Parent University: The Wellbeing Series

Upcoming Events

Get involved now! See below for RCHK Parent University Wellbeing Series Events

Child safety - Thursday, 21 May 2020

This session focuses on:
-Encouraging kids to take risks
-What to say instead of “be careful”
-Helping your child build a network of safe people
-Why you need to encourage your child to question authority

When: 21/05/20, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Where: RCHK PAC
Who is it for: RCHK parents and caregivers

Please keep an eye out for the a e-Notice on Gateway to sign up for the event.

(Un)friendships - August/ September 2020

This session focuses on:
-Bullying (including cyber-bullying)
-Friendship problems
-When children’s anger turns physical

More details to confirm closer to date.

Parenting

Finding The Right Words

School counsellor Moira Conroy-Stocker gave a thorough and interesting insight into aspects of emotional literacy with different age groups, supported by Stephanie Howdle-Lang.

Our parents took part in activities that can develop an understanding of emotions and looked at the development of the brain and ways to encourage your child to talk about how they are feeling with you.

The presentation used on the evening, along with extensive notes, is available here.

The article about the development of the adolescent brain by Andrew Fuller can be found here. Andrew’s website is full of useful articles.

We were lucky to have a number of our Primary Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs) join us for the event. At the end of the session, books chosen by our ELSAs were shared, and in case you didn’t have the opportunity to see the books, we have shared them again here.

Thanks to all the nearly 100 parents who joined us and participated so enthusiastically!

In Your Child’s Shoes

In the first of the Wellbeing Series of Parent University at RCHK, faculty members at RCHK spent time finding out more from parents about what they want to know more about. Our counsellor, Moira Conroy-Stocker, shared information about child development, focusing on the five key areas of physical development, intellectual development, language development, emotional development and social development.

We shared a video with parents giving more information about what this looks like for an RCHK student.

We gathered information from parents who attended through discussion and by taking data from question charts around the room.

Our technology coaches, Phil Knight and Jay Prohaska, were our filmmakers for the event. One of the films they made shared some information we gathered from students about what they wished their parents knew.

Geoff Wheeler and Stephanie Howdle-Lang then shared some suggestions about ways to help children to open up to their parents. Some of the tips they shared are available on this handout.

We used the data to plan the next four sessions of the Parent University Wellbeing Series.

Listening & Learning

Thank you so much to the parents and helpers who came out to join us on the evening of 26th September. Geoff Wheeler and Stephanie Howdle-Lang ran a session to find out more about what support parents would like for the year ahead.

We looked at self-determination theory and particularly basic psychological needs theory which states that people need autonomy, competence and relatedness to develop intrinsic motivation. Together, we explored parenting scenarios and what we could do to increase autonomy in specific situations, followed by a discussion of more generally promoting autonomy.

The parents present then looked at thirteen different choices for upcoming sessions and cast their votes on which they would like to see. The results have been used to plan the upcoming sessions, and the titles will be updated on the website soon.

To finish the session, Geoff shared an approach called emotion coaching, including the stages of that approach and finally Stephanie and Geoff shared some things to be on the alert for in our children in troubled times, such as those Hong Kong is currently experiencing, as well as simple tips for what to do.

The full presentation is available to view here.
The “Parenting in Troubled Times” handout is available here.

What style of parenting works best?

For the final workshop in our Wellbeing Series of Parent University at RCHK we explored parenting styles and approaches. Following a discussion about what parents’ hopes are for their roles, we found out what the students at RCHK want from parents – and recognised the similarities! The world cloud shows what the students listed as important, with the most common words largest.

Moira Conroy-Stocker led us through three of the different parenting styles – authoritarian, authoritative and permissive – using some scenarios to explain what those styles might look like in practice. We explored strengths-based parenting and active constructive responding as two possible strategies in parenting. Stephanie Howdle-Lang outlined strengths-based approaches, which including considering parents’ own character strengths and thinking about how to spot strengths in children. Active constructive responding included some superb role play by Geoff Wheeler and Moira Conroy-Stocker and encouraged us all to think more about how we respond. Ana Chan provided conversation and support in Cantonese throughout the event. We concluded with a discussion about how to manage when parenting styles clash. As usual, the presenters were massively overplanned, so there is far more information in the slide deck than there was in the presentation itself! Parent University: The Wellbeing Series will resume next academic year. Thank you for your support this year!

Mental Health

Anxious Kids

We were delighted to see so many parents join us for the last wellbeing series session of 2019 – especially so close to the end of term. It was also wonderful to hear two different voices at this evening’s session. Moira Conroy-Stocker (our school counsellor) and Lucy Draper (Head of Year 9) lead an interesting and engaging session on anxiety and how we can support our children with it.

They were assisted by the Boys and Girls Club Association social workers who work with us at Renaissance – Angela Lee and Lisa Lu. It was great to have them join us as well, to provide support in Cantonese if needed.

Moira gave us a basic introduction to anxiety and how it can impact on our own lives.

Lucy then led us through some strategies to support our children (and ourselves), beginning with an explanation of the physiological response to experiences and how it is the interpretation of our responses that can lead to anxiety. Lucy also explained a lot of strategies to help to boost resilience and counteract negative self-talk.

Moira went on to outline the typical worries for children in different age groups – what might be considered developmentally appropriate anxieties. Anxiety is a normal experience, and Moira shared some times at which anxiety for children becomes a problem for children.

Moira also focused specifically on social anxiety and shyness, how they manifest and how we might be able to help. We viewed two videos from ParentTV, the service that RCHK has subscribed to on behalf of all our parents. Visit the PowerPoint presentation here.

Check out the social anxiety video on ParentTV here.

You can also refer to the ParentTV episode focusing on shyness in children here.

Please visit our resource sheet here.

We look forward to seeing you in the New Year for the next Parent University: Wellbeing Series on Wednesday 12 February 2020!

Responding to your child’s behaviour

This session was one of the best attended sessions we have had, with not a spare seat in the house. It was great to see so many parents and helpers with us for the evening. Geoff Wheeler and Stephanie Howdle-Lang led a session looking into what is behind children’s behaviour and how we should respond to it as parents.

We explored a range of different behaviours and looked closer at what might be behind them using film footage to support our discussions. We took a closer look at some neuroscience about the development of a child’s brain and how this might apply to managing and understanding behaviour.

For more on this see the Jared Cooney Horvath talk at RCHK (we were lucky to be able to film it!) here, with the password RCHK.

The Andrew Fuller video about the teenage brain can be found here.

Geoff and Stephanie also talked about how parents can manage their own responses to child behaviour – what to do when your children press your buttons.

We talked about behaviourism, rewards and punishments and discussed how RCHK views behaviour through its Positive Relationship Policy. We discussed consequences and discipline as different than punishment, and Geoff and Stephanie shared top ten tips for discipline without punishment.

We finished the session with a sneak preview of Parent TV which will be rolled out to parents in the coming weeks, using one of the videos to help us understand how we can react when our children say they are bored. You can watch that video here.

Handouts from the session are available here:
10 tips for discipline without punishment
Understanding child behaviour

A tour through the learning brain

Jared Cooney Horvath has a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Melbourne and an MEd in Mind, Brain & Education from Harvard University. He has worked as a teacher, curriculum developer, brain researcher, and is currently an educational researcher at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education.

In an engaging and entertaining session, Jared spoke with our parents on “I can’t understand my teenager! A Tour Through the Learning Brain”.

Sometimes they’re bored, disengaged, and unmotivated. Other times they’re risky, unpredictable, and emotionally volatile. What is going on with teenagers!?

During this session, we explored the brain, how it develops (from birth through to old-age), and how things change during adolescence/ early adult-hood. We learned how (and why) teenagers think differently than adults and considered ways we can support them academically, emotionally, and cognitively.

We came away with the understanding that although your teen might be hard to understand, that’s totally normal!

With Jared’s permission, we were able to film the talk to share with parents who might not have been able to attend. Click here to watch it. (Password: rchk)

Technology

Battle of the Screens

It was an information-packed session. The third in the Parent University: Wellbeing Series focused on screen time in all its forms. Geoff Wheeler and Stephanie Howdle-Lang looked at our understanding of screen time, how it is embedded into our children’s lives and how we can help them find balance.

Anthony Copeland spoke as a Science teacher, a tech coach and, most importantly, a gamer, about his experience with gaming online. He shared top tips for parents to do with managing and understanding their children’s game use.

A group of our exceptional student from Primary and Secondary demonstrated their games and engaged in discussions with parents about the games they were playing, why they enjoyed them and what they got out of them.

Phil Knight and Jay Prohaska summarised their excellent top ten tips for social media, and Geoff and Stephanie finished the session with suggestions for supporting balance (including tips for digital single-tasking), setting schedules with your children and answering questions generated during the session.

Thanks to all those who came, especially as the topic proved so interesting that we overran by half an hour!

The files we promised to share are below:

Screen Time for Kids Getting the Balance Right

Presentation: Battle of the Screens: Gaming, Screen Use and Finding Balance

Common Sense Media report – Technology Addiction: Concern, Controversy, and Finding Balance

Growing Up Online (Cyber Safety)

An informative and entertaining presentation, ‘Growing Up Online’, by Australian cyber-safety expert Susan McLean. The session was delivered with Susan McLean’s famous ‘no-nonsense’ approach and cover the positive benefits of technology, as well as what parents need to be aware of in terms of children’s cyber-safety.

Topics included:

  • What are kids doing online – The popular social networking sites and apps such as Secret Calculator, Musical.ly, Instagram and Yubo as well as live streaming sites.
  • Online Grooming – What is it and when/how does it occur? What are the warning signs and what to do if you suspect this is happening to your child.
  • Cyberbullying – What it is, where it happens, what it looks like, how to prevent it and what to do if it occurs. Also the legal consequences and the possible criminal charges.
  • Sharing Nudes – The taking and sending of explicit images. The social and emotional consequences as well as the Law.
  • Top Tips – How to assist the children in your care to stay safe online via parental controls and restriction passcodes.
  • Problematic Internet use and gaming issues.

The session concluded with a Q&A.

Social Media

Phil Knight and Jay Prohaska led this session to share their top ten tips for Social Media use.

The full slide deck, which contains lots of useful hints and tips can be found here.

Guest Workshops

Positive Schools Asia Conference 2018 at RCHK

RCHK hosted Positive Schoolsfor the Positive Schools Asia Conference, from 22 – 24 November 2018, with educators flying in from all over the world to learn more about how to implement wellbeing practices in their schools.

Raising Happy and Resilient Young People by Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg

Adolescence is a time of big social changes, emotional changes and changes in relationships. A recent survey conducted by the Hong Kong Playground Association last month, asked 3,177 young people, aged six to 24, showed that 31.6% of participants suffered from mild to extremely severe stress, while 38.7% had moderate to extreme anxiety. This presentation focuses on prevention and on what modern psychological science says parents can do to build happy and resilient young people.

Presented by Australia’s highest profile child and adolescent psychologist, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg this entertaining and informative session will equip parents with the skills, knowledge and evidence based strategies to help young people successfully tackle the developmental tasks of adolescence and to put in place the protective factors that reduced the chances of them developing any of the high prevalence disorders.

Date: Monday 3 September 2018

Time: 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Venue: Renaissance College
Performing Arts Centre
5 Hang Ming Street, Ma On Shan
New Territories, Hong Kong

Fee: HK$200 per person

Registration and Ticketing: Click here to register and book your tickets by Friday 31 August 2018

Notes:
– Seats are limited
– Parking is not available at the school campus

URSTRONG by Dana Kerford

ESF’s Quarry Bay School hosted URSTRONG, an internationally recognised Social Emotional Wellbeing program, on Thursday 25th October.

The aim of URSTRONG is to empower children with the skills, language and self-confidence to be better friends and develop healthier relationships.

URSTRONG held two ‘Language of Friendship’ workshops, which were designed for parents/carers to attend with their children.

Past Events

Have a look at some of our past events, for resources and event details. Join us next time!

Parent Workshop by Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg: Raising Happy and Resilient Young People

Adolescence is a time of big social changes, emotional changes and changes in relationships. A recent survey conducted by the Hong Kong Playground Association last month, asked 3,177 young people, aged six to 24, showed that 31.6% of participants suffered from mild to extremely severe stress, while 38.7% had moderate to extreme anxiety. This presentation focuses on prevention and on what modern psychological science says parents can do to build happy and resilient young people.

Presented by Australia’s highest profile child and adolescent psychologist, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg this entertaining and informative session will equip parents with the skills, knowledge and evidence based strategies to help young people successfully tackle the developmental tasks of adolescence and to put in place the protective factors that reduced the chances of them developing any of the high prevalence disorders.

Date: Monday 3 September 2018

Time: 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Venue: Renaissance College
Performing Arts Centre
5 Hang Ming Street, Ma On Shan
New Territories, Hong Kong

Fee: HK$200 per person

Registration and Ticketing: Click here to register and book your tickets by Friday 31 August 2018

Notes:
– Seats are limited
– Parking is not available at the school campus