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Parents Zone

How to enhance the confidence of shy children?

June 2023

Source: Family Marriage Therapist/Art Therapist, Ko Wing Oi

 

In reality, many parents feel that their children are shy and want to enhance their self-confidence so that they can have more confidence in talking to others. This actually depends on the child’s personality because sometimes children may be slower to warm up or feel more fearful about speaking to strangers. A child’s shyness may be related to their upbringing and experiences during their growth process.

 

In today’s busy world, many parents have limited opportunities to take their children out to play and interact with other children due to work commitments. This can gradually result in children only feeling comfortable communicating with older family members or siblings. When they encounter peers of the same age, they may not know how to play together. Additionally, many parents tend to speak on behalf of their children, especially when they are unable to express themselves. Sometimes parents may feel impatient and quickly guess what the child wants, saying things like, “Do you want this? Do you want that?” This often makes the child hesitant to express their true thoughts and feelings.

 

Parents unintentionally prevent their children from learning how to express themselves or become dependent on their parents to speak for them. However, there are various ways to help children communicate with other children or adults in different environments. For example, through interactive activities or games at home, parents can ask the child questions like, “If we meet other children to play at the playground, what can you do to join them?” Role-playing with family members can also be beneficial in helping children gain confidence in social interactions. 

Children primarily learn from their environment, including their parents, siblings, school, friends, and even through sources like online news, television, or cartoons, where they learn behaviors and speech patterns. Therefore, when playing games at home, it’s important to set a good example and show them how to communicate, speak, and express themselves effectively.

 

Sometimes, it’s necessary to give children time to think about how to express themselves instead of rushing to speak for them or completing their sentences. Even if they make a mistake, it’s important not to say, “That’s not how you do it!” as it can scare the child. It’s better to analyze the situation together and discuss how it could have been done correctly. Parents should try to engage in more analysis with the child, asking questions like, “Why is it not okay to say it that way? Because speaking like that might hurt other children. How would you feel if someone spoke to you in that manner?” Teaching them different communication methods can help them interact with strangers and communicate effectively in different environments.

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Parents Zone

How can parents help young children adapt to primary school life both psychologically and physically?

June 2023

Source:  Professor Chiu Wing Kai, Chair Professor of Sociology at the Education University of Hong Kong.

 

 

It’s already been 5 months into 2023 and summer vacation will be coming soon, followed by the start of the new school year in September. For K3 students to start their primary school life. However, these students have spent most of their 3-year kindergarten education in online classes due to the pandemic, with little face-to-face interaction. How can parents help them adapt to their new academic and social life in terms of their psychological and physical well-being.

 

 

Students who are promoted to Primary 1 are at most at K2 level because they have not returned to school for at least one full year. There are many things they need to adapt to when transitioning from kindergarten to primary school. These include school schedules, daily routines, and learning styles that are vastly different from what they are used to. Kindergarten classes typically last for around 20 minutes, after which they move on to another subject, but in primary school, classes can be 35 minutes or longer, making it difficult for them to maintain their focus. All of these issues can create significant adaptation problems for young students.

So how can parents explain these changes to their children? Firstly, parents should not be too anxious, as many primary schools offer simulation courses and adaptation weeks for new students, as well as school visits. Primary schools are usually much larger than kindergartens, and young students may be excited about the various facilities and opportunities available to them. However, it is best to start talking to them once they begin school, as too much information too soon may be overwhelming. Simply telling them, “Yes, this is what school is like” is often enough.

 

 

Additionally, some things that young students may not be capable of now do not mean they cannot accomplish them, they just need time to grow and develop. Parents need to remember that every child has a different growth rate. After starting school, observe their emotional changes when they return home from school, and if you notice any issues, pay close attention to them.

It takes time for young children to adapt, but sometimes parents also need to adapt. In kindergarten, we refer to it as the Homeroom (regular class location), where one teacher leads the class, and children usually only see one or two teachers. If parents need to participate or collaborate with the school, they can simply find that teacher. In primary school, each subject has different teachers, so if any issues arise, parents need to consider how to communicate with each teacher.

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Parents Zone

The expenses of having children are particularly high. How can parents manage their finances effectively for themselves?

June 2023

Source: Founder of
Piggy Gaga Financial Education, Sang Chan.

 

Raising children is often described as “bit pricey,” meaning that expenses increase significantly. As parents, how can we manage our finances effectively? Many parents believe that their income level determines their quality of life. While income is certainly related to quality of life, there is something even more important. If every family handles it well, their quality of life can still be greatly improved, and that is how they manage their income.

 

Each parent can use a simple financial concept, known as the financial pyramid, to allocate their monthly income. The underlying principle of this financial pyramid explains how to divide and allocate every dollar earned to the appropriate areas, maximizing the value of each dollar. By following the construction and operation of this financial pyramid, the financial situation of every family can become increasingly healthy.

 

At the base of the pyramid, the first step is to allocate around 5% of the income to Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF). After setting aside funds for MPF, the next level is to allocate for our basic needs. Basic needs refer to our necessities such as clothing, food, housing, and transportation. As parents, this also includes the daily supplies for our children, such as formula milk and diapers. It may even include their educational expenses as they grow older.

Approximately 50% of the total income should be allocated to cover basic needs, which is a reasonable level. After managing basic needs, we then have to consider taxes. The amount of taxes varies for each individual. In Hong Kong, approximately 5% of the income is usually manageable for taxes.

 

After allocating for these three levels, how can we manage the remaining money to gradually improve our quality of life? The first part is allocating around 10% of our income to liquid cash. Another 10% can be allocated to asset protection, where the most important asset is ensuring our own and our family’s well-being

 

After arranging these two 10% allocations, we have approximately 20% of the income remaining. This 20% can be allocated to asset appreciation, allowing us to achieve some important life goals. Sometimes, parents may ask, “Do we need to be very wealthy as a family to engage in financial management? Can we manage our finances even if our income is just enough?”

 

 

High-income families are like large houses, and they may have more things to take care of. They might have a storage room where all the miscellaneous items can be stored and the door closed. The whole house will then become tidy, and the overall management will be much simpler.

But if our house is not that big, metaphorically representing our income, we can imagine a small house. If we take good care of it, it can still lead to a better quality of life. If our income is more abundant, of course, there will be more room for financial management. However, if our income is just enough, it becomes even more important to manage it well.

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Parents Zone

Be cautious about home safety to prevent accidents from happening

June 2023

Source: Emergency Room Specialist Dr. Cheung Hei Lok

 

There are hidden dangers in the home, and children can easily get injured with just one careless moment. What should be taken into consideration when arranging the home to prevent children from getting injured?

 

One common household accident is children getting their fingers caught. Sometimes, due to strong winds, doors may slam shut or someone may accidentally close the door, resulting in finger injuries. Therefore, it is important to always lock the door when entering or leaving, or at least keep the keys out of reach. Parents can also use adhesive materials to secure the door latch so that even if it closes, fingers won’t get caught, or use door stoppers to reduce the risk of finger injuries.

 

In the kitchen, it is advisable to install a kitchen gate or ensure that the kitchen door is securely closed, preventing children from entering the kitchen. Parents should also teach children about fire safety from a young age. Fire is both useful and dangerous, so it should be handled with great care.

In addition, medications can also pose a danger. Sometimes, even consuming a single pill can be risky for children, so medications should be stored properly, especially in a medicine cabinet. Medicine boxes should be placed in higher positions that are out of reach of children, ensuring greater safety.

 

We should also be cautious about children climbing on things, such as bunk beds, higher beds, and sofas, as they may fall. In addition to educating them, we can assess which areas pose a higher risk and place some cushioning there, so that even if they fall, it won’t be as severe. Of course, education is always the most important aspect, and we should also try to prevent them from accessing these dangerous areas.

In Hong Kong, living spaces are often small, and we tend to use tall cabinets to store many items. When there are too many things, it can increase the risk of the cabinet toppling over. Therefore, we should personally check whether the cabinet is easily swayed. When placing items, it is important to put heavier items at the bottom and lighter items on top, so that the cabinet is less likely to tip over.

 

Another important aspect of home safety is to install window grilles. Children may climb on windows, which poses a greater risk compared to general home safety issues, as it directly involves the risk of life-threatening situations.

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Awards

Tsuen Wan Trade Association Primary School 「幼兒十項全能挑戰日」

Tsuen Wan Trade Association Primary School organized 「幼兒十項全能挑戰日」, here is the result of our students :

Gold MedalK2 Chong, King Pok
K2 Ng, Cheuk Fung
K1 Lee, Man Yui
Categories
Awards

E.L.C.H.K. Kwai Shing Lutheran Primary School 「幼兒十項全能挑戰日」

E.L.C.H.K. Kwai Shing Lutheran Primary School organized 「幼兒十項全能挑戰日」, here is the result of our students :

Merit of K3 GroupHo, Chin Yau
Merit of K2 GroupWong, Yi Ka
Merit of K1 GroupNgan, Rayden