Family

Family

App review: Dragalia Lost: Cute anime-style game has rich storyline and hours of free play

Parents need to know that Dragalia Lost is a freemium Japanese RPG (role-playing game) for iOS and Android devices. While there's frequent combat, the violence is cartoonish in nature, and no blood or gore's shown. Defeated enemies vanish when beaten. Players will also see "damn" and "hell" in dialogue, but no other swearing. Players can friend one another, and the app suggests friending via listing and post-battles. Player profiles only contain character info; no personal information is provided. The app contains an online co-op mode, but players can only communicate with one another through pre-selected chat stickers. Ads for the in-app store appear every time players load the app; the shop sells in-app currency and items priced from $.99 to $79.99. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

Family

Game review: ‘The Path of Motus’: Adventure tale encourages gamers to stand up to bullies

Parents need to know that "The Path of Motus" is a downloadable adventure game for Windows PCs. Players take on the role of a goblin attempting to fulfill his dreams against other goblins that attempt to stop him. Combat is an occasional part of gameplay, involving characters matching keyboard prompts to fire missiles at opponents. When defeated, characters dissolve in a splash of water, but no blood or gore is shown. The game also features logic puzzles in addition to platforming arcade elements. Aside from fighting (against bullies), there's no inappropriate content.

Family

Five books to read before you see the movies

If you're one of those families that insist their kids read the book before seeing the movie, there's some serious page-turning in your future. And if you're happy just to be able to go to the movies for some kid- and teen-friendly fare, you're in luck, too. From the timely, thought-provoking high school drama "The Hate U Give" to a classic like "Mary Poppins," kids' books and young adult novels are getting the Hollywood treatment. And now that movie trailers, sneak peeks, and behind-the-scenes footage hit the internet months in advance of films' releases, kids' excitement for big-screen adaptations of their favorite books starts early.

Movie News & Reviews

Movie review: ‘Halloween’: satisfying horror sequel has tons of blood and strong language

Parents need to know that "Halloween" is a direct sequel to the iconic same-named 1978 slasher film that ignores every other sequel and reboot (all nine of them). Survivor Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), now a grandmother, has been single-mindedly preparing herself for the day that masked killer Michael Myers would come for her again. Spoiler alert: He does. Expect graphic, very gory slasher violence and strong language ("f–k," "s–t," etc.) throughout the movie. The brutal killings include stabbings, slashings, impalings, beheadings, bludgeonings, and more. There's also brief nudity, teen sexuality and some drinking/drug use by both adults and teens. The movie is directed by indie star David Gordon Green and co-written by Green, Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley. Will Patton and Judy Greer co-star.

Family

Parents @ Play: You can never get enough of books

Reading is an incredibly important skill, one that can affect almost every aspect of your life. Unfortunately, too many kids (and adults) don't enjoy reading. Graphic novels and series by J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter), Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events), and Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson, The Kaine Chronicles, and others), have certainly helped attract young readers. But not all kids are interested in adventure, magic, or mystery. Here are some books for kids with other interests, including travel, building, filmmaking, writing, and life itself.

Family

Ex-etiquette: Explaining split-up to an 8-yr-old kid

Q: My 8-year-old son is constantly asking if his dad and I are going to go back together. Every time he comes home from his dad's he asks, "Mommy, when are we going to move back in with Daddy?" I finally sat down with him and told him that I will always love his father because he gave me him, but we are not going to go back together. That didn't seem to appease him, and he cried himself to sleep that night. What did I do wrong? What's good ex-etiquette?

Family

Ask Mr. Dad: Bedwetting 8-year old. When is enough, enough?

Dear Mr. Dad: My 8-year old still wets her bed at night. She's really embarrassed about it and doesn't want to have sleepovers, either at our home or – especially – anywhere else. She's really stressed about it, which I imagine is just making the problem worse. How common is it for an 8-year old to be wetting her bed at night? How can we figure out what's causing the problem? And is there anything we can do to help her stay dry?

Family

Lori Borgman: Pretty as a picture – or not

I have just been handed a new portrait of myself. I look like someone who got off the Space Mountain ride at Disneyland and needs medical attention. Or like someone who staggered out of a bar at 3 a.m. after a night of binge drinking. Or like SpongeBob SquarePants' grandmother – SpongeBob's deranged and demented grandmother.

Family

Game review: ‘Mega Man 11,’ fast, fun, and challenging

Parents need to know that "Mega Man 11" is a side-scrolling action game for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, and is the latest installment in the long running franchise. It stars a humanoid robot who fights enemy robots using a variety of weapons, ranging from an energy-blasting arm cannon to a gun that fires pink bouncy balls. The art style is cartoonish, and there's nothing more graphic than robots that explode in flashes of light. Parents should be aware that the "Mega Man" games are known for their difficulty, and this one is no different, though there is an "easy" skill level that offers aids such as infinite lives, which should help kids avoid frustration.

Family

App review: Big Big Baller, charming genre-defying game is fun for all ages

Parents need to know that Big Big Baller is a multiplayer adventure game for iOS and Android devices. Players attempt to increase the size of their onscreen orbs and defeat other players. It's a charming concept that borrows heavily from the Katamari Damacy games, but focuses on multiplayer gameplay. The violence is notable only because you roll over a town's citizens, but no blood or gore is shown. There's no sex, drugs, drinking or objectionable language. But there are a lot of video ads, which play between rounds and force you to watch them for notable periods. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

Family

12 old-school skills children shouldn’t lose

School is officially in session. And while kids are constantly learning new skills in the classroom, there are a few tried and true talents we shouldn't let fall by the wayside. Here are some life skills worth keeping around – no matter how old school they may seem.

Looking for a good day care? Here are 13 things to consider

Choosing a child care provider can be a tough decision for parents. American Academy of Pediatrics spokeswoman Dr. Deborah Mulligan gives advice on how to find a safe day care for your child.