Ex-etiquette: Explaining the ‘Put the children first’ rule

Q: You always say, "Put the children first" is the primary rule of good ex-etiquette. I've been in my bonusdaughter's life since she was a year old. My husband and his ex share equal custody. When my bonusdaughter was four she asked if she could call me "mom." It was completely her idea, but her mother absolutely forbid it. My bonusdaughter was in hysterics. So, we sat down with her and listened why it was so important. Her mother didn't care. Your advice concerning this topic according to your book, Ex-etiquette for Parents," is "It is inappropriate for a child to call a bonusparent "Mom" or "Dad" unless the biological parent is comfortable with that choice." I don't see how that is putting the child first. I'm confused.


Game review: ‘Devil May Cry 5,’ bloody hack and slash action is series’ best yet – but not for kids

Parents need to know that "Devil May Cry 5" is an action adventure game for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. This is the latest installment of a popular franchise, and presents three anti-heroes as they fight demons both in the world and in a hellish landscape. Characters use swords, guns, magic, and other abilities to destroy creatures, who spray blood when hit. There are also impaled bodies, remains of people, and fountains of blood in cutscenes, as well as characters that are covered in blood as they move through some portals. There's lots of swearing throughout the game, with "s--t," "f--k," and other words frequently stated in dialogue. Female characters are shown wearing revealing clothing, as well as partially nude and covered by slime; their buttocks can be seen. One character frequently smokes a cigarette, although the other characters disapprove, and a disclaimer states that the game doesn't promote smoking or cigarettes. The game has multiple difficulty levels, and while players can button mash their way through some fights, it requires practice to learn and master the skills and fighting styles of each character in battle. That can frustrate some players, especially if they can't master the combos and gameplay necessary to earn the top rank in battle, which provides bonus points.


App review: ‘Pandemic: The Board Game,’ save the world using strategic teamwork

Parents need to know that "Pandemic: The Board Game" is the app version of a popular cooperative board game of the same name. Although the premise is somewhat dire, there's no reference in-game to diseases or symptoms. There's add-on content available via in-app purchase that doesn't require parental permission. This game is difficult to win and may be frustrating for younger kids. That said, kids who enjoy some strategy and are able to read will be able to play with everyone else. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.


Social Security: Resources for women

March is Women's History Month. It's a time when we reflect on the achievements and contributions of our nation's remarkable women. Many of these heroes might be people close to you: mothers and daughters, aunts, and grandmothers. Each of them plays a special role in our lives as they provide love and support.


When good role models go bad

It seems that there are only a few short years between the time a celebrity makes it big and when he or she starts making salacious headlines. From internet-famous celebs such as Logan Paul and PewDiePie, to pop culture influencers like Kylie Jenner, good role models can go bad. Sometimes beloved celebrities, such as Michael Jackson, attract headlines in such a negative fashion that it's really hard to explain news coverage about them to kids who've looked up them.

Movie News & Reviews

Movie review: ‘Wonder Park,’ imaginative, intense adventure addresses some big issues

Parents need to know that "Wonder Park" is an animated adventure about an imaginative girl named June (voiced by Brianna Denski), who's spent years dreaming up a magical amusement park named Wonderland with her mom (Jennifer Garner). Their fancies become reality when June stumbles across a rundown version of the park deep in the woods and must help its animal custodians save it from destruction. As a result, she and her friends do battle against hordes of weapons-wielding "chimpanzombies" (which look cute but have murderous intentions) and try to protect the park from getting broken apart and sucked up into scary purple clouds of darkness. So you can expect plenty of action (including explosions, peril, and more), as well as the looming presence of worry and sadness, since June is dealing with the fact that her mom has a serious illness. There are a couple of flirty comments ("I burn for you, baby!") and one quick kiss; language is limited to one "oh, jeez" and a couple of swearing stand-ins like "son of a woodchuck." The film celebrates imagination, curiosity, and perseverance and underlines the importance of not letting fear stop you from being yourself and doing what you love.

California parents camp in line for three nights to register children for kindergarten

More than 20 people lined up and camped for three straight days and nights outside a Lincoln, CA elementary school for the most competitive seats in town: a spot in their neighborhood kindergarten class.