Thursday, May 31, 2012

MAN-united

As soon as a plan is in place to start a family, many start their preparations by reading.  Very commonly one specific book is reached out for: "What To Expect When You're Expecting".  Written by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel, this book was originally published in 1984!  It quickly became an international best-seller and staple in many households.  It grew into a series of books, a website, a foundation and now a movie...

Aside from the excitement to see the interesting cast in this movie adaptation, I have chosen the alternative trailer below to ask you lovely readers about something specific.  What sort of support system do you have in place.  Fathers especially, as you will see from this clip, would you consider doing a "guys support group"?

In my opinion, ignoring the comedic aspect we see in the film, finding support from other fathers is extremely beneficial.  It allows you to exchange and expand your knowledge base, a chance to express your worries and concerns, and let's not forget that it also counts as a great play-date for your little ones!
Creating such a support group also means including yourself more in  your child's life.  I often hear from fathers that they feel left-out or find it difficult to connect to with their young child (who might be more attached to his/her mother).

So let's do a PTL experiment and try.  Ask your friends, cousins or co-workers who are dads if they are interested in meeting once a week, with their children. You may surprise yourselves with the outcome.  What are you expecting?;)

***Mentioning fathers here today does not mean that mothers do not need the support.  Obviously they do.  Mother do tend to create that support group naturally, through school, friends and family.  


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Important date change


Change of date for the Potty Power Workshop, here are the details...


Dear All,

There has been a change to the “Potty Power: Toilet Training for Children with Special Needs” workshop. The workshop hosted by ABC of Kuwait is to be rescheduled for Monday the 28th of May at 6.30pm.

We apologies for any inconvenience but for all of those that have reserved seats your place(s) will continue to be held. If you are unable to attend or have any other problems please contact us on the number below.

For everyone else who would like to attend, please contact us as soon as possible as seats are limited.

Kind regards,

  

Monday, May 21, 2012

A special kind of need

I am a huge fan of modern family, and so naturally I was intrigued to watch this Ellen video.  But this is not a blog about T.V. shows.  I simply was surprised to find out that the young actor Nolan Gould is a member of MENSA!  





So what is MENSA?
Mensa, the high IQ society, provides a forum for intellectual exchange among its members. There are members in more than 100 countries around the world.
Activities include the exchange of ideas through lectures, discussions, journals, special-interest groups, and local, regional, national and international gatherings; the investigations of members' opinions and attitudes; and assistance to researchers, inside and outside Mensa, in projects dealing with intelligence or Mensa.
This got me thinking about children like Nolan.  I have seen children with very high I.Q. labeled as trouble makers or hyperactive because they were simply under stimulated in the classroom.  I often thought about this question and I present this to you: What do we have available in Kuwait for children with high intelligence, or what we usually term "gifted children"?  Please share any information you may have xx

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Potty Power Workshop

I would like to share with you an excellent learning opportunity.  ABC of Kuwait is hosting a toilet training workshop for children with special needs.  This workshop is open to ALL adults who deal with special needs children.  Hurry up and book as spaces are limited.

For more information on toilet training in general please follow this link.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Safety first...My story

Many parents cant help but think about "worst case scenarios".  You instinctively want to protect your children.  You start teaching children about avoiding strangers "stranger...danger", you tell them to avoid sharp things and fires, ban them from going out alone, etc...

Tonight I want to share a real story.  I hesitated to share the story, but I decided to go ahead anyway.  I was in Avenues mall today, and I saw a distraught boy (looks about 2.5-3 years old) running aimlessly, screaming for his mother, with a face full of tears and snot. Initially I saw some people around him, he broke my heart, but I thought perhaps he was tantruming and I did not want to interfere with someone else's child unless I have been asked.  My sister then pointed out that the guy following him is security, but he was just walking/running behind him, but not doing anything else.  The boy avoided people who tried to catch him, and people just gave up and walked away.  I asked the security (to get confirmation that he is indeed lost) and the security said yes and added that he did not know what to do with the boy.  I held the boy and tried to talk to him, but he was hysterical.  Instinctively, I took the boy and sat him down on my lap on the floor of Avenues Mall talking to him, shushing him and rocking him gently...  People gathered, some gave tissues, and I asked if anyone knew the mother.  Some people directed us towards a certain part of the mall.  The child eventually calmed down and agreed to come with me and hold my hand so we can look for his mother.  We eventually found the mother, who did not seem concerned and coldly asked the child "where have you been?"...

OK... Why did I tell you this story?  Not because I want to talk about cold and uncaring mothers, or the fact that we have a HUGE problem in education, and that this child could have been abducted while it took us over 15 minutes to calm this child down and find his mum...  I wanted to mention the security aspect of this story.

While I held this child I asked the security guard (Kuwaity) why are you not announcing the missing child, he answered that they did not have such services!!! They have speakers for music and the call for prayer, but they cannot use this for an announcement about a missing child?

Next request, I asked the security guard to please contact someone or head over to the area that the boy was seen running from and ask loudly if anyone's missing a child.  He said that he told some people to ask but nothing happened.  So basically, I am on the floor with a hysterical child and NO SECURITY MEASURE WAS IMPLEMENTED.  Mothers and fathers, PLEASE be careful, know your surrounding and know what services and security measures are available for you.

Some simple tips:

  • Young children should be provided with their contact information as a badge or around the neck as a way to ensure your child is safe.  
  • Older kids, establish a meeting point in case you are lost.  
  • Older children also need to know your phone number and address by heart.  We should not rely on the security in malls, as they are more likely trained to handle some fights and arguments, rather than deal with scared and lost children.  
  • Help you child recognize the security guard by uniform or badge, as they could allow them to call you.  Security in different places can be better than I have seen this morning.
  • In large play areas ask about the security measures, and find out what they are allowed to do and are able to provide.  DO NOT ASSUME.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Five Stages of Grief

Grief...  It isn't a process we ever want our kids to go through, but unfortunately it does happen.  Children go through loss, wether we mean divorce and/or family struggles (i.e. economic, social, warfare, medical, etc), or after the death of loved ones, including, as the sweet and heart-breaking video below shows, the loss of a pet for the first time.


Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross first wrote about the Five Stages of Grief in her book "On Death and Dying".  The stages were not meant to be chronological, nor complete.  Some people get stuck in one stage, and may need an intervention to help them cope.  It is helpful to check for those stages when you are caring for yourself or a loved one, and try to help them within each stage that they go through.  Some of these stages are often socially unaccepted or frowned upon, like Anger.  We need to allow ourselves and our children to feel and express these emotions without fear of repercussion.  Our main goal then becomes containment.  We, as the support system for our child, work on containing our child's feelings, and allowing him or her to express such feelings within a safe environment.

The Five Stages of Grief are:

  • Denial
  • Bargaining
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Acceptance


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hit me once, shame on you. Hit me twice, I'll be like you...

Corporal punishment, or in layman terms, using physical violence as a means for punishment, is still debated in our region of the world.  You cannot imagine how many times I have heard statements similar to "I was beaten by my parents, and look at me now", as a supportive statement for the use of physical punishment.  I will not address such a statement, but I will try to explain briefly the lessons a child learns from corporal punishment.


  • Corporal punishment will teach a child fear.  Fear may result in immediate change in behavior, but fear will not be a motivator nor a lesson in why such a change should be made.
  • Corporal punishment will NOT lead to cognitive awareness and acceptance of behavior change.
  • Corporal punishment can lead to lower self-esteem and feelings of helplessness.
  • Corporal punishment is the antithesis of respect.  Your child may fear you, but s/he will not respect you.
  • Corporal punishment teaches your child that it is O.K. to lose your temper and hit someone.  A lesson, many parents often regret when the school year begins.
  • Corporal punishment may teach a child that a behavior was unacceptable, but doesn't give the child alternative ways of action(positive behavior).
  • Corporal punishment will teach the child that s/he is able to trigger a reaction from you.  They will soon learn that they are more in control than you are.
  • Corporal punishment is a form of child abuse, and is punishable in most countries who have established infrastructure and child protection laws.
This is a brief look at some of the most common results to the use of corporal punishment.  There is more to say, but I leave it to you dear readers to draw your own conclusions and make up your own minds.  The image below (which I have used in a previous post) represents the title of today's post: