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From violent tantrums to mature conversations – a Positive Parenting Programme testimony

Image of From violent tantrums to mature conversations – a Positive Parenting Programme testimony

From the tiny acorn, grows the mighty oak. At Fei Yue Community Services, our positive parenting programme (Triple P) provides valuable support to parents looking to acquire practical parenting strategies that are more effective than the ones they are currently adopting. Parents who have completed Triple P and have make little changes in the way they parent from day to day, have reported very positive changes in how they and their children interact.

This is the story of Madam Huang, single mother to 7-year-old John (pseudonym), and her parenting journey with Triple P.

Taking the first step

Ever since John turned 6 years old, Madam Huang noticed a drastic change in his day-to-day behaviour. The once sweet little boy began to throw frequent tantrums, and struggled to manage his emotions. Lying became a frequent occurrence, as did shouting at family members. John rejected following Madam Huang’s instructions, and was rude towards the people around him. Worryingly, he also began to physically harm himself and his family members by pushing them and butting his head against household furniture.

Madam Huang went to great lengths to find a way out of this nightmare. She consulted fellow parents, hoping to learn useful parenting tips and tried many with John, in the hopes of improving his behaviour. This ranged from hard approaches such as caning to soft approaches involving encouraging words and positive conversations. None of these methods worked for long as John quickly reverted to his old behaviour.

Knowing that this could not go on, Madam Huang decided to seek professional help with parenting coaching at Fei Yue Community Services. This was a courageous first step that was certainly not easy – just like making a new friend, trying a new hobby, exploring a new place – all these called for courage and determination to step out of our comfort zone.

Walking the journey together

The parenting sessions proved beneficial as Madam Huang picked up many effective tips and methods from the parent coach in managing John’s behaviour. Recognising that parenting is not only the duty of a parent, but crucially a two-way collaboration with her child, Madam Huang began to observe small but meaningful changes in John’s behaviour. Besides throwing fewer tantrums, John began listening more and showed willingness to engage in open conversations with her. These were just some of the positive changes that marked the start of John’s transformation.

“I believe that we’re not perfect parents and there is much more to our children than we know”

— Madam Huang

Through the parenting sessions, Madam Huang also saw gradual changes in herself as she grew to pay better attention to John and listen to what John wanted to express. As John put in effort to behave better, she too tried her best to respond to his effort by recognising his good work and having better awareness of his emotions.

Building the road to a better tomorrow

The parenting sessions helped Madam Huang and John pave the way for a deeper parent-child connection and vastly more positive interactions. The stressful pandemic season had put Madam Huang’s limits to the test, as she had to adjust to working from home. By drawing on the strategies and methods she learned, Madam Huang was able to create a conducive space that allowed her to work from home and care for John at the same time.  She shared that Triple P offered insights to different strategies and methods that all parents could learn, regardless of how our relationship with our child is like.

“It is still a long road ahead for me, and it’s not easy but as long as we stay on course, I believe that we can do this.”

— Madam Huang

Written by Madeline Tan.