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On the WRITE track

posted: 05/27/2015 1:46 a.m. Discuss

Somewhere in between my baby's sickness, toddler's screeching, overflowing email inbox pinging (again?!) and realizing that although it was 2 p.m., I had not yet brushed my teeth, I took a breath.

Creature Feature

posted: 05/27/2015 1:44 a.m. Discuss

We had problems with fleas in our yard last year so this summer I want to get a jump on things and try to keep an infestation from happening. Would it help to apply an insecticide to our yard as a preventive measure?

Sharon Randall: With cold, love for grandkids goes viral

posted: 05/27/2015 1:43 a.m. Discuss

So I have a cold. It's not like I didn't ask for it. After a few days in California with my kids and grandkids, I brought the cold home like a bad souvenir.

Parenting: Adopted kids need balance of love, authority

posted: 05/27/2015 1:43 a.m. Discuss

Q We have two children, ages 9 and 5, and are considering adopting a third, perhaps an older child, even a teenager. Do you have any advice for us?

Money Manners

posted: 05/27/2015 1:42 a.m. Discuss

DEAR JEANNE & LEONARD: When I went to a good friend's wedding, there was a box at the reception for cash gifts. I gave an envelope with $200, which I thought was very generous. Later, my friend mentioned that, in his culture (he's Middle Eastern), friends usually give a couple of thousand dollars. I was shocked, especially since there's no way I can afford that kind of gift. Plus, I was offended that he thought my gift was so small. Now another friend from the Middle East is planning to get married. What should I do? I don't want to offend him, but I can't afford to make a four-figure gift.

Ex-Etiquette

posted: 05/27/2015 1:41 a.m. Discuss

Q I just finished reading your book Ex-Etiquette for Parents. Kudos for this clear and concise guide to etiquette for blended families and showing how it can be done.

Rethinking the stories we tell ourselves

posted: 05/26/2015 11:11 a.m. Discuss

This working mother thing didn’t seem to be going particularly well, writes Elizabeth Tenety in Family.

Stars smash stereotypes

posted: 05/20/2015 1:47 a.m. Discuss

Like it or not, children and teens look to celebrities for inspiration on how to look, act and speak and for confirmation that their own appearance is acceptable.

Creature Feature

posted: 05/20/2015 1:46 a.m. Discuss

Each year, the American Pet Products Association reports the purportedly jaw-dropping amount of money American pet owners spent on their furry family members. In 2014, we spent $58.04 million; this year, the association estimates we'll shell out more than $60 million for food, shelter, medical care, grooming, boarding and pampering.

Sharon Randall: The most thrilling gift ever

posted: 05/20/2015 1:45 a.m. Discuss

Have you ever noticed how some things seem to look a lot better on paper than in reality?

Parenting: Even if accurate, critique of grandkids crossed line

posted: 05/20/2015 1:44 a.m. Discuss

Q My husband and I need your advice. We are parents to one adult daughter who has three children ages 10, 7 and 4. They live about three hours away and up until two years ago we saw them fairly often. Our visits were often very uncomfortable, however, because she and her husband do not discipline the children. As a consequence, they are rude, sassy and disrespectful. They have no respect whatsoever for adult authority, something the older kids' teachers have also commented on. Our daughter and her husband are in denial about the problem, maintaining that the kids are misunderstood. When we finally worked up the courage to say something, they both blew up and have refused to let us have the kids by ourselves ever since. We feel we're a good influence in the kids' lives, a better influence than their parents, in fact. What should we do?

Money Manners

posted: 05/20/2015 1:43 a.m. Discuss

DEAR JEANNE & LEONARD: A friend and I hosted a party together. We held the event at her house (it's a lot bigger) and did most of the preparation for the party in her kitchen. Unfortunately, I broke one of her serving dishes. Even more unfortunately, she hadn't really wanted me to use it because it had been a wedding present from a favorite aunt. Must I pay to replace it? My friend knows that what happened was a complete accident -- she saw me trip. Plus she and her husband have much more money than I do. While I feel terrible about breaking her dish, writing her a check for a couple of hundred dollars seems crazy.

Teach children about images that are too perfect

posted: 05/20/2015 1:42 a.m. Discuss

Walk past a supermarket checkout stand and you can't help but see models and celebrities in bikinis and slinky outfits plastered across magazine covers. 'Tween favorites like Katy Perry and Beyonce appear all over the Internet in glamorous outfits, expensive hair and elaborate makeup. And ads on billboards, buses and subways display long-legged models selling everything from liquor to lipstick.

Role models who stand out by not fitting in

posted: 05/19/2015 10:58 a.m. Discuss

Like it or not, children and teens look to celebrities for inspiration on how to look, act, speak and for confirmation that their own appearance is acceptable.

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