Back to School event at Totally Kids Nursery

Thank you for all those who attended the back to school event  which took place at Totally Kids Nursery with Rania Zaghir,Children’s Book Author  and Rania Chehayeb, Transformational Leadership Coach and Julie Abouchacra, Early Education Specialist and Founding Director of Totally Kids.

The venue of our meet up was at Totally Kids, a childcare center and a preschool where children can explore, discover, learn, and grow, located in the heart of Verdun Lebanon. The venue was was opened in Verdun 3 years ago.

We had a short introduction by Julie Abouchacra as she welcomed all Mums in Beirut attending. Her talk was focused on the importance of mothers to have a community support as well as emphasising the importance of the early years in the optimal development of the child as a whole. A mother herself, she understands the mother’s role in selecting a nursery for her child. We loved the atmosphere at the nursery, all staff were very welcoming and friendly and the venue was clean at all times.

A major goal of the nursery is to establish partnerships with the community. This event is the first of several that will follow where moms can meet to bond, connect and share their concerns guided by specialists in the field of education and other relavent areas.

The first half of the afternoon was an interactive talk with Rania Chehayeb focusing on all forms of anxiety including separation and ways to overcome it. The Mums in Beirut were very interested in this topic and received vital top tips and advice on terrible two’s and three’s.  The talk was held in a 60 square meter outdoor play area designed and modeled according to high safety standards, where children could also play safely around the mothers ( You can see this in the images, the environment was very child friendly). Rania focused on the importance of the mother’s wellness and well-being and how important this plays in her family’s role while raising happy and confident children. The children attending got to enjoy arts and crafts, music and movement classes under the supervision of staff from Totally Kids Nursery. Another topic that was covered by Rania Chehayeb was separation anxiety. This is something very common with back to school, when a child starts nursery, daycare or school for the first time. Needless to say that there were a lot of questions on this hot topic. As mothers, we always questions ourselves if we are doing it right, or if we are good enough Mums. We are all great mothers who always try out best. Our events are a great way to meet like minded mothers, to support each other and to connect with someone who maybe going through a similar pathway than you. You are not alone. 

The children enjoyed being looked after Totally Kids staff that offers a caring and nurturing environment where children can develop and acquire the necessary academic and social skills that enable them to become global citizens and lifelong learners. Mums felt at ease and soon joined their little ones for a storytelling session.

The second half of the afternoon was a storytelling session with Rania Zaghir (as you will see from the images below), it was very interactive and informative as she shared with us the importance of reading and bonding with your child. Make it part of your routine: Bed. Book. Bath. Kids thrive on routine and this is key. Books leads to their imagination and reinforces sound and language. Offer gifts as a book it is the best gifts to give.

We love the concepts adapted at Totally Kids Nursery, “The Learner Profile at Totally Kids. Education is not about knowledge only, it is the internalization of values, thinking and social skills as well. This is the profile that we uphold for every one of our students“.

Enjoy browsing through the images from the event and  thank you to those who attended our meet up. Good luck with the back to school and  a healthy routine. Stay in the loop with the local scoop, by registering your details with us (click here to register). Make sure you are following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

 

Rania Zaghir, Children’s Book Author and Rania Chehayeb, Transformational Leadership Coach

Outdoor Play Area at Totally Kids Nursery

Indoor Play Area at Totally Kids Nursery

From left to right: Rania Zaghir, Children’s Book Author and Julie Abouchacra, Early Education Specialist and Founding     Director of Totally Kids, Dina Maktabi founder of Mums in Beirut and Rania Chehayeb, Transformational Leadership Coach.

 

Interactive Storytelling Session with Rania Zaghir. Picture from Mums in Beirut Instagram account @mumsinbeirut

 

 

Birthday Workshop at O’Kash and Kash

A few weeks ago, a group of mums and children gathered at O’Kash and Kash store in Achrafiyeh to get  their hands messy for some fun birthday DIY workshop. We had different tables, with various work activities included ninja balloons masks, confetti balloons, glow in the dark tube and cute frog hand prints for little ones. Needless to say, the kids had a blast with a special guest appearance from Minions and a the biggest pinatas ever. Best of all, Mums didn’t have to clean after the mess!

Enjoy scrolling through the pictures and make sure you watch the video as well.

Make sure you head to O’Kash and Kash as your ultimate go-to toy store where you can also find everything you need to throw your kids ideal birthday party. They stock unique and original products to meet all kids demands including toys, gifts, beach essentials, party supplies and party themes to create magical moments for your little ones.

Thank you all for joining the fun!

 


The Joy of Ramadan Giving

Thank you all for all those who supported us in our Ramadan Campaign. Social media is to connect people together and we want that to make a difference in people’s lives. Thanks to all of you, our active followers and readers we managed to distribute all the collections from the 5 drop off centres a few days ago, with some amazing volunteers and the team behind Ahla Fawda and the passionate work of Nimat Farhat from Social Support Society.

We had some amazing volunteers on the day to help us give away all the boxes away. They came from international countries  including Brazil, Netherlands, Italy, Wales, and Portugal just to name a few. It was amazing experience, emotional and full of love. Children, students, working mums and grand mothers came united for this great experience: a time to give.

 

 

Over the last few weeks we have received many donations of clothing and shoes, which were sorted and packed for delivery. Special thanks to Nimat Farhat for partnering with us for this distribution and huge thanks to all our supporters and to our drop off centres for collaborating with us Totally Kids, Learn and Play, Dent de Lait, Play Town and Fox and Frog. A big thanks goes to all parents, and children who donated their shoes, toys, books and clothes to give them a new home.

 

 

 

Pre-loved means giving them a new home.

All that we are doing is a drop in the ocean for those families and children in need, but what matters is that we do our best and we do it from the bottom of our heart thats.

A special thanks to Ziad Assaf for his editing of the video and music. We managed to put a few smiles on those innocent faces.

We want to wish you all a Blessed Eid with your family and loved ones. Here is a short video to showcase all the work we put into making sure all your donations received a warm home just in time for Eid.

Enjoy watching it, without your support none of this could have happened.

Thank you!

Make sure you are subscribed to our YouTube Channel, to stay in the loop with the local scoop.

 

Pictures and Video by: Dina Maktabi
Video Editing and Music: Ziad Assaf

Mums in Beirut Workshop

Last week we had Stephanie Mansour join us at our workshop to speak about the influence of advancement in technology on children’s functioning.

As stated by William Powers “we live in a world where everyone is connected to everyone else all the time. We’re not literally in a room thats floated away from the Earth, but we’re definitely in a new place, and its technology that has brought us here“.

We covered the pro and cons of kids using tablets and mobile phones at a young age. We discussed the various schools in Beirut and how some of them have already adapted the online method of studying and submitting homework, while others still use the old fashioned way of using books and pen and paper.

We have noticed that on average kids as young as 8 years old have a mobile phone, while Bill Gates has recently suggested the safest age to give kids a mobile phone is age 14!  We talked and discussed our children and their use of mobile phone and suggested ways to help those who are struggling with their kids. The advice given was by expert clinical pschycologist and psychotherapist and from mothers to mothers who know best. This is what community support is all about.

We hope to join us at our other upcoming events and meet ups.

Enjoy browsing through the images and make sure to watch this video by world economic forum.

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Mums in Beirut Love at First Child

Thank you for all those who attended our workshop with  Dr Khaled Nasser on Love at First Child at Sofitel Le Gabriel Hotel.

Your presence and feedback has been great. Stay tuned for more workshops and events.

Please make sure you are registered so you stay in the loop with the local scoop. Register here.

 

Mums in Beirut united on International Women’s Day 2017

International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8th of March 2017.

Mums in Beirut got together to share this special day and to inspire and empower our motherhood journey in Beirut.



Coffee morning on Managing our emotions as Mothers

Thank you for all those who attended our workshop with  Manal El-Chafei Mansour on managing our emotions at Raouche Arjaan by Rotana.

Your presence and feedback has been great. Stay tuned for more workshops and events.

Please make sure you are registered so you stay in the loop with the local scoop. Register here.

 

 

Thank you for the kind feedback and testimonials from some of the Mums who attended.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Mums in Beirut Connection in Parenting

THE POWER OF CONNECTION IN PARENTING

We had the pleasure of welcoming mother of one Manal El-Chafei, MA Child and Play Therapist and Certified Peaceful Parenting Coach a few weeks ago at our bespoke coffee morning focusing on “The power of Connection in Parenting” something we can all relate to. Thank you to everyone who came along.

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Here is what we covered.

The Power of Connection

As parents, we all want to have a strong bond with our kids, and we definitely want to raise children who are happy, confident, and responsible. Also, our children need to feel that they are securely connected and accepted by us. For that reason, connecting with our children and building a healthy and positive relationship with them is the starting point in parenting. Here are some ideas that can help you to build a strong bond with your children:

  • Make it a habit to express and show your love to your child. Saying “I Love You”, hugging your child and laughing with him/her, and speaking and acting with respect are all ways to deliver your love to your child.
  • Start your morning routine with a snuggle. When transitioning from one activity to another, try to make it playful with some giggles and a loving touch.
  • Make sure to have fun with your children. Close relationships are built, moment by moment. Experiences like giggling, roughhousing, kissing scraped knees, laughing hysterically over nothing,– that’s what builds intimacy.
  • Laugh when you can and as much as you can with your child since giggling and laughter dissolve anxiety.

  • Special time: spend uninterrupted time with your child (at least twice a week). Play, roughhouse, or do something fun together. Make sure you are 100% available with your child  during this time.

  • Connection rituals: for example, create a bedtime ritual, sing special songs or play special games with your child.
  • Listen and talk to your child in a way that communicates comfort, empathy, and respect for their feelings. Let your child feel that you are truly listening.  Get to your child’s eye level and give a loving touch. Stop your other tasks, and give your child your full attention. This usually reduces the stress in any situation.
  • Try to listen carefully to your child’s words and think of a word to describe how s/he is feeling. Ask yourself, “What is my child feeling?” ” Why is s/he feeling this way?”

  • Empathize and reflect his/her feelings by repeating what you think your child is feeling.  You can say something like ” You feel disappointed because your friend didn’t come over” ” Are you hurt because Rami didn’t invite you to his birthday party?”

  • Sometimes your child may communicate his/her feelings with their behavior or body language. As with words, look at the behavior and ask “What is my child feeling?” and then try to reflect his feelings: “It looks like you are really angry. Do you want to talk about it?”
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  • Use as many words for feelings as you can as this will develop your child’s emotional intelligence. Avoid overusing the words “good” “bad” “happy” “sad”. Instead, for happy you can use similar feeling words like:” grateful, relieved, appreciated, proud, comfortable, etc…” and for “sad”, try to find the accurate feeling word like: ” angry, confused, guilty, left out, hurt, frustrated, etc.”
  •  Ask open-ended questions that encourage your child  to clarify and elaborate on his/her thoughts or feelings. For instance, if a child mentions  s/he feels lonely at school, empathize and then gently ask what things s/he has done to try to make friends. Ask questions that would help guide the problem solving process.
  • Avoid lecturing or preaching to your child. Listening means you don’t do all the talking. Phrases like, “I told you so,” or “You should do…” rarely encourage your child to seek you out as a listening ear.
  • If using reflective listening is new to you, remember that it needs practice and time to feel natural. Also, your child might not feel comfortable sharing his/her feelings, so do not push him/her. Try to use respectful questioning like; ” I can see that you are angry, do you want to talk about it?” Be patient and keep trying until your child feels safe and comfortable sharing his/her feelings.

  • Model expressing your own feelings whenever you can  by talking about how you felt in certain situations.
  • Use I-messages to express how you feel. I-messages help children learn how their actions made you feel, and they focus on you rather than on blaming your child “I feel worried when you do not answer my phone call because I do not know where you are”.
  • Encourage your child and let them feel that you believe in them. Do not focus on your child’s mistakes. Use words like : “You worked hard on that.” ” You are getting better at….” ” I think that was a big help for your brother!”
  • Avoid adding something discouraging after encouraging your child. Saying something like: ” You worked hard on that, but I wish you did that last time when you had a Math test”, will take the pleasure of encouragement away.1-img_8554-001

Setting Limits Effectively

  • It is your job as a parent to set limits. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to be in absolute control of your child. Actually, giving children some control, in  positive ways and within your limits, help them to be more responsible and cooperative. For that reason try to involve your child in making decisions and agree together on the limits in your house .
  • When your child’s behavior is challenging and needs your intervention, try to connect before you correct. When you start with a strong connection and acknowledge your child’s point of view before setting the limit, you move your child from reactivity to receptivity. ” This looks like so much fun. You love watching this series, but as we agreed before you need to start with your homework at 4:00 pm.”
  • Give them choices within your limits: “You may watch TV for an hour during weekdays, either after school or after dinner” ” You may get up on time to school or go to bed earlier, you decide.”
  • It is also very important to acknowledge the child’s feelings or the reason behind the behavior before you set the limit: ” You wanted me to listen to you, so you started shouting.” Then, you offer an alternative by telling the child what s/he can do instead: ” You can talk to me with your strong voice, and I will always listen to you.”
  • Notice and comment positively on your child’s efforts when s/he is making progress and trying to do something positive.

    Remember that  You, as the parent, can always calm the storm in your house and reconnect with your children.

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References

Cohen, L. J. (2001). Playful Parenting. Toronto: Random House Inc.

Faber, S., & Mazlish, E. (1999). How To Talk SO Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk . New York: Rawson, Wade Inc.

Leo, P. (2007). Connection Parenting: Parenting Through Connection Instead of Coercion, Through Love Instead of Fear, 2nd Edition. USA: Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing Inc.

 Markham, L. (2012). Peaceful Parent, HAPPY KIDS. New York: Penguin Books.

Seigel, D. J., & Bryson, T. P. (2014). NO-DRAMA DISCIPLINE. New York: Rnadom House Inc.

Seigel, D. J., & Bryson, T. P. (2011). THE WHOLE-BRAIN CHILD. New YORK: Delacorte Press and Random House Inc.

 




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A family Staycation at Phoenicia Beirut

Discover for yourself what 24 hours of fun at Phoenicia is all about. Mums in Beirut was honoured to be invited a few weeks ago for a family staycation at the prestigious Phoenicia Beirut. Who needs to travel when you can find quality family fun right here in Beirut? Best of all your kids stay and eat for Free!

A new animated, interactive section of the Phoenicia website featuring cartoon characters specially created for the ‘Find Your Family Fun’ promotion can be explored to discover more about the special packages, services and amenities for families. To ‘Find Your Family Fun’, check out their website for more information.
It was a beautiful sunny day in Beirut. We were all packed and everyone was looking forwards for a weekend gate away, and some family fun.  This came in perfect timing as it was also my birthday month, so an extra treat for me.
 
Upon arrival we were greeted by the friendly staff who took our car for valet, another staff member helped with our hand luggage and belongings. As we walked into the reception, I was mesmerised by the beautiful stairs and chandelier. The kids were very excited to check in so we could quickly go swimming.  Walking towards the lobby, I absolutely loved the arrangement of flowers and the attention to details, the colours and smell were lovely. As we got to the lobby, the receptionist at the front desk welcomed us for our check in. We were seated in the lobby area near the fountain and were offered with welcome drinks. This was much needed in the heat.
The kids got a lovely surprise as well. They receiving a warm welcome from a special Kids Concierge which handed them a fun filled gift bag including toys, vouchers and gadgets.  
We were guided by a staff member to our suite while concierge was brining up our hand luggage. The Pheonician Suite was very spacious and perfect for our little family; it comprised a luxurious living room, ensuite bedroom with king size bed, two bathrooms and a balcony view overlooking the Mediterranean sea and the outdoor swimming pool.
 In the living room, we were spoiled for choice, fresh macaron (my favourite), fruits, popcorn, sweets and biscuits. There was also an assortment of teas and coffee for Mummy and Daddy to enjoy. I really liked going through the Phoenicia hardback book which includes a bit of history on this prestigious hotel as well as vintage pictures of before and after transformation of the hotel and all celebrities that have visited in the past.
 For our first day, we spend the afternoon by the swimming pool and had lunch at Amethyse pool bar and lounge.
We chilled by the pool while the kids enjoyed relaxing time on the bed swings. It was great to learn that Phoenicia Beirut also have a kids club, the Phoenicia Planet Trekkers where the kids then got to enjoy a bit of playtime.
The kids club offers activities, including board games, arts and crafts, playstation, and interactive puppet shows. The staff there were very friendly and the inside play area was kept very tidy and clean. We were asked to remove our shoes before entering and to leave our phone numbers behind in case they needed to contact us in case of emergency.
We loved seeing this little note at the entrance which made us giggle.

From Mums in Beirut on Snapchat

 

Mummy and Daddy had one hour of kids free time and time for some ice cream by the pool (but don’t tell the kids!).

From our Instagram account @mumsinbeirut

It was then time for Mummy’s pampering time at the Phoenicia Spa. I opted for a one hour therapeutic deep tissue body massage. This is “designed to target specific areas deep within the muscle tissues”. I was in for a treat and maybe even a little nap. Needless to say, my massage experience was energising and relaxing, something I can highly recommend to any mother who wants a bit of pampering and me-time.
We all headed to the room to shower before it was time for dinner.  We had a knock on our door, the kids were in for another surprise; it was the kids trolley passing by filled with books and games to choose from. The kids were so happy and both chose a board game to play which was an instant guarantee that created smiles all around.
 
Dinner was at Mosaic for Lebanese night which takes place every Saturday night. The kids were already very tiered, so dinner was very quick. There was a range of Lebanese hot food, mezza, grills and fresh salads and even live stations and a fortune teller as well. As soon as we were done, a belly dancer arrived dancing to Lebanese and Arabic music. The music was nice but too loud for the kids, so we ended up leaving to our room for an early night in. The first day ended nicely and we were looking forwards for the next morning.
I must admit, that Phoenicia Beirut services and amenities are perfectly tailored to keeping young ones, teenagers and parents happy. Throughout the stay at the Phoenicia the Kids Concierge were on hand to assist us in anything we needed including booking family-friendly activities and restaurants. The Kids Concierge is just one of a range of initiatives specially designed to ensure family stays are filled with exceptional memories. We were looking forwards for our second day at Pheonicia Beirut.
 
The next day, we called the Kids Concierge to ask them to reserve us a big bed by the pool in the shade. As always, the staff were friendly and welcoming. We had a light breakfast in Mosaic. The Sunday buffet breakfast included a variety of choices, that everyone liked. This included, croissant, fresh fruits, yogurts, kneffeh, Lebanese manakish and much more. As always, the kids were eager to hit the pool on our last day there. We spend it relaxing by the pool, enjoying good family time and fresh cocktails.
Nobody wanted to go home! Can you blame us? As it was a Sunday, we also noticed lots of families around us and the staff were always there hands on at our service. To cool down, we were offered complimentary water and cold towels as well.
Just before leaving, we had lunch at Cafe Mondo, showcasing the most authentic Italian cuisine including a diverse array of antipasti, hand-made pasta, open salad bar, daily specials and lavish signature desserts.
Watch our video for a glimpse of our summer staycation at Phoenicia Beirut.

Thank you Phoenicia Beirut for an unforgettable weekend and magical moments which we will capture forever.

Kempinski SummerLand Hotel and Resort

The much awaited Kempinski SummerLand Hotel and Resort in now open in Beirut. The luxury 5 star resort is a true gem on the Mediterranean sea. Mums in Beirut takes you on a sneak peak during its soft launch.

The Hotel and Resort

A mesmerizing and iconic city resort with a vast array of leisure and business facilities meeting all the needs of the frequent traveler. Facilities include 153 modern and warmly decorated rooms and suites embracing a Mediterranean flair, a labyrinth of pools, including the legendary Summerland “Cascade Waterfall”, private sandy beach, tennis court, water sports facilities, exquisite gardens, glamorous ballroom to host the city’s most prestigious events and a choice of restaurants and bars each creating a unique culinary journey.


Summerland, Club500

This is a family friendly destination this Summer. Families will enjoy easy access to the beach from their private cabins. There are in total 583 cabins. Little ones will have lots of fun in the kids pool and endless time sliding in the water slide. There is also a covered and well shaded small paddling for babies as well. The “waterfall” is the highlight of the adults only swimming pool, with a the legendary Summerland Cascade Pool Bar tucked behind it. You can bring your tennis rackets too for a bit of fun in the sun. Towels are provided at entry so you do not need to worry about brining yours. You are not allowed to bring food and drinks, so there are a few rules and regulations to consider. No swimming in the sea is allowed but kids can enjoy building sun castles on the strip of beach. There is lots of green around and small fountains of jetting water. Please note, the beach access is allowed for cabin members and their guests only.

 

                                                               Mums in Beirut Limited Edition Beach Bags

                                                                                                       Sandy Beach Front

   Kids Pool Area with Slide

Adult pool with Waterfall.

Restaurants and Bars

LEBANESE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT

Enjoy an authentic culinary experience directly on the Sea.  This unique Seafood terrace embraces the best of Lebanese food presented with European tastes and flavours.  A culinary experience not to be missed whilst relaxing to the sound of the sea and enjoying your ultra modern  “shisha”.

” B “

” B ” offers beach goers an opportunity to enjoy a fresh shawarma straight off the Grill, or savour the taste of our signature Kempinski Summerland Burger which will leave you craving for more.  A fresh salad is always refreshing under a hot sun and ” B ” is the place to be.

LE SALON

Relax and unwind in our Lobby Lounge Le Salon, where you can enjoy the finest selection of pastries, chocolates and freshly roasted coffee.  Spectacular views may be captured from the terrace of Le Salon whilst savouring an afternoon tea with hot scones, jam and finger sandwiches.

ROOF TOP BAR & LOUNGE

After a hectic business day, or a long day in the sun, our Roof Top Bar & Lounge provides the perfect chill out lounge to relax aand unwind.  Enjoy sunset drinks and tidbits, or spend the perfect evening listening to chill out grooves with the best selection of Asian bites overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

1897 BAR

In line with Kempinski tradition, 1897 Bar offers a perfect getaway to enjoy exclusive brandy, single malt and the finest drinks with your favourite cigar.  You can enjoy a selection of finger food and mini bites to compliment the perfect mood.

POOL BAR

Our Pool Bars offer a wide array of sandwiches and fresh salads to refresh you in the heat of the scorching sun.  No need to interrupt your session in the sun, sit back, relax and ask your waiter for a refreshing drink and it will be delivered to your sunbed.

JET BAR LOUNGE

Sunset has never been more dazzling than seen from our Jet Bar, directly on th Mediterranean Sea.  An adult only area where signature drinks can be appreciated.

CASCADE POOL BAR

The legendary Summerland Cascade Pool Bar is back to revive the memories of loyal beach goer and city guests alike.  The bar is enclosed underneath a waterfall, the Cascade falls, which gives you the feeling you are under the stars at night.  A unique opportunity to enjoy a refreshing drink within a cosy setting.

CANDELABRA

Start your day with a refreshing breakfast serving home made pastries to your hearts’ delight, the biggest selection of live stations, fresh juice bar and a hearty selection of cold and warm breakfast items to kick start your day.  For lunch and dinner, guests can enjoy the finest international variety of starters, main dishes and desserts made with precision and care from our culinary team. We never forget our young …

For more information, please check their website.