4 November 2021

Dear Parents and Students,

One day, while I was waiting for a train, I heard the sound of a child crying in the distance. Looking back, I saw that the he was crying on the ground. The father was patient and comforted the child softly. It was very annoying for the passengers waiting for the train, but everyone chose to be patient.

The child seemed to be in Grade 5 or 6. Given his age, perhaps he was not yet mature enough to control himself. The child didn’t listen to persuasion or comfort and continued to cry. It seemed to get the attention of his father. Maybe he wanted to get something in exchange, or maybe he was just behaving unreasonably. Maybe deep down he wanted to win the attention and sympathy of others. As an onlooker, I could see this child sometimes pause to see how his father was reacting before deciding whether to continue crying. The father started to change his approach; he stopped comforting the child. He stepped back and saw that the child did not respond much. Then suddenly the boy continued howling again. This was the last thing that I saw as I got on the train.

Each child’s growth has its own rebellious period, and some will last longer than others. The improper handling or caring of this period can affect the child’s attitude towards rebellion for the rest of their life. Therefore, parents should nurture their children and help them to manage their emotions and establish good communicative relationships while they are still young. Be wary of bad advice online, children should be encouraged to express their emotions to their parents and be good listeners, with parents facilitating their offspring to vent their anger. Parents' patience when listening can also make children feel loved and cared for. Their anger will gradually disappear. When refusing a request from a child, it is also necessary for parents to slowly explain the reasoning. Use stories or life examples to illustrate this to the child. Let them learn to distinguish right from wrong, instill good values and enhance communication skills, and hopefully they will slowly learn to manage their emotions.  Eventually, they will learn to control their temper and choose appropriate methods to solve their problems.

The Bible says: "Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not deviate from it." Proverbs 22:6

Remember, don’t let anger build up in our hearts. It is counterproductive to try to solve problems with anger influencing our decisions. It can do great harm to one’s physical and mental health. We should help them to learn to face problems and mistakes with a positive attitude. The Bible says: "If we confess our sins, God is faithful and righteous. He must forgive our sins and wash away all our unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9.

Best regards,
Constance Cheung

“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!”
(Psalm 31:24)