ABU DHABI // Andaleeb Mannan is not a psychologist or a counsellor, just a former teacher who is concerned about the way many children behave.
She has three children of her own and taught in schools for 17 years in Abu Dhabi, and believes she has the expertise to create a generation of courteous and civilised youngsters.
Ms Mannan is to begin offering free one-on-one classes to children, at which she will try to educate them into becoming better people.
The Indian national says that as many parents are so busy, they often neglect the job of raising children, leaving the task to teachers or nannies.
At her classes, she aims to give the youngsters the attention and guidance many desperately need.
“I strongly believe that all children have the capability to do their best. They just need a little love, guidance, support and care,” Ms Mannan said.
“I would like to provide this as a service for betterment of the youth.”
Another problem, she says, is that many parents spoil their children by constantly giving in to their demands.
“Nowadays, we usually buy all expensive toys and games for our children, but we don’t have time to hug and kiss them or appreciate them for their achievements, which is more necessary for kids in today’s world,” Ms Mannan said.
Her classes will take place outside, once the weather cools down, in a picturesque spot in the city, such as a park or the Corniche.
She believes the environment will have a calming effect on the children “as there is nothing like working under natural beauty.”
Ms Mannan’s plan is to work with each child over six months, meeting them between four and eight times to observe and understand their requirements.
She will begin by building self-confidence in the child “by teaching them the importance of being in this world”.
“I will teach them the importance of family and parents,” Ms Mannan said.
“If a child understands the value of family, they will avoid hurting them by doing anything wrong.”
Ms Mannan said such a service should not be commercial, which is why she will offer it for free.
“We need someone who understands kids and their parents, to guide them both,” she said.
“It cannot be handled by psychiatrists or counsellors, or someone who is waiting for the next patient to step in and is willing to earn more and more money out of it.
“My aim is to just build a beautiful, happy society and I am sure I will be successful.
“ I have discussed this with other mothers who have agreed to this initiative.”
“I want to see all kids smiling and spending their childhood happily, and more importantly they are the future of the country so they should be loved as that is the only way they are going to return it.”
One mother who has signed her children up for the course is Zenifer Khaleel, a work-at-home magazine editor.
Ms Khaleel agreed that many parents did not spend enough time with their children.
“It is imperative. We live in times where children are committing suicide due to pressure,” she said.
“I am sure such genuine attempts like Ms Mannan’s to reach out to the next generation will have a tremendous impact on their character.
Ms Khaleel said she would enrol her children in the classes as she had met Ms Mannan and knew she had a gift for managing children effectively.
“She imparts lots of advice and goodwill in a fun-filled manner. Sometimes it is better for children to hear advice or facts from an outsider they trust, rather than a parent whom they tend to take for granted,” she said.
For further information, email Ms Mannan at email@example.com.