園訓:「教養孩童,使他走當行的道,就是到老他也不偏離。」箴言二十二章6節

Improve reading and learning ability

 

Written by: Founder and Volunteer Secretary-General of GLP, Lam Ho Pei Yee  

A child’s learning ability, whether strong or weak, is not innate; it is largely developed through training. Logical reasoning is a crucial component of reading methods. Some parents use “teaching reference books” intended for teachers, giving them a sneak peek at the lesson content prepared by the teacher. On the surface, this seems to help children grasp the key points of the teacher’s lessons and accurately understand the classroom content more easily. In reality, however, it deprives children of the valuable opportunity to enhance their own learning abilities. Most people agree that the purpose of education is to learn how to think and communicate. Classroom learning is a comprehensive process that requires children to follow the teacher’s thought process and instruction, step by step, to understand and accept the material. Therefore, learning is a dialectical process of thinking, involving active questioning rather than passive acceptance.

 

In fact, as long as parents find the right methods, a child’s learning ability can be easily improved. Parents should teach children to establish a system of thinking, and organizing information before storing it in the brain, rather than letting it become a chaotic mess. This way, the information becomes organized, systematic, and orderly, making it easier to retrieve and recall in the future.



Unfortunately, if parents only focus on exam results, feeling happy when the results are good and criticizing when they are not, rather than focusing on how to cultivate their child’s learning ability, then even if the child fails a hundred times, parents can only feel helpless and anxious.

 

Moreover, if one has acquired extensive knowledge but cannot use it or leverage it to discover more knowledge, what is the value of such learning? When exam results are poor, parents’ emotions can easily become tense and irritable, and these negative emotions make us focus only on the present moment, leading parents to resort to immediate reward and punishment methods (such as coaxing or scolding). On the contrary, cultivating a child’s attitude of “not being arrogant in victory and not being discouraged in defeat,” and believing that abilities can be changed through effort, is an important factor in developing perseverance and resilience. Once this principle is understood, the issue of whether a child is ahead or behind at the starting line becomes irrelevant.

 

Let us understand children’s behavior more from their needs. When a child is disobedient, let us gently remind ourselves: “Pause and think.” Consider whether the child needs more attention in terms of ability, autonomy, or relationships.

The most important thing in teaching children is values

Written by: Senior Early Childhood Education Consultant, Miss Mok Loi Yan

 

In recent years, news of parent-child tragedies has become increasingly common. The root cause lies in severe deviations in parent-child relationships, familial bonds, and individual roles in family responsibilities. This results in resentment, blame-shifting, and an inability to combat negative thoughts, sometimes leading to the desire to harm others as a form of self-relief.

 

Guiding Children on the Right Path Through Parental Values

Although parents may feel heartbroken, they cannot turn back time to rebuild affectionate relationships with their children or restore the value of familial bonds. People do not have the choice to select their parents, so they must cherish the relationships they have. However, parents can seize the present moment to let their children know that they are the most selfless people in the world, allowing them to feel the warmth and tenderness of their parents. Since we never know when we might no longer be by our children’s side, the only things that can help them make judgments, prevent them from going astray, and resist negative temptations are the values and parent-child relationships taught by their parents. Children must understand that regardless of whether family life is smooth or challenging, it is a gift and a form of training. Through this training, people become stronger, making it an invaluable element of growth.

 

When we witness the tragedies of other families and individuals, it serves as a warning to resolutely avoid following the same path. At the same time, parents should realize that when they pass away, the only things they leave behind for their descendants are a lifetime of wisdom, culture, and the character they have instilled in their children. At this moment, what do parents expect from their children? I hope: “Just be a good person.” Storytelling education is a way to impart important values to children, facilitate communication, and build parent-child relationships.



The value of familial affection lies in accumulating intimacy from a young age. 

Parents must strive to build intimacy with their children from an early age. The following example demonstrates how a mother can meet her child’s need for security, highlighting the importance of building intimacy and empathy:

 

One day, a 2-year-old baby suddenly raised their hands and stood on tiptoe, seemingly craving adult affection. We often refer to this behavior as “acting spoiled.” However, the father said, “Hold the baby? Okay, stand properly for Daddy to see first.” At this moment, the baby turned to the mother, raised their hands again, and stood on tiptoe, showing a strong desire for care. The mother immediately embraced the baby and said touching and selfless words to the father: “Ah, the love of Mommy and Daddy is not something the baby needs to beg for; love is always there, and we don’t have many days to be this close. Let the baby feel our love.” This story allows everyone to savor the value, role, and response of being a parent.

Additionally, I have several tips for promoting parent-child relationships and story education to share:

 

  1. Let your children understand your values, viewpoints, and response methods through your actions.
  2. Do not make your children fear your calls or feel annoyed, including only testing or completing tasks you assign.
  3. Parental instruction methods should only be used in situations that endanger health or life; otherwise, just warn of the consequences and respond calmly to the child’s anger and pain after they face the consequences.
  4. When children proactively share things, encourage them to express their viewpoints, hypothesize by taking on another role, and analyze emotions and thoughts to increase empathy.
  5. Create more opportunities for shared learning and topics, allowing you and your children to have similar feelings and experiences.
  6. If a child’s response in a story shows a deviation in values, such as tendencies toward violence or revenge, express that this makes you sad and guide the child to think of reasonable solutions or the benefits of letting go of the issue.

 

In summary, everyone has emotional and psychological needs for satisfaction. To help children grow in a balanced way emotionally and cognitively, parents must cultivate themselves to manage their families. Parents need to have the ability to judge and understand the entire value of their child’s life: happiness and contribution. Only then can children inherit and spread the mission of love through your example and teachings.

Training Children’s “Brain Power” & “Intelligence”-Early Childhood Edition

 

Written by: Ms. Carmen Leung, Specialist in Child Development Psychology

DHA only provides nutrients for children’s brain development. To make children smarter, their brains must receive proper exercise. This time, I will introduce some brain-training games that are very suitable for children aged 2 to primary school age!

  1. Maze or Spot the Difference Brain Exercises

Although Maze and Spot the difference brain exercises were our childhood games, they are still good friends for children in this era. In addition to mazes and spot the difference, there are many different modes of brain exercises. In short, any image game that requires children to observe and focus to complete tasks belongs to brain exercises. Do you know Wally (translated as “Where’s Wally?” in Chinese)? It is one of the most popular brain games in the world.

In fact, brain games do not necessarily need to be purchased or printed in books. We can easily create brain games at home. For example, parents can place two Swiss candies in a pile of miscellaneous items, and the child will find them with great concentration!

  • Tidying Up and Categorizing Household Items

Everyday activities, such as tidying up and categorizing items, are excellent opportunities to exercise the brain. Organizing items systematically not only enhances children’s organizational skills but also stimulates their creativity. Sometimes, children’s methods of categorization may differ from those of adults, but they have their own logic. Parents should ask their children why they categorize items in a certain way, as this can reveal that children’s observational skills might be sharper than expected. They use the details they observe to categorize, so parents should avoid imposing adult methods of categorization to prevent discouraging their children’s initiative in problem-solving.

You might wonder, “What if my child doesn’t like tidying up?” If your child hasn’t yet developed the habit of tidying and categorizing household items, start with games to motivate them to complete the “mission.” For example, you can organize a “Room Tidy-Up Competition” or a “Cleaning Day” where family members help each other tidy up. These activities encourage children to tidy and categorize, while also exercising their “brain power.”

  • Memory Games

There are many memory game cards available, such as turning over a dozen cards and taking turns to flip two at a time. If the two cards match, you can keep them. Additionally, there are cards with different objects drawn on them. Parents can lay them out in a row, let the child look at them, then turn them over and ask the child to remember where a specific object is. These are excellent memory games, and both adults and children can get creative and change the rules to make the games more interesting.

Besides memory game cards, everyday life is full of rich memory games. For example, you can ask your child to find items they have seen you place somewhere before, or have them hide some items and then find them after a long period.

In summary, training children’s brain power and intelligence is not difficult at all. With a bit of thought and creativity, many everyday details can become opportunities for children to exercise their brains!

Whose trash is it? The cultivation of children’s character must be achieved through home-school cooperation to be successful

Written by: Mr. Cheung Wai Ching, Principal

 

There are two scenes in front of us:

 

Scene One:

On a bustling street, a little boy walking with his parents notices a discarded soda can at his feet. He picks up the can, intending to throw it into a nearby trash bin. However, his mother sees this and demands that he throw the can away, but the boy refuses. Then, his father comes over and scolds him, “Idiot, how can you pick up such dirty things? You’re not a street cleaner!” The little boy responds, “The teacher said we should protect the environment and not litter!” The mother says, “You didn’t throw it, so why bother?” The little boy looks confused but has no choice but to throw the trash back on the ground.

 

Scene Two:

On a crowded train station platform, a young mother is with a boy about 5 or 6 years old. After finishing his juice, the boy casually throws the empty box under the seat. The mother quickly picks up the empty box, hands it to her son, and says, “Good boy, throw the empty box into the trash bin in front.” A moment later, the mother and son hug each other affectionately, and the mother softly says to her son, “We must protect the environment and not litter!”

 

Isn’t the boy in Scene One quite pitiful? He must be confused by the different educational methods of his parents and teacher.

 

School education, besides teaching children textbook knowledge, also emphasizes moral education. Protecting the environment is a well-known principle. When schools and teachers are fully cultivating this sense of public morality in children, if parents can cooperate with the school, encourage children to follow the teacher’s guidance, and set an example themselves, children can receive positive education, rather than learning one set of standards at school and facing another in real life.

 

Home-School Cooperation in Cultivating Children’s Character

Schools have many requirements for students, such as punctuality, discipline, orderliness, service, and cleanliness, all of which are part of moral education. The aim is for children to realize from a young age that they are part of society and have responsibilities and obligations, not just to gain benefits. Imagine, if the boy in Scene One, after hearing his parents’ reasoning, adopts the mindset of “since I didn’t throw it, I don’t need to pick it up” even at home, what would the parents think? Every parent hopes their child will consciously care for the cleanliness of their home environment and appreciate their parents’ hard work. But have you ever thought: if you never teach your child to respect the labor of cleaners, and never personally demonstrate care for the larger social environment in front of your child, how will the child learn to care for the small environment at home?



A survey found that nearly 80% of schoolchildren rarely say “thank you” when helped by elders or domestic helpers. Some children even believe that it is the domestic helper’s job to take care of them, so there is no need to be particularly polite to them. Additionally, few schoolchildren say “good morning,” “good night,” or “let’s eat” to their parents.

 

Why do children lack manners? It is because parents themselves do not say “thank you” to others or to domestic helpers. Some parents frequently or occasionally rebuke and scold elders or interrupt others while they are speaking. Besides occupying seats on public transportation, some parents also cut in line or do not queue in public places. Parents and teachers are role models for children, and our every word and action constantly influence their values. Parents must always be vigilant about their behavior and should try to correct their children’s impolite attitudes immediately, but remember to use appropriate tone and language. Parents should also take time each day to guide their children to reflect on their mistakes, making the lessons more impactful. The cultivation of children’s character must be achieved through home-school cooperation, with parents playing an even more crucial role than teachers.

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Seize the holiday, be grateful, and laugh heartily

Written by: Dr. TIK Chi-yuen, Director, The Hong Kong Institute of Family Education

 

I enjoy cooking and inviting relatives and friends to gatherings at home. When gathering with family and friends, they share, laugh heartily, play games, and even laugh uncontrollably. Numerous studies have shown that laughter can reduce stress, boost the immune system, and lead to fewer illnesses, while also strengthening relationships.

 

Scientific research indicates that regular family gatherings not only improve communication and strengthen healthy relationships but also help children avoid smoking, drinking, and drugs in the long run, and can even enhance their academic performance. It seems that having more meals together and chatting has many benefits!

 

If you pay a little more attention, helping to wash dishes after a meal, preparing desserts for friends, or volunteering can warm others’ hearts and your own. It is more blessed to give than to receive. No wonder research also shows that these actions can lower high blood pressure and protect heart health.

 


City dwellers endure considerable stress, mostly from academics, work, and family. Consequently, many urbanites suffer from headaches, stomachaches, loss of appetite, and muscle pain. However, research from the University of Illinois at Chicago in the United States shows that frequently expressing gratitude, appreciating others, and giving timely praise can alleviate these stress-induced symptoms and even depression. People who are often grateful do not spend much time comparing themselves to others, thus they are more content and happy.

 

British researchers studied a group of local university students and found that those who frequently expressed gratitude had fewer symptoms of depression and stress, and also had more social support. Additionally, people who regularly count their blessings tend to be more optimistic and easily satisfied. With so many benefits to being grateful, why not embrace it?



Who sympathizes? A child’s voice

Written by: Family Dynamics, Counseling Psychologist,  Shelly Mok

I met W in a social-emotional group. At that time, W was only 11 years old. In the group, although W would “follow the crowd” and engage in some disorderly behavior, he was the boy who could best understand the emotions behind others’ actions. Moreover, he was able to proactively offer help when others faced emotional difficulties. After the group ended, his mother requested a one-on-one meeting with W. Since entering the fourth grade, W’s grades had significantly declined, dropping from being at the top of his class in the lower grades to around 20th place in the fifth grade, with the most significant drop in his English grades. The teacher reported that he had started associating with the naughtiest kids in the grade and often talked back to the teacher. At home, he frequently argued with or ignored his parents. I was puzzled as to why such an empathetic child had suddenly lost his way.

During the therapy process, I discovered W’s inner world:

  1. He felt very lonely and empty inside: During the first one-on-one meeting, W expressed his willingness to see me and cried about his grievances and loneliness. He said that his parents only cared about his grades, not his situation, interests, or hobbies, and did not spend time with him.
  2. He valued interpersonal relationships: As the therapy progressed, he gradually began to share details of his school life with me, such as the attitudes and temperaments of different subject teachers and the interactions with students, and how these affected his grades in different subjects. Therefore, whether at school or at home, good interpersonal relationships and others’ understanding and acceptance of him would become his motivation for learning.
  3. He liked to use his brain, was not afraid of difficulties and failures, and enjoyed games, toys, and creative writing that challenged his intelligence and patience. When playing board games in the playroom, the more I deliberately won, the more interested he became in understanding my strategies. However, rote learning methods made him lose his enthusiasm for studying.

Parental Care and Willingness to Open Up

Changing the curriculum and teachers at school is very difficult. Additionally, there are many practical considerations if one wants to transfer schools in the sixth grade. Therefore, W’s parents and I worked together to help W receive the attention, acceptance, understanding, and brainstorming at home that he could not get at school, making it a possible and key focus of therapeutic intervention.

W’s parents are not good at expressing love and care, but they genuinely care about W from the bottom of their hearts. They always take time off work to attend every parent consultation session. When I guided them to recall the moments of W’s growth, they quickly realized and accepted W’s psychological needs and committed to spending more time with W, trying to understand and participate in W’s interests and hobbies. After some time, they reported to me that W was much happier at home and had started to share some of his school experiences with his parents.


Discovering Strengths and Rediscovering the True Self

On the other hand, in the game room, I helped W discover his strengths through games, understand his desire to grow and improve, thereby building his self-esteem and confidence, and rediscovering his true self. This allowed him to choose a path for himself. I believe that human nature inherently desires growth and positive development. As long as we help children recognize their deep-seated desires, they will naturally move towards a brighter path. When the play therapy ended, W told me that his overall happiness index had significantly increased because he understood his strengths and some important values. His mother also told me that the teacher said he had reconnected with some well-behaved and academically better-performing friends at school, and his attitude towards teachers had improved. Although his interest in studying remained low, it had stabilized.

There are many underlying reasons for a child’s academic decline. As parents, if we focus solely on grades, we often miss the opportunity to help our children grow, which can lead to other behavioral problems and affect parent-child, peer, and teacher-student relationships. For children, it is a basic need for their parents to care for them from their perspective, cater to their interests, understand their difficulties, and affirm their strengths.

Ultimately, having a confidant is a deep-seated human desire. This world is filled with many unchangeable realities, such as teachers and curricula. However, deep resonance can always make life a bit easier, making our children’s hearts stronger, less likely to get lost, and reducing the possibility of behavioral deviations. As for grades, rankings alone cannot determine a child’s future success. W’s affirmation of his strengths, his fearlessness in the face of difficulties, and his willingness to delve into and improve can become his lifelong motto, accompanying him through the ups and downs of his future life.

We should be grateful to others for being willing to ‘offer help’

Written by: Dr. Cheung Kit

In this era, parents’ protection of their children surpasses that of any previous generation. This may be due to the decrease in the number of children and the improvement in living standards, leading to parents spending more time and providing more comprehensive care for their children. Under such (possibly excessive) protection, children often become very self-centered and disregard the importance of others. From the parents’ perspective, they are inevitably biased and more tolerant of their own children. When faced with their children’s inappropriate behavior, parents tend to make excuses for them. This common human behavior, however, may lead to children becoming unruly. Therefore, in the difficult situation of balancing right and wrong, if someone is willing to “offer help and guidance,” parents should be grateful. The following are “important figures.”

  1. Teachers

Teachers are among the people who spend the most time with children. We would prefer teachers to directly point out the rights and wrongs to children during their daily interactions. This direct message can effectively “sink in” for the children. Sometimes, facing negative criticism, children will naturally feel unhappy, but it helps them understand the boundaries. Therefore, parents should appreciate the strict guidance of teachers and avoid casually complaining about their efforts.

        2.  Elders

Many elders may be very strict with their own children but tend to be much more lenient with their grandchildren, sometimes even more so than the children’s parents. However, the status and life experience of elders are actually superior to anyone else’s. Therefore, their “one word of praise” can be more effective than others’ advice. The question is whether they are willing to play the role of the bad guy. If they are, parents should be grateful for their assistance.

         3. Medical Personnel

Medical personnel have always been relatively respected. However, children often have an aversion to medical procedures. Therefore, during consultations and treatments, children’s reactions often present a good teaching opportunity. If medical personnel (including doctors and nurses) are willing to provide guidance when children exhibit uncooperative behavior, the children will likely understand better. Although they may not correct their behavior immediately, it will certainly help in their life learning process.

          4. Passersby

Sometimes, unrelated bystanders can immediately point out inappropriate behavior in children, which can have a startlingly effective impact. For the parents present, this might be a bit embarrassing, but thinking it through, it is beneficial for the child’s behavior.

Children in their growth and learning phase need proper guidance, especially when their behavior deviates. Therefore, if parents are unwilling to play the “bad guy,” we should be grateful and appreciative if others are willing to speak up and correct the child.

Kindergarten Interview: Preparation Guide

Written by: Mr. Chiu Wing Tak, Senior Education Specialist

 

When parents take their children to an interview, the most nerve-wracking moment is when the teacher asks the child a question, and the child sits there speechless, like a wooden dummy. When parents ask me afterward why such an embarrassing scene occurred, my answer is four words: “Not enough preparation!”

 

“Really? It’s just a kindergarten interview, why prepare?”

To this “modern” parent, I smiled and explained in detail: “Generally, children feel anxious and nervous when meeting strangers for the first time. If parents do not explain the reason for the school interview at home and just say they are going to play at school or chat with an auntie, the child will feel uneasy. This so-called auntie is clearly asking some ‘private’ questions, such as ‘What is your name?’, ‘How old are you?’, ‘Who brought you here?’, ‘What vehicle did you take?’, ‘Who usually takes you to and from school?’. Therefore, the child will panic and may even remain silent! So, isn’t it normal for the child not to speak?”

 

“I understand. So, Mr. Zhao, how should we prepare the child?”

Why is politeness so important? Because it shows whether the child has been well-taught at home.

“I will teach you in two parts. This time, we will talk about ‘psychological preparation,’ and next time, we will discuss practical preparation. There are four aspects to psychological preparation:

 

  1. Dress Appropriately

What counts as dressing appropriately? Boys should wear collared shirts, and girls should wear dresses. A collar indicates refinement, and a dress is generally accepted attire by principals and teachers. As long as the colors are not too flashy and the clothes are clean and neat, it shows appropriateness. Clothing affects the teacher’s impression, so be careful with what the child wears!



  1. Politeness and Good Manners

Why is politeness so important? Because it reflects whether a child has been well-taught at home. How do you train a child to be polite? The methods are: (1) Parents themselves must be polite first; (2) Practice daily, consistently greeting people with “Good morning!” and saying “Bye-bye!” when leaving, greeting with “Hello!” when meeting someone, saying “Thank you!” when receiving a gift, and saying “Please” when asking for help. Over time, these habits will become second nature, and your child will become a polite person.

 

  1. Confidence

The training method is to encourage the child to take action. If the child wants to take a photo with the mascot at Ocean Park, encourage them to ask for it themselves. If they need the minibus to stop at the street corner, encourage them to loudly say, “Please stop at the corner!” With regular practice, the child will naturally become confident.

 

  1. Answering Questions

Tell your child that they must answer the questions posed by the teacher, as it is a sign of politeness. As for how to answer, we will discuss that next time.

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Encountering a ‘mismatched’ child is an opportunity for parents to grow

Written by: Lai Shun Mei, Family Dynamics Counselor and Global Career Developer

 

When a child is born, people like to discuss his appearance, using his resemblance to his parents as a topic of conversation, and talk about which attractive features he has inherited from them. As he grows older and his temperament begins to show, they also like to explore whose personality he resembles.

 

It is generally easier to get along with someone who has a similar temperament because similar personalities and preferences make it easier to connect. If a child has a temperament similar to their parents, it seems to make parenting easier. However, it often seems like God enjoys playing jokes on us by giving us “mismatched” children: an outgoing and lively mother ends up with a quiet and introverted daughter; a hot-tempered father faces a sensitive and sentimental son; a mother who doesn’t understand fun encounters a hedonistic son.

 

Parents who seek help often share the common issue of having difficulty getting along with their “mismatched” child. They cannot accept the child’s nature, do not understand the child’s behavior, and do not know how to properly guide their child.

 

The outgoing and lively mother “complained” to me: “My daughter dawdles, is hesitant, and doesn’t dare to make friends outside.” She couldn’t understand: “What’s so difficult about brushing teeth? What’s so scary about attending English class? What’s there to be shy about when meeting other kids?” Why is her daughter nothing like her but instead resembles her indecisive, introverted, timid, and unambitious father? As she spoke, she indirectly revealed to me that her problem was not accepting her spouse and projecting her dissatisfaction with her spouse onto their daughter. Therefore, the issue was not with her daughter but with their marital relationship.




The hot-tempered father had to come for advice because his son only got along with his mother and not with him. He deeply loved his son and did not want him to grow up being overly sensitive and tearful like a girl. The older the child got, the more anxious the father became. However, under insults and strict orders, the child did not become stronger but instead became more withdrawn, clinging to his mother and refusing to leave her side. It was only after understanding the situation that it became clear that this father had grown up amidst beatings and insults. He believed his own strength came from such an upbringing, not realizing that those painful experiences had become implicit memories affecting his relationship with his son.

 

The mother, who claimed she did not know how to play and did not need to play, was at a loss with her son, who was solely focused on playing. She said her son was careless with his studies but persistently focused on play. How could she change her son’s attitude towards his studies? I was curious about this mother’s claim—who wouldn’t like to play? Seeking happiness is human nature, so why did she insist she did not need entertainment? It turned out that she was also playful as a child but was strictly disciplined by her mother, who did not allow her to “waste” time. Gradually, her life lacked playmates, and when she played with her mother, her mother remained serious and uncompromising, often causing her to lose and feel sad. Over time, she grew to dislike playing games. Her mother “successfully” shaped her into someone who “did not like” to play, someone who appeared strong and focused on studies but was also rigid, insecure, and lacking in joy. No wonder she did not understand how to get along with her naturally joyful son.

 

It turns out that God “mismatched” children for us with a purpose. He wants us to reflect on our relationships with our spouses and parents, and our own growth experiences through the frustrations of interacting with our children, thereby sorting out these relationships and resolving these emotional knots.

 

Parents’ lack of acceptance of their children is a reflection of their lack of acceptance of themselves. A lack of confidence in their children is a lack of confidence in themselves. By taking care of “mismatched” children, parents feel challenged and then become aware of their own pain points. With the help of a therapist, they begin a journey of self-exploration. They clarify and straighten out their family relationships, gaining rebirth and growth in the process. Children are born as they are, and there is no mismatch. Let us make good use of this opportunity for growth!

Obsession: Separation Anxiety

 

Written by: Hong Kong Registered Psychologist, Ching Wai Keung

 

Around nine months of age, babies become unusually clingy. Even if the mother goes to the bathroom, the baby may appear extremely anxious, clinging tightly to the mother and even crying loudly.

 

Separation anxiety can lead to two different types of reactions. In some cases, when separated from the caregiver, the baby will exhibit attachment-seeking behaviors, such as clinging to the mother, trying every possible way to find the mother, or crawling wherever the mother goes (Ainsworth, Bell, & Stayton, 1971). Separation can also result in behaviors such as despair, resistance, and detachment, depending on the duration of the separation (Bowlby, 1960; Robertson & Robertson, 1989).

 

A child’s reaction to separation can also change depending on the environment. For example, in a familiar home environment, the child will exhibit less anxiety compared to being in an unfamiliar environment (Ross, Kagan, Zelazo, & Kotelchuck, 1975).



Around seven months of age, the concept of object permanence begins to emerge in children. They understand that even if they cannot see someone or something, it does not mean that the person or object has disappeared. When children are able to establish this concept, their separation anxiety will relatively decrease. If the mother can frequently communicate with the child, express positive emotions and feelings towards the infant, and provide appropriate stimulation and assistance, the child will more easily grasp and apply the concept of object permanence to both objects and people (Chazan, 1981).

 

Helping children cope with separation anxiety requires a certain amount of time, allowing the child and caregiver to develop a close, attached emotional relationship (Attachment), and waiting for the child’s own development to mature before it can be effective. For a two-year-old child, they can use photographs to alleviate their feelings of sorrow when separated from their caregiver (Passman & Longeway, 1982); a three-year-old child can even stay overnight at their grandparents’ house without their parents being present.

 

Whether a child can develop this kind of “resilience” depends on whether the caregiver and the child can establish a close emotional relationship. Once the mutual relationship is established, the child can soothe their anxiety caused by separation by imagining the image of their parents and recalling their parents’ love (Development Through Life, Barbara M. Newman, Philip R. Newman, Wadsworth, 2003).