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Awareness Play Dates, Informational


October – the month of Halloween excitement, cooler days, and Breast Cancer awareness.


Many of us know at least 1 person who has been affected by cancer. It could be a family member, a colleague, an old teacher, or even yourself. Cancer affects everyone in so many ways and with varying levels of seriousness, often due to how early it is detected.
But did you know that for women, the most common type of cancer is Breast Cancer? Which is why during the month of October it is International Breast Cancer Awareness month, to raise awareness around early detection, educating women and supporting them.

A few quick facts for you to understand just how widespread breast cancer is.

  •  1 in 8 women in the USA will develop invasive Breast Cancer during their lifetime.
  •  Studies show that the average age of diagnoses is 10 years younger in the UAE than elsewhere in the world.
  •  When detected early on, chances go up by 98% for recovery.


What do these facts suggest? Well, it solidifies the vital need for research to keep up with the latest advances in treatment to save people’s lives. So, we wanted to bring to everyones’ attention a few things. What is breast cancer? What symptoms should you look out for? And various ways that you can make a difference in the fight against Breast Cancer.

 

 

What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the breast. Cancer starts when cells begin to grow out of control. Breast cancer cells usually form a tumor that can often be seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump. Breast cancer occurs almost entirely in women, but did you know that men can get breast cancer, too?
Recent studies are looking at the effect of exercise, weight gain or loss, and diet on risk, as well as how common gene variations (small changes in genes that are not as significant as mutations) may affect breast cancer risk.

 

Breast Cancer Signs and Symptoms

It is so important to know how your breasts normally look and feel, which means that you will also be aware of any changes in your breasts. The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass, often painless and hard mass. Some cancers could be painful though which is why it is so important to have any new breast mass, lump, or breast change checked by an experienced health care professional. Other possible symptoms of breast cancer include:

  •  Swelling of all or part of a breast (even if no lump is felt)
  •  Skin dimpling (sometimes looks like an orange peel)
  •  Breast or nipple pain
  •  Nipple retraction (turning inward)
  •  Nipple or breast skin that is red, dry, flaking or thickened
  •  Nipple discharge (other than breast milk)
  •  Swollen lymph under the arm or around the collar bone
  •  Of course, these symptoms can be caused by things other than breast cancer. But if you have them, they should be reported to a health care professional immediately!
  •  While checking yourself at home, and looking for the above changes, it important to note the following:
     Check yourself when you breast are not swollen, often 6 – 10 days after your first day of your menstrual cycle.
  •  Make sure you have a mammogram with your doctor every 2 years, starting at the age of 40, and even earlier if you have a family member with a history of cancer.

 

What causes breast cancer:

The primary risk factors for breast cancer are being female and 50 years and above.
Smoking appears to increase the risk of breast cancer, with the greater the amount smoked and the earlier in life that smoking began, the higher the risk.
A lack of physical activity has been linked to about 10% of cases, while sitting for prolonged periods is associated with higher mortality from breast cancer.
There is research that suggests that obesity can influence you developing breast cancer also. This is largely due to altered estrogen hormone levels that are associated with weight gain in women.
There is an association between use of hormonal birth control and the development of premenopausal breast cancer. Your medical history and family history will often play a role in whether any type of hormone could increase your risk of developing breast cancer.
It could be caused by genetic mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene. Especially if you have a family history of relatives that carry these genes also. it is believed that which is believed that 5–10% of cases refer to someone who has a family history.
Having your first menstrual period at an earlier age and experiencing menopause at a later age—meaning more years of having your period—is associated with a higher chance of developing
breast cancer. This is believed to be due to the hormonal changes that occur each month with a woman’s menstrual cycle

 

Breast Cancer Myths:

As with everything, there is so much information regarding breast cancer, and along with all the conflicting information available, there are a few myths that you can debunk:
If I find a lump, I have Breast Cancer – WRONG a lump could mean many different things and it is always suggested.

Only women with a family history can get it – WRONG there are many environmental factors that can cause the abnormal growth of cells that lead to breast cancer.
I am too young to have it – WRONG as it depends if you have a family history of cancer or not.
Wearing antiperspirant increases my risk – WRONG as research has shown that the two aspects are not related.

 

How can you help raise awareness?

Do you have a hobby making something? Why not consider offering some of your profits t a research charity or support group to help further the knowledge of cancer research and support those who are possibly in need.
Get your employees and family involved! For 1 whole month, every week, encourage everyone to wear PINK! This will help raise awareness to everyone around you!
Get your community involved! Maybe it is your favourite gym class or coffee shop?
If you wish to donate some money to a charity that supports families and research, you can donate to local charities. They aim to minimize the impact of cancer through providing financial support, guidance, and various other types of assistance to needy cancer patients and their families throughout the UAE.


Do you small bit to raise HOPE for Breast Cancer sufferers and help make a change by supporting 
research and improving peoples lives! Together we can Beat Cancer!

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Awareness Play Dates

 

 

Do you remember growing up and your parents drilling the Ps & Qs (Please and Thank you) in you at any given opportunity?  As parents, especially in a digital age, it has become more challenging to teach kids basic manners and moral values.  

 

One of the most important jobs for parents is to teach their kids social skills and more importantly – how to treat others with respect.

 

You will find yourselves in many situations – be it a restaurant, a playdate, or meeting a family member – where good manners are particularly important and each of these situations, are opportunities to teach our children.

 

 

When do children understand the concept of manners?

Around the 18-month mark, a child begins to understand that other people have feelings just like him/her, this is the time to start teaching them that their behavior affects others.  That being said, it is NEVER too early to teach your children the concept of please and thank you, and many children can even sign these emotions and actions.

The importance should be around teaching your children manners as early as possible, so that it becomes something that children do automatically, according to Robin Thompson, founder of etiquette-network.com

 

 

Why should children learn manners?

According to Sheryl Eberly, mother of three and author of 365 Manners Kids Should, sending your child into the world without knowing social graces is problematic. An adult and equally a child will naturally turn away from a child who is rude or simply doesn’t understand how to share and pushes all the time.

However, what many parents tend to forget is that learning manners doesn’t happen overnight. For a young child it could be as simple as introducing a new skill each month (such as saying hello when someone talks to them). With younger children it is always helpful to praise them when they act as expected.

Try not to over expect from a young child, as it could have a negative effect where they begin to feel forced into doing something that they simply may not be comfortable with. Instead try find a middle ground, for example sitting at the table for a limited amount of time if you have guests around your home.

 

 

How does your behaviour affect children’s manners?

Never forget that your behaviour as parents and adults goes a long way in setting an example. Try displaying the same manners to your child and to your partner. This could be as simple as saying thank you for helping to take the garbage out. This consistent behaviour, by all members of the family, reinforces the importance of manners and good etiquette.

 

 

Situations where manners are important

 

The Dinner Table

 

  • Most children by the age of 3 should eat with a fork and a spoon and sit at the table for at least 15 minutes. From a young age, children should be warned if they throw their food on the floor, and calmly explained that it isn’t nice and if they don’t want more to simply say ‘’no more, thank you!’’
  • By making a habit of sitting at the table for meals together (whether at home or in a restaurant, it greatly reduces the risk of obesity and improves their eating habits, as they are persuaded to have a conversation.
  • Even at home or in a restaurant, allow kids to say please and thank you when food is served. This also teaches respect towards someone giving them a service.


    Playdates

     

  • Playdates are a test for most children (and parents!) as they learn the concept of sharing and taking turns to play with a toy. Help your child understand this by encouraging him/her to offer a toy of choice to a friend. For a bonus – choose this toy before the play date!
  • During playdates, encourage your child to show empathy and say sorry if they act wrong or if they hurt another child. The older the child gets, the more they will understand why they are expected to say this and understand their actions were wrong.
  • During a playdate, remind children of their manners at each opportunity, such as: when being offered a snack, when they share or when they are leaving that they need to say goodbye and thank you.


Conversations and Communication

 

  • Always persuade your children to answer if spoken to, also explain that if they don’t know the answer they can easily say “I don’t know.”. They need to learn the importance of acknowledging someone asking them a question.
  • Encourage patience by asking your children to count to 5 when waiting for the other person to finish talking.
  • Teach them not to interrupt unless it’s an emergency – teach them to have a code word or some sort of signal.
  • From the time children are able to write, teach them the importance of writing thank you cards. In a digital age these are becoming more and more rare, and receiving one goes a long way in making people feel special. This could be a written letter to their teacher thanking for their education, or to a family member for a certain gift.
  • For older children who understand manners more clearly, introduce the concept of email etiquette, whereby they can send an email or correspondence with ‘’Yours Sincerely or Best Regards’’. It is never too early to help them write in a clear and polite manner.

 

 

How have your introduced manners to your children? Let us know your top tips. And if you are struggling with teaching manners at the moment, be reminded of the 2 most important things:

 

Consistency and Patience.
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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!

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Awareness Play Dates


Ever had to drag your child to the shops, because you were low on supplies, or because you maybe just needed a change of scenery? Do you dread taking them to the shops, but have no other choice, either because you have no help at home, or your husband is working long hours?

Fear not! Simply follow our simple do’s and don’ts to make the experience that much easier and smoother for you.

The aim is to try make the shopping experience, a time for being together and maybe even make it into a learningexperience and get home in one piece (without forgetting items on your list!)

Do: Make it fun. Let them push the cart, let them race around finding all the items that you need. Sing songs as you are walking around, and make it into a fun number of games such a spotting certain numbers in prices, or even play ‘eye spy’ for specific vegetables

Do: Practise reading the shopping list. If your child is starting to learn to read, use this as a reading opportunity. As you pick out each item, ask them to tick it off.

Do: Ask them what they would like to buy before you head out of the house. The same goes for when you are in the store – involve them in choices. It could be as simple as which yogurt to buy. If you have an older child, ask them to write the list, and if they are younger, try drawing small pictures of the items to help them follow the list.

Don’t: Take the kids to the supermarket when it is super busy – try going in the early morning and avoid public holidays and weekend mornings if possible.

Do: Let them talk to the butcher or fish monger so they understand their food better. Use this as a time to build on their social skills and at the same time persuade them to ask questions about where the food comes from.

Don’t: Go shopping when you know they are hungry! Schedule trips for after mealtime. This will help with reducing impulse purchases and reduces the tantrums if they can’t get their favourite cheese sticks or biscuits.

Do: Play games in the store: this could be as simple as finding the word – Discount/Sale or choosing healthy food for snacks or maybe even making a game of “who can collect the most different types of potatoes within 1 minute”.

Don’t: Rush. If you have a long list of groceries, consider going without them to the shop. If you have some free time and are not in a rush, then take them along and enjoy the experience.

Do: Set expectations before you leave the house or the car, explain to them what is happening. For example, they are not allowed to ask for extra items that are not on the list, or that if they help out and behave they can have a small treat (maybe a new snack bar) at the end of the shopping trip.

Don’t: Expect them to understand all the rules. Teach them patience by standing in line to ask for help nicely and to be respectful.

 

Have you found anything that helps with your shopping trip? This could also be appropriate for other types of shopping such as clothes shopping. Always try and see the positive side of the outing and enjoy your time together.

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Awareness Play Dates

 

It is common for us to feel, that mum’s have everything under control. However, “mum’s guilt” is a real thing and there is nothing to be ashamed of it. If you don’t have everything figured out, from the right amount of love, attention and education for your children, to the potentially extra housework, cooking and general life administration, it is important to know that you’re not alone and it is okay.

Simply put, Mum’s guilt is the persistent feeling of not doing enough as a parent, not doing things right, or making decisions that may “mess up” your kids in the long run.

One of the main aspects of mum’s guilt comes from society due the million different contradictions thrown at us by society and other professionals, which can create feelings of inadequacy. This could range from – Limiting screen time, but showing educational apps, letting the kids go outdoors daily, but also have a clean house and prepare dinner each night. The advice can often get confusing, leaving mums unclear about prioritizing.

Every mum is doing her best to make it through the day and juggle a million tasks, so we have tried to make this quarantine period a little bit easier for you by sharing some tips and tricks to handle the “Mum’s Guilt” and be the best you can be, in every aspect of your life.

  1. Compartmentalise your time: Try to make a plan the night before about when you will work and when you will play with or educate your child. It helps to have a rough plan in your head, or even written on paper, so that you have some guidance during the day.

 

  1. Prepare your child: Communicate your expectations with the child. Explain to them that you may need to work from home or do the washing up or even cook. And that during these times, they need to be able to entertain themselves and keep busy.

 

  1. Involve them in tasks: If you have set aside time to cook, try involving them in the cooking. This could be as simple as washing vegetables or stirring the pot. Of course, try and make it age appropriate and be extra careful as there are many hazard and sharp objects in the kitchen that younger children may not be aware of.

 

  1. Ask for help: and don’t be afraid to ask for it. This can be in the form of having your husband play with them for an hour after they finish work, or maybe asking your own parents to talk to them or read them a story over Zoom/BOTIM. If the help gets you some time to get on with what needs to be done – then ask for it.

 

  1. Ignore everybody else: Some mums appear to have it all together and are constantly sharing new crafts and activities they have done with their children on social media while you may be the mum who has struggled to do even one successful activity this week. That is OK! Do what is in your power and ability and ignore the so called #momgoals that you see on social media.

 

  1. You don’t have to be Superwoman: It is normal and an expected reality to have both good and bad days. When kids grow up, they dont remember a perfect mum, they remember a happy and present mum!

 

  1. Cry it out: It’s okay to cry ever so often when all the daily tasks and emotions become too overwhelming. Some studies say that it releases any stress and anxiety you may have about being perfect at everything.

 

  1. Make it quality time: If you are trying to juggle a multitude of things, including online distance learning (which is a new challenge in itself), then try set aside time for doing something fun together. This could be baking a cake together, trying a new recipe, or introducing them to different genres of music and having a dance off in the living room. Make quality time something that you enjoy as well!

 

  1. Take time for yourself: Being a good mum also means being a relaxed mum. Sometimes you need to just take a long bath or read a book alone, in order to have the inner strength to be better. Mums have a talent for being kind and nurturing to others but always tough on themselves. Let’s change that and indulge in a bit of self-care.

 

It’s okay to not make fresh meatballs daily or have a new craft to do each day. It’s okay if the learning for the day doesn’t work out, if the television takes over, and the dinner comes from a box.


Whatever you are offering your child right now is enough. Whatever the plan is for today, it’s enough. Whatever the plan is for tomorrow, it’s enough.

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Awareness Play Dates

Please attribute to Angelica Robison, Children’s Home-Care Expert and Nanny Trainer, Play:Date



According to a recent survey by rise, 95% of children are under care of a nanny and there are 750,000 nannies living and working in the UAE. With such a huge demand to find and hire a great caregiver, you would think the process would be simple and stress-free. Well, think again…

 

Hiring your first or next nanny can be a frustrating experience, especially when you don’t know where to start!

With 10 years of UK and UAE experience caring for children and training nannies, here are seven tips to consider when hiring a new nanny:

Define The Role

Sometimes, what we want and what we need in terms of childcare support can be very different, which is why we need to think before we employ. A degree of flexibility is required in any job but if you hire a nanny to look after your kids, then constantly change her hours and responsibilities, your nanny may feel unsettled and uncertain about her role and job. Be clear. Decide before you search and hire what exactly the role entails, how many hours are needed, salary, living arrangement and put together a job description which you can share with your nanny.

 

Where To Look

The best place to search is within your own community or friendship circle. Ask for recommendations or consider nannies who hail from your native country if you have a trusted source or family member who could help you with the process. Posting ads in community shopping centres or Facebook groups such as Mary Poppins Dubai may also help with your search. If time is not on your side, you can choose a reputable agency like Maidcc to do the hard work for you at a one-off fee of around 5,000AED and a monthly salary of 3,500AED+.

 

The Interview

Start with a phone call and if you are happy, arrange a second interview in person. You can talk to the candidate about their previous experience, their strengths and why they believe they are the best choice for the role. Arranging the interview alone will give you a clear indication about the reliability and competency of a potential nanny, almost like a mini test. If the nanny is accommodating, keen and punctual, it is a good sign! You could also offer a paid trial for a few days or up to a week depending on the nanny’s visa status. It will give you an insight into their work and both an opportunity to assess whether it’s a suitable fit.

 

Be Flexible For The Right Person

You will encounter nannies with better experience than others. Some will have worked in the UAE longer, speak good English or Arabic, be able to cook, swim or drive, and even have qualifications. Ideally you will have a salary bracket in mind when hiring, so you have a maximum for the more advanced candidates. The best nannies are in demand, so try to be flexible in term of salary for the person who will care for your baby or children – this is a very important role!

 

Check References

It is not advisable to hire a nanny that doesn’t have previous experience working with babies or children. Ideally, a minimum of 3 references should be provided to you before you proceed to trial and hire. Should you choose a nanny from an agency, request for contact details of the previous employers. Double check, make phone calls and if possible do not accept written references from the selected nanny herself – make sure all written recommendations come directly from the source.

 

Put It In Writing

To avoid any potential conflicts or uncertainties down the line, a written contract or agreement will ensure you are both on the same page and is highly recommended. An agency should be able to provide one but if you hire independently, you can provide your own.

There are templates available online, but if the specifics of the role are written down, signed by both parties and dated, it should suffice. Read the updated federal laws (http://dubaiofw.com/domestic-workers-ph-uae/) first and make sure to include: working hours, day/s off, job responsibilities, living arrangement, salary, extras provided e.g. food, toiletries, mobile phone, 30 days annual leave, medical insurance, return flight every year, notice period and anything else you feel is important to mention given your requirements.

Train Your Nanny

“Christina came back and showed me all of the material and told me all of the new things she had learnt. Many things we will put into practice at home. She got so much out of the course and really enjoyed her morning” – Francesca, nanny employer and mother to a 19-month old little girl.

Once you’ve found and hired your new nanny, you need to evaluate her pre-existing skills and determine whether she needs a ‘top-up’ or training on specific areas of childcare and safety. For example, CloudNine Kids (www.cloudninekids.ae) are qualified trainers who run home-care courses for nannies including Pediatric First Aid, Health & Hygiene, Behaviour Management, Home Safety and Interaction & Development for caregivers of newborn – 6 years. Courses like these will not only help your nanny but help develop the relationship they have with you and most importantly, your children.

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Awareness Play Dates

Please attribute to Carla Buck – Play:Date Expert on Child Behavior and Founder at Warrior Brain


Your child has come home from school again in tears. All she can say is that she has “no friends.” You desperately want your child to feel like she belongs. But she has real trouble making and keeping friendships at school. As a parent, you know how hard this can be. It’s incredibly difficult and takes a lot of courage to pick up the phone and call or message someone to arrange a play date for your child.

 

One of childhood’s most challenging lessons is to learn how to be a good friend. Some anxious and shy children find it really hard to face their fears. Especially when it comes to making new friends. Your child desperately wants to be accepted. To fit in. To truly belong. But their “what if” thoughts, like “what if she doesn’t like me” stops them from being brave. Some help and encouragement from you as the parent can make the world of difference to your worries and fears for your child, and also to theirs.

 

Understanding why Friendships are Important


Friendships add to your child’s social skill learning is a HUGE way. Such as learning to be aware of someone else’s view point or standing in their shoes so to speak. Learning the rules of how to have a conversation like how to begin one and when to know a conversation is coming to an end. And also learning age appropriate behaviors. It is often the case that children that need help with emotional behavioral problems have no friends or find it very difficult to play with other children.

 

“Friends also have a powerful influence on a child’s positive and negative school performance and may also help to encourage or discourage deviant behaviors,” Dr. Paul Schwartz says, a professor of Psychology and Child Behavior Expert. “Compared to children who lack friends, children with ‘good’ friends have higher self-esteem, act more socially, can cope with life stresses and transitions, and are also less victimized by peers.”

 

Before you get your knickers is a twist mama, there is good news! It’s important to understand that these social skills can be learned in a number of ways and at a number of ages. There is no one size fits all magic wand swoosh for figuring out friendships. Children thrive socially over Minecraft as much as they do when pretending to be their favorite animals. There are ways to help children develop these relationship skills that will help them have valuable and meaningful connections with others.

 

Here are some things you can do to help your child:

 

Modeling What It Means To Be A Good Friend:

Help figure out where your child struggles the most when making friends. Think to yourself, “what is one skill she doesn’t have and how can I help her learn it?” If it’s learning how to say what she feels, model it for her by teaching her the “I feel (feeling) because (reason)” technique. E.g. “I feel sad when you don’t tell me about your day. How do you feel when I don’t tell you about my day?” The more you model this, and feed into your own friendships and talk openly about why you choose to do what you do, the more this will help model what it means to have a meaningful friendship to your child.

 

Creating Friendship Goals:

Being intentional about which friendships you really want will help you know where your energy is best invested. If you took a step back, and decided which friendships were truly valuable to you, you will know exactly which people to invest your time in and why. Ask your child which friend they want to have a really good friendship with. Set a goal such as “ask friend to sleep over twice this month” or “say hi every morning”. If this friend is at a different school, plan to meet up over the weekends this month. This can be a very scary step for some children. Praise their efforts and remember your ultimate goal when you just want to sleep in on a Friday morning, but you CHOOSE to drive across town for a play date instead!

 

Setting Up Play Dates:

Play dates often mean a massive grass stain on your child’s new shirt or mud dragged into your villa just after it got cleaned. And your lounge suddenly looks like Christmas morning with toys EVERYWHERE. It’s important to remember this is all a part of your child’s social development. A simple tea party with each other and all those teddy bears can teach affection, empathy, negotiation and appreciating someone else’s perspective. “By interacting with their peers, children begin to learn about perspective taking, where they can realize how others may have different thoughts and feelings,” says Dr Theodote Pontikes from Loyola University in Chicago.

 

Where to Start:

Start by inviting only 1 child. This helps your child feel more confident as they try out what it means to be a good friend. Remember, just like they test the boundaries at home with you, they will test the boundaries of a friendship too. It’s totally normal for tears and frustrations and “Deanna said she doesn’t want to be my friend anymore.” This is how your child learns what friendship means. A simple sorry can be all that’s needed for the two of them to be best friends again.

 

Be accessible. And get involved only when asked. Remember, it’s your child that is socializing and learning about empathy and how to get along in society. Not you! Be in the background. Prepare some fun snacks and be ready to listen when they ask you to. May the odds be ever in your favor Mama!

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Awareness Play Dates
Dr. Sarah Rasmi, Family Psychologist and Parenting Expert at Play:Date



The alarming rise in ‘digiculture’ has taken over the lives of little ones, some as young as two years old. Easily accessible games, videos and online content are now available at the touch of little fingertips, and this has produced a significant decline in real-time interaction and play between children.

Nevertheless, technological and social applications can still help young children bridge the gap between online and real-time play by introducing them to the world around them and helping them form lasting friendships.

Leading psychologists, including Dr. Sarah Rasmi who is the Family Psychologist and Parenting Expert at social application Play:Date, strongly recommend playdates for children and their parents. Dr. Sarah highlights five key benefits of this kind of social interaction.

Psychological Well-being

Playdates can lead to friendships, which are good for our psychological health. Research shows that people with extensive social networks tend to be happier.

Physical Health

Playdates can solidify our interpersonal connections. People with strong social bonds tend to have better immune systems and live longer too. Playdates also encourage us to be physically active which is good for our physical and psychological health.

Education and Work

Playdates give us an opportunity to bond with others, which fosters social connections. People with strong social networks are happier, and happier people are more successful at school and work.

Social Skills
Playdates facilitate social development by teaching children how to share, cooperate with others, and problem-solve.

Creating Parent Connections

Playdates are an opportunity for parents to connect with other parents. This has a number of benefits, including a sense of community and social support. Both of these factors can make it easier for parents to adjust to life changes, including having children and moving to the UAE.

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