Ask Mr. Dad: Two kids, night and day

Dear Mr. Dad: We have two sons, almost exactly three years apart. The oldest was a dream child in almost every way, but his little brother is pretty much the exact opposite. My husband and I find this surprising, since we tried to do everything with our youngest exactly the same as we did for our oldest. Why are they so different?


Ex-etiquette: Fianc� too friendly with ex-in-laws

Q: I'm having a difficult time accepting the fact that my fiance still "hangs out" at his ex-mother-in-law's house when he picks his daughter up for visitation. I just recently found a video that his ex mother-in-law filmed of my fiance and his daughter playing in her pool together. When I confronted him about it his response was that his daughter didn't want to go out for dinner. She wanted to stay home and go in the pool with him. I feel like I was lied to because I was under the impression they went out to dinner and I was never told otherwise. I also think he's too friendly with his ex. I feel like there needs to be boundaries here. Am I over reacting? Please help! What's good ex-etiquette?


Lori Borgman: On call for potty training

I fielded four calls before I finally found out that my name and number had been posted on a bathroom wall. It's not as bad as it sounds. My contact info, along with my picture, are on a poster on the bathroom wall where one of the grands is potty training.


Living with Children: New teacher could be cure for disruptive behavior

Q: Our son is a rising second-grader at a private school. Last year, his behavior was often disruptive and sometimes even downright defiant - problems his first grade teacher did not have with him. At home, we have no more than typical "boyishness" - nothing approaching serious. Nonetheless, at the school's request we took him to a private counselor they recommended. When that did no good, the school began insisting he had a disorder and wanted him put on medication - something we will not do. Anyway, we want to take preventive steps to head this off before it becomes an issue in the coming school year. Can you give us any advice?


Chris Erskine: Got a teen? Consider a puppy crate

At night, we've started experimenting with keeping our youngest son in a crate. He's 13, and in the early stages of a rough pubescence - is that redundant? Aren't all pubescences rough? Like hurricanes and root canals, aren't they all a little harrowing?

Home & Garden

Style at Home: Contain your happiness: Beautiful bouquets brighten your home

Life is sweeter when we allow ourselves simple indulgences every day. For me, it's starting every morning quietly, with coffee in a cup made by my great niece, watching the sunrise reflect on the lake. It's melting into a hot bubble bath after a long day. It's filling my home with treasures that brighten my heart and make me smile, like beautiful bouquets of fresh flowers.


Host a 'Capes for Kids!' party

Something magical happens when a child puts on a superhero cape. As soon as it's tied on, he has a new source of power and nothing can stop him. That's why this summer, FamilyFun is teaming up with Access Hollywood's Kit Hoover and two venerable volunteer organizations, Enchanted Makeovers and GenerationOn, to encourage families like yours to make and donate capes to kids who enter homeless shelters.

Entertainment & Life

Game review: Simple, addictive puzzler is a fantastic pick for kids

Parents need to know that "BoxBoxBoy!" is a downloadable single-player puzzle game for the Nintendo 3DS. The game is a sequel to the 2015 surprise 3DS hit, "BoxBoy!" Players control an animated box through a variety of hazard-filled stages, trying to get safely from Point A to Point B. The game is designed as an all-ages game, and has no issues with language, sexual content, or other offensive content. The game is easy to pick up and play, with difficulty coming from thinking up solutions to progress through the increasingly complex stages.

Home & Garden

Design Recipes: 10 space-saving tips for kids' bedrooms

From toys to clothing, finding a home for everything a child may need is often a challenge. Preserving space is often at the top of the must-dos list in addition to proper organization. With many Americans choosing to downsize, rooms have gotten smaller, but the good news is there are perhaps more design options on the market than ever to help maximize space.

Home & Garden

12 tips for beautiful organization

When it comes to our favorite part of beautifying a home, storage and organization rarely rank high. And rightly so; we often consider cleaning a chore, brushing it aside as an annoyance or time-zapping task to deal with later. But here's the thing: Science suggests that your messy home is more than just an eyesore. Researchers from UCLA's Center on Everyday Lives and Families found that women who live in a cluttered home have higher levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone. In other words, those strewn dirty clothes could take a serious toll on your health, as well as the look of your home. Convinced that it's time to tidy up? Follow these timeless storage hacks to update your home - and bid stress bye-bye.


Veterinarian removes brain parasite from kitten's nose (Graphic Content)

A stray kitten is recovering after an Omaha, Nebraska veterinarian removed a brain parasite from its nose. Nebraska Humane Society (NHS) released footage on Facebook showing the enormous Cuterebra larva being removed. The Cuterebra fly is a large, non-biting, fat fly that lays its eggs near rodent or rabbit burrows on grass, rocks and vegetation. According to NHS, the Cuterebra do not "seek out animals," but its eggs will attach and hatch in an animal in response to the body heat of a passing host.
Nebraska Humane Society via Facebook
Veterinarian removes brain parasite from kitten's nose (Graphic Content) 0:52

Veterinarian removes brain parasite from kitten's nose (Graphic Content)

Immersed in beauty in the Japanese Tea Garden 1:02

Immersed in beauty in the Japanese Tea Garden

It's time to play in Golden Gate Park 0:59

It's time to play in Golden Gate Park

Paddling with the ducks on Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park 1:00

Paddling with the ducks on Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park