Parent-child creative art creation

Parents Zone

Parents Zone

Written by: Director of Pario Arts, Lee Sou Jing

 

Everyone has creativity and artistic potential. If properly nurtured, it can enhance one’s moral sentiments and make life more perfect. In the artistic atmosphere, diverse activities inspire individuals’ creativity, aesthetic sense, and diverse abilities, promoting holistic development. ‘Love’ is the driving force of creation. In a free, democratic, safe, and harmonious environment and atmosphere, it is the expression of ‘love,’ emphasizing mutual tolerance, acceptance of different opinions, and respect for and acceptance of others. So, how can parent-child creative art creation express ‘love’? Here, the author shares his views with all parents.

 

The significance of parent-child creative art creation:

  • Art education starts with individuals. Parents try to engage in artistic creation to cultivate their children’s artistic accomplishments.
  • The first lesson of art education begins with ‘listening’ and ‘acceptance.’ Parents learn to accept the diverse ways in which children express their creativity.
  • Through the joint participation and experience of parent-child art creation, parents can get closer to and understand their children’s hearts.
  • Parent-child art creation helps children to understand themselves and release emotions and stress.
  • By integrating an atmosphere of mutual appreciation and respect, it reduces parental stress and anxiety, thereby enhancing parent-child relationships.

Making parent-child fall in love with creation, integrating art into life, and enhancing the quality of life.

Artistic Cultivation Tips

 

  • Cultivate a kind of knowledge in being human and enhance the ability to share, that is, ’empathy.’
  • According to the research of psychologist Hoffman on the development of human empathy, ’empathy’ is the ability to understand the feelings of others and to put oneself in their shoes.
  • The three steps of ’empathy’: (1) Imagine standing in the other person’s position (2) Identify the other person’s true feelings (3) Convey understanding and feelings to the other person.
  • Empathy’ is an important ability in interpersonal relationships. Only those with ’empathy’ can establish good interpersonal relationships, self-discipline, and a sense of responsibility.
  • Children at the age of 2 to 3 can already understand the feelings of others. In order for children to be compassionate, possess ’empathy,’ and understand love and care for others, it is very important for parents to lead by example.

Smart learning depends on exercise

Parents Zone

Parents Zone

Written by: Ms. Fung Chi Hei, Game Therapist, Lok Sin Tong Leung Kau Kui Primary School

 

I previously participated in a professional exchange activity for teachers in Taiwan and was impressed by the emphasis on using exercise to cultivate children’s growth in the Taiwanese education system. This experience provided new inspiration, which I hope to share with parents. One of the schools visited during the exchange can be described as the elementary school version of a sports academy. Upon entering the school, the students welcomed the visitors with a government-promoted fitness routine. They performed various warm-up exercises in unison, exuding a lively spirit akin to tiger cubs, making me feel like they had truly entered a forest full of tiger cubs.

 

Exercise Strengthens Children’s Learning Abilities

 

Principal Liu of the Tiger Forest Elementary School stated that the school is a key focus school designated by the government, with a special emphasis on students’ physical development. The school believes that exercise can strengthen students’ learning abilities. They have adopted the “Anytime Exercise” program based on the research of John J. Ratey, MD, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. This program advocates for students to be engaged in exercise at all times, hence the name “Anytime.” During breaks, students would run to any part of the playground to exercise, some playing dodgeball, some climbing the monkey bars, and others playing badminton. All students enjoy every moment of exercise.

The Benefits of Exercise: Strengthening Brain Function

 

It is well known that exercise has the effect of strengthening the body, and in Ratey’s research, he pointed out more about the benefits of exercise on the brain. He described the brain as the center for processing information, transmitting messages through different pathways using various transmitters (chemicals). During exercise, the brain can effectively produce more transmitters and strengthen pathways, allowing messages to be transmitted faster and more accurately.

 

Applying this theory to learning, students can enhance their brain function through exercise, thereby improving their learning effectiveness. Research has confirmed that exercise can improve students’ concentration and memory, both of which are essential for successful learning. Furthermore, exercise can stimulate the brain to produce dopamine (a chemical that brings happiness), enabling students to learn joyfully, which naturally leads to better academic performance.

 

How to Make Children Love Exercise?

 

For children to enjoy the time and benefits of exercise, parents must help them develop a love for exercise. Here are three suggestions:

 

1. Anytime Exercise

Provide children with more opportunities for exercise, suitable time, tools, and space, while ensuring the safety of the environment.

 

2. Healthy Exercise

Teach children to exercise for the sake of their health and emphasize the benefits of exercise on health.

 

3. Exercising Together

Exercise with children more often, enjoy the moments of exercise and savor the wonderful time with family.

How to reduce the side effects of rewards?

Parents Zone

Parents Zone

Written by: Pang Chi Wah, Registered Educational Psychologist at the New Horizons Development Centre

 

Some parents have the following thoughts about rewards: “The original intention was to praise the child’s good performance, but now the reward seems to have become a bribe.” “He has become utilitarian, calculating the degree of his effort based on the size of the reward.” “Sometimes I even feel that the child has become greedy. The rewards that once attracted him no longer have the original effect. Only by providing richer rewards is he willing to make an effort.”

 

In fact, in the commercial society where adults are located, bosses also use rewards and bonuses to praise employees’ outstanding work performance and inspire employee morale. Many early childhood education experts have also proposed a reward system, using children’s favorite food, toys, etc., to train and cultivate their good behavior habits. Rewards have become our usual way, but parents’ worries are not unfounded. How can we reduce the side effects of rewards?

 

There are mainly two directions to reduce the side effects of rewards. One is that parents can change the type of rewards, and at the same time, they must not encourage children with money, otherwise it will make children prioritize money and everything will be based on materialism. The rewards given by parents can be changed from one-time enjoyment such as food, gradually transformed into long-term gifts, such as entertaining toys, academic stationery, etc., and later can be rewarded spiritually, such as parents giving certificates, applause and other non-material encouragement.

The second approach is that parents can gradually reduce the proportion of rewards given according to the following three criteria:

 

1.  Increase the number of expected behaviors completed by the child before giving a reward.

Example: If parents expect the child to put the toys away in the toy box after playing, initially, parents may need to give stickers as encouragement for the child to be willing to tidy up the toys; afterwards, the child should put the toys in the toy box several times on their own before the parents give sticker rewards.

 

2. Raise the standard of requirements according to the child’s performance, and only give rewards after the child completes behaviors of higher difficulty.

Example: Initially, as long as the child puts all the toys in the box, they can be given sticker encouragement. Then the requirements can be raised, the child needs to put all the toys in the box, and carefully organize the toys and place them properly to get the sticker.

3. When the child is relaxed and happy or makes a request, parents can make demands on the child without providing rewards.

Example: The child requests to watch their favorite TV show, the parent proposes that the child needs to tidy up the toys into the toy box before they can watch TV.

 

Through these two principles, parents can systematically dilute the function of external material rewards, let children internalize the motivation behind completing good behaviors, gradually reduce dependence on external encouragement, and make them gain a sense of success from within as the main source of their learning motivation.

Methods of Disciplining Children

Parents Zone

Parents Zone

Written by: Ms. Chan-Chen Shu-an, Early Childhood Education Specialist

 

Parents often wonder if there is an effective method for disciplining children. Drawing from personal experience, the author has gathered practical discipline methods to share with parents, hoping to assist them in disciplining children with different personalities.

 

  • Diversion Method

 

Young children are easily influenced by external factors. When a child cries incessantly or insists on holding onto something, instead of engaging in a struggle, try using the diversion method. For example, if a child is crying non-stop, you can try pointing to the sky and saying, “Look, a big airplane is flying towards us.” Similarly, if a child is adamant about buying something in a toy store and refuses to leave, instead of pulling back and forth, say, “Look over there, some new and interesting toys,” diverting their attention so they are no longer insistent.

 

  • Diversion Method

 

Use the method of channeling water like Great Yu. Instead of blocking and resisting, it’s better to divert and open up. For example, with an energetic child, instead of forcing them to sit quietly and study, let them go outside to play ball, ride a bike, or take a walk before returning home to sit down and do homework. For a child who enjoys scribbling with a pen, instead of scolding and prohibiting, give them paper to draw on, satisfying their interest in drawing.

  • Venting Method

 

If a child enjoys hitting others, let them hammer nails, play with a ball, or knead clay to release their energy. For a child who loves to talk, teach them to sing, recite nursery rhymes, or take them outdoors or to a sports field to shout and jump, releasing their emotions. Children’s activities should be varied, as human growth is multifaceted. Being stuck at home studying all day can turn a child into a dull and lifeless individual. Therefore, extracurricular activities are crucial for a child’s healthy development.

 

  • Ignoring Method

 

Some children intentionally engage in behavior that displeases others, such as crying incessantly, refusing to eat, or making strange gestures, to gain attention from their parents. Parents can try the ignoring method, turning away without acknowledging the behavior, or adopting an indifferent attitude. The child may lose interest and stop the unwanted behavior.

 

  • Encouragement and Praise Method

 

Smiling encouragement or gently patting the head and cheeks are wonderful forms of positive spiritual encouragement and praise that children willingly accept as discipline methods. For example, if a child puts away toys neatly, you can notice and praise them by saying, “Very good.” The child will feel satisfied and strive to do even better next time. When a child joyfully brings home a drawing, if the mother appreciates it with a smile, the child’s sense of accomplishment and satisfaction will encourage them to work even harder next time and seek improvement. Parents’ encouragement, support, and positive attitudes have a significant impact on a child’s learning and personal development!

 

  • Indirect Method

 

The so-called “blame the cat, scold the dog” method is particularly effective for introverted, sensitive children with a strong sense of self-esteem who often cannot accept direct criticism and correction. When dealing with these children, it is best to use an indirect approach. This involves criticizing or pointing out someone else’s mistakes (which are actually the same mistakes the child made) as a hint. For example, to encourage a child to brush their teeth daily, you can start by saying, “The neighbor’s child has dirty and unsightly teeth because they refuse to brush. Your sensitive child might start brushing their teeth every day as a result, which is more effective than directly scolding them.

 

  • Isolation Method

 

Humans cannot live independently, and children are unwilling to be isolated. This method is particularly effective for children over the age of four who may be too disruptive or mischievous. If a child is causing too much trouble, try using the isolation method. Ask them to stand aside or move their chair away to sit quietly. Allow them to rejoin group activities only when they show remorse. At home, you can ask them to reflect quietly in their room (even if they cry or make a fuss, maintain an attitude of ignoring them). This temporary loss of freedom method is often very effective.

Reject the Busyness: Build Parent-Child Relationships Every Day

Parents Zone

Parents Zone

Parents should first handle their own emotions to help their children express their inner feelings.

Whether parents are working or full-time homemakers, they are busy every day with work, household chores, and taking care of their children. After school, children are also busy with homework, tutoring, and reviewing for exams. Leisure time is limited, and bedtime comes early. Dr. Wong Chung Hin, a specialist in psychiatry, points out, “Parents and students in Hong Kong are very busy, but we need to learn to ‘preprocess’ emotions or stress before they erupt, and establish a good parent-child relationship. Parents should set aside dedicated parent-child time every day to communicate with their children. Parents should also take care of their own emotions, which will help their children express their inner feelings.”

 

In the midst of busy daily life, parents need to take good care of themselves first in order to better care for their children. Dr. Wong suggests, “Rather than dealing with emotional problems after they arise, ‘preprocessing’ is more important. Parents can establish healthy habits with their children, ensuring they have sufficient rest. Many students have tutoring and homework to do after school, but a moderate amount of entertainment is also crucial. As mentioned earlier, daily parent-child communication time is necessary. Doing fun activities together, such as exercising, not only builds quality parent-child time but also improves emotions.”

 

Dr. Wong emphasizes, “Parents should review their disciplinary expectations, adjust disciplinary methods according to their children’s abilities to avoid putting too much pressure on them. Parents need to understand that every child will grow up, want to be independent, and have their own thoughts. Parents can understand the reasons behind their children’s behavior, such as not wanting to go to school or declining academic performance. Parents should investigate whether the underlying cause is excessive learning pressure and communicate with the school to make adjustments to their child’s learning.”

In fact, children’s emotions can be influenced by the emotions of their parents. Dr. Wong explains, “When children have emotional issues, it may be partly influenced by family history. However, in many cases, children with emotional problems have parents with poorer emotional well-being. Parents should always be aware of their own emotional states to avoid expressing emotions inappropriately. For example, when parents are dissatisfied with their children’s behavior, they may burst out in anger, which not only affects the parent-child relationship, making the child at a loss and afraid to communicate with their parents, but also influences the parents’ own perceptions, negatively characterizing the child’s behavior as ‘disobedient,’ ‘pretending,’ and lazy.”

 

Parents most commonly face the situation of children “not listening at all” and may find it hard to refrain from getting angry. However, Dr. Wong reminds, “During these times, parents should not confront their children directly. Instead, they can find a space to calm themselves, for example, by doing some slow breathing exercises to soothe their emotions. Once the parent has calmed down, they can then address the child and understand the underlying reasons for the child’s behavior. If parents cannot control their emotions, it will only complicate things and make it difficult to have a chance to communicate with their children.”

Dr. Wong suggests, “Everyone has a different personality, and the methods for handling stress also vary. Parents can work together with their children to establish stress management methods, whether it’s through exercise, drawing, listening to music, taking a good rest, or simply relaxing. However, when parents notice that their child’s emotional issues have persisted for a prolonged period, or have started to affect daily life, and especially if there are signs of self-harm or suicidal thoughts, parents should seek professional assistance for their children as soon as possible.”

 

Dr. Wong concludes with a message to parents: “Many parents are currently juggling work commitments, but it’s important for parents to consider setting aside a moment each day, putting work aside, and dedicating time to their children to build a strong parent-child relationship and enjoy quality time together. This way, parents can also pay attention to any changes in their children’s mental and emotional well-being, detect problems early, and prevent the development of emotional issues such as depression or anxiety.”

Be a parent with multiple expressions and poses!

Parents Zone

Parents Zone

Written: Founder & Volunteer Director of Good Love Passion, Lam Ho Pui Yee

 

When a child is around 6 months old, they start babbling, constantly making sounds and single words. They also enjoy playing with toys that make sounds. However, even before they learn to speak, they already understand how to communicate with the people around them using crying, sounds, facial expressions, gestures, or body language. In fact, children first learn to communicate with people using facial expressions and gestures, then they learn verbal communication, and finally, they learn to communicate through text. Therefore, accurately recognizing other people’s facial expressions helps in assessing their emotions and attitudes, thus influencing a child’s cognitive development, emotional development, and social skills. Parents’ facial expressions, actions, and postures are often what children find most attractive.

 

Children observe and respond to their parents’ facial expressions and emotions. For example, a gentle expression can make them feel comfortable communicating with you, a smile can boost a child’s confidence in expressing themselves, and a nod from parents indicates acceptance. Through these developments, children gradually understand, learn, and care about people’s emotions. Different parts of the body express emotions in various ways, and expressions can be categorized into facial expressions, body expressions, and verbal expressions.

 

To establish good parent-child communication, parents need to pay attention to several aspects:

 

1.When children cannot clearly see their parents’ facial expressions, it is recommended to use actions as a substitute for speech responses. For example, hugging them tightly, giving them a kiss, gently stroking their hair, or gently touching their cheeks are all important non-verbal communication methods.

  1. If parents can embody a childlike and expressive role in their daily lives, children can learn a wealth of emotions and expressive skills from their parents’ facial expressions. This will undoubtedly benefit them throughout their lives.

 

  1. Many parent-child interaction patterns involve “non-interaction” – even though they are together, there is no eye contact, conversation, message exchange, or actions, and there is no emotional sharing because everyone is watching TV, using the computer and phones, or doing their own things. Eye contact can train focus, so regularly gazing at each other with caring eyes and listening to each other’s sharing is one of the conditions for good communication.
  1. Creating a quiet and simple environment helps children concentrate. True and comprehensive communication happens when they can clearly see your facial expressions. Therefore, it’s appropriate to turn off sound-producing items like the TV, tablet, or take away their beloved toys during communication.

 

On the journey of a child’s growth, parents who are willing to provide unconditional love and ample communication space make children feel accepted, allowing them to break free from their cocoon. Children love it when their parents appreciate them, so encouragement often has a greater impact, whether through eye contact or speech; both can be used more frequently.

What is interactive reading? What are the techniques and steps for engaging in interactive reading with children?

Parents Zone

Parents Zone

Source: Educational psychologists, Shum Ka Man and Tang Wai Yan

 

Interactive reading is when parents and children engage in reading through conversation. The main difference between interactive reading and traditional reading aloud lies in the fact that traditional reading aloud often involves parents telling stories to children or, in some cases, parents’ intention to teach children to recognize words, focusing primarily on word recognition. However, the advantage of interactive reading is not just about word recognition; it aims to foster a positive parent-child relationship and help children express themselves through conversation.

 

In interactive reading, children take on an active role, where they can ask questions and guide the conversation through these questions and answers, thereby enhancing their reading comprehension skills. When parents engage in interactive reading with children, they should consider what questions to ask and what steps to follow. There are various ways for parents to ask questions, and we teach them a prompting framework that includes five different question types, abbreviated as ‘CROWD.’

 

C stands for Completion, where questions can be posed in a fill-in-the-blank manner. R represents Recall, encouraging children to remember what happened earlier in the story. O denotes Open-ended questions, allowing children to speculate about what might happen next. W represents Wh questions, covering the six Ws: who, what, when, where, why, and how. Finally, D stands for Distancing questions, which prompt children to relate the story to their own life experiences, asking how the story connects to their daily lives.

Interactive reading also follows a framework called ‘PEER.’

The first step is ‘Prompt,’ which refers to the types of questions asked. The second step is ‘Evaluate,’ where after asking questions, you can provide responses to the child. ‘Evaluate’ involves giving positive encouragement to the child, such as praising them when they answer correctly, saying, ‘You did a great job; you listened very attentively.’ If they answer incorrectly, it’s still important to encourage them, saying, ‘You tried very hard!’ and then attempt to find the answer together in the book.

 

Next is ‘Expand’ (E), which means expanding on what the child says. If a child’s response is brief, you can add adjectives or other details to make the sentence richer. Finally, there’s ‘Repeat’ (R), where after listening to the story, the child repeats the story, which can help improve their oral language skills.

Winning an argument but losing the relationship – How to harmoniously handle disputes?

Parents Zone

Parents Zone

Written by: Registered social workers, Chan Kam Hing and Mak Wai Hung

 

Have you ever experienced arguing with your family over trivial matters? When family members hold different opinions or perspectives, conflicts can easily arise, especially when it comes to decisions related to personal preferences, habits, values, and expectations. These conflicts can range from simple things like arguing over using the bathroom, choosing different TV shows to watch, or deciding how to celebrate a grandparent’s birthday, or deciding which tutoring center a child should attend. In reality, disagreements among family members are quite common, and occasional disputes can be a part of family life. However, continuous and ongoing arguments can lead to stress, damage relationships among family members, and even lead to family breakdown. You can try to ease conflicts through positive communication methods and consider the following approaches:

 

  1. When you’re very angry or unable to discuss things calmly, try to calm your emotions first. You can designate a calming space in your home in advance, where you can cool down, or find a spot near the door to compose yourself.
  2. After your emotions have settled a bit, consider whether it’s necessary or worth continuing to argue about the issue. Also, try to identify the root of the problem.
  3. Remind yourself that the ultimate goal is to resolve the issue and conflict, rather than trying to win over the other person. In a family, there’s no real glory in winning or losing against each other.

 

  1. Make an effort to actively listen to the other person’s perspective and avoid interrupting their speech. You can respond concisely to what you’ve heard or the message the other person is trying to convey at an appropriate time, showing that you’ve understood their point.

5. Then, you can express your stance sincerely, clearly, and reasonably. If there’s an opportunity or a need, you can discuss the areas of disagreement and find suitable solutions for both parties.

 

6. Avoid bringing up unrelated matters.

 

In fact, empathy is essential when living together as a family in such close quarters. Everyone hopes to receive respect, care, and mutual affection. Don’t underestimate the importance of family harmony. It can bring you mental contentment, stable emotions, sufficient energy to handle work, and gradually lead your life towards happiness and fulfillment.

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How to enhance children’s resilience?

Parents Zone

Parents Zone

Source: Education expert, Cheung Jok Fong

 

I attended a lecture by “Warrior of Regeneration,” Miss Yeung Siu Fong, earlier. She shared her experience of losing both hands in an accident at the age of nine. However, she did not give up and instead equipped herself more actively. With hard work, she not only became a swimming athlete in the Asian Games but also started art creation by using her feet in place of hands. She successfully enrolled in the Hong Kong Academy of Arts and became an inclusive artist. In 2011, she was selected as one of the “Ten Most Touching Hong Kong Figures” and became a “Hong Kong Spirit Ambassador” in 2013. After the lecture, I asked some classmates for their opinions, and they all expressed that if they encounter difficulties in the future, they will no longer be afraid because they believe that there is always a way to solve things and they want to face difficulties as positively as Sister Siu Fong.

 

Cultivating resilience from an early age

In the journey of life, we will inevitably encounter adversities. At that time, how should we face them with the right mentality and approach? Nowadays, parents often invest a lot of effort in their children’s academic performance, hoping that they can “win at the starting line.” However, while pursuing academic excellence, it is equally important to cultivate a spirit of perseverance. Unfortunately, some people choose different ways to escape when faced with difficulties, and some may even be so disheartened that they end their precious lives, which is truly regrettable. As educators, we have a responsibility to help students enhance their ability to cope with adversity, and this resilience needs to be cultivated from an early age.

 

Three key elements to enhance resilience

 

Experts point out that there are three key elements to enhance resilience: “optimism,” “efficacy,” and “belongingness.” “Optimism” is easy to understand literally; it means having hope for the future and believing that there is always a way to solve problems. This is the attitude one should adopt when facing difficulties. “Efficacy” includes how to manage emotions and establish problem-solving methods when facing challenges, which represents the ability needed to overcome difficulties. “Belongingness” refers to the care and support from people around the individual in question.

Source: Education expert, Cheung Jok Fong

 

I attended a lecture by “Warrior of Regeneration,” Miss Yeung Siu Fong, earlier. She shared her experience of losing both hands in an accident at the age of nine. However, she did not give up and instead equipped herself more actively. With hard work, she not only became a swimming athlete in the Asian Games but also started art creation by using her feet in place of hands. She successfully enrolled in the Hong Kong Academy of Arts and became an inclusive artist. In 2011, she was selected as one of the “Ten Most Touching Hong Kong Figures” and became a “Hong Kong Spirit Ambassador” in 2013. After the lecture, I asked some classmates for their opinions, and they all expressed that if they encounter difficulties in the future, they will no longer be afraid because they believe that there is always a way to solve things and they want to face difficulties as positively as Sister Siu Fong.

 

Cultivating resilience from an early age

In the journey of life, we will inevitably encounter adversities. At that time, how should we face them with the right mentality and approach? Nowadays, parents often invest a lot of effort in their children’s academic performance, hoping that they can “win at the starting line.” However, while pursuing academic excellence, it is equally important to cultivate a spirit of perseverance. Unfortunately, some people choose different ways to escape when faced with difficulties, and some may even be so disheartened that they end their precious lives, which is truly regrettable. As educators, we have a responsibility to help students enhance their ability to cope with adversity, and this resilience needs to be cultivated from an early age.

 

Three key elements to enhance resilience

 

Experts point out that there are three key elements to enhance resilience: “optimism,” “efficacy,” and “belongingness.” “Optimism” is easy to understand literally; it means having hope for the future and believing that there is always a way to solve problems. This is the attitude one should adopt when facing difficulties. “Efficacy” includes how to manage emotions and establish problem-solving methods when facing challenges, which represents the ability needed to overcome difficulties. “Belongingness” refers to the care and support from people around the individual in question.

Setting boundaries is better than trying to prevent children from making mistakes

Parents Zone

Parents Zone

Written by: Peggy Ho Pui Yee, Founder and Volunteer Executive Director of Good Love Passion

 

Being overly critical is the most common mistake parents make in disciplining their children. The phrase “love deeply, scold severely” reflects the emotions of most parents. Parents often fear that their children will develop any undesirable behavior during their growth, which may have lifelong consequences. Therefore, when disciplining their children, parents often resort to meticulous criticism as a way to remind them. In reality, making mistakes is an essential part of a child’s growth process. As children constantly change and grow, parents need to adapt to their developmental needs and adjust their approach to dealing with their behavior, even changing the way they interact with them.

 

For example, when a child fails to complete their homework on time, parents should calmly handle this common occurrence, as it is an opportunity for the child to improve and grow. Similarly, when a child talks back, it may indicate their emerging independence and critical thinking skills. It doesn’t necessarily mean they lack respect for their parents. As children grow older, they develop their own thoughts, opinions, and perspectives on various aspects of life. They also desire parental acknowledgment. As parents, we may not agree with these behaviors, but even in disagreement, we can understand the underlying needs of our children. This allows us to communicate more effectively with them and utilize appropriate disciplinary methods.

 

“While knowledge can change destiny, attitude determines everything!” Explosive anger and harsh accusations from parents are ineffective in discipline and serve no purpose. When parents understand how to gently and firmly assist their children and incorporate respect into daily life, children will develop a better understanding of rules and boundaries. Consequently, they will exercise more self-control and establish their own standards for behavior. With these standards in place, they will naturally become more independent, responsible individuals. Therefore, parents should establish boundaries in their children’s daily lives during their early childhood stages.

Since the age of one and a half, my daughter understood that writing is done on paper. Therefore, even at the age of 3, she has never stuck a sticker on the pristine walls of our home. She knows her boundaries and understands that a responsible child should keep the house clean. It is her responsibility. Parents establish guidelines for children to follow before discussing whether they are obedient or not.

 

When setting boundaries for younger children, it is important to be clear and specific. For example, you can say to a toddler, “If you can’t do it, it means you’re not behaving.” However, for young children, the term “not behaving” is vague and difficult for them to grasp. In addition, when setting boundaries, it is necessary to establish the consequences of not complying. It is important to emphasize that these consequences are “results” and not “punishments.” Consequences are simply the natural outcome of an agreement between both parties, operating under natural laws, and they are distinct from punishments. For example, after playing, if a child is expected to clean up their toys, they can continue playing next time only if they tidy up. However, if they don’t clean up, according to the previous agreement, their toys will be confiscated for two or three days.

 

At this point, parents must make it clear to the child that this is the natural consequence of not fulfilling the agreement, not a punishment. Another example is when parents discuss with their child the time limit for watching TV or using electronic devices and set specific time boundaries. Similarly, if the child exceeds the designated time and doesn’t turn off the device, according to the previous agreement, they won’t be allowed to watch or use it for the next three days. When setting boundaries, parents need to ensure they are reasonable. Otherwise, it would be unfair to the child, making them more likely to cross the boundaries and become disobedient in the future.

While parents have the responsibility to teach children proper behavior, if the methods used are too impatient and harsh, lacking an understanding of the child’s growth process, it may lead to negative effects. Therefore, we should provide children with experiences of taking initiative to change for the better, engage in serious discussions, rather than resorting to severe punishments. Approaching the situation with a calm and composed demeanor can assist children in transforming their mistakes into opportunities for growth. Just like how children inevitably fall while learning to walk, we encourage them to pick themselves up and take another step forward.

 

When faced with a child’s misconduct, it is important to consider how to handle the situation in a way that fosters their ability to change. People generally do not intentionally make mistakes; the reason for making mistakes is often due to a lack of awareness. Making mistakes is not inherently frightening for children; what is truly concerning is making mistakes without understanding where they went wrong or how to correct them. If parents can approach their child’s mistakes with the right mindset and guide them towards making corrections using appropriate methods, these mistakes can become opportunities for reflection and progress. It also enhances the chance for communication between parents and children. Let us transform our children’s mistakes into beautiful errors.