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Work & Life

Today show: Alaska mom charged for putting hot sauce in her son’s mouth

An Alaska mom sent video to Dr. Phil's show of herself putting hot sauce in her seven year old son's mouth and forcing him to take a cold shower after he misbehaved. Once the video went viral, Alaska authorities got involved and now mother of six, Jessica Beagley, faces charges. I hesitate to judge another mom because I don't know what the child did and how often she's tried to correct his behavior. Since I absolutely hate hot sauce I can only imagine the terror this child felt as it was poured in his mouth. As a TV journalist with more than a decade of experience covering child abuse and child deaths, I can tell you the fact that this boy was in a house where they could afford to buy hot sauce makes him luckier than a lot of kids. Beagely made several key mistakes. She got angry, mistreated her child, allowed another child to videotape it and then sent it to a nationally televised talk show to ask for help. What she should have done was talk to her son's pediatrician, teacher, child psychologist, family member, trusted friend or neighbor and asked for suggestions on how to correct his behavior. Or she should have at least asked them to watch the tape and offer their opinion on whether she should send it in. It never ceases to amaze me the things people do on camera and think that it's "normal behavior."

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CNN: Oprah’s secret sister; why did Oprah’s mom hide it?

Like millions of Oprah fans I sat glued to the TV Monday afternoon to hear the talk show queen reveal a family secret: she had a half-sister that had been given up for adoption in 1963 and Oprah's mom hid it from everyone. Of course, when you find out your sibling is one of the richest people in the world, like Oprah's half-sister Patricia did, you probably want to celebrate and tell the world. What's shocking is how Patricia kept the secret for approximately four years once DNA test confirmed their connection. All the focus is on Oprah, but I want to dish about her mother, Vernita Lee.

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CNN: Parents open bakery for their disabled daughter and hire others with special needs

I have a niece who is deaf. She's a married working mom with two sons. I have another niece with Down Syndrome who works full-time and has won awards in her local Special Olympics. So people with disabilities have a special place in my heart. I've watched my nieces do things some people might have thought was impossible for them. If they had been born 20 or 30 years earlier, no one would have expected them to work outside the home or support themselves. Thank God that's not the expectation now. That's why tears came to my eyes when I saw this story on CNN about a Florida family who opened Casey's Cookies so their disabled daughter and other young people with special needs could get vital job skills.

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Today Show: Controversial “Chinese Mother” Wall Street Journal article and book by Amy Chua

All over Facebook last week, I saw links to this controversial Wall Street Journal article written about the tough, no nonsense parenting approach Chinese mothers have. It's an excerpt from a book, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother," by Amy Chua. I can imagine some American moms and dads were offended by the viewpoint that we are too lenient on our children and that causes them to fail. I was raised in a pretty tough, no nonsense household by American parents. We had expectations of good behavior and good grades. My parents were also very clear that the front door is where democracy stopped and a loving dictatorship began. You can find lots of articles and blog posts blasting Chua. I'm not going to add to the noise. She's a mom on a mission with books to sell. That's my take on it. Although she's getting criticized left and right, she also knows there's no such thing as bad publicity.

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