Family

Family

Parents @ Play: Creature comforts

With so many fascinating, amazing, gorgeous, and marvelous creatures as there already are in the world, one might reasonably wonder why anyone could want even more. The answer is simple: Because it's fun! Here are some of our current favorite creature comforts, perfect for holiday gifts.

Family

Living with Children: Does the equal opportunity squat work?

I was fresh out of grad school when psychologists and other mental health types began recommending that when speaking to a child, an adult should squat down to eye level with said child. Supposedly, this submissive posture is a means of demonstrating respect for the child while, at the same time, avoiding any implication that the child must pay attention and obey because the adult is bigger.

Family

Ask Mr. Dad: Preschooler wants a mommy

Dear Mr. Dad: I'm a single dad – my wife left me with the baby right after our son was born. He's now four and keeps asking where his mommy is. I try to keep in touch with her and ask her to spend time with her son, but she's not interested. I've also been dating a lot, hoping to meet women so my son can have some positive female role models in his life, but no luck yet. My son clearly wants a mom. But what I'm most worried about is that he's not sleeping, eating, or behaving like other kids his age. What should I do?

Family

Ex-etiquette: Grateful for 'yours, mine, and ours'

I'm a big toaster. For years at Thanksgiving I tried to kick off the dinner by raising our glasses together and counting our blessings. We are a yours, mine, and ours bonusfamily and the people at the table are an uncommon bunch. There are exes and current partners, there are kids from each coupling that have all been raised together – and now there are grandkids. It's been a struggle sometimes, but the years have mellowed everyone and tolerance has kicked in.

Family

Despite ACA cost protections, most adolescents skip regular checkups

As children move through adolescence, some face health hurdles like obesity, sexually transmitted infections, depression and drug abuse. Regular checkups could help families address such problems, and the Affordable Care Act paved the way by requiring insurers to fully cover well-child visits, at no charge to patients.

Family

Mix up your latkes

Make traditional potato pancakes one night, but then surprise the kids with dessert for dinner at your next Hanukkah candle-lighting. Here's how to whip up sweet apple latkes:

Family

How to use media to teach your kid gratitude

Our culture is saturated with come-ons to buy, buy, buy: smartphones, in-app purchases, pricey laptops, and advertising that targets kids at every turn. No wonder many parents fret over how to teach kids gratitude. But gratitude actually has nothing to do with the amount of stuff you have or don't have.

Family

Game review: 'Star Wars Battlefront II,' epic sci-fi shooter, marred by microtransactions

Parents need to know that "Star Wars Battlefront II" is a first/third-person action shooter game, and is the direct sequel to EA's 2015 "Star Wars Battlefront" title. The story touches on themes of loyalty, redemption, and more, with a strong female protagonist leading the charge. "Battlefront II" is relatively easy to pick up and play, though some aspects of it have a steeper learning curve than others. Since combat is a central focus, violence in the game is a core part of the non-stop action. Even so, the violence is never graphic or bloody, with defeated enemies simply falling over and vanishing from the battlefield. Parents should also be aware that "Battlefront II" has an in-game market, where players use credits earned through gameplay or crystals purchased with real world money to unlock additional content.

Family

App review: Preschoolers learn ins, outs of running a restaurant with Dr. Panda Cafe app

Parents need to know that, with Dr. Panda Cafe, kids act as the waiter, cook, and busser in a busy cafe. The game starts off slowly, but as kids play, things can get pretty hectic. Customers arrive and need to be seated, and orders need to be taken, food and drinks prepared, bills paid, and tables cleaned. Customers reward good service with tips, and kids collect new foods to offer. Since there's no obvious stopping point, parents may want to set time limits ahead of time. In the parents' section, parents can turn background music and sound effects on or off and hide the advertising icon on the home screen. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your information is collected and shared.

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Famous quadruplets turn 16

Sisters Anna, Emily, Grace and Mary Claire Mathias are similar in that they’re all sassy, giggly and sharp, which is in contrast to how they initially gained notoriety. The Lexington girls make up a set of identical quadruplets, one of only about 70 sets in the world and even rarer in the fact that they were conceived naturally. The rising high school juniors turned 16 in February and have the wonders and woes of their late teen years to look forward to, from driving to figuring out career pathways and college.
Matt Walsh mwalsh@thestate.com
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