Written on November 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm , by Christina Tynan-Wood
Being a parent has gotten pretty technical. Our kids are immersed in a world of online learning, social media, cyberbullying and Internet addiction. All of it comes to their impressionable minds through a limitless, invisible signal. I’m a fan of that signal. Much of what rides in on it is incredibly enriching. For example, my son’s knowledge of ancient history—a subject rarely taught in any of his schools—well exceeds that of most adults I know. This is because he has a curious mind and has known how to tap that signal to satisfy his curiosity since I showed him how to do a Google search when he was 4. But some of what comes in over that signal is too mature, violent, dangerous or distracting for a young mind. And all of it needs to be turned off regularly so that mind can pursue activities in the real world.
I have two teens, and I’ve struggled with managing the signal throughout their lives. I know I’m not alone. In fact, a recent Microsoft survey found that, overwhelmingly, parents let their children use technology (specifically computers and gaming devices) unsupervised starting at the age of 8. Is that because parents don’t want to supervise their kids or because supervision is a technical nightmare? I’m going with the latter. That’s why I’ve taken advantage of my access to high-tech companies to harass, cajole, badger and wheedle them to build better tools to help parents manage the information that comes in through the signal. But until yesterday, the tool I’ve been asking for has been in short supply.
I feel pretty strongly that control over this signal has to happen—first—at the Wi-Fi router. If it doesn’t, I have to install something on every device my kids use, which—at least in my house—is difficult to negotiate. While I don’t mind getting technical to install a router, I don’t think consumers should have to. So I want a router that’s plug-it-in-and-use-it simple. Next, I want it to let me assign my daughter’s tablet, computer and phone to rules that apply to her alone, not to individual pieces of hardware. In her case, I want to shut off the signal after her bedtime and set an appropriate age restriction on content. I also want separate rules, adjusted for his age, for my son. But when one of my teens goes rogue and blows off chores or gives me attitude when I ask for help with dinner, I want to be able to quickly and easily, amid the fray of family life, change those rules to reflect a demotion in household privilege. I don’t want to have to speak in code to set any of this up. I don’t want to have to access software that’s only on my computer. And when I’ve decided my kids are awesome and mature enough to handle it (which they usually are), I want to be able to give them complete freedom—with some assurance that I’ll know if they slip into some dangerous corner of the World Wide Web. Yesterday I finally installed a router in my home that gives me all of this: the Skydog Family Router Service ($149 with three years of subscription service).
Easy to Use
I’ve installed a lot of routers over the years, and this was the easiest to install by far. It asked me some questions. I answered them (while my old router was still delivering the Internet). Then I plugged it in and it went to work and set everything up the way I wanted it.
Now that I have the router installed on my network, I control it through an online portal. I can access that portal from any Web connection. It lets me see every device on my network (most of the devices have easy-to-understand names such as “Christina’s IPad”), assign those devices to users and set up rules for each user. My son is 17, but he has a hard time shutting off the signal and going to bed. So while I didn’t do much to filter his access to information, I did locate his phone, tablet and computer and set them all to go dark at midnight. There’s no reason for him to be idly surfing that late. I tracked down my daughter’s devices too, gave her a bedtime of 11 and shut off Netflix during her homework hour. (TV is her procrastination Achilles heel.)
Control and Monitoring
Since my son isn’t exactly a child, I don’t do much to filter his Web access, though I could block specific sites or choose a level of filtering set up by Skydog. If he’s having trouble staying focused on homework, I could set up a schedule that blocks specific distractions during specific hours. But since I didn’t do any of that, I asked the service to monitor his Web history so I can check once in a while to be sure there’s nothing going on I need to worry about. I also set up an alert that lets me know if one of my kids visits a site I consider dangerous, such as one of those that lets them video chat with strangers.
I know I can’t stop the signal. I wouldn’t want to. But I am glad to finally have a simple way to control it.
Christina Tynan-Wood has been covering technology since the dawn of the Internet and currently writes the Family Tech column for Family Circle. You can find more advice about buying and using technology at GeekGirlfriends.com.
Written on November 14, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Rosalind Wiseman
Have you ever walked away from a situation with your child and then realized that you were being irresponsible or inconsistent? I have. I’ve let my boys watch TV or play video games way past the time limits I mandated in our family screen time contract. I’ve also let them spray whipped cream from a can directly into their mouths—even though we have a rule that no one in the family can eat or drink directly out of a container. Or worse, I’ve watched a movie with them, realized about 10 minutes into it that some of the content was inappropriate, but because we were having such a good time, I didn’t turn it off.
As much as we set down rules, it’s the rare parent who always adheres to them. We get tired. We get distracted. We decide that—just this once—it really doesn’t matter. But inconsistently enforcing rules results in our children not taking us seriously. Worse, if we don’t abide by rules ourselves, we lose credibility as authority figures and we role model that they don’t have to take those rules seriously either.
So what’s the difference—or is there one—between bending the rules and hypocrisy? What are the rules that we can never relax? For me, there are three. It’s always good to have concrete examples, so I’ve chosen a few recent ones that I hope will be good discussion starters with your kids.
1. No one is above the rules that everyone else has to abide by.
When Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler stopped by a house during Beach Week to talk to his son, he walked into a party filled with underage drinking.
Anyone who grows up in that area (and I did) knows that Beach Week is where you go after school ends in June to party your butt off. So either Gansler was a completely out-of-touch parent, or he walked into that situation knowing that kids would be drinking but, because it was his son and kids he knew, they would get special treatment.
The precise nature of his job means he is in charge of upholding the law. Yet there he was, surrounded by teens breaking the law. He was condoning underage drinking and signaling to every teen there that they are above the law when a person in authority gives you special treatment.
2. You can’t participate in the humiliation of another person.
After the suicide of 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick this fall, one of her tormentors posted on Facebook, “Yes ik [I know] I bullied Rebecca nd she killed her self but IDGAF [I don't give a (expletive)].”
Let’s not focus on the disturbing reality that a 14-year-old girl would be proud to say she doesn’t care that she contributed to someone’s death. Instead, I want to focus on the more than 30 kids who “liked” that post. As a parent, using the “likes” is a more realistic example of what it means to contribute to someone’s humiliation. But here’s what we need to communicate to our children. Even if you don’t directly bully someone, if you support the bullies in any way, you are contributing to the misery of another human being. As the target, it’s horrible to be bullied by one or two people, but it’s when everyone else supports them that life becomes unbearable. Those “likes” make the target feel so isolated, desperate and anxious that it can seem like there’s no escape. So parents, the “likes” supporting someone’s humiliation have to stop.
3. If you work hard, you have the right to belong to a group without being degraded as a condition for acceptance or a demonstration of loyalty. The same rule applies for anyone else.
The recent revelation that Miami Dolphins player Jonathan Martin was hazed by fellow player Richie Incognito is a horribly good example of what can happen to new players on any kind of team. It can and does happen in the NFL, just like it can and does happen in high school and college.
There are people who believe that you have to pay your dues to have the right to belong to their group, and those dues often mean being abused by the people who have been in the group longer than you.
We need to have explicit conversations with our children explaining that paying dues is about hard work and working “clean.” If your child contributes to abuse in any way, no matter how good they are, you will forbid them from playing. Because teaching your child to be a decent person is way more important than any championship game.
The bottom line comes down to this: Once in a while I’m going to let my children spray whipped cream into their mouths. It’s a little gross. And it’s also probably a little more fun because they’re breaking a house rule. But they aren’t hurting anyone. Where the rules can’t be broken is when you hurt others and refuse to be held accountable for your actions. That’s always going to be my bottom line.
What are the unbreakable rules in your household? Post a comment and tell me.
Rosalind Wiseman is the author of the new best seller Masterminds and Wingmen as well as Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads. For more info, go to rosalindwiseman.com. Do you have a parenting question? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written on November 13, 2013 at 11:00 am , by jtaylor
Bullying is not just child’s play. Jonathan Martin, a 300-pound tackle for the Miami Dolphins, recently took a break from playing professional football due to alleged bullying from a teammate. His complaints of harassment from, intimidation by and physical altercations with his colleague Richie Incognito typify the very definition of bullying.
Aside from their ages, the fact that their differences couldn’t be handled on their own highlights the destructiveness of bullying at any stage of life. Bullies make people change their attitudes, moods and behavior. They force others to quit, cry, get angry or depressed, withdraw or stay silent because being the victim of a bully is both painful and embarrassing. It’s hard for kids to speak up and even more difficult for adults. As we get older, there’s pressure to “suck it up” or “just deal with it.”
The perception that bullying stops in the schoolyard isn’t just challenged by what happens on the sports field. It’s also countered by the hordes of adults who report that they are bullied on the job by coworkers or bosses, older siblings who continue to harass younger siblings into adulthood and teens bullied by parents and coaches. Whether you are 12 or 42, bullying can be psychologically detrimental and physically painful.
Adult bullies use emotional tactics, verbal abuse and technology to provide consistent harassment and hurt feelings meant to create fear, powerlessness and helplessness in individuals. These are not out-of-body experiences. Adult bullies are aware of their behavior. Their tactics are detrimental not only to the victim but also to bystanders, who may feel uneasy, be forced to pick sides or end up feeling unsafe.
We need to break the silence on adult bullies. Bullying in not acceptable at any age or size. If you are dealing with an adult bully, follow Jonathan Martin’s example.
* Document incidents and speak out. If this is happening at your job, know that most companies have a policy on workplace behavior. Familiarize yourself with the employee handbook outlining those rules.
* Identify your support network and engage them as a sounding board for assistance.
* Avoid self-blame by focusing on doing your best job at work and not getting distracted by negative behaviors.
* Treat others the way you’d like to be treated and avoid engaging in the same behavior.
Bullying needs to stop. I applaud Jonathan Martin for highlighting his experiences. Perhaps he’s meant to make a difference not just on the field, but off it as well.
Has an adult bully ever harassed you? Post a comment, share what happened and help break the silence.
Got a question for Dr. Janet? Email her at email@example.com.
Written on November 13, 2013 at 9:30 am , by Family Circle
Written on November 12, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Family Circle
“We talk about sex tapes, affairs, baby bumps…anything and everything to do with our sex lives, except contraception,” says actress and Emmy Award-winning talk show host Ricki Lake. Today the mom of two boys (16 and 12) is asking you to give a shout-out to birth control by having an age-appropriate talk with your kids as part of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy’s “Thanks, birth control” movement. Here’s why.
Contraception. There. I said it. That wasn’t so bad, was it? As you probably know, my life has been an open book. There’s almost nothing I haven’t talked about on television. I’ve shared every personal milestone over the last two decades with my wonderful viewers, which has enriched my life in profound ways. That’s because I believe that talking helps you bond, open up, lose your fears. Think about it: Years ago, nobody would have dared to say “breast cancer” in public. Now look how many lives are being changed because we have collectively decided that talking about it openly can save lives and make people feel less alone.
So why doesn’t anyone talk about contraception? It’s something 99% of adult women in the U.S. have used. What else can you say that about? My friends at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy asked me to help them launch a national conversation about birth control and what it makes possible–for women, men, families and society. It’s not that there isn’t a lot of chatter out there already about contraception—there’s plenty. But all of it is so negative, so political and so polarizing. So regular people, or people who don’t have a stake in the political battles over contraception, just stay quiet. And when we don’t speak up, we are sending the message to young women in particular that contraception is a taboo subject.
Why is that so dangerous? Because 9 out of 10 single young adults ages 18-29 say they don’t want a pregnancy right now, but 40% of them aren’t using contraception consistently. Which is why single 20-somethings have twice the number of unplanned pregnancies as teens do, and 7 in 10 pregnancies in that age group are unplanned. Consequences for their babies are about the same as for babies born to teen moms. I’ve been working with the National Campaign for nearly two decades to help reduce teen pregnancy, and I’m proud to say that the U.S. teen pregnancy rate is down more than 44% over the past 21 years. One reason for this decline is that we are all talking openly about the importance of preventing teen pregnancy, and teens have gotten the message. Unplanned pregnancy among single young adults hasn’t budged. The fact is that 9 out of 10 women and men ages 18-29 are sexually active, and a shocking 40% of them think that even if you’re using contraception, when it’s “your time” to get pregnant, you probably will. This is exactly why talking openly about contraception—and how to use it correctly—can change lives. If you can’t talk about birth control, how do you know if you’re using it right? Or if there might be a better method out there for you?
We talk about sex tapes, affairs, baby bumps…anything and everything to do with our sex lives, except contraception. The UN declares access to birth control to be a “universal human right.” The CDC calls the advent of modern contraception one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. When women have a say in planning and spacing their pregnancies, everyone benefits. I am grateful every day for the opportunities I’ve had to be a mom and to have a career, all at the same time. That’s because I got to decide when I was ready to start a family—a tremendous freedom that I don’t take for granted. So that’s why I’m asking you to join me and thousands of others to take a moment today to give a shout-out for birth control and all that it makes possible. Share a fact. Dispel a myth. Share one of these cool postcards or videos from the National Campaign. Putting off that talk with your daughter (or son!) about contraception. Today’s the day to have it. Speak up and talk about what birth control makes possible for you, your career, your family. Just saying the words out loud will help make the topic less toxic. Take to social media, use #ThxBirthControl and tell me why you’re saying “Thanks, birth control” with me today. I’m listening!
Ricki Lake is a media advisor to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
Written on November 8, 2013 at 10:00 am , by Family Circle
Written by Catherine Holecko
My daughter is a figure skater who’s on the ice at least three times a week and also participates in off-ice training. Extracurriculars, especially other sports, have fallen by the wayside as she devotes more time to skating. She competes as an individual and is also a member of a synchronized skating team (yes, that’s a thing!).
That means I worry when I read the bad press about over specialization in sports. Because I know the concerns are real: Specialization is often driven by parents and coaches, not kids. It can very easily lead to overuse injuries and burnout. It makes sports into a chore and a duty, instead of something fun and healthy.
But here’s the thing: So far, my tween is still on the “fun” side of that line. She would skate every day if she could. She has never complained about going to the rink, never asked if she could skip a lesson or a practice or a competition “just this once.” And while she’s given up some activities to make more room for skating, she has tried many over the years: soccer, karate, gymnastics, flag football. Unlike her brother, who’s more of a sports sampler, my daughter found something she truly loves early in life. And like so many sports today, skating happens to be a year-round commitment—there’s no off-season.
Instead of wringing my hands about whether she’s overcommitted, I keep my eye on my daughter’s health—mental and physical. I regularly ask myself:
How many hours a week is she skating? Research suggests that one hour per week per year of life should be the max. So for my 11-year-old, 10 hours a week is the upper limit—and she’s not nearly there yet.
Is she active in other ways? Overspecialization can crowd out all other activities in kids’ lives, and that’s not healthy. They need free play too—at least half as many hours per week as they spend on organized sports. If my daughter regularly rides her bike to school, dances during gym class or goes swimming with a friend, she’s in good shape.
Is she anxious about her sport? Sure, competitions, tests and try-outs are stressful. But so far, they’re also fun for my skater. She’ll listen to her coach’s counsel about what challenges to take on, but she’s not afraid to say “That’s too much for me right now.” If she doesn’t place well in an event or pass a test, she’s bummed out—but not for long. When she nails that skill the next time, it feels even better.
So I’m satisfied that my skater is training safely. Now, if only adults didn’t insist on asking her whether they’ll see her in the Olympics one day. That’s the standard response from everyone who hears that she skates. Ugh—please hold the pressure, okay?
Catherine Holecko is the family fitness expert at About.com. She lives in Wisconsin with her tweens, husband and dog.
Written on November 7, 2013 at 12:31 pm , by Christina Tynan-Wood
My son loves video games. I don’t object to them—as long as he has balance in his life and keeps his grades up—because I know there are benefits (as well as hazards) to this highly engaging form of entertainment. In fact, for a smart boy with his temperament, video games offer something that is otherwise largely missing from his world: challenge and control.
Dr. Leonard Sax, author of Boys Adrift, told me (for another article) that the immense appeal video games have for some boys can be an indicator of the “will to power” personality. This term, coined by Friedrich Nietzsche, describes the need—in some people—to control their environment. It is a basic, immutable personality trait that trumps other basic impulses such as the will to please. Video games feed that need by offering control over a vast, complex world that requires lightning-fast reflexes, nuanced decision making, extensive memory and ruthlessness. So I let him play, within limits. But I often wish there were a way to deliver that experience outside of a screen, perhaps in a format that would allow me to more easily play with him.
It turns out that there are some very smart geeks who wanted that too. And they had the know-how to build it. I sat down with the creators of Anki Drive in their San Francisco offices for a demo of the video-game-like driving game they created with an impressive amount of robotics and artificial intelligence technology. This game, which is delightfully reminiscent of the Hot Wheels cars my son loved when he was small, is like a video game that has been pulled out of the virtual world and set down on the living room rug.
It is actually set down on a mat that you unroll onto the rug. That mat—though light, flexible and unassuming—is an important part of the game because it carries, printed under the image of the racetrack, information the cars use to understand where they are in the real world. And the cars— though they are small, durable and look like toys—carry the artificial intelligence of an onscreen avatar. They learn as you play, can earn new weapons and skills, and are capable of playing on their own.
After we talked about the technical challenges of bringing state-of-the-art robotics to a $200 toy, the company founders rolled out a mat, set down some cars and handed me an iPhone (the controller is an iOS app so it can run on an iPod, iPad, or iPhone) and we played. I suspect they were being kind to me because my car did not die immediately—at least not until someone suggested I play against the machine. And then I got to see what lightning-fast reflexes, nuanced decision making and ruthlessness really look like. My son would love this game. I would love to play it with him. Fortunately, there’s a holiday coming up that will give me an excuse to buy one for him.
Christina Tynan-Wood has been covering technology since the dawn of the Internet and currently writes the Family Tech column for Family Circle. You can find more advice about buying and using technology at GeekGirlfriends.com.
Written on November 7, 2013 at 9:35 am , by Family Circle
Written by Randi Zuckerberg
No matter where in the world I travel to, the first question I’m always asked after giving a speech or chatting with new friends is some variant of “How much screen time do you let your son have?”
Parents everywhere are struggling to raise children in a connected world. It makes sense—we’re raising the first generation of digital natives, and we’re the first generation of parents to have to worry about these issues. Just as parents for decades have been talking to their kids about stranger danger, looking both ways before crossing the street or not eating too much candy, online safety is now another must-have conversation. Here are my main rules and tips to help guide your child toward a safe, smart and healthy digital life.
Rules and Tips to Remember
1. Your body is your business only. Think before you post revealing pictures.
2. Don’t bully or go along with other people who are bullying.
3. Only add “friends” online if you also know them in real life.
4. Always treat others with respect, the way you would want to be treated.
5. If you’re going to put something in writing, make sure you would be comfortable if it was reprinted in a newspaper.
6. Only say something online if you would also say it to that person’s face in real life.
7. Be careful about personal information about yourself or your family. Only share things with people you trust.
8. Be vigilant against predators, lurkers and bullies.
9. Above all, guard yourself and your dignity, and stay safe.
Even if you aren’t very familiar with the latest technology, make it a priority to ask your child what they’re doing online. Take time once a month or so to sit down and have them walk you through their favorite sites. Ask questions. Friend or follow them on social platforms. Ask other parents what sites their children use. And be sure that you follow these digital rules too: Having an online role model can go a long way toward influencing a child’s behavior. In an age where parents are on social media posting their children’s every milestone, keep in mind that this content can live forever online. That naked baby picture, which could be cute today, may haunt your child down the line.
Written on November 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm , by jtaylor
Actress Lauren Holly recently wrote a blog wondering if her young sons were social deviants because they wouldn’t admit to stealing cans of soda from the fridge at home. In it, she accused them of lying and indicated her ongoing distress about their future.
The reality is that children lie. Preschool children between the ages of 2 and 4 will routinely tell lies that indicate more of a need to please a parent than to actively deceive. As children age, their lies become a little more calculating and deliberate, but most of the time the lies are harmless.
Sometimes kids will withhold the truth because the punishment for honesty is too intense or doesn’t fit the offense. Households that are punitive and harsh don’t promote a safe enough space for self-disclosure.
Know that occasional fibs do not mean that you should turn your kid’s college fund into potential bail money. They provide an opportunity to talk about honesty, trust and the value of speaking authentically from the heart.
Parents should worry, though, if their children’s lies become more frequent and attempt to cover potentially destructive or dangerous behavior (substance use, sexual activity) or declining grades because of missed homework assignments or a lack or preparation.
It’s important to remember that adults lie too. If we are concerned about deception in our children, it is critical to examine our own behavior and modeling. How many times do you tell your child, “Don’t tell your Dad,” or shrug off a phone call by saying, “Tell them I’m not home”?
The next time you have a concern about whether your children are telling the truth, sit them down and frame the conversation with a basic request: “Will you promise to tell me the truth?” Research shows that approach works. They are eight times more likely to fess up. And that’s no lie.
Are you concerned about lies your child is telling? Post a comment and share why.
Got a question for Dr. Janet? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written on November 1, 2013 at 10:12 am , by Lisa Mandel
When we see gorgeous faces on even more gorgeous bodies staring at us from glossy magazine pages, as adults we know they’re not real. We know that not even models can look that good. Yet that doesn’t stop us from thinking they’re beautiful. But if you’re an impressionable teen, these images fuel a desire to want to look just as perfect, or date someone who does.
With trending conversations about the thigh gap (if you haven’t heard, ask your daughter), the time is right for this now-viral video. Created by GlobalDemocracy.com, it begins with a model at a photo shoot. After hair extensions, makeup, lighting and lengthy surgery at the hands of a very talented Photoshop engineer, it ends with the “perfect girl.” The mind-blowing transformation we witness is a reminder that no one is perfect—a message Global Democracy wants advertising agencies to start mentioning when manipulating body images in ads.
Make sure your teens and tweens (and even your husband, because he could use a reminder too) see this video.
Written on October 31, 2013 at 3:13 pm , by Paula Chin
This morning I put the finishing touches on a set of wings for my 12-year-old, who will be trick-or-treating as an angel alongside her BFF, the devil. [Note: The wings were made out of cardboard covered with folded flat-bottomed coffee filters, which look amazingly featherlike.] I’m lucky that she’s a good kid—sweet, smart and so far immune to the usual tween-teen problems. She’s no mean girl, nor is she bullied. Her good friends include boys as well as girls. She doesn’t obsess over clothes, hair or having a thigh gap. She thinks Miley Cyrus is silly and kind of dumb.
Which brings me to the latest Halloween costume outrages of 2013. That is, Julianne Hough partying in blackface as Crazy Eyes from Orange Is the New Black and Florida dudes Greg Cimeno and William Filene, who decided it would be “f—ing hilarious” to dress up as George Zimmerman and a murdered Trayvon Martin, then posted pics of themselves on Facebook. Julianne was needlessly insensitive and racist—and she’s since apologized. The other two went way beyond that, making a mockery out of a profound tragedy, and they still don’t get it.
I don’t know whether I’m going to talk about this with my daughter tonight as we plow through her chocolate stash. She doesn’t need the ethics lesson, and it all seems so obvious. Blackface, or yellow or brown, is never okay. Making fun of someone’s death, not to mention one so fraught and controversial as Trayvon’s, is never okay. But clearly there are folks who haven’t gotten the memo, and I’ll probably drive home the point to her anyway. Are you in with me?
Written on October 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm , by jfill
Today might be Halloween, but here at Family Circle we’ve been anticipating this holiday for a while by brewing up our recipes and spooky decor tips.
Halloween fans that we are, when we got to sponsor some pre-October 31st fun at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo we were super excited. Boo at the Zoo is the annual month-long Halloween celebration that includes some (not-so) scary thrills like treat stations, a hay maze and the Extinct & Endangered Species Graveyard.
We hosted a spook-tacular 3-D pumpkin-carving demonstration, face painting and a seasonal crafts table where boys and girls of all ages got to create their own masks to take home. Even our editor in chief, Linda Fears, and our executive editor, Darcy Jacobs, got in on the Halloween fun.
Our favorite photos from Boo at the Zoo follow below! To check out even more photos, click here for our entire Facebook album.
At a pre-festivities VIP brunch, children were transformed into characters of all kinds by our master face painters. This girl becomes a ghoul.
Zoo-goers let their creative juices flow.
Hocus-pocus! These girls took their time creating these cute witch masks.
Even editor in chief Linda Fears, publisher Lee Slattery and executive editor Darcy Jacobs got in on the Halloween fun.