Helicopter Parenting: A Quick Introduction

Written by Amanda Ramaningrum, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

The way parents raise their kids is a never ending debate, because every parent wants the best out of the best for their kids. As the year 2000 approached, a term known as Helicopter Parenting arose, referring to the way the baby boomer generation raises their children. Then, what does this term mean?

Have you ever felt that your parents are taking over your life? Like, what school you must go to, what style you must wear, even your dreams–what you will be in the future. If you have this experience, maybe you are raised by helicopter parents.

The word ‘helicopter’ is used because the way parents would hover over their children is like a helicopter. According to Carolyn Daitch, Ph.D., director of the Center for the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders in Detroit and author of Anxiety Disorders: The Go-To Guide, helicopter parenting is “a type of parents who are too focused on their children.” 

Helicopter parents would take too much responsibility for their children’s experiences, especially their children’s success and failures. They might be shadowing their children’s life, directing their behaviour. 

It sounds bad, what is the cause of this parenting style?

There are many reasons why this type of parenting commonly happens, but there are some triggers that cause this phenomenon. Anxiety and fear of the future are the most common triggers for them, considering they don’t want their kids to fail. 

Society always has very high standards. Parents might experience some failures before and dont want it to happen to their children. Low score on schools, rejection when looking for jobs, not going to certain schools. Because based on their experience, some ‘path’ is more beneficial for their children, they have tendencies to hover their children’s life.

Peer pressure as adults and parents, too, is one of the biggest reasons why they want to ‘control’ their children. If parents are surrounded by helicopter parents, there is a big chance they would become helicopter parents too because they will mimic this style of parenting. 

Well, if many parents do this, what are the consequences they might face?

It will ruin their children’s development, because this style of parenting will cause a child with low self-confidence and low self-esteem. Why? Because helicopter parents are the ones who choose their decisions, they might think that their parents don’t trust them to do things on their own. 

Also, the children with helicopter parents will lack coping skills, as their ‘mess’ is always cleaned by their parents. It will lead to other problems– anxiety and depression, as they are not able to cope with failure and disappointments. 

In conclusion…

It’s important to recognize how your parenting style may influence your child now and in the future. If you are one of the helicopter parents, here are some words for you. Lessening attention to your children doesn’t make you bad parents. Letting them taste failures, rejections, and disappointment is hard, but you can make sure you are there for them to work through that. 

Because after all, we all want our children to be grown up, as independent adults. 

References

Bayless, K. (2019, December 6). What Is Helicopter Parenting? Parents. Retrieved October 22, 2021, from https://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/what-is-helicopter-parenting/

Brown, M. (2019, January 28). Intensive Parenting: Everything You Need to Know About the New Helicopter Parenting. Parents. Retrieved October 22, 2021, from https://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/style/intensive-parenting-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-new/

Higuera, V. (2019, September 12). What Is Helicopter Parenting? Healthline. Retrieved October 22, 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/helicopter-parenting#consequences 

Identifying Our Toxic Traits

Written by Arlenea Halyda, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

Throughout our journey in life, not all people that we meet are going to be pleasant. There will be moments where you cross paths with people that emit toxicity, whether it’s due to unfortunate circumstances, clashing personalities, or conflict of interest. When dealing with these kinds of people, instead of wasting energy talking to them, some of us might choose to walk away from the situation as soon as we can.

But what happens when the toxicity comes from ourselves?

First thing first, let’s take a look at what could potentially cause us to harbor toxic traits. Perpetua Neo, a clinical psychology doctor, once wrote in an article that humans are “fundamentally copycats”, and therefore would mimic the behaviors displayed around us. As humans who will inevitably go through the ups and downs of life, perhaps we were once exposed to a toxic environment at some point in our lives and acted accordingly.

But having toxic traits, whether or not it was developed unintentionally, will only hinder our growth and cause disturbances in all aspects of our lives. It can affect our relationships, our professional or academic performance, and even the view we have on ourselves. This is why it’s important for us to take a step back and observe our behaviors. Identifying our own toxic traits and which areas of us need healing is vital to our growth and our continuous well-being.

After all, the person we’ll spend the rest of our lives with is ourselves. What good will removing toxic situations and people do if the toxicity comes from inward?

There are a plethora of toxic traits we might accidentally cultivate over time. It’s impossible to list all of them, so in this article, let’s take a look at some of the most common toxic traits you need to look out for!

Negativity

Does this situation feel familiar: you just graduated, but instead of cherishing your accomplishments, you whine about how you have to find a job soon. Or, your older sibling just got married, but instead of celebrating the occasion, you scowl and dread it because you can already imagine your relatives asking when’s your turn?

Being upset over an inconvenience and having worries and concerns about the future is normal. But constantly bemoaning everything that happens, no matter how good or joyous, might be a sign that you’re a negative person who can’t appreciate the things in your life. While negativity can be a defense mechanism (perhaps you were hurt and let down once and as a result, you don’t want to set any expectations at all), perpetually being negative can affect your life and your relationship and develop as a part of your personality.

Toxic positivity isn’t good either, so being positive all the time isn’t the goal here. But whenever you catch yourself being negative, it might be good to simply assess the situation and ask yourself: Is this really just a minor inconvenience? Or do I have another underlying issue going on?

Being Judgemental

If you have a habit of judging or making fun of others for the way they live their lives, beware. That might be your insecurity creeping in, festering itself into your brain as you try to convince yourself that if you point out the flaws in other people, then maybe people won’t see your flaws and you wouldn’t feel so bad about yourself.

Well, it doesn’t work like that. Being openly judgemental towards another person says more about you than about the other person. Having standards and being critical towards the people you’re interacting with is another thing, but if you constantly judge others for the decisions they make that don’t even concern you, then that’s an issue you have to fix. Nursing judgemental behavior, whether it’s under the pretense of julid or anything else, is the same thing as nursing your own insecurity.

Remember, genuinely happy people don’t concern themselves with other people’s lives—they have their own life to live. The next time you catch yourself unreasonably judging people, ask yourself: What’s the reason behind my discomfort while watching that person live their lives? Was that me talking, or was that my own insecurity projecting itself? And the most important question: Does this even have anything to do with me? If not, it’s best to simply move on.

Gaslighting 

Have you ever heard or said these phrases?

  • “Relax, that was just a joke. Don’t be too sensitive!”
  • “You’re overreacting, it’s not that big of a deal.”
  • “Why are you getting so upset? You’re too emotional.”

Then unfortunately, one way or another, you’ve been involved in an action called gaslighting. Gaslighting is incredibly toxic, as it invalidates your feelings towards something that’s important to them, even if it’s not important to other people or is seen as a “joke” (news flash: if it hurts people, it’s not a joke anymore).

It’s easy to accidentally gaslight someone, especially if we don’t know the other person well and therefore have no idea where they’re coming from and what’s important to them. But that doesn’t make this action justifiable! You still need to hold yourself accountable and acknowledge if what you said hurt people. Apologize, and try to avoid these phrases altogether, next time. Even if it looks silly to you, it may be important to the other person.

*

Did you see yourself while reading through that list? Did you feel called out? Don’t fret—that’s actually a good thing! That means you’ve completed the first step to dissipating toxicity from yourself: having self-awareness.

Here’s a little secret: everyone possessed toxic traits at some point in their lives, no matter how good or positive they might appear. What matters is how we acknowledge that toxicity and what we do to better ourselves.

Removing toxic traits from ourselves is not easy; it’s going to take lots of work, a great deal of patience from your side, not to mention that you will probably slip up and stumble every once in a while. But it’s possible! You can start by doing self-reflection and practicing self-compassion. Oftentimes, toxicity stems from other internal problems, be it our own insecurity, jealousy, or other factors, so it might be good to look inward and assess your own issues first.

And remember: everyone deserves forgiveness and redemptions. Everyone deserves to find peace within themselves. Including you! It’s okay to be happy, as much as it’s okay to be sad.

Hang in there, and good luck!

References

Neo, P. (2021). Are You The Toxic Person In Your Life?. mindbodygreen. Retrieved from https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/toxic-relationships-are-you-toxic-person-in-your-life.

Cyberbullying Through Anonymity—Top 3 Bullying Motives

written by Amanda Ramaningrum, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

We already know what face-to-face bullying looks like, but have you seen people bully others through the internet? They do that with anonymous accounts and harm others with very harsh words–that’s why they said be careful to people on the internet. This anonymous cyberbullying is getting worse these days, as we can see through the internet and social media.

Some of you think like, “I don’t know them, so don’t care about it and just pretend they don’t exist”. But well, it is easier to talk rather than do, right? It is our nature as humans to listen to others’ opinions, as we always have the tendency to be the better form of self every day. 

Same as face-to-face bullying, cyberbullying can last a long time and affect a person mentally, emotionally, and physically. Since they do that anonymously, what are the motives behind these phenomena? 

They feel ‘the power’ 

If face-to-face bullies do physical violence to gain power and attention, cyberbullies take another way to suppress their target. It can spread lies of someone on social media, sending hurtful messages, or even impersonating someone and sending mean messages to others on their behalf. 

You should know, I’m the one who’s in control. I’ll let you come to take the wheel, long as you don’t forget. Who got the power? Like the lyrics of a song from Little Mix called ‘Power’, the bully feels they gain power from humiliating and hurting others. They feel ‘secure’ as they get the attention that they want. So, it is better to not give them attention, and try to protect your accounts from them such as using report and block features.

They feel ‘bad’ about themselves

I think it’s obvious, isn’t it? Especially on the internet, where social media becomes a new platform to show off their good things (and life). New achievements, go on vacation, buy new things, etc. If we don’t use social media with mindfulness, there is more chance to cultivate envy in others. 

The bully is motivated to bully someone else out of envy and resentment. Rather than power, those motives are most likely the reason many cyberbullying happens these days. The easiest example is hate towards public figures, such as artists, or any people who have many followers on social media. 

The anonymity itself

Research has found that the ability to be anonymous has a direct effect on feelings of disinhibition. As the victim doesn’t know who the bully is, the bully feels the disinhibition effect and says or does things they may not do face-to-face. In short, anonymity becomes the bully’s main shield and weapon to do what they want. 

Therefore, do you know there is any chance of us becoming cyberbully unconsciously? You may think your opinion does no harm, but actually, we can unconsciously harm people with our opinion and become a part of the cancel culture, which does not differ from being a bully. Think twice before you want to share something on social media. We have to be cautious about what we post or say that may offend others. 

In short, the 3 things above are the most common reasons for a person to do cyber bullying. I know being mindful while using social media isn’t enough, and we all want cyberbullying to cease, which is why reporting cyberbullying is important. Learning about the privacy settings of your favorite social media apps, and using their features such as hide, restrict, block, and report account will be beneficial to protect you from cyberbullying. 

After knowing the motives of cyberbullying, I hope we can continuously create a healthier environment on the internet. Everyone can do good, and so do you. Right?

References

Cyberbullying: What is it and how to stop it. (n.d.). UNICEF. Retrieved October 15, 2021, from https://www.unicef.org/end-violence/how-to-stop-cyberbullying#menu 

DeHaan, L. (2009). Bullies. NDSU. Published. https://library.ndsu.edu/ir/bitstream/handle/10365/4950/fs570.pdf 

High School Students’ Perceptions of Motivations for Cyberbullying: An Exploratory Study. (2010, August 1). PubMed Central (PMC). Retrieved October 15, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2941365/ 

Hu, S. (2016). Why cyberbullies choose cyberspace: From the perspective of uses and gratifications (Thesis). Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. https://doi.org/10.31274/etd-180810-5351 

What You Should Know About Domestic Violence Against Children

Written by Felya Amaraputri Andhini, Social Media Admin intern at Project Child Indonesia

What comes to mind when you hear about domestic violence?

To give you a short definition, according to the United Nations, domestic violence or domestic abuse can be defined as a pattern of behavior in a relationship that is used to gain power or control over the other partner. 

Perhaps for most people, they would start picturing an image of a man being abusive to a woman in a relationship, and that’s not wrong. As a matter of fact, women are most likely to become a victim of domestic violence. 

But that’s not always the case. In reality, anyone can be a victim of domestic violence no matter what age, gender, race, social orientation, faith, or class. So when it happens in a family setting where children are involved, there is a high possibility that they will also get affected. They can either witness their dad getting bruises on his body because of one small mistake or they’re the one that is being pushed for breaking mom’s favorite vase. 

The impacts

One thing for sure, whether they become a witness or a victim, in the end it will affect what needs to be valued the most; their mental health. 

When children at an early age are exposed to any kind of domestic violence, it will impair their brain development and other systems. A lack of affection from their parents due to stress can develop attachment issues and it can go a long way in their life. 

Also note that children see their parents as their role models, so when a parent starts performing any form of abuse, they may pick that behaviour up and perform it to someone else, be it their peers or even someone that is much older than them. That can result in facing difficulties when they are socializing with kids around their age. 

They may also become an individual that has a closed personality and has a hard time opening up to people. And the sad part, they may live with anxiety, depression, and that trauma for the rest of their lives. 

Prevention

Family should be a place where children can get all the love they deserve and they are supposed to be protected from all harm. When they are living with parents that can’t give them that, they can’t really do anything as they don’t really have a choice. 

Those who experience domestic violence have a possibility to project their trauma to their future partner or child. It proves that domestic violence can be seen as a chain that must be broken. 

But how?

First, every future parent or caregiver should be provided with support in raising a child. This can be in the form of giving training to future parents so they will have the knowledge on how to promote their child’s healthy development. Another crucial thing is to create a safe environment for children. If one happens to experience domestic violence in their childhood, they must first be aware of the long-term effects that they may still have. Although it won’t be easy, seeking professional help to deal with the trauma will not only benefit the victim, but also the future family. 

For us, the society, we can help by giving the victims encouragement to seek support from the professionals. We can also use our ears to listen to the victims and let them know that they are not alone. Lastly, we can help break the chain by keeping on using our voice to raise awareness.

References:

James, Marianne. (1994). Domestic violence as a form of child abuse: Identification and prevention. Retrieved from https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/domestic-violence-form-child-abuse-identification

Violence against children. UNICEF. Retrieved from https://www.unicef.org/protection/violence-against-children

Violence against children. WHO. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/violence-against-children 

What Is Domestic Abuse?. UN. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/en/coronavirus/what-is-domestic-abuse

Boys Don’t Cry: Men, Society, & Toxic Masculinity

Written by Nathaniel Alvino Risa Prima, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

 “Heyy, it’s OK. Don’t cryBoys Don’t cry!”

I was maybe four or five, and that was what my father said when I fell from the bicycle.

It might be naturally shocking and physically hurt when anyone (especially, children) suddenly fell off a vehicle and hit the ground. One of any possible natural responses is crying. My father, probably, saw the bottle of tears edging my eyes’ and I was too close from bursting them all. Therefore, being the father he was, he just naturally responded to it; he didn’t want to see his little boy cry.

If you ask me, I actually don’t quite remember the full event. Let alone the sensation of feeling that goes from my chest to my tiny throat at that specific moment. It was just a small piece of my chaotic childhood; thus, don’t interrogate me on “How hurt it was when my knee hit the asphalt?” or “Was I really holding my tears at that time?”. I don’t have any clue and details regarding those in my memory box.

Despite my not-so-good recollection, I want to say that it was apparently my father’s phrase that still echoes on me until today. Strongly and profoundly.

“Don’t cry. Boys Don’t cry!” 

Well, as I grew up older, I naturally relied on the idea that tears or any-showcase-of-teary-eyes by a man is a signaling of weakness. In order to man-up, you have to escape those weaknesses on a daily basis or else, you simply fail as a man. Some might even illogically see you as a “half-man”.

Well… 

This smaller narrative might strongly be rooted in the bigger construction of patriarchy. It is the scenario which later is adopted and internalized by men themselves. As weird as it might sound, the majority of men hide and tone down their emotions due to the constructed norm that men are positioned as “protector” or even “a hero”. It has been normalized that men have to be self-reliant and provide for their loved ones. Therefore, it is rather not appropriate for boys and men to showcase any emotion (MensLine, n.d). 

The masculine traits such as stoic, fearless, and resourceful are the traits which are expected to be owned by each man from a very young age. The purpose is to make them appear strong if not heroic throughout their lives. These are the same characteristics that keep being reproduced by our society through shared values, popular culture, formal education, or even, sports. While, they are also being persistently inherited through families (usually from fathers to their sons).

In short, what my father did in the beginning is realistically an example of preservation of this peculiar construct. He did what most fathers do, so that their son(s) could survive. I rather suppose that most boys and men agree upon this idea to appear strong and deny any showcase of feelings – due to the shared inherited reasons: to not appear weak.

This shared idealization that men are not supposed to appear weak is one practice of what-so-called toxic masculinity

It is the phenomenon and a construct which ‘forced’ men to own certain constructed masculine traits. Beside the containment of feelings and emotions, toxic masculinity might include violence, aggressive behavior, toughness, and abuse of powers. There are peculiar traits that are not only harmful for men themselves, but also, for women and other non cisgenders. 

To understand how harmful toxic masculinity is, let’s jump into an example

Initially, the idealization that men are expected to suppress their feelings, might lead to new psychological issues. The initial norm has made men to be rather prone towards emotional stress and depression because they are reluctant to talk about what they feel to their pals – let alone getting professional help. 

Worsely, it might go accordingly to the fact that two third of worldwide suicide experienced by men (GBD, 2015). The fact that men have to keep their own emotions and feelings might become overwhelming and burdensome for men themselves. Therefore, it instead allows destructive behaviors and decisions to emerge. 

Similar things might also occur within the interaction of men and their external worlds. When toxic masculine traits are being intertwined within men’s self and their behavior, it might be also harmful towards their surroundings.

When men have a tendency to suppress their emotions and feelings, they’re prone to release themselves through violent, abusive, and aggressive actions. This is why most physical fights and abuse involve men. As patriarchal as it sounds, oftenly, women and others have instead become the victims of toxic masculinity by men. 

Through the belief of power internalization and man-made superiority, toxic masculinity has not only mentally abused the psychological side of men. It further perpetuates the cases of gender-based violence and aggravates the patriarchal fallacies. 

Thus, for the men who read this article, have you talked about your feelings today?

There is ultimately nothing wrong for men to talk about their feelings. Let alone to express them publicly. If you need help, you can always reach your close fellows. You can even go to the professionals, too, if it’s really needed. Chill. To figure out a healthy form of masculinity and self-release is a long journey for each man. Take one step at a time, buddy.

For me, since I started to question the phrase “boys don’t cry”, I suppose I have acquired a little answer. After all, men are humans, too, right? You can’t always be solid like a stone all the time. There will always be ups and downs in your lives. One thing for sure, tears are never and not supposed to be equalized as man’s weakness. 

Remember, the greatest superheroes and best champions cry, too!

References
GBD. (2015). Global, regional, and national life expectancy, all-cause mortality, and cause-specific mortality for 249 causes of death, 1980–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. The Lancet, 388 (10053), pp. 1459 – 1544. Retrieved from https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S0140-6736%2816%2931012-1

No Name. (n.d.). What is toxic masculinity. Spunout. Retrieved from https://spunout.ie/life/bullying/what-is-toxic-masculinity

No Name. (n.d). Men and emotions. MensLine. Retrieved from https://mensline.org.au/mens-mental-health/men-and-emotions/ 

Family as the Safe Place for Children

Written by Juhandi Dwi Putra Lyana, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

“I wish I grew up in a house where I wasn’t afraid to make mistakes, or where I could approach my parents without fear of being judged or disgraced.”

How many times have you heard those words? Or how many times have you said those words? Growing up in a good family is such a blessing for us. It can also be said as a privilege. Some of us have it, and others don’t. 

Family is the most fundamental element of our society. It can be said that life begins in the family, for example, we learn how to write, to speak, or to behave. It has been proven that children acquire a variety of experiences in varied family situations by participating in various activities and are constantly exposed to a range of influence and expectations from the people with whom they live. Therefore, it is really important to realize that we, as someone who will build a family or have children, need to create a good environment for the sake of their development. 

A good environment in this context is a “safe” place for children to grow. They learn and explore their potential. They feel safe to ask and to experience something without any pressure. Unfortunately, we sometimes forget about this and blame the outside environment for the bad influences which happen to children. So, at this moment, I want to share about what we can do as an adult in the family. 

What can we do?

Let’s start by choosing our words wisely. The voice we use to talk to our children will be the voice they take with them for the rest of their lives. What we say and feel about them forms the foundation of their self-esteem. We need to reflect with our family, “Is this family a positive place for them to thrive in or a family that is full of hurtful words and actions?”. A voice of encouragement, love, and patience, support, and acceptance. This is the voice we should instill in our children. No other person will have as much of an impact on our child as we who live with them in one home.

Next, don’t forget to give our child praise and proper encouragement. For example, when we help children to learn about mathematics. They usually feel pressured because we insist them to count it right. If they make a mistake, we get annoyed and snap at them. Children will feel defeated and afraid to try. However, if we try to support their way in learning by giving them feedback when they make mistakes and praise their efforts, children want to keep trying because they get our encouragement. When we encourage children through compliments, constructive praise, and feedback, they connect with you. When we critique their abilities without commending them for their hard work, effort, and a job well done, they shut down.

The other thing, Show your affection for the children. When children are hurt and have done something wrong or broken rules, it is critical to show them affection. This demonstrates to them that even when things go wrong, we love them unconditionally regardless of the situation. 

Last but not least, spending quality time with children is the best and most efficient strategy to develop them and teach them that their home is a safe and loving environment. We can do basic things like share family dinners or go for a walk around the neighborhood and talk. It’s about spending time with them without electronics or distractions and letting them know how special they are. Simple things like taking a walk together or grabbing a cup of ice cream to just sit down and talk is all you need.

We can build a child-friendly environment that will prepare them for the future by providing them with access to relevant information, community treatment, and the realization of their goals. What we need to remember is that no house is perfect, and no day is perfect. There will be hard times in the family, but we have to make it as the stepping-stone for a child-friendly environment.

Reference

The Pragmatic Parent. Set the Tone for a Happy Home: Create a Positive Home for your Kids. (2015, August 3). The Pragmatic Parent. https://www.thepragmaticparent.com/positivehome/

How to Maximize Your Children’s Leadership Potential at Early Stage

Written by Amanda Ramaningrum, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

Leadership skills are one of the important aspects of people management. Developing this skill in our children will not only be beneficial for them in the future but will also boost their confidence and help them make smart judgments wherever they go in life. All children can become leaders, but it is critical to gain leadership characteristics at an early age.

Because year after year, the competitive environment is getting stronger. Entering schools and college is getting hard, and after that, those graduates will compete again to get a proper job. So many talents out there, so the company had to search for people who were more than ‘academically’ intelligent. 

Here it is, where non-technical skills will play the role. Besides all the technical skills we have, we need other skills that are invisible to be measured, yet will be a powerful instrument to give us more advantages. 

One of the powerful ones is leadership ability, and we’ve seen so many leaders have learned these skills from their mentors. As parents, you have opportunities to instill leadership in your kids and prepare them for being future leaders at an early stage.

You can do these powerful ways to maximize your children’s leadership potential;

  1. Be their role model 

Where do children learn and develop their leadership skills? Simple, they learn from their parents. Children develop many aspects of themselves from mimicking their environment, and as parents who they see every day, they will absorb your habits in no time. They will imitate the way you respond to strong emotions and how you regulate them. 

Show your children how you process emotions. Let them see how you compliment others sincerely and respectfully disagree with others. Help them name their emotions, such as saying, “Are you mad because I’m not allowing you to go outside?” or “Are you sad because you failed to get a new toy?”. Good communication skills are the key aspect of being a good leader, so this way can help them encourage their attempts to communicate with others.

  1. Trust them to solve their own problems 

All of us have problems, and so do your children. Allowing them to solve their problems will develop their problem-solving skills. Make them clean up the mess they create. If we are overprotective and always ‘rescue’ them, they will grow up as dependent children and find it difficult to stand on their own feet as there will always be someone who helps them. 

  1. Give them choices

Align with point 2, trust your children and let them choose. This way will give them a sense of responsibility for their own decision, and make them able to identify risks. By taking risks and experiencing failures, they will learn from their mistakes and make better decisions in the future.

  1. Use the words ‘not yet’ instead of ‘I can’t’

This is a critical mindset that also works for adults. Instead of saying, “I can’t do it” try to say “I can’t do it yet”. There is a huge comparison between these two. “I can’t do it” shows the unwillingness to learn, and blocks children from a growth mindset. Whereas, adding the word ‘yet’ gives children the confidence to learn and encourages them to not give up easily. 

  1. Show them we’re human, after all

We are human, and we make mistakes. Show the vulnerable side of yourself to your children to teach them how to cope with failure. When you don’t show any vulnerability, your children are most likely to develop intense feelings towards failure, as they think they are the ones who make terrible mistakes. 

Leaders have to be able to process their failure, take some lessons, and take actions to move forwards. Children cannot do this if they are filled with guilt. Therefore, as their role model, you have to teach them how to handle failure and grow from it. 

So, which way do you choose to encourage leadership in your children?

Reference

Petsinger, D. K. (n.d.). 15 Easy Ways To Develop Leadership Skills In Your Kids. Life Hack. Retrieved October 14, 2021, from https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/15-easy-ways-develop-leadership-skills-your-kids.html 

Encouraging Creativity in Children

Written by Arlenea Halyda, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

One of my most vivid childhood memories was sitting on my mother’s lap one evening, with the noises from our square-box TV fading into nothing more than white noise as we read a book together. The book’s binding was already frayed, due to age, and it had several of its pages missing. But instead of finding another book, my mom suggested that we fill in the blank ourselves—pick up where the protagonist last left off, and rewrite the story however we like.

I suspect that moment was when I first discovered my love for reading, which then morphed into a whole other passion (writing!) later on.

That experience led me to believe that children’s freedom to create something—anything—has the power to shape their minds and leave an everlasting impact on their lives. Whether it breeds into a lifelong passion, or molds the way they perceive the world, or even simply as their first form of self-expression… Having an outlet in which they could channel their boundless imagination would be an invaluable and unforgettable experience for children.

This is not a mere personal opinion, fortunately. The World Economic Forum, the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), and the Ministries of Education around the world value creativity as one of the most essential skills for children.

There are a variety of reasons for this; through creativity, children can develop their problem-solving abilities, practice their fine motor skills, aid muscle growth, and foster their cognitive development, to name a few. Furthermore, O’Connor (2012) stated that children would remember activities they experience through senses on a deeper level, which is why developing such a wide array of skills and exposing them to brain-stimulating activities is so crucial to do at an early age.

If you ask me, though, what I think the most important part of letting children be creative is how it’s simply fun!

The reason is not only because it can lead to a better psyche, and therefore nurture the well-being of the children themselves, but also because I believe everyone deserves a happy childhood. Every child deserves a chance to explore the world, to see how things are while everything is still basked in a golden light of childhood innocence and naivety. Because once that light dimmed, usually through the jaded lens of adulthood… There’s no turning back. The least we could do is give the children around us happy memories they can smile at whenever they reminisce about their early days.

So, with this in mind, I’d like to show you a few ways we can encourage the children around us to be creative!

Create, Create, Create

The classic answer people think of when posed with the idea of ‘being creative’: creating things! Be it a crayon drawing, watercolor painting, folding origami to create animal shapes, or any other arts and crafts project, can boost the development of children’s sound fine motor skills, and improve their hand-eye coordination.

Research shows that by the age of three, children have entered Piaget’s preoperational period. What this means is that children now have the ability to use symbols and representations to conjure words, images, and ideas! It might be good to let them pour these thoughts into the world through creativity, and it can be so rewarding for children to see their creations being displayed out in the world!

Being Kings and Queens (or, really, anything we want to be!)

Other than creating things with their hands, we can also encourage children to create things with their minds. A mind is a powerful place, and children’s imagination is a vast and uncharted territory waiting to be tapped into—so let’s tap into it!

Playing make-belief where children get to be whoever they choose to be can do wonders for children’s development. Whether they want to be a king, a queen, a knight, or a hero, the choice is theirs, and they will have the liberty to set off to a magical land of their own choosings. This can help them in practicing language and communication development, and enhance their social skills and heighten their emotional senses!

Befriending Technology

In this modern age, having children engage with technology is inevitable. The good news is, technology can be our best friend in encouraging children’s creativity! It’s portable and convenient, so children can be creative while on-the-go, or when we simply don’t have the time and space to do any artsy activities or play make-belief.

We can utilize technology to our benefit. There are a lot of good educational shows on Netflix or YouTube that you can watch with children! Maybe it’s a children’s show, or maybe it’s a documentary, or maybe it’s even games—the media form almost doesn’t matter. What matters more is that children can interact with it! You can ask them questions about the show (what they think of it, who are their favorite characters, what’s their favorite part). This allows them to think critically, and not to mention that it’s an excellent way for you and the child to bond!

When encouraging creativity with children, always remember: they’re children. Sounds obvious, but it’s a reminder we have to constantly remind ourselves. They’re children—which means they can be messy (spilling things all over the floor, getting paint on your clothes…), and they might not always be cooperative. While it’s important to encourage creativity, it’s vital to remember to not cross a line and force them into anything they’re not comfortable with. Always have their best interest in mind! Let them explore, let them be creative, let them mess up, and most importantly, let them be kids.

So, let’s encourage children to be creative! As Albert Einstein says once:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

References:

Creativity Matters. Legofoundation.com. Retrieved from https://www.legofoundation.com/en/why-play/skills-for-holistic-development/creativity-matters/.

Nurturing Creativity & Imagination for Child Development. Brighthorizons.com. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.brighthorizons.com/family-resources/nurturing-creativity-and-imagination-for-child-development.

O’Connor, D. (2012). Creativity Development in Early Childhood: The Role of Educators. Educational Tales Of The Unexpected: Children And Creativity, 41-51. https://doi.org/10.1163/9781848882942_005

Piaget’s Preoperational Stage of Cognitive Development | Lifespan Development. Courses.lumenlearning.com. Retrieved from https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-lifespandevelopment/chapter/piagets-preoperational-stage-of-cognitive-development/.

The Importance of Pretend Play. Scholastic.com. Retrieved from https://www.scholastic.com/parents/kids-activities-and-printables/activities-for-kids/arts-and-craft-ideas/importance-pretend-play.html.

Menjadi Volunteer di Masa Pandemi: Kesempatan Memberi Kembali Tidak Datang Dua Kali

Written by Juhandi Dwi Putra Lyana, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

Melakukan kegiatan volunteer di tengah masa pandemi adalah suatu tantangan tersendiri. Berbagai kegiatan disesuaikan dengan situasi saat ini, salah satu contoh yang dilakukan Project Child Indonesia adalah Online Learning Assistance (OLA). Sebuah program yang bertujuan untuk membantu proses belajar anak-anak di masa pandemi.

Kali ini, saya berkesempatan untuk berbincang-bincang dengan salah satu relawan program Online Learning Assistance yang bernama Stephanie Andrean, atau lebih sering dipanggil Kak Steph. Kak Steph saat ini sedang menempuh pendidikan nutritional science di Fachhochschule Münster. Di samping kesibukan kuliahnya, Kak Steph juga bekerja paruh waktu dan menjadi volunteer di PCI. 

Kak Steph sudah mengikuti akun Instagram milik Project Child Indonesia sejak lama. Ia pernah mencoba mendaftar sebagai volunteer di batch ke 32, tapi belum beruntung. Tidak menyerah di situ, Ia mencoba lagi untuk mendaftar sebagai volunteer di batch ke 33, meskipun ada sedikit keraguan dalam hatinya, Kak Steph memberanikan diri dan mendapat kesempatan untuk menjadi volunteer di batch ke 33.

Satu Visi

“Aku sangat percaya kalau everyone can do good, walaupun jauh sekali pun, dan aku merasa aku lumayan privileged untuk hidup aku yang sekarang. Jadi, aku merasa ini saatnya aku give back ke orang lain dan aku rasa melalui PCI (Project Child Indonesia) bisa jadi salah satu cara aku buat give back.” kata Kak Steph ketika saya menanyakan alasannya untuk bergabung Project Child Indonesia sebagai volunteer. Ia merasa bahwa Project Child Indonesia memiliki visi yang sejalan dengan nya dan dapat membantu untuk merealisasikan visi tersebut. Terlebih lagi, Kak Steph ingin merasakan pengalaman baru terutama dalam mengajar, “Keknya seru deh” tambah Kak Steph.

Kegiatan Volunteer 

Sebagai volunteer, Kak Steph bertugas untuk membantu salah satu anak yang duduk di tingkat Sekolah Dasar dalam proses belajar, seperti membantu mengerjakan PR dan menjelaskan ulang materi pelajaran jika si anak masih belum paham. Biasanya, Kak Steph akan melakukan kegiatan pendampingannya pada hari Selasa dan Rabu mulai dari pukul 15.30 sampai 17.00 dan bisa diatur juga mengikuti kebutuhan si anak. Setiap minggu, Kak Steph juga membuat narrative report dan menulis report setiap bulannya.

Berbagai tantangan dihadapi Kak Steph selama menjadi volunteer. Kak Steph harus memikirkan cara supaya proses mengajarnya menarik dan tidak membuat bosan. Karena interaksi daring sangat terbatas, kegiatan harus dibuat semenarik mungkin untuk anak-anak. Terlebih lagi jika situasi sedang tidak kondusif, maka akan banyak distraksi baik dari volunteer atau si anak. Di-ghosting, chat cuma di-read, atau si anak yang tidak datang pada jadwal yang sudah ditentukan sudah Kak Steph rasakan sebagai volunteer.

“Sabar adalah Koentji” ujar Kak Steph. Menurutnya, sabar adalah kunci untuk menghadapi semua tantangan tersebut. Kak Steph menyadari juga bahwa tidak bagus juga untuk mem-push, “Bagaimanapun juga, mereka masih anak anak jadi butuh kebebasan. Mungkin juga sedang banyak kegiatan, makanya capek. Tapi sejauh ini, mereka masih baik-baik saja.”

Selain itu, Kak Steph juga harus membagi waktu dengan kegiatan lainnya. Menurutnya, kita harus tahu batasan kita. Jangan sampai kita burn out dan keteteran sehingga tanggung jawab kita akan terbengkalai nantinya. Cari tau apa yang kita benar-benar inginkan, membuat skala prioritas, masukan ke to-do-list, jangan menunda-nunda, dan nikmati apa yang kita lakukan adalah segelintir saran dari Kak Steph untuk membagi waktu.

Manfaat yang Didapat

Benefit yang dampaknya paling besar buat aku sih jadi bisa ngomong panjang lebar sama anak kecil. To be honest, selama ini aku merasa canggung karena aku ngga tau mau ngomong apa dan ngga ada bahan pembicaraan. Tapi sejak volunteer OLA ini, aku lebih banyak tahu tentang anak-anak, seperti kehidupan mereka seperti apa. Karena selama ini, aku nggak pernah hidup berdampingan sama mereka jadi ga pernah tau seperti apa. Jadi lebih membuka mata gitu. ketemu orang-orang baru juga menambah kenalan, lebih ke gaining and training soft skill, seperti time management, how to work with people, how to socialize.” kata Kak Steph saat saya menanyakan tentang manfaat apa yang telah didapat selama 3 minggu kegiatan Online Learning Assistance berlangsung. 

Kak Steph merasa senang atas apa yang sudah didapatkan sejauh ini. Meskipun baru sebentar, Ia sudah mendapat banyak hal menarik. Kak Steph berharap untuk kedepannya bisa menemukan hal-hal yang lebih menarik lagi dan apa yang dia sudah ajarkan dapat membantu anak anak yang mengikuti program ini.

Kak Steph juga punya pesan untuk kita semua, “Jika memang waktu dan situasi memungkinkan, coba daftar volunteer deh. So far, I am not regretting this opportunity. Aku pribadi berpikir mungkin aku akan lebih menyesal kalau ga nyoba daftar. Kesempatan nggak datang 2 kali, sekalipun 2 kali pasti circumstances nya sudah berbeda.” Mencoba sesuatu yang baru bukanlah hal yang salah, kesempatan hanya datang satu kali. Jadi, jika ingin bergabung dengan Project Child Indonesia atau mau memulai sesuatu yang baru. Just do it. It is now or never.

Siapa yang Berhak Menyandang Gelar Pahlawan?

Written by Dhiandra Sekar Taji, Social Media Admin intern at Project Child Indonesia

Peristiwa apakah yang pertama kali muncul di pikiran kita saat mendengar tanggal 10 November? Sebagian besar orang akan berpikir bahwa di hari tersebut pasukan Bung Tomo sedang memperjuangkan kemerdekaan Indonesia kembali dikarenakan ultimatum yang dilakukan oleh Belanda. Ultimatum yang merendahkan harkat dan martabat masyarakat Indonesia. Hari di mana mereka berjuang mempertaruhkan nyawanya demi mempertahankan kemerdekaan Ibu Pertiwi. Hal tersebutlah yang membuat mereka dijuluki sebagai pahlawan oleh masyarakat. Namun, apakah hanya orang-orang yang berjuang di medan perang saja yang berhak mendapat panggilan pahlawan?

Apabila ditelisik lebih jauh, secara bahasa pahlawan adalah orang yang menonjol karena keberaniannya dan pengorbanannya dalam membela kebenaran. Lantas, apakah hanya sosok pejuang saja yang layak disebut pahlawan? Lalu, bagaimana dengan para guru yang berada di garda terdepan untuk menumpas kebodohan? Bagaimana juga dengan para dokter yang mempertaruhkan nyawanya demi kesembuhan pasiennya? Selain itu juga, banyak profesi lain yang memiliki caranya masing-masing untuk berjuang demi kesejahteraan bersama. Apakah usaha dan pengorbanan mereka kurang layak untuk dapat menyandang gelar pahlawan di bahu mereka? 

Saya rasa tidak. Saat ini semua orang yang bergelut di profesinya masing-masing berhak disebut sebagai pahlawan.

Namun, apakah hanya orang-orang berpangkat dan memiliki julukan di pekerjaannya saja yang dapat disebut pahlawan? Bagaimana dengan nasib orang-orang di luar sana yang bekerja sekuat tenaga untuk mendapatkan sesuap nasi dan bertahan hidup? Bagaimana dengan buruh pabrik, petani, serta profesi lain yang tidak berpangkat dan dianggap remeh oleh orang lain? Apakah perjuangan mereka tidak layak untuk mendapatkan gelar pahlawan? Tentu saja bagi saya mereka layak untuk mendapat gelar pahlawan karena tanpa perjuangan mereka kebutuhan kita tidak akan terpenuhi.

Cobalah untuk tidak melihat terlalu jauh. Cobalah untuk melihat orang-orang yang berada di sekeliling kita lebih dekat. Adakah orang-orang di sekeliling kita yang layak menyandang  gelar pahlawan di pundaknya? 

Tentu saja ada. Keluarga kita adalah pahlawan bagi kita. Orangtua bekerja siang dan malam tak kenal lelah demi memberikan yang terbaik untuk anaknya. Merekapun tidak pernah mengharapkan imbalan terhadap apa yang telah mereka berikan. Sementara itu, saudara kita juga berusaha sekuat tenaga untuk menjaga dan melindungi kita dari kejahatan yang ada di dunia luar. Itulah keluarga, selalu menyelimuti kasih sayang antara satu dan yang lainnya. Bukankah sosok tersebut juga layak disebut pahlawan? Tentu saja mereka sangat layak.

Namun, dari sekian banyak profesi serta peran yang ada dalam masyarakat, terdapat satu sosok penting yang layak disebut pahlawan. Sosok tersebut adalah diri kita sendiri. Kita adalah pahlawan bagi diri kita sendiri. Diri kita sudah berkorban sedemikian banyak agar menjadi yang terbaik saat ini. Tak terhitung berapa banyak air mata serta tenaga yang terbuang untuk melewati berbagai rintangan kehidupan. Tak terhitung pula berapa kali kita terbentur agar kita bisa terbentuk menjadi diri kita saat ini.

Semua orang bisa menjadi pahlawan. Tua renta maupun muda bugar. Kita tidak perlu melakukan baku hantam untuk mengalahkan musuh maupun memasang ranjau untuk menjebak musuh. Untuk menjadi pahlawan, kita hanya perlu menjadi manusia yang bermartabat. Apabila kita bisa memanusiakan manusia, kita berhak menjadi pahlawan, pahlawan bagi diri kita dan pahlawan bagi orang lain. Selamat hari pahlawan kepada pahlawan yang gugur di medan perang, kepada orang yang ada untuk kita, dan yang terpenting adalah selamat hari pahlawan untuk diri kita sendiri.

REFERENCE

Setiawan, E. (n.d.). Arti kata pahlawan – Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia (KBBI) Online. https://kbbi.web.id/pahlawan. Retrieved October 16, 2021, from https://kbbi.web.id/pahlawan