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

Parents Zone

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

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.

Not only will the child be unable to protect himself, but he will also get into more trouble  because the mother will be rehabilitated and will admit her fault and promise not to lie again. But in fact, his homework difficulties are not solved, creating a vicious cycle.Therefore, we encourage parents to learn to accept their children’s shortcomings so that they will have confidence in you and feel safe to open up to you.

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Parents Zone

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

Parents Zone

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.

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.

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Parents Zone

Wear face mask for long time during Epidemic.
How to make children learn to “look at people’s eyebrows and eyes”?

Parents Zone

Written by: Hong Kong Speech and Swallowing Therapy Centre
Senior Speech Therapist Eunice Siu

In our daily interactions with others, we not only observe others’ behaviors, but also “explain” and “predict” others’ behaviors. Theory of mind is the ability to infer or substitute other people’s mental states, such as their thoughts, beliefs, desires, and intentions, etc., and to use this ability to explain other people’s thoughts, perceptions, and predict their behaviors. Theory of mind can be subdivided into “emotion recognition”, “beliefs” and “pretend play”.

The developmental period for children’s theory of mind is from approximately 3 to 7 years of age. However, before the age of 3, children need to master the following skills to effectively develop theory of mind skills.

1. noticing and imitating the behavior of people around them
2. recognizing the emotions of others and using words to express them (e.g., happy, sad, angry, surprised)
3. participates in pretend play
4. understands that different people have different desires and preferences
5. understands that people will act to get what they want (e.g. reach for candy)
6. understands the causes and consequences of unsympathetic emotions (e.g. if I hit my brother, my mom will be mad and then she will scold me)

Ways to improve theory of mind are:

1. Use more psychologically relevant words when talking to your child

Using psychologically related words to communicate with children can help children understand their own and others’ psychological conditions more specifically. Examples of psychologically related words are “think,” “pretend,” “know,” “believe,” “feel,” and words related to emotions. Pay attention to what your child is trying to say and then respond. For example, “Ah! You want cake”, “Don’t be afraid! You think I’m gone, but I’m still here,” and “Mommy’s mad at you for hitting your brother. Parents can also explain to their children the psychological situation of others, e.g., “Mei-mei is smiling so much when she receives a birthday present, she should be very excited.

2. Participate in role-playing games with your child

Role-playing games encourage children to put themselves in different situations and characters’ perspectives to draw inferences about their behavior. To begin, children can pretend to be common everyday characters, such as mothers, doctors, teachers, and drivers. Parents should pay attention to the fact that both the words and behaviors in the game should be substituted for the role played. This activity helps children experience a variety of emotions, thoughts and interactions in different social situations, and learn to observe, imitate, anticipate, review and adjust their thoughts and behaviors.

I hope parents can make good use of the opportunity to share and communicate more with their children in daily life, so that they can learn to “look at people’s eyebrows and eyes” (meaning read people’s faces) and become a “mind-reading detective”!

Source:
Hollin, P., Baron-Cohen, S.,& Hadwin,J.(1999). Teaching children with autism tomind-read. West Sussex, England: Wiely Press

Lowry, L.(2015).” Tuning in” to others: How young children develop theory of mind. The Hanen Centre.

Spastics Association of Hong Kong (2005). Connecting: Developing social skills in children with autism. Spastics Association of Hong Kong.

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Parents Zone

To love children, first to love themselves, 3 moves to teach you to maintain the best mental state

To love children, first to love themselves, 3 moves to teach you to maintain the best mental state

Written by :Family Dynamics Child Play Therapist
                   Marriage and Family Therapist, Ms. Lee Wai Zi

In today’s society, it is indeed not easy for parents to maintain a good state of mind and body. I have met with many parents and found that the difficulty most parents face is not that they do not understand their children’s feelings and needs, or that they do not know how their behavior affects their children, but that it is difficult to maintain a trusting and optimistic attitude towards their children when they are in a situation. Often, parents become increasingly anxious as they worry that their child’s problems will continue and worsen, and repeat ineffective ways of dealing with their child’s problems.

So, how can parents maintain the best mental state to face the stress and challenges of disciplining their children? Here are some tips for parents to consider:

1. Be more sensitive to your own stress levels
Parents are human beings, so there will be times when they are depressed or physically and emotionally exhausted. The purpose of parents being sensitive to their own mental state is to remind themselves that they need to take care of their own needs first. It is difficult for parents to be sensitive and responsive to the needs of their children when they are in a highly stressed state. Conversely, inappropriate responses may harm the child and damage the parent-child relationship.

2. Use resources effectively to relieve stress
When parents feel stressed, they should try to explore and make good use of their own internal and external resources to regulate their negative emotions. For example, find family members or friends to talk to, do things that can relax you, and find positive thoughts and beliefs to encourage you. The purpose is to give yourself a proper rest and temporary relief from stress.

3. Turn your mind around and reflect
If a parent’s stress continues and increases, professional help is needed. Sometimes, these pressures come from more than just external influences. Parents’ self-worth, worldview, and perceptions of things can affect how we parent. For example, some parents worry that they are not doing enough to fulfill their parental responsibilities and end up pushing their children to study or participate in activities, or even that they are not flexible enough to respond to their children’s needs when they are stressed and negative. If

parents are aware of and take care of their own feelings and needs, they can prevent their negative emotions from affecting the next generation.

Therefore, parents who love their children must first love themselves. Only when parents are healthy and happy can their children grow up healthy and happy.