Parenting

How To Get Dads More Involved?

It is challenging to encourage Dads’ involvement, yet the society these days is working hard towards that goal. Below are a few steps that might help achieve it:

1. The Parents

Mom and dad should have a good relationship. Children need their parents to have a stable and close relationship more than anything. This stability sets the solid foundation to a successful parenting.

2. Ask for Help

Moms please ask your husbands for help. They need guidance and they heavily rely on you to assist them. After all, it is always better when the work is done side by side. Don’t wait for him to ask you as he would not know how tired and frustrated you feel.

3. Fun Activities

Every now and then it is essential that dads go out with the children – on their own – and enjoy some fun activities together. This helps in having the children see their dads in a new perspective which also helps in strengthening the bond between them.

4. Boring Routine

Divide the routine and boring duties, like showering and getting ready to school, where each parent has equal responsibilities. By doing so, both parents are saved from any unnecessary stress.

5. Communication

Discuss and communicate often. Once you agree on a variety of parenting methods, it becomes easier to deal with certain unexpected issues.

6. Gratitude

Show your gratitude for the partnership you have. Humans love to be praised and cared for. A simple thank you makes wonders.

7. One Message from Both

Moms and dads alike should send one message to their children and not opposing ones. Children are very smart and would continue to manipulate one parent against the other in order to get what they want! Once they realise that both parents have the same response, it is more likely they accept the decision taken.

8. Support

Be honest about how you feel towards the whole parenting procedure. It is very normal to have fears and worries. Once you talk about it with your partners, you will get the support you need. Who else would actually understand the situation more than your mate?

Parenting is one of the most beautiful yet challenging experience. It brings so many emotions that are bombarding and overwhelming along its bumpy road. The mere fact that we have our children only for a few years would motivate us to make the best out of it. That is why, when we work together, parenting becomes somehow easier.

events, Parenting, Reviews

Review; Parenting by Connecting Approach

The talk with Tanshi2a that took place two weeks ago at Silkor in Abu Dhabi Mall, left the moms with mixed emotions of guilt, accomplishment, difficulty, success, and puzzlement. As Mrs. Anisa Al Sahrif, Conscious Parenting Educator and Social Entrepreneur, discussed a few essential tools that help in building a solid connection with our children, she also provided the audience with real life situations and examples from daily challenges we, as parents, face.

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Human beings are characterized by being emotional, and our emotions play a major role in our decisions and actions. In fact, understanding a parent’s emotions is as equally important as understanding that of a child. As per Mrs. Al Sharif, once we comprehend ourselves, we will definitely apprehend our children. Once we work on our sentiments, we are able to grasp our children’s reaction with more ease. Thus, we build an extraordinary connection with them.

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As parents and caregivers, we need to learn to accept that crying is a healthy way to process emotions. It allows our children to  let out their frustration and address certain needs – like having you around. A child might cry because of fatigue, hunger, or simply because she misses her parent’s presence. Mrs. Al Sharif adamant statement is that the more love and warmth we provide our child with, the more trust and cooperation we build.

A child’s behaviour, Mrs. Al Sharif, explains is very similar to an iceberg. We tend to see only the tip of it, but we need to learn to look behind it in order to recognize and address the emotion that lies beneath. At the same time, as parents we need to learn to put limits in a way that gives them the space to experiment and make their own mistakes in order to build their personality and resilience.

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She continued to explicitly provide the attendees with a set of five main parenting by connection tools that can build that bond:

  1. Special Time:

For this tool, Mrs. AlSharif suggests that the parent sets a date every single day with the child. It can be anything between 3 minutes to an hour. Put an alarm to set a boundary, and let the child choose what she wants to do. It could be anything from doing experiments to jumping on the bed. Make sure to provide the child with much warmth and eye contact. She strongly encourages the parent to simply enjoy those moments with the child, promote laughter, and not to give advice.

  1. Playlistening:

In this spontaneous tool, Mrs. Al Sharif encourages the parent to follow the laughter and encourage the fun in their relation with their children. The child will always take the lead in these situations with the adult taking the less powerful role. Laughter has an incredible power to heal any hard emotions – exactly like crying. When a child is comfortable to express her feelings, the handling of emotions is achieved. In playlistening, it is advised not to tickle the child in order to leave the feelings of joy and laughter come from within the child. Apparently tickling a child results in having forced emotions which might result in negative consequences later on in life as adults.

  1. Setting Limits:

Setting limits with a child is essential for both. It is advised that a parent takes a minute to breathe before interfering with the trouble that is causing the child for having a tantrum or any kind of frenzy outburst.  A parent can learn how to stop off-track behavior with love, warmth, and respect.

  1. Staylistening:

Once a child’s needs are understood and listened to, the tension is released and the child can think. At the most challenging times, parents need to listen deeply and attentively. Once the issue is resolved the child can connect and ponder on the behavior that resulted.

  1. Listening Partnership:

Parenting is tough, and parents need to be supported. This tool is about processing our own emotions and understanding what triggers us as parents. Having a person who can listen to us, with no judgment and without offering any advice, is a great way that can help us identify and handle our own emotions.

In conclusion, a child’s neural pathways grow through love, respect, eye contact, and listening. All of these result in connection which is vital for parents and children alike.

Thank you Mrs. Al Sharif for this insightful talk which was an eye-opener to most of our attendees.

To learn more about the Parenting by Connecting Approach head over to www.tanshi2a.com or www.handinhandparenting.org

 

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PS: More pictures will soon be posted on the thehelicoptermommy Facebook page, so stay tuned.

About Life, Parenting, Poems by me

To Moms of Boys and Girls

Today’s mother’s day post is dedicated to moms of boys and girls alike. Since we need to empower both genders and guide them towards the right direction, it is our duty as mothers to work on building a strong foundation for each. For humanity to survive we need to pass this message over to the coming generations. So here you go;

On mother’s day I address this to you

To moms of boys and girls too.

We need to empower them both

With calmness and maturity throughout their growth.

A mom can teach her son about appreciation and respect

And how women view things in a wide aspect.

She can help him realise and understand,

That a woman is his helping hand.

She can befriend him and make him aware,

That with compassion, understanding and care,

He can build a solid ground –

And true love can be found.

A girl can learn about patience and poise.

To be able to face life and its toils.

From her mother she can attain

Dedication, persistence and overcome any pain.

Along with him she can grow,

And hand in hand they will both glow.

She would share her dreams along

As they dance to their favorite song.

Hand in hand they will empower

Their strengths and stamina to bloom like a flower…

After all one could not do without the other…

Men and women do complete and compliment each other.

So to the dear moms out there,

It is our duty and under our care

That we raise harmony between him and her.

Teach them to accept and analyse,

Not to look at the other with despise.

Have them support each other’s welfare,

In order to maintain a healthy affair

And make their adult life become smoother.

We would also serve the generations that follow,

By raising children who are confident and not shallow.

That is why to really celebrate today,

We should stop and not only pray!

But we need to be present,

And guide them through,

Trust me, there is a lot that we can do…

We need to practice honesty and explain,

How life could be a serious game;

If played well, they will both gain –

And if not, the future would never be the same!

Poems by me

The Teenage Life

I’m so into poetry these days, as I feel the need to express my real emotions through it.

It is my way of dealing with the many changes we are currently experiencing.
Check my poem “The Teen-Age Life” which is dedicated to my eldest who is almost a teenager and to every parent who has one!

He has grown a lot

He is almost a teen!

He sometimes burns hot

And tries to be mean.

But his heart is made of gold

And with a warm hug,

Everything can be solved.

Those years are tough,

Life for him is rough.

He thinks he is now a man

Acting so wise and cool,

But suddenly he is no longer a fan

And he wants to rule!

His hormones vaulting up and down

At one instant making him smile, then frown –

Laugh, cry, shout, or scream

Sometimes I do wish it were a dream!

Shattered orders he gets,

Sometimes a behaviour he regrets.

But his mindset is out of hand

He needs us to understand.

Love, affection to provide

Support, patience and empathy is our guide.

Those years are heavily dense

But it is up to us to make it less tense.

As we dig deep and understand,

Teenagers need a helping hand.

Full of physical, emotional and mental change

Oh my, what a delicate stage!

Wrapped up in a separate world,

Communication seems to be absurd!

What adolescents really need,

Is some freedom to heed.

They’ll eventually learn from every mistake,

And consider what actions to take.

Difficult as it might be,

I have to learn to let go and see.

How that little human of mine,

Will grow and mature and just be fine!

About Life, Parenting

My Fourth Son…

It is indeed incredibly amazing how each and every child has a special place in a mom’s heart. When I had my first boy, I thought I could never love any other being as much as I loved him. 

I was wrong!

Soon enough, came our second one, and that love increased doubling with more joy and pride. I could feel my heart swelling up with attachment and affection towards both of them. I was delighted to have given my first boy a lifetime buddy to hang out with, play with, fight with, and do whatever boys do together. Then sooner than expecting, the third one proudly arrived bringing much charm with his captivating smile and easy going character to our family. He quickly formed a special bond with his brothers, and soon they constituted a clan.

What a bless, I would tell myself!
AND I thought it ended there; a satisfied mom of three adorable boys.

Again I was wrong!

As our fourth boy and little girl were born, I was deeply concerned about him being ignored by everyone. After all everybody was waiting for the girl – even us as parents!

I was afraid of failing between them, focusing more on her needs, and losing it with all of the responsibilities I suddenly had. It is true that we have always wished for a girl, but I did not want him to be treated any differently than his brothers or her for the matter.

To ease my worries, I read books and articles related to twins, sibling rivalry, and whatever came across my way. I also had a full supportive team at home where we discussed our worries and concerns. 

However, what really helped me the most was my fourth boy himself.  I will never forget his looks at the age of 32 weeks, only a few days after they were born. Just by looking at him peeking at me through the incubator, I could easily tell that he has come with a unique character, just like the others, and was more than ready to prove himself. It kind of soothed me seeing his determination at a very young stage in his extremely early life.

An independent little fellow who insists on doing things on his own is the main characteristic of our little Mr. R. As I observe him at play, I enjoy his jubilant attitude and carefree spirit. He not only enjoys kisses and cuddles, but asks for them as well whenever he feels like it. I also love his thirst to knowledge and learning where he asks me to work together on different age related activities. I adore his attachment towards his sister and brothers, and his comic side when he enjoys a joke with them. 

It does not really matter if you have an only child or five of them. It does not matter if they are all girls or all boys. It does not matter the order they come in. What matters is the love, the innocence, the purity, and transparency they bring. Our way of reacting to these needs and our approval form the basics of a child’s character in the future. This reminds me of what my dearest grandmother used to tell us, ‘Raise your children with love and affection.’

So how much can a mom’s heart equally love? Well I would say definitely infinite!

Education, Parenting, Reviews

Sensing Art

During the summer break, my children and I usually get the chance of doing more art work together. This time we had the opportunity to explore the Johnson’s Pure Protect Exploration Kit which consisted of various products. An instruction book which describes the proper use of each of the ten products was also included. Tang powder bags, food color, paint kit, Johnsons wipes, soap bar, hand soap, and baby shower gel are some of the products found in the kit.

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It was very interesting to observe how each of my children interacted with the various products. My three older boys mainly wondered about the odours mixed into the cotton filled jars, while the twins explored their senses through their hands.

Some innovative ideas were found in the kit; I never thought of using Tang powder to paint a drawing! The feeling of the sugary powder on the skin was sensational especially to the twins who absolutely enjoyed the sticky sandy like feeling rubbing on their hands.

First, we mixed the powdered tang with some water and a few drops of food color, I was surprised that the children were able to tint and have fun trying a new kind of paint. They then covered their hands with the paint and made some hand prints.

Next, we worked on testing our smelling senses through the four different types of essence jars that came along. I covered the boys’ eyes and had them smell the cotton where I have added two different types of essence. They easily recognized the lemon extract but the cardamom concentration was a bit tricky.

We also worked on smelling dried plants from my pot pourri bowl, and I used the remaining essence like lavender and rose.

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After that I gave my twins the cotton in the plastic jars as they continued to smell them while learning new vocabulary trying out words like ‘lavender’ and ‘rose’ after every sniff.

Learning is best acquired through play. Today my children and mainly the twins, had fun as they explored, smeared paint, splattered colors, and sensed new experiences. Luckily we had the Johnsons’ soap and wet wipes to clean the mess they created.

A special thank you goes to Momsguide and Johnsons and Johnsons for providing us with this enjoyable learning opportunity.

About Life, Parenting

Back To Work

The quandary of whether being a Working Mom or a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM) is better for her and her children has been highly debatable. Many moms have written about the struggles they go through as a working mom while others compared the pros and cons of a SAHM. Some even went beyond this and gave credit to one group and meanly criticized the other. I will be doing none of this as I will only be sharing with you a brief yet significant personal experience I have recently passed through.

Last week I had to replace a teacher in the same school where I used to teach two years ago. Trust me the minute I entered the class, it seemed as if I have just left yesterday, and into my world of teaching I found myself.
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From that week I understood and lived certain experiences which I would like to share with you;

Feelings:

Contradictory feelings engulfed me during these short working hours. Even though I had my little ones in the safe hands of a dear friend, I felt sadness engulfing me when I left them, especially my little boy who made a scene when I did. Asking myself questions like “Is it worth it?” “How will this affect them?” “What might they be doing now?” “Do they miss me?” made me feel even worse. However, when I used to come back, they would be smiling with emotions flowing out from their beautiful eyes. I could see how much they missed me, and I them. In effect they were just fine! Maybe it is a matter of habit especially when the parents compensate properly for their absence.
Once in school and in class, a feeling of contentment, enjoyment, and satisfaction engulfed me. In fact, every time I stop work for a few years and go back again, I know I have chosen the right career for myself.
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Productivity:

Being engaged again in a dedicated practice, made me feel productive and internally fulfilled. It made me realise the importance of working on my career life especially because I love it. Moreover, studies do show that children with balanced working moms do look up to them in admiration and seek their success. Being industrious makes a mom feel that she can be present with her family, and also grow internally to reach higher achievements.

Fatigue:

As much as I enjoyed being physically active and involved with the students, by the end of the day I felt drained. By 9:00 pm I could not even feel my legs, and had to sleep early.
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Of course it is not easy to be standing up all morning explaining, guiding, supporting, and aiding around eighty students. Then going home, continuing with the same enthusiasm, supporting my own children, helping with homework, showing them love, and enjoying them. Well yes, aren’t mothers simply super?

Organization:

Although I consider myself an organized functional mom, being at home for a long period of time, develops certain lazy habits which a SAHM struggles with on a daily basis. Here comes the importance of being committed to a fixed schedule where there is a time limit for everything. So instead of releasing myself to social media addiction, long phone conversations, or even laying on the couch staring into empty space while the twins napped, I focused on my interests like writing, reading and baking. Here is how I maintained a sane mind and I was productive while being at home. With an employment, however, this organization is accomplished on its own which makes the struggle a bit easier.

Appreciation:

Having worked again for a week, I felt a deep appreciation to my fellow moms, those who have the privilege of having an official job title and to those who work as moms at home. Both statuses drain a mom out. Once she is outside, the guilt, the responsibility, and the career achieving dream engulf her. At the same time, once she is at home, her wishful thinking of having a break, a pause, or a day away from her monotonous rhythm reminds her of the great sacrifice she has avowed upon herself. So whether we are employed or not, we have duties which we will never ignore. There will always be a way to reach out for our children at the proper time, in the precise situation, and at the right moment.

I am thankful to have had this opportunity which gave me an insight of how the coming year will be. I understand that I need to manage my family, our house, my employment, and of course my dear blog! As a matter of fact, the blog made me not only enjoy my time at home, but I also learned a lot through it and met amazing people. I know it will not be easy to manage it all, but I won’t let go.

I would love to know more about your experiences as moms who might prefer work to home or vice versa. By sharing our experiences we know we are there for each other, support one another, and guide each other through this journey of motherhood.

women empower