The First Dose of the “2023/24 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination School Outreach (Free of Charge)”will be held on 27th October (Friday) afternoon. There will be a further notice with details. Please accompany your child on the specified date and time.
Our school will hold a celebration for children whose birthdays are in October on the 20th October (Friday). The theme of this birthday party is “Caring for Nature”. Through stories, games and sharing, students can experience the fun of outings, cultivate an awareness and attitude of caring for and appreciating nature, and learn things to pay attention to while outing.
Children can wear casual sportswear, and bring their activity bags and tableware. The school time will be as normal usual.
Everyday life is full of eye use. Adults and children do eye exercises together.
Source : Chinese Medicine Practitioner, Chiu Shi Cheung
Many children today spend a lot of time looking at computers, phones, or reading, which can strain their eyes. There are some acupoint massages that can help children relieve eye strain.
The first acupoint we’ll introduce is the “Zan Chuk” point. It’s located at the very front end of the eyebrows, about half an inch downward, at the corner of the eye socket. Another acupoint is called the “Jing Ming” point. It’s located at the side of the nasal bridge, right in the middle between the two eyes, near the inner edge of each eye. The third point is the “Si Pak” point, which is about 1 inch below the eyes, roughly the width of two fingers apart. It’s in front of the cheekbone, and when you touch it, there should be a slight depression just below the eyes; this is the “Si Pak” point. The last acupoint is the “Shi Chuk Hung” point, located at the very end of the eyebrow. All four of these points can help with dispersing wind, clearing heat, and improving vision.
Once we know the locations of these acupoints, how do we massage the eye area?
First, let’s start with the first point, the “Zan Chuk” point. You’ll use your four fingers to hold down the eyebrows, and then use your thumb to press on the “Zan Chuk” point. The “Zan Chuk” point is right at the very front end of the eyebrows, in the depression at the corner of the eye socket. Hold it with your four fingers and your thumb, and gently rotate 64 times in opposite directions.
The second acupoint is called “Jing Ming” Point, located in the area in front of the inner corner of the eye, between the eyebrow and the bridge of the nose. We use two fingers to gently pinch the bridge of the nose and then slowly massage it up and down, repeating this motion 64 times.
The third acupoint is called “Si Pak” Point. It is located on the inner edge of the cheekbone on our face. In fact, when you touch it, you’ll feel a slight depression. Using two fingers, place them on either side of the bridge of the nose, and you will be able to locate this point. Gently press inside, and you will feel a slight soreness. After locating it, you can also rotate the pressure 64 times.
The fourth acupoint is Shi Chuk Hung Point. To locate it, use your thumbs to first press on both sides of the temples. Then, starting from the Shi Chuk Hung Point, sweep upward to the Shi Chuk Hung Point again, and then continue downward, below the eyes, to the Shi Chuk Hung Point. This constitutes one cycle, and repeat this motion 64 times.
By massaging these four acupoints, you can not only relieve eye fatigue but also improve the blood circulation around the eyes and prevent eye conditions such as nearsightedness. When we do eye exercises, remember to keep our eyes closed throughout the entire process. After completing the eye exercises, it’s also important to keep your eyes closed for 2 to 5 minutes. We typically press each acupoint for 64 times. Why 64 times? It’s because, from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine “eighty-eight sixty-four“, we call it the “first of eight eights” meaning the most important.
Being unfocused when playing with toys, will it make it harder for them to concentrate on learning in the future?
Source : Registered Clinical Psychologist, Yiu Fong Lee
Some parents may notice that their children, aged 4 to 5, often have trouble staying focused when playing with toys. For example, they may play with one toy for only 2 minutes before switching to another, and they might take out all the toys in the room without cleaning up afterward. Parents may worry that if their children are so unfocused now, how will they fare in exams or when studying in the future?
It turns out that when children’s brain development is not yet mature, their attention span can be a bit short. Research has found that mindfulness can help improve children’s focus, especially by training their frontal lobes, which can enhance their attention and concentration.
There are some mindfulness games that can be used as a reference. For example, parents can use certain apps with visual cues. Children can follow these apps, for instance, there might be an image of a balloon that inflates when they breathe in and deflates when they breathe out. This way, by following their breath, children can improve their ability to concentrate. Additionally, there’s a practice called ‘Statue,’ which many parents might remember from their own childhood. In this exercise, children must sit still and watch an app or a timer for a specific duration to see how long they can remain seated calmly.
“Then, if children manage to do this, you can introduce an additional element, which is auditory distractions. For example, you can include some simple sounds, like calm music. If the children succeed with that, you can gradually introduce more challenging elements, such as cartoons or anything they enjoy, to see if they can stay focused on the app and their breathing in a more distracting environment. This helps train their concentration.
Secondly, we can try implementing some rules and visual reminders. You can tell the children that there is a rule when it comes to playing games or with toys: they have to finish playing with one thing before they start with another, and they should spend at least 5 to 10 minutes playing with each item before switching. You can use some pictures to show them one toy, then cleaning up that toy, and then moving on to the next. In between, you can indicate that they should play with each toy for 5 to 10 minutes.”
The third method is a behavioral consequence approach. When children are able to focus, parents can encourage them by saying, ‘You did a great job because you were so focused!’ or by telling them, ‘I appreciate your effort because you can sit still and enjoy one toy. You can actually have more fun while playing with your toys this way.’ If the child cannot do it, we can introduce consequences. For example, you can say, ‘You finished playing with one thing and then jumped to another and then to a third one. This means you couldn’t follow the rules, so now we need to take a break.’ This break could be, for instance, 5 minutes of not playing with any toys. You can use an app to help them sit quietly until they feel they can concentrate on one game, and then you can continue playing.
The fourth method is what we call the ‘Star Focus Reward Plan.’ For this, you can give the child a timer, clock, or hourglass, and the child watches the time while engaging in a focused activity, like 1 minute or 2 minutes. Parents can discuss with the child that for each session of focused attention, they will earn a star, which goes into a piggy bank. The child can see how long they can focus, and these stars accumulate, helping the child become more focused over time.
A quick method to calm down young children
Source: Pediatric Behavioral Therapist, Yip Wai Lun
Many times, as parents, when we see our children experiencing negative emotions like anger, tantrums, or extreme unhappiness, we often want to quickly resolve the situation by saying things like, “Don’t be so angry!” or we may scold them, sometimes even yelling, “Shut up right now!” or using a countdown like “One! Two! Three!” to command them. Some parents may try to reason with their children, saying, “We shouldn’t behave like this; we should stay calm.” However, these methods are not always very effective. Why is this the case?
It turns out that this is closely related to the structure of our brains. Understanding the brain’s structure can be very helpful in parenting. If we are familiar with two specific parts of the brain, it can aid us in disciplining our children. The first part is called the amygdala, which is a pair of almond-shaped clusters located in the posterior part of our brain. When we are startled or feel threatened, the amygdala sends signals that prepare us for either a fight or flight response. The amygdala operates on a reflexive level.
Another part is called the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for our flexibility and empathy. However, the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex cannot function simultaneously. The development of a child’s prefrontal cortex takes place from around the age of two to over twenty years old before it fully matures. Only then can they understand your reasoning and consider your thoughts and feelings.
As a result, most of the time, children are primarily influenced by the two amygdalae. This is why you often see children experiencing various emotions, becoming easily agitated, and prone to tantrums.
How do we stop the amygdala from functioning? This is very important. The way we make the amygdala stop functioning is by helping children express their emotions, especially when they have negative emotions. As parents, we should help them speak out, for example, saying, “I can see that you’re very unhappy,” “I can see that you’re very disappointed,” or “You seem very sad.” Because when you express and describe their feelings, their prefrontal cortex will send soothing messages to their amygdala, causing the amygdala to stop functioning immediately.
Whatever you do, don’t react negatively! When you see that your child is emotional, express your own personal feelings as a parent: “I’m really angry!” “What you did is not right!” or “I feel upset!” Doing this will only stimulate the child’s amygdala and make them more resistant. So the first step in disciplining children is not to control or teach them, but to first connect with their emotions and then readjust.
Is an electronic pacifier a quality toy?
Written by: Speech Therapist, Lee Wing Yan
With the advancement of technology and material abundance nowadays, it’s not hard to see that tablets are being used as “electronic pacifiers” for young children. Regardless of the occasion, whenever parents bring out this “electronic pacifier” and play YouTube videos, children sit quietly, and adults can focus on their tasks. Since tablets and smartphones can calm young children and provide educational games and videos for learning, does that mean they are quality toys?
The key to selecting “quality toys” lies in whether young children can genuinely learn from them. Indeed, educational videos and interactive games can offer the cognitive concepts that preschoolers need to learn, but we also need to consider how preschoolers actually learn language.
Recent foreign research explores the impact of the parent-child interaction pattern on language development one year later (i.e., at age 3). The study found that the presence of “connectedness” between parents and children during interactions most influenced the child’s subsequent language development, including whether both parties participated in the same activity in turns. Additionally, children’s learning of verbs, such as “I eat” in “eat” or “Mom drinks water” in “drink,” directly affects their future language development (from the three examples above, it’s clear that to form complete sentences, children need to recognize a certain number of verbs).
Seizing everyday life opportunities to teach verbs through activities
So, can tablets and smartphones achieve the mentioned “connectedness”? Based on my daily observations, children tend to use tablets and smartphones alone, and they resist it when parents want to intervene. Furthermore, most of what children learn from videos are limited to English alphabets, counting, nursery rhymes, cartoon character names, or specific dialogues from cartoon characters. But what about verbs? Verbs are often easily overlooked in videos because children can learn them more effectively by doing them in real situations! For example, teaching a child the action of “brushing teeth” doesn’t it involve singing a nursery rhyme “Up and down the brush,” repeatedly emphasizing the action of “brushing,” and brushing teeth together with them? In daily life, whether during bath time, cooking, playing with toys, or going to the park, parents can take the opportunity to teach relevant verbs used in different scenarios through interactive activities.
Furthermore, research also indicates that the quality of interaction between parents and young children during play and reading, including the vocabulary adults input to children and the spontaneous “baby talk” from children, is higher compared to when using tablets and smartphones. Scholars generally believe that young children’s language learning primarily occurs through interaction with people. Therefore, if young children excessively use tablets and smartphones, reducing interaction with family members, it may be detrimental to their language development.
So, what defines a “quality toy”? Whether it’s choosing tablets, smartphones, or traditional toys like dolls, puzzles, and toy cars, the most important aspect to consider is:
Does it promote interaction and communication between parents and children?
Does it replace original opportunities for parent-child interaction?
In parent-child interaction and communication, parents can use various communication techniques to enrich the child’s language environment. These techniques have been mentioned in the previous article on “Four Communication Styles.” Toys are, in fact, just tools. Through toys and quality interaction, we aim to enhance young children’s language development.
How to cultivate a child’s manners? Respect and attention are essential
Written by: Education expert, Principal Cheung Wai jing
At a talent recruitment event for a large multinational company, both Siu Cheung and Siu Choi successfully passed the initial and follow-up interviews. They stood out from over 100 competitors. Whether it was written tests or communication skills, both were equally impressive, leaving the human resources department’s evaluators in a dilemma, as the company would only hire one person.
In the end, the company manager decided to personally interview both candidates. Surprisingly, after just a few minutes, the manager chose to hire Siu Cheung. When asked for the reason, the manager candidly stated, “The reason is simple. When I was speaking to them, Siu Cheung maintained eye contact with me the whole time, while Siu Choi was looking around, indicating that he wasn’t good at actively listening to others. Being adept at listening and respecting clients is a crucial requirement for a sales supervisor.”
Expressing Sincerity and Respect through Eye Contact
This example illustrates a straightforward lesson: eyes are the windows to the soul, and people use their gaze to convey a range of emotions such as respect, attention, disdain, and indifference. Therefore, maintaining consistent eye contact during conversations signifies your sincerity. Moreover, those who can attentively focus on others’ words without shifting their gaze will naturally earn gratitude and respect from others.
Schools often organize activities centered around the theme of “politeness” to encourage students to be courteous to others. “Others” includes not only family members, elders, teachers, and fellow students but also unfamiliar people. Children should learn early on about polite phrases like “good morning” and “thank you,” but many still don’t proactively greet others, let alone observe other daily life etiquette. Schools focus on teaching students how to behave politely when interacting with teachers and peers in the school setting; the rest relies on family education.
The example of “job hunting” mentioned above might not be applicable to elementary school students for the time being, but they also frequently have opportunities for interviews. If they want to leave a good impression on others, children must learn to use their eyes to show their attention and respect when conversing with others. Therefore, parents need to teach children the skills and art of listening. Of course, when parents listen to their children, they should also give them appropriate respect and attention. This way, children will learn that politeness in interpersonal interactions knows no age or status boundaries. Here are three listening tips:
- When listening to someone, avoid looking around and instead focus on the person’s eyes.
- When you understand or share the same sentiment, use your eyes to communicate and show agreement.
- Gazing at someone doesn’t mean staring fixedly at them; doing so can actually come across as impolite.
In literature, characters are often described as having “eyes that speak.” In reality, everyone has eyes like that; as long as we utilize them well, they can be more persuasive than the words we speak.
Happy kindergarten, how about elementary school?
Written by: Octopus parent, Mr. Leung Wing Lok.
I’ve heard many parents share their experiences, and within the three years of kindergarten, the biggest concern is the transition to elementary school. How much should be done for the child? Should interview classes be arranged? Should extra English lessons or etiquette coaching (not a typo, there are actually training classes for etiquette) be arranged? Among the myriad of skills, is having sixteen talents out of eighteen enough? Or should the child learn niche skills to stand out, like magic tricks or acrobatics? Both parents and children are busy enjoying quality bonding time, especially when every activity has a purpose. As a result, attitudes change, and the child might lose interest in extracurricular classes.
Parents worry about selecting the preferred elementary school and creating resumes.
Especially for K3 students entering the “peak school application season” in June, parents and children face the decision of whether to apply to 10 or 8 elementary schools. As a father, you may hope to only apply to one or two preferred elementary schools, but can you bear the responsibility of “not providing enough education” for your child?
Another challenge is undoubtedly creating the resume, how elaborate should it be? Many schools explicitly state that they accept a maximum of only 4 pages, but you see other parents’ “work reports” for their children that are as thick as prospectuses, with an exquisite level of presentation rivaling Apple’s brochures. You glance at your child, he might not stand out particularly, nor is he an incredibly handsome “lad.” Do you have the courage to limit the resume to just 4 pages?
The choice between “entering elementary school” and “becoming a person.”
What’s most precious isn’t how outstanding the “academic performance” is, but rather the ability to interact with others, to be polite. Of course, what I’m most grateful for is when the teacher specifically instructed my son to “love Daddy, Daddy works hard,” transforming me in my child’s eyes from a “rarely seen person” to a “cherished person to meet.” These teachings might not necessarily aid in entering elementary school, but they hold everlasting value in the parent-child relationship.
Reflecting back, did kindergarten primarily cultivate your child for “entering elementary school,” or for “becoming a person”? Facing the same question, as a parent, is your goal of educating your child solely for the purpose of “entering elementary school”?
Children are two different beings at home and school？
Written by: Dr. Szeto Wing Fu, Chairman of the Hong Kong Institute of Family Education
A teacher asked me, “Many parents seek my advice on education and disciplining their children. As a new teacher with limited life experience, I often feel inadequate in dealing with complex education policies and child-rearing issues. What should I do?”
Every semester, the school arranges one or two opportunities for parents to meet with teachers and discuss their children’s performance at school. As a father, I always strive to attend these meetings together with my wife. After each brief gathering, our son would eagerly ask and want to know what we discussed with the teacher about him. Recently, the teacher mentioned that our son is relatively quiet at school, not very proactive, and often takes on the role of an “observer.” My wife couldn’t wait to say that he is completely different at home, very active and full of “many opinions.” The teacher’s reaction was not surprised but rather smiled continuously, seemingly very accepting of the fact that children can present different sides at home and at school.
My wife naturally looked at the teacher with expectant eyes, hoping to get some guidance on how to make our child more proactive in the learning environment. Fortunately, I spoke a few “fair” words, recalling how our son was fearful and often a “lone ranger” when he first started school last year. Over the past year, our evening prayers with our son have always included a request to our Heavenly Father to make him braver, and this year he has made much progress. On the way home, I also reminded my wife that there are no standard answers or miraculous remedies for many things, and the teacher, being younger than us and not yet a parent, still has experience in dealing with different children. Therefore, it is most important for parents and teachers to communicate more on the children’s journey of growth.
Embracing Our True Selves
Recently, a parent asked me: “My child is very well-behaved at school, a courteous and exemplary student, but at home, he often throws tantrums. Why does he have such different behaviors in front of others and at home? How should I handle this?”
During the first semester of my son’s primary one, there were two consecutive weeks of “inexplicable” incidents, such as his beloved “Sergeant” watch going missing, books found in the trash bin, exercise books doodled and torn. My wife and I were both baffled and still wanted to unravel the mystery in our hearts: who could be behind these incidents?
On Monday morning, my wife went to the school to discuss the incident with the teacher. However, just before leaving, I firmly told my wife, “No matter the doodles, tears, or books being treated as garbage, I am certain that our son didn’t do any of these.” She asked, “Why are you so sure?” My answer was, “Because he is my son, and I have been with him as he grew up. I know his temperament like the back of my hand.” Eventually, it was found that his neighboring classmate was responsible for those actions. Since that day, I noticed a “subtle” change in our child’s behavior between school and home – at school, he seemed to have learned that it is a community: crossing certain boundaries with books would upset classmates, and the teachers were like referees, and to “survive” he had to understand the “rules of the game.” But when he came home after school, he would immediately embrace his true self, because at home, he had his dad and mom, who understood him the most.
In fact, isn’t it true that in the adult world, we also have a different self during the day and at night?