Family

Family

Review: ‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’ finally gets new formula right

When Ubisoft revamped its flagship series, the publisher gave players a new but raw experience. "Assassin's Creed Origins" was an unsteady first step for a series moving toward a new direction. The overhauled combat and epic scope of ancient Egypt were welcome additions, but the new systems and structure were far from perfect.

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.

Family

Moms Gear: Hand-carved ‘Elephant Realm’ necklace signifies strength and wisdom

In fact, more than 2,000 artisans sell jewelry, clothing, and decor of all types on the website. The "Elephant Realm" necklace, hand-carved by Indian Chander Kant, is made of kadam wood, that comes from a tropical sustainable tree in Asia and Southeast Asia. According to the card that comes with the necklace's packaging, Kant learned his trade from his father and grandfather, making the craft a multi-generational source of income.

Family

9 essential books to inspire young activists

Activism is in the air. Kids are hearing about marches and protests, boycotts and fundraising campaigns for all kinds of causes, from local to global. And increasing numbers of children's books are showing kids and teens how it's done. From stories of the authors' own activist experiences to how-to guides with tips on everything from organizing a rally to using social media to get the word out, these books offer a glimpse into the planning and passion that go into youthful activism.

Movie News & Reviews

Movie review: ‘Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween,’ funny creepfest is a perfectly frightful treat for tweens

Parents need to know that "Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween" is a sometimes-scary but frequently funny adventure for tweens and up based on R.L. Stine's same-named book series. Definitely more creepy than terrifying (and a little milder than the first movie), the bulk of the movie's frights stem from the idea of the Halloween decorations in stores and lawns coming to life. That means ghosts, witches, monsters, and a house-size spider made of balloons go into motion and terrorize a neighborhood. If that sounds kind of funny, it is; the humor and ridiculousness minimize the fright factor. That said, the villain – a menacing, weathered ventriloquist dummy that just won't die – is genuinely creepy in a way that could linger with younger kids. But most of the rest of the content is very mild: There's no substance use, language tops out at "jerk" and "shut up," and nothing beyond kissing and flirting is shown. Really, a bully getting pantsed and a Jack-o'-lantern spitting seeds like a machine gun is as iffy as it gets. Plus, the movie has a diverse cast and a clear teamwork theme, and it taps into relatable situations for kids: squabbling with siblings, treasure hunting with friends, struggling over school assignments, interacting with friendly but quirky neighbors, and dealing with bullies. It may be a hand-clencher in the theater, but it's the kind that lets kids rest easily as soon as the credits roll.

Take a hike....but take your time on the Mountains to Sea trail in NC

Danelle Hallenbeck talks about her 1175 mile trek through the Old North State and the beauty of it all.