Living

Family

Ex-etiquette: Something's not right

Q: My boyfriend and I have been living together for two years. He has two children, ages 3 and 4 1/2 His ex will not allow the kids to come to our home. He must see them at her house. He's there all the time, morning and night, and sometimes he stays the night when she's out of town on business. I hate it (I've never even seen her) and I think it's crazy. My boyfriend sees nothing wrong with it. What do you think? What's good ex-etiquette?

Family

Living with Children: Teen tantrums require a one-two 'punch' of authority

Q: When our daughter, an only child, turned thirteen and entered the 8th grade, it was like a switch was flipped. Almost overnight, she went from being a sweet, respectful and obedient child who had never given us any serious problems to being petulant, sassy, and often belligerent. She wants nothing to do with us anymore and makes that perfectly clear in often very hurtful ways. She stays in her room, on her smartphone, most of the time, often refusing to even eat dinner with us. We tried taking her phone away, but she threw such an out-of-control tantrum – shrieking, throwing and breaking things, even – that we became concerned gave it back to her. Her grades are beginning to suffer as well. We just don't know what to do. Should we perhaps put her in counseling with someone?

Family

Ask Mr. Dad: Meditation isn't what you think

Dear Mr. Dad: A few years ago, you wrote about the benefits of meditation for children. I honestly thought you were joking. But a counselor at my son's school just recommended it, saying it could help my son's severe anxiety. When I asked how to do it, he handed me a copy of your article! For the benefits of other readers, would you please review the benefits and how-to?

Home & Garden

Beyond Craigslist: 3 easy ways to sell your stuff online

Over the years, tastes change, life stages progress and styles evolve. And if you're anything like me, you buy new stuff every time one of those things happen, accumulating oodles of old furnishings and decor that clutter your basement (or the aisles of Goodwill if you did the noble thing and donated to charity).

Family

Movies: 10 Black history movies that tackle racism in America

From the country's history of slavery to the ongoing debate about immigration, race in America has always been a complicated topic. And, like many other big issues, it's something that comes up again and again in the movies, from inspiring stories about unforgettable leaders to wrenching documentaries about civil rights. Whatever your family's racial background, you can use movies like the ones below to begin or continue conversations about race. Movies can help underline key messages like the importance of diversity and acceptance. They can also be opportunities to discuss how different racial groups are depicted in film.

Travel

Switzerland-Italy train ride traverses different worlds

It takes 27 minutes to pass through the Gotthard Base Tunnel. It's something of a dreamlike experience: you're on the train hurtling through lush Swiss scenery – trackside haystacks and farmhouses, small villages with a single towering steeple, distant mist-crowned mountains, and dramatic landscape unfolding in more shades of green than you knew existed. Then all of a sudden, everything goes dark. Pitch black. You're still moving at about 150 miles per hour, but now you can't see where you're going.

Family

Game review: 'Shadow of the Colossus,' gorgeous, haunting adventure gets new life on PS4

Parents need to know that "Shadow of the Colossus" is a remastered version of an adventure game originally released in 2005. The game focuses on a young warrior trying to defeat 16 gigantic monsters with a bow and arrow and a sword. Finding and correctly targeting the weak points of the monsters sprays black blood from its wounds. A character also winds up getting impaled by a sword and shot through the leg with an arrow. Players may find themselves frustrated by the controls, which can be a bit stiff, especially compared to other modern adventure games. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content to be found in the game.

Family

App review: Cash Show – Win Real Cash!: Popular trivia game awards players real cash via PayPal

Parents need to know that Cash Show is a free-to-play trivia game where players can win real cash. Players share in a prize pool with all other winners, and winnings are transferred to an online PayPal account. Players must use phone numbers to register and are encouraged to earn bonus codes by connecting their Cash Show accounts to Facebook and by inviting friends to download the app. Players must be 17 or older to receive cash winnings and must provide their identity, address, and birth date to do so. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

Family

Soup swap party

A party that supplies you with fully prepared dinners for busy weeknights to come? Sign us up! Hosting a soup swap is a genius way to spend time with friends and fill your freezer. Plus, there's big payoff for minimal effort: Each guest makes only one batch but leaves with four meals. It's a total win-win! Here's how to plan the ultimate swap, with four crowd-pleasing – and kid-friendly – soups to bring to the soiree.

Home & Garden

Interior designers always notice these bedroom decorating mistakes

We know it right away when walking into a great hotel room: Everything is perfectly proportioned, the bed is meticulously made and the lighting casts a soft glow on attractive and functional furniture. The rug has the ideal softness under bare feet, and the artwork is eye-catching but not overpowering. Hoteliers craft their guest rooms so effortlessly, so why can it feel so hard to replicate the same look at home?

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