Written by: Family Dynamics Counseling Psychologist
Fai is a boy who is very good at drawing. He likes to draw his own comic characters, but all his characters do not have eyes, ears, mouth and nose. All of his characters, male or female, with long or short hair, have thick hair covering their ears and foreheads. These characters are like a mirror, reflecting his inner world. He does not want to communicate with others in depth, but just wants to do what he likes quietly.
When I first invited him to introduce his comic book protagonists, he said that his characters do not have mouths because no matter what they say, no one will listen to them, so they do not speak; they do not have eyes because they do not want to see what is happening in the world; they do not have ears because no one will listen to what he says. Even the sound of the crowd annoys him, so he prefers to be alone. Other than these few words, he did not respond to any other questions I had.
It was heartbreaking to listen to this P5 boy and look at his big eyes. At such a young age, he already had to close his heart and give up the opportunity to build positive relationships with others. When Fai was in Primary 4, he was determined to have dyslexia. His parents brought him to see me not for any training, but to deal with the tension and low self-image that had accumulated between him and his parents for quite some time. From the first grade, he faced many academic challenges, such as often failing in dictation, not finishing his homework until 11:00 p.m. every night, not listening to his parents’ instructions, and not finishing his exam papers. The family and he had a lot of friction and conflict over the grade. He was labeled as lazy, irresponsible and inattentive. Even though his parents later learned that he had dyslexia, it was hard for them to let go of their expectations of him, especially his mother.
In fact, Fai is not lazy. When I observed the way he played the game and did the beauty work in the game room, I knew that he is a person who has great demands on himself. In the face of failure, he would try again and again until he was satisfied. For a child who has been frustrated in his studies, even in a non-academic field, it takes extraordinary inner resources to persist in trying without fear of difficulties and learning from his own failures. As a bystander, I can clearly see his strengths, and I am inspired by his inner strength. However, the parents’ feelings about Fai’s situation were very complicated. They were so stressed out by their constant worries, sadness, expectations, and disappointments that it was hard for them to see and hear Fai’s efforts and heartfelt voices, so it is no wonder that the protagonists of Fai’s comics live in a world without eyes, ears, mouth, and nose. However, the guilt and helplessness of Fai’s parents also prompted them to ask me for help. As parents, they really need time and space to face their own pain and accept that their children are different from others. Not to mention, they only have one child, Fai.
In the process of working with Fai, I also made several appointments with his parents to help them understand more about the challenges and inner world that Fai was facing, and to help them transition and accept his complex emotions. Later, Fai’s mother told me that Fai was actually very hardworking and struggled with his homework for so long every night because he did not want to give up and insisted on finishing all his homework. Even though his parents told him to forget about it, he insisted on not going to sleep. Therefore, I also said that they were really lucky that Fai did not give up in the face of huge learning difficulties. His mother was stunned after hearing this – it seems that they are starting to see and hear Ah Fai. Parenting can be the most challenging and unpredictable experience in the world, but it can also be the most satisfying and meaningful thing in life. Parents of children with special needs are faced with extraordinary stress and emotional complexity. These emotions are like a thick fog that prevents parents from seeing and hearing the inner world of their children. At the same time, they cannot see or hear their own inner world, thus isolating the communication between parents and children. As a counseling psychologist, an important part of my job is to help parents clear the clouds so that they can see the moon.
Written by Chinese Doctor Yiu Yee Chiu
Every parent wants their child to develop well and quickly, not to lag behind, if not to be better than others. In medicine, there is a condition between “disease” and “physiology” that both parents and children find very disturbing. This is “nocturnal enuresis in children”.
Nocturnal enuresis is a stage of physiological development, but it is a problem if a child is still unable to control his or her urination and wets the bed after the age of 5. Nocturnal enuresis in children can be divided into two types: primary and secondary. The former is a pathological cause, such as spina bifida, or developmental delay. In the case of secondary causes, the child has control over the urine, but then for some reason, it gets out of control. The most common cause is an unexplained delay in development.
Medication, Physical Therapy, and Life
In Chinese medicine, the production of urine is related to several internal organs. The causes are kidney qi deficiency, spleen-lung qi deficiency, and liver stagnation and heat. In clinical practice, the main cause is kidney qi deficiency. Unlike adult enuresis or secondary enuresis in children, the condition will generally improve with several months of treatment. However, the treatment must be combined with medication, physical therapy, and life support.
Chinese herbal medicine treatment: the main ingredients are mulberry cuttlebone, puzzle nut, whole cherry, Schisandra, yam, and mulberry.
Physical therapy: Acupuncture and massage, mainly for the bladder and kidney meridians in the back
Strict abstinence from food: Avoid cold and raw foods and beverages to avoid further damage to kidney energy
Food therapy: Use peaches, tzatziki, Chinese yam, etc. as a meal or dessert
Hot compress before bedtime: Apply hot compresses to the kidney points on the back of the bladder meridian every night before bedtime. For a more pronounced effect, use cumin, white pepper, or peppercorns and then wrap them in a cloth bag.
It turns out that nocturnal enuresis is not a rare occurrence and most children recover completely. Therefore, the most important thing is how to let the child pass through this stage smoothly. If parents don’t handle it properly, it may affect their self-esteem. Therefore, it is important to see a doctor for a formal examination of the situation so that you can really help your child.
Written by: Director of Program Development, Carmen Leung
There is a wide range of teaching animations or online children’s programs for parents to choose from, but many parents ask: “Are these animations and applications good or bad for children’s learning? There are some points to note when using multimedia electronic products for children’s learning, including the age of children and remembering not to rely solely on electronic learning modes. Now let me go on to explain the other points that should be noted.
How to choose the right multimedia electronic learning product?
● It is best if the product does not have non-learning components that children can download or open on their own. For example, if a child is learning on an iPhone or iPad, parents should never let the child open other programs to ensure that the child is learning and not having fun.
● Learning products with segments or sections can be used. Many parents say that their children have a tendency to react badly when they are asked to stop using electronic products. Therefore, I suggest that products should have an interactive element and require children to respond in different ways.
● Products should have an interactive element and require children to respond in different ways. A multimedia product is not a good product if it only provides a one-way teaching model. For example, a product that only allows children to sit and listen to information, or to watch and not respond to it, is called “one-way learning” and should be avoided. Products that allow children to sing together, do actions together, string words together, and read aloud and answer questions are the products to choose.
For example, there are some products that allow children to respond, but the answers are of the same nature every time, for example, they have to press a button to answer each time, so children’s responses will be slower and they will become “robotic” learners, which will affect their motivation to learn and their ability to think from multiple perspectives in the future.
Time to use electronic devices
Children should not use electronic devices for too long period of time for learning, and parents should set a daily or weekly time limit for their children to use electronic devices. For example, children can only use the computer for a maximum of half an hour after homework each day. If the half hour is up, the child must keep the promise and stop using the product. Parents can also work with their children to set a daily schedule, allocating time for homework, fun, hobby classes and electronic devices, so that children understand that everything needs to be planned and restrained. This not only can train children’s self-management skills (Self Management), but also can effectively limit the use of electronic products time.
Reward the use of electronic devices
If a child enjoys learning with electronics (and often does), parents can consider rewarding them with the use of the product, for example, by promising them 30 minutes of electronics each time they finish a meal within half an hour, or each time they finish a lesson with quality.
Written by : Dr. Chiu Cheung Shing
During the epidemic, many parents are stocking up on medication at home, fearing that their family members or children will be infected and unable to go out to buy medication. However, if the medication is not stored properly, it is possible for children to be poisoned by taking the medication by mistake. A parent asked me, ” I have a friend’s child once took the medicine by himself and it caused poisoning, it’s terrible! What should parents do if their children are unfortunately poisoned by drugs? “
In fact, the most common route of poisoning for children is through the mouth, but some are through the respiratory tract, skin or injection. If a child has food poisoning or drug poisoning, it depends on what kind of food or drug was consumed. If it is something that burns (such as vinegar or alkaline food), the child’s reaction will be an immediate sore throat and ulcers, and he will feel very uncomfortable. However, if the wrong medication is taken in general, the child may not have an immediate reaction, but when the medication enters the stomach and starts to be absorbed, the body will start to react.
The reaction of children depends on the type of medication. For example, if he is taking a nasal medication, his reaction will usually be sleepy and drowsy; if it is a tracheal medication, his heartbeat will become faster. Some medications can cause stomach discomfort, belly pain, diarrhea, and even vomiting. If parents see something like this, they can hold the child’s head down and pat him on the back, hoping to cough up or vomit before the child swallows it completely.