Living

Family

Ex-etiquette: You're not in this alone

I'm divorced and my son lives a week with his mother and a week with me. He is in the 6th grade. He recently got in trouble at school for using a racial slur and insulted one of his best friends. Evidently, he saw a comedy routine on YouTube and thought to repeat it. I talked to the principal and his friend's mother and now he's grounded and without a phone. I'm trying to be a good parent. What's good ex-etiquette?

Family

Ask Mr. Dad: Playing the role

Dear Mr. Dad. My husband and I have two-year-old twins – a girl and a boy – and we both love spending time with them. But I've noticed that he and I have very different styles, in several ways. We do different activities with the kids. And I've also noticed that I do a better job of treating the kids the same, while he treats our son very differently than our daughter. What's the best way to play with a toddler? And isn't it better to play with the two kids in exactly the same way?

Family

Chris Erskine: Easter with exploding eggs, rogue Russians

When the kids were really young, we used to have the best Easters. I'd dress up like Jesus and they'd dress like little Roman soldiers and chase me around the yard. Insert your own symbolism if you like, but I caution you not to jump to conclusions. Many families have their special traditions.

Living

Reporter who insulted Red Lake Falls, Minn., now making his home there

In a remote patch of northwest Minnesota two hours from Fargo, N.D., two rivers slice through the prairie, leaving craggy cliffs and unexpected hills in the middle of infinite flatness. Red Lake Falls is perched on those hills, and the green metal sign that welcomes drivers across its border claims the town has 1,427 residents. That sign is wrong.

Travel

72 hours in Atlanta

I never had a yearning to visit Atlanta. It just wasn't a city on my radar. I'd flown through it a few times on my way to other cities, but hadn't ever considered it as a travel destination. But when my mother, sister and I were trying to decide where to meet up for our annual girls' weekend, we decided, why not try out Atlanta? Flights to the city are cheap from Los Angeles and New York, our respective towns, and in February the weather was perfect for a visit.

Travel

St. Marks Place – three famous, hip blocks of New York City

Early on a mild September morning, an elderly man on a black bicycle meanders along the paths of Tompkins Square Park, in New York's East Village. A cassette tape player balanced on the bicycle's crossbar plays tinny Asian music that grows louder as he approaches and then fainter as he pedals away. The only other sound is birdsong.

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.

Videos

Coffee may help slow effects of aging

Many of us reach for that morning cup of coffee without giving much thought to how it might benefit us –other than getting us out of bed.
Meta Viers / McClatchy, footage: Cleveland Clinic
Coffee may help slow effects of aging 1:32

Coffee may help slow effects of aging

Do you love your heart? Start exercising! 1:42

Do you love your heart? Start exercising!

Most babies should be exposed to peanuts earlier, according to new guidelines 1:39

Most babies should be exposed to peanuts earlier, according to new guidelines

Ever wonder why we make New Year's resolutions? 1:54

Ever wonder why we make New Year's resolutions?