Home & Leisure



Read, Read, Read Before School Starts!

Parents / Kids' Home Library /

These fun picture books full of wordplay and stories of vacations and beach time fit the hot August bill perfectly. Please remember to read with your children often, even in summertime.

"Cockatoo, Too" by Bethanie Deeney Murguia; little bee books/Bonnier Publishing; 34 pages; $17.99.

Last night my son told me that "Buffalo buffalo buffalo ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Fiancé too friendly with ex-in-laws

Parents / Family Living /

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 ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Two kids, night and day

Parents / Family Living /

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?

A: What you'...Read more

Son Considering Education Options Other Than College

Parents / Focus on the Family /

Q: Our son graduated from high school this spring, and we're really struggling with what his next step should be. We want to offer him the prospect of a bright future, but formal education has never been his forte. He's very gifted mechanically and enthusiastically works on our cars and projects around the house. But his friends are all headed ...Read more

Out of the House and a Know-It-All

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My 12-year-old son never wants to bring friends to our house. He is at a friend's house almost all the time. When I ask him to invite someone over he just says, "Nah," and makes other plans. How can we encourage him to hang out more at home? -- Missing Out Dad

Dear Missing Out: This is a good time to start encouraging him ...Read more

Taking Your Kids Out To Eat

Parents / John Rosemond /

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 ...Read more

Solo Sports and Family Dinners

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: I grew up playing basketball. It was a wonderful experience to be part of a team. My daughter is more interested in solo activities, such as ice skating and gymnastics. With regards to the social development of a child, what are your thoughts on individual activities vs. team-oriented activities? -- Curious Dad

Dear Curious...Read more

Elvis, the Beatles, Frank and a Man Named Jelly Roll who Might Have Invented Jazz

Parents / Kids' Home Library /

Children have always been intrigued by music's greatest, from the classics to jazz to rock and roll. These new books for young readers chronicle some of music's finest, most innovative icons.

"Elvis: The Story of the Rock and Roll King" by Bonnie Christensen; Henry Holt; 32 pages; $16.99.

Youngsters will love knowing that before Elvis Presley ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Defining boundaries will help family relations

Parents / Family Living /

Q: After dating nearly two years, my fiance and I are engaged to be married this month. He has two adult bonuschildren from a prior marriage. He continues to be active in their lives and a great friend to his ex-wife, although she initiated the divorce 5 years ago. My fiance told me that his ex-wife refuses to meet me, and tonight I also ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Forced fatherhood? It happens more than you'd think

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My girlfriend and I talked many times about children and mutually decided not to have any. However, without telling me, she changed her mind and got pregnant. I have absolutely no interest in being a father or raising children, but she's threatening to come after me for child support. Is there anything I can do to stop her?

A: The...Read more

Young Son's Display Of Emotion Concerns Parents

Parents / Focus on the Family /

Q: My 7-year-old son came home teary-eyed after watching a children's movie at a friend's house. Apparently one of the characters was constantly teased and mistreated by the other kids in the film. It upset my son for the rest of the day. Is this level and display of emotion something I should be concerned about?

Jim: Perhaps my own experience ...Read more

After-Camp Blues and iPads at Meals

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My twin girls returned from sleep-away summer camp after a four-week stint. I missed them terribly. Now that they are home I want to send them back. They are miserable, rude and complaining constantly. I feel like they are ungrateful for the amazing experience we gave them. Please help me deal with them now that they are ...Read more

Do Children Deserve Reasons?

Parents / John Rosemond /

One of the more powerful parenting memes to emerge from the parenting revolution of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s was “Children deserve reasons.” To large degree, that was a reaction to the previous parental policy of answering “Why? and “Why not?” with “Because I said so.”

To my knowledge, no one has ever explained in non-...Read more

A Pesky Neighbor and a Talking-Resistant Daddy

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: My 8-year-old daughter's best friend, Emily, lives next door with her grandmother (her parents are drug addicted). Emily has a genetic disorder that makes toileting and some other physical tasks difficult. My issue is that Emily is bossy and disrespectful to my whole family. Sometimes she acts out and my kids start to copy ...Read more

Doctors get creative to distract tech-savvy kids before surgery

Parents / Parenting News /

Surgery can make anyone anxious, but it is especially hard for young children. Kids going into surgery may be separated from their parents for the first time in a frightening new environment, and they may not understand what's happening.

"For many families and kids, this is one of the most stressful events in their entire lives," said Dr. Sam ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: The distractions continue

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: A few weeks ago, you had an email from a 13-year old whose mother talks on the phone. You should have told the child to rat her mother out to the cops. The mother is endangering her own life, her daughter's life, and innocent bystanders' and drivers' lives. The 13-year old should send a note to the cops saying that her mother ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: How do I get my ex to stop badmouthing me to our son?

Parents / Family Living /

Q. It seems every chance my ex gets he's telling my son what a terrible person I am. I had an affair and we broke up. It's gotten to the point where my son refuses to see him, and of course my ex thinks I'm the one putting our son up to it. I swear I am not, and I don't know how to get it through to his father that the badmouthing is hurting our...Read more

Allow Son To Make His Own Mistakes

Parents / Focus on the Family /

Q: Despite our best parenting efforts, our adult son has developed a talent for making dumb decisions and behaving irresponsibly. He recently financed an expensive car he couldn't afford, only to total it three weeks later -- after he'd canceled the insurance. He's now in serious financial straits and may lose his job for lack of transportation....Read more

Summer Tutoring and an Overcommitted Daughter

Parents / The Family Coach /

Dear Family Coach: Every year my kids have a very hard time getting back into the rhythm of school and homework. I know it's summer, but I want them to do a bit of schoolwork with a tutor so they don't get rusty. My friends are getting tutors for their kids, too. My husband says I should back off and let them forget about school for the summer...Read more

Summery Picture Books With Zest and Sizzle

Parents / Kids' Home Library /

Studies show kids lose much of their reading skills if they're idle during summer vacation. It's extremely important -- and fun -- to keep reading all summer long. These are summer-themed picture books about swimming Sasquatches, beaches with baby turtles and garden bugs.

"Follow the Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred ...Read more