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Technological life preservers

Smartphone apps are one of the newest tools in Zero Suicide movement’s crusade to save lives

Subscriber only "My family and friends. My family and friends." Continue reading...

Creature Feature

Subscriber onlyAre there any benefits to giving probiotics to my cat? Are they safe? I want to make sure my cat is as healthy as she can be. Continue reading...

Every day is the time to express your love

Subscriber onlySometimes things come along in life in ways that seem entirely unconnected. Then, suddenly, you see them in a new light that makes you think maybe they are all part of the same lesson. Continue reading...

Rewriting news to kid level stirring interest, compassion

Subscriber onlyIn any given week, Kelly Payton's fifth-grade pupils might read newspaper articles about immigration or Syrian refugees or climate change. Continue reading...

Stressing out over son's embracing mediocrity

Subscriber onlyQ Our 17-year-old son is an unmotivated student. A junior in high school, he is clearly capable of making straight A's, but typically makes B's and C's. He plays on the football and tennis teams, but is a standout at neither. He thinks kids who use drugs and play videogames are "stupid" and his friends are all good kids, most of whom make better grades. He's polite, well-mannered and respectful. Other adults rave about what an impressive kid he is. Meanwhile, we're pulling our hair out. We've talked to him many times about the fact that his grades are eliminating lots of college options, but it's in one ear and out the other. We've taken away his driving privileges, his cellphone (he doesn't have a smartphone), and even threatened to cancel his summer camp program, which he loves, but these attempted wake-up calls fail to wake him up. Do you have any suggestions? Continue reading...

MONEY MANNERS

Subscriber onlyDEAR JEANNE & LEONARD: Recently, I went out to dinner with my son, his wife and his wife's mother. At my son's request, we took my car, which he drove. When we got to the restaurant, the parking lot was full, so my son let the three of us out and drove off to park the car. After dinner, when he went to get the car, he discovered that it had been towed. Seems that my son, instead of parking on the street, had parked in the parking lot of another business and, in doing so, had failed to see the tow-away sign. Which leads me to ask: Who pays the fine? Continue reading...

Ex-etiquette

Subscriber onlyMy partner has two teenagers who live with their mother in another state. We see them on breaks and two to three weeks in the summer. They seem to get along quite well with my son who is about their same age. My biggest problem is that they don't eat the same way as we do. I don't buy junk food and we have a consistent time for meals where we all sit down together. They think that's weird. I asked them what they liked and tried to cook it, but they hated my pizza and they wouldn't eat it. How can I make these children feel welcome while maintaining some kind of order in my home? What's good ex-etiquette? Continue reading...

Testing limits

Try these strategies to ease your student’s anxiety over exams

Subscriber onlyWhen it comes to test day, your children know what they know. The hard part is getting over the anxiety. Continue reading...

Creature Feature

Subscriber onlySpring's in full swing, which means the reappearance of pests that fly, crawl, hop, buzz and bite our pets. Last week's column addressed how to deal with ticks so this week we'll take a look at fleas and mosquitoes. Continue reading...

Looking for hope is the least one can do

Subscriber onlyThree days before his birthday my brother phoned me. Continue reading...

Time has come: Restore high school vo-tech courses

Subscriber onlyDuring my sophomore year at Proviso West High School in Hillside, Ill., my guidance counselor, Mr. Gusloff, refused my request to take auto shop because I was, he said, college-bound and my presence in a vocational program would take space needed by a student who was not so destined. I was disappointed, and I felt then, as I still do, that he was wrong to pigeonhole me and limit my options, but I had no choice but to accept his decision. I never even told my parents, both of whom held doctorates. They would have only shrugged their shoulders anyway. This was long before parents were "involved" with their kids. Continue reading...

MONEY MANNERS

Subscriber onlyDEAR JEANNE & LEONARD: When my wife's brother opened a frame shop, word went out in her family that we needed to give "Jason" some business. Since I had a signed print by a local artist that I'd been meaning to hang in my man cave, I took it to my brother-in-law for framing. Big mistake. Jason accidentally spilled chemicals on the print, leaving a large discolored spot. While he has apologized and promised not to charge me for the frame, he's said nothing about replacing the print, which would cost $350. I asked him if he has insurance for accidents like this, and he doesn't. What should I do? If he weren't my wife's brother, I'd insist that he pay for the print he ruined. Continue reading...

EX-ETIQUETTE

Subscriber onlyThis Jann Blackstone column originally appeared April 16, 2014. Continue reading...

Book helps parents teach kids 3-23 about money

Subscriber onlyWhen you're the parent, you're supposed to know a few things. How to change unspeakably dirty diapers. How to weather toddler tantrums. How to play yet another game of Candy Land without losing your mind. Continue reading...

Many parents misjudge bite of child care costs

Subscriber onlySome expectant parents may forget to prepare for what will likely be their biggest expense when the baby arrives: child care. Continue reading...