Parents @ Play: Fun without an agenda

Looking for some good, old-fashioned toys to play with that don't claim to build STEM skills, expand your brain, or anything else? If so, you'll want to check out these new items that offer, gasp, nothing but fun. And that's just fine.


Living with Children: Eating out with kids

The Wall Street Journal recently interviewed Daniel Eddy, a New York City chef, on how to have a mutually-successful experience with a young child in an upscale restaurant ("How to Take Your Kids Out to Eat and Actually Enjoy the Experience," July 14, 2016). WSJ obviously thinks the fact that being a chef qualifies one as an expert the subject; it seems to me, however, that a waitperson would have the better perspective.


Ex-etiquette: Defining boundaries will help family relations

Q: After dating nearly two years, my fiance and I are engaged to be married this month. He has two adult bonuschildren from a prior marriage. He continues to be active in their lives and a great friend to his ex-wife, although she initiated the divorce 5 years ago. My fiance told me that his ex-wife refuses to meet me, and tonight I also learned that his bonusdaughter wants to come to our wedding, even though I have not met her, either. I can't help feeling she is being sent as a "spy." What's good ex-etiquette?


Ask Mr. Dad: Forced fatherhood? It happens more than you'd think

Dear Mr. Dad: My girlfriend and I talked many times about children and mutually decided not to have any. However, without telling me, she changed her mind and got pregnant. I have absolutely no interest in being a father or raising children, but she's threatening to come after me for child support. Is there anything I can do to stop her?


Lori Borgman: Pulling the plug on ambience

Since the people we most often dine with on the patio are grandchildren who go to bed at 7 p.m., we are rarely outside after dark and able to enjoy the ambience of flickering candles or string lights. Ambience with grandchildren consists of greenish night lights that automatically come on when the room gets dark.


Moms Gear: JJ Cole Collections offers unimaginably stylish diaper bags

Moms looking for attractive, functional diaper bags may want to turn to JJ Cole for options. The manufacturer makes bags so stylish that they are almost impossible to think of as just diaper bags. One option to consider is its 'satchel' bag that comes in black-and-cream, but also four other colors and patterns. Not only is this bag classy enough to take to the park or store, it could easily be taken into a high-end office on Wall Street if you had to take your toddler along.


How to turn the Olympics into teachable moments for your kids

The Olympic Games can be such an inspiring and exciting time to watch TV as a family. But beyond the fantastic feats, breathtaking speed, and colorful outfits, there are plenty of opportunities to engage kids in deeper conversations. Seize the moment by asking open-ended questions, and see where the conversation goes.


Skyler: Clothes can be a key to a teen's comfort

I have felt humiliated by my clothes on a few occasions in my life. I can still recall the too-short white pants I had to wear to my seventh grade band concert. When my supposed friend asked "Where's the flood?" I didn't get the joke at first, but once I did my face burned and I was filled with hatred for this girl, who was also tall but had pants long enough to cover her ankles.


Game review: Pop stars take center stage in Japanese RPG

Parents need to know that "Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE" is a Japanese turn-based role-playing game. Players control well-meaning teenage characters who join with supernatural creatures called "mirages" in order to fight evil monsters in another dimension. Combat involves melee and magical attacks but no blood or gore. Fallen foes simply disappear from the battlefield. The kids are also seriously obsessed with - and in some cases want to be - pop music stars, and engage in typical teenage activities like shopping, texting, and flirting. Some female characters dress provocatively, with bouncing breasts and deep cleavage. Dialogue includes occasional instances of profanity - including the word "s--t" - and one character appears drunk.

Movie News & Reviews

Movie review: 'Ghostbusters,' fun reboot has lots of ghosts and girl power

Parents need to know that "Ghostbusters" is a reboot of the classic 1984 supernatural action-comedy. This time around, it stars four talented female comedians - Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones - as the central quartet who must team up to use their knowledge of science and the paranormal to save the city when New York again faces a supernatural invasion. While the film has some scary spirit baddies and intense ghostly battles - as well as some gross-out slime scenes - it's so over the top that it's likely to be more engrossing than chilling for most tweens and up. Language is infrequent but includes "s--t" and "damn," and one character makes some crude comments about another character she finds attractive and ogles him (but things never get too racy). Adults drink beer to relax. It's a lot like the original (watch for cameos from some of the original stars!), but also different in many ways, especially with its underlying theme of female empowerment.


North Carolina quintuplets turning 18 despite doctors warning parents they may not survive

The Miller quintuplets of Wake Forest, N.C. who are about to turn 18 years old, are thriving, despite the warnings doctors told their parents. Nancy and Kent Miller gave birth to the quintuplets in 1998. At the time they were the only surviving set born in North Carolina.
Jill Knight News & Observer
North Carolina quintuplets turning 18 despite doctors warning parents they may not survive 1:51

North Carolina quintuplets turning 18 despite doctors warning parents they may not survive

Explore historical Semiahmoo Spit 1:19

Explore historical Semiahmoo Spit

Discover the tide flats at Birch Bay 0:56

Discover the tide flats at Birch Bay

Here are some parents' rules for social media use 1:05

Here are some parents' rules for social media use