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Parents Zone

Enhancing Resistance through Lifestyle Habits

December 2023

Written by: Registered Public Health Nutritionist (UK) and Nutritionist, Ng Pui Yu

 

In my online community, parents often ask, “What should children with sensitive airways/frequent colds eat to strengthen their immunity?”

 

When children are sick, it’s not only hard for them but also for parents who care for them day and night. There are many viruses that can cause colds, and since young children haven’t been exposed to them before, they haven’t developed the necessary antibodies, making them more susceptible to illness. It’s normal for young children to have 6 to 8 or even more colds in a year. Additionally, immune health is related to conditions like nasal sensitivity, airway sensitivity, and eczema.

 

Of course, if lifestyle habits can be improved to enhance immunity, recovery from illness can be faster.

 

 

 

 

Daily Exercise for a Strong Physique

 

Today’s children lead busy lives, attending school, extracurricular activities, and tutoring classes daily. Moreover, most parents work full-time, limiting the opportunities for their children to engage in physical activity. Besides paying attention to a child’s diet, it is crucial for parents to schedule 30 to 60 minutes of exercise for their children each day. Even activities like running, climbing, playing on slides, and swinging in the park are sufficient. Developing a habit of regular exercise should start from a young age. The author’s child, during the school years, has already begun the practice of going to the park 1 to 2 times a day, adapting to indoor playrooms on extremely hot or rainy days.

Early to Bed, Early to Rise for Good Health

 

According to a study by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, many children face the issue of insufficient sleep. They may be reluctant to go to bed due to busy homework schedules, waiting for parents to return home from work, and various other reasons. Some children may stay awake until 11 pm or even later. If this is the case, it becomes more likely for them to fall ill, experience poor concentration, and exhibit inadequate emotional control. Therefore, the author’s child typically goes to bed around 9:30 pm. If possible, an even earlier bedtime is recommended!

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Parents Zone

Reject the Busyness: Build Parent-Child Relationships Every Day. Parents should first handle their own emotions to help their children express their inner feelings.

December 2023

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.”

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Parents Zone

Dual Efforts Lead to Faster and Better Learning for Children

December 2023

Written by: Education Expert, Principal Kenneth Law

 

We all understand that each student is an independent individual, so the speed of learning varies. However, if there are methods that can make children learn faster and better, it is undoubtedly something both parents and teachers would be pleased to see. How to help children learn faster and better is also a topic of research for many scholars.

 

One key factor affecting the speed of a child’s learning is the amount of existing knowledge they possess. Existing knowledge refers to what the child has learned and mastered, not only the knowledge acquired in school but also part of the knowledge gained in daily life.

 

Learning is like building a scaffold, gradually laying a solid foundation. Lev Vygotsky, a modern psychologist highly regarded, believes that the learning process is like constructing a “scaffold,” progressing from low to high, from small to large, using one metal rod at a time. The term “scaffold” is equivalent to the bamboo scaffolding commonly used by the Chinese. Of course, in the context of learning, it’s metaphorical.

 

Describing learning as constructing a scaffold brings several insights. Firstly, laying a solid foundation is crucial. Secondly, learning must proceed step by step; if one rushes and neglects certain aspects, the knowledge won’t be firmly established. Furthermore, as long as one diligently learns step by step, they will surely accumulate more and more knowledge. Additionally, different individuals can construct different shapes of bamboo scaffolding, and knowledge is not static; it evolves continuously with the development of the times.

Once the learning theory of Vygotsky is understood, the importance of existing knowledge becomes self-evident. Existing knowledge is like a bamboo scaffold already constructed, and new knowledge is added on top of the existing scaffold, making it higher and larger. The more existing knowledge one has, the more reliable it becomes, and learning new things becomes easier. There’s no need to look around distractedly, and the learning speed becomes faster.

 

Make good use of spare time to broaden the scope of knowledge

 

The content learned and the time spent in school by students may not be extensive. Therefore, making good use of spare time becomes relatively important in enhancing a child’s academic performance. Making good use of spare time does not mean participating in more training classes or doing additional supplements. On the contrary, because schools already provide comprehensive and systematic courses, it is even more crucial to focus on expanding a broader range of knowledge during spare time, making the foundation of the “bamboo scaffold” broader.

Reading books, visiting museums and exhibitions, and traveling along nature trails can all broaden a child’s horizons and expand their range of knowledge. Parents can allow children to have more autonomy, letting them choose activities they enjoy. Providing children with the space to make choices can also cultivate their ability for self-directed learning, self-discipline, and a sense of responsibility, which are essential for their future.

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Parents Zone

Willing to share – Parents set an example

December 2023

Written: Education expert, Cheung Wai Ching

 

The crow accidentally found a piece of soap. After washing its feathers in the basin, the crow became fragrant all over. Deciding to share this soap with other animals, the mouse, rabbit, little monkey, and big bear all took turns using it. Finally, it was the elephant’s turn. After the elephant finished bathing, the soap was nowhere to be found. The crow found it strange and anxious, thinking the elephant was playing a joke on it. The crow, with a kind heart, shared its good thing with its friends, but in the end, the item was gone. We all know that soap gets smaller as it is used, which is an inevitable fact. The crow didn’t expect that its well-intentioned sharing would result in losing what it originally possessed. Although the crow was a bit reluctant to part with its soap, when it smelled the soap fragrance emanating from its good friends, it felt happy and thought it didn’t matter.

 

With an increasing number of single-child families in society, coupled with busy parents compensating with material things, children tend to think that everything is for their exclusive enjoyment, and others are not allowed to touch. In such situations, what can parents do?

 

The joy of sharing is an abstract emotion that requires the accumulation of years along with the experiences of many life events. It is not something that can be achieved overnight. The most effective education on sharing comes from the example set by parents and educators. There is a lady who works as the chief editor in a publishing house. During her daughter’s summer vacation, she took her to the office. At that time, the company was handling a batch of books donated to children in remote areas, totaling a few hundred books.

The daughter asked her, “Mom, do you have to donate so many books? You could sell them for a lot of money! You might incur a huge loss this way. Can’t you donate fewer books?” The lady replied, “No one is telling me how much to donate, and no one is forcing me to do it. It’s my own choice. What are you worried about?” The little girl said, “I’m afraid you’ll donate all the books, and we’ll lose too much. Then we won’t have any money ourselves!” The lady teased, “Well then, I won’t donate at all. After all, those other kids aren’t my children. Why should I care if they have money to buy books?” Playing along, the mom intentionally teased her daughter. The girl clarified hastily, “I didn’t mean not to donate at all. I just meant you should donate fewer books! Keep some for later, and donate gradually!”

 

The mom, who works as an editor, told her, “Daughter, if I take these books to sell and make money, our family would certainly be happy. But now that I’ve donated the books, many children will be happy because they have books to read. I will also be happy because these books may give them some hope and dreams for life and the future. My happiness cannot be measured in terms of money.”

Parents are the best role models for children. In daily life, when parents show care and assistance to others, it naturally has a subtle influence on their children. Parents should set an example of sharing with others, regularly taking the initiative to care for and assist others. The place where the author lived during childhood was populated with many residents, resembling what Cantonese films call “one floor, fourteen households.” Although having many people naturally leads to friction, neighbors were accustomed to sharing delicious snacks they made with everyone. Additionally, in daily life, common items such as oil, salt, soy sauce, and vinegar were borrowed from one another. These small acts cultivated a sense of sharing in our generation.

 

The emphasis in “Willing to Share” is on the word “joy.” It is about feeling genuine happiness from being able to share with others. Only those who are truly tolerant, generous, and enthusiastic are willing to share with others. Similarly, only those who are genuinely confident, kind, and open-minded are happy to do so. In other words, if children can truly enjoy sharing, they possess all the valuable qualities mentioned above, which are more important than achieving good grades.

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Awards

Hong Kong Child-rity Association 「The Third HKCRA Cup」

Hong Kong Child-rity Association organized 「The Third HKCRA Cup」, and we got 2nd place of 新苗組團體成績. Meanwhile, here is the result of our students:

GroupNo.NameRanking
新苗乙組(青苗)6Tang, Yui Chit3
新苗乙組(紫苗)5Huang, Yuet Tung3
新苗乙組(白苗)11Chung, Abbigail3
新苗乙組(紫苗)15Wong, Chak Fung4
新苗乙組(青苗)16Chu, Pak Ho5
新苗乙組(藍苗)3Yu, Ming Ho6
新苗乙組(藍苗)7Sun, Tsz Ki7
新苗乙組(藍苗)6Hung, Ho Lam8
新苗乙組(藍苗)1Leung, Wai KiuExcellent performance
新苗乙組(青苗)10Wong, Yin TuenExcellent performance
新苗乙組(藍苗)2Cheung, Po Man ScarlettExcellent performance
新苗乙組(藍苗)11Leung, Wai ChunExcellent performance
新苗乙組(藍苗)8Lai, Yui WangExcellent performance
新苗乙組(藍苗)13Li, Cheuk HangExcellent performance
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Awards

E.L.C.H.K. Kwai Shing Lutheran Primary School 「『親親聖誕節』親子填色及繪畫比賽」

E.L.C.H.K. Kwai Shing Lutheran Primary School organized 「『親親聖誕節』親子填色及繪畫比賽」, here is the result of our students :

Merit of K3Li, Sze LuiMerit of K2Lau, Chin Yau1st runner up of K1Ng, Kwan Lam2nd runner up of K1Chan, Pak Hung

1st runner up of K3Leong, Tsz Suen
Merit of K3Kwan, Sum