Author: Susan Sanders

Making plans for your children’s future

As a mommy of four I worry about my children’s future all of the time. I know no mother likes to think of their children’s lives without them in it, but being prepared for everything and anything is important for your children’s future. We live in such an uncertain world nowadays and both me and my spouse try to plan for them the best we can, but I often ask myself what would happen to them if I were to pass away suddenly or what would become of my family if my husband were to pass away as well? That’s why after my third son, me and my husband sat down to talk about our options and I want to share what I have learned with all of you.

Looking at options for your family in the case of your own passing can be difficult, but what if you were a stay at home mother and suddenly your husband was to pass away? Would you be able to afford the mortgage or car payments, how about the kids’ school and college? Could you afford the funeral costs? These are the reasons as mothers we need to make sure we are prepared for anything and that’s exactly what I did and now I’m going to take you with me on my journey to finding the right ways to make sure my kids are set up for a successful future no matter what the future holds.

First my husband and I both wrote out wills saying who we’d like to be the designated guardians for our four children if something were to happen to us. We did this with our attorney after we made the appointment  and after that we had to think about who else we would include in our wills and what we wished for them to have. I left my jewelry to my sister and my husband left his fishing gear to his best friend and anything else we wanted to leave for loved ones was written into our wills. 

Once we were done setting up our wills and designating beneficiaries we had to decide what would be the best way to ensure our children wanted for nothing after we passed. That’s when I remembered my father talking to me about the whole life and term life options he and my mother had used to help them plan for the future.

That’s when I got to work studying the options. Whole life insurance and term life insurance are both options we looked at while doing our research. The largest difference between the two is that whole life insurance is there for you as long as you’re alive. While term life insurance is typically only for a few years.Whole life insurance has a cash value and you can withdraw cash value as a loan, but the premiums are often more expensive. Term life coverage is meant to the last few years of your life and does not have a cash value option and you cannot borrow against it. Your premiums are lower when you are younger and increase as you age. 

The reason we chose whole life insurance is because we wanted to be prepared for the rest of our lives since we are not old enough yet to need just term life coverage. Whole life insurance was a guaranteed cash value growth and we knew we could take our dividends and reinvest them into our policies and allow our death benefit cash value to accumulate more quickly. We also knew if we ever had to we could also borrow against the policy. Whole life policies protect us for the rest of our lives so long as we pay our premiums on time and that gives myself and my husband a piece of mind and if my husband or I were to pass the other would receive a tax free amount we set ahead of time called a death benefit to take care of all of the necessities. 

Our payment options were to pay our policies for as long as we wanted the whole life insurance and as long as we pay that premium we are covered and then be covered for our lifetimes. 

After getting our affairs in order we opened up four bank accounts under our kids names and started investing money every month into those bank accounts like an allowance, so that when they are older they will have a little bit of savings for college or cars or even an apartment. This ensures that once they reach the right age they will be able to take money out of the account that you invested in, even if you’re no longer there. 

I also added my oldest two boys onto my credit cards as authorized users so that by the time they are 18 they will already have an established credit score allowing them to more easily purchase things such as a car, house or apartment and it will make getting a loan with a good rate much easier for them as well. My husband has put our youngest two on his cards as authorized users as well so that they will receive the same benefits as their older siblings.

Why did I decide it was time for us to do all of this? 

I worried if I kept putting off planning for my children’s future I may not be able to be prepared when they are older if something were to happen. Now I know my children are set up for success no matter what the future holds, because my whole life insurance plan protects my family in the case anything were to happen to myself or my husband.  There are many ways to approach your child’s future, but this is how my family prepared for it and I hope some of you out there found this post helpful in your decisions about the future and also gave you some options you can use to help ensure a great and open future for your kids as well.

Ten Tips to make your Child Smart and Intelligent.

Raising a smart and intelligent kid takes concerted effort directed at various areas of the child’s mind and body. A child’s brain grows depending on both the exercise and experience it receives from the senses. Their brains tend to soak up everything it comes across. Complex interactions making up these experiences make the kid smarter especially once the child is exposed to stimulation of the brain at an early age. Here are a few tips that could go a long way in bringing up an intelligent kid.

1.   Interacting with your Child

Interacting with your child stimulates their senses. Several scientific researches show that cuddling, loving and playing with kids reduces stunted brain growth by a large extent. Babies’ brains thrive on attention which makes holding your baby a very important factor towards their intelligence. By doing so, they become fit and actually perform better in their academics. Other methods of interaction include hugging, talking and playing.

2.   Get your kid to take Music Lessons

Again, this is backed by solid scientific research. Children who are involved in musical activities tend to be smarter than those who aren’t. Music tends to increase a child’s IQ to be like that of an adult, albeit by a relatively small margin. It is however not only for kids. Music brightens imagination as it engages the mind in many new wonders while it feeds the soul. Music is not for kids as it can help older people slow down some of the effects of aging.

3.   Reading with your Child

Most parents tend to read to their kids and not with them. They will start reading and get on with it while the child just stares. However, this should not be the case. Instead, practice what is known as shared book reading since this promotes early literacy within the child at a very young age. This also enables the child to develop reading skills and its strategies. Ensure you direct attention to the words you read so that the child becomes involved.

4.   Give the Child ample time to Sleep

It is said that when a child is deprived of a single hour of sleep, the effect is similar to two years’ worth of development and cognitive maturity in the kid. Research has found that the academic performance of children was directly related to the minutes of sleep they had. The smartest kids averaged more than thirty minutes of sleep above the average-performing students. As a parent or a caregiver, set a slumber time for your child and strictly adhere to it. The end results will clearly show from the child’s behavior and academic performance.

5.   Cultivate Happiness

Research shows that happier kids always outperform their peers in school. Raising happy kids is another job altogether but basically involves creating a favorable environment that’s conducive for the kids away from fights, stress, lack, and inadequate love and appreciation. After all, a happy child means a happy mother which translates to a happier home.

6.   Assign the Child Chores

One thing that children find less fun and enjoyable is doing chores. Of course, they would rather play than perform duties. They see it as a punishment hence have developed a negative attitude towards them. In real sense, chores play a great role in nurturing a child. For instance, they teach them how to be responsible and self-reliant, time management skills and also reinforce respect. Research proves that a child who is always engaged in chores becomes sharp, very active and performs so well in their academics. It is therefore a requirement that parents and caregivers make sure to regularly assign chores to their kids then follow up on them, to ensure that they perform the given chores without failure.

7.   Ensure the child Eats Proper Meals

Without a doubt, food is a daily basic need and we are aware to always eat a balanced diet. But what really is food? Food is what we eat that adds us proper nutrients like iron, for a healthier brain tissue growth, so that our bodies function correctly. Most people ignore the fact that junk isn’t food. Others actually live on junk foods. Regular eating of junk food creates children who are easily prone to ailments. It is very compulsory that parents and caregivers monitor the kinds of foods their children eat, in order to promote a healthier growth for them.

8.   Do not over Shield the Child

It is not wrong to want to protect your child, just don’t overdo it. When children are wrong, parents frequently rush to their defense. By doing so, you deprive your child from developing problem solving skills. This also makes no room for them to learn and understand what action they should take in case the situation repeats itself. As a parent, allow your child to be able to deal with situations that challenge them. This way, they become smarter and more intelligent.

9.   Give the Child Real Life Examples

There are great men and women who have built empires around the world. People like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Rachel Carson, Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama. They have written books where they have shared their life experiences. Some are very challenging while others are encouraging. Get to share these stories with your child, see the impact they might have on them. Who knows, they might end up inspired and motivated to work extra hard to be able to be like them.

10. Take the Child Sightseeing

Most of us believe in the cliché “seeing is believing”. Research also proves that things seen are not easily forgotten. Taking your child sightseeing therefore, has a great impact on them because they would not be able to forget that fast. Before they are able to cover the topic ‘Rivers’ in class with their teacher, ensure that your child has an idea of what a river looks like. This gives them the advantage of being familiar with whatever they learn. It is for this reason, schools are encouraged to take their pupils to tours, for them to get to see what they learn in books in reality.


Traits of intelligence and smartness come along with high levels of self-esteem and confidence. From the ten posts, it is clear that a child requires so much to be able to become intelligent and smart. It is also very clear that a parent has to invest much more in their child to make them intelligent and smart. Though all these come back to the child, this shows that it is a child’s duty to ensure that all the efforts put in them bear fruits. 

How your Living Environment Affects your Psyche

From your workplace to your home to anywhere else you spend a significant amount of time; the living environment will always impact your psyche. Various elements within the environment interact with your body, whether you are conscious of it or not. Let us take a look at how this happens.

1. Lighting

Sunrays bring a feeling of optimism to a room while bright lighting schemes tend to heighten emotions. Avoid spending time in badly-lit environments. Badly lit does not necessarily mean under-lit but also over-lit areas. Natural light is also scientifically proven to improve people’s moods and should, therefore, be let into your living environment. When designing a living space, give the lighting aspect a huge consideration since it will play what is perhaps the largest part in affecting your overall psyche.

2. Curves vs Hard Edges

You might never have thought that the tables or chairs in your living room affect your moods. Hard-edged furniture activates a fear of sharp objects and in general, appearance seems less friendly. Always aim to have objects with more rounded edges and curves. These instill a sense of comfort and safety in our minds. For existing hard-edged furniture such as living room sofas, make them more soft-edged by adding fur pillows.

3. Color

After light, color probably plays the second most important role in the way a living space impacts our moods. The paint applied to walls in your living environment will always brighten or dull your moods. Some colors depict warmth while others are cold and serious. Spaces such as bedrooms and bathrooms should have these warm colors to help your mind relax.

4. Making it Personal

We always associate places with what we can see that is close to us. It is the sole reason why pretty much every household has family photos, pet photos and so on. Personalize your living environment with items closely associated with you. Get a piece of art and let it hang on that wall, mount an A1 photo and let it sit on that boring mantle, make the space yours. Try to imagine spending days, weeks or months in an empty room that only had your bed, not very appealing, is it?

5. Sounds

Sounds exists in many varieties: soft, loud, pleasant and unpleasant. Music is a pleasant sound as opposed to noise which is unpleasant.  While there’s different kind of sounds, there’s different kind of people. Different kind of sounds differently affect a person’s psyche. While one might prefer a noisy environment, another one might prefer a less or no noise environment. Am sure no one would want to get pissed every time they get close to their environment. Hence, as an individual, get to know and understand the environment that fits you best and work on perfecting it.  

6. People around You

Humans form a bigger percentage of how your living environment affects you. Naturally, we all want to stay around people who make us feel loved, happy and appreciated. People who accept us as we are. Humans can impact your living environment either positively or negatively. Example, living around a couple that constantly fight can be so stressful than living around a couple that encourages love and peace, additionally living in an environment that has well mannered people is favorable in terms of wanting to have your own kids since you’ll be sure they will be well mannered.

7. Climate

Most people are easily affected by change of climate. A slight rise or fall of temperature, a rise in sea levels and changes in precipitation, positively and negatively affect the changes in our moods. Some climate changes are extreme in that they affect the air we breathe, food we eat and the water we drink. Further climate changes can cause natural disasters such as floods, which in turn can leave us with serious damages in mental health. Examples include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress even worse chronic psychological dysfunction.

8.  Ease of Accessing Facilities

How nice is it to be able to access everything you want at your doorstep? Imagine living in an environment where you have to cover long distances just to be able to purchase what you require. For a fact, this will surely affect your psyche. It is for this reason, real estate agents thoroughly survey their locations before they construct apartments, which otherwise will remain unoccupied. This is also why most people prefer to live in urban areas where there is easy accessibility of facilities such as Schools and Hospitals.

9.  Space

Living in a spacious environment is a lot of fun. The way your space is planned can either appeal or offend your moods. When your space does not seem to fit you anymore, you tend to make adjustments and even try to get rid of items that you no longer need. Every time you turn around then accidently hit or collide with another person or something, you’re sure to feel a bit of pain. I bet this really spoils your psyche. At the same time, living in an extra spacious environment can be very lonely. As an individual, it is best to find an environment that fits you best as per your needs.

10. Natural Resources

Natural Resources are God given. They come with advantages and disadvantages. One of their advantages is that they come in plenty, whereas a disadvantage is that once they are depleted, there’s nothing that can be done because they come naturally. Living in an environment with scarcity of these resources like water can spoil one’s psyche. Picture yourself staying without water or even food, how will you take a bath? how will you cook? What will you drink? For sure this is going to be hard. This is why you find most people migrating in search of these natural resources.


Every person wants the best for themselves. It is a major requirement that you strive to find the living environment that makes you sane. After all, happiness is key and essential in a person’s life. As the saying goes “A happy person is a happy home”.