Monday September 16th, 2019
What comes to mind when you see an unhappy child? We probably think there's something going wrong with the child, not the parents. However, at the ‘Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: 101 Tips to Healthy Parenting’ seminar that was held on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 in Gan En building, Mr Untung S. Dharmawan, a clinical psychologist from Tarumanagara University said, ‘If a mom is unhappy with her current or previous life, she’s prone to throw her anger or disappointment at her kids, as a result, the child will be unhappy, too.’
This theory is in fact, in line with Jing Si Aphorism, ‘To have a warm and happy family, we should nurture a heart of joy and shower our family with blessing.’ In this light, to raise a happy child, parents should start by loving their children with a joyful heart. An easy example is, during flight emergency, parents are advised to put on their own oxygen masks first before helping their children. In short, parents should first fix their own happiness first, ‘If you’re happy, you’ll radiate happiness to people around you, including your child.’
Mr Dharmawan also highlighted the importance of understanding children’s positive traits and intelligence. ‘Also, it’s good for us to not instill them with dream that we can’t have. If you can’t be a ballerina, don’t force your daughter to be one. Your daughter might be great at other things,’ he added.
There is no school for parenting, it is a never-ending learning process. To achieve the state of ‘peaceful parenting’, most parents agreed that one of the most challenging issues is the differences found in parenting style between husband and wife. Mr Dharmawan finds this problem to be very common, and he suggested parents to have a consensus decision. ‘Moms, talk to your husband, and make sure you’re both on the same page. Both parties need to discuss everything and make sure whatever you need to say or decide for your children, it would represent both of your voices. Parents need to be one-voiced.’
In response to parenting issues, one of 300 parents who attended, Ms Susanti, whose children are studying in P3 and K2, found the seminar to be inspiring, ‘This is actually a good reminder to always think positively. There’s no life without problems, but we have to stay positive and not let our own issues affecting our child. Happy parents, happy kids.’
The seminar was not only packed with excited mothers, but fathers too. Mr Tony, a father of a P1 student, who also found the seminar to be very helpful. ‘Well, first of all, I now realise how important it is to work out my stress, I have to be more relaxed so that I can treat and love my family better. I also realise how important it is to not put pressure on our child. It is good for us to learn from professional like this, you can’t just count on yourself and your wife. This reminds me to love my wife more, since parenting is a duty for us both.’
At the end of the seminar, Mr Dharmawan summed up his sharing with key things to note for healthy parenting, namely, avoid written communication and communicate directly often, go on holiday together, remember to relax, and never stop learning.’