18 January 2020

Christine Ma-Lau

Founder and Principal at JEMS Learning House
  • There is no surefire way to get a child to enjoy reading, but some things can help when it comes to what the parents can do. Photo: Reuters

    Nurturing the love of reading

    - Jan 19, 2018 5:35pm
    Growing up, I didn’t like reading, a fact that became a source of frustration and annoyance to my mother. She would buy all types of books for me to try and read and I had no...
  • The kids have creativity and ideas but we need to give them a platform to voice and share their ideas without belittling or putting them aside. Photo: Reuters

    A kid’s dream city

    - Nov 24, 2017 5:33pm
    Last month I had the privilege of teaching a class of primary two and three students, and the subject matter was teamwork. I divided the class into teams of four and asked them to design and...
  • To help children stay emotionally resilient and strong, parents should lead by example. Representative image: Reuters

    How to stay calm as a parent

    - Nov 10, 2017 5:35pm
    Being a parent can be an emotional roller coaster ride – from euphoric feelings of love when your child runs up to you and says “I love you” to hair-pulling frustration when your child chooses to...
  • One area of healthiness often leads to healthiness in other areas. Physical exercise, for example, also boosts a person's emotional health. Photo: Reuters

    How healthy are you?

    - Oct 20, 2017 3:31pm
    Last week I was leading a teacher training session and the topic was character education and classroom management, but I started the workshop with something that was seemingly unrelated. I asked the teachers to reflect on...
  • The best praises are those that tell children the potential we see in them and empower them to do better. Photo: Reuters

    How to praise children and bring out the best in them

    - Sep 29, 2017 5:34pm
    At the dinner table one evening, my son was interacting with his auntie. He was smiling and responding to her questions and it appeared that she was quite enamoured by him. Then she turned to me...
  • When we fall or when we see others fall, do we learn from the experience or are we downtrodden and defeated? Photo:

    Let our kids fall when they are young

    - Sep 15, 2017 5:31pm
    Just last week, I was on holiday with my husband and 14-month son and we were staying in a hotel. As soon as my curious son entered the room, he started exploring and looking to see...
  • Character Day will take place globally on Sept. 13, 2017, and in Hong Kong, the theme is Choose Kindness. Photo: Facebook

    Choose kindness to make the city a better place

    - Sep 1, 2017 10:52am
    The other day, I was in a shopping mall and leaving the building. I pulled the door open to walk out but as there were people walking in, I held the door open for them first....
  • As our children try to learn new skills, we should help them understand the importance of practice and perseverance. Photo: Xinhua

    Practice makes perfect

    - Aug 4, 2017 5:36pm
    A friend shared this story about a pottery teacher. The teacher came up with an idea to help his pottery students achieve the best artwork. First he divided his class into two groups. For one group, he asked them...
  • Slowing down gives us time to reflect on ourselves and be of help to others. Photo:

    Slow down

    - Jul 21, 2017 5:31pm
    I’ve just spent the past week in the US and even though I lived here during my studies, I’m still shocked by the vast amounts of space, large food portions and the number of TV channels...
  • In a Harvard study, 80% of children said their parents valued academic achievement over kindness. Photo:

    Education’s true goal: Intelligence PLUS character

    - Jul 7, 2017 6:00pm
    Harvard University made a bold move a couple of months ago. It rescinded offers from 10 incoming freshman students who would have been class of 2021. These 10 students had been given offers to start college...
  • When a child falls on the ground, an adult can show care by asking what happened and if the child is okay. Photo:

    Who’s to blame?

    - Jun 16, 2017 6:00pm
    I recently saw a situation where a little boy fell on the ground and an adult hurriedly came over to see if he was okay. It was just a slip so the boy was fine but...
  • Children will do what you say but more so, they will do what you do. So we have to first be good role models. Photo: HKEJ

    Why do children lie?

    - May 26, 2017 5:31pm
    I once did an informal survey asking parents what they think the most important character trait is. I gave them a wide range of choices including responsibility, perseverance, empathy, compassion, gratitude and kindness and the majority...
  • All parents have expectations for their kids, and the best way to educate them is not by lecturing on them but by being examples for them to follow. Photo: HKEJ

    Children are reflections of their parents

    - Mar 31, 2017 5:33pm
    Time flies. It was just nine months ago when I gave birth to my son, and now he’s already starting to mimic my speech and gestures. Indeed, as parents we serve as role models for our...
  • Children gain precious lessons from something that they experience first hand. Photo: Xinhua

    Let kids learn for themselves the consequences of their actions

    - Mar 24, 2017 6:08pm
    I recently attended a dinner banquet hosted by a charity that is devoted to helping visually impaired people in Africa regain their sight. The host asked all the guests to eat while blindfolded.  Strange though it...
  • In order to understand other people’s feelings, people should be encouraged to learn the full spectrum of emotions from a young age. Photo: HKEJ

    Developing and applying empathy

    - Mar 3, 2017 5:35pm
    As an educator advocating moral education, my top priority is to assist children in developing empathy — the ability to imagine and share another person’s feelings and experiences as if they were their own. “Stepping into...
  • Parents must show patience and understanding when dealing with adolescent children. Photo: HKEJ

    Tips for communicating with your teenage sons and daughters

    - Feb 17, 2017 5:35pm
    Asked to describe adolescents, suffering parents might come up with phrases and words such as ‘hormonal changes’, ‘rebellious’, ‘untamed’, etc. Now, we should bear in mind that children, regardless of age, long for genuine relationships and emotional...
  • Encourage your children not to open gifts until a week later. This could also extend the festive mood. Photo: Bloomberg

    Saying no to instant gratification

    - Jan 6, 2017 5:34pm
    The Christmas season is when most parents play Santa to their children. It’s easy to find people making a long list and matching items at checkout counters in department stores. I had the experience of watching...
  • Parents and elders have to be careful of what they say to their children as the kids could remember the words for life. Photo: CNSA

    Watch what you say to your kids

    - Dec 23, 2016 5:34pm
    As the weather was pleasant, I took my toddler son out to a park recently so that we could both get some sunshine. I began enjoying myself as the playground was filled with the laughter and...
  • Social and emotional learning SEL can promote a child's personal and interpersonal growth, academic attainment and psychological well-being. Photo: Xinhua

    Strengthening self-control with emotional management

    - Dec 9, 2016 5:37pm
    In my last article, I highlighted the importance of positive thinking. Today’s focus is on helping our children equip themselves with good emotional management. While it’s perfectly normal to be happy, angry, sad and joyful in everyday life,...
  • You should encourage your children to develop self-control for they will inevitably encounter adversity and challenges in life. Photo: Xinhua

    Strengthening self-control with positive thoughts

    - Nov 11, 2016 5:36pm
    “Mind your thoughts, as they will stir up your emotions; mind your emotions, as they will evolve into words; mind your words, as they will fuel your behavior; mind your behavior, as it will become habits;...