Family

Family

When eating out, the focus shouldn’t be all on the kids

The Wall Street Journal recently interviewed Daniel Eddy, a New York City chef, on how to have a mutually-successful experience with a young child in an upscale restaurant (“How to Take Your Kids Out to Eat and Actually Enjoy the Experience,” July 14, 2016). WSJ obviously thinks the fact that being a chef qualifies one as an expert the subject; it seems to me, however, that a waitperson would have the better perspective.

Eddy’s first advice is to time the experience so that it coincides with the child’s usual mealtime. That seems like good common sense. Then, he says, prep the child for the experience so as to “build some excitement.”

Family

Couple struggling to find a way to reconcile

I’ve been separated from my wife of 19 years and three kids for a few months. The separation stemmed from my infidelity, a mistake I made to run from my marital problems instead of to communicate, try to work through them, and take a stand for my happiness. It was cowardly, and I regret it deeply.

Family

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?

Family

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?

Family

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.

Family

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?

Family

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?

Family

6 Apps that will help you keep track of your kid online

As kids become more independent, we want to foster their sense of responsibility and give them room to prove themselves. But it can be difficult to navigate this natural separation, especially when kids are doing who-knows-what on their devices. There are constant questions: Where are they? Who's contacting them? What are they doing online? Since tweens and teens are often tight-lipped about their lives, it can be tricky to get clear answers.

Family

App review: Chameleon Run, super fun and challenging platformer, winning pick for kids

Parents need to know that Chameleon Run is a combination of a platformer, the game show Wipe Out, and the app Color Switch. Players control a little robot-like block figure as it moves along an obstacle course of colored, beam-style platforms, jumping and changing the figure's color to match where it will land. It's not for all kids since the pace is so fast and finishing levels can be really tricky. There are no ads and no in-app purchases, but there's also no parent gate on the More Games tab and kids can use the "face cam" to record themselves playing and presumably share the video, though that feature wasn't working during the review period. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the information collected and shared.

Family

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.

Family

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.

Movie News & Reviews

Movie review: 'Ice Age: Collision Course,' fine (but not-so-fresh) fifth installment fetches some laughs

Parents need to know that "Ice Age: Collision Course" is the fifth installment in the popular prehistoric-themed "Ice Age" franchise. It's not necessary for viewers to have seen all of the former films to understand the plot line, but it does help. The violence/peril is less intense than in previous installments but does feature serious natural catastrophes - like a fiery asteroid headed for Earth (and destructive meteors) - as well as egg-stealing birds bent on destruction. You can also expect a little bit of insult language ("turd," "stupid"), as well as mildly suggestive comments about "parts retracting" and hotness. The coupled-off characters also embrace or kiss very briefly. As always, the messages revolve around teamwork and the unconditional love/acceptance of the right "herd."

Videos

Parents' rules for social media

Chris Ware lays out three rules for parents and their children's social media use.
Parents' rules for social media 1:05

Parents' rules for social media

Bill Clinton recounts how he met and married Hillary Clinton 3:25

Bill Clinton recounts how he met and married Hillary Clinton

Stealing from a church 0:33

Stealing from a church

Alison Lundergan Grimes at Democratic National Convention 4:53

Alison Lundergan Grimes at Democratic National Convention