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How should parents express their love for their children?

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Source: Parenting Specialist, Ken Sir,

Some mothers often ask me, “How should I show my love for my children?” Will it be spoiled by expressing too much? I think that Chinese people are more introverted and are often afraid to express their love. Especially when you want to express your concern for him but end up with a different attitude.

I once saw a mother and her little child lost in Shatin and then reunited. How did the mother behave after the reunion? She grabbed him by the hand and hit him while saying, “I just couldn’t see you; do you know how scared I was?” I am very worried about you. What can I do if I can’t see you?

In fact, everyone knows that his mother loves him, but the child cannot feel it. I often share an example of how to express love in my lectures. When I was a child, my father ordered a drink, and since he didn’t have much money at the time, he asked the waiter for an extra cup after ordering a hot drink. He kept pouring the drinks around in front of me, trying to get the drinks cold as soon as possible so that the kids wouldn’t burn their mouths when they drank them and they could drink them faster, but I found that if the kids asked their parents or I asked many of the student’s parents, they would all answer, “This will get cold faster.”

 
 

When responding to children, parents should express their deepest feelings, such as “Because I love you, how would I do this thing if I didn’t love you?” Do I do it for the one next to me? In fact, there are many things we can do in life to express love, but there is one thing we must remember if we are to avoid causing spoiled, you must remember the following two points.

The first point is that if a child can do something, he should be allowed to do it; you should not fight to make him do it. The second point is that when a child makes a mistake, we should correct him. In the process of correction, we should be gentle and firm, and serious when we need to be serious. However, remind the child that he or she should be told the solution, not just no or wrong. If so, the child will not improve.

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How to build self-confidence from a young age?

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Source: Aristle International Kindergarten, School Supervisor, Vivian Wu

Parents may ask what tips are available to help children build confidence easily from a young age. I think young children need love. He may be more self-centered and place a lot of emphasis on his relationship with his caregivers, so I think relationships with parents and caregivers are very important. If he has enough trust in the people around him, it will be easier for him to build relationships with the people around him in the future.

 

The second point is that many parents now go to play groups more often, and often parents take their children to parent-child classes and can finish them without interacting with other children at all. So many times, parents say it is better to take him out to play more often. In fact, going out to play more often or going to play groups more often does not mean that the child’s social skills or the need to socialize with other children will increase. Take the school’s Play Group as an example; the school will try to encourage more interaction between children, such as exchanging objects or even taking care of the people around them. It is hoped that children will know how to share or take care of others, which will help them build social relationships with others in the future.

One thing that parents can do is to start building their social skills early in life. For example, when you take your child out, you can greet people you see in your daily life, such as neighbors, security guards downstairs, or even your aunt near the supermarket. Perhaps starting with gestures as an infant and then using words every day can become a habit of building relationships with people.

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Before becoming enraged at their children, parents should ask themselves these three questions

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Written by: Caritas Rehabilitation Services,Clinical Psychologist, Yu Kwok Ting

Some parents may be more impulsive and even have a habit of blaming their children for  problems such as disobedience, deliberate anger, or naughtiness. When children fail to do  what they want, they become angry with their parents, but this will gradually alienate them from their parents, which will damage the parent-child relationship in the long run.

Parents’ personalities, families of origin, and parenting methods learned in different ways  will affect parent-child relationships. And the adults’ thoughts will influence their mood. If adults find themselves in frequent conflicts with children, which affect the parent-child      relationship, we can ask ourselves three questions.

  1. Whether there are other possibilities

If a child is not able to do all the homework required by his or her parents, the first thing   the parents think is that the child is just having fun and not doing homework, but the real    reason may be that they do not know how to do it and need parental guidance. If parents    take preconceived notions as facts, they may ignore the needs and difficulties of their children and damage the parent-child relationship

 

 

2. Whether one’s own thoughts have been confirmed

Some parents often say that their child is “deliberately annoyed” and then see their child’s  behavior as disobedience, but perhaps the reason for the child’s behavior is carelessness,    but the parents are influenced by their subjective feelings and misunderstand their child.

 

3. Are your thoughts helpful to the goal?

If a parent’s goal is to mend the parent-child relationship, but he or she often holds the idea that the child is “deliberately working against him or her,” is this thinking really helpful to his or her goal? Parents can try to find more realistic and justifiable ideas to help them      achieve their goals.

 

 

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3 big tricks to let young children know the emotions & improve their social skills

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Written by: Speech Therapist Mother, Miss Carley

Since children are only about two or three years old, their knowledge of the world will become deeper and deeper, teaching them to understand emotions can help them express their feelings and encourage them to put themselves in the position of understanding the feelings of others, thereby enhancing their social skills.

Tip 1: Parents and children watch cartoons together

 

Parents can watch more cartoons with their children. Often, the expressions of the characters in these cartoons are exaggerated so that children can identify the emotions and feelings of the characters and ask them about their reasons and solutions. Parents and children watching stories and the storytelling process, in fact, can also ask children to replace the characters in the story and think about what they feel.

For example, in the story of the three little pigs, parents can ask their children, “If you are a little pig and your house is blown down, how would you feel?” If you were the big pig and your house was not blown down, how would you feel? This allows them to put themselves in other people’s shoes more often.

Tip 2: Put yourself in their shoes

In daily life, parents can also try to grasp the opportunity to let their children know that their behavior will affect the feelings of others. For example, when a child does something bad or misbehaves, ask him, “What do you think about mommy’s emotions right now? It turns out that mommy is angry, so they know that their behaviors affect others.

Tip 3: Ask your child to keep a diary of daily events

Parents can also try to ask their children to draw or write down the events of each day in a diary, and how they feel about themselves or others, to deepen their emotional awareness.

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Letting go and letting your child become an independent person

Parents Zone

Written by: Founder & Volunteer Director of Good Love Passion 

          Lam Ho Pui Yee


From childhood to adulthood, independence does not happen overnight. From the cradle to society, this journey is made up of countless small steps, and every small step in a child’s development is an opportunity for parents to learn to let go. 


Because we can’t be with our children all our lives and take care of them until they grow old, we as parents should know how to let go in a timely manner. The purpose of letting go is to help your child grow and become an independent person who can take responsibility for himself. This kind of love has deep meaning.


How to let go


  1. love and discipline go hand in hand


Many parents want to be friends with their children, but respect is not an indulgence. In my opinion, being a friend to your child means that you want to share and communicate more about each other’s inner worlds, but not in respectful way, children still need the guidance of their parents. Instead of worrying about how to be your child’s friend, you should think and learn how to be your child’s coach and spiritual support. Therefore, listening to children and observing their behavior is the first step in teaching children self-regulation. By learning to listen to their children, parents will be able to understand their children’s potential, interests and passions, and give them the help and support they need to let go.

Give children the opportunity to deal with things and learn from their mistakes


Many parents seem to forget that a crying baby eventually learns to sleep without being held, or the joy and emotion of seeing a The ecstasy and emotion of seeing a baby take its first steps without the support of someone. When a child faces conflict, problems or mistakes, parents should not rush to advocate, step in or make amends. Never deprive your child of the opportunity to learn from mistakes and failures, because children learn the ability to advocate for themselves and solve problems, and to take responsibility for the consequences of their choices or actions. In the process of letting go, you allow your child to try mistakes and accept failure.


2.Delay in meeting the needs of the child


We need to let go of the myth that parents don’t have to meet what their children want. In setting boundaries, it is important to delay gratification. We need to distinguish between our child’s “wants” and “needs. When a child asks for something, don’t just give him what he wants. You can wait until his birthday to give him a gift or encourage him to save up to buy it. Many parents in the West encourage their children to help their neighbors hoe their lawns to earn pocket money to buy things they want, because they will appreciate the things they have worked hard for through their own efforts.


In addition to helping children grow and feel responsible for their own lives, there is a higher value in letting go, which is to turn small love into big love. Parents need to learn to let go and bless their children to pursue their lives. When you start to let go, you will find that there is infinite space in life.


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Don’t be the “audience” for your child’s “acting”

Parents Zone

Written by: Founder & Volunteer Director of Good Love Passion 

            Lam Ho Pui Yee

 

Praise is often misunderstood and misused. Some parents think that praise is a “cure-all” medicine and that their children will accept any praise they are given. In fact, children can’t accept sarcastic praise, and it will only turn them off and backfire. Appropriate praise is more effective than harsh punishment. Some comments can be hurtful and can even affect a child’s personality development for the rest of his or her life. Successful parents take advantage of opportunities to praise or encourage their children, as timely and appropriate praise can be motivating and inspiring, enabling children to grow in the right direction.

 

Smile and make eye contact at the same time

When praising your child, parents must smile and look into your child’s eyes at the same time. Such sincere feelings are the happiest and overflowing. Because praise is a double-edged sword – the right kind of praise will make a person feel confident and happy and move forward, but the wrong kind of praise will make a child lose his or her way and stagnate.

 

For example, when a child refuses to “sit down”, the parent should say “please sit down” with a matching expression. If the child is willing to comply, the parent can praise him immediately and then play a fun game with him. But if the child still does not comply, the parent can immediately take the child away from the scene to divert attention and guide him to follow instructions. Or when you tell the child to put the toy away, but he still looks at you and tosses the toy, testing to see if you will let him go. You can then say to him in a calm and gentle tone, “Please put the toys away gently,” or “Let’s learn to put away the toys together, okay?

Parents Zone

Guide your child to understand that expression is appropriate

Parents don’t have to tolerate their children’s bad behavior and minimize arguing or reassuring remarks, which only gives the child more room to continue “acting out” because they have found an “audience”, and some children may even be aggravated by your ignoring them or getting upset. We need to guide our children to understand that the only way to get what they want is to express themselves in an appropriate way. As long as the parent persists, the child will understand that the behavior will not get the parent’s attention and will naturally give up.

If the child stops this behavior, the parent can respond immediately by praising him for being quiet and then diverting his attention to other activities. Whenever a child receives praise from others, he or she will naturally exude confidence and joy, as well as a sense of trust and affection for the person who praised him or her. However, the repetition of a single form of praise over time can be ineffective, so parents should be careful to be creative in their praise.


 

Pay attention to the tone of voice and lead by example

Children are a gift from God, and it is only through love that other aspects of accomplishment do not become a form of bragging and pride. The difference in the tone of voice is enough to affect the parent-child relationship of detachment or closeness. Parents’ emotions and behaviors are related to their children’s future learning attitudes and personality traits. Because children mostly learn by groping and imitation, children will observe their parents’ treatment of others and use of words and phrases to learn their own emotional management and interpersonal relationships, so the importance of parents leading by example cannot be ignored. Even a hug, a smile or a look can establish a kind of appreciation. Parents are far more influential to children than teachers or peers. The more encouragement a child receives as they grow, the better it will be for their future development.


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Nurturing children’s interest in reading

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Written by : New Horizons Development Centre

          Registered Educational Psychologist Pang Chi Wah

 

A hundred years ago, illiteracy was a normal thing. But since education became widespread decades ago, it is now necessary to go to school to receive an education. Learning is not only through the direct transmission of knowledge by teachers through language, students also need to read textbooks by themselves. When doing homework or taking exams, students are tested on their concentration and speed when reading.

 

More than 30 years ago, the basic qualification for firefighters was graduation from the sixth grade, but today, even college graduates may not be able to get into firefighting. Modern fires do not only require firefighters to be physically fit and able to put out fires with water, but some fires are very complex and require special methods and chemicals to put out.

 

Reading skills are needed in all walks of life

Whether they are blue-collar or white-collar workers, they need to handle documents and files, read other people’s reports or instructions, and write their own reports. So the need to read and handle paperwork is everywhere. In the past, illiterate people could withdraw money from banks, but with modern ATMs, not only can we withdraw money, but we can also pay different fees, but our concentration and speed in reading is very much tested.

When we are adults, we have to sign many contracts, and there are many clauses in the contract, and the font size is small but quantity is large, it is also a big test of reading. Modern people often have to search for information on the Internet, which also requires the ability to read, that is, the ability to visually search for symbolic words and speed.

 

Nurturing children’s interest in reading

Cultivate children’s interest in reading and develop good habits. Although reading books is fine, reading newspapers is a good habit that everyone must develop, whether they are civilians or presidents and professors, they need to read newspapers regularly because this is the only way to keep up with the information of the society, to understand the changes around the world, and to master the liberal thinking.

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Siblings often quarrel with each other and the role of parents is especially important.

Parents Zone

Written by : Founder of Family Dynamics

        Marriage and Family Therapist 

        Children Play Therapist           

Ng Yee Kam


In recent play therapy cases, several of the children’s emotional problems were related to their young siblings’ relationship. Most of these problems were not caused by major arguments, but rather by subtle interactions in which each child was seeking the mother’s attention, comparing how much positive feedback they received from each other, and comparing who the mother “loved” more! Children often fight with each other because they are jealous of their siblings and take the opportunity to vent their frustrations.

 

It is true that everyone is “biased” and so are parents. Both inborn and nurtured personalities can lead to a preference for certain behaviors and behavioral patterns. If parents do not think about this, they will not suddenly become more open-minded because their children are their own.

 

Parents may be more appreciative of certain traits and more resistant to certain traits in their children’s different personalities. This is understandable. The problem is that parents must be aware of this situation and be aware of it and allow themselves to grow beyond the narrow framework of their parental role, increase the breadth and width of their own vision, learn to appreciate the differences in their children’s personalities, and appreciate their children’s unique strengths from the bottom of their hearts, and pass them on in their daily lives so that their children can receive them and affirm themselves. This will prevent the problem of sibling rivalry from worsening and causing unnecessary jealousy and suspicion in children.

 

The mother’s role is especially important during the early years of a child’s life because the quality of the mother’s interaction with the child has a critical impact on the child’s self-worth and sense of security. In these recent cases, it was not uncommon to find that the children had a sibling in the family who was cheerful, understanding, and liked to express herself, and was well liked by adults and teachers. I could see the mother’s joy and pride when describing her child. No wonder the children in these cases often felt compared to the others because they were more introverted, reticent, shy and cautious.

One mother was aware of the need to appreciate her son’s abilities, so she kept praising him, but in terms of character, she inadvertently encouraged her son to follow her sister’s example by expressing himself more and integrating into the group. However, this is not the nature of the child’s character and makes the child suspect that there must be something wrong with his or her character that cannot be accepted by the mother. This internal pain can easily turn into jealous emotions towards the elder sister, making the parents feel that the child’s attitude towards his/her sister is unreasonable, and further preventing the child from breaking out of this negative cycle.

 

I suggest that parents should not compare their children. For children who are more introverted, shy, reticent and cautious, they should be more reassuring: “ You do not need to force yourself to play with children like your brother, you quietly observe is already a kind of participation, when you feel at ease then go out to play is not too late. Or, “Not every child needs to be as talkative as their elder sister or like to perform in front of people; Mom likes it when you can express yourself as you see fit. “

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What can I eat to refresh my brain and enhance my memory?

Parents Zone

Written by : Registered Dietitian (Australia) 

Chung Yong Man

 

It’s exam season and students are studying hard for their exams. Many parents ask, “What are the best foods to help your child refresh and maintain a good memory?

 

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are digested and converted into glucose, which provides sufficient energy for the brain. Therefore, I recommend eating an appropriate amount of carbohydrates at each meal to maintain the effective functioning of the brain. Food sources include grains and cereals such as rice, noodles, bread, oats, etc., and high starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, chestnuts and taro. Choosing high-fiber grains and cereals such as whole grain breakfasts, oats, whole wheat bread and red rice will help stabilize blood sugar and maintain concentration.

 

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, such as EPA and DHA, are the main elements that make up the brain’s cell membranes and nerve tissues, maintaining the normal transmission of messages in the nervous system and helping to maintain good memory. Omega-3 fatty acids can be obtained from eating deep-sea fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, etc. I recommend eating 2 to 3 meals a week, with each meal being about 2 to 3 ounces (the size of the palm of your hand). In addition, almonds, walnuts and avocados are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Lecithin

Lecithin is one of the important elements in the composition of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, so adequate intake helps to revitalize brain cells, make thinking sharper and enhance memory. Eggs, soybeans and their products such as tofu, soy milk and baked beans with ketchup are rich in lecithin.

Iron

Iron is the main element in the production of red blood cells, which transports enough oxygen and nutrients to the brain to help keep it awake. Red meats such as beef, lamb and ostrich are rich in iron, and I recommend eating 2 to 3 meals a week at about 2 to 3 ounces per meal. Iron can also be taken from dark green vegetables such as spinach and red kidney beans, but since plant-based iron is more difficult to be absorbed by the body, foods rich in vitamin C, such as oranges, kiwis and tomatoes, can be eaten at the same meal to increase absorption.

Antioxidant Nutrients

Stress and poor diet can increase free radicals in the body, which can damage body cells and accelerate degeneration, or impair memory. Vitamins A, C, and E are antioxidants that protect brain cells from free radical damage and prevent memory loss. Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, pumpkin and spinach; vitamin E can also be obtained from nuts, eggs and dried beans.


The above nutrients can promote brain health, but we should not only focus on the intake of a single nutrient. I encourage people to diversify their diets as much as possible to get enough nutrients to keep the brain functioning optimally.

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Caring for children with special needs is not a psychological stress for parents to ignore

Parents Zone

Written by: Family Dynamics Counseling Psychologist

             Shelly Mok

 

Fai is a boy who is very good at drawing. He likes to draw his own comic characters, but all his characters do not have eyes, ears, mouth and nose. All of his characters, male or female, with long or short hair, have thick hair covering their ears and foreheads. These characters are like a mirror, reflecting his inner world. He does not want to communicate with others in depth, but just wants to do what he likes quietly.

 

When I first invited him to introduce his comic book protagonists, he said that his characters do not have mouths because no matter what they say, no one will listen to them, so they do not speak; they do not have eyes because they do not want to see what is happening in the world; they do not have ears because no one will listen to what he says. Even the sound of the crowd annoys him, so he prefers to be alone. Other than these few words, he did not respond to any other questions I had.

 

It was heartbreaking to listen to this P5 boy and look at his big eyes. At such a young age, he already had to close his heart and give up the opportunity to build positive relationships with others.

 

When Fai was in Primary 4, he was determined to have dyslexia. His parents brought him to see me not for any training, but to deal with the tension and low self-image that had accumulated between him and his parents for quite some time. From the first grade, he faced many academic challenges, such as often failing in dictation, not finishing his homework until 11:00 p.m. every night, not listening to his parents’ instructions, and not finishing his exam papers. The family and he had a lot of friction and conflict over the grade. He was labeled as lazy, irresponsible and inattentive. Even though his parents later learned that he had dyslexia, it was hard for them to let go of their expectations of him, especially his mother.

In fact, Fai is not lazy. When I observed the way he played the game and did the beauty work in the game room, I knew that he is a person who has great demands on himself. In the face of failure, he would try again and again until he was satisfied. For a child who has been frustrated in his studies, even in a non-academic field, it takes extraordinary inner resources to persist in trying without fear of difficulties and learning from his own failures. As a bystander, I can clearly see his strengths, and I am inspired by his inner strength.

 

However, the parents’ feelings about Fai’s situation were very complicated. They were so stressed out by their constant worries, sadness, expectations, and disappointments that it was hard for them to see and hear Fai’s efforts and heartfelt voices, so it is no wonder that the protagonists of Fai’s comics live in a world without eyes, ears, mouth, and nose. However, the guilt and helplessness of Fai’s parents also prompted them to ask me for help. As parents, they really need time and space to face their own pain and accept that their children are different from others. Not to mention, they only have one child, Fai.

In the process of working with Fai, I also made several appointments with his parents to help them understand more about the challenges and inner world that Fai was facing, and to help them transition and accept his complex emotions. Later, Fai’s mother told me that Fai was actually very hardworking and struggled with his homework for so long every night because he did not want to give up and insisted on finishing all his homework. Even though his parents told him to forget about it, he insisted on not going to sleep. Therefore, I also said that they were really lucky that Fai did not give up in the face of huge learning difficulties. His mother was stunned after hearing this – it seems that they are starting to see and hear Ah Fai.

 

Parenting can be the most challenging and unpredictable experience in the world, but it can also be the most satisfying and meaningful thing in life. Parents of children with special needs are faced with extraordinary stress and emotional complexity. These emotions are like a thick fog that prevents parents from seeing and hearing the inner world of their children. At the same time, they cannot see or hear their own inner world, thus isolating the communication between parents and children. As a counseling psychologist, an important part of my job is to help parents clear the clouds so that they can see the moon.