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The Lighthouse Center The Lighthouse mental health and wellness clinic Dubai

The LightHouse is a community mental health and wellness clinic providing quality psychological and ... more

The LightHouse is a community mental health and wellness clinic providing quality psychological and psychiatric care to children, adults, couples and families. Located in central Dubai, The LightHouse brings together an international team of licensed psychologists and psychiatrists offering a range of treatments. The LightHouse is also home to the Raymee Grief Centre, which provides free grief support services to anyone living in the UAE. Our modern, friendly clinic is an ideal setting where you’ll feel safe and confident to explore your mental health and emotional issues. Licensed by the Dubai Health Authority, The LightHouse was founded in 2011 by clinical psychologists Dr. Saliha Afridi and Dr. Tara Wyne, whose shared mission and vision is to make the region happier and healthier. less

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Questions & Answers
Toddler stubborn attitude & tantrums
hanane fariji posted in Parenting


It is important to first learn that temper tantrums are a typical phase of toddlers' development hence the infamous “terrible twos”. Temper tantrums usually peak in the 24 -36 months of age .

There are 3 factors beneath the surface:

  1. At this age children’s separation anxiety peaks and they become aware that they are differentiated and separate from their parents. Toddlers feel overwhelmed and a variety of emotions and tension starts simmering under the surface.

  2. Children’s communication is still developing. Tantrums are their way of expressing their feelings where they don't have enough words to express them.

  3. Toddlers operate from their downstairs brain while their upstairs brain is still developing. This part of the brain is not capable of skills such as reasoning, logical thinking, understanding consequences, and emotional regulation.

Strategies to support you through this phase:

  1. Welcome their feelings but limit the behaviors. When your child is in the middle of the tantrum, they are offline. Let them go through it while trying to contain the behavior by moving away whenever possible to safer, less corded, and calmer spots at home or in public.

  2. Spend more time engaging in brain friendly  toddler activities together (sensory play, active outdoor play). This can support their emotional regulation as their brain is developing.

  3. Replace reasoning and giving directions with simply labeling what you see. Help them co-regulate by saying out loud what you're seeing and labeling things for them instead of logical reasoning with them  and wait for the storm to pass. (e.g., “ I see that you want to get your toy and it’s making you upset that it’s not here”).

  4. Prepare. Reflect on places, items, or needs that frequently trigger their tantrums and work around them whenever possible.

  5. Children thrive in routine. Establish a predictable routine for their needs and activities. Attending nursery can add more structure to their day.

  6. Take care of yourself. This is an overwhelming experience for both you and your toddlers. Your feelings of anger, helplessness, or frustration are valid. Practice self-regulating techniques during the tantrum (e.g., belly breathing, recall what is in your control and what isn't).

When to seek professional help?

With all the above in mind, if tantrums become more frequent, intense, last longer, cause them harm or injury,  you find yourself losing control or struggling with frequent feelings of anger or loss of control consider consulting with an early childhood specialists such as child and parenting psychologists, pediatric occupational therapist, or speech and language therapists if there are communication difficulties.

Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Speech & Language Therapist, Dalia Alzyod at The Lighthouse Center


The Lighthouse Center mental health and wellness clinic
5 days ago
delayed milestone
Anonymous posted in Parenting

If your child is not reaching their developmental milestones at a time that's typical for their age ... more

If your child is not reaching their developmental milestones at a time that's typical for their age group, it's important to discuss your concerns with your pediatrician or an early childhood specialist. Depending on the areas of the developmental delay, different treatments may be appropriate. Speech and language therapists and occupational therapists are often the first professionals to offer early childhood intervention and parent coaching for developmental delays. Speech and language therapists can support you and your child concerning language acquisition, Speech, and functional communication as well as social and emotional skills. Occupational therapists can support you and your child concerning fine and gross motor skills, sensory integration, coordination, and functional daily skills. It is crucial to keep in mind the importance of early intervention when supporting children with developmental delays. substantial research evidence highlights that "earlier is better" due to the changes in the brain structure and functions in early childhood. less

The Lighthouse Center mental health and wellness clinic
6 months ago
What are the pro tips to parents while having a first child!
Maheen Fatma posted in Parenting

Have a system: as much as you can systematize your weekly schedule do so to reduce the s... more

  1. Have a system: as much as you can systematize your weekly schedule do so to reduce the stress for when the baby comes. This includes having menus and grocery lists on a bi-weekly rotation, having a reasonable and achievable gentle fitness routine you follow, sharing pictures of the new baby with family members by creating a WhatsApp group, etc. The system and the routine will give you a sense of containment and predictability, which is especially important when you are adjusting to a new baby. Remember, the system should support, not increase your pressure. Start with what you need, and what you can realistically accomplish and build a routine from there. Be ready to adjust often.
  2. It takes a village. Delegate and outsource as much as possible for the first 2 months. It might be you have to call your friend to be with the baby while you sleep or hire a cleaning staff, or a person who is there for the first two months of the baby to help support you. For the first two months, you need to call upon your friends and hire your village. Do not try to do this alone.
  3. Know that your pre-baby social life might be on break for a while. Sometimes we feel that our pre-baby life and social events have come to an end because of the arrival of the new baby. Don’t panic, you are in an adjustment period and you will soon find your footing in this new way of being. Find ways of staying connected to other people who are in a similar life stage/phase as you.
  4. Prioritize sleep. This means that maybe the house is not going to be super neat or the food will need to be taken out, it’s okay- especially for the first 2-3 months. Your body is recovering from having given birth, and sleep is the most important thing you can do for your recovery.
  5. Seek support. As we live away from family members, you may need to learn from a doula about bathing, sleep schedules, feeding schedules of the baby. As much as motherhood is an intuitive process, we need our elders to help us find our way.
Not a tip, but an important thing to mention- take care of your mental health, prioritize yourself, take care of yourself. As much as it is instinct to sacrifice ourselves for our children, it is not helpful for the child. The baby does not have a developed nervous system so it needs the mother’s nervous system to regulate him/herself. The baby needs a calm maternal nervous system in order to regulate it self. If you are stressed or worried, figure out what you are stressed and worried about, seek support, and soothe your system. A happy mother is the best thing for a new baby. less

The Lighthouse Center mental health and wellness clinic
7 months ago
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