Archive for the 'Development' Category

Indoor or outdoor play area?

How important would it be to you, to have an indoor and outdoor play area for your children, in the development that you live in? Well it seems that a Dubai doctor is trying to get Abu Dhabi government to introduce guidelines, that would require every new development to have these spaces. Read more at The National.

Dr Rajeshree Singhania, a neuro-development doctor in Dubai, urged the Government to recognise the value of play and introduce guidelines that would reserve space in future developments for indoor and outdoor recreation zones.“It’s an appeal to policymakers to accept the concept of play for what it is,” she said. “It is extremely important for a child’s social, physical and mental development and research has shown that free play helps with their emotional development as well.”

Developers should be obliged to include play areas in high rise buildings, in the same way that zoning laws dictate some land-use regulations, she said.

“When you plan a city there are certain laws requiring ‘X’ amounts of green areas per inhabitant. Well, I am of the opinion that all high-rise buildings should have at least some dedicated play areas so kids can have a place to go and play without going out to the roads, where there’s a lot of traffic.”

Dr Singhania is already putting the plan into practice at Dubai’s City of Arabia property project.

Kindergarters and School

How is your kindergartener learning?  There is a lot of talk about what kindergarteners’ should learn and what they are really learning.  Does your child get to learn through play and exploring, or are they just taking test and learning things that older children should be learn? What do you expect from your child, regarding what they should be able to learn?  Have you asked your child if they enjoy school, and do they tell all about their day?

I think parents should watch out for school burnout, and pushing children too early.  There needs to be a balance, and we need to help them find that balance.  The child’s natural way of learning is through exploring and playing.  So, ask yourself is exploring, a part of test taking, and does it really help?  I think educators are starting to understand, that children do not learn by tests, and that they need to get back basic and good old Child’s play.  Please give your thoughts.

Children Watching TV, Good or Bad?

Do you let your baby or toddler watch TV, and just what shows are they watching?  A study in the US says that children under two should not watch any TV, and if they do, it should be educational. Read more at LaCrosseTribune.com.

The research involved children younger than 3, so TV is mostly a no-no anyway, according to the experts. But if TV is allowed, it should be of the educational variety, the researchers said.

Every hour per day that kids under 3 watched violent child-oriented entertainment their risk doubled for attention problems five years later, the study found. Even nonviolent kids’ shows like “Rugrats” and “The Flintstones” carried a still substantial risk for attention problems, though slightly lower.

On the other hand, educational shows, including “Arthur,” “Barney” and “Sesame Street” had no association with future attention problems.

Interestingly, the risks only occurred in children younger than age 3, perhaps because that is a particularly crucial period of brain development. Those results echo a different study last month that suggested TV watching has less impact on older children’s behavior than on toddlers.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no television for children younger than 2 and limited TV for older children.

Breastfeeding makes Children, smarter.

Did you know that if your baby has a FADS2 gene, and if you breastfeed your baby, they may score 7 points higher on their IQ test.  But the best thing is that 90% of children of children, have this gene, so there is just another reason to breastfeed.

Safe Toys for your little one

ParentDish has a list of safe online toy stores, for your little ones.  If you have bought any toys from these company, please tell us, your thoughts on them.

Back to Basics with the Activity Cart

Here is a great gift idea for your Toddler, that will keep them busy for a long time, with the Activity Cart.

UAE the Intellectual Centre

I think it is nice that UAE wants to be the Intellectual Centre in the region and the world, but to do this, I believe that they need to look at the begin instead of the end of a person’s educational education.  If the UAE wants to be the centre of intellectual they need to start at birth, and through out Early Education, not just Higher Education.  The child’s building blocks of their brain starts at birth and after age seven the blocks are just about finished growing. My wish is to see more importance put on Early Education, to truly give the children of the UAE a better chance when they are in Higher Education.  This in return will truly give the UAE the title of Intellectual Centre in the region and the world.

Khaleej Times:

Speaking at the closing ceremony at Dubai Men’s College, Shaikh Nahyan said: “You (Nobel laureates and experts) brought to the festival great experience, impressive knowledge, superior intellect and a commitment to global progress. The presentations and discussions reflected your conviction that thinkers, acting alone or in concert, have the capacity and the responsibility to effect necessary progress and change.

“I am also hopeful the festival will help establish the United Arab Emirates as a major intellectual centre in the region and the world.”

A sapling was planted as part of the concluding day of the festival.

A panel discussion on the role of educators in preparing creative and responsible citizens was the highlight of the day. University heads spoke about their ideas and plans for educating the younger generation.

All My Faves

I found this wonderful site that list over 50 sites that are great for you and your child, called All My Faves.  If you have problems with coming up with new ideas that your child can do to have fun and learn, look no further.  This website has ideas for Books, Games, News, Movies, Comics, Coloring, Homework, and Learning.

You can also subscribe to their RSS feed and get all the latest updates.  Let me know what you think, and if you know of any other good places online where you can get wonderful ideas.

After junk food, children fall prey to junk sleep

Does your child or teenager get enough sleep, or does electronics keep them from getting the sleep they need?

Read more at Gulf News.

UAE health experts warn that gadgets, such as television, computers and musical devices, in the bedroom distract teenagers from getting enough sleep, backed up by a UK survey on 1,000 teenagers.

The survey found that a third of the 12 to 16-year-olds slept between four to seven hours a night, suffering from ‘junk sleep’.

The average recommended sleep time for teenagers and adults is seven to eight hours, according to Dr Maxwell Kayed, clinical neurophysiologist who specialises in sleep disorders at British Medical Consulting Centre.

“The amount of sleep depends on the person, but most people need eight hours,” he said.

“(But) I think lots of kids are sleep-deprived. When they come in with headaches to our clinic, parents bring up the point that they are staying up late, surfing the internet and playing games,” he said.

He told Gulf News that sleep was very important for teenagers because it consolidated their memories and helped them organise their thoughts. It also refreshes their mind.

If a teenager is deprived of sleep, he or she becomes drowsy during the day, making them less attentive and unable to concentrate in class, which in turn will affect their studies.

Dr Kayed laid the blame of junk sleep mainly at parents’ door, saying that they did not view the issue seriously enough and disregarded the effect of electronic gadgets on their teenagers’ sleeping habits.

“They treat it as a secondary problem, rather than a primary problem. Nowadays, parents work and as long their kids are in their bedroom then they are not bothered what the kids do in it,” he said.

Babies not as innocent as they pretend

It seems that children learn at an early age to see just how far they can go with their parents and other adults, this is according to study at University of Portsmouth’s psychology department. Read more at Telegraph.co.uk.

Behavioural experts have found that infants begin to lie from as young as six months. Simple fibs help to train them for more complex deceptions in later life.

Until now, psychologists had thought the developing brains were not capable of the difficult art of lying until four years old.
Infants quickly learnt that using tactics such as fake crying and pretend laughing could win them attention. By eight months, more difficult deceptions became apparent, such as concealing forbidden activities or trying to distract parents’ attention.

By the age of two, toddlers could use far more devious techniques, such as bluffing when threatened with a punishment.

Dr Reddy said: “Fake crying is one of the earliest forms of deception to emerge, and infants use it to get attention even though nothing is wrong. You can tell, as they will then pause while they wait to hear if their mother is responding, before crying again.

“It demonstrates they’re clearly able to distinguish that what they are doing will have an effect. This is essentially all adults do when they tell lies, except in adults it becomes more morally loaded.”

She added: “Later it becomes more sophisticated by saying, ‘I don’t care’ when threatened with a punishment – when they clearly do.”

Dr Reddy thinks children use early fibs to discover what kinds of lie work in certain situations, and also learn the negative consequences of lying too much.