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In the first of a series of evening sessions at KHDA, parents in Dubai learned about positive education and the impact it can have on their families’ wellbeing.

Conducted by David Bott and Justin Robinson from the Positive Education Institute at Geelong Grammar School, the workshop showed parents how positive psychology can be applied to their parenting approach. It featured games and activities that parents could practice to increase happiness and peace of mind at home, for their children as well as themselves. Examples included writing positive letters to their children based on their strengths, talking about their own strengths as parents, and sharing happy stories of their children with each other.

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, director general of KHDA, shared his journey of happiness and wellbeing with parents. “We can outsource a lot of things in our lives,” he said, “but the one thing we can’t outsource is our happiness. That’s all up to us.”

Positive education is based on positive psychology, an approach which has been applied to education, business and parenting. Positive psychology enables people to lead meaningful lives by bringing out the best from within themselves, resulting in happier, more positive experiences of life. Research has shown that a positive approach to life results in improved health and happiness.

Geelong Grammar School is a leader in the field of positive education, and conducts training for teachers and parents around the world. Earlier this week, more than 200 teachers from across Dubai’s private schools attended workshops designed to raise their awareness of positive education practices and enable them to adopt a positive education approach in their own classrooms and schools.

The parents’ workshop started with a short mindfulness session conducted by Justine Bain from Sandy Seeds, and was streamed live from KHDA’s Facebook page. More sessions for parents are planned for upcoming weeks.

Quotes from parents:

“I often worry about my girls and how they’ll make their way through life, but today I thought more about their strengths. I have really great girls, I feel my mind is more at peace.” – Jonathon, father to four teenage girls

“I admit I spend a lot of time wishing I was a better mother. Today I spent a few minutes talking about the ways I’m a good mother, and it felt great. I feel much better about myself.” – Pari, mother to 14 year-old son

“I wrote a letter to my son thanking him for his sense of humour. It was really emotional for me -I was laughing and crying at the same time.” Lubna, mother to an eight year-old son with special education needs

“I had such a bad day and didn’t think I could feel happy today, but I do. I was reminded that it’s not what happens to me that determines my moods, but my attitude to it.” Nisreen, mother to three children under five.

– KHDA Media