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Awareness Play Dates

The new school year is well in swing, but there will always be multiple fears. Especially now with the pandemic, parents have reservations and concerns for their child’s wellbeing while at school. The fears of your child’s safety against the virus. The fear that your children will adjust the new strict rules. And also, the fear that the cases will get out of control, and the schools will be forced to shut down.

Having said that, what do kids need this year to get back to school routine and be safe at the same time? The list looks quite different to previous years. But small changes, can make a big difference!

1. Their own school supplies

It might be clever to send your kids to school with their own set of stationery and have them all labelled! This simply helps reduce the chance of spread of any other virus, not just Covid 19!


2. Hand Sanitizer

Even though hand sanitiser should never replace proper hand washing, always include hand sanitiser in your kids’ bag, or in easy access, so they get into the habit on their own of sanitising their hands frequently. This will help in case they touch their face unknowingly, so they can be better protected.

3. Face Masks

Face Masks have become a part of our life now. Whether we like it or not, it is one of the most efficient ways of both protecting ourselves and others. Let the kids choose their own face mask to make them feel more comfortable wearing it for extended periods of time. Just remember to have a few available so that you can wash them frequently!

4. Personalised Mask lanyards

These lanyards and cute and inexpensive. These help in keeping the mask off the ground and they also help kids so as to not lose masks. They make wearing a mask at school just that little bit more fun!

5. Clean school uniform daily

The virus can potentially stay on your clothes for extended periods of time, so it is clever to invest either in a dryer and dry uniforms quicker, or a spare set. Every day when the kids come home, they should change immediately into clean clothes and put their uniforms straight in the washer.

6. Headphones

If your child is one of those who is still learning online, now might be a good time to invest in some good headphones, that are comfortable and unique. It also might be a good idea to get wireless headphones, just in case children decide to get off their chair and wander, without pulling off the laptop or tablet!

7. Lunchboxes

The rules for kids’ lunches may be stricter now with Covid 19, so make it a bit easier by buying them a new lunchbox of their choice and offering a varied choice of snacks. Our favourite choice for lunchboxes is @citrondubai. Do you own one of their lunchboxes?

8. Keep them home if they are sick

It is recommended to keep your children home if they feel under the weather. It may be tough for you (i.e. needing to take a day off work), but in the long run it will help their immunity, by reducing their chances of getting sicker at school. Having said that, make sure you up your kids’ vitamin intake and make sure they have adequate sleep and vegetables in their diet to maintain their immunity during these different times!


Awareness Play Dates

Tantrums can come in all shapes and sizes, and often take parents by surprise.  Most commonly seen in kids between the ages 1 to 3 years old, tantrums do still happen as they get older, due to slightly different reasons. The important thing to note is that every child is different and that some have them more often than others. Remember that it is one of the most normal aspects of child development.

Reasons for the tantrum can range from, hunger, fatigue, or simply not getting what they want. Another reason could be children not being able to express their needs or feelings verbally.

There are many ways to tackle a tantrum, no matter the age or the situation, these methods and common coping mechanisms will help you handle the situation better.

1. Acknowledge and keep communication open

One of the most important aspects of tackling a tantrum, is to firstly acknowledge that they are having one! Acknowledge that they may be feeling emotional and perhaps overwhelmed.

If they are unable express their emotions into words, offer them the words: ‘’Are you upset because someone took your toy?’’ or ‘’I know you are sad because I switched off the cartoons, but these are the rules’’.

Amanda Morin, a teacher and early intervention specialist states that parents should help them understand that it is ok to be upset and that their feelings are valid and common. Use the opportunity to also set rules and standards for their behaviour.

Older children may have tantrums because an event is cancelled that they might have been looking forward to. Offer an alternative solution to the reason they are upset. Always let them know you are there for them and that you understand them, and no matter what happens you will always support them.

Even long after the tantrum is over, keep the praise strong, and acknowledge that they were able to overcome their tantrum and take control of their feelings, suggests Lauren M. O’Donnell, a child Psychologist.


2. Keeping Calm is Key

No matter what you do, always try to remain calm. Of course, this can be easier said than done, but finding a way to keep yourself calm will reflect on the child’s behaviour as well. It could be as simple as sitting down next to them and remaining quiet, while taking deep breaths. You may find your little one calming down themselves and sitting next to you and imitating your breathing pattern.



3. Look for Triggers

Take some time to figure out what is making them upset. Is it fighting with a sibling? Is it homework that they are struggling to accomplish? Maybe it is something as simple as switching the TV off. Understanding what is making them upset is one of the most important steps.

Tackle these issues by breaking down your questions and giving options. Toddlers for example like to have control so don’t just ask if they are hungry; ask if they want a yogurt or a biscuit for a snack. For older children, give them time limits, and set their expectations.


4. Ignore it

Sometimes the only thing you can do is to ignore the tantrum. Let them go through the tantrum in a safe place and don’t get involved as it can make it worse. Once they calm down, talk to them calmly at their eye level and try to understand what made them upset in the first place. This will help them take a different approach next time it happens and give them coping mechanisms also.

Another important thing is simply to also ignore people in public who look at you. They may not have children or have forgotten what it is like to have kids! If ignoring them isn’t an option, and you find yourself getting frustrated, there’s nothing better than a distraction for your child. Offer them something new and more interesting.


5. Always Remember

Tantrums do not last forever (and you will get better at dealing with them over time). They generally stop on their own, once children are able to gain self-control and can communicate better.

However, if you do feel like your child is having them more often than usual, and all possible reasons for the tantrum have been dealt with (e.g. hunger, fatigue or emotional control), then you could always talk to your paediatrician for further suggestions and professional advice. Everyone wants to have a happy child and in turn happy parents!