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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Sunday, 08 March 2015 13:56

Parent-child Bonding Class for a Brighter Future

Written by  Lee Heng Lun & Wong Siew Chin, Seremban / Translated by Jacqueline Khoo

Volunteer Wong Sook King taught the children the sign language for their class theme song. [Photograph by Siow Yau Chu]

Through a series of carefully planned activities, the children learnt how to be brave and apply it in their daily life; while their parents learnt to play their role throughout their children’s life journey.


 
The Education Team of Tzu Chi Seremban had chosen “Courage - Be Confident in Facing Problems” as the theme for the first lesson of their 2015 Parent-child Bonding Class. On March 8 morning, 44 pairs of parent-child attended the class.
 
Volunteers demonstrated the way to bow to the Buddha and to line up. Then, in a fun atmosphere, all parents and children learnt the sign language for the class theme song when it was played. During the short break, volunteers led the children to serve snacks to their parents using both hands.
 
Overcoming obstacles
 
At one activity that was designed based on the theme, parents had to blindfold their children, who were later brought to an area full of obstacles. The children had to overcome all the obstacles by themselves, with guidance from their parents without any bodily contact between them.
 
Despite being blindfolded, the children were not afraid throughout the activity as they felt secure having their parents beside them. With their parents’ guidance, they slowly overcame the obstacles. Some parents had also silently accompanied their children till the end of the activity.
 
Wong Sook King, group leader in charge of promoting the Parent-child Bonding Class, shared that through this activity, it is hoped that parents can understand their role of accompanying and guiding their children, thereby allowing the latter to learn to be independent.
 
Reflecting life through a game
 
This was the second time that Tin Chong Tat had brought his daughter, Tin Sher Jee, to the Parent-child Bonding Class. During the activity, he guided his daughter to overcome the obstacles with his gentle but strong voice. When his daughter successfully finished the course, he stood quietly in front of her and guided her towards him. He then held her soft and tender hands with his warm and sturdy hands and squatted down to remove his daughter’s blindfold.
 
Chong Tat commented, “The activity reflects our life. During a child’s growth, there will always be challenges ahead. The trust between parents and children is one of the important factors in building the children’s courage. When the children trust their parents, they would listen to their parents’ advice.”
 
Apart from attending the Parent-child Bonding Class, Chong Tat had also installed Da Ai TV at home, hoping that his children would absorb the positive messages. His daughter, Sher Jee, slowly become more understanding and also cares more for her parents. Being shy, the child chose to express her love to the parents in writing, and this had deeply touched her father.
 
Self-challenge
 
Next, the parents and children enjoyed a video footage about a boy named Lim Yong Yan. When Yong Yan was four years old, his limbs were paralysed due to a sickness; and he worked hard at his physiotherapy to recover the mobility of his legs. With his mother’s encouragement and accompaniment, he bravely used his legs as his hands. Later, he was able to use his legs to write, play the piano, type on computer and play games. He was even successful in obtaining admission to Taiwan University. Thus, he has used his life’s journey to interpret the true meaning of “courage”.
 
During the reflection and sharing session, volunteers asked the children a few questions regarding the video. There was eager response from the children, who all came on stage one-by-one to answer the questions. This is clear testimony that all the children managed to receive the message from the video.
 
Finally, the children were given a “learning list” prepared by volunteers. The children were asked to choose one of the items from the list as their homework, and their progress will be tracked for 21 days. 
 
“I chose to wash my school shoes on my own,” said Chin Pei Yi, a Year 4 student, who chose this as a self-challenge.
 
Pei Yi’s mother, Soong Man Moi, had initially missed the opportunity to register her daughter for the Parent-child Bonding Class last year. Later, when someone left the class, Pei Yi became a transferred student. Even though the mother had never allowed Pei Yi to wash her own shoes, she decided to accompany and encourage her daughter after the latter had made her choice. Man Moi also concurred that children should be less dependent on their parents. In fact, they need to learn to grow and be independent.
 
 
Soong Man Moi accompanied her daughter, Chin Pei Yi, to participate in the activity. She hopes that her daughter will learn to be independent. [Photograph by Siow Yau Chu]   Tin Chong Tat and his daughter, Tin Sher Jee, built trust in each other through the activity. [Photograph by Siow Yau Chu]

Soong Man Moi accompanied her daughter, Chin Pei Yi, to participate in the activity. She hopes that her daughter will learn to be independent. [Photograph by Siow Yau Chu]
 
Tin Chong Tat and his daughter, Tin Sher Jee, built trust in each other through the activity. [Photograph by Siow Yau Chu]
 
Under the guidance of volunteers, the children use both their hands to serve tea to their parents, as a sign of gratitude. [Photograph by Siow Yau Chu]   With their parents’ guidance, the children moved forward bravely despite being blindfolded. [Photograph by Wong Siew Chin]

Under the guidance of volunteers, the children use both their hands to serve tea to their parents, as a sign of gratitude. [Photograph by Siow Yau Chu]
 
With their parents’ guidance, the children moved forward bravely despite being blindfolded. [Photograph by Wong Siew Chin]