Friday, February 21, 2014

A Date with Madam Teoh Poh Yew 我与宝幼有约

My good friend, Carol Yap, who is an experienced educator and the founder of Teacher Yap Creative Reading Programme,叶老师创意课程,had strongly recommended Poh Yew's class to me since some times back. She always emphasized that her talk is life changing and eye opening. I trusted her words but it is only until last weekend that I finally managed to attend an 4 hour talk by Poh Yew, arranged by Life Changing Xperience, a talk on:

How to Raise Happy & Super Creative Kids

If you have being following my blog, you would know that I am a determined parent who is advocate to coaching my kids through FUN & CREATIVE learning, I would not hesitate to let my hair down for some real quality & fun time with my kiddos (they really grow too fast that sometimes I wish I can halt the time..)

Poh Yew's talk was hitting all the right spots for me.

It was truly an inspiring and touching session. While most of the information she shared may be something I've learnt through parenting books or website,  it was the manner of presentation, her broad personal experience and passion that truly created an impact. Passion is influential, and passion is what that ignites action and creates results.

Let me share some of the key points that I learnt and truly agree from her talk (mixed with my interpretation as I was really just scribing):

  • Enlarge the strenght & good points,not the weakness (放大孩子的长处)What our kids need at the growing age are really love and encouragement, not someone who always find fault in them or comparing them with others. Like Poh Yew said, if we guide our kids like how we guide them to walk when they were toddlers, they will never fail in anything they do. I love this motto. Why is it a big deal if the child does not score 100% in his exam? Most importantly he exhibits ability to understand, to apply the knowledge; not just to score A.
  • Do Not reward your kids for getting good grades (别把奖励当鼓励),  it is like motivating the donkey with a carrot hanging over its forehead. Once the carrot is removed, the donkey losses its direction / goals. Instead, inspire the child to have a vision, or a goal, let them find the motive to want to do it and not "bribing" them into doing good. She shared the example where, she did not reward her kids for scoring As, instead she emphasizes the importance of how a good degree can help in getting a right job. So the kids knew they have to learn & study for their future, not for the short term reward.

  • No Child wants to be bad, everyone wants to be loved and be good (没人天生要当坏小孩,每个孩子都渴望学好、被疼). If the kid constantly does something that is perceived as bad or naughty, try to understanding and help him or her to do it right, or hear them out. Perhaps it's just a message that he wants more of your attention? Somehow Calvin and Hobbs appeared in my mind, they were always up to mischief but those really were just a child's way to explore the world... Somehow I was awed by Calvin's creative imagination and super curious attitude.

  • There is no child that cannot be taught, it is only our inability to teach (没有不能教的孩子,只有不会教的父母). She pointed out the flaw in our education system where all children are measured with exam scores, in which exam shall be used to gauge a kid's learning milestones and NOT to judge how smart a kid is. Albeit Einstein aptly said this long ago...

  • Be Creative! there is no one method that suits all  (运用创意教学,让学习变有趣)(hey, isn't this my motto! *wink*). If we have been teaching the kid the same way and he still cannot understand, don't blame the kids or get angry, instead just learn to be creative and think of explaining in a manner that our kids can understand. If the child can only understand 20% of the things taught, he/she would probably loses interest and  confident in learning; however if he knows 80% of the content his confident & participation level will certainly increase.  So a creative teacher / parent shall adjust the teaching method and materials accordingly to encourage the children to learn more effectively. Again, Einstein understood this logic long ago and hence he's famous quote..

One final take away for me from this seminar from personal observation..

If you do something that you truly love & believe, 
it reflects in your action & shows on your face, 
and that creates power to INFLUENCE.

So you want to have happy children? Begin by being a happy parent yourself, now.

Despite all the tenacity that she had been through (check out her biography and you would know what I meant), Poh Yew still managed to maintain her positive attitude, professionalism and continue to spread her believe and knowledge to all the people who cares to learn more... and with a sincere smile. All parents in that room walked away feeling recharged and inspired that day, I believe largely was due to her positive spirit.

If you are already a positive parent with creative kids, this talk will re-affirm your believe and injects new ideas; if you feel like there is more room to improve on your parent-child relationship or need more info on how to couch your kids, then this talk will definitely be beneficial to you. So I hope I have convinced you why Poh Yew's talk is really powerful for any parents. I have yet to attend her full day course but I will certainly find time to go.

Interested?  You may find out more information on the courses here, and you may check out on her biography here.

* updated *
During the talk Poh Yew shared a lot of examples and advises on how she handled specific situation, but to be fair I would think you should attend her talk to find out more instead of me spilling out all the beans here. It's always better to hear it from the guru!

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  1. awesome blog for parents:) thanks

  2. Excellent blot for parents, been looking for cooking flash games for little ones like Ice Cream Game Papas Freezeria and found this blog instead :) i'm glad I did.

    1. Thanks Rita, for your kind words :)
      I realised through sharing I am drawn to enriching myself with more knowledge, if it helps other parents I will be most happy.