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Old 1st March 2010, 01:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How to build your child's character

How to build your child's character



by June Cheong


Creative expression is necessary in all humans, be they children or adults.

Children become more confident and build their self-esteem when they express themselves.

"Through creative expression, children build their identity and the kind of person that they will be in the future," said MsJeanette Buckley, managing director and principal of Hess Education Centre.

Linguistic ability develops rapidly when the child is between the ages of two and three.

Ms Hamimah Ahmat, a senior speech and language therapist in the department of child development at KK Women's & Children's Hospital, said: "By the age of three, many children can name lots of common things such as a dog and a ball and they can speak in short sentences.

"They love to listen to stories and ask repeatedly for favourite ones and may make up their own at play."

When a child is four years old, all that he says should be intelligible to a stranger.

He also starts asking why, when, how and so on and often asks for the meaning of words.

By six, he should have a good command of his first language.

In speech, he should use more than six words in grammatically correct sentences and hold conversations on everyday topics.

Asked how parents can tell if their young children are talented in creative areas like the arts, Dr Tammi Quek, an associate consultant at University Children's Medical Institute in National University Hospital, said: "There is no hard and fast rule. If the child enjoys the activity, it should be encouraged."

Ms Buckley said: "It's dangerous to speak of ‘talent' at this stage. Rather, your child needs to be exposed to a variety of the arts so he will become creatively expressive and aware of what he can do."

Parents should be careful about pushing their children too hard or projecting their unfulfilled childhood dreams onto their offspring.

Ms Buckley said: "Don't pass judgement on what they like. You may have not liked to dance or were a terrible artist when you were young but that doesn't mean that your child will be the same."

To get their children's creative juices flowing, parents can engage their children in projects like getting them to draw or rewrite a story they have just heard or by using visual images instead of words to tell a story.

Trips to museums, aquariums, the theatre and the library should be followed up with discussions.

Extra-curricular classes like speech and drama lessons can hone a child's confidence, pique his interest in that particular area and expose him to new ideas and concepts.

The caveat is that the child should be a willing and interested participant, not one dragged kicking and screaming to supposedly enriching classes week after week.

Ms Buckley said: "Take a back seat. Let your child lead you to what he likes."

Source: http://www.divaasia.com/article/7718

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