The well-being of a family is crucial for a well-developed society. Therefore, Family and Parenting Centre (FPC) from the Department of Psychology at HELP University, led by Ms. Sybella Ng, a psychologist and lecturer at HELP University, is collaborating with Malaysian Child Resource Institute (MCRI) to launch L.I.F.E. Program.
L.I.F.E. Program stands for Literacy Impact and Family Education aims to improve literacy in children and equip parents with the ability to empower their children. Parenting workshops, Read Aloud programs and counselling sessions has been conducted to move towards achieving the goal.
“As a society, we are often quick to point fingers at parents whenever tragedy befalls a child. However, parents are also voicing out that without support, resources or in some cases, basic knowledge on child development, they feel powerless when it comes to child care. Thus, this program is developed with an aim to equip and empower parents to be better parents,” says Ms. Sybella Ng.
Parents who are working in a local manufacturing company joined these workshops and learned that they need to know the ways to manage their emotions and not allow negative emotions manifest when they interact with their children.
In addition, this meaningful community project has attracted young people who are eager to help out. Three second-year Psychology students from HELP University who are currently completing their internship in MCRI has also made their effort to support the program. Marie Tan, Wong Sheng Fu and Wong Sze Chien set up their fundraising pages on simplygiving.com to support the L.I.F.E. Program.
They also assisted in one of the workshops. “The workshop about stress management is practical and easy to understand. Parents can participate in the activities prepared and gain a better insight of the ways to handle their stress in order to prevent them from hurting their children out of frustration,” says Wong Sze Chien.
There were also a number of fathers who joined these workshops. It shows that there is a positive transition in today’s families as fathers nowadays start to be more involved in their child’s development instead of passing the responsibility of childcare to their wives.
Read Aloud program shows children some interesting ways to tell a story. These sessions mesmerized the children and encouraged them to be participative in the stories. Children will start to develop interest in knowing more stories through reading, then they become proficient readers and writers. This is exactly what this programme intends to do for children.
L.I.F.E. Program does not only benefit the family, but our society as a whole in the future. The abilities to read and write are crucial for every person to communicate and it is the best to start from young. Moreover, parents also play an important role in determining the wellbeing of the family.
After attending the workshops, parents shared positive feedback and look forward to the upcoming workshops. They have learned better ways in managing their own behaviour and understand their children better. One of the parents stated that, “This topic (Raising Emotionally Healthy Children) was very helpful for me in understanding more about my child's emotions.”
The outcome of the L.I.F.E. program is not to be seen immediately, as it will take time to reach out to each member of the society. However, it is an initiative that can change the community to a healthier and more supportive one as well as produce a safer environment for our children.
Kofi Annan once said, “The happiness of any society begins with the wellbeing of the families that live in it.”
MCRI is an NGO that advocates children’s rights for more than 20 years. We organize training programs and workshops regarding children’s rights, children’s safety, early childhood education and other related topics, for educators or people from all walks of life.