Driven by the impact of the pandemic on mental health, Dr Elena Andrioti is on a quest to tackle the issue of childhood anxiety. The Dubai-based psychologist with over seven years of clinical experience has come up with Dr. Feelings to inspire parents and support them by giving them tools to help their children thrive. The childhood development brand also aims to normalise Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology in a non-clinical manner, encourage independence and boost self-esteem.
As well as the friendly and approachable Dr.Feelings character, there’s a series of “routine cards” for toddlers, preschoolers and school aged children in English and Arabic. The high quality, colourful cards, which are there to prompt what can be done next and encourage engagement and bonding with parents, are custom designed and animated to give a face to a child psychologist. They feature common daily activities to help children predict what their day is going to look like, helping them navigate it with confidence and autonomy. After kids look at the cards, they are motivated to do things on their own, whether it’s getting a snack, some free play or going outdoors.
“The whole point of it, is about teaching them to do things independently, like making their own bed, putting away their toys, getting a snack, going out to play, getting lots of love, hugs and cuddles, ” Andrioti, who is also an educational consultant for children’s wellbeing and author, says.
After confirming a lack of routine was the main reason why children were dealing with anxiety, Andrioti, a mother of three, merged her own experiences with parenting and the issues she faced on a daily basis to develop a product she couldn’t find in the market.
Andrioti places a strong emphasis on how low self-esteem is associated with childhood anxiety, which is heightened when a child lacks a clear direction to their day. Her brand is especially useful to working mums as it helps keep kids busy after school while they are away. The cards serve as a link between children and mothers who aren’t physically present, by encouraging kids to do things their mothers would have wanted them to do.
Additionally, the mental health advocate makes it a point to integrate affectionate moments as part of a daily necessity, so it’s much more than just chores and tasks. Children get to experience the joys of interacting with their physical environment, their loved ones and caring for their own selves.
Tip # 2: Focus on lighting.https://t.co/36e9n30mxH
— About Her (@AboutHerOFCL) May 24, 2021
Dr.Feelings was founded this year after Andrioti was inspired by her children’s book, “Visiting the Feelings Doctor,” which is about a young boy who visits a psychologist after moving to a new country and starting a new school. A Chartered Psychologist registered with the British Psychological Society, Andrioti often produces content for major news outlets in the region. The expert, who is licensed by the Community Development Authority and Dubai Healthcare City, has also taught courses at university level about psychology, particularly children’s development, and collaborated with brands who share her vision of supporting families. As well as Nestle, BabyShop and Mumzworld, these include anti-bullying campaigns with Cartoon Network and “Al Arabiya.”
You can follow Andrioti on @drelenaandrioti, where she talks all things about parenting, kids and mental health.