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What should parents do if their children are being teased and bullied?


What should parents do if their children are being teased and bullied?

Source: Psychologist, Lee Wai Tong

Currently, schools have fully resumed classes, and children have more time to spend with their classmates. Sometimes, children may be teased or bullied at school. When they don’t know how to express these emotions, they may react with aggressive behavior, which may be misunderstood by teachers.

For example, in a class of children playing together, one child may be teased for not performing well. At this moment, the child may not know how to handle the feeling of being teased or bullied, so when given the opportunity, the child may push or kick things, or even lie on the ground and scream. When the teacher arrives and sees this scene, they may naturally think that the problem lies with the child and may scold or lecture them. However, the teacher may not have noticed what happened before the incident.

When facing bullying or teasing, children often don’t know how to ease their feelings, which becomes a headache for many parents. In fact, when children are bullied or teased in daily life, they usually seek comfort from their parents first. If parents can comfort their children appropriately, such as if the child says to their mother, “Mom, they are making fun of me,” and the mother can comfort the child by patting them and saying, “Yes, sometimes some kids do that; it’s okay.” At this moment, it is a critical time, and the child will internalize this comforting feeling.

When the child returns to school and is teased again, because they received comfort from their parents before, they can comfort themselves or even ignore others’ teasing and continue playing or doing their own thing. This reduces the possibility of unnecessary misunderstandings by the teacher, who may think the child is misbehaving, pushing others, kicking things, or screaming. Of course, on the other hand, if the teacher can timely ask the child about the cause and effect of the incident, it is also a good method to let the child express their grievances and calm their emotions.






現在全面復課,小朋友有更多時間與同學相處。 有時候在學校裡小朋友可能會被取笑或被欺負,當他不懂抒發這種情緒,可能會作出一些反擊行為,更可能會引來老師誤會。




Can mindfulness also help stabilize children’s emotions?


Can mindfulness also help stabilize children’s emotions?

Registered clinical psychologist, Dr. Felicia Lee

Recently, many people have been learning mindfulness to manage their emotions and think more clearly. However, mindfulness can also help us stabilize children’s emotions. Mindfulness, also known as “jing-nim” in Chinese, is a concept that combines Eastern philosophy and Western science. Mindfulness is about consciously and non-judgmentally focusing our attention on the present moment. We are aware of where our focus is at this moment, and we do not think about whether something is right or wrong. We just observe and describe. So how can we use mindfulness to help stabilize children’s emotions?

The most important thing is to stop first. This requires us to practice regularly, and through mindfulness practice, we will know what methods can be used to effectively stop ourselves or our children. Because sometimes children will stop when they hear their mother shout, but what can be done to stop them when their mothers are not around or when no one is around to advise them? This is an important thing we can practice with mindfulness.

The second step is observation. What kind of mindset should we use to observe? We should observe with a non-judgmental mindset. When a child has emotions, we usually see their emotional outburst, and sometimes we have thoughts or critical words in our minds. If we describe this thought with a non-judgmental mindset and also feel our own emotions, we can see the child’s real needs through their behavior.

The third step is to use language to describe your current feelings or what is happening at the moment because when you use words, it will calm down the center of your emotions.

I remember one time when two brothers were arguing, and one of them stretched out his foot, which began to provoke the other, who then slowly became angry. They would kick each other, at first lightly and then with more force. Actually, when you see this kind of situation, you will feel very angry.

First, do not stop them, because when you stop them, you are characterizing one person as wrong, and after you characterize them, one of them may become even angrier. The worst thing is that they may both become angry together and say, “We’re just playing; why are you taking it so seriously?” So calm yourself down first, and then ask them casually, “What’s happening now?” Sometimes they may answer you, which is already good. If they cannot answer and are still angry, you can separate them, which is also okay.

NTACG Yuen Long Branch hosted 2024 Parent-child Coloring Competition Theme: “My Home”

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What should I do when confronted with dishonesty in children?

What should I do when confronted with dishonesty in children

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. 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 excel in other areas as well. And regardless of their intelligence level, as long as they use the right approach, coupled with the right amount of training, they can also build the corresponding ability.

But why do people lie? 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 cope with a crisis by avoiding it. If parents want to help their children, they should allow them to tell the truth so that they can understand what their children really don’t understand.

How do you instill in children the courage to speak the truth? You have to let your child know that even if he is not smart enough, you will still love him so much, take him as your joy, be patient with him, and find ways to help him solve his problems together, thus building up his sense of security and making him feel at ease to reveal his inner uncertainties and difficulties. 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.

At this point, the child will not only fail to protect himself but will also get into more trouble because the mother will be rehabilitated and will take the initiative to admit her mistake and promise not to lie again. But in fact, his homework difficulties are not resolved, 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.










“Does learning mindfulness help in rediscovering the strengths of children?”

“Does learning mindfulness help in rediscovering the strengths of children?”

Source: Registered Clinical Psychologist, Yiu Fong Lee

Parents often encounter various behavioral problems with their children, which can be very troubling. For example, they ask their child to do homework, but the child doesn’t do it; they ask the child to eat, but the child sits there playing instead. When children display many uncooperative behaviors, parents become very angry and may use blaming or punishing methods to deal with them. In times of great distress, children become even more uncooperative because they feel their parents are annoying and only have negative evaluations, causing their behavior to become increasingly uncooperative and disobedient. In the practice of mindfulness, parents can learn to carefully observe what is happening at the moment without any criticism, and then try to connect with their child wholeheartedly and notice any good qualities.

In the mindfulness parenting group, we encourage parents to use their five senses, including sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell, to experience mindfulness while eating. For example, taking a piece of raisin and putting it in your mouth, feeling its texture at that moment, and noticing any changes. Through our careful observation, we will discover that raisins are actually very sweet, and they will slowly melt in our mouths.

We can apply this mindset to our interactions with children in daily life, meaning that in addition to their uncooperative behavior, tantrums, or emotional outbursts, we should observe them carefully to see if there are any other things that other parents might not notice. In the mindful parenting group, one mother shared that besides being angry when her son didn’t listen to her, she also noticed that he was willing to help her carry heavy objects or food at times, showing that he cared for her.

Some mothers even mentioned that their sons may be sensitive to certain sounds, but during the New Year’s vegetable-grabbing game, they would try their best to grab the vegetables and bring them back to their mothers because they wanted them to be healthy and safe. The mothers felt that their children loved them very much, so they paid more attention to the good things their children did or the times when they cooperated. For example, if a child refused to do homework ten times but then was willing to do it or quietly read once, the mother would appreciate and tell the child, “You were very focused today, and I appreciate that.” Over time, the child will realize that he or she can do well, and the mother won’t be so annoying or only focus on the bad things the child does. Instead, the mother will focus on the good things the child does, and the child’s behavior will gradually get better.

In clinical practice, we often see that in parent-child interaction, when parents can sense the subtle aspects of daily life, such as what their children are willing to give, cherish, or when they exhibit good behavior, it can greatly help improve the interaction and relationship between the two. Additionally, when children feel positive about themselves, their confidence will also improve.

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甚至乎有些媽媽會提及兒子平常對聲音可能有些敏感,不過新年搶生菜環節,他很努力地搶生菜回來給媽媽,因為他很想媽媽健康平安。媽媽感受到孩子是很疼愛自己的,媽媽從而在日常生活中,留意多點孩子有甚麼做得好的或者合作的時間。例如當你叫了十次叫他不做功課 ,他有一次願意做功課或者有一次願意默書,媽媽都會很欣賞地告訴孩子:「你今天真是很用心,媽媽很欣賞你。」久而久之,孩子也會感受到自己可以做好,而媽媽也不是那麼煩人,也不是只看重我不好的地方,她懂得欣賞我好的地方,他亦會慢慢改善其行為。