October 26th, 2015

LD Picks: The Best Stories We Read this Week

Nobody has time to read the whole Internet, so our editors have summarized the best of it for you. Read on for smart advice on toddlers, tantrums, toast casseroles, the travesty of toothbrushing, and more—our favourite articles of the week.

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How to tell if your is child getting enough sleep

What time should my child go to bed? A helpful sleep guide for Canadian parents
A nine o’clock bedtime, more than reasonable during the long days of Canadian summer, means putting a kid down some five hours after the winter sun. Is the little one getting enough sleep? Have a look at the handy chart above.

Here are four intelligent bedtime rules to keep:

  • Set each child’s individual time. Like adults, kids are either early birds or night owls, and the patterns don’t change much, no matter what you do.
  • Don’t vary wakeup times. Avoid sleep-ins. The extra hours of sleep affect your child like jet-lag, making it hard for their body to feel tired at bedtime.
  • Establish a consistent pre-sleep routine. It’s an important psychological signal to your child, who comes to expect what’s coming next: bathtime begets storytime begets bedtime. Foreknowledge is comforting and relaxing.
  • No screen time two hours before bed. Just half an hour in front of a screen before bed messes up melatonin levels. It can disrupt children enough to keep them up for an extra two hours.

[More at London Drugs]

[Related: 6 surprising foods that will help you sleep all night long ]

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How to revive houseplants you thought were dead

Revive Dead Plants
Got a black thumb when it comes to potted plants? All hope is not lost! But before you can breath new life into houseplants, say the experts, you must make an accurate diagnosis of the problem.

  • Soft, yellowing leaves means too much water. Check soil for dampness and to ensure proper drainage.
  • Crisp brown leaves that fall off means too little water. Water soil until damp, repeat whenever dry to the touch.
  • Fine webbing and tiny insects means pests. Remove plant from direct sun and wipe leaves with dilute alcohol solution (instructions). No rubbing alcohol? Use vodka.
  • Tired-looking leaves means low nutrition. If soil levels are low, add soil. If they’re normal, remove and tap off the root ball, then replace the old soil with new and replant the root ball.

[More at Rodale’s Organic Life]

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The 5 worst things you do before leaving the house in the morning

brushing

Life’s hard enough without using your never-big-enough morning to groove bad habits, no? Leave some for the rest of the day! The experts at Prevention have put together a lifesaving list of the five mistakes most people make after they wake. How many do you do?
  1. Checking your work email as soon as you wake up. Why put yourself in a panic while you still have sleep in your eyes? Your response is likelier to contain errors if you’re half-asleep, too.
  2. Telling yourself you’ll hit the gym later. The hardest part of working out is getting to the gym. Just. Do. It.
  3. Steaming up your shower. Heat signals it’s time for your muscles to relax and heart rate to slow. The colder, the better.
  4. Having a carbfest for breakfast. If you pick empty carbs in the morning, you’re likelier to spring for junkier foods through the day. Skip the bagel, and try to get 20 grams of protein.
  5. Brushing your teeth right after you eat. Brushing right after breakfast—especially if you’ve downed acidic stuff like fruit or coffee—can push sugars into the surface of your teeth and erode your enamel. Better: brush after you wake but before you eat.

[More at Prevention]

[Related: 5 ways to avoid bone fragility and breakage]

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6 brilliant slow cooker recipes for busy mornings

slow-cooker-breakfast

“Set it and forget it” doesn’t just apply to dinner. Get any of these delectable recipes started before bedtime, and your morning will be relaxed, delightful, and delicious.

  • Honey Nut Granola, with Cherries and Pumpkin Seeds: An adaptable early autumn combo (recipe)
  • Banana Allspice Breakfast Risotto: A creative, gluten-free spin on rice pudding (recipe)
  • Blueberry Lemon Poppyseed French Toast Casserole: A barely sweet, hands off approach to French toast (recipe)
  • Slow-Cooker Cinnamon Monkey Bread: A decadent breakfast treat (recipe)
  • Bacon, Sage, and Butternut Squash Quiche: Sage gives the dish an appealing autumnal flavor (recipe)
  • Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake: Rolled oats make the streusel topping extra crispy (recipe)

[More at Real Simple]

[Related: 5 sumptuous slow cooker recipes that will set you daydreaming]

 

[Related:  Sleep badly? You need these 6 sleep wonderfoods in your life]

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Tips for managing meltdowns from a child therapist

meltdown
It’s essential to learn the art of ignoring, writes child therapist Josie Sawyer. Since most disruptive kid behavior is attention-seeking, your most powerful response is to withdraw your attention.

Five more professional tips for defusing toddler tantrums:

  • Praise the positive opposite. Hate when your child screams? Amp up the praise when she uses her inside voice.
  • Give specific commands.Calm down.” Better: “Put your hands in your lap” or “sit in your seat.”
  • Tell your child what TO do. Commands should be positive, not negative. “Stop running.” Better: “Please walk next to me.”
  • Label problem behaviors. “Johnny, you just pushed your sister. That’s being rough. Because you’re rough, you’re going to have to have a timeout.”
  • Practice attunement. The best way to decrease problem behaviors is to increase connection and positive interactions with your child.

[More at Time.com]

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9 air-cleaning houseplants that are almost impossible to kill

plants
If you love greenery and clean air but lack a green thumb, these low-maintenance houseplants are the ones for you.

  • Garden Mum Chrysanthemum folium
  • Spider Plant Chlorophytuym comosum vittatum
  • Dracaena Dracaena spp.
  • Ficus/Weeping Fig Ficus benjamina
  • Peace Lily Spathiphyllum sp.
  • Boston Fern Nephrolepis exaltata v. Bostoniensis
  • Snake Plant/Mother-in-Law’s Tongue Sansevieria trifasciata
  • Bamboo Palm Camaedoria seifritzii
  • Aloe Vera Aloe vera or a. barbadensis

[More at Greatist.com]

 

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WEIRD

5 shocking home cleaning secrets

 

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