Family

Family

Parents @ Play: 2017 Toy Fair trends

Every year at about this time, every toy, game, collectible, and indoor- or outdoor plaything goes on display at New York Toy Fair. And, as usual, your Parents@Play team fearlessly braved the frigid weather (although, this year it was practically balmy) to bring you a glimpse into this year's up-and-coming trends.

Family

Ex-etiquette: A personal ex-etiquette experience

So that you, my readers, understand that I also face ex-etiquette dilemmas, here's an ex-etiquette issue I recently had to deal with myself. My daughter's father and I have been divorced for years but our daughter recently asked us both to travel from California to New York City to help her get settled in the next stage of her life. She confessed she was a little afraid to make the move alone and wanted both her parents there for moral support. Her dad and I get along fine so we agreed, but traveling with an ex presents interesting problems.

Family

Living with Children: Adopted son wants to live with biological mother

Q: Our 14-year-old son, who was adopted by open adoption, now wants to go live with his biological mother. She was completely out of the picture until a couple of years ago when she suddenly showed up, telling us that she'd completely changed her life and wanted to re-establish contact with "her" son. At first, it was just phone calls. Then she asked for daytime visits, then overnights. Then he wanted to go on vacation with her last summer. In the meantime, he's become more and more difficult to live with - moody and disrespectful, mostly, and his grades have taken a nose dive. He's told us he doesn't want to live with us anymore. I think he believes there will be no rules with her and he'll be able to eat ice cream all day long, figuratively speaking. What should we do?

Family

Ask Mr. Dad: Funny, you don't look like you're pregnant, Dad.

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife is about four months pregnant and I'm really excited about becoming a new dad. The problem is that I've recently put on some weight (which is really weird, since I weigh exactly what I did in high school). I've also been having nosebleeds and I'm vomiting a lot (which is also weird, since I almost never do either one). I'm too embarrassed to talk to my wife about this and I'm certainly not going to ask my doctor. But I thought you might be able to help me figure out what's going on. Got any ideas about why this is happening?

Family

What you need to know about potty training

Toddlers are typically ready to learn to use the toilet between 2 and 4 years of age. Just like crawling, walking or sleeping through the night, potty training is a learned skill that can't be taught in one day. Rather than focusing on a specific age, you should begin potty training when your child shows multiple signs that they're ready.

Family

App review: 1600, an augmented reality tour of the White House

Parents need to know that 1600 transforms a real dollar bill into the White House and its grounds in the app through augmented reality technology (AR). Center the app's screen on the face of a dollar bill and watch the images on the bill transform into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Tour the animated scene (among many others) and watch images such as the presidential helicopter land on the grass as Secret Service agents stand guard on the roof. Parents may need to help younger kids with 1600 because it's not easy to consistently tilt your device just right to continue the tour. When it hits a glitch, the app returns to the beginning, which can be frustrating. Read the White House privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

Family

Social Security: Social Security celebrates Black History Month

Throughout the month of February, we honor African Americans by celebrating Black History Month. Created in 1926, this event coincides with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and Frederick Douglass on February 14. African American communities have celebrated these birthdays together for over a century.

Family

Why I'm letting my daughter watch the Oscars red carpet ceremony this year

As kids get older, it's harder to control what media they're exposed to. When my daughter was young, I could shield her from any red carpet hoopla during the Oscars and all the sexist messages it sends: rating women on their looks, glorifying luxury goods, and the fact that men slip by all the prying questions. Now it's becoming more difficult as she scans her Instagram feed for celebrity pics, and her friends are more up to date on pop culture events.

Family

Balancing Act: Paper dolls that you can 'dress like women?' Yes, please.

My favorite response to the report that President Trump wants his female employees to "dress like women" was that photo collage, shared all over social media, of famous women in their women's wear - Mae Jemison wearing her astronaut uniform, Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her Supreme Court justice robe, Malala Yousafzai in a head scarf and so on.

Family

Game review: 'Mission US: Flight to Freedom,' powerful sim portrays life of a teen slave

Parents need to know that "Mission US: Flight to Freedom" is an age-appropriate but realistic simulation of life for Lucy, an African-American teenage girl living in the pre-Civil War period, as she attempts to flee from slavery to freedom. This game is intended to be used as part of an integrated curriculum on slavery (resources are provided on the publisher's website), not necessarily as a stand-alone experience. Kids who play will get a sense of what it's like to be ordered around by a master, leave family behind to run for freedom, and have to make difficult decisions. Some choices will result in Lucy being captured, and the simulation will end. Given the subject matter, kids might find the experience to be emotionally intense; families are torn apart, people are treated poorly, and characters are unfairly imprisoned. The use of words such as "Negro" could feel offensive to some, although they're authentic to the time period. Most decisions have no right or wrong answer, which may be a new experience for kids. There are repercussions for each decision and, much like in real-life, you can't always know which will end poorly. Some choices result in "badges," which aren't rewards so much as representations of personality traits within the experience. As the game progresses, these personality traits come into play and help shape Lucy's life.

Videos

How to carve your pumpkin safely

More than half of Halloween injuries involve pumpkin carving, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Each year, thousands of people end up in emergency departments with cuts, lacerations, and puncture wounds suffered during pumpkin carving activities."Sometimes, we’re very excited, and we don’t think about this as being dangerous," says Mayo Clinic internist Dr. Vandana Bhide. "And, you can make it safer by planning ahead."
Mayo Clinic
How to carve your pumpkin safely 1:00

How to carve your pumpkin safely

Top baby names of 2015 1:15

Top baby names of 2015

Video shows Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter dispute before arrest 3:33

Video shows Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter dispute before arrest

Thon reveals fundraising total for 2017 1:54

Thon reveals fundraising total for 2017