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Mom makes son do free yard work for neighbors as punishment for school suspension

A mother’s tough-love approach to her son’s bad behavior at school is getting a lot of praise online.

Shreveport, Louisiana, mom Demetris Payne shared a post on Facebook asking if anyone needed some free yard work, KSLA reports.

>> On HotTopics.TV: Grocery store employee goes above and beyond for boy going through tough time

“My son has been suspended for three days from school for discipline. He will do you lawn service, he will rake your yard, mow if you supply the mower, pick up trash or wash your car for free. Maximum three hours. If anyone has a rake they would like to donate will be awesome,” Payne wrote on Facebook.

Payne said she got a lot of responses to the post.

>> Read more trending news 

“He’s booked up for this weekend,” Payne wrote in the comments section of the post. Videos and photos shared on Facebook show her son working and cleaning up yards.

>> See the photos here

Another video showed Payne’s son mowing a second yard later that day.

>> See the video here

On Tuesday, Payne shared an update, saying her son was back at school.

“Look who’s back at school. Meeting with all his teachers and set up a plan so we can make sure he stays on track,” she wrote.

>> See the post here

People online praised the mom for teaching her son a valuable lesson.

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

“Raising children in this day and age is difficult,” wrote B Lori Watkins. “Great job young man… One day you will thank her for doing this.”

>> See the comment here

Servicemen help pregnant widow of fallen comrade with Veterans Day gender reveal

A military widow got some help from her late husband’s comrades in revealing the gender of the couple’s baby.

>> Watch the video here

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Ryan Lohrey was killed in a military plane crash in Mississippi. The plane was heading from North Carolina to Arizona for a military training, WECT reports.

Ryan had tied the knot with his wife, Cassie, just one month before his death on July 10.

>> On HotTopics.TV: Soldiers help with gender reveal for widow of fallen comrade 

“Our wedding was June 3,” said Cassie. “Just to think your life had completely turned upside down in 24 hours, just nothing you would ever expect.”

Cassie found out she was pregnant just days after Ryan’s July 31 memorial service.

Though she was heartbroken over the loss of her husband, Cassie was excited to welcome a baby.

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

“I knew Ryan wouldn’t leave me alone,” Cassie told CNN. “He wanted me to have a piece of him forever.”

She asked his team members to visit on Veterans Day to help with a gender reveal.

“I wanted to honor her daddy on this special day,” Cassie said. “Veterans Day is a big deal for us every year, but this year it’s extra special.”

Photos and video shared by SaralynJ Photography on Facebook show at least 17 of Ryan’s comrades surrounding Cassie.

>> See the photos here

The Marine and Navy corpsmen released tubes of pink confetti, revealing the exciting news that Cassie was expecting a baby girl.

“There was a lot of crying, a lot of yelling and a lot of hugging,” said photographer Saralyn Johnson told CNN.

>> Read more trending news 

CNN reports the baby girl will be named Ryan Jo Lohrey. She will arrive in March 2018.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the soon-to-be single mom. If you’d like to donate, click here.

>> Watch the news report here

Parents of twins find out they're expecting triplets

A father was shocked when he found out his wife was expecting triplets after welcoming a set of twins.

>> Watch the news report here

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

In addition to the three bundles of joy on the way, Nia and Robert Tolbert of Waldorf, Maryland, have three sons, ABC News reports. The couple welcomed one son, Shai, six years ago. Twin boys Riley and Alexander came next. The twins are now 2 years old.

Nia surprised Robert with the news by placing the sonogram photos in a bag with three onesies.

>> On HotTopics.TV: Watching these twin babies dance will melt your heart

“I opened the bag and I saw a very, very long sonogram,” Robert told ABC News. “Then I saw three onesies in the bag … and they were numbered 1, 2, and 3.”

The couple told WUSA the babies were conceived naturally. Nia learned she hyperovulates, which means her body releases more than one egg during ovulation.

After getting over the initial shock, they said they are excited to welcome the newest members of their family.

>> Read more trending news 

“We live by the mantra of being impeccable with our words. Words have power. The more positivity you speak into your life, the more positivity you’ll get out of it. So we don’t have time to be negative or woe is me or be nervous,” Robert said.

The couple told Inside Edition they’re officially done having kids. They found out in an exciting gender reveal that they are expecting three baby girls, bringing perfect balance to their home — three boys and three girls.

4-year-old best friends believe they're twins, melt hearts: 'They don't see color'

A pair of 4-year-olds who are convinced they’re twins are stealing millions of hearts across the country.

Jia Sarnicola and Zuri Copeland of Miami met at school and became fast friends. Their June birthdays are days apart, and this year, they celebrated with a combined party. Now, they proudly proclaim they’re twins.

>> On HotTopics.TV: Biracial twins who went viral for their looks celebrate a very big milestone 

“They have very strong personalities and are both super outgoing, well-spoken, intelligent and not afraid to tell you what they want. They hit it off right away,” Jia’s mom, Ashley Riggs Sarnicola, told ABC News.

Zuri’s mom agreed.

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

“It is unbelievable. They connected very well immediately,” mom Valencia Copeland said. “It was amazing how they’ve gelled together.”

Jia is blonde and white, and Zuri has black hair and is African-American.

“They don’t see color. We’ve never talked to them about it, period,” Sarnicola said.

Photos shared to Instagram show both girls’ families enjoying outings together, such as concerts and playdates.

On Facebook, Sarnicola shared a story about an incident that happened at a recent birthday party that proved the strength of the girls’ bond.

Sarnicola explained that Jia started crying because a little girl told her that she and Zuri weren’t really twins.

>> Read more trending news

Jia quickly told her, “You don’t know anything because we have the same birthday and the same soul,” Sarnicola wrote on Facebook. “When she said that, it took me aback. It was so sweet.”

How to explain gun violence to children after the Texas church shooting

Last month, Jane Ripperger-Suhler, a child psychiatrist at the Texas Child Study Center in Seton, had this advice for parents about how much they should say about a deadly mass shooting, such as the one in Las Vegas or the one in Sutherland Springs.

Be careful about who is watching with TV with you and how you explain it, she advises.

>> PHOTOS: Dozens dead, wounded in Texas church shooting

“It really depends on the developmental level of the kids,” she says. Consider how you think your children will take what they see on TV, she says. “I wouldn’t watch a lot with preschooler.”

For kids already in school, you can watch some with them, but be prepared to talk about it and answer their questions. You can ask things like: “What do you think about this?” “What questions do you have?” Gage if they want to talk about it, but, she says, “I wouldn’t force them to talk about this.”

>> Mass shooting at Texas church: Live updates

Explain things in the simplest yet factual way you can. You could say, “A man shot some people at a concert. I guess he was upset about something,” she says. Or in this case: “A man walked into a church and shot people.”

You can focus on how you are feeling, that you’re upset and that you also don’t understand why this happened, but be careful about how you are reacting. “If a parent swoons or becomes frantic, a child is going to do likewise.”

>> Devin Patrick Kelley: What we know about the alleged Sutherland Springs Baptist Church shooter

Most importantly, remind kids that they are safe; that you will keep them safe, and when they are at school, their teachers will keep them safe.

If your child seems to be fixated on what happened in these shootings, you could encourage them to draw, build something or act something out if they don’t want to talk about it.

>> On Statesman.com: Complete coverage of the Sutherland Springs church shooting

If they don’t seem to be able to move on after a few days, are afraid to go to school, are too scared to go to bed, are having physical symptoms of stress or behavior problems, get them help sooner rather than later, Ripperger-Suhler says.

Be especially aware if a child has experience a trauma before. Watching this scene on TV will not cause post-traumatic stress disorder, she says, but it can be more traumatic and disturbing to some kids.

>> Read more trending news 

Ripperger-Suhler says it’s important to go about normal life. And for many families, that normal life may mean going to church on a Sunday.

If your children express some fear about it, reassure them that you will keep them safe.

Girls with nagging moms grow up to be more successful, study says

Did your mom often nag you about homework and chores as a child? 

Her fussing may be the root of your success, according to a report

>> Read more trending news

Researchers from the University of Essex in England conducted an experiment to determine how a girl’s upbringing can affect her life as an adult.

To do so, they examined the lives of about 15,000 girls between the ages of 13 and 14, following them between the years of 2004 and 2010.

After analyzing the results, they found that daughters with stricter parents were more likely to attend college and snag higher-paying jobs. They were also less likely to become teen moms. In fact, parents with high expectations were believed to reduce a teenager’s chance of becoming pregnant by 4 percent, compared to those with “middling aspirations.”

On the other hand, the scientists correlated less pushy moms and dads with poorer grades among kids as well as low-earning wages and unemployment. 

“In many cases, we succeeded in doing what we believed was more convenient for us, even when this was against our parents’ will,” said lead researcher Ericka Rascon-Ramirez. “But no matter how hard we tried to avoid our parents’ recommendations, it is likely that they ended up influencing, in a more subtle manner, choices that we had considered extremely personal.”

Researchers presented their findings at the Royal Economic Society Conference in the U.K. Want to learn more about the findings? Read additional details at the Daily Mail

Dad is just as emotional as his newborn as baby gets vaccinations

This is the story we all need when life is getting you down.

As almost any parent will tell you, it is horrible to see your child in pain, no matter if it is an accident or something that will be beneficial to them later, like vaccinations.

One dad has shown that he fully understands what his little boy is going through and he’s using the viral video, which has more than 12 million views, to get a message across to all fathers: Be in your child’s life.

>> Read more trending news

Antwon Lee took his son Debais to his two-month checkup. During the visit, the baby had to get his latest vaccinations and the first-time dad was just as worried as his son.

Lee told the Cox Media Group National Content Desk that he had no idea the video was being recorded during his son’s doctor’s visit.

You can hear him talking to him, telling Debais, “You’re gonna stay strong,” and, “It’s OK to cry,” as Debais looks to hang on dad’s every word. After being transferred to the exam table, Lee and Debais clutch hands as the inevitable comes, both the shots and the tears that follow.

As Debais starts crying from the shock of the shots, Lee also starts to break down in between giving his son some tender kisses to take the pain away.

After the trauma to both dad and son was over, Lee scooped up Debais, telling him, “They did you wrong. I know. I know. They did you wrong.”

While 12 million views could have meant money for Lee, he would rather not license the viral video and said that he’s overwhelmed with the response to the clip, telling the National Content Desk, “My spirit is [worth] way more than money.”

“I gotta jump on my knees because God has blessed me with my child. It’s a beautiful thing,” Lee said. “I pray [that] all the fathers need to be in their child’s life.”

Dad's Ben Affleck-inspired Halloween costume sparks outrage from other parents

A Nebraska man sparked backlash after a parent posted a picture of his costume in a Facebook group.

>> See the photo here

According to KETV, the ordeal began when Hugo Mendoza wore a black, hooded robe while holding a duffel bag and a toy gun — the orange cap indicating that it was fake was missing — while attending the Monster Mash Bash with his girlfriend and daughters at Oak View Mall in Omaha. Desirae Anson, who was attending the event with her children, recalled that family members told her “You know, we should probably go,” believing that a shooting was about to take place. A picture Anson later posted of Mendoza in a Facebook group received about 800 reactions and 500 comments.

>> On Rare.us: Married couple who survived the Las Vegas massacre has met a sad end

Mendoza defended himself to KMTV, saying he was simply wearing a costume inspired by “The Town,” a 2010 movie starring Ben Affleck which depicted bank robbers.

"I mean, if it was something bad, why would they sell it? I was there to have a good time with my daughters and my girlfriend. I wasn’t there to scare little kids or make people feel uncomfortable," he said.

Anson held her ground, saying that she couldn’t tell if the gun was real or fake. Others in attendance, including Amber Hall, also voiced discomfort as the scene reminded them of the Van Maur shooting, which occurred at Westroads Mall in 2007.

>> Read more trending news

“In 2007, I was going through the Omaha Police Department recruit academy and, as part of that, we watched the mall, the Von Maur shooting,” Hall recalled. “The videos, the radio calls, since then even now, that’s all that’s ringing through my head.”

Oak View Mall and Westroads Mall owner GGP has since said that it did “not allow any form of mask, prop or costume deemed inappropriate or offensive.” The Omaha World-Herald attempted to contact mall security about the incident, but the person who answered the phone could not comment.

WATCH: Florida police, firefighters dance to 'Thriller' for Teal Pumpkin Project

Officers and firefighters in one Florida city are showing off their dance moves in a viral video to raise awareness about food allergies this Halloween.

>> Watch the video here

According to WTSP, the Tarpon Springs police and fire departments re-created Michael Jackson's "Thriller" music video for the Teal Pumpkin Project. The annual campaign by Food Allergy Research & Education aims to make Halloween "more fun and inclusive for millions of children with food allergies and other dietary restrictions," according to its website. Participants place a teal pumpkin on their doorstep and offer non-food treats like toys to trick-or-treaters. Learn more here.

>> Read more trending news

The police and fire departments also are raising money for the nonprofit CURED, the Campaign Urging Research for Eosinophilic Disease. According to a police press release, "many children with Eosinophilic diseases cannot eat or ingest food orally." To make a donation, visit the foundation's website here.

Opioid crisis: Parents share emotional story of childhood friends who overdosed on same day

Parents of two Gwinnett County, Georgia, teenagers are warning others about the fast and easy way kids are getting their hands on powerful drugs.

>> Watch the news report here

Earlier this year, 18-year-old Dustin Manning and 19-year-old Joseph Abraham died just hours apart.

Manning and Abraham were Little League teammates and knew each other when they were younger.

Their parents said they hadn’t been in touch in years, but their lives took similar paths.

Both men started using drugs in middle school, and they both spent time in drug treatment centers.

>> Read more trending news

It was only after they died that their lives connected again. 

“I never thought that I’d never get to see him grow old,” Joe Abraham’s mother, Kathi Abraham, said.

Their parents believe they bought the same toxic mix of heroin and fentanyl. Police said it appears the teens bought the drugs from the same dealer.

“They said it happened within 20-30 seconds after he sniffed it, he was gone,” Dustin Manning’s mother, Lisa Manning, said.

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