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Family

Teach kids how to resist advertising and be smart consumers

Commercials are nothing new. We all grew up with them and can probably sing a dozen or more jingles. What is new is how advertisers have adapted to digital media – especially apps, websites, and social media. Many of today's ads – from product placements in movies and on TV to online contests, viral videos, and "chatbots" (robots that send instant messages) – don't look like ads. And that's by design. Adapting to ever more jaded and fickle viewers, marketers have developed ways to integrate ads into entertainment, so it's hard to tell where the "real" content ends and the ads begin. These techniques also encourage us to interact (click, swipe, play, chat), which gives marketers data about our habits, likes, and preferences.

Family

The best Nintendo Switch games

The Nintendo Switch has only been out in the wild for a short time, but it's garnered quite the following since it's made its debut. The release library is quite small at the time of this writing, but it's got several titles you should consider playing if you're looking for those must-buy titles every new system comes with. While waiting for more of the heavy-hitters to reach store shelves, here are the building blocks of the Nintendo Switch library that you should absolutely consider purchasing.

Family

John Rosemond: Stressed-out parents of unmotivated teen should stop stressing

Q: Our 17-year-old son is an unmotivated student. A junior in high school, he is clearly capable of making straight A’s, but typically makes B’s and C’s. He plays on both the football and tennis teams, but is a standout at neither. He thinks kids who use drugs and play video games are “stupid” and his friends are all good kids, most of whom make better grades. He’s polite, well-mannered, and respectful. Other adults rave about what an impressive kid he is. Meanwhile, we’re pulling our hair out. We’ve talked to him many times about the fact that his grades are eliminating lots of college options, but it’s in one ear, out the other. We’ve taken away his driving privileges, his cellphone (he doesn’t have a smartphone), and even threatened to cancel his summer camp program, which he loves, but these attempted wake-up calls fail to wake him up. Do you have any suggestions?

Family

Ex-etiquette: Food preferences can be a bone of contention

Q. My partner has two teenagers who live with their mother in another state. We see them on breaks and two to three weeks in the summer. They seem to get along quite well with my son who is about their same age. My biggest problem is that they don't eat the same way as we do. I don't buy junk food and we have a consistent time for meals where we all sit down together. They think that's weird. I asked them what they liked and tried to cook it, but they hated my pizza and they wouldn't eat it. How can I make these children feel welcome while maintaining some kind of order in my home? What's good ex-etiquette?

Family

Chris Erskine: About a boy –

I was telling Thomas, the little guy's teammate, that I don't really understand a lot about life, despite being 390 years old and sometimes pretending to have all the answers.

Family

Lori Borgman: Know thy neighbor as thyself

Every week it seems there is a new way to check out your neighbors online. It's a lot easier than walking over and talking to them. Besides, talking requires personal communication skills and who has those anymore?

Family

Living with Children: Stressed-out parents of unmotivated teen should stop stressing

Q: Our 17-year-old son is an unmotivated student. A junior in high school, he is clearly capable of making straight A's, but typically makes B's and C's. He plays on both the football and tennis teams, but is a standout at neither. He thinks kids who use drugs and play video games are "stupid" and his friends are all good kids, most of whom make better grades. He's polite, well-mannered, and respectful. Other adults rave about what an impressive kid he is. Meanwhile, we're pulling our hair out. We've talked to him many times about the fact that his grades are eliminating lots of college options, but it's in one ear, out the other. We've taken away his driving privileges, his cellphone (he doesn't have a smartphone), and even threatened to cancel his summer camp program, which he loves, but these attempted wake-up calls fail to wake him up. Do you have any suggestions?

Family

Ask Mr. Dad: The disappearing tantrum trick

Dear Mr. Dad: My 3-year old throws tantrums all the time. When she does it at home, I can handle it, but when we're out in public and she goes nuts, I find it very hard to cope. I've tried time outs, taking away treats, and pretty much everything else short of spanking, which I don't ever want to do. But she just keeps on resorting to tantrums as a way to get what she wants, and I have to admit that sometimes I give in just to get her to calm down. What can I do to get her to find other ways to express herself?

Family

Passing time making memories

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – All Stephanie and Justin Drace wanted to do Friday was pick up Easter baskets for their 6-month-old son Henry from Hobby Lobby on Virginia Beach Boulevard.