Parents Zone

Become a secure attachment for your child.Parent-child interaction is especially important

Become a secure attachment for your child.

Parent-child interaction is especially important

Written By: Ms. Lui Shuk Jing, Family Dynamics Personal, Marriage and Family Therapist

There is a Chinese saying “the age of three determines 80” and the West has another saying “The future is now”.It is clear that both Chinese and foreign parents have relevant parenting experience and believe that the early years are the golden age for shaping the healthy growth of their children. Many parents understand that they are the key influencers of their children’s growth, and that their children will learn by example, so they have to set an example and start to discipline them at a young age.

I believe that parents focus on disciplining their children’s behavior, but recent studies in medicine, science, psychology, and early childhood development all point to the interaction and relationship between parents and children as the foundation for their children’s development.

“Attachment Theory research clearly shows that as early as 0-18 months of age, a parent or primary caregiver forms a lifelong relationship pattern with the child that will be passed on for the rest of the child’s life. Once a secure attachment relationship is established, it is like a secure base that can be effective in dealing with future turbulent situations and in building the ability to have a successful family relationship.

Conversely, once an insecure relationship pattern is established, it can have a negative impact on an infant’s future growth, emotional processing, and family relationships.

Secure Attachment

The key to establishing a secure attachment pattern is for parents to establish a secure attachment when their child is 0-18 months old. Parents can build secure attachments based on the following suggestions

  • Be close to your child often, especially when they need it, such as when they cry and see their parents comforting them so that they know you are always there for them.

  • Invest emotionally in the parent-child relationship so that your child knows that you enjoy spending time with them and are interested in them, rather than being preoccupied with your own work. So parents need to play with their children from time to time to increase parent-child interaction and communication.

  • Parents are sensitive to their children’s emotional needs because children need you not only to meet their physical needs but also to care about their emotions and help them express and respond to them, especially negative emotions. When your child is dancing or smiling, you will help them say, “My baby is so happy! I’m so excited!” When your child is upset or crying, you will pick them up and offer protection and comfort. As they grow older, they will have more complex emotions, such as worry, fear, anger, frustration, and shame, and parents need to encourage and help their children express them, even though their negative emotions may have something to do with them.

Insecure Attachment

I have handled many cases in which the children are smart and well-behaved and have excellent academic performance, but they are very disturbed emotionally. Their parents think they are leading by example, loving their children and working hard, but they do not understand how their children can have emotional problems. If they look closely at the “attachment pattern” between themselves and their children to see if they are always

close to their children, if they are emotionally involved, and if they can meet their children’s emotional needs, it will be easy to find the core of the problem and help parents rebuild a secure attachment relationship with their children so that they can rely on them and build a foundation for growth.

Parents Zone

Failure to adequately address anxiety in young children may exacerbate separation anxiety

Failure to adequately address anxiety in young children may exacerbate separation anxiety

Written by: New Horizons Development Centre, Certified Educational Psychologist Pang Chi Wah

As the school year begins again, many children cry when they first go to kindergarten. However, there are also children who can go to school without any adjustment period because their parents can prepare them mentally and practice simulations. For children, entering kindergarten may be their first major challenge because some children are separated from their families for the first time when they enter kindergarten, but once they have enough time to become familiar with the school environment, they will feel safe in kindergarten life and will not cry.

What bothers parents and teachers the most is that after a few weeks of enrollment, children continue to cry or expressly resist going back to school. In better cases, they may not like to participate in extracurricular activities, and in more severe cases, they may refuse to go to school, and in some extreme cases, they may not allow their parents to leave their sight. These are all separation anxiety problems.

In fact, there may be deeper reasons why children do not adapt to being separated from their families that need to be understood in depth. For example, some children are admitted to the intensive care unit when they are newborn because they are underweight or have physical problems, or they need to be hospitalized or undergo surgery because they are sick. Although such medical support is necessary for them, it may also lead to traumatic psychological experiences for them, and since then they may be afraid of strangers or unfamiliar places and easily develop separation anxiety, and their sense of security is lower than other children.

In some even worse cases, parents are not allowed to work, or that the child needs to be left with a babysitter, but the children do not want to be left behind, so the parents consider the reality of their needs and have to forcibly separate from them or lie to them. As a result of parents’ misuse of inappropriate methods, their feelings of insecurity during infancy and early childhood are reinforced. The so-called traumatic experiences are actually events that cause them to be psychologically afraid.

The main reason for the lack of security in young children is the separation from their families and the failure of parents to handle the situation properly. Ironically, some caregivers do not provide a safe and adequate living environment in their daily lives, and more importantly, there are frequent changes in caregivers or places, and there are strong contrasts in caregiving practices, causing them to go through psychological adjustment tests before they start school.


Parents Zone

Do children need to wear sunscreen when the sun shines?

Do children need to wear sunscreen when the sun shines?

Written by:Dr. Chang Kit

With modern information flow is well developed, many health care-related knowledge is easily available. One of the things that people will increasingly understand is the importance of sunscreen protection. Too much UV light accelerates skin aging and increases melanin production, resulting in pigmentation. Although UV rays themselves are effective in helping to produce vitamin D and absorb calcium, Hong Kong is on the edge of a subtropical region and is exposed to more sunlight each year than the upper northern hemisphere (such as Canada and Europe), so even with sunscreen products, there are still many opportunities for exposure to the sun.

Don’t children need sunscreen?

Adults, especially women, are aware of the importance of sunscreen protection. This includes applying sunscreen regularly every day, replenishing sunscreen regularly and avoiding outdoor activities during the sunniest hours (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). In addition, you can also use a wide-brimmed hat and wear long-sleeved clothing. However, have you ever heard parents say, “Only adults need to wear sunscreen, not children? There are many parents who believe that children do not need sunscreen. There are three reasons for this.

1. children need more sunlight to be healthy

2. sunscreen is a chemical substance, which is not good for children’s delicate skin

3. it’s not a big deal if your child gets a little more sun.

In fact, this is not the right idea. First of all, children basically don’t know how to protect themselves or how to avoid the sun, so they are “at risk”. Moreover, children’s skin is thinner and more tender than that of adults, so they are more prone to sunburn and sun spots, and therefore need more protection. On the other hand, the sunshine hours in Hong Kong and China are longer than those in Europe and North America, so the exposure to sunlight is already sufficient, so as long as there are normal outdoor activities, there is no fear of not having enough UV rays or vitamin D.

Choose the right sunscreen

As for the chemical nature of sunscreen, you should know that there are two types of sunscreens, including chemical and physical. The former needs to be absorbed by the skin in order to have a sunscreen effect, while the latter reflects sunlight on the surface of the skin. Therefore, if you are worried about the harmful effects of sunscreens, you can choose the physical type, such as zinc oxide. In addition, parents should not forget that clothing itself is also the most effective sunscreen, so wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts and long pants are very important.

What will happen if you do not protect yourself from the sun?

1. General blemishes and freckles, especially on the nose and cheekbones

2. Skin sensitivity due to repeated sunburns

3. uneven skin tone, especially if sweat spots are also present

4. Roughness of the skin

5. Microscopic blood vessels and cherry nevi on the epidermis

When parents understand the importance of the above sunscreen, they should no longer tell others: “Kids don’t need to use it!