Family

Movie News & Reviews

How to choose an age-appropriate scary movie for your kid

Scariness comes from fear of the unknown, from surprise, and from fears about the loss of a loved one. Different things scare different children; it's not always possible to predict what will frighten a particular kid. Young kids are frightened more by creatures that older children know don't exist. Abrupt noises, eerie sounds, and music create tension in both younger and older children. Psychological suspense, with its threats of impending doom, can terrify your middle-school kids.

Family

Social Security giveth, medical costs taketh away

Retirees spent on average more than a third of their Social Security benefits on out-of-pocket medical costs in 2014, according to a recent study. Even after factoring in other sources of income, medical spending still took a substantial 18 percent bite out of seniors' total retirement income, the study found.

Family

Snacks: Fill 'em (almost) up

Sometimes kids need more than a nibble. These generously portioned snacks are sure to satisfy, whether doubled-up for lunch or served before Saturday soccer practice.

Books

Book review: 'Mr. Lemoncello's Great Library Race,' kids battle fake-news-posting villains in exciting mystery

Parents need to know that "Mr. Lemoncello's Great Library Race" is the third installment in bestselling author Chris Grabenstein's series aimed at showing kids the wonders of libraries. Like other books in the series, it's packed with book references, creative challenges, diverse characters, and over-the-top details (like a private jet shaped like a banana, or drone slippers that let the wearer fly). It's also a timely response to the growing problem of fake news and other internet falsehoods, offering a great how-to (disguised as a mystery adventure) for figuring out whether that shocking information you just read online has a shred of truth attached. A bit of fart humor (Whoopee Cushions play a minor role) and occasion butt/poop references aside, nothing to worry about here and a lot to like.

Family

App review: DisneyNOW streaming app offers Disney Channel faves, branded games, lots of ads

Parents need to know that DisneyNOW – Shows and Live TV is the Disney Channel companion app with content from Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, and Radio Disney, as well as branded games. Parents can create profiles for each child with their favorite content. They can also limit content to Disney Junior, but there is no parent gate on the settings, so kids may figure out how to change this on their own. TV shows and movies are the same as you'd expect on the cable channels and will have some mild violence (orchestrated fights, mean behavior, monsters), teen dating and romance. Access to TV shows and movies require a separate cable subscription. The games (which can also be limited to Disney Junior-related content) are based on Disney Channel franchises. The content is regularly changing, so parents may want to keep an eye on what is available at any given time. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the information collected and shared.

Family

Get cooking: Flippin' fun

What's better than pancakes? Making them together, of course! We've got what you need for a happy morning in the kitchen with your little monsters!

Family

Moms Gear: Styling iron leaves hair straight, sleek and shiny

Want to feel like a professional when straightening your or your kid's hair? Try the Style House professional straightening iron. This 1.25-inch flat iron uses 100 percent ceramic plates that help to produce even, consistent heating when straightening the hair. Other flat irons may have metal plates with a ceramic coating on the outside, but that coating can wear off, and the metal underneath can cause damage to the hair.

Videos

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California lawmaker praises signing of diaper bill

Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, a Democratic assemblywoman from San Diego, celebrates the signing of her diaper bill at a ceremony with Gov. Jerry Brown in Sacramento on Oct. 11, 2017. The measure provides subsidies to poor mothers to buy diapers.
Christopher Cadelago ccadelago@sacbee.com
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