A training forum named “My Son” discussed modern, creative ways of bringing up children, as a gateway to solve the problems related to them nowadays, took place at the civil education centre in Zamalek.
“This training forum was one of techniques that the government will use to apply Egypt’s sustainable development strategy, Vision 2030,” said Dr. Aziza Abu Youssef, a consultant for planning and development for development projects and programmes, and one of the organisers of the forum
"It is one of the goals of Egypt’s national strategies, aiming at child and family wellbeing,” Abu Youssef adds.
“We are setting a development strategic plan in line with the 2030 agenda, targeting the childhood period from pre-schoolers and kindergarteners until 18 years old.”
A consultant on family relations and self-development, Dr. Ahmed El-Badawi, gave Ahram Online’s readers steps on how to raise an independent, honest, and creative child:
"Parents must not be in a hurry for quick results but rather have patience and wait to attain them. The observation of their child on an ongoing basis will give a more accurate picture of the child's behaviour.”
“It is important to search to find the child’s passion whether in sports or even high imagination. A child's passion could be in a literary field as storytelling, writing short stories, or poetry. It is important to pay attention to children’s social intelligence. Maybe he is talented in management or leadership positions," he said.
El-Badawi said that first step is unconditional love. Parents must tell their son or daughter that they love them without any reservations, even when they do something wrong. Parents should also know the love language of their child, whether it is with words of admiration, holding them close, or showering them with kisses and hugs. Embrace what each child prefers as an expression of love.
El-Badawi stresses that the presence of a role model, whether a father or mother, teacher or family member in a child’s life is of utmost importance.
“For parents to be a real model for a child, they must apologize and explain the reasons if they make a mistake.”
El Badawi adds that each child is blessed with a certain talent or skill, and the role of parents is to encourage it to thrive. "If your child has natural talent or interest in a particular field you as parents are not good at, you can direct him to other family members as role models, like grandparents, aunts, uncles … who have the same common interests as your child,” he added.
He also stressed the importance of motivation. "When your child accomplishes a certain goal, let them know that you are proud of him by praising, encouraging, or rewarding him no matter how small it may be," he says.
El-Badawi explains that, sometimes, parents have inaccurate beliefs or overestimations of their child’s performance. "They should have realistic expectations about their child’s abilities.”
Another idea he presents is exchanging roles between the family members through playing games for a short period.
“This will stimulate the feeling of love…and motivation. It also helps in increasing your child’s self-confidence and self-esteem,” he said.
The forum focused on lectures about the role of parents in searching for the hidden talents of each child, and finding the child’s interests and dislikes through observing behaviour.
Children during art therapy classes (courtesy from Heba El-Dawi)
The importance of art therapy was highlighted by psychologist and art therapist for children Heba El-Dawi.
“It is a way for a child to release his energy, to express his feelings and emotions,” she said.
“Art therapy is most effective and helpful for all individuals,” she said.
"One does not have to be a da Vinci to benefit from art therapy; it is not necessary child know how to draw, but through scribbling, therapists can analyse a lot," she explains.
El-Dawi says that each child could choose their preferred art activity for the therapy, with activities including drawing, painting, sculpture, music, dance, melodrama or psychodrama (creative form of therapy that digs deep through roleplay to explore the problems and difficulties that people have in their lives).
She recommends art therapy in particular for children suffering from ADHD, autism, schizophrenia, asthma, anxiety, stress, depression, cancer, addiction, disabilities, or any form of mental health, psychological or behavioural problem.
“The results differ from one to another. Usually the results appear after two or six months depending on the patient’s state,” she said.