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How to help children who are rather clumsy?

November 2023

Family Marriage & Art Therapist, Ko Wing Oi (Wendy)

Parents often mention that their children are clumsy, often tripping or dropping things easily. This is related to hand-eye coordination and even the development of finger muscles. Many toys are now designed to train a child’s finger muscles from as early as a few months old.

Many parents are aware that various games can train finger muscles. But besides finger muscles, how can we train children to handle, grasp, or manipulate objects using their fingers? Balance is also crucial.

In fact, many toys can help train balance, and finger muscles can be developed in the process. For example, stacking games with different shapes, sizes, colors, and numbers can be used. When a child picks a die with a green side and the number 2, they have to find the corresponding green piece with a 2, and then pick another die, let’s say it’s blue with a 5, and find the blue piece with a 5, and continue stacking. This trains children on how to stack the pieces to maintain balance and prevent them from toppling over.

Another toy is the Russian stacking block puzzle, which is more complex in terms of layering and might be more interesting to children. Children can move the bottom block and then stack the Russian block puzzle pieces. This toy presents a certain level of difficulty, training children’s fingers, critical thinking, finger muscles, and balance.

Of course, clumsiness and accidents are also related to their level of concentration. For example, when a child is holding a cup of water, but their eyes are not on the cup; they are watching TV or listening to the adults around them. So, in addition to training their hand-eye coordination and balance, it’s also essential to train their concentration.

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Parents Zone Parents Zone

Is parent-child reading becoming stressful?

November 2023

Parent-child reading senior worker: Choi EE

Do you have kids who insist on you telling them stories? And not just any stories, they want you to keep going. When you come home from work, they have a stack of books and won’t eat until you finish all of them or want you to keep going for two hours. This is a common issue that I frequently encounter in my lectures. Parents, think about it: when you engage in parent-child reading with your kids, what do you hope for the most?

You certainly hope to create a warm memory because when they listen to your stories, they are especially well-behaved and feel secure. However, if the children turn listening to stories into your stress, demanding many stories, even refusing to listen to others, and only wanting to hear you as if they’re monopolizing your personal time, you should consider how to resolve this issue for yourself.

I suggest that in the context of parent-child reading, spend a good 15 to 20 minutes sharing a story with your child, and even half an hour is fine. However, if you find yourself spending two hours each day telling them an entire book, and they still feel unsatisfied and demand that you keep going as if they’re controlling you, it’s no longer a parent-child reading relationship but more of a tutoring relationship. We should set an example and tell the child, “I need to have some personal time. Today, storytime is 15 minutes, and Mom will tell you two books. After we’re done, we can do other things, or we can discuss the story we just read while you’re playing or eating.”

You shouldn’t turn into a radio, constantly narrating stories like a recording machine, as that’s not what we want in parent-child reading. So, parents, remember that when your child asks you to tell a story, it’s a joyful moment. We shouldn’t be afraid of telling stories to our children. Instead, we should control our time, casually finish a story in about half an hour, and then have a meal together or engage in play, followed by discussing the story. I believe that in a quality parent-child reading relationship, children will develop a greater love for reading and see it as a path to new horizons.

Did not take medicine when sick, waiting for the body to recover on its own and then develop antibodies?

November 2023

SourcePediatric Specialist Doctor, Chiu Cheung Shing

When children get sick, some parents may become very anxious and immediately take their child to the doctor or give them medicine. However, some parents believe that if they wait for a while, the child will naturally recover. In reality, this approach is somewhat correct to a certain extent. For mild illnesses like the common cold or cough, allowing the child to rest can help them develop some antibodies that can protect them from future infections. However, parents should be aware that not all illnesses can be treated this way.

For some strong bacteria, waiting for a natural recovery can be dangerous. For example, with bacteria like Streptococcus pneumoniae or Neisseria meningitidis, if you wait for natural recovery, there can be serious consequences. Within 24 hours of infection, 1 in 10 people may die. Even if death doesn’t occur, 1 to 2 individuals may end up with lifelong disabilities or complications. So whether you wait for natural recovery or not depends on whether the illness is mild or severe.

Secondly, in the case of some illnesses, even if a doctor can diagnose the condition, the effects of medication may not necessarily be immediate. As mentioned earlier, with bacteria like Streptococcus pneumoniae, there can sometimes be antibiotic resistance. That’s why there’s a saying that “diseases are shallow in Chinese medicine.” Doctors may not always prescribe medication; what’s most important is whether you develop complications or have any hidden risks.

On the other hand, taking medication is symptom management, which may not always be the most critical factor. Whether you wait for natural recovery depends on your luck. If it’s just a mild illness, waiting for natural recovery is fine, but if it’s a severe illness, it could lead to regrets. So from a doctor’s perspective, it’s always better to be cautious, meaning that life should never be used as a gamble.