7 ways to help kids cope after summer’s over

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Worried about your kids reacclimatising to life in Dubai after a summer away? Here’s how to cope… 


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If you have children here in the UAE, they probably have their own frequent flyer accounts and a better knowledge of the inflight entertainment system than most of the crew.

So how do you get them back into ‘normal’ life when the summer comes to an end? We asked a panel of experts for some tips…

1. BOOKING FLIGHTS

“The best way to ensure a smooth transition into school is to ensure you are back a few weeks before terms begins. If you arrive the day before, your child will be confused, tired, and out of sorts. Like anything, children need time to adjust to different surroundings and get back into a routine.”

Aimee Collett, Owner of Paddington Nursery

2. SAYING GOODBYE

“It’s harder for adults to say goodbye than children. Children have the adventure of the plane ride and arriving home to occupy their thoughts. Keep goodbyes cheerful and talk to your child about going home excitedly. This makes the transition easier for you too.”

Fatema Fazal, Head of Family Coaching Services at UAE Coaching

3. GETTING UNPACKED

“Always stick to the rule of unpacking the children’s clothes and belongings before you touch your own bags or fill the fridge. Seeing their favourite things emerge from the suitcase is a cue for them to feel happy and settled.”

Matt Vlemmiks, Director of Lightfoot Middle East

4. RECOVERING FROM JETLAG

“Drinking lots of water is very important for getting over jet lag. Sunlight will also trigger a message to the brain that it is daytime, so make sure blinds and curtains are open during daylight hours. Try to eat healthy food often, with lots of activity to tire them out before bedtime. Don’t over-extend the time they get kept awake – if they are exhausted, allow them to take naps to tide them over.”

Andalene Salvesen, Big on Children’s Super Granny

kids-plane

5. SETTLING BACK INTO UAE LIFE

“Arranging play dates, talking about school, and revisiting favorite places are all good ideas to settle back into life here quickly. The school year is hectic and vacation time flies by, so this period before school reopens is the ideal opportunity to spend quality time with your children.”

Aamnah Husain, Qualified Psychologist and Parenting Expert to Fun City

6. REMEMBERING THE SUMMER

“Sadness is a reality of life and it is important to embrace the melancholy a child might feel after a trip. Listen actively to how your child is feeling, without correcting their sadness into happiness. Paraphrase their thoughts – “You feel sad because you can no longer play with your cousins”. “You wish you weren’t in Dubai because you are feeling hot”. Once you affirm their emotions, ask your child how they would like to move forward. “Is there anything in Dubai that brings you happiness?” or “Is there anything we can do to remember these times fondly?” Staying in touch via email or calls, making a memory book of photos and souvenirs, and fondly reminiscing about the summer makes these memories special.”

Fatema Fazal, Head of Family Coaching Services at UAE Coaching

7. LOOKING AFTER OURSELVES

“Positivity is vital. It is so easy to get sad and a little down when we are away from our families. We are all in the same position, so try and be honest and open with friends when you are struggling and you will be surprised about how many people come forward to offer a helping hand.”

Aimee Collett, Owner of Paddington Nursery

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