“It was a life-changing webinar, indeed.”
General comments like this poured into the comments section of the Facebook Live from the attendees of the webinar with the theme “Building Resilience in Children and Teens” sponsored by Montessori De Sagrada Familia, Inc. (MDSF), December 4.
Facilitated by Dr. Queena Lee-Chua, well-renowned author, psychologist, columnist, mental health expert, and professor at Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU), the webinar aimed to educate the parents, including the teachers, regarding some practices and tips that will help the children to be resilient this pandemic and in facing other challenges in their life.
Dr. Chua began the session by introducing various behavioral problems and issues such as inability to learn, lack of solid study habits, distractions from gadgets, parent-teacher conflict regarding discipline, poor family communication, and mental health issues concerning teens and children. For her, these concerns should not be blamed on the pandemic alone because “the pandemic did not cause these. The pandemic just highlighted that these issues were there even before the pandemic,” she mentioned.
After acknowledging the presence of these concerns, parents should take some steps to support their children, Dr. Chua emphasized. According to her, parents should help their children manage anxiety and stress by practicing it as well. She even reminded them, “Calm your children and calm yourselves.”
In addition, she also encouraged the parents to let their children engage in self-love practices, to provide them with means for social interaction even virtual, to limit them from addictive activities by providing them with other productive activities, and to seek assistance from professionals if needed.
Furthermore, she encouraged the parents to focus on the growth of their children rather than grades. According to her, they should not pressure their children to achieve higher grades because “if you just go for the grades, not for the learning, you give up at the first hint of discomfort, avoid ordinary challenges, and never develop the mindset, attitudes, skills, that our society desperately needs,” she strongly pointed out.
In connection, she reminded the parents as well to let their children experience challenges, commit mistakes, and undergo uncomfortable and painful experiences because learning is not always easy. Parents should help their children develop grit which means passion and perseverance, courage and strength.
The webinar is one of the scheduled activities of MDSF for the celebration of the school’s 25th founding anniversary with the theme, “23+2: We Will Make It Through”. For the parents who missed it, they can still view it on MDSF Parents R Partners Facebook Page.