Health & Family

Health & Family

Ex-etiquette: Play nice, even when ex is holding dogs as ransom

Q. I always laughed when people shared their animals after a breakup. It seemed so silly to me to share a dog, but here I am three months after my breakup with my longtime girlfriend and I miss my dogs. She kept them because I didn't immediately have a place to stay, but now I do and I'd like to adjust our agreement. She won't hear of it and says, "Suffer! You left, the dogs stay with me. You come back, you can see the dogs." She's holding my dogs for ransom! What's good ex-etiquette?

Health & Family

Chris Erskine: Where the past is present

We are just off the plane when things start to get complicated. At the rental counter I'm dizzy as a two-headed calf, trying to solve the chronic riddle of whether we will return our car with the tank empty or full, which involves a lot of instant calculus regarding local gas prices.

Health & Family

Living with Children: Take away pot-smoking son's car

Q: A few months after he got his driver's license, we found a bag of marijuana in our 16-year-old son's car. He swore it wasn't his and that he didn't know whose it was and that he's never used pot, but then he failed to pass a drug test. Now he admits that he's smoked pot, but he says he only tried it once and didn't like it. He still maintains that the pot we found in the glove box of his car belonged to someone else, but he still maintains that he doesn't know who. We think he's lying to us, but we don't know what to do. Pot is legal in our state now, which only contributes to our dilemma. Can you help us out?

Health & Family

Ask Mr. Dad: 4 ways be a role model in challenging times

Dear Mr. Dad: Everyone says that as parents, we're supposed to be good role models for our kids. That sounds like a great idea, but why do so many parents (and other people) behave in such awful ways? The phrase "good role model" seems easy enough to understand, but maybe it's not. In your view, what, exactly is a "good role model" supposed to do?

Health & Family

App review: Sarahah, popular anonymous commenting tool, ready-made for cyberbullying

Parents need to know that Sarahah – an Arabic word that means roughly, "honesty" – is a free social media app popular with teens that enables them to link the app to their Snapchat account and send anonymous messages to other users. It allows you to gather comments from other users, take screenshots of the comments, and share them on Snapchat. It also allows you to send anonymous and totally un-moderated comments to any other user, whether you know them or not. Many users report abusive comments and glitches with the app itself. The app store says Sarahah is rated Teen, but also says users must be over 17 to use it. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

Health & Family

Back to school made easy (or at least easier)

Few words cause more dread in the hearts of so many. The lazy days of summer give way, with some resistance, to early morning alarms, homework, carpools and bagged lunches. These days, getting back in the school groove is less difficult. A slew of apps, websites, and companies are dedicated to making our lives a little easier and helping the school year run smoother. Here are some we like.

Health & Family

Are location apps safe for your teen?

As with most technology, there are positives and negatives about teens using location apps on their phones. On the one hand, apps such as Find My Friends and Gone Out – Later Folks can help friends find each other at a concert or other large gathering. Parents also can use them to keep track of a teen's location. And many of these apps have safety features that restrict who can see a user's location. For instance, Snapchat's new "Snap Map" feature lets friends see each others' locations on a map.

Health & Family

Game review: 'Batman: The Enemy Within,' exceptional dark knight adventure is epic, violent

Parents need to know that "Batman: The Enemy Within – The Telltale Series" is an original episodic adventure game starring DC Comics' iconic hero. The game uses a combination of point-and-click controls with timed decisions and onscreen prompts (via quick time events). "The Enemy Within" is particularly graphic for a "Batman" game, showing brutal and bloody scenes of violence throughout the story. Some characters are also shown drinking and smoking onscreen. Players make decisions to shape Batman's overall behavior, while also interacting with a cast that runs the gamut of moral spectrum. There's also some flirtation and sexual innuendo, but nothing overtly shown.