Family

Family

Parents @ Play: Celebrating National Puzzle Month

Did you know that January is National Puzzle Month – or that January 29 is National Puzzle Day? If not, don't feel bad: neither did we. But one thing we're quite sure of is that doing puzzles is a wonderful way to spend time with your family. Plus, it's good for you. Whether it's a 1,000-piece jigsaw, a crossword, a Sudoku, or something else, doing puzzles has been shown to increase alertness and concentration, improve memory and mood, boost problem-solving abilities and spatial reasoning, and lower stress levels. So in honor of National Puzzle Month, here are a few puzzle-icious ways to disconnect from our hyper-digital lifestyle, reconnect with your family, and generally improve your life.

Family

Commentary: Using neuroscience to prevent drug addiction among teenagers

One way to deter harmful recreational drug use by teenagers is to treat them like adults. Rather than simply tell them to "Just Say No" to alcohol, tobacco or illicit drugs, it may be more helpful to explain how these substances create unique risks for them – risks that arise due to the changing state of the adolescent brain.

Family

Ask Mr. Dad: The importance of roughhousing

Dear Mr. Dad: My husband and our boy-girl twins love to wrestle, but I'm worried that all that physical activity and getting revved up will make them – especially our son – see violence as acceptable. Should I be concerned?

Family

Program helps families help themselves

The Family Partnership has strengthened Twin Cities families for 140 years through therapeutic preschools, mental health counseling and anti human-trafficking programs. Now TFP is taking a dramatic step backward, so to speak. The nonprofit is the first in Minnesota to test a grant-funded program that sends coaches into at-risk households weekly for up to 18 months. The coaches are trained in a method called Mobility Mentoring. Instead of meticulously case-managing clients' stubborn issues, mentors step back and guide parents as they assess their own stability, set their own goals and, remarkably, often double their household income in the process. Senior Vice President John Everett Till tells us more.

Family

Ex-etiquette: Kids often wonder if mom and dad will get back together

Q: My boyfriend has a 10-year-old daughter who I am quite close to. He has made it very clear to her that we are together and that we love each other very much, but a few days ago while we were doing something in the kitchen, she made it very clear that she wants her parents to get back together. My boyfriend and his ex often spend time alone with their child – going to the movies, sometimes dinner. I'm wondering if this is confusing her? I have no idea how to approach this with him. What's good ex-etiquette?

Family

Living with Children: What should grandparents do when children won’t listen to good advice?

Q: We have ten grandchildren, spread between three of our kids. They all live within an hour's drive, so we see them often. We want to be involved in their lives and to be good influences. Our problem is with the parents. None of them are receptive to any advice or information we try to give or share. At least four of the grands have major behavior problems, for example (and all of them lack proper manners). It's obvious to us that the real problem is parents who don't know how to exercise effective authority, but any suggestions fall on deaf ears. One child has been diagnosed with an "oppositional" disorder. The parents have been told he can't help behaving the way he does, but he's no problem at all when he's with us, even for an extended stay. This is beginning to cause tension (and some conflict) among us. What should grandparents do when children won't listen to good advice?

Family

Parents @ Play: The importance of roughhousing

Dear Mr. Dad: My husband and our boy-girl twins love to wrestle, but I'm worried that all that physical activity and getting revved up will make them – especially our son – see violence as acceptable. Should I be concerned?

Books

Book review: ‘P Is for Pterodactyl,’ alphabet book teaches preschoolers about silent letters and spelling

Parents need to know that "P Is for Pterodactyl" shows kids lots of English words that are hard to spell (or pronounce) because they begin with silent letters, like pterodactyl, aisle, knight, and knot, or have silent letters in them. It also gets into words that come from languages other than English, like gnocci and tsunami, and plays with homonyms like sea and see. Every page has a fun, cartoon-like illustration and sentence below it that help kids understand the meaning and context of the words. "P Is for Pterodactyl" is a word lover's delight and an almost mandatory read-aloud. Includes a glossary at the back.

Family

Game review: ‘Override: Mech City Brawl,’ fun, flashy anime bot fighting game

Parents need to know that "Override: Mech City Brawl" is a futuristic arena-based fighting game available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows-based PC. Players choose from a selection of giant robots and battle against up to three opponents in destructible environments around the globe. While there's large scale destruction as the robots stomp through the arenas, crushing everything in their path, the actual violence is relatively tame. Robots fight with a variety of melee punches and kicks, as well as unique special attacks that incorporate flashy special effects. Multiplayer matches include local split-screen co-op, online play for up to four players, and even a "party" game where up to four players team up as one 'bot, with each player controlling specific parts. While the game doesn't include any profanity, parents should be aware that online play could still open up younger kids to potentially offensive conversation via party chat. It also offers additional downloadable content (DLC) for new outfits and fighters.

Five safety concerns parents should ask child care providers about

Finding good child care can be difficult. Here are five safety concerns parents and guardians should talk about with child care providers.