Bring Ramadan to your Children

Dubai Festival City is having special events each day 10am-1pm.

Crocs, kids and escalators a bad combination?

It is not something you would think about, Crocs are cute and kids love them.  So why would Crocs be dangrous for your children?  It seems like they can get caught in escalators along with your child’s toes and feet.

Read the full story at CNN.

At rail stations and shopping malls around the world, reports are popping up of people, particularly young children, getting their toes caught in escalators. The one common theme seems to be the clunky soft-soled clogs known by the name of the most popular brand, Crocs.

One of the nation’s largest subway systems — the Washington Metro — has even posted ads warning riders about wearing such shoes on its moving stairways. The ads feature a photo of a crocodile, though they don’t mention Crocs by name.

Four-year-old Rory McDermott got a Croc-clad foot caught in an escalator last month at a mall in northern Virginia. His mother managed to yank him free, but the nail on his big toe was almost completely ripped off, causing heavy bleeding.

At first, Rory’s mother had no idea what caused the boy’s foot to get caught. It was only later, when someone at the hospital remarked on Rory’s shoes, that she began to suspect theCrocs and did an Internet search.

“I came home and typed in ‘Croc’ and ‘escalator,’ and all these stories came up,” said Jodi McDermott, of Vienna, Virginia. “If I had known, those would never have been worn.”

According to reports appearing across the United States and as far away as Singapore and Japan, entrapments occur because of two of the biggest selling points of shoes like Crocs: their flexibility and grip. Some report the shoes get caught in the “teeth” at the bottom or top of the escalator, or in the crack between the steps and the side of the escalator.

The reports of serious injuries have all involved young children. Crocs are commonly worn by children as young as 2. The company introduced shoes in its smallest size, 4/5, this past spring.

Niwot, Colorado-based Crocs Inc. said it does not keep records of the reasons for customer-service calls. But the company said it is aware of “very few” problems relating to accidents involving the shoes, which are made of a soft, synthetic resin.

“Thankfully, escalator accidents like the one in Virginia are rare,” the company said in a statement.

Role model

Does your child have a role model, if so who is your child’s role models? As parents it is something to think about.  Read more about Role Models at Gulf News.

According to Dubai-based psychologist Linda Sakr, role models generally possess characteristics like a sense of obligation towards society, compassion, courage and strength. But, as someone who comes into frequent contact with young people, she says that more children are placing celebrities on a pedestal, replacing traditional role models.

“I find that boys tend to identify with David Beckham, which can be positive, as Beckham does not promote drinking alcohol as it interferes with his performance,” she said. “Girls on the other hand [are identifying] with the likes of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton [who are] not necessarily portrayed as … good [citizens].”

However, according to Linda, there is no real “mystery” surrounding the way in which children are behaving today.

“They are doing what society around them is defining as ‘cool’ and ‘in’,” she told Gulf News. “I feel that [more and more] young people are identifying with celebrities as this offers them a sense of escapism from their daily lives.”

As such, parents have to “learn to be role models in a changing world, preserving a value system that is honourable and lasting”, she said. “Our children are looking up to us to provide this leadership by example.”

Teaching kids about money

Have you thought about how you are going to teach your children about money and how to manage their money?  Well the Gulf News has an article about just that, here are some hi lights.

There is a wealth of information on how to introduce money and financial responsibility to your kids but how much and what you can actually absorb and implement at home is the trick.

For example, engaging children in financial decisions sounds like a good suggestion. But when and how far is the question.

This is actually what you should be doing. Even though it may sound complicated at the beginning, a brief discussion of how a longer or shorter repayment period of finance will affect the monthly payment can also give her/him an insight into basic finance information.

Informing them of your budget and getting them to exclude models that fall beyond it can teach them how to live within their means.

Of course, you may find out it remains your decision when it comes to such big spending items. But on the day to day spending, it won’t hurt to let them make some affordable decisions.

Grocery shopping is a good opportunity, where you can let them pick and choose. But remember not to interfere every time you see them making a wrong decision. Otherwise you’re blocking all the benefit of learning how to live with the consequences of their decisions and avoid repeating them.

Meanwhile, you need to make it clear to them if your decision isn’t money-inspired. In the case of the manipulative kid above, the father’s decision may have been based on trying to cut her hours of playing computer games rather than avoiding to pay the twenty dollars.

While such controls on spending are essential, you need also to teach your kids how to earn or value earning money and how to share their possessions.

While unpaid house chores can teach children team work and loyalty to the family, encourage them to take part in paid activities or summer jobs once they are old enough.

Additionally, share – within reason – the family financial status whether good or bad. So a bonus would mean going on a vacation or fulfilling an item of their wish list, and losing a job or unexpected expenses would give them a reference for tightening future spending.

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.

UAE orders withdrawal of Mattel toys

The Ministry of Economy has ordered the removal of all Mattel toys from the market.  If you have purchased a Mattel toy you can reimbursement for it.  The article does not state just how you go about this reimbursement.  The ordered withdraw comes of the heels of the major US recall of toys that have dangerous toxins like lead.  Please take a look and if you have any of these toys that my have dangerous toxins, removal them at once from your children.

Read more about the recall at Gulf News.

Abu Dhabi: The UAE Ministry of Economy on Tuesday ordered the withdrawal of Mattel toys from the market.

A senior official on Tuesday said the ministry reached an agreement with Al Shula General Trading, distributor of the Mattel toys in the UAE, committing it to withdraw the hazardous products from the market, and to reimburse the consumers who hold valid receipts.

“The distributor has agreed to withdraw all products from the UAE market, and to make a public announcement requesting buyers to come forward with their receipts for refund,” Abdullah Al Saleh, first undersecretary of the ministry, told Gulf News on Tuesday.

Mattel Inc., an American company, is the largest toy manufacturer worldwide based on revenues. Its products include Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars, Barbie dolls, and board games.

This month they recalled 20 million toys produced in China because of health concerns, including the presence of poisonous lead and cancer causing substances, as well as poorly-fitted magnetic parts, with the Chinese blaming 85 per cent of the defects on the poor design.

“The toys have already been withdrawn, and the ministry told the authorities to monitor the markets and withdraw any existing products,” he added.

The ministry has also briefed the Gulf Cooperation Council general secretariat on the developments.

The distributor, which advertised the recall, has committed to continue its campaign.

“All the affected items have been removed from the market and we will refund the customers or exchange it for a product of a similar value regardless of the condition of the recalled product,” Dinu Philip, Al Shula’s marketing manager, said.

100 Things you can make at home.

I found this today and it is a good list of things you can make at home.  We are all too busy today, to believe that we can still make things at home.  Take a look at the list and see what you can make at home.  Simply Thrifty

Back to School Ideas

The start of school can be stressful for both children and parents, no matter how old they are.  Making a check list can help in making sure you have everything covered for the first day of school. Here are a few things you may want to think about when making your checklist for the first day of school. Here are some ideas for your checklist age 3-12 year olds.

One Month before school it is very important to set a routine for bedtime and for getting ready for school in the morning.  By doing this ahead of time, you will save a lot of heartache before the first day of school.  You can achieve this by setting a time that your child goes to bed and wakes up each morning.

Another thing to think about is this is the time to talk to your child about school, and how they are going to make new friends and have new activities. You may want to read books with themes about school and making new friends.  If your child is older then it is a good idea to talk to them about the school year, the extra activities they will be responsible for, homework, practice time, and also their down time. Try to cover safety information like your child’s full name, address, telephone number, and their parent’s names.

This time is a good chance to clear the clutter by the two of you going through your child’s clothes, toys, books, etc. Make sure your child tries on his or hers clothes from last year, to see if they still fit. You can talk to your child about giving the items to donation, and how that my help others.

Two weeks before school is the time to plan how your child will get to school and how they will get home.  If some one else other than your self will take them and/or pick them up, set a meeting place.  Also make sure that your child is aware of how they will go to school and how they will come home. If for some reason there are any changes to the plans for how your child will get to school or home, let them know ahead of time. Also make sure you know the route to school, also talk to your child about how they will get to school.

It is time to by school gear, before the rush.  Call the school and get an updated list from your child’s teacher or school office and mark the supplies with your child’s name. This includes any school uniform. Visit the school with your child, this way he can see his classroom and meet his teacher.  This will give a chance to explore their new space. If your child will have lunch at school, it is a good idea to practice lunch.  Let your child know what is expected of them and what they may have for lunch.

Plan for homework.  Buy extra supplies just for the home, this will help with homework. Also let your child help pick a homework area, where they will feel comfortable for their studies. This area should be well lit, quiet, comfortable, and isn’t near distractions, like the TV. The last but one of the most important things to do is make sure your child’s medical records are updated and that the school has a copy of them.  Also let the school know of any special medical needs.

One or two days before school decide on a first-day outfit, with your child, for the big day. This is a big day for them, and they want everything to be perfect as well. Plan your child’s breakfast as it is important for them to have a healthy start for school. One way to show how important school is and how proud your are for your child’s first day of school is to make sure they have a energy packed breakfast on the first day.  Also make their favorite dinner the night before.

Make sure your child’s items are pack up and arranged for school in one place. Also make sure that your child’s backpack is supplied and ready for school. Your child should  know where this area is and where the items go. This will help with making your morning run smoother, by not having to look for things.

It is very important to plan your goodbye; if this is their first day of school as a child, then you need to make sure you are also ready for the first day. This can be an emotional day for both of you. Even if you cannot take your child to school every day, try to make a plan where you can at least be there for the first day, as this is an important day.

Setting a bedtime routine can be a daunting thought for most parents, here are some tips for setting a bedtime routine.  If your child is too young to tell time, then it may be easier than you think to get them to go to bed at an earlier time.  If you already have a bedtime routine, then just move it to the correct time for school, but if your child is older, than you will need to have a talk with them about bedtime. Also you will probably have to go slowly with changing the bedtime.

If there is not a routine, then this is a good time to make one. You can set up your routine by having a time for dinner, bath, brushing teeth, reading, and the good night
time. The evening with the family should be a routine, and it should be kept simple, so that you can repeat it every night. After just a couple of nights, you and your child should know the clues to night-night time.  If after a few weeks, your child is having problems with the new bedtime.  It is time to troubleshoot. If your child is falling asleep at the new time, but is having trouble waking up, then you may need to try a earlier bed time. If this does not work, cut our any caffeine (watch out for hidden caffeine) and some evening TV watching.  If your child is still having problems, you may want to check with your child’s doctor.

I hope these tips help you and your child to have a easy, wonderful time going back to school.  This is an exciting time for the both of you, and with a little hard work, you can have a great start.  Just remember that you child is probably excited about school, and that the way it should be.

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.