Series of parenting workshops to be held in UAE

Nurturing and Supportive Parenting is Key to Children’s Healthy Development and Lifelong Success

Series of parenting workshops to be organized by Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation and Yale University

In effort to support and empower parents of young children in the UAE, Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, in collaboration with Yale University, will host a series of Parenting Workshops from 6 January until 6 May 2014.

Based on the scientific research and focused on Early Childhood Development (ECD), the series of workshops is among the initiatives of the Foundation. With a core belief that ages 0-3 years are crucial for setting a foundation for later learning, wellbeing, and happiness, its aim is to emphasise that parents’ love for, investment in, and commitment to their children, leads to a greater likelihood the children will be well adjusted, happy and productive adults.

Beginning in January, the parenting workshops are to be conducted for two days each month by ECD experts from Yale University. They will present lectures and facilitate activities in a variety of formats for people who play an important role in the daily care and nurturance of a young child which includes parents, grandparents, other family members as well as professionals of ECD. Also, attendees will be given an option of attending the workshop either at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi, or at Tawam Hospital Polyclinic, Al Ain.

The topics for the workshops include parents’ contributions to their child’s development, a child’s emotional intelligence, the father’s role in childcare, health habits, and best practices for setting limits with children.

Sheikha Shamsa bint Mohammed Al Nahyan, leader and founder of the fellowship program explains, “The purpose of the workshops is to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and best practices that promote healthy outcomes for children and their caregivers.”

“Along with the identified topics of importance for parents, we will also conduct focus group discussions so we can understand more the motivation of parents to participate in parenting programs, the cultural understanding of parenting and contextual conditions for feasibility of implementation,” she adds.
The first workshop is scheduled for the 6th and 7th of January in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, wherein Nancy Close, PhD, Associate Director of Yale Program in Early Childhood Education will discuss ‘Nurturing Our Children: How Parents Support their Child’s Development’.

“Children’s early interactions with their parents have a significant impact on their social-emotional and cognitive development,” Dr. Close said. “Parents support a child’s exploration of the world; provide refuge when a child is overwhelmed, frightened or wants comfort. Thus, it is imperative that parents should be aware of and understand how they can support the development of resilience and competence in their children.”

It is crucial that caregivers support a child’s development during the first few years of life when the child’s cognitive, language and social-emotional development proceed at a rapid pace. Additionally, while babies’ brains are primed for learning through relationships, the parents’ brains also become primed for supporting them. Based on this premise, the parent is the child’s first and most important teacher.

All children deserve high quality early childhood education in infant-toddler, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs. Parents and teachers working in partnership insure that programs provide a sensitive care giving environment as well as a developmentally appropriate curriculum. Such programs encourage the development of trust and confidence in oneself, an ability to relate to and cooperate with others, an interest in and excitement about learning, language, preliteracy and preacademic concepts and skills, and imagination and creativity.

To register for the parenting workshop, please email us on