20 Teens Charged in Cape May Sexting Scandal

Photo by "Smallbones" via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by “Smallbones” via Wikimedia Commons

Ah, Cape May, that idyllic Jersey Shore town that’s usually associated with bed-and-breakfasts, wine bars, and salmon-colored Bermuda shorts and generally not associated with anything approaching a scandal. But thanks to a group of high school and middle school students, Cape May is now the epicenter of a sexting scandal. Read more »

WATCH: Toddler Rescued From Philadelphia Roof

Cleaira_BellThis is Cleaira Bell, the 22-year-old woman being charged with child endangerment because, police say, she left her 2-year-old boy at home, alone, with another woman’s 1-year-old boy — a fact discovered when the 2-year-old was seen crawling on the roof of a three-story residence.

Police say they were called on Monday afternoon to the 4700 block of Leiper Street in the Frankford section for a report of a toddler on the roof. The officers on scene ran to the third floor and forced their way into the apartment — rescuing the 2-year-old as well as the 1-year-old, “who was attempting to climb out of the window.” Read more »

Boston Marathon Dad Scolds Media Over Principal Letter Coverage

Montco dad Mike Rossi crosses the Boston Marathon finish line.

Montco dad Mike Rossi crosses the Boston Marathon finish line.

On Tuesday, we told you about Montgomery County’s Mike Rossi, the Dancin’ on Air host-turned-47-year-old suburban dad currently embroiled in a fight with his kids’ principal over a stern letter she sent regarding his decision to take his children to Boston to see him run the Boston Marathon. Oh, sorry, did we use the word “fight?” Strike that. Read more »

Boston Marathon Runner Gets Letter from Montco School Principal About Trip [UPDATED]

Mike Rossi and family at the Boston Marathon finish line.

Mike Rossi and family at the Boston Marathon finish line.

UPDATE 4/29 11:55 a.m.: Mike Rossi and his wife met with the school on Wednesday morning and says he’ll be on the Today show and Fox and Friends on Thursday, although he’s been unhappy with some of the media coverage. Read the full story here.

ORIGINAL:

When he was 18, Mike Rossi was a host of Dancin’ On Air, the live, locally produced music show that featured performances by the likes of Madonna, Will Smith and Menudo. But these days, he’s a 47-year-old husband and father of two living out in the suburbs, where his twins are in the third grade at Rydal Elementary School. And it is there that controversy has erupted over Rossi’s decision to bring his kids to Boston to watch him run the marathon back on April 20th. Read more »

The Argument for “Free-Range Kids”

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

It’s been a couple of years now, but the shock still feels fresh: I took my young son to Fitler Square for some morning playtime, and there we found another young child.

Playing by herself.

No adults in sight.

Had she been abandoned? Had she wandered off on her own? Why wasn’t anybody around?

God help me, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I resolved to stay close, keep an eye on her — and if too much time passed, I’d call the police. Luckily, it never came to that: Her father rushed up a few minutes later — he’d brought his daughter to the park, then left her there for a few minutes to grab something from his house nearby. He’d never thought her in danger. I kind of thought he was a giant jerk.

But this probably has some bearing on the story: The father was European — for the sake of neighborly relations, I’ll not identify him more specifically than that — and, possibly, not wise to the panicky “stranger danger” alarmism we American parents are marinated in. Read more »

Why Parents Gain Weight Without Realizing It

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Healthy eating is simple, right? Fill your fridge with nutritious fruits, veggies, lean protein and whole grains, and you won’t be tempted to eat junk food. That might be easy if you don’t have kids. Kids tend to love all things carbohydrate: pasta, rice, Goldfish crackers, graham crackers, pretzels, chips. And because moms and dads are constantly on the go with their kids, they find that they need to have these snacks stashed in their bags. After all, it’s pretty hard to serve steamed broccoli to your child in the car on the way to soccer practice. Read more »

When Murder Turns Us Into Monsters

torch-bearing-mob-940x540

Last week, I spent the majority of my time reporting on the murder of Jim Stuhlman, an unarmed 51-year-old man who was shot dead on Thursday, March 12th, while taking his dog for an evening stroll on his quiet street in Overbrook. And adding to the tragedy of Stuhlman’s murder was the Philadelphia Police Department’s announcement that the suspects in the case are in their mid-teens. Read more »

How CrossFit Made Me a Saner Parent

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Shutterstock

Before the CrossFit haters sharpen their knives, let me just preface this piece by saying that neither burpees nor deadlifts have helped me to become a better parent. I’m a mother, not a meathead, so in order to understand how CrossFit has helped me, you’re going to have to trust that I’m not proselytizing right now.

Read more »

Would You Spend $200,000 on Your Child’s Bedroom?

So last week the Wall Street Journal filled me in on Dahlia Mahmood, an interior designer who created a lovely princess-themed bedroom for a Virginia client’s 2-year-old daughter a while back. The centerpiece of the $200,000 extravaganza is a bed shaped like a castle, complete with a walk-across parapet and turrets in which the toddler can store her dolls. It has its own elfin door, sized too small for adults but perfect for the girl, at least at the time it was built. (I assume there’s some other way for, say, the help to get in and change the linens.) The walls of the bathroom are painted by hand and adorned with Swarovski crystals. The … oh, hell, why don’t I just show you a photo? Here.

Ms. Mahmood’s work was just one exhibit in an article devoted to such grand excesses. Lindsay Dickhout, chief executive of the mobile spray-tanning company Million Dollar Tan, is building her girls, Stella, 4, and Presley, 2, a $70,000 princess playroom. It’s not going to be finished until next month, but it’s going to include a faux-gem-covered stage, a treehouse loft, and — oh, the wondrous whimsicality! — a miniature French café. “It’s going to be a pink explosion,” Dickhout told WJS, “with hearts and bows and crowns and tassels.” For now, Stella must make do with her $6,000 custom-made castle bed.

Read more »

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