THIS XXIX Parent Education Session
SIX STRATEGIES TO GOOD PARENTING
“Pushing yourself is better than pushing your kids,” were the opening words from Principal Li at the most recent edition of the THIS Parent Education Session. Principal Li continued, “In today’s competitive environment, parents need to continue to grow in order to have the wisdom to manage their own emotions while also taking care of children. Handling parent-child relationship well is very demanding for parents.” These remarks set the stage for the 29th Parent Education Session.
THIS invited Golden Microphone Award winner, famous media personality, parenting education expert and best-selling author, Ms. Li Xiaomeng, to provide parents with strategies to effective and good parenting:
1. Beware of Workshop Parenting
Parents are eager learners began Ms Li Xiaomeng, “There is a joke that every mother who comes to the seminar has either read 5 parenting books or attended more than 3 courses.” However Ms. Li Xiaomeng warned parents to careful of implementing every strategy they come across, as they can be taken out of context or implemented incorrectly. She guided parents to go beyond the mere appearance of a problem. “The real problem may be deeper, may be accumulated over your years of parenting, and may have accumulated during the 30,40, or 50 years of your own life, and finally reflected on your children.”
2. Build the bond, don’t break it
The bond with one’s child is the most essential and important building block for any parent. The parent-child relationship is bigger than anything, bigger than grades, bigger than tutoring courses, bigger than the teacher’s evaluation.
Ms. Li Xiaomeng warned parents to be wary of two situations in particular. Firstly, parents should stay clear of making moral judgments, such as “You are too materialistic.” “You are over if you do this.” “You are immoral if you do this.” “You are lying.” Such statements slowly chip away at your parent-child bond. Secondly, parents should connect their own success to that of their child’s. These have to be separated in the parent’s mind so that in a situation of success or failure, the parent can support child with a clear mind.
3. Reevaluate the evaluation of parenting success
When asked how many parents considered themselves to be. successful parents, a handful of hands went up from the audience. Ms. Li Xiaomeng smiled with a thumbs up to those who raised their hands and reemphasized, “the evaluation of a successful parent is not dependent on the success of the child’s socialization and development.”
When evaluating our children, multi-dimensional evaluation systems are used, this helps children find their own value in learning and life. The same yardstick should be applied to evaluating parents and parenting. “Are you empathetic to your child? Can you provide your child with a safe environment? Do you push your child when he is struggling? Do you shower your child with praise?” asked Ms. Li Xiaomeng. When parents also reevaluate themselves in a multi-dimensional way, a new world of parenting is achieved.
4. Don’t Forget parents are only human
Ms. Li Xiaomeng raised a few more questions, “Does your child’s behavior anger you? Is the behavior itself that is problematic or does your child’s behavior remind you of your past?” It is time for a new paradigm to unpack parent-child conflicts.
“Think closely,” Ms Li Xiaomeng urged. A parent’s anxiety seems is a primary factor in how a parent responds to a child’s behavior This further debilitates a parent’s emotional control. Ms. Li Xiaomeng elaborated that “there are no right or wrong emotions. It is normal for parents to have emotional episodes. Parents should find their own strategies to deal with their personal emotions and practice the technique.” Every family has its own problems and no one’s upbring is without trials and tribulations. We are all human.
5. Focusing on the present
“Anxiety traps you in the past, makes you ignore the present, and worry about the future,” quipped Ms. Li Xiaomeng. Parents easily worry about their kids, about their eating habits, sleep habits, study habits, grades, future, and the list goes on. Being a parent is a way of life and to practice this way of life a parent must not be afraid of the future, should not miss the past, and must focus on the present.
6. There are no grades in society
School is a transit point for children between home and society, and it is a simulation of a small society. Society does not need or have grades, but children need to learn to get along with others, solve problems, learn to cooperate and collaborate with others, find their own place in a team, learn to face unexpected difficulties, and more. This kind of learning goes beyond grades, this is holistic development and learning.
When parents are only focused on grades, the school will also only focus on grades. But the formatives years must be more than grades, it has to be about developing, nurturing and fostering the whole child to be independent, open-minded, have integrity, health and wellbeing So, parents’ values influence educational ethos and it is important that parents view the school as a holistic learning environment.
Ms. Li Xiaomeng closed with a personal reflection, “I think in my 12-year journey as a mom, while my daughter was growing from 0 to 12 years old, I was developing from 38 to 50 years old as a parent. My changes and growth in these 12 years are even greater than those of my daughter. I am so grateful to have become more confident, more empowered, more in control, and more accepting of myself as a mom.”
The workshop left parents feeling confident. One parent noted that after listening to the lecture, she felt that parents should be brave to be their true selves. Another parent shared that “every mother should believe that each is the best mom for your child.” Another parent even decided that she would not force her child to learn swimming anymore and communicate better with her child. The bond between parents and child is a deciding force in everyone’s lives. At THIS we nurturer this bond with a strong and evolving bond between home and school.
Writing，Editing | Mercy Xu
Pictures | Mercy Xu，Fontaine Yang
Auditing | Benita Sumita, Toni Dong, Wenping Li