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There are some Mums around the world that we consider Boss Moms. They are either world leaders, celebrities, or CEO’s of large-scale business. They seem to have it all together and are inspiring women around the world to take charge and own their professional, personal and social lives.

1. Jacinda Aden

She became a mum at the age of 37 with her partner, while being the Prime minister of New Zealand for Just under a year. One of the most notable things to mention is that she is the first world leader in nearly 30 years to have a child while in office. She shows that women can have it all (with a little help and a little planning!). One such situation that stood out was when she took her took her young daughter to the United Nations General Assembly meeting. Since becoming a Mum and being Prime Minister she has changed her way of running the country as she claims “To me, leadership is not about necessarily being the loudest in the room, but instead being the bridge, or the thing that is missing in the discussion and trying to build a consensus from there.”

2. Serena Williams

Everyone knows Serena Williams as one of the top tennis players of our time with 23 Grand Slam titles, but did you know that she finished the 7th Australian Open while pregnant with her first child? She has become the epitome of #momgoals. Not only is she honest with her struggles of being a Mum and world champion with grueling training session and travelling the world, but she made an epic come back that few people expected once she had her child.
She once said, “Most of you moms deal with the same thing. Whether stay-at-home or working, finding that balance with kids is a true art,” and that she also has bad days, just like every other mum around the world.


3. Sheryl Sandberg

Not the most common name heard in every household, but Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of Facebook! She also wrote an award-winning novel called ‘’Lean In’ about individual growth and empowering women around the world to achieve their full potential, by combining professional achievement with personal fulfillment. One tragic and yet notable thing about her is that she sadly lost her husband suddenly in 2015, leaving her as essentially a single mum with 2 kids and a demanding career. She aims to help women understand that they can have it all with the help of a supportive partner, as well as how a supportive partner has an effect on your success in your career.

4. Angelina Jolie

Who doesn’t know Angelina Jolie for her beauty, movies, and also humanitarian efforts? Despite all of these roles and hats she wears; she comments that being a mother is her most important and favourite role. Amongst travelling the world for her work with the United Nations, to places such as Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, she still manages to find time to film and direct movies and be the best mum possible to her 6 kids! That is what we call #bossmum

5. Michelle Obama

Most of us know her as the former First Lady of the United States, but did you know that she also boasts two Ivy-League degrees from Princeton University and Harvard Law School? She has launched many organizations devoted to health and education such as the Global Girls Alliance in 2018, including being an advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, by changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives. During her husbands’ time in the Oval office, she managed to raise 2 young girls in the spotlight, while instilling in them values of being down to earth and giving back to their community.

6. JK Rowling

Who doesn’t love the story and magic that the Harry Potter series brings to every household across the world? But did you know that JK Rowling was famously a single mum living off state benefits when she wrote her book series and thought up the whole story on a 2-hour train ride. She even also famously gave away so much of her earnings to a charity that she no longer holds the billionaire status yet continues to build her fortune from almost nothing. Through all her success and struggles, she still claims that being a mother is her proudest achievement.




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.



Looking for Inspiration for things to do with the kids at home? Does your child like to get messy and learn at the same time? Why not give our top picks a try and see how you get along? Use them all as learning experiences and get crafty in the process to make it entertaining for the little ones.

4 Ingredient Homemade Paint

Have you ever had your kids wake up one day and announce that they want to paint a masterpiece? Only one problem – no paint in the house! We have all been in this situation
so we found a super easy and safe paint that you can quickly make at home!

Materials needed:
  • 1/2 cup plain/all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Fine salt
  • 2 Cups Water
  • Food colouring
  • Few drops of Washing up liquid (Optional –*Do not use this if you want to make non-toxic
  • paint suitable for babies age 6 months plus. If your little ones might put the paint in their
  • mouth, don’t add the washing up liquid.)
  • Add the flour and salt to a large pan, then Put on a low/medium heat and slowly add the
  • water.
  • Keep stirring with a whisk until you get a thick smooth texture, then take it off the heat
  • and allow to cool.
  • Separate into tubs and add food colouring (and washing up liquid if using.) then slowly
  • add water to get the consistency you want. Voila – you have paint!
  • Store the new paint in sealed tubs in the fridge, it will last for a few days.

Top Tips:
  • Add a bit of water if the paint dries out, or flour if it’s too runny.
  • No food colour – no problem – give turmeric powder a try to get a yellow paint!
  • No Paintbrush – no problem! Get creative and use spongers, make up brushes or just let
  • them go crazy with finger paints.
  • Use this as a teaching opportunity – mix yellow and blue to make green and red and blue
  • to get purple!

Courtesy of : @thecareymum

Play Dough

Play dough is one of those things that you can always guarantee will keep your children entertained long enough for you to make dinner (maybe even longer sometimes!)
But did you know that it doesn’t always have to be store bought? It can just as easily be made at home! We have found a super easy 3 Ingredient recipe for it, that will give unlimited hours of fun!

Materials Needed:
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 3/4 cup water
  • optional: 2-3 drops of essential oils  
  • optional: 4-5 drops of food coloring

  • In a saucepan with NO heat, add the cornstarch, baking soda, water and stir.
  • Place your saucepan on the stove top and turn your heat to medium.
  • Continue stirring the mix constantly. It will start to bubble slightly and that’s when it happens really fast. It will begin to turn solid. Once a ball starts to form (4-5 minutes) take your pan off the heat.
  • Take the dough out and let it cool on baking paper.
  • Once your dough is cool you have the option of adding in a food coloring or a scent. Option: add 2-3 drops of essential oil , we used lemon, and knead it into the dough. Option: add drops of food coloring to your desired colored, even 1 drop will give it some color.
  • Now it’s time to play.

Top Tip:
  • Use cookie cutters and kitchen utensils to let the kids create!
  • Make a competition to make the funniest face or see if hey can recreate an animal with play dough!

Courtesy of: Make and Takes

3 Ingredient Slime

What child doesn’t like to get messy! We have found the perfect solution in this super fun (and sticky!) slime recipe – its quick and inexpensive too! Let us know if you make it with the kiddies
at home this week!

Material needed:
  • • 8-ounce bottle Elmer’s white school glue 9 or any white glue you have available)
    • 1 1/2 – 2 Tablespoons contact saline solution, more as needed
    • 1 Tablespoon baking soda
    • Food coloring, optional

  • • Squeeze the bottle of glue into a bowl and at this point ddd your food coloring if you are using it and stir until combined. Then mix in baking soda
    • Add 1 1/2 Tablespoons saline solution and mix until combined. If it’s too sticky, add 1/2 Tablespoon more solution at a time. The more you add, the thicker it’ll be. The less you add,
    the slimier it’ll be!
    • Using your hands or a spoon again knead the slime until it holds together. It will be wet and gooey at first, but just keep kneading until it all comes together.
    • Keep the slime in a container with lid, or in a zip top bag. And use it for the next messy play time!

Top Tips:
  • Try make the Slime in an area that you don’t mind getting messy! Otherwise you can
    end up with slime everywhere!
    Use plastic bowls and spoons
    Try adding extra like glitter to make it more magical
    Double or triple the recipe to make more Slime
    There might be some slime stuck in your hair so use some coconut or olive oil on top
    to get it out.

Courtesy of: I Heart Naptime



Have fun and let us know which is your kid’s favourite!





It is highly doubtful that anyone expected 2020 to turn out the way it has. But ever since COVID- 19 has entered our lives, we are forced to reassess everything. These include holiday plans, lifestyle choices and even our parenting style.

Many parents are now beginning to worry about the effect that social distancing and quarantine may have on their child’s social development. For younger children the effects may not be as long lasting, as they could outgrow it and forget about it quickly, but for older children, peers and classmates are an integral part of their life.

Younger children may begin to love having their parents around 24/7, and form an even stronger attachment, while older children who are in the process of figuring out who they are and what they like, often need their friendships to help them develop and grow.

Instead of overthinking about this, try looking at this lockdown as an opportunity to reconnect as a family.

Give a few of the below ideas a try, and let us know how you get on:

  1. Set up a weekly cooking theme that the whole family can be a part of. It could be Mexican food night, Italian Pasta and Pizza or even a Baking Challenge! This way everyone has an event to look forward to.
  2. Try setting up video calls for your children with their friends. Simply leave the laptop in the living room at eye level with one of your child’s friends on the other end. You will see them interact in ways that you probably didn’t think possible. It doesn’t matter the age of the child, as each one will find their own way of new social interactions.
  3. Have a weekly game night. Each week one member of the family chooses what to play.
  4. Keep in touch with friends and families by doing online quizzes – you could have some questions that everyone in the family can do no matter their age.
  5. Let the older kids have some time for themselves, while they miss their peers, they may also feel some stress by constantly being surrounded by family.
  6. Maybe schedule an online exercise class with your child’s friends or help them set up mini challenges. Then, let them show it off to each other and talk about their experience.

Try some of these things and see if there is a change in your children’s behaviour and mood. If you find some ways that are your personal favourite hacks – share them with us!



Getting dinner on the table each day can be a huge challenge for a lot of parents. Kids eat dinner early, which means you don’t have time to play around in the kitchen. They can also be makes it difficult to serve food the whole family can enjoy.


Kids love to have some control over what they eat – they like the feeling of some power over their own lives. Including them while making a shopping list or simply asking for suggestions could make a big difference.


Children have a developing palette, they may hate a certain taste but may develop a liking for it in the future – Introducing kids to new flavours and cuisines can be extremely helpful.


There are many ways that children of different ages can get involved in the process of cooking or even just helping out in the kitchen. Check out our easy tips for different aged children to involve them in your kitchen chores: (note: each step should be done with adult supervision)


  • Little kids of age 2 years and above will happily help add and stir the ingredients for you, just make sure it is supervised so nothing raw goes in their mouth!
  • Let them wash fruits and vegetables for cooking or eating. They can even break broccoli off the stems or tear up lettuce. Take it a step further and teach them about food safety and cleanliness.
  • Teach them how to crack an egg and then whisk it up for you – but always remember to teach them to wash their hands afterwards!
  • Most kids will happily squeeze a lemon, so get them involved in this process when you need to make a sauce or a marinade. You never know it might turn into a lemonade making competition!
  • During the whole process, let the kids do a taste test – who doesn’t remember growing up and licking the bowl or the spoon during a cooking session with their mum and dad. Ask them if they think it tastes good or if it needs something extra!
  • Make it fun by asking your kids to cut shapes using cookie cutters – they can help assemble the dish into a picture. It could be anything from a clown face to a dinosaur! Experiment and try making a funny face by using broccoli as hair! Or take it a step further and help children learn about various shapes them food!
  • Why not try letting them plan their own meal and theme? Maybe it is related to something they are learning about at school? They may come up with an amazing dish by using their taste and creativity. Using bread, fruits or raw vegetables would be ideal for a project like this.
  • You can always use cooking as a chance for educating them – whether its math or science. Older children often enjoy the measuring aspect of baking.
  • Got a child at home over 10 years old? They can do almost ANYTHING. Help get them excited about cooking by giving them their own apron or plastic knife. You never know they could grow into the next Michelin Chef!

Whatever you decide to whip up with your kids in the kitchen, just remember to make it fun! Cooking teaches a variety of life skills, including healthy eating habits, time management and allows kids to spend quality time at home.

Its about spending time together and creating memories, and that “food-time” is family time.  




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.



It is without a doubt that COVID 19 has thrown most of us off track (even those of us who consider ourselves tough!)

Being thrown off track could range from: struggling to get on with the day due to no proper planning, to having to be a good parent and/or a good employee.

The changes in our life are now endless – The only constant being that we are all in it together. This outlook fits perfectly for online learning. Schools across the region have stepped up to the new challenge of online distance learning and from what we hear, they have adapted various ways to make the process as comfortable as possible for both parents and kids.

Some schools may not be doing as well, which in turn causes added frustration for parents, as sometimes, online learning might take some getting used to for both parents and kids.

While many schools have taken measures to ensure the continuity of academics, online learning has some challenges, like maintaining discipline, loss of social interaction between children, active engagement in academics and many more.

This global pandemic has impacted many lives. Parents are having to find ways to keep their children busy, academically responsible and also entertain them. How are you dealing with this?

We will soon be sharing our list of top learning resources, keep an eye out for that! In the meantime:

  1. Try making a schedule for your child so that they can get used to their new remote learning experience.
  2. Set up a space in your home which is just for remote learning, so that children can distinguish between this learning area and the rest of the house. They will slowly learn that in this area they are required to focus as if they were in a classroom.
  3. Remember to take some time out which include some playtime or just a relaxing snack. Incorporate some downtime where kids can have fun and are not constantly under the pressure of getting through assigned tasks.
  4. Follow their lead: If your child shows particular interest in one area of learning or a specific topic, then try and nurture that and go with the flow.
  5. Don’t forget to let the kids know that they are doing a good job! Maybe a small treat to look forward to at the end of each week?

Lastly, try to keep POSITIVE. This too shall pass, and you we will all come out of this period with valuable lessons!





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 ( 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 ( 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.




Please attribute to Dr Sarah Rasmi, Family Psychologist and Parenting Expert at Play:Date

Many expatriate families do not have access to the same level of social support that they would have in their home countries. As a result, many new parents begin to feel socially isolated and withdrawn when they have children. This loneliness is particularly pronounced if they do not have friends with children of the same ages or

Dr. Sarah Rasmi, Family Psychologist and Parenting Expert at social application Play:Date, recommends organizing children’s playdates to overcome these issues.

  • Children get the opportunity to meet and connect, which can facilitate their cognitive and social development
  • Parents can connect with other parents, giving them the opportunity to swap stories and share concerns, which can be very comforting and beneficial
  • Over time, play dates can turn into social support networks. Establishing a community has a number of personal and professional benefits.

It is important to remember that social relationships are a necessity, not a luxury. Building long lasting friendships are good for both our physical and psychological health. For example, people with strong social


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!