Family

Family

Ex-etiquette: Making plans together crucial for 6-year-old's sleeping habits

Q. My child's father and I broke up about a year and a half ago and it has been very traumatic for our son, age 6 – so much so that he asks to sleep in my bed every night. His father says he's just fine at his house and sleeps in his own bed, but at my house he cries and gets very stressed out before bed. Now he's telling me he doesn't want to go to his dad's. What's good ex-etiquette?

Family

Living with Children: Stay the course when giving out discipline

Q: Our 18-year-old daughter is a month away from high school graduation and she is failing nearly every class! About six months ago, she took up with a group of young adults who are less than desirable, to say the least. Some of them are dropouts. I suspect drugs and alcohol. The more we tried to prevent her from running with this lowly bunch, the more rebellious she became. Finally, in desperation, we took her car and her smartphone away and told her she can't have them back until she possesses a high school diploma. If she fails to graduate, she can go to summer school or get a G.E.D. from our community college. She says she's not even going to go to school at all until we give her the car and phone back. And she adamantly refuses counseling. Help!

Family

Ask Mr. Dad: Playing dolls with your daughter will help her, and you

Dear Mr. Dad: A few years ago, I read an article you wrote about why dads should play with their daughters. My husband is a pretty traditional guy and has a real problem playing with our four-year old the way she wants to play – meaning tea parties and dolls – not the way he does – meaning sports and superheroes. How can I encourage him to get over himself and do what's best for her?

Family

Game review: Entertaining simulation game explores the evolution of life

Parents need to know that "Birthdays the Beginning" is a world-creation, sandbox-style simulation game. Players are given control of a blank chunk of land to mold to encourage life to develop. Over the course of the game, various forms of wildlife can flourish and evolve. Players can learn about these plants and animals, as well as how climate changes can affect the ecosystem. Although it can be a bit overwhelming to monitor and adjust the variables needed to create life, the game really does try to point players in the right direction and ease them into the complexities of their personal biospheres.

Family

App review: Headspace: Wellness app makes mediation accessible, practical, pricey

Parents need to know that Headspace: Guided Meditation and Mindfulness is a meditation app for adults and kids. The app's beginner course is free, but the other content requires a paid subscription. The meditations created for kids include very brief, one- to nine-minute meditations, while longer meditations are available for teens and adults. Created by a former Buddhist monk, this app presents meditation in very straightforward ways and for specific circumstances, including walking, sleeping, kindness, and focus. It also includes reminders, rewards, and ways to connect with friends for motivation. It's compatible with the Apple Health app and Apple Watch. Though there's a free trial, you can't see much without a subscription, which is $12.99/month.

Family

Five awesome apps that can teach your kid math this summer

Daily math practice doesn't have to be – and, in fact, shouldn't be – drill-and-kill. Summer is a great opportunity to make learning more fun with apps that add a gaming element to key skills such as addition, subtraction, fractions, and more. These apps let kids avoid the "summer slide" in a fun – and totally painless – way.

Family

How one metro Detroit couple survived 70 years of marriage

Sophia George, 88, and always the life of the party, was even more radiant than usual in a midnight blue gown with metallic gold and silver accents, her eyes sparkling as she hugged her guests and welcomed them in; later that night she would lead a conga line through the banquet hall.

Movie News & Reviews

Movie review: 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul' more gross-out humor in latest installment

Parents need to know that "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul" is the fourth movie in the series based on Jeff Kinney's super-popular "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books, but it has an all-new cast. In this installment, Greg Heffley (now played by Jason Drucker) is forced to go on a road trip with his family; predictably, chaos ensues. As in the previous three movies, there's a lot of gross-out humor involving pee, poop and vomit, as well as some insult language ("loser," "fat," "stupid," etc.) and chase scenes. Stressful moments include car accidents, Greg being pursued by an angry man, and a runaway boat. There's a running theme of putting technology aside to better enjoy family time. And although much of the behavior in the movie isn't particularly admirable, the characters do come together in the end, and – amid the sibling torment and fart jokes – there are positive messages about the importance of family and perseverance.

Family

Game tips: Pokemon Go Gym overhaul could arrive this week

Players who closely follow Pokemon Go news will recall hearing Niantic CEO John Hanke reveal that the company had plans for three major updates to Pokemon Go in 2017. By now, we know that the first of those was the Gen 2 update that landed back in February. Fans have been speculating about what the next updates would bring and when they might arrive, and many believe that the next update will be a gym overhaul – and that it might land this week.