• Dr. Laila Alhyas: Quality time is the most precious gift parents can give their children
The Department of Community Development (DCD), Abu Dhabi, in cooperation with UNICEF, the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority, and the Emirati Children’s Parliament, and Bidaya media, organised a session titled ‘The importance of spending quality time with children’. The session was held coinciding with World Children’s Day, which falls on November 20 each year under the theme ‘A Better Future for Every Child’.
H.E Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development – Abu Dhabi, H.E. Sarah Shuhail, Director-General of Abu Dhabi Centre for Sheltering and Humanitarian Care – Ewaa, H.E. Bushra Al Mulla, Director General of the Family Care Authority, and several officials, as well as a group of specialists in the fields of childhood and youth and members from the Emirati Children’s Parliament participated in the session.
Her Excellency Dr. Layla Alhyas, Executive Director of the Community Development Sector at the DCD, highlighted that children are the fundamental pillar for a society’s prosperity, and the UAE places significant priority to providing them with a suitable environment of care, development and protection. She emphasised that the DCD designs programmes and policies that are children and family-centred, highlighting the vital role of parents in educating and raising the next generation and instilling values in them in the early childhood stages in order to prepare them and give them the ability to face various challenges.
She added: “Studies have revealed that spending quality time with children improves their academic performance and psychological health, as well as increases their self-esteem and self-confidence, and it is important for parents to spend quality time with their children, away from distractions, where they can listen to the children and talk to them. She pointed out that spending time with children is the most precious gift parents can offer their children because it can improve their emotional stability and develop their personalities.”
The DCD has been committed to monitor and analyse quality of life in Abu Dhabi and measure the various factors and challenges that affect the family and the child. Since its inception and as an organising body for the social sector in Abu Dhabi, the Department has prepared quality of life questionnaires to gather insights from the society, which is utilised by the work team to address issues that hinder children's happiness, safety, and proper upbringing within their families. The DCD is also dedicated to establishing policies that raise public awareness on the care and safety of children.