DUBAI: Distraction is a great technique for busy moms with toddlers. Little children are often cranky and get bored easily. This becomes a problem in situations where moms are trying to get things done!
It can also be a good way of keeping children away from dangerous objects and activities. So it’s a great option for managing your child’s behavior in many situations.
Distraction using a favorite toy
We’ve all been there is a shop when suddenly your child sees something they want and will not take no for an answer. It is wise to keep a favorite toy or Teddy bear in your hand bag and bring it out at this point.
Hold the toy up and talk to it.
If you are theatrical and look as if you are listening to the toy, your child may well suddenly get interested. You can now pretend discus your child’s behavior with the toy and listen to Teddy’s answer.
Distract by changing the scene
Most parents can see trouble coming. Your child has been an angel all morning but they are starting to show signs of boredom. In this case it may well be time for a trip out. Getting coats and shoes on, and taking a walk to the park or shops may all you need to do, to avoid a tantrum.
Play a game to distract your toddler
Children of all ages love games. As soon as you sense boredom or a tantrum coming, play their favorite game. This could be as simple as hide and seek; with you hiding behind a chair or getting them to hide under the blankets. The trick is to engage their minds with something they understand and gives them attention in a new way.
Learning as a distraction
Learning is a something that children are programmed to do. Even if they never went to school or had any lessons at all your child would learn. Use this inner mechanism to engage your children. Play counting games, get them to repeat nursery rhymes or say a new word. Learning is a natural process and can often turn a potential tantrum into a positive experience.
Inside Fishbone, the latest restaurant from Chef Susy Massetti
Updated 21 February 2020
MANAMA: Chef Susy Massetti is a long-established star of the region’s culinary scene — from five-star hotel kitchens in the UAE and Bahrain to her unique concept at Bahrain’s multi-award-winning Masso by Chef Susy Massetti.
Having left Masso just over two years ago, many Gulf foodies were left wondering where she had gone. The answer is Fishbone, a gorgeous spot tucked away in the Novotel Al-Dana Resort, close to town but with a seaside feel, where she has had a hand in everything from the interior setup — even down to the fabric design — to, of course, the kitchen and menu (which, by the way, is not all seafood).
I was lucky enough to try out a selection of chef’s recommendations on a cool evening recently — and no, this is not the customary British obsession with the weather, but an excuse to mention the gorgeous, and uber-romantic, outdoor terrace with its liberal sprinkling of fairy lights. I chose to sit inside because of the chill, but it will surely be warmer soon.
I was by the ceviche, knowing it to be one of Chef Susy’s signature dishes. But, instead, I went with the recommendation of Fishbone’s Poke Bowl — sushi-grade tuna with avocado, red onions, sesame seeds, coriander and black rice, with Asian dressing.
Firstly, it looks beautiful, with the black rice adding a visual twist. And that same black rice also contributes to the texture mix, slightly rougher and nuttier than its white counterpart. The abundant raw tuna is a fish lover’s dream, fresh and succulent. The flavor additions are a perfect mix, giving just the right piquancy without overpowering the tuna. If you’re not a fan of coriander, don’t feel shy about asking for it to be omitted, the kitchen is very happy to oblige — though you’ll be missing out slightly.
For my main course, I was delighted to discover a whole section of the menu devoted to truffles. In an ‘Every day’s a school day’ moment, Chef Susy informed me that, as well as working with top-quality imports, she’s also a big fan of local truffles. I never even knew such a thing existed. Apparently, in season, the desert sands of Saudi Arabia are abundant with both white and black truffles and they’re particularly plentiful after rainfall.
I chose white truffle risotto. In my view, it’s the ultimate comfort food, and I wasn’t disappointed. The Arborio rice was perfectly cooked — tender and creamy without a hint of stickiness. The generous portion of wafer-thin truffle slices, pungent, and with that unmistakable delicate taste, was the cherry on the cake, so to speak.
Purely in the interests of research, you understand, I went for a second main of Branzino Al Limone — seabass fillet with a classic lemon-and-caper sauce. Delicious! The flesh was that perfect consistency of fall-off-the-fork tender but still firm enough to retain its robust meaty texture and the accompanying sauce demonstrates the skill of the kitchen — the simplest dishes are often the hardest to get right.
At this point, I have to confess that I should have taken the advice on the menu: “Life is short, leave space for the cake.” With choices including chocolate toffee pudding with mascarpone cream, strawberries with jaggery and balsamic syrup, and baked yoghurt with fresh berries, I would have been very much in my element. Sadly, I simply could not fit any more in — the price for having two main courses. However, I shall treat my omission as an excuse to return, not that one is needed.
And if you’re in Saudi Arabia, you don’t need to wait for your next trip across the causeway to sample Chef Susy’s culinary creations, as you’ll also find her at the recently launched Eat’sy on the corniche in Alkhobar. I feel a road trip coming on.