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未適當處理幼兒不安感 或加劇分離焦慮

家長錦囊

August 2022

撰文:新領域潛能發展中心 註冊教育心理學家彭智華

即將又踏入開學月,有很多幼兒在第一次到幼稚園上學時,都會哭泣不斷。但也有幼兒不需要任何適應期,便可開心上學去,因為家長能讓他們有足夠的心理準備及模擬的練習。對幼兒來說,入讀幼稚園可能是他們第一個重大挑戰,因為有些幼兒是在入讀幼稚園時才第一次真正與家人分離,但只要讓他們有足夠時間,漸漸熟悉了學校環境之後,就對幼稚園的生活産生了安全感,自然不會哭泣了。

而最困擾家長及教師的,大概是入讀數周後,幼兒還在上學時持續哭泣或明言抗拒回校。情況好一點的,可能會不喜歡參加課外活動,再嚴重一點的可能會拒絶上學,有些極端的例子甚至會不允許父母離開自已的視線範圍,這些都是分離焦慮的問題。

其實,幼兒不適應與家人分離,可能還有深層次的原因需要跟大家深入理解。例如有些幼兒在初生時因體重不足,或身體有毛病而要入住嬰兒深切治療部,或因生病而需要住院或做手術,雖然這些醫學支援對他們而言是必須的,但也可能會導致他們在心理上經歷了一些心理創傷經驗,自此可能害怕陌生人或陌生地方,容易產生分離焦慮,他們的安全感比別的幼兒低。

有些可能是雪上加霜的情況,就是遇上幼兒不容許家長上班,或因需要將幼兒交托給褓母照顧,但幼兒不願意被留下,家長考慮了現實的需要,在情急下必須與他們強行分離,或是說謊欺騙他們,由於家長誤用了不適當的方法,結果加強了他們在嬰幼兒時期的不安全感覺。所謂心理創傷經驗,其實是一些造成他們心理上害怕的事件。

小時候一些與家人分離,而且家長沒有好好處理的事件,是造成幼兒缺乏安全感的主要原因。諷刺的是,有些只是照顧者在他們的日常生活裡,沒有提供足夠安全及溫飽的生活環境,更重要的是經常更換照顧者或地方,而且照顧的手法有很強烈的對比,令他們在上學前已經歷心理適應上的考驗。

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Parents Zone

Failure to adequately address anxiety in young children may exacerbate separation anxiety

Parenting Tips

August 2022

Written by: New Horizons Development Centre, Certified Educational Psychologist Pang Chi Wah

As the school year begins again, many children cry when they first go to kindergarten. However, there are also children who can go to school without any adjustment period because their parents can prepare them mentally and practice simulations. For children, entering kindergarten may be their first major challenge because some children are separated from their families for the first time when they enter kindergarten, but once they have enough time to become familiar with the school environment, they will feel safe in kindergarten life and will not cry.

What bothers parents and teachers the most is that after a few weeks of enrollment, children continue to cry or expressly resist going back to school. In better cases, they may not like to participate in extracurricular activities, and in more severe cases, they may refuse to go to school, and in some extreme cases, they may not allow their parents to leave their sight. These are all separation anxiety problems.

In fact, there may be deeper reasons why children do not adapt to being separated from their families that need to be understood in depth. For example, some children are admitted to the intensive care unit when they are newborn because they are underweight or have physical problems, or they need to be hospitalized or undergo surgery because they are sick. Although such medical support is necessary for them, it may also lead to traumatic psychological experiences for them, and since then they may be afraid of strangers or unfamiliar places and easily develop separation anxiety, and their sense of security is lower than other children.

In some even worse cases, parents are not allowed to work, or that the child needs to be left with a babysitter, but the children do not want to be left behind, so the parents consider the reality of their needs and have to forcibly separate from them or lie to them. As a result of parents’ misuse of inappropriate methods, their feelings of insecurity during infancy and early childhood are reinforced. The so-called traumatic experiences are actually events that cause them to be psychologically afraid.

The main reason for the lack of security in young children is the separation from their families and the failure of parents to handle the situation properly. Ironically, some caregivers do not provide a safe and adequate living environment in their daily lives, and more importantly, there are frequent changes in caregivers or places, and there are strong contrasts in caregiving practices, causing them to go through psychological adjustment tests before they start school.

How to choose the right multimedia e-learning product?

August 2022
8

Written by: Director of Program Development, Carmen Leung

There is a wide range of teaching animations or online children’s programs for parents to choose from, but many parents ask: “Are these animations and applications good or bad for children’s learning? There are some points to note when using multimedia electronic products for children’s learning, including the age of children and remembering not to rely solely on electronic learning modes. Now let me go on to explain the other points that should be noted.

How to choose the right multimedia electronic learning product?

  • It is best if the product does not have non-learning components that children can download or open on their own. For example, if a child is learning on an iPhone or iPad, parents should never let the child open other programs to ensure that the child is learning and not having fun.
  • Learning products with segments or sections can be used. Many parents say that their children have a tendency to react badly when they are asked to stop using electronic products. Therefore, I suggest that products should have an interactive element and require children to respond in different ways.
  • Products should have an interactive element and require children to respond in different ways. A multimedia product is not a good product if it only provides a one-way teaching model. For example, a product that only allows children to sit and listen to information, or to watch and not respond to it, is called “one-way learning” and should be avoided. Products that allow children to sing together, do actions together, string words together, and read aloud and answer questions are the products to choose.
  • For example, there are some products that allow children to respond, but the answers are of the same nature every time, for example, they have to press a button to answer each time, so children’s responses will be slower and they will become “robotic” learners, which will affect their motivation to learn and their ability to think from multiple perspectives in the future.
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Time to use electronic devices

 

Children should not use electronic devices for too long period of time for learning, and parents should set a daily or weekly time limit for their children to use electronic devices. For example, children can only use the computer for a maximum of half an hour after homework each day. If the half hour is up, the child must keep the promise and stop using the product. Parents can also work with their children to set a daily schedule, allocating time for homework, fun, hobby classes and electronic devices, so that children understand that everything needs to be planned and restrained. This not only can train children’s self-management skills (Self Management), but also can effectively limit the use of electronic products time.

 

Reward the use of electronic devices

 

If a child enjoys learning with electronics (and often does), parents can consider rewarding them with the use of the product, for example, by promising them 30 minutes of electronics each time they finish a meal within half an hour, or each time they finish a lesson with quality.

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Parents Zone Parents Zone

如何選購合適的多媒體電子學習產品?

家長錦囊

August 2022
8

撰文:課程發展總監梁嘉敏小姐

坊間有琳瑯滿目的教學動畫或網上兒童節目供家長選購,只是很多家長會問:「究竟這些動畫和應用程式對小朋友的學習是好還是壞呢?」孩子使用多媒體電子產品學習要注意的地方,包括小朋友的年齡及切記不可以只依靠電子學習模式這兩點,現在讓筆者繼續解說一下其他應該注意的事項:

 

怎樣選購合適的多媒體電子學習產品?

 

  • 該產品最好沒有非學習性質的元件可供小朋友自己下載或開啟。例如倘若孩子使用 iPhone 或 iPad 學習,家長千萬別讓孩子打開其他程式,確保孩子在學習而非玩樂。
  • 可使用有分段或節數的學習產品。很多家長都會說要孩子停止使用電子產品的時候,孩子容易有不良的情緒反應。所以筆者建議產品需要分不同單元 (Chapter),而家長可以限制孩子只觀看或完成一個單元。
  • 產品適宜有互動的元素和需要孩子作出不同方式的回應。倘若多媒體產品只是提供單向的教學模式,這並不是好的產品。例如,產品只能讓孩子坐著去聽資訊,或看後不需要作出任何反應,我們便稱為「單向學習」,我們應該避免使用「單向學習」的產品。如產品能夠讓小朋友一起唱歌、一起做動作、一同串生字和朗讀和回答問題,這便是應該選擇的產品。
  • 又例如有一些產品雖然能讓孩子回應,但每次都是回答同樣的性質答案,例如每次都是要按一個按鈕去回答,這樣孩子的反應便會較為緩慢,變成「機械人式」學習,影響往後的學習動機和多角度思考能力,這類產品我們應該要避免。
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使用電子產品的時間

 

使用電子產品學習的時間不可以過長,而且家長亦應該為子女定下每天或每星期可使用電子產品的時間。例如,孩子每天最多只可以在做完功課後使用電腦半小時,如果半小時已到,孩子必須要遵守承諾,暫停使用產品。而家長亦可以跟子女一起定下每天的時間表,分配做功課、玩樂、上興趣班及適用電子產品等活動的時間,好讓子女了解任何事情都需要有計劃,有節制。這樣不單可以鍛煉孩子的自我管理能力 (Self Management),也可以有效限制使用電子產品的時間。

 

以使用電子產品作為獎勵

 

倘若孩子喜歡使用電子產品學習(通常也十分喜歡的),父母可考慮以使用產品作為獎勵,例如孩子每次乖乖在半個小時內吃完飯,或每次有質素地完成功課後,我們便可以答應他們使用三十分鐘的電子產品。