and suffer increased turnover costs. As more and more men focus on things like paternity leave, flexible scheduling, and working from home, it becomes clear that happy employees with a satisfactory work/life balance will be more productive and ultimately increase the bottom line.

Paternity leave is not only good for families, it’s good for business. Hopefully America will follow the lead of so many other countries, and start offering mandatory paid leave for mothers and fathers. But trust me – it’s not a vacation.

 

Aaron Gouveia is a husband, father of two boys, and writes for his site, The Daddy Files.

TIME Parenting

Sorry, Audra McDonald — My Kid Needs His ADHD Meds

Kevin Mazur—2014

Isn't being awesome enough? Do you have to start prescribing as well?

Dear Ms. McDonald,

I love your work. Who doesn’t? Clearly nobody, since you just won a record-obliterating sixth Tony for your performance as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. Congratulations. That’s an incredible feat.

And don’t get me wrong, I love that you thanked your parents before anyone, the folks who got you your start in the theater. “I want to thank my mom and dad up in heaven,” you said in that seriously kick-ass red-and-white gown, “for disobeying the doctors’ orders and not medicating the hyperactive girl and finding out what she was into instead and pushing her into the theater.”

I have kids too. Should they happen to ever achieve a modicum of success, I’d like to think they might thank me one day. Not publicly from a podium or anything, but maybe just from their desk, or whatever place of work they happen to land upon. Here’s the thing, though: I really want them to have jobs. Unlike your family, of whom you once joked that if you were “tone-deaf they would have kicked me out,” I’m not musical. Unlike you, my kids do not have five aunts in a professional gospel-singing group. (My brothers did have a band. If memory serves, my mother called them the Unlistenables.)

But here’s the thing: one of my kids doesn’t learn very well without the meds. We’ve tried the theater, sports, music, wearing him out, getting him more sleep, meditation, diet, being super-disciplinarian, being not too disciplinarian, art, bribery and shouting. We even tried chewing gum for a while. Oh, man, that stuff is hard to remove. We tried a lot of techniques, some of them more seriously than others, because we are human and have jobs and other children. But the thing that worked best, that enabled him to learn to read and stopped him from getting into trouble at school, was medicine.

Since completing school and getting a job are pretty tightly linked, our options are limited. Since employment and having a family, or a home or a healthy mental attitude, have also been linked, the parent of a child who has trouble learning can begin to get very anxious. Nobody, as I’ve said before, is thrilled to medicate their child. It’s not what anybody considers a huge parental triumph. We have no trophy cabinet for the expired bottles of methylphenidate. But if you don’t have a child whose talents are as prodigious and obvious as yours, it can be tough to figure out what’s best for them. So you’re left with trying to avoid what’s worst; and clearly not being able to learn is pretty high on that list.

I’m sure that you were not personally judging me and other concerned parents when you thanked your parents for not putting you on Ritalin. I’m sure you weren’t trying to prescribe from the podium. And obviously, you have thrived, against some serious odds. But damn it, you’re not making it any easier to live with our hard decisions. There’s anxiety and then there’s Audra-induced anxiety, which is more dramatic and accomplished than the regular sort. I’m equally sure your parents also drove you to rehearsal a lot, or ran lines with you, or calmed you down if you had stage fright, or told you not to chew your nails. You couldn’t have mentioned that instead?

The chances of anybody winning six Tonys are extremely slender (again, bravo). If by giving my child medication, I have reduced his chances of getting that gong even further, so be it. He may not be Audra-level awesome, but he’s going to get through school. I’m O.K. with that.

TIME Parenting

Dads Claim They’re Pulling Their Weight at Home

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Proud father and his son in nature Maartje Van Caspel—Getty Images

Study finds that 45% of dads say they share childcare tasks equally, but only 27% of moms say the same

A new survey of dads conducted by NBC’s TODAY Show reveals that fathers are really good at pretending to do chores.

The survey found that 54% of dads say they change diapers. But hold your applause, because that means 46% of dads never change diapers. Which is funny, because 45% of dads say they share childcare tasks equally with moms. And only 27% of moms agree.

But if they’re not changing diapers it’s probably the moms’ fault, because 21% of dads say they feel criticized for not doing childcare tasks the way their wives do.

Three out of ten dads say they do the majority of the grocery shopping, and 26% of dads say making meals is their job. Which means that 70% of women do the majority of the grocery shopping, and 74% of moms do the cooking.

Three cheers for the illusion of progress!

 

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