25 June 2017

Christine Ma-Lau

Founder and Principal at JEMS Learning House
  • 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;...
  • Parents should provide their children with guidance to help them live independently. Photo: Xinhua

    Learning from falling

    - Nov 4, 2016 5:33pm
    My son is four months old and I never ceased to be amazed by his growth and development every day. He can lift his head up, do some babbling and kick his legs. Every moment is...
  • Little things tell a lot about one’s upbringing. Start teaching your kids good manners and right conduct while they are still young. Photo: HKEJ

    Teaching a young boy to become a gentleman

    - Apr 22, 2016 6:31pm
    Hin Hin (not his real name) quietly leaves the classroom after seeking permission from the teacher to go to the toilet. Finding the toilet occupied, he waits patiently for a long time. But when it is...
  • Parents should equip children with the ability to overcome adversity, letting them know that they have unconditional love and support. Photo: HKEJ

    What we should do to ensure the well-being of our children

    - Mar 24, 2016 3:50pm
    The recent spate of student suicides in Hong Kong is worrying. Every suicide has some tragic underlying factors. They can be anything such as insurmountable pressures in life, psychological troubles, broken social relationships, and so on....
  • Children will learn how to forgive if their parents admit their own wrongdoings first. Photo: HKEJ

    What is forgiveness?

    - Mar 12, 2016 6:00am
    “It is far pleasanter to injure and afterwards beg for forgiveness than to be injured and grant forgiveness,” wrote German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. I couldn’t agree more. Yet, offering someone your forgiveness could help provide relief...
  • Children should be motivated to do good deeds as a natural response to a situation instead of calculating the usefulness of every action they do. Photo:

    How to prepare your kids for Harvard

    - Feb 27, 2016 8:04am
    I still remember vividly a talk given by a Harvard University admission officer. There was not a single empty seat in the hall and every parent was so eager for information, hoping to get some “exclusive...
  • Children who wait their turn show character. Traits like this should be highlighted to encourage children to appreciate and embrace them. Photo:

    Why moral education is a lifelong pursuit

    - Feb 13, 2016 8:01am
    At a recent banquet, I was asked what I do for a living. I replied that I educate children to become moral beings, with a sense of responsibility, perseverance, compassion, dedication to contributing to society and...
  • Since good habits take time to form, start teaching your children early on manners and etiquette. Photo:,

    Manners and etiquette for children: Start early

    - Jan 30, 2016 8:03am
    I can still recall vividly some cultural-shock moments that I experienced when I started boarding school life in the United Kingdom. Back then I was, for instance, impressed that people were keen on holding the door...
  • Parents should find time to bond with their children in a cozy, one-on-one setting. Photo: CNSA

    Take time out for better parent-child relationship

    - Dec 5, 2015 8:03am
    I have recently taken a one-week holiday with my mother. We went sightseeing, visited museums and tried out an array of local delicacies. But nothing is as important as our casual chats which brought us even...
  • Get your child to do better using affirmation and encouragement rather than tearing him or her down. Photo: HKEJ

    Humiliating your child is not effective parenting

    - Oct 10, 2015 8:00am
    When I was studying for my master’s degree in education in the United States, one of the lectures touched upon how parenting is shaped by culture. I conducted field trips in different neighborhoods, observing how parents...

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