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Trending Topic: Celebrity Parents Get Publicly Criticized

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Football star David Beckham took to Instagram Monday after receiving criticism for his parenting skills.

“Why do people feel they have the right to criticize a parent about their own children without having any facts??” the father-of-four, 40, fired back against an unflattering article, claiming his 4-year-old daughter Harper should not still be using a pacifier.

“Everybody who has children knows that when they aren’t feeling well or have a fever you do what comforts them best and most of the time it’s a pacifier so those who criticize think twice about what you say about other people’s children because actually you have no right to criticize me as a parent,” the protective papa continued.

On Sunday, The Daily Mail posted a photo of David walking with his preschooler, who was using a pacifier.

The article goes on to claim that parents should not allow 4-year-old children to use a pacifier, as this could delay a child’s speech and possibly damage their teeth.

But the Beckhams aren’t the only ones who’ve received criticism for their parenting.

Katie Holmes & Tom Cruise‘s daughter Suri was seen using a pacifier at the age of 5. (Not to mention her fancy for heels and lipstick).

And who could forget when The King of Queens star Leah Remini was trying to wean her 3 1/2-year-old daughter off the bottle?! The people certainly had a lot to say about that!

My two bits? Leave these parents alone! I could care less who uses bottles over breast, pacifiers over self-soothing, and at what age kids are using any particular item. Mind your business, and try to embrace that everyone is doing the best they can.

The “Mommy Wars” must end! No?

SOUND OFF: What do you think about the media criticizing celebrity parents?

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#EveryAugustUntilACure ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

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Got ice?

“What happened last summer was historical,” Pat Quinn, co-founder of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge says in a new YouTube video.

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Along with Anthony and Jeanette Senerchia and Pete Frates, Quinn and his co-founders tell the story of how the #ALSIceBucketChallenge became a global phenomenon last summer.

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“Your mind is not affected at all, and yet your body is just completely shutting down and there’s nothing you can do about it,” Jeanette explains the devastating disease while sitting next to her husband who is living with ALS.

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As a newlywed, Anthony was diagnosed with the deadly disease which has “no hope, no cure, no nothing.”

Jeanette started the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by sending it off to three of her girlfriends …and the rest is history.

After the Senerchias sent it off to Pete Frates, it went viral: week one, Boston media; week two, national media; week three, celebrities; week four, global.

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“The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge created some hope,” Quinn says. “This August, every August, please help us do it again.”

Before you start rolling your eyes, please consider dumping a bucket of ice cold water on your heads — again.

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I fully support the #EveryAugustUntilACure campaign — and I will continue to do so every August until there is a cure for this horrible disease.

My father died of ALS in 1997 at the age of 54. Often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Basically, it’s a death sentence. While many medical professionals call it one of the worst ways to die, ALS traps a person’s mind and soul into a motionless body.

I was only 18 when my dad was handed his fatal diagnosis, and I have written about my personal experience with the horrible disease.

There is no cure. There is no hope. There is only a degenerative disease that traps a person’s mind and soul into a motionless body until they die.

And honestly, this is the first time I’ve felt hope since that dreaded day 22 years ago. Although my dad lost his battle 18 years ago, it’s been my dream to help in the search for a cure. Perhaps this silly Ice Bucket Challenge, and, maybe even this article, will help in increased awareness and hope for families currently living with this devastating disease. Awareness is key, and I’m more than happy to be part of this movement.

So here we go again. Check out my 2015 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in support of the #EveryAugustUntilACure campaign. I challenge all my friends and family to take the Ice Bucket Challenge again this year. Together, we can help raise awareness for ALS and bring hope to those suffering from this disease.

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Teacher punishes kid because of his religious beliefs

An Indiana teacher at Forest Park Elementary School is under fire for keeping a 7-year-old segregated from the rest of the class for three days after getting the kid to admit he doesn’t believe in God.

Yes, you read that right. Yes, it sounds really terrible.

The kid’s parents are suing the Fort Wayne, Indiana school district for the child’s “banishment” as the suit calls it, which lasted for three days.

The Washington Post has published a copy of the lawsuit and the details, if proven, should bother anyone who believes in religious freedom and the separation of church and state in the United States.

The kid’s parents are suing the Fort Wayne, Indiana school district for the child’s “banishment” as the suit calls it, which lasted for three days.

The Washington Post has published a copy of the lawsuit and the details, if proven, should bother anyone

The story goes like this. The kid, who is identified in the suit by the initials A. B., was out on the playground with his friends when he told them that he didn’t believe in God and didn’t go to church. The teacher, Michelle Meyer heard about the boy’s statements later and proceeded to interrogate him.

“Ms. Meyer asked A.B. if he had told the girl that he did not believe in God and A.B. said he had and asked what he had done wrong,” the suit says. “Ms. Meyer asked A.B. if he went to church, whether his family went to church, and whether his mother knew how he felt about God… She also asked A.B. if he believed that maybe God exists.”

Once the boy admitted his family’s religious beliefs, the teacher told the boy he couldn’t interact with any of the other kids, even making him sit by himself at lunch for the next three days.

More: Drunk teacher has worst first day of school EVER

If singling out the kid for ridicule doesn’t sound cruel enough, the teacher went farther still and sent the little boy to speak to another adult at the school, which according to the suit, “reinforced his feeling that he had done something very wrong.”

What a horrible excuse for a teacher, a Christian and a human being this Ms. Meyer is, if these allegations are true. The school district certainly isn’t denying any of it.

Ms. Meyer, let’s get a few things straight.

First, you are a public school teacher. There’s no God in public school. You are not a member of the clergy; you are a servant of the government entrusted to give students a secular education. If you don’t have enough self-control to know when your fervent religious beliefs are appropriate and when they’re not, you have no place in a classroom. Go work at the church.

More: How to deal with a lousy teacher

Second, a 7-year-old kid doesn’t really have religious beliefs, his family does. A kid doesn’t choose whether his parents worship Allah or Joseph Smith, so why don’t you preach at them and pick on someone your own size?

Third, psychologists say social isolation at school is a form of bullying. Not something a teacher should be involved in with a 7-year-old baby who needs guidance and nurturing rather than the hysterical judgement of some church lady run amok.

Finally, it doesn’t take a religious scholar to know that Jesus probably wouldn’t be that impressed with a teacher bullying a little boy.

Here’s hoping the family wins this lawsuit and sends a message once and for all to Ms. Meyer and teachers like her who twist and use their authority over children to indoctrinate them into the church. That time is probably much better spent on math.

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Chinese Mother Heroically Sacrifices Self To Save Son

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By now, perhaps you’ve viewed the startling footage of Xiang Liujuan‘s death. The 31-year-old Chinese woman heroically saved her son’s life before she died in an escalator accident. As it turns out, the horrific incident was caught on tape, and the footage marked as “graphic content” has gone viral.

While the clip can be easily found online, I won’t be sharing the link. I don’t feel right about posting the moment a toddler witnesses his mother’s gruesome death.

No judgement if you want to google the footage, but I don’t want to exploit this woman any further than she has already been. An innocent trip to the mall ended her life — and now the whole world can see her final moments. Not sure this is how I’d want to be remembered.

Can you imagine how this will affect her son’s life? When he grows older, he’ll be able to find the footage and re-witness his mother’s death. I can’t even imagine the horror.

So instead of providing a link to the brutal footage, I’d like to pay tribute to this heroic woman. In her final moments, she selflessly sacrificed herself to save her son’s life. May she rest in peace, and here’s wishing her entire family my deepest condolences.

And my message for her sweet son: I hope you are able to find peace and happiness in life regardless of this childhood trauma. Perhaps this article will one day come across your desk as you search for footage on your mother. If so, please know that her bravery and courage will not soon be forgotten.

R.I.P Xiang Liujuan.

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It Went Viral: Couple Meets Adopted Daughter For The First Time

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Need a hump day pick-me-up?

On July 21, Sarah and David Olson received the phone call that would change their lives forever. After a nearly year-long adoption process, the Minnesota couple’s baby girl, Tilly Pearl, had been born.

The couple – who are also parents to sons, Zakary, 6, Levi, 3 – hired professional photographer Kristen Prosser to take shots of the first memorable moments with their daughter.

“I have always wanted to photograph the first meeting of an adopted baby,” Prosser wrote on her Facebook page. “This week, I got to be a part of this incredible moment with one of my best friends! She found out Tuesday afternoon about this baby. Early Wednesday morning, we flew to Florida. Wednesday afternoon, the baby was official theirs and in the arms of their new mom and dad! It was one of the most special moments of my life, I was so privileged to watch this all unfold. What a perfect example of unconditional and sacrificial love. Meet Tilly Pearl.”

One of the images shows the couple anxiously awaiting to meet their daughter.

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In another precious pic, the overjoyed parents are seen approaching Tilly’s bassinet as they lay eyes on her for the first time.

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In a series of shots, the couple are seen overwhelmed with emotion as they meet their newborn daughter. The heartwarming photos have since gone viral with more than 30,000 shares on Prosser’s Facebook page.

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“Both of Sarah’s pregnancies were brutal. Neither of our pregnancies were easy,” David tells PEOPLE. “We suffered the loss of a miscarriage but still trusted and felt like our family was not yet complete.”

While they had been trying to conceive a third child, Sarah suggested adoption. David agreed, and after four potential matches that ended in disappointment, they received the call they had been waiting for.

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“Our consultant Katie called, she said, ‘Are you ready for a miracle? If you say yes to this situation, the baby is yours!’ ” Sarah shares.

Continue looking through the precious Olson family photos. We’re thrilled to hear Tilly found her forever family.

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Photo credit: KRISTEN ANNE PHOTOGRAPHY

Rape Culture Will Not Silence These 35 Women

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No one wants to believe it, but it’s true.

Everyone’s favorite TV dad, Bill Cosby, is allegedly a serial rapist. The cardigan-wearing funnyman has reportedly been drugging and raping women for decades. In the past when a woman has disclosed her story of sexual assault by the Jell-O loving comedian, Cosby’s legal term has swiftly moved into damage control, and the public’s memory has quickly faded.

But the women will not be silenced.

“I told my supervisor at the Playboy Club what he did to me, and you know what she said to me? She said: ‘You do know that that’s Hefner’s best friend, right?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ She says to me: ‘Nobody’s going to believe you. I suggest you shut your mouth.’ ” —PJ Masten

On Sunday, thirty five (!) women shared their stories of sexual assault at the hands of TV’s favorite father with New York Magazine. In the ’60s, when the first alleged assault by Cosby occurred, rape was defined as violence committed by a stranger. Acquaintance rape, or date rape, was not recognized.

“I didn’t realize that I had been raped. Back then, rape was done in an alleyway with somebody holding a knife to your throat that you didn’t know. There was no date rape back then. I just knew that something horrible had happened. But I couldn’t put a name to it. The difference between this and that rape in the dark alley is that his face would be before me every week on TV. People would mention a joke that he said: ‘Wasn’t that funny?’ And all the while, my stomach would just be churning.” —Joan Tarshis

While society has come to accept the notion of date rape, some people are still refusing to believe these THIRTY FIVE women.

“Eighteen is very young. It took me a long, long time to come to terms with the fact that it was him, it wasn’t me. Life has not been easy for me. I had addiction problems as I got older.” —Linda Joy Traitz

And it’s not just Cosby! Die hard fans of 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar continue to rally behind the 27-year-old reality star who sexually assaulted several young girls — two of whom are his sisters — when he was a teen.

“Listen, he was America’s favorite dad. I went into this thinking he was going to be my dad. To wake up half-dressed and raped by the man that said he was going to love me like a father? That’s pretty sick. It was hard for America to digest when this came out. And a lot of backlash and a lot denial and a lot of anger.” —Barbara Bowman

While we’ve come a long way fighting for women’s rights, the public’s ongoing refusal to believe women who disclose sexual assault is reflective of our rape culture.

What is rape culture, you ask?

Rape culture is a society which blames the victim, objectifies women and denies the widespread problem of sexual assault and violence against women and girls.

MORE: How To Raise Loving Boys In Today’s Culture?

While this might sound like a lot of liberal mumbo jumbo, something is broken in our society when young girls think feminism is a bad word and society still says females are ‘asking for it’ when they wear skimpy clothes or flirt with the opposite sex.

Here’s wishing peace and healing to these 35 women who bravely came forward with their painful memories. And for anyone out there struggling to come forward, here’s hoping these courageous women have inspired you to reach out for help.

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Photo credit: New York magazine