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Mom fires back on internet haters after she colors her daughter's hair

A Florida mom is coming under fire after she decided to give her daughter the hairstyle of the child's dreams.

Mary Thomaston, who is a colorist by trade, dyed her 6-year-old daughter's hair, giving the girl what's called "unicorn hair," The Huffington Post reported.

>> Read more trending stories 

Thomaston's daughter Lyra had been asking for the pastel-colored dye job that includes long teal locks, and a purple sun shaved on the right side of her hair.

A photo posted by Mary Thomaston (@marythomaston) on Aug 21, 2016 at 6:29pm PDT

Thomaston received hundreds of responses to the post of her daughter's hair, many in support of allowing Lyra be unique, but some people took to the web to complain that a child shouldn't have her hair dyed, even saying that it was dangerous, TampaBay.com reported.

Thomaston said that she used hair color that will wash out and that she was not harmed during the coloring process, using products from Manic Panic N.Y.C., which bills itself as alternative hair color.

Viral photos of man grabbing girl's hair in Walmart spark controversy

Police in Texas are investigating after a concerned shopper at a Cleveland Walmart shared several photos on social media of a man grabbing a child's hair.

>> Watch the news report from KPRC

According to Houston's KPRC, Erika Burch took several photos Monday after she saw the man "dragging this little girl by the hair" in the store.

Another witness, Ora Schumann, told KPRC that the man became angry with the girl "because she wasn't standing right next to the basket."

Burch said the girl told the man, "Please stop. I promise I won't do it again. Please stop!"

>> Read more trending stories

Burch said that when she confronted the man, he told her, "You need to mind your own business."

She later called police and shared her photos on Facebook.

>> See one of the images here

Posted by Erika Burch on Monday, September 19, 2016

"It just so happened a cop was in Walmart," Burch wrote in the post, which has been shared more than 115,000 times. "He came running as we are exchanging terrible words with this [expletive]!"

Burch wrote that the officer's sergeant said they couldn't arrest the man "because there were no visible bruises, nor was her hair missing."

Burch added, "The sergeant ... said, 'He has the right to discipline his children."

Cleveland police said they are investigating the incident.

"The Cleveland Police Department has received numerous calls in regards to a child having her hair pulled last night at Cleveland Walmart," the department wrote on its Facebook page. "We want to assure the community this case is currently being investigated by our Detective Division. CPS has been contacted per our policy and is also investigating this case. A joint investigation is currently being conducted by both agencies."

>> See the post here

The Cleveland Police Department has received numerous calls in regards to a child having her hair pulled last night at...Posted by Cleveland Police Department on Tuesday, September 20, 2016

KPRC reports that nobody has been charged.

Meanwhile, the images sparked heated discussions on social media.

>> Click here or scroll down to see what people were saying

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Son pays tribute to late father with tongue-in-cheek obituary

A Texas man's tongue-in-cheek obituary is making headlines for its references to "his rickety old body" and love of scotch. 

According to Houston's KPRC, after 74-year-old Howard Wayne Neal of Lolita died Sept. 11, his son, Eric, decided to pay a humorous tribute to his late father, known as Wayne.

>> Georgia man died 'not wanting to witness' 2016 election results

"Wayne Neal has exited his rickety old body, having lived twice as long as he expected and way longer then [sic] he deserved," Eric Neal wrote in his father's obituary, which appeared in the Victoria Advocate. "He often wished in his later years that he had not treated his body like a Tavern [sic]."

>> Children honor father with unique, offbeat obituary

Eric described his dad as "a modest man who very seldom bragged about all of his treasures on Facebook."

"By the Way [sic], who the hell taught him about Facebook?" Eric wrote.

>> Read more trending stories

Wayne also "had a passion for old cars, scotch, his construction company, scotch, travel and oh yeah scotch. Did we mention scotch?" Eric wrote.

>> Two women compete with obituaries of the same man

Wayne "is survived by his favorite son Buddy and another kid, some grandchildren, a few more great grandchildren, a trilogy of brothers, and one sister," Eric added. KPRC reports that Buddy was Wayne's dog.

>> Read the entire obituary here

​Posted by Wayne Neal on Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mother says 11-year-old son died mimicking prank YouTube video

A Georgia mother says her son mimicked a “hang myself” prank video on YouTube and accidentally killed himself.

Cantenecia Stokes of East Point said she was horrified to see her 11-year-old son hanging from a rope in his bedroom closet last Saturday morning.

“I lost my baby because of something he didn’t know really completely about,” Stokes said.

She told WSB-TV’s Matt Johnson that Aundreis Bass accidentally hanged himself after watching prank videos about hanging on YouTube.

That's what his three younger siblings told her as they watched him hang himself while their mother was making them breakfast.

Stokes said they told her he wasn't breathing, and she ran to cut him down and call 911.

>> Read more trending stories

“I got a (breath) and that was it, and I panicked because I still wasn’t getting a response,” Stokes said.

She says her first-born child had every reason to live.

He loved drawing, listening to music and basketball.

She later found out he didn't want to follow through with what he had done.

“He panicked and he was trying to take himself out, and he didn’t know if you pull you're only worsening, it's tightening,” Stokes said.

He was pronounced dead four days later at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.

Now Stokes says she is not letting her other children use the internet unsupervised.

“It's gotten to the point where it's taking away our kids,” Stokes said.

She wants other parents to know about the type of disturbing videos that their children may be watching.

“I just don’t want nobody else to have to suffer what I went through,” Stokes said.

Children get their intelligence from their mothers, report says

A new report said we may get most of our smarts from our mothers.

>> Read more trending stories  

The report, documented by Jennifer Delgado, of the blog Psychology Spot, said that recent studies have pointed to intelligence in children coming from the mother rather than the father. According to Delgado, the basis of the thesis comes from "conditioned genes," or ones that "behave differently depending on their origin," which work "only if they come from the mother."

Delgado said that about half of one's intelligence is hereditary and that the best predictor of intelligence was the IQ of the child's mother. She cited studies she said were conducted by the University of Ulm, Germany, and the University of Cambridge, and identified a study that found that "the ratio of young people's intelligence varied only an average of 15 points from that of their mothers."

The report also cites a study conducted by the University of Minnesota that found that "children who have developed a strong attachment with their mothers develop a capacity of playing complex symbolic games at the age of two, are most persevering, and show less frustration during the troubleshooting."

Delgado's report is unconfirmed.

Read more at Psychology Spot.

'Sit With Us' app finds lunch buddies for lonely children

A new app created by a 16-year-old California girl aims to make sure no child eats his or her school lunch alone.

>> Read more trending stories  

Natalie Hampton developed the idea for the Sit With Us app, which launched Sept. 9, to help students find kindness and welcoming groups with whom to eat in school lunchrooms across the country.

"Lunch might seem really small, but I think these are the small steps that make a school more inclusive," Hampton told the Washington Post. "It doesn't seem like you're asking that much, but once you get people in the mindset, it starts to change the way students think about each other. It makes a huge difference in how they treat each other."

The now-high school junior told the Los Angeles Daily News that she was inspired to create the app after she ate lunch alone for her entire seventh-grade school year. She said the experience made her feel lonely and vulnerable and made her a target for bullying, which lasted into her eight-grade year.

Hampton told the Daily News that she suffered from nightmares, stress and depression as a result of the bullying, and at one point, she was hospitalized for health issues.

>>Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news  

"I was a shell of the person I was. When I walked into a classroom, I was planning an escape route," Hampton said.

The app allows students to connect with other students at their schools, chat with other users to coordinate a lunch, post featured lunches for others to join and search for lunches nearby.

Users create a profile, add friends and describe their interests. Users have the option to designate themselves as "ambassadors" who create "open lunch" events and invite others to join them. The open lunch events serve as go-aheads for all interested students to join the ambassadors' table.

"Sit With Us was born because I am committed to making sure that other kids don't suffer as I did. I believe that seemingly small, incremental changes in the overall dynamic of a school community can bring about change, so that everyone feels welcome and included, " Hampton wrote on the app's official website. "I believe that every school has upstanders like me, who are happy and willing to invite anyone to join the lunch table. It is my hope, with people pledging to be ambassadors at their schools, that no one will feel left out."

Hampton said the new app is especially helpful because the electronic process prevents children from being publicly rejected and being considered social outcasts by their peers. 

"This way it's very private. It's through the phone. No one else has to know," Hampton told Audie Cornish on NPR's "All Things Considered." "And you know that you're not going to be rejected once you get to the table."

The Sit With Us app is free and recommended for children of middle school age and older.

Boy with brain cancer gets wish, becomes boss of John Deere for a day

A dream became reality for a 4-year-old farmer-in-training with brain cancer.

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>> Watch the news report from KWWL

According to KWWL, Aiden Remme of Brewster, Minnesota, has been fighting a brain tumor since his diagnosis earlier this year. Despite undergoing chemotherapy, Aiden's tumor has grown. 

The news was hard for Aiden.

"One of his big things he was worried about was that he wasn't going to be able to combine with his papa," his mother, Tracy Remme, told KWWL. "He loves farming."

>> Read more trending stories

Touched by Aiden's story, staffers at John Deere invited Aiden to Waterloo, Iowa, to become boss of the manufacturing company for a day.

Aiden even got to wear "a special hat that said 'the boss' and a little ID that said his name on it," Tracy Remme said. "He was pretty excited."

Read more here.

>> See a photo from Aiden's visit 

Mother fights gender stereotypes with a line of suits for girls

Gabi Yulo was just a toddler when she announced that she wanted a “tornado,” her mother, Michele Yulo said. That was three-year-old speak for a tuxedo. Gabi also had a love of ties and bow ties and often wore them around her neck paired with a t-shirt.

Michele Yulo, 51, searched all over for a suit that would fit her daughter, but came up empty-handed. She eventually hit the boy’s department to purchase a tuxedo. Gabi wore it to her violin recital with a pair of Michael Jordan high-tops and her hair pulled back in a ponytail.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

Yulo realized her daughter, now an 11-year-old middle schooler, just wasn’t a princess and pink loving type of girl.

“She is gender non-conforming,” Yulo said. “She has never ascribed to princess culture or girly, ultra feminine things. But I tell her, it doesn’t make her less of a girl.”

When Gabi was younger, she was confused about her choices. “She didn’t see a lot of options and didn’t see a lot of girls like her at the time,” Yulo said.

When Gabi was in pre-K she preferred playing with the firetrucks rather than in the play-kitchen. When she was six, she got a buzz cut. “I had to say to her I’m okay with it but you are going to walk out the door and people are going to say things,” said Yulo.

Yulo decided she would do something to help her daughter and all the other girls who wanted something different from what society was offering.

In 2008, Yulo sold her wedding ring and created Princess Free Zone, a website, blog and brand that makes gender neutral t-shirts with designs such as a dinosaur on a scooter or an octopus with a mustache. But what Yulo really wanted was to create a line of suits with separates that girls could mix and match to get the look they want. The clothing would be sized for girls’ bodies and would prevent girls from ever again having to shop for ill-fitting suits in the boy’s department.

Her first effort at fundraising came up short, but Yulo thinks the time is right to try again.

There has been a lot of attention devoted to creating gender-neutrality among children from the gender-free toy aisles at Target to ED by Ellen, a line of gender-neutral clothing that Ellen DeGeneres created for the Gap.

Related: Target to launch gender-neutral bedding line for kids

Yulo noted one moment in particular that seemed to change the landscape — a 2011 image featuring J.Crew president and creative director Jenna Lyons’ holding her son, Beckett’s toes, which were painted with his favorite hot pink Essie nail polish.

Yulo now has a campaign on Indiegogo with which she hopes to raise $22,000 for prototyping and clothing samples that can be photographed on actual models.

“I don’t want to give up,” said Yulo. “The idea is to open up those options to reflect that not all girls like dresses.”

Yulo is working with a designer and manufacturer in New York who have helped her create plans for three different suit styles — a casual suit, a dressier style and a tuxedo — for girls ages 5 through 12. For each suit style, there will be skirt, short and pant options to pair with the jackets. Yulo has also planned a collection of ties. Long-term, she hopes to add cargo pants and button down shirts to the mix.

Though it is early to have an exact retail price, Yulo said she would like the suits to be in the range of $125 total for the top and bottom.

“I want this to be very high quality,” she said. “I want to be sure they are how I want them to look and feel. I don’t want them to be cheap or to fall apart after a couple of wears.”

It is a big endeavor for a working mom who has not had previous experience in manufacturing, but Yulo is hopeful that the project will resonate with other moms who have had a similar experience.

“It is adorable when you are five or six, but when you are 12, it is no longer cute for girls to be in boys clothes,” she said. “I have seen my daughter struggle with this and I know there are plenty of kids out there who would love to try something different. I feel like kids shouldn’t be pigeonholed by what they wear.”

Barbie really does make girls want to be thin, study finds

Many have suspected that the body shape of dolls can impact what girls think of their own bodies.

Now, new research in the September issue of Body Image – an international, peer-reviewed journal that publishes scientific articles on body image and human physical appearance – confirms what they've always believed to be true.

The study, conducted among 6- to 8-year-old girls, revealed that girls who played with thin dolls desired thinner body shapes even after just a few minutes of playtime.

When girls played with full-figured dolls, it suppressed their desire for thin body shapes.

One group of 112 girls was randomly exposed to one of four conditions — thin Barbie dolls (not the new ones introduced earlier this year) or full-figured Tracy dolls dressed in a swimsuit or modest clothing.

>> Read more trending stories

A second group of 112 girls was exposed to one of four conditions containing unfamiliar dolls of different body size (thin versus full-figured) and in different types of dress (modest versus swimsuit).

“Girls who played with full-figured dolls showed less body dissatisfaction after doll exposure compared to girls who played with thin dolls. Playing with unrealistically thin dolls may encourage motivation for a thinner shape in young girls,” according to the study's abstract.

Mattel, the makers of Barbie dolls, already discovered the wisdom in making dolls with more realistic body types. In January, the company released Barbie dolls with three new body types: petite, curvy and tall.

The new study comes at a time when body image is top of mind.

During New York Fashion Week, which runs through Sept. 15, fashion expert Tim Gunn criticized the American fashion industry for turning its back on plus-size women.

Designer Christian Siriano was one of the few designers to send plus-size fashions down the runway during fashion week.

Siriano — who has recently signed on to design a second collection for specialty-size retailer Lane Bryant — cast five models size 12 and up in his show and subsequently earned kudos for having the most diverse runway of the season.

Sailor gives birth on carrier in Persian Gulf

A Navy ship had a stowaway of sorts on Sunday.

A sailor checked into the medical clinic of the Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier suffering from stomach pains, the Navy Times reported.

It turns out that she was pregnant and didn't know it. 

>> Read more trending stories  

Hours later, Navy medical staff delivered a healthy 7-pound baby girl in the middle of the Persian Gulf.

Mother and baby are doing well, a Navy spokesperson said.

And since the closest Babies R Us is thousands of miles from the ship, the Eisenhower had to fly in diapers, formula and an incubator to help care for the baby, the Navy Times reported.

Sailors who find out they're expecting would not deploy or would leave an operational command once they hit 20 weeks.

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