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Being a parent can be stressful; it’s important to manage anxiety promptly

As parents, we have to juggle work and family responsibilities. Under significant stress, it’s easy to experience anxiety. Anxiety is a natural, built-in response, and it can protect us when our lives are threatened. However, excessive worry can lead to physical discomforts like a racing heart, stomachaches, muscle tension, rapid breathing, headaches, trembling hands, sweating, or frequent urination. If not addressed in a timely manner, it can lead to more serious emotional issues and can also affect family relationships.

Here are three ways to reduce anxiety symptoms. First is practicing relaxation through deep breathing, using diaphragmatic breathing. Inhale slowly through your nose for a count of 4, letting your abdomen rise for 2 seconds, then exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of 4. Pause for 2 seconds and repeat this process 5 to 10 times.

The second method is muscle relaxation exercises. Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down, gently close your eyes, and relax all your muscles. Start by shifting your focus to your feet, tense the muscles in your feet for 10 seconds, and then release. Proceed sequentially, tensing and relaxing the muscles in your legs, arms, neck, and facial muscles.

Lastly, there is imagery relaxation practice. In a quiet place, close your eyes and imagine a comfortable setting, visualizing what you see, hear, smell, and feel for 5 to 10 minutes. Gradually return to the present reality.

Additionally, it’s important to cultivate a positive thinking pattern in your daily life. Try to see the bright side of things at all times rather than dwelling on unhappy thoughts constantly, which can reduce the chances of developing mood disorders.

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How to build self-confidence from a young age?

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.

The last thing that many parents may not have noticed is that, in my experience, many children who are more introverted or less talkative, or who may not be so outgoing, You will often find that their fathers or mothers have similar personalities, so I think it is important to teach by example. Parents may want to try to take the first step themselves because children often learn by imitation. Parents may want to adjust their own expectations if one of the parents is not an extrovert. I don’t think you need to put too much pressure on yourself or your child to become particularly extroverted.

Source: Aristle International Kindergarten, School Supervisor, Vivian Wu

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Four behaviors that damage the parent-child relationship

Many parents often ask, “Why is the child so disobedient?” “Why does he hate me so much?” or “He is ignoring me more and more.” In fact, there are four types of behaviors that, over time, will cause our children to despise themselves. Many of the parents that I have met in my day-to-day life often unconsciously say or do things that make their children hate themselves. This is what parents do not notice.

First, comparison. We frequently ask children, “Why are you like this?” “Your younger brother is not like you; he is very neat,” and “look at the students next to me; they listen to their parents. “When we often express ourselves in a “comparison” manner, children will feel disgusted when they hear their mother’s voice.

Secondly, when children do something wrong, parents often overlook the motives behind their behavior. When we find out that a child is doing something wrong, we should first understand what the child is trying to accomplish with the behavior. Do not rule out that they are trying to do something right. Maybe he wants to pour a glass of water for his parents or his brother, or he is not doing his homework well, but in fact, he is doing his best and is just mentally tired.

When he is not doing well, we can first praise his behavior by saying, “Thanks; I know you are nice and want to pour water for us, but don’t spill water again.” “It’s dangerous,” or “Don’t walk so fast.” After we praise the child, he will understand that he is doing the right thing, and then he will listen to his parent’s advice and improve.

Third, parents should pay attention to the end of the day if, in fact, they are full of negative energy and bring emotions into the home. When parents see that their children are not behaving in a satisfactory manner, they may take out their emotions on them in a series of ways. This is not fair to the child, who may have made only a few mistakes but is being blamed for a series of them.

Fourth, parents should be very careful that expressions of anger will misinform their children with inaccurate information. For example, “If you do this, you might not be my son.” When we mistakenly use such an aggressive word, it can be very harmful to the child.

Parents should never commit these four behaviors while children are growing up, or they will hate their parents from an early age.

Source: Senior Parenting Expert, Bally

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

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.

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

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What are the reasons why children are slow at doing their homework?

Whether for children or parents, doing homework is the biggest problem. Even during the summer break, many parents find it a headache. Parents often fight with their children, which worsens their relationship. In fact, there are three main reasons for slow homework.

First, excessive activity. At home, children frequently run around, climb up and down, and run from the bathroom to the kitchen, then to their room. They never stop, like a motorcycle moving around. Imagine how painful it is to make them do their homework. If you give them a table and chair, they will never sit still. When they finally settle down, they keep fidgeting and moving their bodies, like they have ants in their pants.

To start doing homework, they pick up the pen and say they need to go to the bathroom, then say they need to pee, poop, or that they are hungry and need to eat something. They always have an excuse to leave the chair. It usually takes them 1 to 2 hours to settle down to do homework, which is called excessive activity. Children who are excessively active will definitely do their homework slowly, not because they are slow, but because they need more time to settle down.

For older children, like middle school students or upper elementary school students, they may not necessarily run around, but they often shake their legs, constantly shaking to the point where the whole table is moving. For example, they may spin their pen around and around. Don’t underestimate this leg shaking, pen spinning, and body moving actions; they are actually symptoms of hyperactivity.

Secondly, they have weak concentration. Children with insufficient concentration may be able to sit down, but they stare at you like a cloud, daydreaming, completely unaware of what they are doing. They hold a pencil and look at their homework, but they are just looking at it and can never absorb the first question. So they may be able to sit down, but they will always stay on the first question, constantly distracted by phone calls or doorbells, and they can never focus.

Some parents have complained to us that if it is a hyperactive child, they will need to walk around in the first hour, and children with poor concentration will be daydreaming for the first hour, and it will take until the second hour before they can continue, and they will do it very slowly.

Thirdly, weak reading and writing ability. You may have heard of reading and writing disorders, which are more severe cases. However, some children do not have reading and writing disorders, but their reading and writing abilities are weak. This includes Chinese, English, and mathematics, including reading and writing. It seems difficult for them to read and spell, and they can never seem to remember simple words. Writing is always reversed; left and right are reversed, just like in a mirror, and some even turn things upside down.

These types of children can sit still and will do so when asked. They can also concentrate well. But what happens? They will sit and do their homework, but they will sweat profusely while doing so. However, after completing their work, every question is wrong, and they cannot remember or understand anything. This may be due to reading and writing problems, which can slow down their homework.

I just mentioned three reasons, which one is it exactly? Of course, some children may have all three, but if parents can pay attention, they shouldn’t just blame the child. When he is working slowly, first pay attention to which of the three reasons the child belongs to. If you know which reason he belongs to, then we can prescribe the right treatment and get twice the result with half the effort.

Source:Dr Hui Lung Kit

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Thousands of lies to avoid doing homework. What should parents do?

Every time a child does homework, he or she falsely claims to have a stomachache, to go  to the bathroom, or to go to sleep—thousands of lies and excuses. Parents who value  character development are naturally outraged because they have zero tolerance for dishonesty in their children. But why do children always avoid doing their homework? Why do they have to lie to cover it up?

Often, children avoid doing homework not because they don’t want to, but because they can’t. Children want to be good and smart, but when they find out they can’t do their homework, they think they are not smart enough. When they find out they can’t do their homework, they think they are not smart enough. They can’t accept this and will lie to cover it up and avoid it. Generally speaking, children with normal intelligence but learning disabilities will have their academic performance affected to some degree, but they can perform well in other areas as well. Regardless of their intelligence level, with the right approach and the right amount of training, they will be able to develop the appropriate skills. 

But why do people tell lies? When a person feels that he or she is in an uncomfortable situation, he or she will activate the defense mechanism to protect himself or herself. Lying is one of the ways to escape a crisis. If parents want to help their children, they need to give them the courage to tell the truth so that they can understand what their children really don’t understand.

How do you get your child to be brave enough to tell the truth? You need to let your child know that even if he or she is not smart enough, you will still love him or her so much, take pleasure in him or her, be patient with him or her, and work together to help him or her solve their problems, thus building his or her sense of security and giving him or her the peace of mind to reveal his or her innermost doubts and difficulties. But on the  contrary, if his experience makes him think that he is not smart enough, which will lead to his mother’s anger and complaints, he will not dare to tell the truth and even activate his self-protection mechanism to protect himself with lies that adults can uncover at first glance.

Written by: Family Dynamics, Psychological Counselor, Lai Shun Mei

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

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
n 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.

Further, parents can teach their children that there are different levels of feelings and emotions. For example, happy can be a little happy, very happy, or super happy. Parents can also play simple games with their children, such as asking them at a theme park, “Are you a little happy, very happy, or super happy?” If you are a little happy, take one step; if you are very happy, take two steps; and if you are super happy, take three steps. Let the children know more about these emotions.

Written by: Speech Therapist Mother, Miss Carley

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“Poverty leads to change, change leads to adapt” Let children learn to be flexible

There is a Chinese saying: “Raising a child for 100 years old is a long-term worry for 99 years. This speaks to the heart of thousands of parents. As the weather turns colder, you are busy adding clothes for your child, but when you see other people’s children running and jumping around wearing only a single coat, you may worry that he is too warm and less able to adapt. If your child doesn’t listen to you and does what he wants to do, you will be annoyed, but if he asks you for everything, you may worry and say, “Oh! Didn’t I teach you that? Why don’t you always know how to adapt?

The power of adaptability from the movie
Spontonsive Flexibility is an element of creativity. If you know how to adapt, you can solve a problem in a different way.

Have you ever seen the movie “Apollo 13”, which is based on a true story? One scene of the movie tells the story of the runaway spacecraft, filtering toxic gas equipment is broken, scientists found that to solve the problem, we need to connect a round interface to a square interface above. Different sizes of water pipes cannot be reliably connected, but they want to connect the round interface? Sounds like you know it is impossible, but if you cannot connect the filter cannot pass the toxic gas, the three astronauts will not be able to return alive! In the end, with the cooperation of each other, they used plastic bags, cardboard, tape and other things to connect the two different interfaces, successfully solved the problem.

Difficulties are an opportunity to develop adaptability
As the saying goes, ” poverty leads to change, change leads to adapt “. The word “poverty” in this context does not mean “poor”, but “at the end of the road”, or “in difficulty”. When things seem to have come to a dead end, only some alternative or different methods can solve the problem.

Fostering adaptability requires that children face difficult problems, think about them, and try to solve them in different ways. In fact, children have to face a lot of problems every day, such as math problems, crafts, and model building, which require them to solve problems. We can make full use of these opportunities to develop their adaptability. 

Inclusion of children’s ideas
We need to be mindful that developing children’s adaptability requires an attitude of tolerance and acceptance of seemingly silly solutions to problems. Since adults have more experience and are better at solving problems than children, they sometimes feel that the solutions children come up with are not good enough. However, the most important thing is that these solutions were thought up by the children themselves, and they can work. Even if they don’t work, they probably make some sense and can barely do it. No matter how “dumb” a child’s approach is, every success and every parental support gives him or her more confidence to solve problems in the future.

Letting your child try
Adults may be able to figure out solutions to problems faster than children, so we need to give children enough time to think and try, and not rush to tell them what they think. Parents should let go of their children and let them face difficulties on their own. “Poverty leads to change”, and the motivation for “change” will be weakened with too much help.

This is the difficulty of being a parent. If you help too much, you worry that your child will not know how to solve problems on his own; if you help too little, you worry that he will not be able to catch up with others; and with so many things to deal with every day, how can you have time to let your child take his time to finish what he has to do every day? However, there are times, such as during the holidays, when we really need to consider slowing down the pace of life and allowing our children to do more of their own work, learn to solve problems in their own way, and develop adaptability.

Written by:Gigamind English Primary School Principal Law

 

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Become a secure attachment for your child.Parent-child interaction is especially important

There is a Chinese saying “the age of three determines 80” and the West has another saying “The future is now”.It is clear that both Chinese and foreign parents have relevant parenting experience and believe that the early years are the golden age for shaping the healthy growth of their children. Many parents understand that they are the key influencers of their children’s growth, and that their children will learn by example, so they have to set an example and start to discipline them at a young age.

I believe that parents focus on disciplining their children’s behavior, but recent studies in medicine, science, psychology, and early childhood development all point to the interaction and relationship between parents and children as the foundation for their children’s development.

“Attachment Theory research clearly shows that as early as 0-18 months of age, a parent or primary caregiver forms a lifelong relationship pattern with the child that will be passed on for the rest of the child’s life. Once a secure attachment relationship is established, it is like a secure base that can be effective in dealing with future turbulent situations and in building the ability to have a successful family relationship.

Conversely, once an insecure relationship pattern is established, it can have a negative impact on an infant’s future growth, emotional processing, and family relationships.

Secure Attachment
The key to establishing a secure attachment pattern is for parents to establish a secure attachment when their child is 0-18 months old. Parents can build secure attachments based on the following suggestions

 ~ Be close to your child often, especially when they need it, such as when they cry and see their parents comforting them so that they know you are always there for them. 
~ Invest emotionally in the parent-child relationship so that your child knows that you enjoy spending time with them and are interested in them, rather than being preoccupied with your own work. So parents need to play with their children from time to time to increase parent-child  nteraction and communication.

~ Parents are sensitive to their children’s emotional needs because children need you not only to meet their physical needs but also to care about their emotions and help them express and respond to them, especially negative emotions. When your child is dancing or smiling, you will help them say, “My baby is so happy! I’m so excited!” When your child is upset or crying, you will pick them up and offer protection and comfort. As they grow older, they will have more complex emotions, such as worry, fear, anger, frustration, and shame, and parents need to encourage and help their children express them, even though their negative emotions may have something to do with them.

Insecure Attachment
I have handled many cases in which the children are smart and well-behaved and have excellent academic  performance, but they are very disturbed emotionally. Their parents think they are leading by example, loving their children and working hard, but they do not understand how their children can have emotional problems. If they look closely at the “attachment pattern” between themselves and their children to see if they are always close to their children, if they are emotionally involved, and if they can meet their children’s  emotional needs, it will be easy to find the core of the problem and help parents rebuild a secure attachment relationship with their children so that they can rely on them and build a foundation for growth.

Written By: Ms. Lui Shuk Jing, Family Dynamics Personal, Marriage and  Family  Therapist