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Dubai: Hard-working parents need to make time to look after themselves, and most importantly, spend enough time with their children, a child-expert has said.

Dr Rose Logan, consultant psychologist at The Lighthouse Arabia, said that for many families in Dubai where both parents work, it is not possible for them to be present throughout the day. Many, she said are also required to travel for work, which means they may be gone for a number of days at a time.

“It is also the true that most of us try to do too much and often find ourselves stressed, tired and run down. It is important that parents make time to look after themselves and to spend time with their children,” she said.

“These do not have to be mutually exclusive, and activities such as camping, swimming, walking, spending time at the park, are all great ways of ensuring parents are getting a chance to unwind and spend time with their children.”

There are no specific guidelines that set out a perfect amount of time, per day or per week, that parents and children should be together, Dr Logan explained. However, creating some established and consistent family times means that children know that they will have time to connect with their parents, to share their day and their problems. During this time, it is important that this time is protected from TV, phone calls, email, Facebook, etc.”


* Make eye contact

* Listen

* Have conversations

* Connect


* Bring along your smartphones or e-devices to a restaurant on a family outing.

* Have your family eat dinner in front of the TV or checking their Facebook accounts. There is family presence but the family is not present.

* Overscheduling. This should be avoided. According to Dr Rose Logan, a psychologist, “For example, if there are two children and each has a number of hobbies, family time becomes time spent driving around to different activities, with the emphasis [being] on achievement, rather than [achieving family] engagement.”