Tuesday 25 February, 2020

Parents urged to pay attention to children's emotional health

The Children’s Authority is reminding parents and guardians that they have a responsibility to manage the disappointments their children may feel after the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) results.

In a statement, the Authority said it was parent's jobs to help their children understand they are supportive of them, regardless of their performance.

Acknowledging that July-August vacation is fast approaching, the Authority sought to advise parents and guardians that providing for the emotional needs of their child is just as essential as supplying food, shelter, clothing, and toys.

"The Authority notes that once a child’s emotional needs are addressed, the child is stable and less likely to inflict harm on himself or herself.

In this regard, the Authority is urging parents and guardians to utilise the vacation period to find activities that would allow them to create a bond with their child."

The statement said children who lack emotional support from their family will seek it from anyone, which will make them a likely target to predators.

As such, the following tips were provided:

- Allow children to express their emotions freely. Listen to their concerns without being judgmental.

- Reassure children of their value through positive words, affection, and understanding.

- Be wary of the signs of emotional neglect such as isolation, misbehaviour and depression.

- Refrain from allowing electronic devices such as tablets, cellphones, and computers to be the only source of socialisation.

- Monitor children’s online activity. Be aware of the persons they interact with and the content they are exposed to.

- Acquire the necessary information such as location, time, supervision, and friends during mall visits, family outings, camp trips, and sleepovers.

The Authority will be engaging vacation camps to increase awareness of child abuse and child protection. The public is reminded that child protection is everybody’s business and all incidents of child abuse should be reported to the Police at 999 or to the Authority’s 24-hour hotlines at 996 or 800-2014.

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