Dear Mr. Dad: My 4-year old twins are crazy about swimming or floating or doing pretty much anything in and around water. On one hand, I'm thrilled. I swam in high-school and college, and I'm looking forward to having them follow in my footsteps. On the other, I'm scared. I'm a stay-at-home mom, and there is no way I can keep an eye on them every second. How do we make our house water safe?
Q. I came home from work early yesterday and found my ex and our 10-year-old son in my house. They were sitting in his room talking, but I think it was wrong that she was there. We have not been together for two years, and our son spends a week with me and a week with her. She does not have a key, it's not even a house we have lived in together, but there she was comfortably lying on our son's bed talking about his day. How do I handle this? What's good ex-etiquette?
Q: We just discovered that our 17-year-old is using nicotine. He tells us he's been using for the past several months, smoking two to four cigarettes a day to cope with academic anxiety and relationships. He tends to be socially reserved and has been struggling with academics of late. He appears contrite and remorseful and has said, "I should never have gotten started with this stuff in the first place." On the other hand, he's also confessed that the only reason he would quit is because it upsets us. Can you give us some insights into this problem and tips on how to assist him in his recovery?
For more years than I care to count and long before these vehicles became a punchline of suburban motherhood, I drove a conversion van. It was big. Very big. And white. Windows the size of portholes. Insides the gray of intestines. Ugly as an inflamed bunion.
Forty years ago, when I was fresh out of college and not sure what to do with myself, my father gave me some advice. I had job applications out to what seemed like every newspaper in Southern California. Waiting tables, atrociously, in a Mexican restaurant was not my dream job. I was temporarily living in my dad's condo. I needed a mission beyond slinging the No. 4 combo and margaritas. I can still hear his words today, challenging and sympathetic.
When teens roll their eyes, the meaning of their nonverbal message is not hard for parents to decode. And when it first starts appearing, it often ushers in a new chapter of the child-parent relationship - one that requires patience and fortitude from the grown-ups.
This Fourth of July, celebrate your family's freedom from boring foods. We've selected some of our most exciting flavor combinations to help you throw a dairy festive Fourth of July party for your family and friends. The best part is you'll be enjoying balanced meals with foods from all five food groups. Hip, hip, hooray!
A new study confirms what to most of us is obvious that when your baby is fussy, picking them up helps. The study conducted at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Saitama, Japan by Dr. Kumi Kuroda stated "infants become calm and relaxed when they are carried by their mother" If we add to this knowledge, to our understanding of sensory modes, we can have up our sleeves a good arsenal to combat the crying or colicky baby.
Country singer Jessie James and husband, NFL star Eric Decker, are expecting their second child - a boy - and it sounds like they're planning to keep the brood growing. Already parents to 15-month-old daughter Vivianne Rose, James says, "We have all of our children's names picked out."
Parents need to know that "Massive Chalice" is a downloadable turn-based strategy game where players build up and defend their lands over 300 years. Characters will permanently die off, either as a result of battle or simply living out their natural life spans. Players will counter this by marrying off heroes to produce offspring and build a legacy. Though combat is core to the game (with swords, bombs, arrows, and battering rams used in battle), the violence isn't particularly graphic or gory. Light profanity occasionally pops up in dialogue, and some characters are shown to be either drunk or hungover, but apart from that there's no objectionable content.
Parents need to know that Geography Drive USA is an educational game app that helps kids learn about America and U.S. states by playing a game based on a road trip through each state. Kids are prompted with some voice instruction, but they also need to be able to read questions. Questions include map identifications ("Where's Chicago?") and more than 500 multiple choice questions ("What's the capital of Arizona?") that kids earn money to buy gas and other items for their car by answering correctly. There's a visitors center where kids can brush up on each state with online brochures. If they don't want to read the brochures, kids can still play by recalling information they've learned in school to answer some questions and maybe do some guessing. Just don't run out of gas, or your trip is over.
Parents need to know that "Batkid Begins" is an unabashedly emotional, uplifting documentary about the day in 2013 that the city of San Francisco transformed itself into Gotham to help a young boy's Make-A-Wish dream come true. Packed with excellent messages and role models, the film makes a strong case for the positive power of social media when it's used for a good cause (Twitter and Facebook helped make the event a global phenomenon) and shows how people really can make a difference. Discussion of young Miles' illness (leukemia) and treatment could worry some sensitive kids, and there are a few tense scenes staged for Batkid's big day (a woman tied to cable car tracks, fights with villains, etc.), but overall this is a wonderfully heartwarming story for viewers of all ages, with basically zero iffy content. (It's also a love letter to San Francisco; many local landmarks and businesses are featured, and you may find yourself wanting to book a trip there after the credits roll.)