8 Steps for Saving Money as a Parent


No matter how rewarding the path of parenthood is, the reality is that it’s not a cheap one. With mounting pressure for parents to provide the best for their children also comes pressure financially, a pressure which increases when you have more than one child, too.

Here are 8 key steps you can take to help out your finances as a parent.

Step 1: Plan Your Meals

Implementing proper meal planning will help to avoid impulsive food spending and the temptation of ordering a family take out after a busy day. Meal preparation means you can ensure that your family always eats healthily, as well as providing the opportunity to make meals in batches and store them so that you can make your ingredients last longer.

Step 2: Think About Reusable

Most items related to childcare are disposable, due to the nature of the items, such as cleaning products and nappies. However, disposable nature means that it costs a lot in the long run to replace it. Switching to reusable wherever you can mean a one-time purchase cost, which will save you money over time. It takes more care and effort to wash reusable items, but it’s worth the effort.

Step 3: Buy Second-Hand

When children grow at such a fast pace, clothes and other items quickly become unusable. Many other parents will donate old items to charity or second-hand stores, and they can be just like new. Shopping for second-hand can save you a significant amount on clothes and child items.

Step 4: Make Use of Multibuys

If you’re buying items for a family, then you’re going to need quite a number of them. Multibuy savings can help you to stock up on key items while saving money in the long term. Look for discount codes and multibuy opportunities wherever you can, like Boots discount codes for toiletry and home items.

Step 5: Lean on Loved Ones

It’s natural to feel guilty if you’re always calling on childcare favors with loved ones, but if they’re happy to do it, you can save a lot of money on professional childcare or nanny services when needed.

Step 6: Buy Extras for Your Home

Going out socially with children can soon become expensive, so it may be more cost-effective to buy more entertainment for the home. Buy a DVD player for family movies instead of going to the cinema all the time, or think about interactive video games like bowling and racing.

Step 7: Ask for Certain Gift Items

Becoming a new parent means you’ll probably be treated to lots of gifts, but if you do not have an open discussion, you may receive items you don’t need. Instead, politely request items you do need so that you don’t have to buy them yourself.

Step 8: Speak to Other Parents

If you have friends or relatives who have young children, the chances are that they might have a bunch of baby items they no longer need and would be happy to pass along to you. You never know!

3 Green Veggie-Based Lunch Box Ideas for Kids

healthy food recipes

Hunting ideas for lunch box recipes for kids is one of the most daunting tasks for most mums around the world, especially if the kids are demanding and fussy. As mothers, the ultimate agenda is to always fill their lunchboxes with nutrition and protein-rich foods. However, in addition to nutrition, you must also see that lunchbox food recipes taste great.

Here is a collection of healthy food recipes for kids that make for the perfect snack, dinner, and lunch as well.

1.Vegetable Wraps

Vegetable wraps are one of the most favourite recipes and can be made at any time during the day to satiate the hunger of your kids. Vegetable wraps isn’t a complicated dish and can be prepared using a few simple steps.

Slice onions, cabbage and tomatoes, carrots, and spring onions. Sprinkle some vinegar over them and keep them aside. Rinse them thoroughly and drain the excess water. Now prepare the spread using yogurt, mayo, and cheese. Add some minced garlic, chilies, mustard powder, pepper powder, and mustard. To this add some olive oil and some lemon juice. Mix everything and turn it into a spreading consistency. Now smear the spread over the chapati and place the shredded veggies and start rolling it up. Stick the edges and serve them hot with tomato ketchup.

2.Vegetable Noodles

Vegetable noodles are one of those healthy food recipes that you can prepare for lunchboxes and busy weeknights as well. It takes about 20 minutes to make 2 servings of vegetable noodles. Vegetable noodles can also be paired with Indo-Chinese side dishes.

How to Make:

Bring 5 cups of water to boil and add 2 packets of noodles and cook them till al dente sans turning them mushy. When the noodles are done, drain the excess water and rinse them thoroughly under cold running water. Sprinkle a teaspoon of oil and spread the noodles to prevent them from turning sticky. Now pour a tablespoon of olive oil in a hot wok and adjust the flame to medium. Add a tablespoon of chopped garlic and two slatted green chilies and fry them for 30 seconds.  Fry them for a few seconds and add all the 3 cups of mixed veggies like cabbage, carrots, and bell pepper.

 Toss and fry the veggies until they turn crunchy and then add the boiled noodles, followed by a tablespoon of soya sauce, a teaspoon of vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of hot sauce. Fry for another 2 minutes and serve hot.

3.Vegan Instant Arabiata Pasta

Vegetarian instant Arabiata pasta is one of the tastiest and healthiest lunch box recipes for kids that can be prepared in an instant pot. Spicy, tangy, and delicious are what best describe this dish.

How to Make:

Heat the pot and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil followed by a tablespoon of garlic and one cup of chopped onions and keep cooking until the onions turn translucent and the fragrance of garlic comes out. Now add a cup of diced tomatoes, a cup of tomato sauce, and 2 cup pasta of your preference and combine them to ensure the pasta is submerged in the gravy. Adjust the instant pot to ‘Manual’ for about 8 minutes and turn the knob to seal. Upon the timer goes off, turn the vale to Vent too Quick to release the formed pressure. And your yummy Arabiata pasta is ready.

Try these recipes and enjoy your kids devouring their lunchboxes like never before. These easy and healthy food recipes can also be prepared for other times of the day. The recipes are sure to woo the hearts of all mums and dads as they require only a few ingredients.

How to make education fun, like using national geographic kids magazine

Everyone wishes education would be something enjoyable, but it is not always like that. We wish that what we learn is just easy and straightforward – something we can get quickly and remember, sticking to our brain even with less time for study. While it is reasonable to be good at what you like and what interests you, making it fun will always make it endearing to you. The kind of education and what you expose yourself to as a kid, a lot of times, shapes you up for what you eventually want to be in the future. Hence, the need for you to enjoy it. Making education fun, especially for kids, is not just for enjoyment or getting busy; it is also to help channel their energy into something productive, something they can easily relate with better, and something catchy and interesting. And kids like anything fun for them.

To make education fun for them, you can take a look at the national geographic kids’ magazine where you will find something that will interest your child or children. It has various segments such as animals where they can see and learn facts about those animals, their habitats, their behaviours, physique, and even the threats that those animals pose to humans and the risks the animals are also facing. There is the science section, too, where they can learn facts about the world, chemistry, physics, and biology at their level and even learn some experiments they could perform on their own. They can learn to take charge of their world and open their imaginations wider, and also put some things into consideration, opening up their curious mind to explore more and more and go deeper, which is an excellent experience for the child.

In the history section, they can quickly learn what ancient civilization looked like, and get fascinated by features such as the colosseum of Rome and the pyramids of Egypt. That aside, when they discover this, their ever-inquisitive mind will also make them want to share it with their friends and family. English, mathematics, arts and design, and geography are not also left out on the magazine to help keep your child or children occupied, and you can easily order it for your home or office. The magazine is designed majorly for preschoolers and children between the ages of three and six.

With this, you can get your child preoccupied with something educational and fun; you can even join your children in going through it and participate in it, especially in the quiz and competition aspects. This allows children to develop their cognition in a healthy, positive way. Keeping education fun for kids is the easiest way for them to learn. Your kid will choose to do his or her assignment if it is fun or fascinating. Making them fun for them is, therefore, essential. Kids, especially preschoolers, can also quickly learn their lessons, helping them to transition into the classroom environment with ease.

MSpy IPhone Spy App: A Brief Introduction

What is mSpy?

One of the most well-known sold spyware items available is mSpy. mSpy has consistently claimed to be a parental control apparatus, however, there’s all that anyone could need proof to show that they aren’t timid about advertising themselves as through and through spyware, as can be found in an ongoing Twitter advert. This picture obviously shows that mSpy is targeting people stressed over their accomplice’s dependability. This iPhone tracking application is very simple to install and use.

Features of mSpy iPhone Spy App

Check Places Visited by the Person

Using this application, not exclusively would you be able to find the present area of the person, you even find a workable pace, for example, the spots he/she has gone in the course of recent days. You get data about the spots the person has been to at various dates and days.

Real-time iPhone Tracking

On the off chance that you wish to know where the individual you’re tracking is whenever you can utilize mSpy iPhone tacking application, and it will pinpoint the particular region of the individual utilizing the GPS. All the data will be sent to you within minutes.

Track Messaging and Phone Calls

A private analyst can take days to separate this sort of data. On the other hand, mSpy can give you similar data inside moments.  After installing the mSpy iPhone spy app you will be able to discover the history of your youngster call log and text messages both incoming and outgoing. By mSpy app, you will be able all the cellphone history which your youngster search or see.

Geo-fencing the Target

Possibly one of the most useful features of this application is that you can use it to spy on the objective person. This means you can assign a particular geographic territory as sheltered. In addition, if the individual crosses that breaking point or enters/exits the district, you will promptly be informed of the equivalent.

Track WhatsApp Messages

Peoples trade more messages on WhatsApp than some other stage. Thusly, it helps you track their WhatsApp messages which the send and received. Whatever be the inspiration driving you’re watching their message, it gets solves.

How to Get mSpy?

To begin things off, you need to buy the specific plan according to your particular needs. Since it accompanies numerous membership plans, you won’t have any issue in picking the correct choice. When you have chosen a plan, make a point to finish the request structure. Give your own email address after installation guidelines will be sent to the given email. After the installment is made, browse your email and install the application.

The Bottom Line

mSpy Application provides you to track somebody’s iPhone. On the off chance that you are a concerned parent and need to watch out for the iOS of your youngster, it would be an ideal decision to have mSpy parental control. The one thing that makes it the best choice than different choices is the ability to give the required mystery.

Types of the Names – Everything You Should Know

Have you ever wondered what a name is? Does it affect fate? Is it possible, by changing the name, to change destiny?

A name is a formula of fate, a program of life. The name helps a person to realize his mission, attract higher powers to the future, and understand the character problems that need to be worked on. An incorrectly chosen name leads a person to stagnation, deprives protection. To get out of the vicious circle, the name must be consciously changed.

Since ancient times, it is known about the connection of name and fate. Not without reason, during significant changes in the destiny of a person, the name changes: at baptism (name is the fate of a Christian), at marriage (name of the spouse is the fate associated with him), at the taking of a pseudonym (name is the fate of the writer), at initiation (name is spiritual fate).

Any name carries a lot of information. Parenting their child, parents give him a purpose in life, offer a particular way of being in this world. The name is a sound wave that has a direct impact on the formation of a person’s character traits, on his spiritual qualities, on his specific actions. No wonder all Olga are somewhat alike, just like all Ivana or Nikolai are alike.

What if a person doesn’t like his or her name?

Sometimes a person does not like the name was given to him. Because of him, he feels discomfort and insecurity. It happens in cases where the name weakens the date of birth and, with it, the natural potentialities of a person.

Not developing harmoniously, a person is in constant tension. In such cases, he develops protection artificially, unconsciously. For example, he calls himself another name or picks up a nickname (pseudonym). When meeting someone, they only say their last name (or they only call their husband by the previous name). And at the same time, they may be completely unaware of the motivating causes.

And some consciously, having determined the reason for their failures in life, choose a different name for themselves and change their passport. Performing this magical action, they come out of an unpleasant task and change their fate for the better.

Besides, for happy family life, it is essential that the names of the spouses are compatible with each other and not enter into dissonance. Some spouses, intuitively feeling the incompatibility of names, come up with affectionate names for each other to improve relationships: Sunny, Chick, Fish, Baby, etc. Spouses believe (and not without reason) that the new name helps mutual understanding and the strength of the relationship.

If you like your name, then a person has adequate self-esteem and can reveal his career potential. Life usually goes well.

Science has proven that a person’s name evokes a feeling of euphoria and calmness. And it is desirable to pronounce it more often.

The study of the relationship of a person’s name with his character, fate, was dealt with by prominent scientists: P. Florensky, A. Losev, L. Uspensky, P. Rouget, and others.

Names are different: male and female, harmonious and dissonant, common and rare, paired and unpaired.

In olden times, names were often given in honour of the ruling monarch, members of the royal family, aristocrats, famous people, wanting to convey a happy, prosperous fate to the child along with the name. Or they chose the name according to the church calendar in the hope that the saint whose name the child is named will patronize the baby throughout his life. This magic trick is called “connecting.”

At present, they usually give a name in honor of a prosperous relative, call children the names of presidents, famous politicians, favourite writers, actors, scientists, athletes. Or still, refer to the church calendar. Or choose a name intuitively.

Each person has several names

– Personal name. It may have options (for example, the official – Natalya, the diminutive – Natasha, the abbreviated – Nata, etc.).

– Family name (last name, patronymic).

– Secret name (given by a priest at baptism or by a spiritual teacher at consecration).

– An arbitrary name that can change throughout life (aliases, nicknames, etc.).

The magic of pseudonyms is especially relevant in literature, politics, and show business. It is advisable to take a creative name and surname to work in art.

The nickname is a name-sticking. Surrounding people intuitively feel that the character of a person corresponds to one or another word that reflects its essence. For example, Leonid everyone around is called “Shurik”, or Sergei colleagues at work and friends are called “Jim”.

It includes affectionate family nicknames: bird, fish, sun, bunny, etc.

What we teach our Children

I teach them even when I am not aware of it, when I simply flow through the house doing what comes next. Each time I get involved in their business, each time I talk to them, when I ignore them, as I am living my life, I am teaching.

What I do and how I respond to my Children, how much I get involved in their life it all makes a difference. The old way of thinking and approaching my children quickly falls away as I witness that as I am fixing their problems I teach them they can’t do it on their own.

Even my 2 year old learns that I am not willing to get involved in her business of not wanting to share or not getting a toy back. If I do get involved, what do I teach her?Don’t I volunteer to be her persoanl, everyday referee? Don’t I ask to be included in her battles? Don’t I tell her that I will fix her problems because she can’t? Don’t I take the role of judge and prosecutor by making up my mind about what is fair and not fair (even when my own limited perception can not be accurate)?

If I tell my child that it is not my job to determine who should get the toy, I send her on the way to solve her own problem and to learn from her own mistakes. She learns from her different approaches. She learns about choices.

You may think that this could never work in your home because you have experienced that things can get out of hand, and kids can easily get physical and violent if you don’t get involved.

Point taken and I have to admit it is harder NOT to get involved than to get involved AT FIRST. There is fear, and a bunch of what if’s……My biggest what if though would be: “What if I prevent my children to learn, to become self-reliant and self-responsible because I let fear get in the way?”

Children, keep away from cavity

At present ; seven in ten children have got different degree dental caries. In a stomatological hospital in Jiaxing, more 80% Children have teeth caries. Among all the diseases, the major two are decayed tooth and irregular teeth. How to protect your teeth from since the childhood? A authoritative doctor gives his some advice.

Cultivating brushing habits

Many parents often only care about children’s food and wearing, but does not pay attention to the training of the child brushing habits. This is mainly because they did not realize the importance of the children’s teeth. Also some think children’s teeth will be replaced, so it does not matter whether bush teeth or not. The doctor said that bushing teeth not only benefit to clean the oral cavity, but also strengthen resistance to the bacteria through the massage effect. Because body tissue organ development is not perfect, the tooth tissues matter content low degree of calcification, together with children like to eat sweet food when people in childhood, therefore, if do not pay attention to oral hygiene and brush teeth every day, it is easy to suffer from cavity. Therefore, you should patiently teach your children to develop the habit of cleaning teeth from childhood and be sure the ways are right to give full play to bushing teeth, usually from two and a half to three years old.

Choose the toothbrush correctly

If you want to clean your oral cavity and decrease the teeth diseases, you should select the appropriate toothbrush as well as the right bushing teeth ways. Usually, we should select the sanitary brush. The advantages of healthy toothbrush are: short and narrow toothbrush head in order to adapt the torsion and partition, oblate and straight brush holder to remove plaque and massage root, each group with distance to keep brush clean. The toothbrush fur has 2-3 rows with soft and elastic hair. When brush bent down, use a new one replace the old one. Please clean it after use it and place it in a sunshine place.

In addition, besides brushing your teeth regularly, you should also pay attention to your children’s diets. Education children eat less or not eat sweet and delicious food.

Knock teeth properly

Children should exercise their teeth and gums and keep knocking teeth. Knocking teeth means that two rows teeth knock each other every moring. Knocking teeth can give play to physiology stimulation function and strength the teeth resistance. What is more, doctor emphasized that you should lay emphasis on your children’s teeth inspection and correction. Once your children teeth rank irregularly, do not hesitate to bring them to hospital.

Protect the six-year-old tooth

Children begin to grow six-year-old tooth when they are 6 years old. Many children suffered from caries earth because they pay little attention to the six-year-old tooth. So, we can say, it is really important to protect the six-year-old teeth. Some children don’t tell the situation to their parents because they are afraid of pain. Even parent regard that the teeth should be replaced. So to this age children

, parents should always pay attention to the situation of children’s six-year-old teeth.

Interior Design For Children

A good beginning point or theme for interior design for children is to start with any favorite activity or toy or even character of the child’s interest. Remember that many items of interest to children are topics that will change with time so try to take advantage of these interests and favorites with accessories and changes that will be easy to replace in the future as their interests and needs change. If a child has an interest or a particular activity that they are very enthused about and they have a special request that would make the design very special to them, go for it as long as the parents are as enthusiastic as the child is. Also, forewarn them of any possible headaches they might experience changing it in the future when it comes time to redesign the space in order to accommodate the child’s changing needs.

When choosing your color plan or schemes remember that interior design for children offers you unique opportunities to use bold or bright colors that would usually not be ideal for use in adult surroundings. Along the same lines, certain areas of the room would be more ergonomic to use as focal points then would in an adult’s atmosphere. For example, a chalkboard or toy box might capture a child’s attention more so then would a table or seating arrangement.

Another aspect of design that will vary from adult tastes when planning interior design for children would be the accessories that will be used to highlight and accentuate key features. Toys and collectibles make wonderful objects to use in this application. However, many times toys that are placed on display or for decoration are toys that the child would enjoy much more by being able to play with it rather then it actually being on display. You can solve this dilemma by either using old, unused toys that no longer captivate the child’s interests or even by purchasing duplicates and allowing them to actually use one version of the toy and letting them know that the others are ‘for looking only’.

Also, keep in mind that collectibles often times are of less significance to smaller children then are to adults so make sure that any item placed in a child’s room is not of significant fiscal or sentimental value just in case!

Tying in interior design for children can be accomplished easily by purchasing one of millions of available bed treatments that is complimentary to the designs and themes used in the creation of the room layout as well as fitting in well with the accessories chosen. Many bed treatment packages come prepackaged with matching detailed sheets, a comforter, dust ruffle, and window coverings. These items can bring a room together in the greatest of all fashions and are an option in interior design for children that are obtainable by anyone looking to make a change.

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Always remember when planning interior design for children that a child changes attitudes, opinions, and behaviors around every three years. Permanent changes of any type are a big no-no and practical, cost effective ones are ideal. A good furniture tip to remember when designing for kids is to buy reasonably priced, sound furniture that doesn’t break the bank. Kids are even harder on furniture then they are on clothes! And most importantly to take into consideration when working with interior design for children–of course, HAVE FUN!!!

6 Powerful Factors That Influence a Child’s Intellectual Development

Einstein. When we think about incredible braininess, nine out of ten times, that’s the name that pops into our heads. Einstein is best known for his theory of relativity, but that’s academic. He became the most renowned scientist of the 1900s, and his most famous equation is one that many of us learned before high school physics class: e=mc2.

Einstein’s work has become famous in Berlin Ohio and worldwide, for his contribution to numerous scientific developments, including the atomic bomb. Einstein earned the Nobel Prize in 1921, and Time magazine honored him in 2000 as the most important person of the 1900s.

How smart was Einstein? His extraordinary intelligence has often been compared with Sir Isaac Newton, and the whole line of Baby Einstein products have been named after him. But was Newton born smart or did he become smart? One of the main issues today about intelligence is related to the “Nature versus Nurture” debate. In other words, are genes or learning more influential on a child’s intelligence? How much do Baby Einstein products help in developing a child’s mind?

Researchers are continuing to learn about the impact of nature and nurture, on intelligence. However, they have already made some important discoveries:

1. Children learn differently. Some children learn more by seeing, while others learn better by seeing, or doing. Even children who grow up in the same family and learning environment can learn at different rates and in different ways.

2. The education and guidance that parents provide their children are the most important factors in nearly all children’s mental development. It should be noted that this also includes the support that they supply indirectly, through another means. For instance, when a parent provides his or her child with nursery school or Baby Einstein products, the child’s intellectual development can still be improved.

3. A system for a child’s learning should focus on multiple facets of a child’s development, rather than just one of them. Instead, it should develop the child’s total collection of experiences in the world. While it is important for a child to develop his or her logical skills, mastering the skills needed for language learning are just as important.

4. Creating experiences that allow children to learn will affect several aspects of their intelligence, such as their musical, linguistic, mathematical, creative, logical and interpersonal intelligences. That’s what makes Baby Einstein products so special. For example, Baby Einstein books not only introduce children to letters and numbers, but they also allow children to use different facets of their intelligence, to help improve their skills in other areas.

5. Parents in Berlin Ohio and elsewhere should help develop several of the intellectual building blocks that children need for learning, before he or she turns two-years-old. Thus, it is important to use products such as Baby Einstein books and Baby Einstein DVDs, to develop the mental skills that children will need for future learning.

6. Both “nature” and “nurture” are vital in shaping a child’s intelligence. It cannot be reasonably argued that only one aspect is important. Also, it cannot be proven that either factor is more important than the other one. While a child’s genes certainly have an influence on how intelligent he or she can become, nurturing is needed in order to mold those genes into a mind that is ready to learn, and is capable of learning.

Researchers will continue to learn the ways that nature and nurture influence a child’s intellectual development. However, it is certainly clear that Baby Einstein products can improve this development in children living in Berlin Ohio and elsewhere. Maybe your child will be the next Einstein!

The Difference Between Being Smart, Educated, and Intelligent

I’ve always been intrigued by the subject of intelligence. As a child my mother would refer to me as “smart,” but I quickly noticed that all parents refer to their children as smart. In time I would discover that all children are not smart, just as all babies are not cute. If that were the case, we’d have a world full of beautiful, smart people – which we don’t.

Some of us are smart; but not as smart as we think, and others are smarter than they seem, which makes me wonder, how do we define smart? What makes one person smarter than another? When do “street smarts” matter more than “book smarts”? Can you be both smart and stupid? Is being smart more of a direct influence of genetics, or one’s environment?

Then there are the issues of education, intelligence and wisdom.

What does it mean to be highly educated? What’s the difference between being highly educated and highly intelligent? Does being highly educated automatically make you highly intelligent? Can one be highly intelligent without being highly educated? Do IQs really mean anything? What makes a person wise? Why is wisdom typically associated with old age?

My desire to seek answers to these questions inspired many hours of intense research which included the reading of 6 books, hundreds of research documents, and countless hours on the Internet; which pales in comparison to the lifetime of studies and research that pioneers in the fields of intelligence and education like Howard Gardner, Richard Sternberg, Linda S. Gottfredson, Thomas Sowell, Alfie Kohn, and Diane F. Halpern whose work is cited in this article.

My goal was simple: Amass, synthesize, and present data on what it means to be smart, educated and intelligent so that it can be understood and used by anyone for their benefit.


With this in mind, there was not a better (or more appropriate) place to start than at the very beginning of our existence: as a fetus in the womb.

There is mounting evidence that the consumption of food that’s high in iron both before and during pregnancy is critical to building the prenatal brain. Researchers have found a strong association between low iron levels during pregnancy and diminished IQ. Foods rich in iron include lima beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, seafoods, nuts, dried fruits, oatmeal, and fortified cereals.

Children with low iron status in utero (in the uterus) scored lower on every test and had significantly lower language ability, fine-motor skills, and tractability than children with higher prenatal iron levels. In essence, proper prenatal care is critical to the development of cognitive skills.


Cognitive skills are the basic mental abilities we use to think, study, and learn. They include a wide variety of mental processes used to analyze sounds and images, recall information from memory, make associations between different pieces of information, and maintain concentration on particular tasks. They can be individually identified and measured. Cognitive skill strength and efficiency correlates directly with students’ ease of learning.


Drinking while pregnant is not smart. In fact, it’s downright stupid.

A study in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research has found that even light to moderate drinking – especially during the second trimester – is associated with lower IQs in offspring at 10 years of age. This result was especially pronounced among African-American rather than Caucasian offspring.

“IQ is a measure of the child’s ability to learn and to survive in his or her environment. It predicts the potential for success in school and in everyday life. Although a small but significant percentage of children are diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) each year, many more children are exposed to alcohol during pregnancy who do not meet criteria for FAS yet experience deficits in growth and cognitive function,” said Jennifer A. Willford, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Paul D. Connor, clinical director of the Fetal Alcohol and Drug Unit and assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington has this to say about the subject:

“There are a number of domains of cognitive functioning that can be impaired even in the face of a relatively normal IQ, including academic achievement (especially arithmetic), adaptive functioning, and executive functions (the ability to problem solve and learn from experiences). Deficits in intellectual, achievement, adaptive, and executive functioning could make it difficult to appropriately manage finances, function independently without assistance, and understand the consequences of – or react appropriately to – mistakes.”

This is a key finding which speaks directly to the (psychological) definition of intelligence which is addressed later in this article.


Studies have shown that the frequent exposure of the human fetus to ultrasound waves is associated with a decrease in newborn body weight, an increase in the frequency of left-handedness, and delayed speech.

Because ultrasound energy is a high-frequency mechanical vibration, researchers hypothesized that it might influence the migration of neurons in a developing fetus. Neurons in mammals multiply early in fetal development and then migrate to their final destinations. Any interference or disruption in the process could result in abnormal brain function.

Commercial companies (which do ultrasounds for “keepsake” purposes) are now creating more powerful ultrasound machines capable of providing popular 3D and 4D images. The procedure, however, lasts longer as they try to make 30-minute videos of the fetus in the uterus.

The main stream magazine New Scientist reported the following: Ultrasound scans can stop cells from dividing and make them commit suicide. Routine scans, which have let doctors peek at fetuses and internal organs for the past 40 years, affect the normal cell cycle.

On the FDA website this information is posted about ultrasounds:

While ultrasound has been around for many years, expectant women and their families need to know that the long-term effects of repeated ultrasound exposures on the fetus are not fully known. In light of all that remains unknown, having a prenatal ultrasound for non-medical reasons is not a good idea.


Now that you are aware of some of the known factors which determine, improve, and impact the intellectual development of a fetus, it’s time for conception. Once that baby is born, which will be more crucial in the development of its intellect: nature (genetics) or nurture (the environment)?

Apparently for centuries, scientists and psychologists have gone back and forth on this. I read many comprehensive studies and reports on this subject during the research phase of this article, and I believe that it’s time to put this debate to rest. Both nature and nurture are equally as important and must be fully observed in the intellectual development of all children. This shouldn’t be an either/or proposition.

A recent study shows that early intervention in the home and in the classroom can make a big difference for a child born into extreme poverty, according to Eric Turkheimer, a psychologist at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The study concludes that while genetic makeup explains most of the differences in IQ for children in wealthier families, environment – and not genes – makes a bigger difference for minority children in low-income homes.

Specifically, what researchers call “heritability”- the degree to which genes influence IQ – was significantly lower for poor families. “Once you’re put into an adequate environment, your genes start to take over,” Mr. Turkheimer said, “but in poor environments genes don’t have that ability.”

But there are reports that contradict these findings…sort of.

Linda S. Gottfredson, a professor of educational studies at the University of Delaware, wrote in her article, The General Intelligence Factor that environments shared by siblings have little to do with IQ. Many people still mistakenly believe that social, psychological and economic differences among families create lasting and marked differences in IQ.

She found that behavioral geneticists refer to such environmental effects as “shared” because they are common to siblings who grow up together. Her reports states that the heritability of IQ rises with age; that is to say, the extent to which genetics accounts for differences in IQ among individuals increases as people get older.

In her article she also refers to studies comparing identical and fraternal twins, published in the past decade by a group led by Thomas J. Bouchard, Jr., of the University of Minnesota and other scholars, show that about 40 percent of IQ differences among preschoolers stems from genetic differences, but that heritability rises to 60 percent by adolescence and to 80 percent by late adulthood.

And this is perhaps the most interesting bit of information, and relevant to this section of my article:

With age, differences among individuals in their developed intelligence come to mirror more closely their genetic differences. It appears that the effects of environment on intelligence fade rather than grow with time.

Bouchard concludes that young children have the circumstances of their lives imposed on them by parents, schools and other agents of society, but as people get older they become more independent and tend to seek out the life niches that are most congenial to their genetic proclivities.


Researchers from Christchurch School of Medicine in New Zealand studied over 1,000 children born between April and August 1977. During the period from birth to one year, they gathered information on how these children were fed.

The infants were then followed to age 18. Over the years, the researchers collected a range of cognitive and academic information on the children, including IQ, teacher ratings of school performance in reading and math, and results of standardized tests of reading comprehension, mathematics, and scholastic ability. The researchers also looked at the number of passing grades achieved in national School Certificate examinations taken at the end of the third year of high school.

The results indicated that the longer children had been breast-fed, the higher they scored on such tests.


Thomas Sowell, author of Race, IQ, Black Crime, and facts Liberals Ignore uncovered some fascinating information that every parent should take note of. He writes:

There is a strong case that black Americans suffer from a series of disadvantageous environments. Studies show time and again that before they go to school, black children are on average exposed to a smaller vocabulary than white children, in part due to socioeconomic factors.

While children from professional households typically exposed to a total of 2,150 different words each day, children from working class households are exposed to 1,250, and children from households on welfare a mere 620.

Yes, smart sounding children tend to come from educated, professional, two-parent environments where they pick-up valuable language skills and vocabulary from its smart sounding inhabitants.

Mr. Sowell continues: Black children are obviously not to blame for their poor socioeconomic status, but something beyond economic status is at work in black homes. Black people have not signed up for the “great mission” of the white middle class – the constant quest to stimulate intellectual growth and get their child into Harvard or Oxbridge.

Elsie Moore of Arizona State University, Phoenix, studied black children adopted by either black or white parents, all of whom were middle-class professionals. By the age of 7.5 years, those in black homes were 13 IQ points behind those being raised in the white homes.


At this juncture in my research it dawned on me, and should be fairly obvious to you, that many children are predisposed to being smart, educated, and intelligent, simply by their exposure to the influential factors which determine them long before they start school.

An informed mother, proper prenatal care, educated, communicative parents, and a nurturing environment in which to live, all add up to accumulated advantages that formulate intellectual abilities. As you can see, some children have unfair advantages from the very beginning.

Malcolm Gladwell, author of top-selling book Outliers, wrote that “accumulated advantages” are made possible by arbitrary rules…and such unfair advantages are everywhere. “It is those who are successful who are most likely to be given the kinds of social opportunities that lead to further success,” he writes. “It’s the rich who get the biggest tax breaks. It’s the best students who get the best teaching and most attention.”

With that in mind, we turn our attention to education and intelligence.


Alfie Kohn, author of the book What Does It Mean To Be Well Educated? poses the question, does the phrase well educated refer to a quality of schooling you received, or something about you? Does it denote what you were taught? Or what you remember?

I contend that to be well educated is all in the application; the application and use of information. Information has to be used in order to become knowledge, and as we all have heard, knowledge is power.

Most people are aware of the floundering state of education in this country on some level. We tell our children that nothing is more important than getting a “good” education, and every year, due to government budget shortfalls, teachers are laid off, classes are condensed, schools are closed, and many educational programs – especially those which help the underprivileged – are cut.

The reality is, we don’t really value education. We value it as a business, an industry, political ammunition, and as an accepted form of discrimination, but not for what it was intended: a means of enriching one’s character and life through learning.

What we value as a society, are athletes and the entertainment they offer. The fact that a professional athlete makes more money in one season, than most teachers in any region will make in their careers, is abominable. There’s always money to build new sports stadiums, but not enough to give teachers a decent (and well-deserved) raise.

Ironically, the best teachers don’t go into the profession for money. They teach because it’s a calling. Most of them were influenced by a really good teacher as a student. With the mass exodus of teachers, many students are not able to cultivate the mentoring relationships that they once were able to because so many are leaving the profession – voluntarily and involuntarily – within an average of three years.

At the high school level, where I got my start, the emphasis is not on how to educate the students to prepare them for life, or even college (all high schools should be college-prep schools, right?), it was about preparing them to excel on their standardized tests. Then the controversial “exit” exams were implemented and literally, many high schools were transformed into testing centers. Learning has almost become secondary.

This mentality carries over into college, which of course there’s a test one must take in order to enroll (the SAT or ACT). This explains why so many college students are more concerned with completing a course, than learning from it. They are focused on getting “A’s” and degrees, instead of becoming degreed thinkers. The latter of which are in greater demand by employers and comprise the bulk of the self-employed. The “get-the-good-grade” mindset is directly attributable to the relentless and often unnecessary testing that our students are subjected to in schools.

Alfie Kohn advocates the “exhibition” of learning, in which students reveal their understanding by means of in-depth projects, portfolios of assignments, and other demonstrations.

He cites a model pioneered by Ted Sizer and Deborah Meier. Meier has emphasized the importance of students having five “habits of mind,” which are: the value of raising questions about evidence (“How do we know what we know?”), point of view, (“Whose perspective does this represent?”), connections (“How is this related to that?”), supposition (“How might things have been otherwise?”), and relevance (“Why is this important?”).

Kohn writes: It’s only the ability to raise and answer those questions that matters, though, but also the disposition to do so. For that matter, any set of intellectual objectives, any description of what it means to think deeply and critically, should be accompanied by a reference to one’s interest or intrinsic motivation to do such thinking…to be well-educated then, is to have the desire as well as the means to make sure that learning never ends…


We’ve always wanted to measure intelligence. Ironically, when you look at some the first methods used to evaluate it in the 1800s, they were not, well, very intelligent. Tactics such as subjecting people to various forms of torture to see what their threshold for pain was (the longer you could withstand wincing, the more intelligent you were believed to be), or testing your ability to detect a high pitch sound that others could not hear.

Things have changed…or have they?

No discussion of intelligence or IQ can be complete without mention of Alfred Binet, a French psychologist who was responsible for laying the groundwork for IQ testing in 1904. His original intention was to devise a test that would diagnose learning disabilities of students in France. The test results were then used to prepare special programs to help students overcome their educational difficulties.

It was never intended to be used as an absolute measure of one’s intellectual capabilities.

According to Binet, intelligence could not be described as a single score. He said that the use of the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) as a definite statement of a child’s intellectual capability would be a serious mistake. In addition, Binet feared that IQ measurement would be used to condemn a child to a permanent “condition” of stupidity, thereby negatively affecting his or her education and livelihood.

The original interest was in the assessment of ‘mental age’ — the average level of intelligence for a person of a given age. His creation, the Binet-Simon test (originally called a “scale”), formed the archetype for future tests of intelligence.

H. H. Goddard, director of research at Vineland Training School in New Jersey, translated Binet’s work into English and advocated a more general application of the Simon-Binet test. Unlike Binet, Goddard considered intelligence a solitary, fixed and inborn entity that could be measured. With help of Lewis Terman of Stanford University, his final product, published in 1916 as the Stanford Revision of the Binet-Simon Scale of Intelligence (also known as the Stanford-Binet), became the standard intelligence test in the United States.

It’s important to note that the fallacy about IQ is that it is fixed and can not be changed. The fact is that IQ scores are known to fluctuate – both up and down during the course of one’s lifetime. It does not mean that you become more, or less intelligent, it merely means that you tested better on one day than another.

One more thing to know about IQ tests: They have been used for racist purposes since their importation into the U.S. Many of those who were involved in the importation and refinement of these tests believed that IQ was hereditary and are responsible for feeding the fallacy that it is a “fixed” trait.

Many immigrants were tested in the 1920s and failed these IQ tests miserably. As a result, many of them were denied entry into the U.S., or were forced to undergo sterilization for fear of populating America with “dumb” and “inferior” babies. If you recall, the tests were designed for white, middle class Americans. Who do you think would have the most difficulty passing them?

Lewis Terman developed the original notion of IQ and proposed this scale for classifying IQ scores:

000 – 070: Definite feeble-mindedness
070 – 079: Borderline deficiency
080 – 089: Dullness
090 – 109: Normal or average intelligence
110 – 119: Superior intelligence
115 – 124: Above average (e.g., university students)
125 – 134: Gifted (e.g., post-graduate students)
135 – 144: Highly gifted (e.g., intellectuals)
145 – 154: Genius (e.g., professors)
155 – 164: Genius (e.g., Nobel Prize winners)
165 – 179: High genius
180 – 200: Highest genius
200 – higher ?: Immeasurable genius

*Genius IQ is generally considered to begin around 140 to 145, representing only 25% of the population (1 in 400).
*Einstein was considered to “only” have an IQ of about 160.


Diane F. Halpern, a psychologist and past-president of the American Psychological Association (APA), wrote in her essay contribution to Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid that in general, we recognize people as intelligent if they have some combination of these achievements (1) good grades in school; (2) a high level of education; (3) a responsible, complex job; (4) some other recognition of being intelligent, such as winning prestigious awards or earning a large salary; (5) the ability to read complex text with good comprehension; (6) solve difficult and novel problems.

Throughout my research and in the early phases of this article, I came across many definitions of the word intelligence. Some were long, some were short. Some I couldn’t even understand. The definition that is most prevalent is the one created by the APA which is: the ability to adapt to one’s environment, and learn from one’s mistakes.

How about that? There’s the word environment again. We just can’t seem to escape it. This adds deeper meaning to the saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” It means recognizing what’s going on in your environment, and having the intelligence adapt to it – and the people who occupy it – in order to survive and succeed within it.

There are also many different forms of intelligence. Most notably those created by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University.

Dr. Gardner believes (and I agree) that our schools and culture focus most of their attention on linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence. We esteem the highly articulate or logical people of our culture. However, Dr. Gardner says that we should also place equal attention on individuals who show gifts in the other intelligences: the artists, architects, musicians, naturalists, designers, dancers, therapists, entrepreneurs, and others who enrich the world in which we live.

He felt that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on IQ testing, was far too limited and created the Theories Of Multiple Intelligences in 1983 to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults.

These intelligences are:

Linguistic intelligence (“word smart”)
Logical-mathematical intelligence (“number/reasoning smart”)
Spatial intelligence (“picture smart”)
Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence (“body smart”)
Musical intelligence (“music smart”)
Interpersonal intelligence (“people smart”)
Intrapersonal intelligence (“self smart”)
Naturalist intelligence (“nature smart”)

Not associated with Dr. Gardner, but equally respected are:


According to About.com, Psychologist Raymond Cattell first proposed the concepts of fluid and crystallized intelligence and further developed the theory with John Horn. The Cattell-Horn theory of fluid and crystallized intelligence suggests that intelligence is composed of a number of different abilities that interact and work together to produce overall individual intelligence.

Cattell defined fluid intelligence as “…the ability to perceive relationships independent of previous specific practice or instruction concerning those relationships.” Fluid intelligence is the ability to think and reason abstractly and solve problems. This ability is considered independent of learning, experience, and education. Examples of the use of fluid intelligence include solving puzzles and coming up with problem solving strategies.

Crystallized intelligence is learning from past experiences and learning. Situations that require crystallized intelligence include reading comprehension and vocabulary exams. This type of intelligence is based upon facts and rooted in experiences. This type of intelligence becomes stronger as we age and accumulate new knowledge and understanding.

Both types of intelligence increase throughout childhood and adolescence. Fluid intelligence peaks in adolescence and begins to decline progressively beginning around age 30 or 40. Crystallized intelligence continues to grow throughout adulthood.


Then there’s Successful Intelligence, which is authored by intelligence psychologist and Yale professor, Robert J. Sternberg, who believes that the whole concept of relating IQ to life achievement is misguided, because he believes that IQ is a pretty miserable predictor of life achievement.

His Successful Intelligence theory focuses on 3 types of intelligence which are combined to contribute to one’s overall success: Analytical Intelligence; mental steps or components used to solve problems; Creative Intelligence: the use of experience in ways that foster insight (creativity/divergent thinking); and Practical Intelligence: the ability to read and adapt to the contexts of everyday life.

With regard to environment, Mr. Sternberg writes in his book Successful Intelligence: Successfully intelligent people realize that the environment in which they find themselves may or may not be able to make the most of their talents. They actively seek an environment where they can not only do successful work, but make a difference. They create opportunities rather than let opportunities be limited by circumstances in which they happen to find themselves.

As an educator, I subscribe to Mr. Sternberg’s Successful Intelligence approach to teaching. It has proven to be a highly effective tool and mindset for my college students. Using Successful Intelligence as the backbone of my context-driven curriculum really inspires students to see how education makes their life goals more attainable, and motivates them to further develop their expertise. Mr. Sternberg believes that the major factor in achieving expertise is purposeful engagement.


In his best-selling 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman reported that research shows that conventional measures of intelligence – IQ – only account for 20% of a person’s success in life. For example, research on IQ and education shows that high IQ predicts 10 to 25% of grades in college. The percentage will vary depending on how we define success. Nonetheless, Goleman’s assertion begs the question: What accounts for the other 80%?

You guessed it…Emotional Intelligence. What exactly is emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence (also called EQ or EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions. Many corporations now have mandatory EQ training for their managers in an effort to improve employee
relations and increase productivity.


You’ve heard the phrase, “Experience is the greatest teacher…”

In psychology circles knowledge gained from everyday experience is called tacit knowledge. The colloquial term is “street smarts,” which implies that formal, classroom instruction (aka “book smarts”) has nothing to do with it. The individual is not directly instructed as to what he or she should learn, but rather must extract the important lesson from the experience even when learning is not the primary objective.

Tacit knowledge is closely related to common sense, which is sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts. As you know, common sense is not all that common.

Tacit knowledge, or the lessons obtained from it, seems to “stick” both faster and better when the lessons have direct relevance to the individual’s goals. Knowledge that is based on one’s own practical experience will likely be more instrumental to achieving one’s goals than will be knowledge that is based on someone else’s experience, or that is overly generic and abstract.


Yes, it’s possible to be both smart and stupid. I’m sure someone you know comes to mind at this precise moment. But the goal here is not to ridicule, but to understand how some seemingly highly intelligent, or highly educated individuals can be so smart in one way, and incredibly stupid in others.

The woman who is a respected, well paid, dynamic executive who consistently chooses men who don’t appear to be worthy of her, or the man who appears to be a pillar of the community, with a loving wife and happy kids, ends up being arrested on rape charges.

It happens, but why? I found the answer in Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid. Essentially, intellect is domain specific. In other words, being smart (knowledgeable) in one area of your life, and stupid (ignorant) in another is natural. Turning off one’s brain is quite common especially when it comes to what we desire. A shared characteristic among those who are smart and stupid, is the difficulty in delaying gratification.

Olem Ayduk & Walter Mischel who wrote the chapter summarized: Sometimes stupid behavior in smart people may arise from faulty expectations, erroneous beliefs, or merely a lack of motivation to enact control strategies even when one has them. But sometimes it is an inability to regulate one’s affective states and the behavioral tendencies associated with them that leads to stupid and self-defeating behavior.

The central character in this book who many of these lessons regarding being smart and stupid revolve around is Bill Clinton and his affair with Monica Lewinksky.


My great grandmother, Leola Cecil, maybe had an 8th grade education at the most. By no stretch of the imagination was she highly educated, but she had what seemed like infinite wisdom. She was very observant and could “read” people with startling accuracy. Till the very end of her life she shared her “crystallized intelligence” with whomever was receptive to it.

She died at the age of 94. I often use many of her sayings as a public speaker, but most importantly, I use her philosophies to make sure that I’m being guided spiritually and not just intellectually. Many of us who are lucky enough to have a great grandparent can testify that there is something special about their knowledge. They seem to have life figured out, and a knack for helping those of us who are smart, educated and intelligent see things more clearly when we are too busy thinking.

What they have is what we should all aspire to end up with if we are lucky: wisdom.

Wisdom is the ability to look through a person, when others can only look at them. Wisdom slows down the thinking process and makes it more organic; synchronizing it with intuition. Wisdom helps you make better judgments regarding decisions, and makes you less judgmental. Wisdom is understanding without knowing, and accepting without understanding. Wisdom is recognizing what’s important to other people, and knowing that other people are of the utmost importance to you. Wisdom is both a starting point, and a final conclusion.

Gian Fiero is a seasoned educator, speaker and consultant with a focus on business development and music/entertainment industry operations. He is affiliated with San Francisco State University as an adjunct professor and the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) where he conducts monthly workshops on topics such as career planning, public relations, and personal growth.