Alumni reunited at CityU to share ways of grooming their children's development

Annie Sing

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More than 100 alumni attended a “Happy Gathering at CityU” on 7 July to share their views on how to raise their children. The gathering, co-organized by the Development and Alumni Relations Office (DAO) and CityU Alumni Association, reflected CityU’s commitment to strengthen alumni ties in support of University development and nurture a giving and caring culture among students, staff and alumni.

Two speakers addressed the participants on “How to lead your children to the road of success”: Mrs Stella Lau, a CityU Council Member and Headmistress of Diocesan Girls' School; and Dr Elaine Au, Assistant Professor of CityU's Department of Applied Social Studies.

 

 

Ms Cynthia Li, who graduated with a BA (Hons) in Information Systems in 1994, said, “I was attracted by the theme of the forum. As a mother, I want to know more about what I can do to foster my children’s development. It is also my first time to attend an alumni activity.”

Understanding the meaning of success is fundamental to children's success, Mrs Lau pointed out in her talk. She argued that success should be interpreted on the family's level, not that of the society, which projects achievement and fame as the symbols of success. While it is smart for parents to make educational plans and preparation for their children, they should avoid putting too much pressure on them. To help them build up a sound learning foundation, parents should help develop their children's reading ability to enhance their comprehension.

In answering questions from alumni, Mrs Lau emphasized that while it made perfect sense for parents to have high expectations of their children, parents must at the same time facilitate and help their children to yield their desired results. Mrs Lau recollected that she placed books in every corner of her house with a view to creating a bookish environment and arousing her daughter's interests in reading. She also joined her daughter in reading to cultivate her habit of active reading.

Dr Au, who is conversant in the areas of adolescents and family counselling, said, “Parents have to keep pace with the times and understand what their kids face in the environment in which they are growing up.” As an example, she spoke of what could happen if parents whose children suffer from dyslexia do not have knowledge about the problem. The children, with sustained poor performance in their studies and without their parents' understanding, could easily lose their self-confidence, develop low self-esteem and become problem youths. She emphasized that parents should have good communication with their children and encourage them to play sports for physical development.

Ms Kathy Chan, Director of DAO and moderator of the forum, concluded the session with an old Chinese saying: “Not until the moment that people have their own children do they become truly aware of the unfathomed care and love they received from their parents”.

 

Past “Happy Gathering at CityU” forums have focused on themes such as how to cope with turbulent times, prospects for economic recovery in Hong Kong, and how to lead a healthy and happy life. Mr Patrick Lee, Chairman of CityU Alumni Association, said, “Alumni were interested in all of the themes and rated all the speakers highly.”

 

CityU Alumni Association aims to build stronger ties among alumni. In addition to providing forums for the exchange of views, the Association has organized a variety of outdoor activities such as a diver training class, hiking and boating. Mr. Lee said, “We hope to enhance the links between alumni and their alma mater through these events, with the goal to serve and contribute to the University.” He added that many alumni are committed to contributing their experiences, professional knowledge and time to the University as mentors to students to help establish a caring culture.

 

At the July 7 event, four alumni ambassadors briefly updated the alumni on recent developments and achievements of their alma mater, including the news that CityU ranked second in “success rate” among the eight local universities in bidding for the Competitive Earmarked Research Grant this year. Reports were also made of several championships and awards that students have won in recent years, the ranking of the Faculty of Business among the top five business schools in the Asia Pacific region, and the ranking of CityU among the top 200 universities in the world last year. The audience was greatly impressed by the development of the University and responded with bursts of thundering applause. 

 

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