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Coping with kids: Loads of things to make with help of author Flower

By Tribune-Review
Miri Flower has created two fun-filled books with “loads of things you can make or do” in the title. “The Paint Book” and “The Pencil Book” (Quarto Publishing, $14.99 each) are filled with colorful photos and instructions for creative projects …

Living with Children: Schools need ceasefire in ‘Blackhawk parenting’

By John Rosemond
A second-grade teacher writes: “I teach in a very competitive school where parents have developed a “mob mentality” for bullying administrators and teachers. They have gone beyond helicopter parenting to Apache Blackhawk parenting.” That’s the report, by the way, of …

Designers contemplate critter comforts for older pets

By The Associated Press
Just as there are lots of products on the market to help ease the aches, pains and mobility issues of human old age, so there is a good selection of such products for senior dogs and cats, as well. Easy …

How to know when to take online date break

By McClatchy-tribune News Service
Dating takes work. Online dating takes even more work. And, it’s sometimes a frustrating process. There are times when a “date-break” is needed. Here are a few signs that you’re ready for one: • You’re sick of sending clever, witty …

Hax: Couple frets over chance of becoming guardians of race driver’s kids

By Carolyn Hax
Hello Carolyn: My brother-in-law has two teenage children, and he has decided his next hobby is going to be racing cars. My wife and I are the ones responsible for raising these kids if anything happens to him. I, of …

Ex-etiquette: Mom refers to kid’s dad by his first name

By Jann Blackstone
Question: My ex has recently remarried, and she is expecting a baby. She’s been acting a little weird since she found out she was pregnant — not as communicative. Yesterday, when I picked my son up, I heard her refer …

Pittsburgh artisans nominated for American Made Awards

By Rachel Weaver
A select group of Pittsburghers are showing the world they have what it takes to be American Made. The 2014 Martha Stewart American Made Awards, …

Poise isn’t poison among etiquette lessons for girls taught in church

By York Daily Record
Whitney Wagner sat up straight in her chair. “Pretend you’re a puppet attached to your head and backbone,” she told a table of seven girls, ranging in age from 6 to 9. “Be confident, with your shoulders back and your …

The Word Guy: ‘Lay’ or ‘lie’? Oh my! Here’s the lowdown

By Rob Kyff
Question: Has it become acceptable to use “lay” instead of “lie,” as in “the dog is laying down”? I hear and see many reporters, journalists and other well-educated people using “lay” for “lie.” — Hilde Reichenbach,  Essex, Conn. Answer: Hilde, …

Coping with Kids: Games for whole family; batteries not included

By Tribune-Review
It can be hard for families to find ways to spend quality time together — meaning everyone is looking at everyone else instead of electronic screens. Here are fun games for families. No batteries, chargers or Internet required. Betcha Can’t …

Living with Children: Pull-ups OK for away-from-home training

By John Rosemond
Q uestion: My 23-month-old son does well with potty-training when we’re at home. We use a “potty bell” and he goes every 90 minutes or so. When we’re away from home, however, he seems clueless. He pees in his car …

Sole Highlands HS twirler follows in grandmother’s footsteps

By Joyce Hanz
Old school meets new school when grandmother and granddaughter share their love of twirling. Remember batons? The art of twirling is still in good hands, …

Ex-etiquette: As kids age, consider change in visitation schedule

By Jann Blackstone
Q uestion: My ex and I have been sharing our children’s time equally ever since we broke up five years ago. We have a daughter, 14, and a son, 11. We have both remarried, and both of us have a …

Hax: Boyfriend backtracks on idea of cohabiting

By Carolyn Hax
Adapted from a recent online discussion: D ear Carolyn: I moved back in with my parents after college to save money and have been here three years. I have a good job and support myself, but because of the savings, …

Technical difficulties: Living with the angst of a digital diet

By Kate Benz
We’re tethered, enslaved, panic-stricken and obsessive-compulsive about it. It gives us panic attacks, phobias, potentially stinting our psychological growth, and is most always never (ever!) …

Predictions are for lots of brilliant color this autumn

By Deborah Weisberg
While the Farmers Almanac is predicting a woeful winter, foresters say the prelude should be a colorful fall. Moderate temperatures and precipitation this past summer …

Pittsburgh region’s covered bridges perfect for scenic fall drives

By Rex Rutkoski
Covered bridges have no season. It is difficult to deny, however, their enhanced charm in the fall: standing ready in often-picturesque rural backdrops. The folks …

The Word Guy: Some sentences convey 2 opposite meanings

By Rob Kyff
Today, three dispatches from the Word Front... Double talkers: Bill from Acton, Mass., notes the double meaning of a sentence from the rules governing public meetings in his town. They state that people must speak politely and respectfully, and add, …

Hax: She pouts when he doesn’t ‘check in’ during the workday

By Carolyn Hax
Adapted from a recent online discussion: H i, Carolyn: I feel hurt when I don’t hear from my boyfriend during the day, but he maintains that we should be fine just re-connecting when we both get home from work. He …

Teen hangouts at home offer privacy for kids, peace of mind for parents

By Kellie B. Gormly
Lynn Cisneros’ Chalfant house has become the happening headquarters for her teenage son’s circle of friends, who flock to the home a few times a …