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A recent study from the Stanford History Education Group found that when students are online, they don’t read critically.


The Stanford researchers tested students at varying grade levels to learn how well they could evaluate online information. Middle schoolers, for example, were offered a series of tweets and asked to select the most trustworthy one. College students were asked to rate the reliability of a partisan website.

After testing over 7,000 students, the researchers found that the future is “bleak” when it comes to students’ information-processing abilities.

[W]e would hope that middle school students could distinguish an ad from a news story. By high school, we would hope that students reading about gun laws would notice that a chart came from a gun owners’ political action committee. And, in 2016, we would hope college students, who spend hours each day online, would look beyond a .org URL and ask who’s behind a site that presents only one side of a contentious issue. But in every case and at every level, we were taken aback by students’ lack of preparation.

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Given our current political climate and near-constant accusations of “fake news,” it’s more important than ever to help our kids grow into critical readers. Yet, if the above findings hold true for the entire population, our kids are in a lot of trouble.

Given the amount of information we receive online, middle school seems too late to start kids on a path to strong critical reading. My three-year-old is not ready for lectures about authoritative sources or verifying information, but I can help him think more critically by modeling everyday research skills. Here are my top four.

Identifying authors and illustrators

Pop quiz! What’s my name?

Unless you’re a friend or family member graciously boosting my social shares, you probably had to scroll up to find out who I am. Or maybe you didn’t scroll up at all, because you weren’t sure where to find my name. If that’s the case, you’re in good company. When presented with a tweet from MoveOn.org about how the NRA is out of step with its membership, students in the above Stanford study suggested the organization was credible because it had a lot of followers, or because the data they cited was from a large polling organization. Relatively few students were able to identify the political leaning of MoveOn, the polling organization cited in the tweet, or how those groups’ political inclinations might influence their content.

Learning to identify authors is a really important skill. It can help you decide whether you want to trust the information you are reading, whether you want to regard it skeptically, or whether you want to rule it out entirely.

I’m starting my own child early by always reading the author’s and illustrator’s names before we open a book. When we’re reading a book for the first time, we also read the inside flaps to fill in a little biographical information about the creators. We are often rewarded for the effort, as recent books make good use of this previously-neglected space (I’m looking at you, Jory John!). However, even without the bonus material, reading the flaps helps teach my child that books are written by flesh and blood people.

There’s both an immediate and a long-term reward here. It’s downright adorable to hear my son squeal “Mo Willems!” or “Leslie Patricelli!” or “Lemony Snicket!” when he recognizes an author’s name. There’s also a huge long-term value in helping him understand that ideas come from people. That’s true for children’s book authors, parents, nonprofits, and companies.

Narrating my new discoveries

We place a lot of credibility in research. You might have just bought a baby product because “research shows” it’s the safest on the market. You might be trying out a new shampoo or milk-alternative that’s “scientifically-proven” to make you look better or live longer. You often don’t need to look past article titles for these kinds of claims, which will often tell you to do something “because science.”

We value research, but we don’t spend very much time thinking about how that research gets to be research. That’s true for our kids, too, who often don’t get to see the process behind our own research. How did you decide what kind of toothpaste to buy? Why are you changing the ingredients of a recipe? Why did you pick this house instead of that one with the pool?

Enormous amounts of time and energy go into these sorts of everyday decisions and yet, that time and energy is mostly invisible to our children.

Our children don’t need the specific questions to ask when selecting toothpaste or modifying recipes or judging safety hazards. The particulars of any one research question aren’t as important as the process we go through when asking them. What questions did we ask? What costs and benefits did we weigh? Are we confident with our decisions or still wondering if we made the right choices?

Even an everyday task like cooking or baking offers a chance to narrate our research skills to children. Why did I pick a recipe from one site instead of another? How did I decide what ingredients to adjust or substitute? Would these cookies taste better with a little salt? Maybe we should make a two-batch experiment.

Encouraging curiosity

A new study published in Political Psychology suggests that science curiosity may make people less susceptible to political bias. Dan Kahan and his colleagues defined science curiosity as “the motivation to seek out and consume scientific information for personal pleasure.” That motivation, they found, made people of all political persuasions more likely to be concerned about highly partisan scientific issues. Kahan and colleagues assigned participants scientific curiosity scores (SCS), and found that the higher a person’s SCS, the less swayed that person tended to be by a political bias. For example, when asked to rate the seriousness of global warming, liberal democrats were more likely to give higher ratings than conservative republicans. However the members of both groups with high SCS scores were more likely to acknowledge the severity of the issue.

These findings are preliminary and thus require additional testing both to accurately define and measure exactly what counts as “scientific curiosity.” Nonetheless, the results, which suggest that scientific curiosity can transcend political bias, indicate that it’s worth attempting to foster this kind of curiosity in our own children.

One of the ways we can encourage that kind of curiosity in our children is to model it in our own interactions with the world. This can be as simple as approaching playtime as a fellow learner and researcher. In her book about the problems of modern early childhood education, Carol Garhart Mooney presents the Reggio Emilia approach as one possible solution. One of the main questions of that approach is for adults to model curiosity with questions like, “I wonder what would happen if…”

This question is so easy to model at home. I wonder what would happen if we put that ball on a ramp? If we put this yellow cup inside of a blue one? If we put this vinegar in this baking soda? In these cases, I had a good sense for what was going to happen next, but if I always approach playtime with this attitude of discovery, I’m likely to learn new things along with my child.

Admitting “I don’t know”

The most important thing parents can do to help their children become good researchers is to admit their own ignorance.

Many of us are fearful to admit we don’t know something because we expect to be ridiculed for our ignorance. An excellent xkcd comic does some back-of-the-envelope math to determine the cost of that type of ridicule for all parties: “For each thing that ‘everyone knows’ by the time they’re adults, every day there are, on average, 10,000 people in the US hearing about it for the first time.” If we make fun of others who don’t know something, they miss out on the opportunity to learn something awesome and we miss out on the opportunity to teach them.

When we answer “I don’t know,” we open ourselves to learning something as cool as what happens when we combine Diet Coke and Mentos. That’s the same attitude I want to convey to my son.

“I don’t know” is an incredibly powerful answer to children’s questions because it presents the world as open for exploration. “I don’t know” may also help children develop trust in their parents. In a new study published in Developmental Psychology, Tamar Kushnir, a professor in Child Development at Cornell, found that children are more likely to trust people who say “I don’t know.” Children who were told “I don’t know” by an adult were later more likely to believe and even repeat the claims made by that adult. Children who were told an answer by an adult that later proved to be false were then less likely to trust that adult, even when the adult could provide factual evidence for his or her claims.

In other words, if a child asks an adult a question and hears “I don’t know,” that child will be more likely to believe the adult later on when she does provide an answer. So, by honestly admitting our own ignorance, parents can become life-long trusted sources for their children.

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Pop quiz, mama! How many different types of car seats are there? If you guessed three, you're partially correct. The three main types are rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, and booster seats. But then there are a variety of styles as well: infant car seats, convertible seats, all-in-one seats, high-back booster seats, and backless boosters. If you're not totally overwhelmed yet, keep reading, we promise there's good stuff ahead.

There's no arguing that, in the scheme of your baby and child gear buying lifetime, purchasing a car seat is a big deal! Luckily, Walmart.com has everything you need to travel safely with your most precious cargo in the backseat. And right now, you can save big on top-rated car seats and boosters during Best of Baby Month, happening now through September 30 at Walmart.com.

As if that wasn't enough, Walmart will even take the carseat your kiddos have outgrown off your hands for you (and hook you up with a sweet perk, too). Between September 16 and 21, Walmart is partnering with TerraCycle to recycle used car seats. When you bring in an expired car seat or one your child no longer fits into to a participating Walmart store during the trade-in event, you'll receive a $30 gift card to spend on your little one in person or online. Put the money towards a brand new car seat or booster or other baby essentials on your list. To find a participating store check here: www.walmart.com/aboutbestofbabymonth

Ready to shop, mama? Here are the 9 best car seat deals happening this month.


Safety 1st Grow and Go Spring 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

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From rear-facing car seat to belt-positioning booster, Grow and Go Sprint's got you covered through childhood. Whether you choose the grey Silver Lake, Seafarer or pink Camelia color palette, you'll love how this model grows with your little one — not to mention how easy it is to clean. The machine-washable seat pad can be removed without fussing with the harness, and the dual cup holders for snacks and drinks can go straight into the dishwasher.

Price: $134 (regularly $149)

SHOP

Baby Trend Hybrid Plus 3-in-1 Booster Car Seat in Bermuda

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When your toddler is ready to face forward, this versatile car seat can be used as a five-point harness booster, a high-back booster, and a backless booster. Padded armrests, harness straps, and seat cushions provide a comfy ride, and the neutral gray seat pads reverse to turquoise for a stylish new look.

Price: $72.00 (regularly $81)

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Baby Trend Hybrid Plus 3-in-1 Booster Car Seat in Olivia

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Looking for something snazzy, mama? This black and hot pink car seat features a playful heart print on its reversible seat pad and soft harness straps. Best of all, with its 100-pound weight limit and three booster configurations, your big kid will get years of use out of this fashionable design.

Price: $72.00 (regularly $81)

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Evenflo Triumph LX Convertible Car Seat

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This rear- and forward-facing car seat keeps kids safer, longer with an adjustable five-point harness that can accommodate children up to 65 lbs. To tighten the harness, simply twist the conveniently placed side knobs; the Infinite Slide Harness ensures an accurate fit every time. As for style, we're big fans of the cozy quilted design, which comes in two colorways: grey and magenta or grey and turquoise.

Price: $116 (regularly $149.99)

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Disney Baby Light 'n Comfy 22 Luxe Infant Car Seat

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Outfitted with an adorable pink-and-white polka dot Minnie Mouse infant insert, even the tiniest of travelers — as small as four pounds! — can journey comfortably and safely. This rear-facing design is lightweight, too; weighing less than 15 lbs, you can easily carry it in the crook of your arm when your hands are full (because chances are they will be).

Price: $67.49 (regularly $89.99)

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Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

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We know it's hard to imagine your tiny newborn will ever hit 100 lbs, but one day it'll happen. And when it does, you'll appreciate not having to buy a new car seat if you start with this 4-in-1 design! Designed to fit kids up to 120 lbs, it transforms four ways, from a rear-facing car seat to a backless belt-positioning booster. With a 6-position recline and a one-hand adjust system for the harness and headrest, you can easily find the perfect fit for your growing child.

Price: $199.99 (regularly $269.99)

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Graco SlimFit All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

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With its unique space-saving design, this 3-in-1 car seat provides 10% more back seat space simply by rotating the dual cup holders. The InRight LATCH system makes installation quick and easy, and whether you're using it as a rear-facing car seat, a forward-facing car seat, or a belt-positioning booster, you can feel confident that your child's safe and comfortable thanks to Graco's Simply Safe Adjust Harness System.

Price: $149.99 (regularly $229.99)

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Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Platinum XT Infant Car Seat

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Making sure your infant car seat is secure can be tricky, but Graco makes it easy with its one-second LATCH attachment and hassle-free three-step installation using SnugLock technology. In addition to its safety features, what we really love about this rear-facing seat are all of the conveniences, including the ability to create a complete travel system with Click Connect Strollers and a Silent Shade Canopy that expands without waking up your sleeping passenger.

Price: $169.99 (regularly $249.99)

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Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Elite Infant Car Seat

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With just one click, you can know whether this rear-facing car seat has been installed properly. Then adjust the base four different ways and use the bubble level indicator to find the proper position. When you're out and about, the rotating canopy with window panel will keep baby protected from the sun while allowing you to keep your eye on him.

Price: $129.99 (regularly $219.99)

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This article was sponsored by Walmart. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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If I ever want to look alive before dropping my son off to school, there are two things I must put on before leaving the house: eyeliner and mascara. When using eyeliner, I typically use black liner on my top lid, a slightly lighter brown for my bottom lid, and then a nude liner for my water line. It works every time.

My mascara routine is a bit different. Because my natural lashes are thin and not the longest, I always opt for the darkest black I can find, and one that's lengthening and volumizing. For this reason, I was immediately drawn to It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara. The new mascara is developed in partnership with Drybar (the blow dry bar that specializes in just blowouts) and promises to deliver bold and voluminous lashes all day long. I was sold.

Could this really be the blowout my lashes have been waiting for? It turns out, it was much better than most volumizing formulas I've tried.

For starters, the wand is a great size—it's not too big or small, and it's easy to grip—just like my favorite Drybar round brush. As for the formula, it's super light and infused with biotin which helps lashes look stronger and healthier. I also love that it's buildable, and I didn't notice any clumps or flakes between coats.

The real test is that my lashes still looked great at dinnertime. I didn't have smudges or the dreaded raccoon eyes I always get after a long day at work. Surprisingly, the mascara actually stayed in place. To be fair, I haven't compared them with lash-extensions (which are my new go-to since having baby number two), but I'm sure it will hold up nicely.

Overall, I was very impressed with the level of length and fullness this mascara delivered. Indeed, this is the eyelash blowout my lashes have been waiting for. While it won't give you a few extra hours in bed, you'll at least look a little more awake, mama.

It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara

It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara
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Here's how I apply IT Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara:

  1. Starting as close to lash line as possible (and looking down), align the brush against your top lashes. Gradually turn upwards, then wiggle the wand back and forth up and down your eyelashes.
  2. Repeat, if needed. Tip: Be sure to allow the mascara to dry between each coat.
  3. Using the same technique, apply mascara to your bottom lashes, brushing the wand down your eyelashes.
Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Having children isn't always as easy as it looks on Instagram. There's so much more to motherhood than serene baby snuggles and matching outfits. But there's a reason we've fallen so deeply in love with motherhood: It's the most beautiful, chaotic ride.

Every single day, we sit back and wonder how something so hard can feel so rewarding. And Eva Mendes just managed to nail the reality of that with one quote.

Eva, who is a mama to daughters Esmerelda and Amada with Ryan Gosling, got real about the messy magic of motherhood in a recent interview.

"It's so fun and beautiful and maddening," the actress tells Access Daily. "It's so hard, of course. But it's like that feeling of…you end your day, you put them to bed and Ryan and I kind of look at each other like, 'We did it, we did it. We came out relatively unscathed.'"

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And just like that, moms all over the world feel seen. We've all been there: Struggling to get through the day (which, for the record is often every bit as fun as it is challenging), only to put those babies to sleep and collapse on the couch in sheer exhaustion. But, after you've caught your breath, you realize just how strong and capable you really are.

One thing Eva learned the hard way? That sleep regressions are very, very real...and they don't just come to an end after your baby's first few months. "I guess they go through a sleep regression, which nobody told me about until I looked it up," she says "I was like, 'Why isn't my 3-year-old sleeping?'"

But, at the end of the day, Eva loves her life as a mom—and the fact that she took a break from her Hollywood career to devote her days to raising her girls. "I'm so thankful I have the opportunity to be home with them," she says.

Thank you for keeping it real, Eva! Momming isn't easy, but it sure is worth it.

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My labor and delivery was short and sweet. I started feeling contractions on Monday morning and by Tuesday night at 8:56 pm my handsome baby boy was born. Only 30 minutes of pushing. Afterward, I was still out of it, to be honest. I held him and did some skin to skin and handed him off to my husband, my mother held him next.

When he was in my mother's arms, I knew he was safe. I started to drift off, the epidural had me feeling drowsy and I had used up all my strength to push this 7 lb baby out. My son's eyes were open and then I guess he went to sleep too. My mother swayed him back and forth. The nurses were in and out, cleaning me up and checking in on us.

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When yet another nurse came in, my mom said to her, "He wasn't latching because he wanted to sleep."

The nurse yelled, "He's not sleeping!"

The next 25 minutes happened in slow motion for me.

After the nurse said these words, she flung my son onto the little baby bed. I looked over and he looked a little blue. Then I heard the loud words of CODE PINK. In matters of seconds about 30 nursing staff descended into my room and crowded around my baby.

I couldn't even see what was happening. I tried to get out the bed but they wouldn't let me and after a couple of failed attempts one of the nurses look at me and said, "He's fine, he's breathing now."

Breathing now? He wasn't breathing before? Again, I tried to push my way to my baby, but once again I was told to not move. They had just performed CPR on my 30-minute old newborn and I couldn't understand what was happening even after a pediatrician tried to explain it to me.

I just started crying. He was fine in my stomach for 39 weeks and 6 days and now I bring him into this world and his heart nearly stops?

I was told he needed to go to the neonatal intensive care unit. I was confused, as I thought the NICU was only for preemies and my son was full term.

After what felt like an eternity we were finally allowed to see our son. My husband wheeled me there and we saw him in the corner alone. I saw the incubator and the wires, he's all bundled up.

The nurse explained all the beeping and showed me the heart rate monitor. He's doing fine. We go over the feeding schedule. I'm exhausted still. I stay with him until about 1 or 2 am. They all suggest I get some sleep. There's no bed in the NICU, so I head back to my room.

The next day was better, he doesn't have to be in the incubator anymore, but the wires remain. By that night or early the next morning, the wires in his nose come out and I try feeding him. I try pumping. It was painful.

He gets his first bath and he loves it. The nurse shampoos his hair (he had a lot!) and he seems so soothed. The nurse explains that because he's full term he doesn't need the same type of support in the NICU. She tells me my baby's strong and he'll be fine.

I look around. I see the other babies, the other moms. They could be there for weeks. And unlike me, the moms have to go home—without their baby.

Friday comes and by now he's done all his tests, blood work came back normal, all tubes have been removed and I get it. I get my going-home package. Finally. I get my instructions on doctor follow-ups and we finally get to go home.

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There have been a lot of iconic entertainment magazine covers featuring pregnant women over the years. Who can forget Demi Moore's bare baby bump on Vanity Fair or Britney Spears' similar nude pose on Harper's Bazaar?

Pregnant women on a magazine covers is nothing new, but a visibly pregnant CEO on the cover of a business magazine, that's a first and it happened this week.

Inc. just put The Wing's CEO Audrey Gelman on the cover and this is a historic moment in publishing and business.

As Gelman told Today this week, "You can't be what you can't see, so I think it's so important for women to see that it's possible to run a fast-growing business and also to start a family."

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She continued: "It's so important to sort of burst that bubble and to have new images of women who are thriving and working professionally while balancing motherhood … My hope is that women see this and again feel the confidence to take greater professional risks while also not shelving their dreams of becoming a mother and starting a family."

The Wing started in 2016 as a co-working space for women and has grown rapidly. As Inc. reports, The Wing has eight locations in the U.S. with plans for more American and international locations by 2020.

Putting Gelman on the cover was an important move by Inc. and Gelman's honesty about her early pregnancy panic ("I can't be pregnant. I have so much to do." she recalls thinking after her pregnancy test) should be applauded.

Gelman says pregnancy made her slow down physically, and that it was actually good for her company: "I had this realization: The way to make my team and my employees feel proud to work for me and for the company was actually not to pretend to be superhuman or totally unaffected by pregnancy."

We need this. We need CEOs to admit that they are human so that corporate leadership can see employees as humans, too. Humans need things like family leave and flexibility, especially when they start raising little humans.

There are a lot of iconic covers featuring pregnant women, but this one is different. She's wearing clothes and she's changing work culture.

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