As temperatures drop, my friends and I have the same conversation that we had last year, and the year before and every year. Who is the first one to switch on the heating? For some folk though, it’s not just a question of when they wish to start heating the house. Families living with high energy prices on a low income simply can’t afford to use the heating very much; some can’t afford it at all. If you are struggling this year, here are some tried and tested tips on how to keep your home warm on a budget.
DIY Tricks to Keep Your Home Warm on Budget
Check your windows
As windows get older they can let draughts in, both through the part that opens and through cracks between the frame and the wall. Every autumn we use masking tape (very cheap from craft or DIY shops) to seal up the gaps.
Draught-proof your doors
Use masking tape for your external doors as well, and for covering keyholes to stop the draught coming in – it’s easily removable when you need to get in or out! You can make your own draught excluders by stuffing old tights with scrunched up newspaper and tying up the ends. A letterbox draught excluder helps to keep the cold air out. Having a heavy/lined curtain over the door will help too, which brings us to our next tip.
It’s that time again; harassed parents across the country are scrambling to buy new shoes for their children as they begin a new school year. My children are particularly difficult to buy for as they both have narrow heels, and have to have properly fitted shoes or risk stepping out of them every time they walk.
This year I tried something different with my eldest child, who’s 7. I’d already had to buy her new trainers earlier in the holidays (it turns out that trainers don’t survive a thorough dunking in mud followed by a good long paddle in the sea. Who knew?) so when I was asked by Start-Rite if my daughter would like to try a pair of their shoes I was over the moon.
Serious illness can be a tricky thing to explain to children at the best of times. While it’s relatively easy for them to understand physical pain or injury, how do you explain mental illness to children?
What is Adolescence?
Although we often use the words adolescent and teenager interchangeably, they actually refer to different things. A teenager is a young person between the ages of 13 and 19, while the start of adolescence is marked by the onset of puberty, and its end is generally accepted to be around the age of 19 or 20. While teenagerhood is a social idea, adolescence is a period of biological development common to all human cultures, and one that is also found in many non-human species.
During adolescence young people begin to pull away from their parents and to assert their independence and individuality. At the same time they start to explore their identity and how they fit in with their peers as well as society as a whole. The opinion of their peers is likely to matter more to an adolescent than that of their parents or other adults. They may behave more impulsively and take more risks than before without thought of the consequences, while their sleep patterns change drastically. You’ll be relieved to hear that there are reasons for all this! Our science editor Samantha Gouldson investigates the neuroscience of the teenage brain.