Living with Children: Vaping and peer pressure

Q: I found a vaping pen hidden in my 13-year-old son's room and am at a loss as to how to deal with it. He is very susceptible to peer pressure and wants very badly to fit in with the "cool" kids. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Ex-etiquette: Bonus-mom harboring anger, resentment

Q: My husband and I have 7, "yours, mine, and ours" children. My husband also has a terrible ex that doesn't understand boundaries and has caused many issues by using his children to try to divide us. It didn't work. Their children are now 12, 17, and 19.


App review: Dyslexia keyboard, excellent assistive writing tool, worth every penny

Parents need to know that Dyslexia Keyboard is worth its price tag as one of the best assistive keyboards on the market. Features include impeccable word-prediction, voice-to-text, spell check, grammar check, and read-aloud both in context and in the editing window. This tool doesn't automatically correct errors and instead requires kids take a more active role in the editing process. For kids who struggle with writing or typing, especially long tasks like essays or stories, this tool will help them focus first on the content of their text and second on the process of writing. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.


Surviving baby's first year

"Empower a woman having a baby and you've empowered her for the rest of her life," says midwife Lisa Sherwood. With 35 years of experience as a labor and delivery nurse and 17 years as a midwife, she's seen just about everything and understands the value of knowledge, preparation and flexibility. As a provider at Orange Coast Women's Medical Group, she encourages parents to research their options and choose health care providers who will support them on their journey. The choices parents face while pregnant and raising a child can be overwhelming, and the decision process is often complicated by the views and opinions of others.


Moms Gear: Stainless steel soup pot with steamer basket makes steaming veggies easy

Moms committed to serving more vegetables to their kids in the New Year may be interested in the SALT-brand 3-piece stainless steel soup pot with steamer basket to do just that. The SALT brand (yes, all capital letters!) makes an entire product line available through Bed, Bath & Beyond. That includes a 3-quart (2.8 liter) soup pot and steamer basket that comes with a lifetime warranty.


Healthy breakfasts to go

Have you ever booked it to your car, kids trailing, breakfast in hand, while you bellowed, "We're late! Eat!"? Guess what? So have the rest of us - even moms who happen to be registered dietitians. Here's what the pros feed their kiddos on the run:


Book review: 'I Am Martin Luther King, Jr.,' offers kids a wonderful introduction to King's life and legacy

Parents need to know that "I Am Martin Luther King, Jr." is the eighth book in author and History Channel host Brad Meltzer's Ordinary People Change the World picture book biography series, which includes books on Abraham Lincoln, Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, and Lucille Ball. The narrative approach and at times comics-like design of each book is the same: A pint-sized, big-headed cartoon version of the person looking like his or her adult self gives a capsule first-person account of childhood through greatest accomplishments. So here's King, sporting his trademark mustache and wearing a mini-black suit and tie, as a child in segregated Georgia, then a minister, then leader of nonviolent civil disobedience actions and marches to effect change. Police beatings and the infamous water hoses turned against child protesters are referred to but not shown. Sophisticated concepts and vocabulary (" ... it was a wake-up call for the nation's conscience") make this a better bet for kids 7 and up than the 5 to 8 recommended by the publisher. In any case, parents and teachers should be ready to answer questions about this turbulent period of U.S. history.


Parent vs. gadget: Can tech raise your kids better than you?

Let's be clear: No one needs a robot. Or a rubber ducky that puts your baby to sleep. Or even a toothbrush that comes with a game. But it might be nice to have a gadget do your parenting work for you once in a while - especially after a long day. Now, with hundreds of new tech tools hitting the market, you can. But should you?


Game review: Unique characters shine in magical animated platformer, 'Shante: Half-Genie Hero'

Parents need to know that "Shantae: Half-Genie Hero" is a side-scrolling action/adventure platform game. There's a steady stream of action and violence, but its cartoonish style is more akin to a Saturday morning cartoon and lacks any sort of blood or gore. There are some slightly suggestive themes, including characters presented in somewhat revealing outfits and dance moves similar to those of a belly dancer.


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

Third graders dance in Katie Tully's music class and other scenes from the first day of school at Happy Valley Elementary on Wednesday, Aug. 24, in Bellingham.
Evan Abell The Bellingham Herald
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

'Thrillingam' - Who's that dancing on the lawn! 4:09

'Thrillingam' - Who's that dancing on the lawn!

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