Families

Entertainment

Book review: Crossover tales will thrill fans of Riordan's books

Parents need to know that these three short stories, which combine main characters from Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and Kane Chronicles series, were previously available separately as ebooks only. "The Son of Sobek" was released in 2013, "The Staff of Serapis" in 2014, and "The Crown of Ptolemy" in 2015. The hardcover book "Demigods and Magicians: Percy and Annabeth Meet the Kanes" includes all three stories, a forward by Percy Jackson, eight full-color illustrations, and a peek at the first chapter of "The Hidden Oracle," the start of a series to be released in May 2016. Kids will need to have read at least some of the main Percy Jackson series and the slightly more complex Kane Chronicle series to get what's going on when Greek mythology and Egyptian mythology and magic collide. Expect the same kinds of fantasy violence in these shorts that you saw in the other series - battles against monsters and gods where they get stabbed with swords or blown up. The good guys - all teens - get injured but heal with their magical nectar and potions. Readers will learn a bit about Alexander the Great and how he united the Greece and Egypt in his giant empire.

Families

Child Sense: Buckle up! It's National Seat Belt Enforcement Mobilization month

One of the most stated reasons for children not wearing a seat belts is the child's reluctance to do so. This can take the form of whining, undoing the seat belt or large physical style tantrums. Parents often relent especially if they are traveling a short distance. The fact is however, seat belts are necessary, without exception. A recent report stated that the majority of children injured in car accidents were not wearing seat belts, and those children suffered greater injuries than those properly restrained. So when tackling those resistant toddlers and preschoolers why not look to their dominate sense to aid with buckling up.

Families

Family Meals Matter: Make-ahead meals give Mom a break from cooking

Mother's Day is a perfect time to show Mom how much you care. You can also show her how much she means to you by giving her a well-deserved break from cooking. Instead of opting for reservations at a local restaurant, make it a learning experience for the whole family. Let mom put up her feet and have kids roll up their sleeves to help prepare these make-ahead breakfast and brunch dishes everyone is sure to love.

Families

App review: Monster-fighting and puzzle combo fun for fans

Parents need to know that "Flipped Out - The Powerpuff Girls Match 3 Puzzle / Fighting Action Game" sets the sisters from the TV series on a mission to save the town by mixing two modes of play - puzzle and action - to defeat an army of monsters. There's lots of dialogue about beating up the monsters, some of which glorifies using fists rather than brains to solve problems or emphasizes one of the character's forgetfulness.

Families

Game review: Controls can frustrate in tense, scary space-survival game

Parents need to know that "ADR1FT" is a survival adventure game. Players are the only active character in the game, uncovering details about the rest of the crew via text and audio logs left behind. These communications occasionally reference some of the crew's past behavior, including sexual relationships and drug use. Although there's no explicit violence in the game, the tense situation and how it's presented to the player if/when they begin to suffocate could be a bit intense for younger players.

Families

It can be hard to tell what's real when people use these apps

From Shakespeare to TV sitcoms, the idea of pretending to be someone you're not never gets old. In the online world, there's a name for it - "catfishing" - and it's common enough to have inspired a movie and a TV show. But creating a false persona isn't the only bait-and-switch game out there. New apps let kids boost, create, or totally fabricate reality, tapping into the pressure kids feel to project a certain public image. Teens are especially vulnerable, since a lot of their social lives play out online, and they may be tempted to lie using tech. Here's a sampling of the new tools that take catfishing to a whole new level.

Families

Your kid's prom just got even more expensive

American parents are accustomed to being treated like human cash machines during prom season, spending close to $1,000 to guarantee that a high school dance doesn't become an emotional catastrophe. A hundred bucks for tickets, and hundreds more for fancy clothes - even the corsage costs $20. And before any of that begins, your kid wants $300 for a promposal. Wait, a what?

Families

Parents @ Play: Now you're cookin'!

Cooking is a wonderful family activity on so many levels. It helps build kids' confidence and creativity, encourages math skills, teaches about cause and effect, builds hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, increases the chance that they'll eat healthier foods (unless all you ever make is dessert), and more. But most of all, it's just plain fun. Here are some terrific products that will make cooking with your kids, well, a piece of cake.

Families

Ask Mr. Dad: Going swimming? Keep your mouth shut

Dear Mr. Dad: My family loves to swim, and every year my wife and I have the same argument. I say swimming pools are filthy and I tell our kids to keep their mouth closed while they're in the water. My wife says chlorine kills any dangerous germs and that it's perfectly fine for the kids to fill their mouths with water and squirt each other, or even to swallow some. We've agreed to let you settle the issue. Who's right?

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Here are some parents' rules for social media use

Chris Ware of The Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader lays out three rules for parents and their children's social media use.
Chris Ware The Herald-Leader
Here are some parents' rules for social media use 01:05

Here are some parents' rules for social media use

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Video: How to find a good book for your kids

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Accident, gas leak closes Ferndale bank drive-up

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