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    Family Filmgoer reviews ‘Penguins of Madagascar’

    Family Filmgoer reviews ‘Penguins of Madagascar’

    Movie reviews with kids in mind: This week, a funny animated film that will delight kids and teens.

    Discussion

    On Parenting: Meghan Leahy and Amy Joyce took questions about parenting

    Meghan Leahy, a parenting coach with Positively Parenting, will join Amy Joyce to talk about parenting children of all ages.

    I don’t miss my freshman the way I thought I would

    I don’t miss my freshman the way I thought I would

    Everything we’ve done in his entire life has been leading up to this moment. And I am satisfied, confident that I did at least one thing right. He was ready to go.

    How and when to set boundaries for children

    How and when to set boundaries for children

    Boundary setting can be clear and easy. Here are some ground rules to consider.

    I’m adopting and that’s about all I know

    I’m adopting and that’s about all I know

    I don’t have a due date. I don’t know if my baby will be 10 pounds or 20 pounds. I have no answer when people ask me when I am going to Morocco, from where I am hoping to adopt again.

    How to help kids become volunteers

    How to help kids become volunteers

    Here was a perfect opportunity for my daughter and myself to spend time together doing something meaningful, where she could make a difference.

    Discussion

    On Parenting: It's time for the holidays. Amy Joyce takes questions about prepping kids for the season

    Amy Joyce will talk about parenting children of all ages.

    Discussion

    On Parenting: Meghan Leahy and Amy Joyce took questions about parenting

    Meghan Leahy, a parenting coach with Positively Parenting, will join Amy Joyce to talk about parenting children of all ages.

    Discussion

    On Parenting: Meghan Leahy and Amy Joyce took questions about parenting

    Meghan Leahy, a parenting coach with Positively Parenting, will join Amy Joyce to talk about parenting children of all ages.

    “It’s a big deal to me and I don’t know why!“

    “It’s a big deal to me and I don’t know why!“

    It’s a treacherous world in which we all live. A world defined by the intense anxiety of a child who doesn’t understand what anxiety even means.

    Apps that will ease the holiday stress

    Apps that will ease the holiday stress

    This holiday season give yourself a break. Check out these apps which assist in everything from developing your party menu to finding the best deal on the hot new toy.

    How I stopped my anxiety so my kids would be free

    How I stopped my anxiety so my kids would be free

    I cannot remember a time as a child when I thought of the world as a safe or friendly place. I didn’t want my children to have that same anxiety.

    Parents, you’re not doing your children any favors by being ‘cool’

    Parents, you’re not doing your children any favors by being ‘cool’

    Pressure to appear relevant leads to kids who overly strive for social acceptance.

    Traveling while pregnant? A few tips to get you through

    Traveling while pregnant? A few tips to get you through

    Seeing (and feeling) the physical difference got me thinking: What other aspects of my pre-pregnancy life will need adjustment? Specifically, what sort of adjustments will I need to make for things like traveling in an airplane?

    Family Filmgoer reviews ‘Mockingjay — Part 1’

    Family Filmgoer reviews ‘Mockingjay — Part 1’

    Movie reviews with kids in mind: This week, the latest in the “Hunger Games” franchise, and more.

    Unapologetically Christmas crazy, for good reason

    Unapologetically Christmas crazy, for good reason

    Although I have not yet put up my holiday decorations, inside, there is a Christmas lunatic just waiting to get out. And there’s a good reason for it.

    How to take the perfect holiday-card photo

    How to take the perfect holiday-card photo

    The right clothes, the best lighting and the trick to getting a relaxed, natural smile from every member of the family.

    A few final thoughts from Marguerite Kelly

    A few final thoughts from Marguerite Kelly

    The parenting columnist offers her best advice after 35 years of writing.

    Tips for creating memorable holiday cards

    Tips for creating memorable holiday cards

    Here are five card-ordering tips, plus a list of favorite online sources for high-end-design season’s greetings.

    Column

    How a tough teacher from Bolivia changed our schools

    The Washington area was one of the first to accept the ideas of math instructor Jaime Escalante.

    Blessing’s Bead: A good read for tweens, teens and yes, adults

    Blessing’s Bead: A good read for tweens, teens and yes, adults

    The absence of objectionable language and the sensitive treatment of adolescent situations make the book wholly appropriate for readers from upper elementary grades through high school. It’s also a delightful read for adults.

    The cushy life of a college kid

    The cushy life of a college kid

    What’s that about a kid roughing it when he gets to college? No so, if you have a concierge nearby

    When that college freshman comes home with bad grades

    When that college freshman comes home with bad grades

    Many parents are shocked when their first-time freshman who earned high scores in high school comes home with less than refrigerator-worthy marks.

    The importance of adopting siblings

    The importance of adopting siblings

    “The single largest factor that keeps families from acting on adoption was the fear of failing a child who has been failed by many adults already.” But what parent is perfect?

    Letting the college applicant find his own path

    Letting the college applicant find his own path

    I can’t say for sure what college should teach its students. But I do know one thing about the mad sprint to get in: parents like me need to slam on the brakes, and get a grip on our own anxiety.

    Hanna Andersson’s new bedding for kids

    Hanna Andersson’s new bedding for kids

    Your toddler’s sheets can now match his striped jammies.

    When to speak up, when to stay quiet

    When to speak up, when to stay quiet

    Anytime my oldest child watches adults behave in ways that might earn them a visit to the principal’s office, she asks me a lot of questions, which lead to my own.

    There’s a great way to figure out child custody. Most divorce courts don’t use it.

    There’s a great way to figure out child custody. Most divorce courts don’t use it.

    Laws that mandate equal parenting time are not always in children’s best interest.

    Volunteer at the DC Diaper Bank with kids

    Volunteer at the DC Diaper Bank with kids

    Corinne Canon is the founder of the DC Diaper Bank, a service that has provided millions of diapers to needy families in recent years. You and your kids can get involved.

    Good reads for kids: The Day the Crayons Quit

    Good reads for kids: The Day the Crayons Quit

    In The Day the Crayons Quit, you get a hilarious glimpse into the very opinionated minds of one child’s crayons through the letters they write, sharing their complaints and requests.

    Family Filmgoer reviews ‘Dumb and Dumber To’

    Family Filmgoer reviews ‘Dumb and Dumber To’

    Movie reviews with kids in mind: This week, a sequel about a pair of idiots, plus “Beyond the Lights.”

    Girl toy? Boy toy? No, just a toy

    Girl toy? Boy toy? No, just a toy

    How could I create a hybrid masculinity for my son in a world that often asks if you want a “boy toy” or a “girl toy.” It ends up I need not have worried.

    Creating a neighborhood from S’mores

    Creating a neighborhood from S’mores

    I think about how good are at building communities that transcend where we live. But there’s something about sharing time with people who share our space. Something that makes our houses feel more like home.

    In a friendship triangle, how to help the odd girl out

    In a friendship triangle, how to help the odd girl out

    Helping your child stay on a path of thoughtfulness and empathy when one friend is left out of the group.

    Tips to get your kids through the holidays

    Tips to get your kids through the holidays

    From table manners to instilling a sense of gratitude, expert advice on surviving the season with children.

    How to encourage kids to ‘give back’

    How to encourage kids to ‘give back’

    Use dinnertime to talk with children about charitable giving, paying it forward and appreciating others.

    What a boy needs

    Having three little boys running around the house has been a dream -- noisy, hilarious, heartwarming, and more fun than I ever could have imagined. It has also been trying at times.

    10 ways to get rid of the plastic junk

    10 ways to get rid of the plastic junk

    I’m not the only one buried in junky toy clutter that the kids don’t even appreciate. What do we do about it?

    Glow stick explodes on teen, we watch

    Jack microwaved a glow stick after dad said not to. What does this say about teens/parenting/us?

    When your college student wants to quit

    When your college student wants to quit

    What matters is organizing a response that falls somewhere between booking a flight and reminding our college kids of how they’ve coped with transition in the past.

    The 10 friends every mom needs

    The 10 friends every mom needs

    A support network should offer a variety of personalities, for a mom and for her kids.

    Video

    Parents have friends, too

    Parents have friends, too

    On Parenting columnist Samantha Rodman shares simple ways to make new friends as a parent.

    I’m a mom of three and in favor of legalization

    I’m a mom of three and in favor of legalization

    I don’t actually want my children trying drugs. I don’t want their judgment to be impaired, or their perception of social situations clouded in an already tumultuous phase of life. But kids experiment regardless of parental edict because that is how they learn.

    Family Filmgoer reviews ‘Interstellar,’ ‘Big Hero 6’

    Family Filmgoer reviews ‘Interstellar,’ ‘Big Hero 6’

    Movie reviews with kids in mind: This week, a trippy sci-fi ad­ven­ture and an animated film about a robot.

    Our “perfect family” shares custody

    Our “perfect family” shares custody

    In 11 years of sharing custody, I have never gotten used to his absence. And yet, I probably would not have changed my decision to have such an equal sharing of my son. This is my family. My perfect family.

    Adoption stories are all different, but there is some good advice out there for all of us

    Adoption stories are all different, but there is some good advice out there for all of us

    Everyone’s adoption story is different. Here is a book that offers up advice for many of those differences.

    Discussion

    On Parenting: Meghan Leahy and Amy Joyce took questions about parenting

    Meghan Leahy, a parenting coach with Positively Parenting, will join Amy Joyce to talk about parenting children of all ages.

    Please, stop giving my kids a “snack” all the time

    Please, stop giving my kids a “snack” all the time

    Dear everyone who interacts with my children anywhere at all: Please stop feeding my kids sugar.

    I’m a dad and I’m uneasy about my neighbor growing pot

    I’m a dad and I’m uneasy about my neighbor growing pot

    My 4-year-old found my neighbor’s grow license, and it didn’t sit right with me.

    My kids made up their own minds about my transgender BFF

    My kids made up their own minds about my transgender BFF

    “Wait—your best friend in school was a boy?” my daughter asked. Actually, no. When we were in school, Chris had been a girl.

    The year of trying to become less distracted

    The year of trying to become less distracted

    I was seeking distractions in a very human quest to evade tricky feelings through enough apps and clicks.

    Homework isn’t my business

    Homework isn’t my business

    Starting in kindergarten, it is my children’s job, not mine, to remember their lunches and library books for school, to know what the school rules are and to follow them, and, yes, to do their own homework.

    Advice I would give myself if I could go back

    Advice I would give myself if I could go back

    Dear Self: I’m here to tell you you’re going to be fine. Not perfect — never perfect.

    I’m afraid that applying my liberal beliefs is ruining my parenting

    I’m afraid that applying my liberal beliefs is ruining my parenting

    It turns out that what isn’t fair is asking 6-year-olds to think and behave like adults.

    Explaining midterms to the kids

    Explaining midterms to the kids

    Let voting be a family affair, and use it to teach your children about making the world a better place.

    Why we’re saying no to extra-curriculars

    Why we’re saying no to extra-curriculars

    The hours after school and before dinner are completely theirs. And that is something which we are not yet ready to compromise.

    I told my daughter I was divorced

    I told my daughter I was divorced

    I took a moment, swallowed a big gulp of nerves and said, “Did you know that Mommy was married before? That I got a divorce?”

    Sticky notes remind me ... of how much I haven’t done

    In an effort to counterbalance my increasingly poor memory, I started using sticky notes for everything. Now, I am reminded of all the things I didn’t accomplish.

    Scallops for toddlers? Some chefs say ‘bye-bye’ to the kids’ menu.

    Scallops for toddlers? Some chefs say ‘bye-bye’ to the kids’ menu.

    At certain restaurants, chefs are now offering young diners grilled polenta over ratatouille and spaghetti squash instead of the usual chicken fingers and french fries.

    Family Filmgoer reviews ‘Nightcrawler’ and more

    Family Filmgoer reviews ‘Nightcrawler’ and more

    Movie reviews with kids in mind: This week, a Jake Gyllenhaal thriller, plus an animated Japanese fable.

    Fun things to do before trick-or-treating

    Fun things to do before trick-or-treating

    What to do with that seemingly endless time after school but before trick-or-treating?

    Parents are happier near the birth of their first and second child. Third child? Not so much.

    Parents are happier near the birth of their first and second child. Third child? Not so much.

    It isn’t so much that parents are unhappy about having their third child. It’s that they simply don’t get the big happiness boosts they experienced with their first two children, according to London School of Economics researchers.

    The payoff for strict parenting

    The payoff for strict parenting

    Also, why marriage still matters.

    Is someone mean to your child? Here’s how to fix it

    Is someone mean to your child? Here’s how to fix it

    When parents rush to solve problems by trying to fix other people’s behavior, they set their kids up for a long, frustrating, painful battle.

    Video

    Taylor Swift on her love of reading

    Taylor Swift on her love of reading

    Taylor Swift took a break Tuesday from promoting her new album to speak with public school kids in New York about reading, writing and creativity.

    My 6-year-old son is clingy and we don’t know what to do

    My 6-year-old son is clingy and we don’t know what to do

    Four ways to deal with a clingy 6-year-old.

    Yes, you have autism. Yes, you’re still grounded

    Yes, you have autism. Yes, you’re still grounded

    All kids need to be held accountable for their behaviors. These behaviors can sometimes be explained by a child’s diagnosis, but if these kids learn that their diagnosis will get them out of trouble, think of the trouble they may willingly cause.

    The hidden economics behind strict parenting

    The hidden economics behind strict parenting

    The rise of pushy parents could be less of a cultural phenomenon than a mere economic externality.

    Finding out I was having a boy caused mini-panic

    Finding out I was having a boy caused mini-panic

    I feel that clothing plays a tremendous part in his safety, since appearance is a large part of those descriptions of mistaken identity.

    Father of 8 explains why he hasn’t saved for his kids’ college education

    Father of 8 explains why he hasn’t saved for his kids’ college education

    David T. Fagan says too many children with college degrees end up on their parents’ couch. That’s why he’s teaching his 8 kids to start working early.

    The debate on spanking children is over. It’s just wrong.

    You may have turned out fine, but that doesn’t justify hitting children.

    Boo! How to keep the scary at bay on Halloween

    Boo! How to keep the scary at bay on Halloween

    How do you ease kids into this season, help them enjoy the spookiness, but not be too spooked?

    Video

    Making Halloween less scary | On Parenting

    Making Halloween less scary | On Parenting

    Halloween can sometimes be a little too spooky for some of our youngest trick-or-treaters. Here are some tips on how to make the holiday a little less scary, but still fun.

    Talk to your teens and tell them why they are awesome

    Talk to your teens and tell them why they are awesome

    Three things you can do to help kids not give in to peer pressure

    Body by baby

    Body by baby

    Despite all the pre-birth advice, not one person told me that motherhood would be the greatest physical challenge I’d ever been presented with.

    Family Filmgoer reviews ‘Birdman’ and more

    Family Filmgoer reviews ‘Birdman’ and more

    Movie reviews with kids in mind: This week, Michael Keaton plays a washed-up actor making a comeback.

    F-bombs for feminism: Who’s the victim here?

    Just because both feminism and little girls swearing about feminism contain both girls and feminism does not make them comparable on any deep level.

    Let teens trick-or-treat

    Let teens trick-or-treat

    I feel for the teenaged would-be trick-or-treaters. By this point, most of them have given up on the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, and Halloween is one of the last vestiges of childhood magic they’ve got left.

    How to road-school like a boss

    How to road-school like a boss

    He and his family dropped everything to travel in an Airstream trailer for a year. Here’s how the kids learn.

    The Dark by Lemony Snicket -- a perfect read right now

    The Dark by Lemony Snicket -- a perfect read right now

    The Dark is a perfect read for little ones this Halloween season.

    Looking for some parenting guidance?

    Looking for some parenting guidance?

    Meghan Leahy advised many parents today. Here are some highlights.

    When co-sleeping leads to commotion

    When co-sleeping leads to commotion

    FAMILY ALMANAC | Two boys, 4 and 9, enjoy co-sleeping, but it can cause commotion.

    Don’t be a tiger mom -- be like a dolphin and nudge

    Don’t be a tiger mom -- be like a dolphin and nudge

    Forget being a tiger mom, try being a dolphin instead.

    Discussion

    On Parenting: Meghan Leahy and Amy Joyce took questions about parenting

    Meghan Leahy, a parenting coach with Positively Parenting, will join Amy Joyce to talk about parenting children of all ages.

    Bringing parents to the workplace

    Bringing parents to the workplace

    Several companies are starting to embrace employees’ parents as a corporate asset.

    No, I don’t want to buy your wrapping paper

    No, I don’t want to buy your wrapping paper

    I have an idea that I feel certain would have our PTA rolling in more dough than they’ve ever raised with this third-party stuff.

    Expand who gets gifted services by looking for creativity

    Veteran researcher Joe Renzulli says we should ask teachers and parents which kids are gifted.

    10 ways to get kids outdoors

    10 ways to get kids outdoors

    Nature can inspire creativity, improve concentration and foster greater agility.

    We should be focusing on a baby’s nutrition to avoid childhood obesity

    We should be focusing on a baby’s nutrition to avoid childhood obesity

    The most critical time to get a child good nutrition is his or her first 1,000 days.

    Down syndrome facts and myths

    Down syndrome facts and myths

    When my daughter was born with Down syndrome 11 years ago, I was told by my doctor that she probably wouldn’t live until 3 years old. I’m writing to dispel myths during this, Down syndrome awareness month.

    I’m trying to prepare my toddler for a newly adopted sibling

    I’m trying to prepare my toddler for a newly adopted sibling

    The issues with trying to prepare a toddler for a newly adopted sibling

    Middle school librarian recommends Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

    Middle school librarian recommends Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

    Growing up in the 1970s and 80s, I would have been grateful for the perspective offered by Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel, Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood.

    Family Filmgoer reviews ‘Book of Life’

    Family Filmgoer reviews ‘Book of Life’

    Movie reviews with kids in mind: This week, an animated ad­ven­ture that brings the dead to life.

    We’re drowning in plastic junk

    We’re drowning in plastic junk

    Her kids have too much little junk. What can we do to stop the piles of plastic?

    Commentary: How to inspire tomorrow’s entrepreneurs

    Commentary: How to inspire tomorrow’s entrepreneurs

    An expert offers several tips to parents hoping to foster their child’s entrepreneurial spirit.

    Food writers are lying to you

    Food writers are lying to you

    She’s a food writer and cookbook author. This is the truth about how her child eats.

    Video

    Three tips for better bedtimes | On Parenting

    Three tips for better bedtimes | On Parenting

    On Parenting columnist Meghan Leahy offers three easy tips for getting your child into bed with less fuss, and far less fighting.

    The toddler who won’t sleep in her own bed

    The toddler who won’t sleep in her own bed

    Actually, there are worse things than a good night’s sleep with a child who loves and needs you by your side.

    When a trusted adult breaks a community’s trust, how does anyone recover?

    When a trusted adult breaks a community’s trust, how does anyone recover?

    A local teacher is accused of sexual abuse. How will the community rally?