Individual Counselling: Secondary School (Parents Strategies)

Pure Victim

Keung's case

Keung was studying alone in a quiet area of the school when a few classmates suddenly ran up, snatched his new glasses and started playing with them. When Keung implored them to give his glasses back, they threw them onto the table and broke them. Just at that moment, a teacher passed by and asked Keung what happened, but he was too afraid to tell the truth, and only said that he broke the glasses because of his own clumsiness.

Negative sample (Over-protective, sustain their dependence and avoidance)

  • Teach children to escape from problems, which will cause children to become passive, dependent and feel helpless.

It is common for parents to care about their children’s safety and growth, but it will negatively impact children if parents help children to always avoid problems, and/or solve problems for them. Because parents cannot be constantly with their children, the long-term effects of parents being sole problem-solvers will be that their children will be unable to do so themselves, and will thus experience delayed emotional development.

Instant intervention (Teach the children about the way to express their own thoughts and opinions)

  • Encourage their children to acknowledge the reality of the problem.
  • Encourage their children to practice using ‘I-message’ to enhance their abilities of self-expression.

It is more suitable for parents to encourage their children to acknowledge that a problem exists, and that they should attempt to solve the problem themselves. This will help children to feel cared for, and also to develop invaluable coping strategies. In addition, parents can practice using ‘I-message’ with children in daily life, to increase the opportunities children have to utilise this useful technique.

Long-term intervention (Encourage children to try)

  • Appreciate the strengths of children in a positive way, and build up their self-confidence.
  • Encourage children to be open about their emotions.

Because pure victims lack self-confidence, parents need to show their children a great deal of appreciation and encouragement, to help them explore their own strengths and build up their self-confidence. Parents can also encourage their children to get involved with new activities, to modify their behaviour patterns from passive to more positively active. In this video, Keung was willing to try something new after being praised and encouraged.

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