Should we expose children to superheros

Do we expose children to Superhero's or not? There are conflicting views on this. Superhero-play, especially with little boys is inevitable. Totally banning them could lead to aggression in the long haul. In our household we have decided to introduce positive values as we guide and cheer on our adventurous little souls while they save the world from destruction and fight evil. I live with three superhero's, seven years and younger who go by distinguished names AB, Nicky and Merav. My youngest struts around creating webs at home in his blue and red Spidy costume (His latest birthday gift). He has hardly watched a spider man movie, but feels the part of a superhero. My oldest and middle child absolutely love their light saber battles. They have fostered deep friendship engaging in action-hero play and testing their physical limit. While my kids categorically love imitating larger than life characters, I do not take it lightly  that I am responsible to guide and advise them against trying out dangerous feats like jumping off buildings and walking into raging fire.

As my children enjoy this wave, I harness this passion through teachable moments and intentional discussions to introduce them to some real life superhero's like Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Abraham Lincoln . Surprisingly the lil munchkins are curious to learn and all ears. I also prepare them to understand that a real life superhero can be some one ordinary with no special powers like their parents, teachers or next door neighbors.

Tips to foster healthy superhero play:

1. Explain to kids the difference between fantasy superhero's and real life heros

2. Help kids understand where to draw the lines when it comes to action play. Never to cross over to aggression and hostile language.

3. Allow them to enjoy an age appropriate superhero cartoon, but train them to stay grounded and not get lost in an imaginary world forever.

4. Show them the ropes to pick the good traits  like generosity, compassion, community help and chivalry from superhero's.

5. Enlighten them on life-skills: how to use power wisely while they learn to negotiate and cooperate, Identify right from wrong and fair from unfair.

 

As parents let's be a guiding force as kids' imagination soar up up and away!

Insight Into education in Dubai.

What ? The School Show 

When ? 29th and 30th April  2016

Timings ? 09:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Where? Dubai International Marine Club located next to Barasti 

Cost? It's FREE

The School Show is a new addition to the Dubai Nursery Show which has been running for the last three years. Its a bi-annual event taking place in April and then returning in October each year. The event is aimed at parents who are looking for information on nurseries and schools and it aims to take the stress out of decision making for parents weighing up options on curricular.  Parents can engage with teaching professionals and admissions staff from some of Dubai's top education  providers. The decision on which school to send your kids is one of the biggest financial and cultural decision parents can make. The School Show exists to support you and your family in that journey and offers the first education panel discussion with senior educators to answer your questions. Visitors are encouraged to pre-register to attend this free event online with a chance to enter the draw to win a prizes worth AED 3,500!

Entrance is free.

For more information about The School Show visit www.theschoolshow.ae 

Active play on the rise in U.A.E

"Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.” -Friedrich Froebel

My 3 year old is tickled pink when i play 'one little piggy' with his ten little fingers. My 4 year old is pleased as punch when he indulges in pretend play as a superhero, he conquers bad guys and exerts his control on the world vicariously. As for my 7 year old kicking ball with his dad is special, it seems the ball is an out of the ordinary object.

Is play just entertainment or is there more to it?

Play makes a child whole. Research indicates play enables a child to imagine, create, explore and is an excellent tool in early learning and future success.

The Global Play Index analysis the extend of time children between age 2-12 years yield in play as well as their playing patterns. Fun City Play Index proposes to indicate if children in the selected regions have a favorable balance between play and alternate activities. The Index aspires to bring about increased awareness and promotes a healthy balance of active play as well as passive play for children.  In 2015, the Global children's play Index included Australia, UK, Singapore and Sweden to gauge GCC's position when compared to other developed countries. Based on the online survey and questionnaire conducted by YouGov market researchers, globally UAE ranks third in 9-12 age group and fourth in the 2-5 and 6-8 age group and is also the leading country in the region that promotes play routines among children.

From left : Scott Booth- Research Director and Head of Travel, Tourism & Leisure YouGov ME, Aamnah Husain- Qualified Psychologist and Parenting Expert, Sneha Cherian- Founder, Cocoon to Butterfly Parenting Blog and Community, Silvio Liedtke -Chief Operating Officer of Landmark Group Leisure.


I have 3 important questions for parents to ponder on?

  • Do you actively participate with your child in play?
  • How often does your child play?
  • what is your child's favorite game or play activity?

Legoland Dubai launches Annual Pass

What? Legoland Dubai launches Annual Pass 

When? Released on 22nd Feb 2016

Where? www.legoland.ae

Awesome awaits!

I am the greatest fan of Lego and i believe Lego should be in every child's toy collection. In a digital age of x-box and ipads, these durable, strong interlocking bricks remains one of the most popular toys and has thrived despite all odds. Lego symbolizes a creative expression and makes ideas come to life.

I have great news for Dubai families and kids. The regions largest integrated theme park destination, Legoland Dubai is set to open in October 2016. The Annual pass for the Legoland  Main park and Water Park is released. Yay!!

What does Legoland feature -

  • 68.8 acre Legoland Park
  • More than 15,000 Lego model structures made from over 60 million lego bricks
  • 40 interactive rides, shows and attraction
  •  Lego city
  • Adventure
  • Lego Kingdom
  • Create
  • Lego Factory
  • Magical Miniland

What is the cost of the Annual Pass?

Aed 995 per person for a full year's unlimited access to both Legoland Waterpark or 765 for the main park.


Annual pass privileges :

  • Annual Pass for adults and children aged 3 yrs and older
  • 12 months unlimited admission to Legoland Dubai and LegoLand Water park
  • 10% discount on dining and retail park
  • 10% discount on general admission tickets to all Dubai Park and Resort theme parks and ticked shows
  • special seasonal offers only for pass members

The World’s First Signature Homeopathy Clinic opens in Dubai

As a child i used to suffer from recurrent colds, allergies and breathing difficulty. The thought of running from doctors to hospitals and living on antibiotics was just painful, leave alone swallowing those giant pebbles and nasty suspensions. Then to my relief, my parents discovered the world of homeopathy which worked like a miracle and boosted my immunity. The mildly sweet pills (Happy pills as i would call it) were a treat and the easy to dispense suspensions were not considered a nightmare after this discovery.  The amazing part being, it worked well both on a  physical and psychological level for me. It was welcome news to hear about the latest gem in health care to hit Dubai, 'The World’s First State-of-the-Art Signature Homeopathy Clinic', conceptualized by Dr. Mukesh Batra himself, Founder and Chairman of Dr. Batra’s Group of Companies. It was a pleasure to witness the opening ceremony amidst great fanfare. The clinic was officially inaugurated by Her Highness Sheikha Majd Saud Al-Qassimi Vice-President of  Women’s Union Association in the presence of Dr. Mukesh Batra, Dr. Akshay Batra, dignitaries and eminent members of the society on 11th January 2016 at their location in Al Wasl, Dubai.

sheikha

Left to right: 1 Her Highness Sheikha Majd Saud Al-Qassimi Vice-President of Women’s Union Association and 2 Dr. Mukesh Batra, Founder Chairman, Dr. Batra's® Healthcare Group.

 

group

Left to right: 1 Dr. Akshay Batra, Managing Director of Dr. Batra's® Healthcare Group, 2 Her Highness Sheikha Majd Saud Al-Qassimi Vice-President of Women’s Union Association 3 Dr. Mukesh Batra, Founder & Chairman of Dr. Batra's® Healthcare Group and 4 Kartik Bhatt, International CEO of Dr. Batra's® Healthcare Group

 

The highlight for me was to experience upon arrival the clinics signature healthy refreshments and the state-of-the art diagnostic examination rooms. It offers the luxuries of a plush resort, reflecting a relaxed atmosphere, personalized service and attention to detail. Hence, I would describe this as your High-heeled sophisticated wellness escape for long term health-transformation.

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Sneha Rebecca Cherian Founder and Editor of Cocoon to Butterfly and Dr. Akshay Batra, Managing Director of Dr. Batra's® Healthcare Group.

 

One-on-one interview with Dr. Akshay Batra, a leading homeopathy expert, India's first Trichologist from The Trichological Society of London and Managing Director of Dr. Batra's® Healthcare Group,

Sneha Rebecca: Why should anyone turn to  Homeopathic treatments?

Dr.Akshay BatraHomeopathic treatment is growing in popularity, it does not treat superficially but looks at improving overall health, wellness, physical and psychological condition of a person. Homeopathic treatments are non-toxic, safe and harmless. They are cost effective too.

Sneha Rebecca: skeptics state, Homeopathy is a misconception and there are a myriad of myths associated. Many claim it just works on a phycological level which discredits this science. What is your response to this?

Dr.Akshay Batra: I will use only one scenario to prove this theory wrong. A child who is 4 or 5 who is unlikely to be influenced on a psychological level and unable to process feelings mentally unlike adults, gets cured by homeopathic treatment. A huge percentage of children respond to this form of treatment for varied diseases and health concerns. If this is proven statistics how can you justify the statement it is a myth and works only on a physiological level.

Sneha Rebecca: Many say Homeopathy is not for acute conditions and serious illness and you do not see immediate effects and recovery with these treatments. What is your thoughts on this.

Dr.Akshay Batra: I will address the effects of the medicine first. Majority of patients and families turn to homeopathy as a last resort when all else has failed, hence it is working at a level which needs time propionate to the severity of the condition. Homeopathy is curative and has proved to combat and prevent many serious conditions of illness, hence it is not only for common colds and teething issues but proven effective to cure Asthma, Osteoarthritis, Cervical Spondylitis, Depression, Hair loss etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travel light in the New Year

travel Thank you for your continued readership, for taking moments out of your schedule to read the musings of my heart. Here is me pouring out my heart of appreciation, fitting considering we have embarked on a New Year. Honestly when I started out, I was'nt sure if anyone would stop to read one post... My desire to write came from a passion to infuse hope, hope in a world that seems to be constantly hopeless. Today I stand to testify how this journey has allowed me to discover new grounds and allowed me to connect, influence, and foster friendships I never imagined possible; I am honored!

As 2016 has rolled out, many of us are on a road, ready to welcome a fresh start. The past year might have offered failures, disappointments and regrets. You might find yourself flipping back the pages to reflect what went wrong, who hurt you and why you failed. It might have been a rough start for your journey, but how you finish will really tell your story. Today  i am here to share a secret of traveling light. The heavier your baggage, the greater your struggle to move ahead in your journey. SO LEARN TO TRAVEL LIGHT. Check your bag's to see if it is filled with regret, resentment, bitterness, betrayal, guilt, condemnation and negativity. At the start of the year let us take some time to unpack our bags so that we make better progress in our journey. I also encourage each of you to chart out a navigation map for your journey. In the map, have a list of people you want to journey with and make intentional attempts to spent quality time with them. Have the destinations circled out for where you want to journey or what you want to achieve, and circle the process or the road that will get you to your destination. Lastly, JOURNEY IN THE SPEED OF LOVE.  Have a blessed New Year!

Stop feeding your feelings

emotional eating Kung Fu Panda turns to food in response to a negative stimuli which is triggered by the fact that he is not living his dream. Bridget Jones comfort eats in response to emotions such as anger, despair and loneliness. How many of us stuff our faces in the hope of eating our angst away? sometimes unexpected things happens and life throws you a curve ball which comes attached with stress, grief and despondency. These are the moments when one often turns to food-usually the unhealthy, high-sugar bites as a coping mechanism. This phenomenon is widely termed as emotional eating. However, eating in response to emotions and not hunger can result in overeating, unwanted weight gain and even greater stress. 

Farah Chabib, clinical Dietician, Medi Weight loss, contributes for my readers some useful tips to avoid emotional eating.

1. Avoid "trigger foods"

These are the foods you crave when you're upset. That doesn't mean we can't have these foods, but when they're in the house, access is too easy and we tend to turn to them quickly before dealing with our emotions. If you reach for the potato chips bag every time you feel frustrated, it may be a good idea to leave them out of your house and thus out of your cart on your next trip to the grocery store.

2. Plan your counter-attack

Put a list of the foods that trigger emotions in you. For instance if you notice that when you’re at work you behave very well towards food, but once you’re back home the fiasco starts, then try to find a way to release the stress before coming back home. For instance, get into your comfortable shoes and walk back home if possible or hit the gym after the office!

3. Plan your meals and snacks

If you wait until you are starved, you're more likely to reach for the wrong foods and to overeat. You may also find yourself nibbling all the way through meal preparation.

4. Make your refrigerator a healthy one

One of the easiest ways to ensure healthier eating is to leave you no choice but healthy food! Fill that refrigerator up with healthy nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, yogurt and milk.

5. Reward yourself when you eat in a healthy way

Rewarding yourself will increase the likelihood that you will maintain your new healthy habits.

6. Get more sleep

Ghrelin, a hormone that signals hunger, rises if you don't rest enough; a less obvious cause of emotional eating is lack of sleep. At the same time, leptin, the hormone that signals fullness, decreases. This could lead to overeating. Plus, being tired could increase irritability and cravings for comfort food. Make sure you`re getting your 7-8 hours of sleep daily.

The Language of ‘Saving’ and No Wastage’

The World Food day was celebrated on the 16th of October.  On this account as i was approached to raise awareness on 'Saving and to avert food wastage' i was pleased to adopt this cause and spread the word. This post is dedicated to my husband who is a propagator of no wastage and a person who dreams to see in his lifetime fairer distribution of wealth around the world. Where we live in the UAE, we do not see the depressing sight of the homeless and the struggle of the hungry, as we see in other parts of the world. The fact however remains one in 9 people around the globe live daily facing the demon of devastating hunger and more than 5 million children under the age of 5 die every year as they suffer malnutrition.

UAE is a land known for the biggest, the best and the excess. Food waste is a growing problem in the UAE.  We love food, but for a nation of food lovers, the amount we waste each year is quite staggering, 350kg per person. It is the equivalent of each one of us throwing five bowls of rice in the bin, every day.  Each year AED 13 billion worth of food is wasted, the same as AED 1400 per person.

How can we revert these alarming statistics? While there is no single miracle formula, every drop saved counts and our home is a great place to start. I am learning this process and teaching my children a new language. I urge you to give thought to this and to teach your children the language of 'Saving and No Wastage'.

Here is a list of some easy and useful tips to reduce food waste at home, provided by helpling.ae , the leading online-platform for home cleaners.  

1. Shop smart

Buy less food. Seems simple, but really, this is one of the most important things you can do. More often than not, some of the food we buy in the supermarket will spoil before it’s eaten and get thrown away. Buy a little less food each time you visit the supermarket, even if this means making more trips. 

2. Work with what you’ve got

Regularly check use-by dates and make meals using items that are reaching their expiry date. This will help reduce the amount of food you throw out. Get versatile with food and experiment with recipes to avoid chucking them to the bin.When you make a big meal, save any excess food. It can be your lunch for the following day, or simply a snack for when you get peckish. You can freeze most food in individual portions in freezer bags, too.

3. Store food properly

Proper storage of certain foods can drastically impact their longevity. Keep your fridge clean and hygienic and at the right temperature (ideally around 4 degrees Celsius) and your food will stay fresh for longer. Get into the habit of rotating your foods in the fridge each time you shop. 

4. Serve sensible portions

Avoid over-serving food when cooking for friends and family by serving smaller portions at first, then dishing out any more to those who are still hungry. You might also try serving food on smaller plates - the same amount of food on a smaller plate seems like more food, as it seems to be taking up more space on the plate.

5. Reuse, Recycle

Many items that you might just toss in the trash once you’ve used them still have life left in them. You can also use used tea leaves as manure for plants, old lemons to disinfect surfaces, or even clean the inside of your fridge.You could try composting. It’s nature’s way of recycling food waste. 

Teach you child a New language - The Language of 'Saving' and 'No Wastage'

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Make room for the meaningful and let go of the vain

A New Year is here. It is that time of the year yet again to embrace change. We are optimistic people intrigued and looking forward to what the future holds. This new year I challenge my readers to embark on a journey which leads to a meaningful life. Are you set about to transform your life from fear to one grounded in confidence, from lack to living content, from anxiety to finding peace, from depressed to rooted in joy. If you are on a pursuit to happiness and good living then there are a few important questions you need to answer. Firstly, what are the foundations for how you live and the decisions you make? If you have an answer to this, and conviction to back the answer then you have found yourself meaning to live. The next question would be how are you fulfilling your purpose to this meaningful life?

This New Year I have decided not to chase after resolutions but to live by principles my best life, giving it my best. The first principle being I am created with a purpose to glorify my creator, so no matter what I do, let it all be done reflecting the greatest light. I am going to be authentic with no strings attached and no masks to fall behind. I will remember to love someone who is hostile and  who has wronged me and practice love when it is the hardest. I will choose to celebrate the life I live and remain content and remember not to compare. I will be intentional about investing my time to nurture my family and relationships. I will practice a culture of appreciation and bury up the urge to judge. I will veer away from negative thoughts and surround myself with abundant life. I will dust off disappointments and honor my beliefs by pressing on and conquering. I will live to inspire through my words and deeds.

This New Year I am out to live an unconventional life, a life beyond normal, a life filled with meaning and purpose, the life I was called to live. I invite you to discover a new life, a life worth living and a life worth dying for. Make room for the meaningful and let go of the vain.