Family

TV

‘My Mom’s Letter from Heaven’ next family project for Barry Watson

Barry Watson stresses while it might look like the only acting projects he's attracted to have to do with family, he has done a variety of roles over the years. It's just that the decade he spent on the family-oriented "7th Heaven" along with the series "Date My Dad" plus heartfelt films like "My Future Boyfriend," "An Hour Behind" and "Far From Home" are the projects that most people associate with him.

Family

Ana Veciana-Suarez: Technology has made us trade our privacy for convenience

For a while now The Hubby and I have been debating the purchase of a voice-activated smart speaker, not because we need it but because so many people we know have one. Whether it's the Amazon Echo or the Google Home or the Apple HomePod, these devices allow users to feel like a star in an episode of "The Jetsons" or "Futurama." I, for one, don't want to miss out on what is certainly the future of home living.

Family

Living with Children: Addiction to videogames

Julie Jargon is a reporter with the Wall Street Journal. Heretofore, she has written about food companies like Starbucks and McDonalds. As of April 2, however, Ms. Jargon is writing a WSJ column titled "Family and Tech," described as dealing with "the impact of technology on family life."

Family

Ask Mr. Dad: Infertility: Not just for women only

Dear Mr. Dad: A few years ago, you wrote a column about male infertility. I remember being surprised, since I'd always thought women were the only ones who had fertility problems. But now, after several years of being unable to conceive, I just found out that, just like the man who'd written to you back then, that the issue is mine. And, like him, I'm shattered. I'm thrashing around, looking for anything I can do to undo whatever the problems are and to feel like a man again. Is there anything I should do – or stop doing – that can help?

Family

Ex-etiquette: How do I co-parent with someone who is impossible to work with?

Q: When my son was 3 months old, I broke up with his father. There were many reasons. Basically, he wouldn't work, he slept all day, and didn't help with the kids. I worked full time, was a fulltime student, and did everything. Fast forward a year, I decide to give 'us' another try. He improved in the beginning but then things got bad again. I had enough and finally ended it for good. Now fast forward almost another year – he is still messaging me and asking me back. In these last several months he has been charged with harassment and felony stalking. So, how do I co-parent with someone who is impossible to work with? I'm starting to be concerned if my son is even safe with him. What's good ex-etiquette?

Family

4/20, your kids and the brands and influencers jumping on the weed wagon

4/20 Day – the celebration of marijuana that occurs every year on April 20 – gets more popular every year. And while you probably haven't heard too much about it, your kids likely have. That's because 4/20 awareness spreads mostly on the sites and apps that attract tweens and teens, such as Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok and other social media. Even mainstream companies including Wingstop, Lyft, Ben & Jerry's, Denny's and Burger King use the day to promote their brands not on TV or Facebook (where parents are), but on platforms with a younger following. If you're looking for evidence of the virality of 4/20 Day, do a search on the name and associated hashtags in apps like Snapchat and Instagram, and check out the feeds of the social media influencers who use the moniker to elevate their personal brand.

Family

App review: ‘What’s in The Oceans?’: Fun, subtle lessons make this a great pick for Earth Day

Parents need to know that "What's in The Oceans?" is an open-ended play space where kids can watch a variety of ocean life in different settings. Kids can choose from five ocean ecosystems, each with its own endless set of plants and animals to drop and drag in to the water. Different things happen depending on what animals kids select, including predator animals chomping up prey and releasing some red clouds of "blood." There are some ocean lessons for kids to learn, such as the effects of climate change, over-fishing, and pollution. But the lessons are very subtle and kids will likely need significant involvement from their parents to make any meaningful connections. The settings menu offers options to turn off the sound effects and background music, and to choose to read a brief summary of the app's learning philosophy in 17 languages. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

Family

Game review: ‘MLB The Show 19’: Swing into baseball season with this home run hit for kids

Parents need to know that "MLB The Show 19" is the latest installment in the baseball simulation franchise that's exclusively for the PlayStation 4. There's no inappropriate content in the game, but there's lots of product placement for Topps, Major League Baseball, and other brands in stadiums or in stat boosting items found in card packs. These items, along with players and other extras, can be purchased with real money or earned by playing multiple games. Players could potentially be exposed to inappropriate comments in online games because they're unmoderated.

Movie News & Reviews

Movie review: Predictable college-set adaptation ‘After’ shows plenty of partying and sex

Parents need to know that "After" – a college-set romance based on Anna Todd's best-selling novel – deals frankly with sex. Despite a lack of actual nudity, several scenes feel very sexually explicit and include kissing, intimate touching, implied oral sex and the loss of virginity. But the main characters (played by Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin) don't rush into sex despite their intense attraction, and all scenes are consensual. There's both same-sex and opposite-sex kissing. Parents are portrayed as struggling to overcome flaws themselves, including alcoholism and broken marriages. Partying, with alcohol and drugs, is depicted as a fact of college life. Teens may pick up positive messages about love and friendship, but they could also walk away with superficial notions of romance and college life.

Family

Social Security: Medicare rules for those with higher income

If you have higher income, the law requires an upward adjustment to your monthly Medicare Part B (medical insurance) and Medicare prescription drug coverage premiums. But, if your income has gone down, you may use form SSA-44 to request a reduction in your Medicare income-related monthly adjustment amount.

Family

Parents @ Play: Hoppin’ toward Easter

It's already April, and of course that means that for many, the Easter Bunny will soon be hopping into their houses with a basket of treats. Here are a few ideas to consider for your kids – or kids at heart.

What to expect when your child is vaccinated

Serious reactions are actually very rare but here are some things parents might expect after their child’s vaccine visit.