Q: Our 14-year-old (he’s going into the ninth grade at a public high school) has taken up with a bunch of kids that we don’t exactly approve of. They have reputations as troublemakers and at least one has already been arrested for shoplifting and had to do some community service. The irony i…

Question: Where does the word “dibs” come from? For example, one might say, “I got dibs on that!” (Asked by a curious and faithful column reader.)

When children were raised, reared, or simply brought up, they emancipated “on time.” Upon high school graduation, children went to college, into the military, or became employed. Some, such as my wife and myself, got married before they could vote. Those were the days when young people still…

I recently ran across an old red scrapbook that I put together in my late teens. In a world before digital phones and invisible storage clouds, scrapbooks were a way to keep those important memories protected (somewhat) through the years and various moves from place to place.

It’s the start of another curious season of the Curiosity Corner. This will be the 37th year — maybe I’ll make it through another one if I’m lucky. As my regular readers know, I kick off each season by airing some of my curious observations or pet peeves — some old and some new. Have a littl…

Q: I appreciate your traditional, call it old-fashioned approach to child-rearing, but I’m a tad confused and hope you can help straighten out my thinking. I’ve been reading your column for maybe 20 years and have used many of your suggestions with success. Your recommendation that consequen…

Question: A lot of people have pacemakers. What, exactly, do they do? (Asked by a curious reader with coronary concern.)

Concerning major behavior problems, parents often tell me they’ve “tried everything.” In more than 40 years of doing this “parenting expert” gig, I’ve never run across a parent who was telling the truth about that. Since the 1960s, we’ve drifted so far away from a commonsense understanding o…

Now that warm weather is here to stay, it is a great time to plant warm season vegetables in your favorite garden spot. All too often many of us get in a hurry to get out our tomatoes, peppers, beans and other warm season vegetables. We’ve also gone through the plant early, cover overnight w…

Question: If trees and shrubs don’t have any leaves after they shed them, how the heck do they have energy to regenerate without chlorophyll? They don’t store fat, or the equivalent, that they can draw on when needed, do they? (Asked by Bettie Rose Horne, of Greenwood)

Q: My 7-year-old son, an only child, is giving me fits. He’s overly active and will not cooperate in any instruction I give him. In addition, if I tell him not to do something, it’s a guarantee he’s going to do it as soon as my back is turned. I’m a single mom and I’m embarrassed to admit th…

Last week’s Corner was a trivia quiz on money, and you probably knew some of the answers. Let’s test your gray matter again this week, with a quiz that might take some guessing. See how close you can come to the populations of the following:

“When are you going to write a book on grandparenting?” is a question asked of me by lots of folks, most of whom – no surprise here – are grandparents.

Before the dawn of the internet, I used to enjoy the “Book of Lists” series authored by siblings David Wallechinsky and Amy Wallace and their father Irving Wallace. For those unfamiliar, this series of books which first came on the market in 1977 featured hundreds of lists on a wide variety …

My wife and I spent two days in my hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, recently. As we always do, we walked around my boyhood neighborhood – the South-of-Broad historic district (back then, more run-down than historic) – and the usual memories came flooding back.

Question: I have a question regarding fireflies, or lightning bugs. Are the males the ones who light up or are those the females? Or do they both light up? (Asked by a nocturnal column reader.)

If you’ve read this column at all over the past couple of years, you know how much I relish the art of intentional playlist procurement. Every few months, I like to give you a sampling of tracks I believe are worth a listen and it’s always nice to hear that some of these suggestions get adde…

Julie Jargon is a reporter with the Wall Street Journal. Heretofore, she has written about food companies such as Starbucks and McDonalds. As of April 2, however, Ms. Jargon is writing a WSJ column titled “Family and Tech,” described as dealing with “the impact of technology on family life.”

Favorite flowering trees such as redbud, dogwood, Japanese maples and other flowering trees highlight landscapes with color this time of year. The red foliage of many cultivars of Japanese maple is a local favorite too. These and other colorful spring favorites always inspire others to add n…

In one of my Curious Postscripts from a previous column, I had a quote by Ronald Reagan: “I wonder at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress.” Since then, I’ve been doing some more reading, and discovered that Ronald Reagan had …

“We’ve tried everything!” is one of the more common testimonials I hear from parents who’ve just described persistent and highly vexing discipline problems with a child or children.

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