Families

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.

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

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.

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

Parents @ Play: Arts and crafts

We all know that kids need to be spending time outside working up a sweat and building strong muscles. But they also need plenty of down time. And what better way to relax than by creating art? Here are some truly outstanding ways you and your kids can flex your creativity muscles together.

Families

Ex-etiquette: Coddle the ex, offer solutions

Q: My ex was a stay at home mom and rarely went out. We break-up and all of a sudden she's partying and not coming home until late. My kids, age 15 and 16, complain that their mother is never home and I'm wondering if I should file for full custody. What's good ex-etiquette?

Families

Ask Mr. Dad: Talk to me, baby

Dear Mr. Dad: My 13-month old says only two words: dada and mama. My best friend's son is two months younger and she's constantly bragging about how many words he knows. She's got me worried that there's something wrong with my baby. Do all kids start talking about the same age? Either way, what can I do to increase my baby's vocabulary.

Families

How family members cope with estrangement

Even though she became a widow young, Cynthia Gross said she gave her daughter, now grown, everything she wanted, from dance and piano lessons to family vacations at Disneyland. Together with Gross' son, they had a happy little family. That is, until her daughter got married.

Families

Should you spy on your kid at camp?

Whether through social media updates, private online groups, or just texting your little camper, keeping tabs on your kid while they're away at camp is irresistible. How many of us have scoured a camp's website for glimpses of our kid having fun, hints of whether or not they look happy, or clues to how many friends they have? Sure, you can do it – but should you?

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