It’s been almost two years since we got married, and my husband and I are still not mentally prepared to have a child. We always feel that raising children is too difficult, and we are afraid that we will not be good parents. The eight tips that Dr. Agnes Ip shared in the workshop “Correcting Children’s Behavior without Yelling or Hitting” has helped me build a little bit of confidence: as long as a person is willing to “spend time” to practice these tips “with love”, anyone can become a good father or a good mother.
Tip 1 “Develop a positive self”:
Parents are encouraged to accept and respect their children and give them unconditional love, because “children who are accepted by their parents will feel that they are cute.” Especially for children who are naturally shy, parents are to give them extra attention and patience, more time to adapt to new people, situations, and things, and help them build good self-confidence and self-esteem.
Tip 2 “Develop the ability to self-regulate”:
Parents are encouraged to help their children learn how to deal with themselves and get to know themselves, especially when children have bad habits, parents can set up “secret codes” with their children to help them adjust slowly and improve over time. Gradually, parents may be able to deal with their children’s negative emotions on a deeper level.
Tip 3 “Help children see their own achievements”:
As Chinese parents, we are encouraged to learn to intentionally record and affirm our children’s achievements by using creative methods, such as paper cards, portfolios, bulletin boards, “good baby” handbooks, family weekly newspapers… Little by little, you will have built a record of accomplishments that your family loves.
Tip 4 “Constructive communication”:
Parents are encouraged to understand that children’s growth is a gradual and exploratory process, and they need to go the extra mile to reflect with their children. Parents need to understand the reasons behind their children’s behavior, as children may have their own difficulties.
This reminds me of a childhood experience. When my little brother was in kindergarten, he was instigated by his classmates to steal things from a small store. Later, when my mother discovered the “loot”, she did not immediately blame my brother but took the time to patiently ask what was going on. It turned out that my brother stole something to take home as a gift to his sister. I was very moved but knew it was wrong to do so. The next day we accompanied my brother to the small shop to apologize, and the shop owner also generously forgave my brother. Twenty years later, I still remember this incident vividly, and I’m grateful to my mother for taking the time to handle it properly and protect my brother’s self-esteem.
The book of Colossians from the Bible says, “Parents, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” This emphasizes the importance of nurturing children’s self-esteem. In fact, what most children want most is very simple: not material rewards, not praise in front of others, but just that parents “spend time” with them and give them basic respect, trust and a little understanding. Instead of discouraging our children with judgmental words, we can imitate the Lord Jesus Christ and give hope and love.
In the next article, we’ll move on to Dr. Ip’s remaining four tips. Please stay tuned.