Experts in cognitive development believe the first five years of a child’s life is the most important stage in intelligence formation and brain function.
What your child experience in his or her early years shapes who he or she will be, influences their harmony, their emotions, their performance in school, their relationships, and their future.
Here are seven tips on how you can influence your child’s development through simple interactions:
Play and talk to your children more often
Parents can show their love by playing and talking to their children. This can help them to build emotional intelligence. When children spend more quality time interacting with their parents, it will develop their emotional and social skills faster than those who do not. By hugging, singing, and doing household chores together, parents and children can build up wonderful memories and create joy around them.
Turn mistakes into lessons
Teach children to view their mistakes as learning opportunities instead of failures. For example, if they fall during play, they should seek to identify the cause and learn to be more careful in the future, rather than stopping play entirely. Through such lessons, they can learn to pick themselves up and take away important life skills such as resiliency and competency. At Kinderland, children are given ample opportunities to build their resilience through mistakes. It does not matter if the child cannot spell rightly on their first few tries. Through Kinderland’s phonics program, the school helps children to gain more confidence in being able to spell on their own.
Reading and storytelling with children
Reading and sharing stories can help children get to know sounds, words, language and develop their literacy skills. Stories can also spark your child’s imagination and curiosity, bringing them to amazing places and introducing them to extraordinary characters. Children exercise their conceptual understanding and vocabulary when answering parents’ questions and queries. Above it all, children get to spend quality time with their parents while learning in comfort!
Story time has always been children’s favorite at Kinderland. It is no surprise why the school’s children are always so excited as they immerse themselves in stories that their teachers share creatively through role playing or hand puppet shows.
|Children discover the world through reading.|
Develop your child’s reading habit
The best way to raise a love for and interest in reading is to simply read to your child. When children see parents reading frequently, they will subconsciously imitate the adults’ actions. During weekends, family can have a great time going to a bookstore and allow their children to choose books or comics that they are interested in under guidance. There is no need to wait till your child is able to read to buy a book. Parents can engage their child by discussing the pictures and characters in the book, asking questions related to the story, to help them develop their literacy skills and spur their creativity.
Encourage them to do exercise
Physical exercise not only makes children healthy, but also helps them to develop intelligence as regular exercises will help to regulate blood flow to the brain and regenerate brain cells. Kinderland’s Kinderfit program allows its children to acquire fundamental movement skills while the development of self-confidence, responsible habits, team spirit, and a positive attitude toward a healthy lifestyle are emphasized.
|Physical exercise not only makes children healthy, but also helps them develop intelligence.|
Nurture their creativity
Creativity will also help to develop problem-solving skills, innovation, and discovery in children. Allow children to have their space to draw or attempt art and crafts independently. Motivate them to express themselve and give compliments to their creation. Allow children to solve daily challenges and seek to find alternate resolutions as well.
|Children develop creativity through painting.|
Growing with music
Music can benefit your child in many areas such as language, math, concentration, and social skills, among others. When children’s moving follows the music, the brain parts that control the hearing and movement functions both work at the same time. That also happens when children play musical instruments, then children can learn how to coordinate between their eyes, ears, hands, feet, and the whole body. Body vibrations from a singing child contribute to lowering cortisol (stress hormone) levels, releasing endorphins, and making your child feel happy. Learning to play musical instruments requires children to use multiple senses that enhance brain functions.
|Exposing your baby to music from a young age helps stimulate brain development.|
Vietnam’s sustainable development solutions start with students: Danish diplomat
Vietnam can seek sustainable development solutions from its students’ ideas, Louise Holmsgaard, Deputy Head of Mission at the Danish Embassy, said at the launch of the ‘Denmark in Your Eyes 2021 Painting Competition’ on Thursday.
Themed ‘Green Living,’ the competition is the first event in a series of activities celebrating the 50th anniversary of Vietnam-Denmark diplomatic relations, according to information released at the launch at Nguyen Sieu School in Hanoi.
Green growth, along with a green transition, is one of the top priorities in the two countries’ long-term cooperative efforts.
|Deputy Head of Mission at the Danish Embassy Louise Holmsgaard delivers her remarks at the launch of the ‘Denmark in Your Eyes 2021 Painting Competition.’ Photo: Khoa Thu / Tuoi Tre|
Impressed by Vietnam’s rapid growth, Holmsgaard explained that, besides economic indicators, the Vietnamese government must pay more attention to its sustainable development initiatives, especially in renewable energy – one of the country’s greatest potentialities.
“This overarching aim has been fully reflected in our cooperation including in the annual Denmark in Your Eyes Competition,” said the diplomat.
“The contest will be a platform for the young generation to voice and share their thoughts, concerns, hopes, and ideas on how we together can make our planet a prosperous and sustainable home for the well-being of all, through what could be daily simple and humble deeds.”
|Nguyen Sieu School students speak with their teacher about what they want to draw. Photo: Khoa Thu / Tuoi Tre|
Stressing that 2021 marks half a century of the Denmark-Vietnam ties, Holmsgaard expressed her hope that “the friendship between the Vietnamese and Danish peoples will last forever.”
Homsgaard also recommended that the young competitors speak with their friends, teachers, and families about how to live greener and more sustainable lives.
|Student Dang Anh Kiet draws on marine debris. Photo: Khoa Thu / Tuoi Tre|
Dang Anh Kiet, a sixth grader of Nguyen Sieu School, told Tuoi Tre News about his concerns over Vietnam’s poor waste sorting practices while drafting a picture on marine debris.
“A lot of people simply put waste into trash bins without an attempt to classify, causing difficulties to the processing step,” he said.
“The practice will lead to tons of trash piled up in landfills, or worse, discharged to oceans.”
|Louise Holmsgaard poses with a young competitor. Photo: Khoa Thu / Tuoi Tre|
Meanwhile, Luong Trung Hieu, another sixth grader, wanted to deliver a message of renewable energy by drawing a wind turbine beside the national flags of Vietnam and Denmark.
This year’s competition, co-hosted by the Embassy of Denmark and the Vietnam-Denmark Friendship Association, is open to all Vietnamese elementary and middle school students.
The winners will be announced in May.
A mother of hundreds of children in Vietnam
Ton Nu Quynh Duong, 66, started her first work of public philanthropy in 2010 and has since devoted her life to it.
Her philanthropic mission began with a child care home of Phu Thuong at Phu Thuong Commune, Phu Vang District, Thua Thien-Hue Province, located in central Vietnam.
“[The children in need] call me ‘mom’ and I consider them my children too,” Duong said.
“In many cases, I feel richer than a billionaire because of having more than one hundred children, who are more valuable than gold or silver.”
Making a dream come true
Inside a small kitchen of the Phu Thuong childcare center, a slim woman with grey hair is preparing meals for her thirty ‘children.’
The house is cozy despite the chilly weather outside.
As a former teacher, Duong graduated from the faculty of biology of the Hue University of Education.
During her teaching career, she worked at some of the high schools in Phu Loc District, Thua Thien-Hue
She is loved by many generations of students after more than thirty years of devotion and sympathy.
When she was a young teacher, Duong often felt concerned about the poor and studious children.
Many of them were forced out of school to earn a living.
At that time, the only way she could help them was to pay a visit to their home after school.
She tried to persuade their parents to let them return to the classroom by offering to help them with part of their tuition.
More than one hundred students were able to continue studying thanks to teacher Duong’s support.
Apart from teaching for extra hours, she spared a part from her humble monthly salary to provide them with notebooks, clothes, and textbooks.
“Many of the first generation of students have become successful and want to pay it forward,” Duong told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
“So, they offer help to the students that suffer the same plight as them in the past.
“That generation has succeeded, and as a circle, many of them have returned to help difficult generations.
“My job is like sowing, it’s time for those seeds to germinate and I feel really happy about that.”
Around mid-2008, Duong accepted a job offer at Xuan Phu Childcare Center while she was working as a teacher at Phu Loc Middle School.
The underprivileged children’s living conditions at the center made her obsessed.
The children who should have been in the arms of their parents were left alone.
She told herself that if she had the opportunity and appropriate resources, she would spend the rest of her life with these children.
Retiring in 2010, Duong decided to participate in the childcare home of Phu Thuong to continue her dream of sharing with poor students.
The open house was established in 2007 from the contribution of the family of late Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thong and his relatives living in Australia with the aim of nurturing poor and studious students in the province.
“It is extremely hard and challenging, but I never regret choosing this job,” Duong confided.
“I don’t need anyone to praise me, just smile at the challenges and obstacles to move forward.”
Being both a teacher and mother
“Working here as ‘three in one,’ I am a teacher, a mother, and a psychologist,” Duong smiled when being asked what her main job in the center is.
With 30 years of experience in teaching, she has always used the most effective teaching methods.
In addition to mentoring the children by herself, she asked teachers from other schools to help the students.
Duong used her pension and the money she was given by her siblings to pay for other teachers.
It is Duong’s commitment and devotion that have taken many underprivileged students to various campuses such as the Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy and the University of Danang – University of Science and Technology.
Huynh Phi Cong Hung, an eighth grader at Phu Thuong Middle School, said Duong not only taught him school subjects but also showed him how to be well-behaved.
There are always more than thirty students here and Duong takes good care of them all.
In Hung’s opinion, Duong was like his second mother.
To teacher Duong, most of her students are in the “most difficult” age.
Each of them is a question mark to her, which prompts her to pay more attention to their behavior, nutrition, and sleep.
“Every child here has a unique situation that I would deal with them depending on which circumstances they are in,” Duong said.
“I always fear that my improper behavior will ruin a person’s life.”
The care she gives has resulted in good children.
According to Duong, the open house has now become a center for gatherings and reunions on special occasions.
“Many children who have grown up here stood by me in a quiet way to help the following generations, which makes me truly happy,” Duong confided.
Vietnamese schools allow students to stay home during cold weather
Tens of thousands of students in many northern and north-central Vietnamese provinces were allowed to stay home on Monday as temperatures dropped below 10 degrees Celsius due to the effects of a strong cold spell.
In the north-central province of Nghe An, the provincial Department of Education and Training issued a document requesting students of kindergarten and elementary schools to let students stay home if the temperature falls below 10 degrees Celsius, and seven degrees Celsius for middle and high schools.
In addition, schools have to inform the students and their parents of the school break as soon as possible.
Accordingly, all kindergarten students in the province’s Ky Son District were asked to stay home to protect their health as temperatures ranged between 4-7 degrees Celsius, with frost forming in many places on Monday afternoon, according to Phan Van Thiet, head of the district’s bureau of education and training.
Besides, 41 elementary and middle schools along Vietnam-Lao borders and in mountainous areas, where many students of Mong ethnic people are living, were also closed.
As a majority of those schools provide semi-boarding services with the students living far away and having opted to stay at their campuses over the past few days, local authorities directed them to strengthen measures to combat the cold for students, including using firewood, Thiet said.
In northern Son La Province, 401 out of 527 kindergarten, elementary, and middle schools and 16 out of 44 high schools urged students to stay home on Monday, according to the provincial education and training department.
Schools at all levels in the three districts of Yen Chau, Thuan Chau, and Van Ho were shuttered.
In northern Dien Bien Province, nearly 55,000 students of 130 schools were given leave to avoid the cold on Monday morning.
Likewise, 98,175 students from 256 schools in Nghia Lo Town, Yen Binh, Van Chan, Luc Yen, Tram Tau, and Mu Cang Chai Districts in northern Yen Bai Province, stayed home.
Meanwhile, their peers in Yen Bai City and Tran Yen District still went to school.
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