February 2023

Parents Zone

Before becoming enraged at their children, parents should ask themselves these three questions

Written by: Caritas Rehabilitation Services,Clinical Psychologist, Yu Kwok Ting

Some parents may be more impulsive and even have a habit of blaming their children for  problems such as disobedience, deliberate anger, or naughtiness. When children fail to do  what they want, they become angry with their parents, but this will gradually alienate them from their parents, which will damage the parent-child relationship in the long run.

Parents’ personalities, families of origin, and parenting methods learned in different ways  will affect parent-child relationships. And the adults’ thoughts will influence their mood. If adults find themselves in frequent conflicts with children, which affect the parent-child      relationship, we can ask ourselves three questions.

1.Whether there are other possibilities

If a child is not able to do all the homework required by his or her parents, the first thing   the parents think is that the child is just having fun and not doing homework, but the real    reason may be that they do not know how to do it and need parental guidance. If parents    take preconceived notions as facts, they may ignore the needs and difficulties of their children and damage the parent-child relationship.

2.Whether one’s own thoughts have been confirmed

Some parents often say that their child is “deliberately annoyed” and then see their child’s  behavior as disobedience, but perhaps the reason for the child’s behavior is carelessness, but the parents are influenced by their subjective feelings and misunderstand their child.

3.Are your thoughts helpful to the goal?

If a parent’s goal is to mend the parent-child relationship, but he or she often holds the idea that the child is “deliberately working against him or her,” is this thinking really helpful to his or her goal? Parents can try to find more realistic and justifiable ideas to help them achieve their goals.

Parents Zone

Perfectionist children

Written by: Dr. Hui Long Kit

Many parents complain about their children being careless in their actions and messy in their homework. However, if a child is too meticulous and even perfectionistic, it may not necessarily be a good thing.

Many 2 to 3-year-old children love playing with toy cars, especially boys. However, some boys don’t enjoy pushing toy cars back and forth. Instead, they prefer arranging multiple toy cars in a straight line or grouping cars with the same color and shape together. They cannot tolerate even one or two cars being out of line or not sorted correctly, insisting on having everything neat and perfect. Most of these children have meticulous thinking but rigid and inflexible personalities, and they may possibly have “Autistic Spectrum Disorder” (ASD).

When children start reading and writing in primary school, some diligent and hardworking students will showcase beautiful handwriting in their exercise books, with each stroke as neat as computer printing. However, upon closer examination, one may notice that they press their pen or pencil very hard, causing the ink or lead to bleed onto the next page. Even if they make a small mistake in writing a word, they will erase everything and start over ─ this may indicate some “obsessive traits.” As they grow into adolescents, they may even exhibit symptoms of “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder” (OCD), such as repetitive handwashing, excessively long baths, or constant checking of objects. Severe cases can significantly impact daily life and social interactions, requiring medical diagnosis and treatment.

The tendency of perfectionism usually stems from anxiety. Patients’ thoughts often lean towards catastrophizing, where even neutral things appear severe in the eyes of an anxious child. For example, if a child makes a mistake in their homework, they might worry about being scolded by the teacher, losing points, and ultimately getting worse grades. The more they dwell on these thoughts, the worse they become, leading them to feel compelled to make everything perfect, resulting in a very difficult and exhausting life.

Perfectionist children lead particularly tiring lives, and as time goes on, they may become unhappy or even experience depression. Therefore, when parents observe their children becoming more and more serious, they shouldn’t simply assume that they are just growing up, maturing, or having a certain personality. Instead, they should pay attention to the emotional symptoms that might be present.