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Sharing parenting experience with migrant families in Beijing

December 2016 │ China

A child’s behaviour is a reflection of his relationship with his or her family. Children who are raised with love and respect tend to achieve higher levels of self-esteem and confidence when they grow up.

Due to the lack of parenting experience and skills, compounded by a lack of free time to spend with their children, many Chinese migrant worker parents have difficulty communicating with their children, resulting to indifference towards their children and poor disciplinary methods that negatively impact childhood development. 

On Sunday, November 6, eight Beijing-based Deutsche Bank volunteers visited the Vibrant Community Dongba Centre, spending an afternoon discussing parenting with ten migrant worker parents.

To break the ice, the volunteers first invited the migrant children to draw pictures of animals to represent their parents and themselves.  In the pictures, beautiful and gentle animals such as rabbit, unicorn and peacock were used to represent mothers, while fathers were represented with scarier animals like shark and tiger.

The parents were surprised by their images. “I never expect my son to see me as a hot pepper,” said one dad who regarded himself as a rational man. “I hardly lose temper at home, and only scolded him thrice. I never thought that would leave a bad impression on him.”

Three volunteers then guided the children to another room to play games. With the lead of a professional family psychologist, the migrant worker parents and the rest of volunteers – who are parents to children in the same age range – exchanged ideas on parenting.

The two-hour active discussion touched on various topics, including the significance of family environment, effective parent-child communication, and appropriate ways to discipline children. It received very positive feedback, and was considered very helpful and practical by the parents.

“I am glad to volunteer for this event and share my personal stories with more parents,” said a volunteer. “The discussion was also rewarding for me – it gives me a whole new perspective about being a mom for my boy instead of for myself. This means spending more time to truly understand what my child needs rather than assuming what is good for him.”

“Good parenting matters more than a good school to a child’s life-long development. Thanks Deutsche Bank volunteers for your continuous support for our programme. We are looking forward to more cooperation in the area of parent-child relations,” said Zizhi Liang, manager of Vibrant Community Dongba Centre.

Vibrant Community, previously known as INCLUDED, is a Chinese registered non-profit organisation dedicated to migrant youth empowerment. Deutsche Bank has been working with the non-profit since 2008, as part of Born to Be, to provide free after-school social and educational programmes for hundreds of migrant worker families in Beijing and Shanghai.

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Last Update: December 12, 2016
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