Boxing classes for Parkinson's patients puts hope in their corner

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. - "Up, up, up! Down, down, down! Side, side, side!" the trainer commanded as Jay Brunk, diagnosed five years ago with Parkinson's disease, tried to punch the mitts on the constantly moving hands. "Perfect, perfect, perfect!," the trainer yelled with each thump of Brunk's boxing gloves against the targets.


Ask Mr. Dad: The downside of praise

Dear Mr. Dad: I'm almost embarrassed to say this, but I'm sick and tired of hearing parents tell their kids that they're "awesome," or "amazing" or "incredible," or any of the other overused words people use these days. The fact is that most kids aren't any of those things. I'm wondering whether we're doing damage to our society with our non-stop praise. What's your take on this?


Ex-etiquette: Find a compromise for Mother's Day celebration

Q: My biological mother died when I was 5-years-old and two years later my father married a wonderful woman who raised me and has always made me feel loved. I regard her as my mom, even though I will never forget my biological mother, but each year when Mother's Day rolls around, my aunt (my mom's sister) wants me to visit the cemetery where my mother is buried and completely disregard Judy. On Mother's Day, of all days, I want to acknowledge Judy for what she has done for me, but it causes a problem every year. What's good ex-etiquette?


Book review: Crossover tales will thrill fans of Riordan's books

Parents need to know that these three short stories, which combine main characters from Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and Kane Chronicles series, were previously available separately as ebooks only. "The Son of Sobek" was released in 2013, "The Staff of Serapis" in 2014, and "The Crown of Ptolemy" in 2015. The hardcover book "Demigods and Magicians: Percy and Annabeth Meet the Kanes" includes all three stories, a forward by Percy Jackson, eight full-color illustrations, and a peek at the first chapter of "The Hidden Oracle," the start of a series to be released in May 2016. Kids will need to have read at least some of the main Percy Jackson series and the slightly more complex Kane Chronicle series to get what's going on when Greek mythology and Egyptian mythology and magic collide. Expect the same kinds of fantasy violence in these shorts that you saw in the other series - battles against monsters and gods where they get stabbed with swords or blown up. The good guys - all teens - get injured but heal with their magical nectar and potions. Readers will learn a bit about Alexander the Great and how he united the Greece and Egypt in his giant empire.


Child Sense: Buckle up! It's National Seat Belt Enforcement Mobilization month

One of the most stated reasons for children not wearing a seat belts is the child's reluctance to do so. This can take the form of whining, undoing the seat belt or large physical style tantrums. Parents often relent especially if they are traveling a short distance. The fact is however, seat belts are necessary, without exception. A recent report stated that the majority of children injured in car accidents were not wearing seat belts, and those children suffered greater injuries than those properly restrained. So when tackling those resistant toddlers and preschoolers why not look to their dominate sense to aid with buckling up.


Family Meals Matter: Make-ahead meals give Mom a break from cooking

Mother's Day is a perfect time to show Mom how much you care. You can also show her how much she means to you by giving her a well-deserved break from cooking. Instead of opting for reservations at a local restaurant, make it a learning experience for the whole family. Let mom put up her feet and have kids roll up their sleeves to help prepare these make-ahead breakfast and brunch dishes everyone is sure to love.


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