Mother’s Day competition

Mother’s day competition. As seen on our insta stories.

We have teamed up with @houseofpaisley to give you and mini you the chance to win a matching dress ready for the Summer.

All you need to do is follow
1. @mumsinbeirut
2. @houseofpaisley
3. Tag as many friends in the comment on Instagram using hashtag #mumsinbeirut
4. Winner announced 8pm on Wednesday 21st.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make sure you are following us on Instagram @mumsinbeirut

 

After school snacks for children

Top 10 benefits of reading to your children

As its national Storytelling week, we share with you some facts and benefits on why reading to your kids is important.

We hope you make it part of your bedtime routine.

  1. Reading is fun
  2. Reading grows your child’s imagination
  3. Reading creates a special time between a mother and her child
  4. Reading improves languages and communication skills
  5. Reading teaches your child about the world around them
  6. Reading exercises your child’s brain
  7. Reading develops empathy
  8. Reading increases your child’s knowledge and know how
  9. Reading build on your child’s curiosity
  10. Reading improves your child’s focus and concentration

 

 

We love this photo:

 

 

Do you read for your child at bedtime? Share your thoughts with us on our Instagram account @mumsinbeirut. In case you are not following, make you are. Happy storytelling week everyone.

New Year resolution for Mums

We love the clean slate of a brand-new year.  We share with you some of our 10 honest new year resolutions and the result for the poll we did on Insta stories. If you are not following us, make sure you do!

  1. Be more offline (59% said yes vs 41% said no)
  2. Make time for yourself (97% said yes vs 3% said no)
  3. Spend more time with our children (80% said yes vs 20% said no)
  4. More date with our husband/partner (90% said yes vs 10% said no)
  5. Read more (77% said yes vs 23% said no)
  6. Travel more (88% said yes vs 12% said no)
  7. Love more (88% said yes vs 12% said no)
  8. Work out more (88% said yes vs 12% said no)
  9. Cook more (55% said yes vs 45% said no)
  10. More me time (94% said yes vs 6% said no)

What do you think? Do you believe in a fresh new start of 2018?

Merry Christmas

Mums in Beirut couldn’t have become what it is without you and your support – whether you’ve been to a Mums in Beirut Meet up, enjoyed everyday inspiration on the Instagram corner or read the articles we publish.

Thank you.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

Why Childhood Cuddles Are So Important

Article via Huffington Post.

Cuddles. When it comes to things you can do for your children that make a huge impact in later life – not to mention bring immediate joy – nothing beats them.

Few things are better for your tots than those moments of physical affection: the tight hug, the shoulder squeeze, the under-the-duvet snuggle.

Close contact is a wonderful way to maximise your quality time with babies and toddlers and doesn’t require anything other than the two of you, sharing a blissful moment – or several – together.

Yes, we all know cuddles are important, and science has proven it, too. Check out six reasons why going all-out on cuddle time is simply the best.

Children who are cuddled more become happier adults

It’s true – science says so.

According to Notre Dame psychologist Darcia Narvaez, whose research following over 600 individuals was published in the journal Applied Developmental Science in January 2016, children who have positive experiences with regards to affectionate touch, free play and family togetherness grow up to be less anxious adults. This starts with those first baby snuggles.

“Sometimes, we have parents that say, you are going to spoil the baby if you pick them up when they are feeling distressed. No, you can’t spoil a baby. You are actually ruining the baby if you don’t pick them up. You are ruining their development,” says Narvaez.

“Part of it is following your instincts because we as parents want to hold our children. We want to keep that child close,” she says.

“Follow that instinct. We want to keep the child quiet and happy because the cry is so distressing. It is on purpose, so you don’t let it happen. So follow the instinct to hold, play, interact, that is what you want to do.”

Cuddling releases ‘love hormone’ oxytocin

“Brain research tells us that oxytocin, one of the so-called ‘feel-good chemicals,’ is released into the body only after physical contact lasting about eight seconds,” explains Noel Janis-Norton, parenting adviser and bestselling author of the Calmer, Easier, Happier series of books.

“So we need to make time to relax into the hugs we give our children, rather than rushing them,” she advises.

Oxytocin not only makes us feel good, but helps to reduce blood pressure, lower stress levels and generally improves our mood.

Research from Dr. Kathleen C. Light at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill has found that those with the warmest physical contact at home show the highest levels of oxytocin in the laboratory: happy couples with positive long-term relationships had the most oxytocin in their bloodstreams, as did breastfeeding mothers.

Cuddles are just as important than saying ‘I Love You’

Time-pressed parents may feel a quick peck on the cheek in the middle of a busy day and a shout of ‘I love you’ is enough to give kids the emotional well-being they need. That’s not the case, according to Janis-Norton.

“Physical affection helps children to feel not only loved but also liked, appreciated and approved of,” she explains.

As children get older, school, playdates, activities, parties and more can encroach on a parent’s time with their little ones, not to mention the busyness of a parent’s work-life-balance juggle, so it’s important to set aside at least 10 minutes a day to read, chat and discuss the day that’s been or plans for tomorrow. Hugs, sitting on laps, hand-holding and snuggles during this time are all encouraged.

A cuddle can help when disciplining your child

This is especially true when children are misbehaving and parents are trying to reason with them or understand their behaviour. Sometimes a cuddle can send a stronger message than words can.

“A hug can convey an acceptance of the child’s strong upset feelings and can re-establish a loving connection between parent and child,” says Janis-Norton.

“This is often enough to defuse the child’s upset, whether it’s a whingey mood, a defiant stand-off or a full-scale tantrum. The result is usually a better mood and better behaviour (on the part of the parent as well as the child!).

“I’m not suggesting that cuddles can replace the need to teach our children to be cooperative or respectful, but the cuddles can make the job much easier,” she says.

Cuddles in childhood help us manage stress

“Babies and young children have not evolved to be able to manage stress and upset on their own,” says Dr. Lucy Brown-Wright, paediatric neuro-developmental psychologist at The Child and Family Practice.

According to Dr. Brown-Wright, children need experiences where they’ve been emotionally supported and responded to sensitively – for babies and small children, this means lots of one-to-one care and attention – so they can learn how to deal with all kind of emotional situations in childhood and later life.

“Through having regular positive interactions that encompass gentle soothing and cuddling when the child is upset, they are able to learn that people can be relied upon to respond to emotions. In this way we would always encourage parents to make sure that their child is demonstrably loved,” she says.

“The parent is later rewarded with an older child and adult who is able to regulate their own emotions, but also enjoys a secure and trusting relationship with their parent even in times of stress,” Dr. Brown-Wright concludes.

Don’t stop cuddling children as they get older

As children approach the teenage years and start to shirk off physical affection from their parents, it can be tempting to let them go and stop touching them as often.

Don’t. They still need cuddles, as well as other kinds of loving, affectionate touch, and they need to see their parents behaving in physically affectionate ways with one another.

“Sadly, in our culture, pre-teens and teens often consider it uncool to be seen having any physical contact with their parents,” says Janis-Norton.

“We can respect their feelings and reduce their discomfort by saving our physical affection for the home. But we mustn’t allow the immature teen sub-culture to dictate what we do. Continue to give lots of physical affection, every day.”

 

Speech and language therapy

Today’s contributing article is by Yasmine Darwish Shamseddine who is a Speech and Language Therapist. She will be sharing her advice on how to raise the awareness on key symptoms to know when to seek the help of a speech and language therapist for a child.

It is becoming more and more frequent, appearing at an early age, in both girls and boys, mono or multilingual.

Stuttering is a speech disorder, affecting the flow of it: the child either repeats (extends) the sound involuntary, whether it is in the beginning-middle or end of the word; a repetition of a word in  sentences can also be observed. In other cases, we notice motor gestures involved: the child’s neck muscles, or hands or even feet can get contracted; as a way to “ bring out “ the word out of his/her mouth.

Between the age of 2 and 3 years, children usually see their language skills explode:

  • Their vocabulary storage increase in all categories: verbs,nouns,adjectives, adverbs, etc.
  • Their sentences are more informative
  • Their ideas get more complex and imaginative
  • Their abilities to use several languages solidify

Many cases of “expected”  stuttering are observed around this phase of the linguistic boost, familiarly explained by the fact that ideas run faster than words, therefore the child stumbles.

Triggers to this dysfluency can also be psychological: any negative (or even positive! Yes positive can be overwhelming) change or circumstances evolving around the child’s would lead to stuttering. Why? Simply because the child can not express his/her anxiety through detailed sentences; it is easier to show it in the “how” he/she says it.

So when to seek the help of a speech and language therapist? It depends on every child and the parents’ anxiety: here are some points that should be an indicator to consult a therapist.

  • Any stuttering that lasts for more than 6 months
  • Any hereditary stuttering
  • Any stuttering observed along other speech or language delays
  • Any stuttering that leads to an altered self-esteem of the child

Therapies do not always mean sessions with the child, therapies can start with parental guidance sessions at first before implementing individual objectives with the child. These are based on different approaches, related to the type of stuttering and the age of the patient, let us mention some:

  • Role taking, or more commonly known as “ let’s pretend”
  • Breathing exercises in order to control one’s speech rate: sometimes the child’s amount of oxygen is way less than the amount of CO2 exhaled, the child feels he/she is out of breath.
  • Reading and singing: you might notice that by using these 2 means, the child does not stutter.
  • Setting new “ do’s and don’ts” at home and at school, in order to boost the child’s self-esteem and will to communicate, no matter what.  

Ending this article on the fact that every single one of us went through a phase of stuttering, young or old, just remember how many times, while talking we say “uhh” or “ummm”.. Yep this is one form of “ stuttering”.

 

The latest trends on Recycling

For those who follow @Mums in Beirut on social media would realise the importance recycling has to our daily life and routine. Our hashtag #saynotoplastic says it all. As its National Recylcing Week, we want to share this article with you.

Recycling plays an important role in the life of a Mother. It is the setting stone in showing our kids and the new generation the importance it is for our community and the environment we live in. 

Why recycle?

Recycling is an important factor in conserving natural resources and greatly contributes towards saving the environment. We must all recycle to keep Beirut Beautiful.

Recycling in your Home

Recycling can be done in 3 easy steps by remembering the 3 Rs: Recycle, Re-use and Reduce.

RECYLE becomes a habit when you know how and what you can and cannot recycle. You can even get your kids involved too! Many materials can be recycled, such as paper, plastic, metal and glass. These need to be sorted in bins which then your municipality can use for recycling purposes. With kids at home, batteries can also be recycled, check out which centres provide this on the information sheet below.

REUSE and reduce, when shopping at the supermarket make sure you bring along a reusable grocery bags. In Europe, it seems like more and more supermarkets have discontinued plastic bags, and switched to paper-only shopping bags. They have also set up discount incentives for customers to bring their own reusable bag. That’s because they have finally discovered the inconvenient truth about plastic bags: They’re rarely recycled. They’re made from petroleum oil and they’re an enormous harm to our environment. Applaud yourself if you are already doing this as a Mum and for being environmentally aware. But if you’re still using plastic bags at the check out, read the facts below and consider making the switch. Our world deserves to be treated better.

Picture from @mumsinbeirut Instagram

Picture from @mumsinbeirut Instagram

REDUCE. Plastic bags take anywhere from 15 to 1000 years to decompose.

Most of plastic bags end up in landfills, the ocean, or some other place in the environment.  We clearly see a lot of  this on our streets, and in our sea. It’s estimated that 1 million birds and thousands of turtles and other sea animals die each year after ingesting discarded plastic bags, this is without mentioning  that some of the residual plastic particles end up in our food chain. When shopping at the supermarket, buy products that can be recycled easily such as glass jars and tin cans. Buy products that have been made from recycled material.

You can tell if a product is eco-friendly by looking at the label on the packaging.

Most Spinneys supermarkets have recyclable machine for plastic water bottles and we get the kids involved in recycling all the plastic bottles we have at home. For very 40 bottles you recycle either big or small, you receive a 2L Nestle water bottle so there is a reward for them at the end.

Recycling in your community

Following the waste “mis-management” crisis, please see the information gathered by the  Lebtivity team with a list of all recycling centres and hubs in Lebanon.  This is comprehensive list that you can share with your neighbours, friends, contacts, company, or municipality. Also check out what initiatives your schools have put in place for recycling as well as the business you work for.

Lebtivity.com

Every effort you make will make a difference to our daily life and for the safe and healthy upbringing of our children. We should all ‘Love the streets you live in’.

We have seen a few recycling bins around Beirut, which is a great improvement but we still need more of them around. We also need to educate our Lebanese people not to litter and recycle part of every day life. It is important to bring awareness to our community and for keeping Beirut Beautiful for us and for the new generation.

We would love you to share your thoughts with us. Make sure you follow ‘Mums in Beirut’ on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @mumsinbeirut and tag us using #mumsinbeirut to share your Beautiful Beirut pictures with us!

Digital Detox: How to moderate children’s use of electronics.

Today’s contributing article is by Asmahan Saleh Khalil who is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst at Base Kids with extensive experience working with children, their families, and schools on behaviour support, skill training, and Early Intensive Behaviour Intervention (EIBI) for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Through parent and teacher training as well as one-on-one therapy, Base Kids seeks to help you better understand behaviour and the different methods of intervention related to it.

We live in a world where everything is online and so easily connected at the touch of a button. Asmahan shares with su ways to get our kids (and us!) have a digital detox.
The screen, a personal best friend and parenting nightmare, simultaneously. As much as we try to keep our kids away from it, we must admit that its even hard for us to avoid ourselves.

Here are a few tips and tricks to tame the digital monster:

  1. The first trick is to change our view of technology as all negative. Just like all behaviors, we must encourage “healthy screen-time” habits from an early age, and with baby steps.

What we DO want is for our children to use these platforms as methods of:

  • Learning
  • Fine motor skills
  • Discovering new interests
  • Sharing ideas with the world
  1. Teach and encourage appropriate usage:

Instead of forbidding the Ipad completely, try to limit the amount of “mind-less” games, and pair the Ipad as the “Thing we go to when we want to learn cool stuff”. If your child asks you a question, that’s an excellent opportunity to open up YouTube and show him videos of what a “ volcano” is. Living abroad and missing grandma? Let use the Ipad to call her. Want to take a picture of mommy, use the iPhone’s camera, and learn about making memories.

  1. Set clear concrete rules:

This is challenging but necessary. Saying “don’t play too much on your Ipad” is as good as saying “balblablbal Ipad”. What does TOO MUCH really mean? For you it might be 1 hour, for them it’s most probably 24 hours. Use timers, alarms, or signals to prepare the child for getting off the Ipad, and telling him EXACTLY how much is too much. This would help take the control out of the parent’s hands and into the hands of time and rules.

  1. Earning screen-time for completing less preferred activities:

The Ipad can be a great end to a successful homework completion, or finishing up the chores, with a limited time of course. Some older children, like adults, are now using their phone for socialising with their friends. This can get time-consuming and interfere with other learning and discovery opportunities.

  1. Start by modelling and giving up the phone yourself:

Give attention to the children, get down on the floor, and play with them, leaving your phone behind for this quality time. Take it a step further and make everyone (including daddy the workaholic) to give u the phone for family meal times. Organise your conversations by using some common family conversation starters found here for example, instead of asking “how was your day?” and getting a “ its was fine” answer.

Finally, If all else fails…

Foster trust and keeping promises:

the app gods don’t agree and they have therefore created apps for monitoring and controlling the child’s Ipad or iPhone from the mothers Ipad or iPhone. With apps like Glued or Our Pact or Screenlimit you can control when your child can use the devices, for how long, and under what condition. Please leave this as last resort, if all else fails. Reinforce the child for compliance, and encourage creative play by being involved in it.