Families

Families

Living with Children: Control the controller, defeat the addiction

Have you ever heard of an addict who was cured of his or her addiction because someone limited, but did not eliminate, their access to the substance or behavior in question? No, you have not. Is an addiction to gambling less harmful if the addict is only allowed to gamble five hours a week? No, it is not. The proposition is absurd.

Families

Ex-etiquette: Discuss family traditions before wedding

Question: My husband recently took his son on a backpacking trip. It's a family tradition that I thought was going to stop now that we are married. When they returned, I found out that my husband's ex-wife's father and brother also went along. I feel uncomfortable with my husband continuing to associate with his ex's family. I feel like they are always comparing me to my husband's ex and what they really want is for them to reconcile. This infuriates me! I want my husband to stop! What's good ex-etiquette?

Families

Ask Mr. Dad: Wanted: Male elementary school teachers

Dear Mr. Dad: My twins (one boy, one girl), are starting fourth grade in the fall and we just found out that their teacher is a woman. That isn't a problem, of course, but when my wife and I started talking about this, we realized that the twins have never had a male teacher, and that our older kids – one in middle school, one in high school – didn't have male teachers until they were in 7th grade. Looking even further back, neither my wife nor I had a male teacher until high school. Why are there so few men teaching in elementary schools? And are our kids being hurt by the lack of adult male role models?

Families

10 good things that come from reading aloud to big kids, too

Every parent knows that it's good to read to kids when they're little. It helps babies, toddlers, and preschoolers develop spoken language, recognize letters and words, and get ready for kindergarten. But it's actually beneficial to read to kids even after they can read on their own. Research shows that continued reading aloud after age 5 (and well beyond) improves reading and listening skills and academic performance (and is also loads of fun!).

Families

How to raise an optimistic human in a pessimistic world

If you're raising kids today, it can be easy to focus on the negative. And it's no wonder: Thanks to the 24-hour news cycle, social media, cell phone notifications – and even sources you wouldn't expect, like Instagram and YouTube – kids are immersed in doom and gloom. Consider their world: The suicide rate is up, cyberbullying is rampant, the United States is more divided than ever, and people are now live-streaming murder and suicide. So it's understandable if you don't feel like putting on a happy face every day and keeping your kids optimistic about the future.

Families

Game review: 'Minecraft: Story Mode – Season Two,' new and improved sequel

Parents need to know that "Minecraft: Story Mode – Season Two" is a narrative-driven adventure set in the world of "Minecraft." Play centers on choosing responses in dialogue, not collecting minerals and crafting items. Combat is infrequent, mild, and cartoonish. Battles see human characters using swords against blocky monsters, but they involve no blood or gore and typically end with enemies disappearing in puffs of smoke. The game's hero, Jesse, can be customized in terms of gender and skin tone. He (or she) is clearly out to do good, helping friends and protecting civilians, but the player's choices in dialogue can alter the tone of responses, making Jesse seem sensitive or uncaring, empathetic or reactionary, playful or a bit mean.

Movie News & Reviews

Movie review: 'Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,' silly, exuberant sci-fi adventure

Parents need to know that "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets" is a sci-fi/action movie based on French comics and directed by Luc Besson. There's plenty of fantasy violence, with futuristic guns, shooting, and fighting (but virtually no blood). An alien character is strapped to a chair and questioned (possibly tortured). The main characters eventually kiss, and one spends the movie asking the other to marry him. There's a "red light" district with flirty characters and a woman doing a sexy dance involving a stripper pole. Language includes one possible use of "s--t" (it's partly obscured by noise) and uses of "ass" and "damn." Though the movie is very long and quite silly, it's also bright and dazzling and fun, with messages about courage, teamwork, environmentalism, and helping the less fortunate. And the main female character (Cara Delevingne) constantly challenges her position as the male's sidekick.

Families

App review: Boost brain power with engaging space-themed, Galactic Genius with Astro Cat games

Parents need to know that Galactic Genius with Astro Cat challenges kids to use their cognitive skills to complete fast-paced games in space-themed setting. Players can choose from six games, each with 50 levels of play that increase in difficulty. Earn points after completing each level and collect fun, colorful stickers to make albums. Though navigation is simple, kids need to be able to read fluently in order to follow the instructions. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

Families

Back-to-school tech gear students will love

Preschoolers to post-grads are gearing up for the school season, and no matter what age a student is, there are gadgets, gizmos, electronics and tech products to help ease the way. From a toy that teaches young learners the basics of coding to a charging station that keeps numerous devices ready to use, these items can make kindergarten to college easier and more fun.

Videos

What you need to have and know to keep your kids safe in an earthquake

Prevention is the key to breaking the cycle of unintentional injury. This video from Children's Hospital Los Angeles offers tips to help promote earthquake safety for your family.
Children's Hospital Los Angeles Courtesy to The Belliingham Herald
What you need to have and know to keep your kids safe in an earthquake 3:13

What you need to have and know to keep your kids safe in an earthquake

Bellingham swim instructor teaches kids to love the water 0:50

Bellingham swim instructor teaches kids to love the water

Watch students return to the newly built Happy Valley Elementary School in Bellingham 1:39

Watch students return to the newly built Happy Valley Elementary School in Bellingham

Bellingham kids show their stuff at Children's Craft Fair 1:29

Bellingham kids show their stuff at Children's Craft Fair