Parent-Support-Parent organizes a talk to help parents nurture their children more effectively.
Contributed By Carol Loi
On April 25, close to 30 parents met at Grace Kids in Great World City Mall to learn and discuss about how they could better nurture their children’s creativity and thinking skills, to prepare them for the 21st century.
The parent forum was the initiative of Parent-Support-Parent, a network started in 2009, by three mothers, with the aim of providing support, knowledge, advice and resources to parents.
With activities and events organized on a bi-monthly basis, parents who are part of PSP meet up regularly to exchange experiences and tips on parenthood, as well as to attend talks given by professionals on parent-child related issues—The latest topic was “21st Century Competencies & Understanding Creativity In Children.”
The session opened with the organizers from PSP introducing the network and what it aims to achieve—that is to be a platform for parents to exchange notes on parenting, to share and learn from one another, so as to be better equipped in nurturing their children more effectively.
The parents then heard from guest speaker, John Yeo, who has a Master of Science degree in Creative Studies and Change Leadership, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Education, brought along his wife and two children, ages 6 and 3.
Yeo highlighted that children think differently from adults, and that parents need to remember to see things from their child’s perspective. He also discussed the various ways in which parents can stimulate creative thinking in their children.
Yeo suggested that parents could try being playful with their children at appropriate times; or engage their child in healthy debates to expand their thinking on issues that are interesting to him or her.
While the parents were having an insightful, interactive session with Yeo, the children were having a fun time, playing in the children’s gym under the guidance of the trained instructors at Grace Kids.
|CN PHOTOS: Michael Chan|
The play area of the location proved to be a hit with the parents who brought along their toddlers, as they could attend the session with peace of mind, knowing that their child was having a ball of a time.
Toward the end of the event, delicious snacks and drinks awaited the parents and children. As the children continued playing in the gym, some parents took the opportunity to mingle and interact, while others continued a discussion with the speaker.
Participants who attended the parenting event found it useful and beneficial.
Francis and Cindy Lim, parents of two children ages 5 and 3, stated that “The session was a wake-up call for us. We did not realize that some of the things we do actually limit our children’s creativity.
“When the speaker shared about how parents commonly impose their own ideas and expectations on their children, we realized that unknowingly, we’d done that quite a lot.”
They added, “The session challenged us to think differently and reflect on how we can better communicate with our children.”
To find out more about PSP or to join the network, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
In The Creative Spirit (Plume, 1993), a book based on a PBS series on creativity, authors Daniel Goleman, Paul Kaufman, and Michael Ray point out these common ways adults discourage creativity in children:
Surveillance—Hovering over kids, making them feel that they’re constantly being watched while they are
working … under constant observation, the risk-taking, creative urge goes underground and hides.
Evaluation—When we constantly make kids worry about how they are doing, they ignore satisfaction with their accomplishments.
Rewards—The excessive use of prizes … deprives a child of the intrinsic pleasure of creative activity.
Competition—Putting kids in a win-lose situation, where only one person can come out on top … negates the process [that] children progress at their own rates.
Over-control—Constantly telling kids how to do things … often leaves children feeling like their originality is a mistake and any exploration a waste of time.
Restricting choice—Telling children which activities they should engage in instead of letting them follow where their curiosity and passion lead … again restricts active exploration and experimentation that might lead to creative discovery and production.
Pressure—Establishing grandiose expectations for a child’s performance … often ends up instilling aversion for a subject or activity … Unreasonably high expectations often pressure children to perform and conform within strictly prescribed guidelines, and, again, deter experimentation, exploration, and innovation. Grandiose expectations are often beyond children’s developmental capabilities.