Colours of the Mind – Kids’ mental wellbeing

**updated 2013 Aug 08 ** Forum registration is closed due to overwhelming response

“Stress” is a common commodity in Singapore.

Adults often lament the lack of work life balance, lesser quality of life, rat race in concrete jungle, endless hours of OT (overtime), and recently Phase 2B balloting stress !

Children are not immune to Stress.

Self esteem anxiety, pimples, or maybe trying to live up to parent’s high expectations. These are some of the common issues kids face these days.

In our home, tensions exist between siblings too.
With multiple kids at home and everyone seeking attention, jealously can sometime manifest into “negative” behaviour. Kids can become more selfish, aggressive, possessive, or display a lack of empathy.

Parents need to build a “Warm and Loving” home, so that siblings can nurture their relationships.

How do we cope with Stress ?

When our kids encounter challenges, we show them that a healthy dose of stress is actually beneficial for them to think on their toes (so to speak). It helps imbue a sense of resilience in the kids. We remember how our kids conquer their fear of balancing (cycling) and water (Swimming).

Parents can encourage kids to overcome obstacles, and more importantly, learn from mistakes and failures. We let our children know that we will always support them.

We cannot teach or demonstrate resilience, every child has to experience it for himself.

Daddy knows the easiest way to let kids relax is to bring them FUN (not iPad fun) but outdoor sports, exploring the parks etc. (click for playground stories)

In our eagerness to ensure our kids succeed, we equip them with skills and knowledge, and sometimes set High expectations. Our efforts to “nurture” them might bring them undue stress instead.

A Child’s mental wellbeing

Health Promotion Board (HPB 保健促进局) is aware of a parent’s anxiety.
They have come up with a tool to assess our children’s mental wellbeing.

HPB’s tool is called “Colours of the Mind“. It helps us identify and better understand the different aspects of mental well-being in our children. From a survey of 1000 Singaporean children and about 100 parents, teachers and counselors, the 25 questions quiz is grouped into three categories :

Positive Functioning
Social Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence

For every question, kids need to indicate their results (something like a scale of 1 to 5), and the end result helps us identify the child’s strengths. Parents and teachers can then enhance a child’s strengths, and hope he or she will develop into a confident, resilient and happy child.

To start the Quiz, choose “Child” (recommended for those 6 to 12years old) or “Adult” if you wish to know whether you really understand your child.

Peppered with cute animations, our boys are not stressed with another “assessment”, they actually enjoy the questions 🙂

For Daddy, the quiz provides a platform for him to discover how much he understands the kids. Refer to first two photos above, we are glad that our kids still look for us when they are in doubt 🙂

Daddy hopes the boys learn something new about themselves too.

Are you curious to know more?
Do pop by to try out the quiz with your child too.

At the end of the quiz, the results will be summarised. The quiz has additional tips for improving our child’s wellbeing.

Video : Let us hear more from parents’ testimonials

** Child Mental Wellbeing forum

HPB will be hosting a child mental wellbeing forum targeting parents with kids between 6 to 12 years old on 17 August. The panel of experts will share and discuss parenting challenges, and also tips on how to improve our kids’ mental wellbeing. If you enjoy the quiz, Daddy strongly recommend you to sign up and discover more.

** **updated 2013 Aug 08 ** Forum registration is closed due to overwhelming response

Registration details are available at this link ( :

Venue : LASALLE College of the Arts, SIA Theatre
Schedule : 17 August from 2PM to 4.30PM
Registration : Forum is free, and limited to first 500 participants
ColoursOfTheMind :

Do pop by Health Promotion Board (HPB) Website, Fanpage and Twitter for the latest updates on Health Matters.

Daddy talks about Kiasu and Kancheong parents on Razor TV

Daddy went on TV recording again.
RazorTv is an informal media platform for SPH, and you get the latest video recordings about current affairs and sensational headlines.

Joining two other parents (Suzy and Dominic), Daddy got to share his views on parenting, Kiasu and Kancheong parents, and PSLE ! It was another fun experience, but it was tiring to go through the three hours session. If you noticed, Daddy was nervous throughout the recording, thumb twiddling, eyes blinking haha.

Interestingly, the parents share a few view points :

– We do not deny KanCheong (anxious) parents exist, but we do not see the need to engage in desperate measures to ensure our kids have a better start (no Tiger mum)

– We all enjoyed our Kampong (village) childhood days, catching guppies, spiders, grasshoppers, lesser homework then

– Although we are all reluctant, we agree PSLE is a defining milestone for the kids 🙁

– We wish more parents would allow kids to settle their own disputes in school, thereby learning about problem management and negotiation.

Over the few hours, we got to interact and share our views on four broad topics.

a) Challenges of raising child, are we Kan Cheong?
– Kids do not know how to relax nowadays.
– Every child should have a memorable childhood, and homework/tuition is not supposed to be our childhood !
– a good education and moral foundation brings up a responsible adult (hopefully)
– we only have up to pre-teenange years(maybe 12years old) to impart our our parenting tips, after that kids will be influenced by peers.
– we do not need our kids to be No 1 , but please do not be the last one 🙂
– we hope our kids will put in effort, and try their best
– We ask our kids to be Honest with us. Parents can then understand the situation better, and come up with recommendations
– In this Ipad generation, kids get their resources and knowledge everywhere. We need to show them right/wrong earlier.
– Kids in SG are fortunate. We do not understand hunger, or to sleep without a roof. How do kids learn to appreciate?

b) How are parents responding to Rat race education style
– try to introduce structure timetables from young, rather than cramped everything one month before exam
– tuition is a last option for us. Not because we like giving kids extra homework, but sometimes our coaching method might teach kids the “wrong” concept (eg Maths modeling)
– Kids need to understand the question, before they can answer it. Trick questions or a lack of English mastery, actually discounts kid’s proficiency in maths
– Teachers are also human, and parents must network together with school and teachers to help a child,.
– Too many parents love to complain, over the smallest matters. Let the teachers do their job, ie to Teach.

c) What was the parent’s growing up years? Did we have more fun last time?
– We send them to childcare because we need them to learn how to interact, sharing and taking turns.
– Kids learn team-building and group participation, rather than be self-centered.

d) Signs to look out for when kids are struggling?
– lying, and hoping nobody finds out. Our child will tell teacher he forgot to bring book, and tell Mummy no homework.The lies will snowball.
– suddenly losing interest in a favourite sports or subject

Instead of scolding kids, we need to understand what is happening in the first place.

=== === === === === ===

Our discussion are summarised into a total of 8 clips.
(click on the links below for the video clips)

1.1 Kancheong parents?
1.2 Social pressures = more enrichment classes?
1.3 Education then and now
1.4 Play time vs ABCs

2.1 How to save our child’s sanity !
2.2 Better and more quality teachers please
2.3 PSLE stress out kids, or parents?
2.4 Parents redefine success?

Does any parents out there face the same anxiety as us?

In summary, we will let our kids decide their own schools, curriculum and paths, but we need to ask them about their rationale.

Kids need role models during their formative years, and parents just need to make time for the kids, to share their joy, sorrows and milestones 🙂