How to cope with stress during the festive season
Friday gives you the best of this advice, and wishes all our readers a very merry December.
Sometimes, say No
One piece of wisdom stands out above all others for Carmen Benton, founder of Mindful Ed, a personal development consultancy based in Al Sufouh, Dubai. ‘Ask yourself a simple question,’ she says. “Is it really necessary to go to every event and party I get invited to?” I think the answer is no. We go because we feel a duty. But we shouldn’t. This is a busy month and it’s OK to refuse some things, it’s OK to pull out of the excess. That doesn’t make you selfish.’ Read more....
9 Dec 2016
Feeling drained after a busy day?
Long commutes, a fast-paced lifestyle and a hard work culture can drain your stamina, leaving you fatigued. The good news: we’ve rounded up experts who offer eight ways to keep you energised.
‘I would recommend sitting for 10 minutes every morning and practising mindfulness,’says Carmen. ‘Close your eyes and really focus on yourself, on your breathing, on any physical sensations, and just bring your mind completely to rest. What this does is regulate your blood pressure, calm your nervous system and enhance a sense of well-being. When you finish, you are completely focused and ready for the challenges ahead.’..Read More...
25 Nov 2016
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Listen, without uttering a word, without getting judgmental, without interrupting, without giving commands and without lecturing – says Carmen Benton, a Personal Development Trainer and a Parent Educator for the last 20 years. With her vast experience, Carmen says that more often than not, most teenagers who come to her complain that No One’s listening and that is exactly what parents need to do. Parents need to listen. Read more...
Communicating with Teenagers
In the News...
Make the Most of Your Workday
Downtime is important. Leaving the office so you have time for family, friends and hobbies is not only key for a well-rounded life, but also helpful professionally, says Carmen Benton, founder of LifeWorks, a personal development training centre in Umm Suqeim, Dubai.
‘Achieving balance is difficult, but it’s vital for an enjoyable, successful and healthy life.
‘If you find yourself constantly staying late, you need to reassess what you can do during the day to finish at a more reasonable hour. You need to be strict with yourself.’ Read more...
1 April 2016
Special to Al Arabiya English
13 March 2016
Kids and iPads: Does a tablet a day really keep the temper at bay?
As a ‘Parenting Educator’ , Carmen Benton runs courses to support families and help mums and dads improve their techniques. And she says computers shouldn’t be brushed off as a harmless tool.
She explains: “More and more parents report that their child has become dependent on a screen for entertainment and is also displaying addictive type behaviors, such as becoming highly distressed if they cannot have a screen when they want one, or highly reactive when their screen is taken away from them.”
She adds: “Many parents say that if a child spends more than one hour in a given time on a screen that their behavior becomes more aggressive and demanding. I believe that we, as parents, need to use screen time as a last resort only and not as a norm. We also need to highly monitor our child's use of screen time and put in clear limits and boundaries around the use of it which we follow through on.”
The First Day of School Jitters
The biggest anxiety for parents, tells Carmen Benton, Parenting Educator, at LifeWorks Personal Development Training Centre, mostly is selecting a school they believe best for their child and then the fear of not being able to get into it due to a long wait list and tough selection process. “Essentially the only option for parents due to the system in Dubai is to place their child on the wait list for several schools and go through the application and assessment for each,” she says and as such, there is no way to make the anxiety of getting into a school in Dubai easy. Read more...
September 7, 2015
Be friendly with teenage children, experts say
Emotional and mental independence is happening at relatively younger age these days
“In the past, most adolescents’ role models were their parents,” says Carmen Benton, Parenting Educator at Life Works Personal Development Training Centre.
Nowadays, things have changed.
Teenagers no longer trust their parent’s decisions and feel little obligation to comply with what they are told to do. They have more faith in their own opinions and believe that they could achieve a lot by doing things their own way.
Benton says that a lot of parents give in to their children’s commanding personalities. They let them be in charge. This type of parenting is referred to as permissive parenting.
“Parents should be authoritative when dealing with their children,” says Benton. “They should honour their personalities and rely in guidance rather than control”. ..Read more
11 Feb. 2014
Carmen Benton is the Parenting Educator at LifeWorks Counselling Dubai, with a 20-year career as an educator. She has counselled parents in the UAE on issues ranging from discipline to learning and specific expatriate parenting problems.
The biggest specific challenge of the UAE parent, Carmen says, is the multicultural environment we live in. But to start with, “Whether parents are aware of it or not, we are influenced by a number of things, the largest being how we were parented ourselves. Given the gap between the time we were parented and becoming parents ourselves, parenting styles have changed considerably. What’s different about parenting in the UAE, and typical of the expatriate enc-laves we live in, is the peer group influence, and particular issues that crop when children come together from diff-erent family and societal backgrounds and expectations.” Read More ...
June 23, 2013
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Is expat egotism on the rise?
Narcissism can be spotted in the UAE. But can you see the signs in yourself, asks Colin Drury
If you’ve fallen into the trap of me, me, me, it’s not a good place to be,’ says Carmen Benton, manager of LifeWorks personal development training centre in Umm Suqeim, Dubai.
Such behaviour, she says, can result in the breakdown of relationships as you become less concerned for others. It damages career prospects because you fail to listen to colleagues or see your own possible faults. And it can cause health issues related to stress – constantly worrying about how others perceive you takes its toll.
If you’re worried you may be starting to suffer Expat Egotism, we have a list of seven classic symptoms – and ways to remedy yourself...Read more
4 Sep 2015
Is 'The Naughty Step' discipline technique a quick fix?
While not denying that the Naughty Step gets results, Carmen Benton, a parenting educator at LifeWorks Counselling and Development, Dubai takes Kohn's argument further: "The Naughty Step is a short-term parenting technique which is based on control.
"Time out is a form of love withdrawal and control over children," says Benton. "It is disrespectful to children, the basis of it is to grind them into submission. The long-term effect will be that over time you will be eroding their sense of self and their relationship with you. They learn to fear you, or become sneaky and do things behind your back for fear of punishment. They learn what it feels like to be controlled and how to control others smaller than them." ...Read more
31 Jan 2012
Mindful Ed Newsletter
MIndful Ed sends out regularly newletters informing of up and coming events and offering continued support. See our previous newsletters below....
6 Jan 2017