Training workshop “Parenting Skills and Child Behavior Management” by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Thanh Nam - Vietnam - France Psychology Institute

Bringing children closer or pushing them away?

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Thanh Nam shared two contrasting stories about parenting. The first story revolves around a mother cat and her kittens peacefully sleeping in a warm nest. One curious kitten wakes up and ventures out to explore the world. Encountering a stranger, it hisses loudly, fur standing on end, and jumps back in fear. The mother cat immediately rushes over, paying no attention to anything else, and brings the kitten back to the nest, comforting and grooming it until its fur becomes smooth again.

The second story reflects a common behavior in Vietnam when a child makes a mistake. The teacher calls the parents to inform them that the child was involved in a scuffle at school and broke an arm. The parents rush to the school, interrogate the child, ask the friends, and the teacher about what happened before taking the child to the hospital. When relatives come to visit, they start telling the story and point out every mistake the child made.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Thanh Nam stated that the difference in behavior in these two stories lies in the parental approach: When a child faces difficulties and insecurity, parents fail to reassure the child emotionally, making the child feel not their top priority. The fear and mistakes the child experienced were broadcasted to others, causing the child to feel ashamed and develop a rebellious mentality. Accumulating mistakes in dealing with a child's errors gradually distances the child from the parents, creating a generational gap and hindering communication between parents and children in the future.

10 Minutes for Your Child: Encourage Positive Behavior, Reduce Negative Behavior

According to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Thanh Nam, the discipline of “tears-free”' parenting can only be successfully applied on the foundation of a positive relationship between parents and children. So, how can one build this positive relationship?

He suggests that parents should understand the differing expectations of themselves and their children and employ positive reinforcement and punishment. It's not feasible to force an active child to sit still and praise them for being obedient. Instead, consider letting the child take the initiative. Parents can collaborate with their children to create a reward and punishment chart, allowing the child to track points independently. Rewards may include things the child enjoys for free, such as watching TV, borrowing an iPad, going grocery shopping, or going out to play. Most importantly, when communicating with a child, parents should look into their eyes, have physical contact, like patting their head, and speak with enthusiasm to convey that parents are focused on the child rather than merely giving orders.

In addition, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Thanh Nam presented another interesting clip - a story about a single father busy with his 3-year-old daughter, who exhibits many problematic behaviors. With limited time for his daughter, following the expert's advice, the father decided to allocate a dedicated 10 minutes each day. He created a space with toys arranged in a circle. During the 10 minutes with his daughter, the only thing the father had to do was sit inside the circle, watch his daughter play, move with her, and talk to her. The little girl enjoyed playing around with her father, gradually reducing misbehavior and making efforts to do things that would earn praise.

The secret of a complete 10 minutes for a child without phones, TV, or any other smart devices is entirely applicable to the lives of Vietnamese people. This is also Assoc. Prof. Dr. Thanh Nam's advice for busy parents to help their children adjust their behavior.

Vietnam - France Psychology Institute (VFPI) is a leading organization in the field of psychology in Vietnam. VFPI has a team of local and international, well-trained, experienced, and dedicated psychologists that offer clients quality counseling and psychotherapy services in many languages, such as Vietnamese, English, French, and Portuguese.

If you suspect yourself or your child having mental health issues or have concerns about the psychotherapies, please contact the hotline at 0977.729.396 today for advice.

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