• 10 Ways to Nurture Essential Life Skills in Your Child

    From the time my son was very young, he would beg for either a car or Lego set every time we entered a toy store. Being the strong-willed child that he is, I had to be very firm and remind him firstly, that it was a want and not a need, and secondly, that it was not on our budget. However, I did make him aware that he could use his own savings to buy it if he really wanted it. I would only relent when it was his birthday, his Eid gift, or reached a specific goal.   Over the years, it has become quite normal for him to…

  • Back to School Tips for Busy Mums

    The Summer holidays are over and its time for a new academic year for your child. While the start of a new school year is exciting, the reality is that a few days/weeks into the first term, you find yourself struggling as a mum. Here are a few back to school tips for busy mums:     Create a routine that works for all members of your family. Get your kids involved by allowing them to choose the times for their school/madressah homework so that they feel involved and are more inclined to follow it.   Set a specific bed time for school days and stick to it like glue.…

  • 7 Benefits of Block Play

    Most parents today would remember these from their childhood – wooden blocks, Lego or other forms of toy blocks. Pre-schools kept a variety of them, neatly stacked on shelves in the classroom. Not much has changed decades later as we are actively encouraged, in this technological age, to expose our children to block playing. Numerous research studies have indicated the following cognitive, intellectual, and developmental benefits in children, including babies and toddlers, who play with building blocks:   1. Boosts imagination and stimulates creativity Blocks can be used to represent anything and therefore is ideal for creating a foundation in storytelling and building structures or re-enacting events. Young children have…

  • 5 Ways to Raise Kids Who Read

    I bought my son’s first set of books for him when he was about three months old – in utero, that is. I was at the final day of a book fair and the specials were never to be repeated, so I took full advantage. He was only able to use them when he was around three or four years old but that didn’t stop me from buying and stashing over the years. Almost a decade later, here’s what I’ve learnt as a mum determined to pass on the love of reading to my child: 1. It’s never too early to start New research shows that reading books with an…

  • 6 Tips For Choosing an App for Your Child

    Screen time has become synonymous with modern-day parenting and it’s difficult to avoid it altogether. And we all know that guilty feeling that consumes us when we allow our kids to indulge on tech devices – sometimes a bit too much. According to new research from the University of Washington, parents need not fear their children playing with their iPads as “mindful play with an adult, combined with thoughtful design features, can prove beneficial to young developing minds.” So how can we choose the best apps without having to worry about it being detrimental to our child’s development? Here are some tips on what you should look for in an…

  • How to Raise a Smart Baby: Interview with Dr John Medina

    I have yet to meet a parent who’s not always on the lookout for the most educational toys and gadgets that claim to increase their child’s IQ. In my culture, great emphasis is placed on academic achievement and I’m sure many other Indian mothers would agree. However, culture notwithstanding, every parent yearns for their child to be smart, happy and confident. While some mothers may detest certain methods like those of the “tiger mum” (Remember Amy Chua? The Chinese-American professor whose stringent methods of parenting were criticised in her book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother?), others are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure their child is successful…

  • Mums Delighted as Spur Supports Breastfeeding

    Popular South African family restaurant chain, Spur, has found its breastfeeding policy brought to the limelight after a customer posted a photo of their signage in store and praised it on Facebook last week. Initially implemented in January 2016, Spur’s breastfeeding policy has been effective in all of their stores countrywide for the past two and half years, although not many mums were aware of this. Spur restaurants are known for being family-friendly and thus welcomes breastfeeding. “Breastfeeding plays an important role in early childhood development due to its health and well-being benefits. We encourage all our franchisees to provide a friendly and safe place for women to breastfeed, and…

  • Ramadaan Reads for Older Kids

    As a child, I remember the excitement of borrowing a book from the library that had a Muslim/Indian character in it. It felt awesome to be able to identify with the character but unfortunately those books were very few in number. Fast forward to a generation later and the amount of diverse books that’s available on the market is amazing! With Ramadaan literally around the corner, and excited mothers sharing their Ramadaan reads for their little ones, its easy to forget about the older ones. Here are some suggestions from my 9-year-old’s bookshelf. Depending on your child’s reading ability, I would think the following would be suitable for kids aged…

  • Less is More: Why Babies Need Quiet Time

    Ayesha, a first-time mum, usually has a few different activities planned for eight-month-old Hamza each day. After breakfast, they sit with either wooden blocks or plastic shapes, and then she reads to him baby books. After his nap, Ayesha takes out more toys for him while an educational DVD is playing in the background. “Initially, I didn’t want my son to miss out on every opportunity to learn new things. I know how babies can absorb information so I thought while I am at home with him, I will teach him as much as I can. Hamza loves the attention that I give him but I’ve learnt that sometimes he…