Light every moment of childhood
A moment in time can affect a lifetime
We know that raising children can be a challenge. The #Light Every Moment of Childhood# campaign equips caregivers with proven tools to nurture parent-children relationships based on respect, empathy, communication, trust and role-modelling.
Read on for practical tips tailored to three age ranges: 0-6, 7-11, and 12-17 years, and dive into an art exhibit that explores the lifelong benefits of positive parenting. You will also find testimonies from parents who have taken part in positive parenting sessions provided jointly by UNICEF and government partners.
Every child has the right to grow up in a nurturing environment free from violence, abuse and neglect.
'A moment in time can affect a lifetime' Art Installation Exhibit
Exhibit Time: 10：00 - 18：00, May 31 to June 30, 2023
Exhibit Address: South to the Children Exploration Venue, China National Children's Center (CNCC), 43 Ping'anli West Street, Xicheng District, Beijing
How to Join: You can scan the QR code on the left poster to register. We will not be giving any registration details to any third party.
Online Exhibit is coming soon. Follow us on social media for more information.
Age 0-6 Positive Parenting Guidance
1. Crying is the primary way for infants and toddlers who have not yet mastered language skills to express their feelings and needs.
2. Children explore the world, learn and grow through experimentation with 'annoying' repetitive behaviors. Please understand their curiosity and this special way of learning and provide patience and guidance.
3. Learn to recognize and appreciate your child's growing abilities, allow and support them to try to do what they can, and allow your child to grow through mistakes.
4. At this age, saying 'no' is a way of expressing their emerging sense of self. Listen patiently and offer alternatives.
5. Listen to your child's feelings and needs, and guide and help them find more appropriate ways to express themselves.
6. When children do not behave the way we want to, help them see the direction of their personal growth by experiencing their feelings and expressing their needs. Teach them how to avoid self-punishment and self-hatred.
7. Children need guidance and support, not blame and scolding, as their social and social skills grow. Let us show them respect, cooperation, and sharing to our children by example.
8. Corporal punishment has many negative physical and psychological effects on children, making it difficult for them to understand why those who love them, hurt them, but also for them to learn and grow from the incident.
9. While by threatening punishment we can temporarily force our children to do what we want, the effect may not last, and their self-esteem will be hurt.
10. Go beyond the boundaries of gender stereotypes and encourage and support boys and girls to engage in the kinds of activities they enjoy, to experiment, explore, and grow freely.
11. Busy work is temporary, but the growth of children is lifelong. Be there for your child's growth with your heart and soul, and don't use electronics as a free babysitter.
12. The parent-child bond you build with your children through parental companionship and love is the solid foundation for their future life. Don't let being physically distant become being emotional distant.
13. Choose to be by your child's side and witness their growth.
14. Disability should not be a limitation to a child's development and self-fulfillment. Support them to experience life like all other children, seize the best window of intervention and seek professional treatment and help to help them grow.
Scene one: A five-month-old baby often cries, and the parents don’t know why. They think that the child is disobedient, and resort to verbally reprimanding them, or even losing patience and beating or scolding them.
1. Crying is a way for infants who have not mastered language skills to express their feelings and needs.
2. Parents should pay close attention to their children's crying and try their best to meet their basic needs, such as changing the diaper, feeding them or giving hugs to soothe them.
1. Stay calm. Try to avoid being irritated or alarmed by the baby's crying, so that you can better cope with the situation.
2. Observe and speculate. Observe the baby's behaviour carefully and guess the reasons why they are crying, such as hunger, fatigue or discomfort.
3. Meet basic needs. Check and meet the basic needs of the baby, such as feeding, changing diapers, adjusting the ambient temperature, etc.
4. Soothe the baby. Gently pick up the baby and use a soft voice and gentle touch to soothe it. Try patting the baby’s back and humming a lullaby.
Scene 2: A child around 2 years old gives the adults in the family a headache, saying ‘no’ to everything, and confronting adults repeatedly. The parents think that such a disobedient child should be severely disciplined.
1. At this age, saying 'no' is an expression of budding self-awareness.
2. When the child says 'no', don't get angry; listen to the child's feelings and needs. When provided with specific choices, children can feel in control, turning confrontation into guided cooperation.
1. Stay calm. Don't be irritated by children's stubborn or challenging behaviour, and avoid emotional reactions.
2. Set clear rules. Establish clear rules and boundaries to let children know the acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. Ensure that all the child’s caregivers use consistent rules to avoid confusion and contradictions, and set out the rules of behaviour clearly.
3. Provide positive alternatives. Provide choices so that children can participate and feel in control.
4. Communicate. Establish good communication with the child, listen to their thoughts and opinions, and make them feel respected and valued.
Scene 3: A 3-year-old child wants to wash their hair and dress himself after going swimming, but the parents think that the child can't wash properly or quickly enough, so they just do it. As a result, the child cries and makes trouble, refusing to cooperate and kicking the parents. Finally, the parents pick up the child, spank the child, and tell them they won’t go swimming in future.
1. Learn to discover and appreciate children's growing abilities and allow and support them to try to do what they can.
2. It's normal for children to encounter difficulties or fail to do things by themselves. Parents should patiently demonstrate, provide guidance and help them complete the task, instead of preventing children from doing it by themselves or criticizing them for not doing it well enough.
1. Communicate and prepare in advance. Communicate with the child before swimming, tell them that they can wash their hair and dress themselves, and encourage them to try to finish these tasks by themselves.
2. Provide guidance and demonstration. According to children's age and cognition, demonstrate the correct steps and methods of hair washing and getting dressed.
3. Timing and tolerance. Leave enough time for children to wash their hair and get dressed, to avoid rushing and stress. Understand that children might not complete the process perfectly. Tolerate this and continue to provide them with opportunities to practice.
4. Help and praise. When the child expresses a need, provide assistance, otherwise be patient and approving.
Scene 4: At the age of four and a half, a child grabs toys from the other children in kindergarten and bites them. After the teacher asks the parents to come to the school, the parents punish the child, only allowing them to come to dinner after they understand the consequences of their actions.
1. Listen to children's feelings and needs, guide and help them find more appropriate ways to express themselves.
2. Children's social skills are developing, and they need our guidance and support, not accusations or beatings. Let's set an example and demonstrate respect, cooperation and sharing to our children.
1. Control your emotions. Keep calm and avoid accusations and punishments. When a teacher asks parents to come into the school, the child usually knows that they have done something wrong, and that the consequences are serious.
2. Encourage apologies. Encourage children to apologise to those they have hurt and remind them to take responsibility for their actions. This way, they can make up for their mistakes through friendly behaviour.
3. Listen and communicate. Parents need to listen without judgment, understand what happened, and make their children feel safe and willing to express their feelings and needs.
4. Seize the opportunity to provide guidance. Let children know the consequences of their behaviour for others, including injuries. Find a small picture book with stories about making friends and dealing with conflicts to read with children at night. Use the stories to help children understand what to do when they encounter conflicts.
Scene 5: A 5-and-a-half-year-old child insists on helping serve the food but spills it all over the floor. The parents get angry and punish the child, banning cartoons for a week.
1. Learn to discover and appreciate children's growing abilities. Allow and support them to try to do what they can, and allow children to grow up and make mistakes.
2. When children's performance is not perfect, help them understand what happened and allow them to experience feelings and express needs, while avoiding self-punishment and self-loathing.
1. Acceptance and understanding. Understand that the child spilled the food because they haven't fully mastered the skills of serving dishes. It's not their fault. There is no need to scold them at all. They just need more practice. Don't dampen their enthusiasm for helping with housework.
2. Encourage and support. Affirm their wishes and efforts, and tell the child that it doesn't matter, and they will do better next time.
3. Demonstrate how to complete the task safely. Tell and show children the correct way to serve dishes, and gradually guide them to master this skill.
4. Empower and support. Clean up the broken dishes with the child and help them bring the remaining dishes to the table smoothly. Then thank them for their help and give them confidence.
Age 7-11 Positive Parenting Guidance
1. Create and provide opportunities for children to participate in family and social life that are appropriate to their evolving physical and mental abilities. Participation and experience are important ways to learn and grow.
2. Children are not copies of their parents. Allow them to grow at their own pace and in their own way to become the best version of themselves.
3. Comparisons are also judgments. Learn to listen to your child's ideas and needs without judgment, and respect their opinions and choices.
4. Point out to your children their problems by addressing only the behavior, not the person.
5. Corporal punishment and humiliating words or punishments may prevent children from seeing the meaning of the situation, ignoring the search for their true needs, understanding what they did wrong, and thus not benefiting from their mistakes. It also shows them they are not respected and won’t respect in return.
6. Children learn through mistakes and grow up through difficulties, so allow them to make mistakes.
7. Children always learn by what you do, not by what you say.
8. It is not your child's fault that they are being bullied. Stand by your child and work together to solve the problem. Blaming and punishing will only make your child feel isolated and hurt.
9. Cyberbullying and violence have more far-reaching and serious harmful consequences for children, and it is important to discuss online risks and online behaviour with children to prevent them and to provide timely and effective intervention and support.
10. Tell your child: don't bully others, try to help the bullied classmates, try to accept the excluded classmates, and tell teachers and parents when you identify bullying situations.
11. If parents use violence as a solution to a problem, although the child may do what we ask, it is telling and encouraging the child to use violence to solve the problem.
12. Corporal punishment may bring immediate results, but its effects are not sustainable as children won’t learn from it, and the physical and psychological damage it causes to children is long-lasting and stays with them for the rest of their lives.
13. Even if you work far away, you can still use technology and the Internet to get closer to your children and witness and support their growth.
14. Children with disabilities have unlimited potential, and it lies in us the power to open doors of opportunity for them and treat them with equal treatment and respect.
15. Parents also have a responsibility to ensure that their children have access to the right sex education that are appropriate to their cognitive developmental stage and information, knowledge and skills for sexual assault prevention . Do talk with your children about when others touch them physically and how to protect themselves. Children should feel that they can always talk to their parents in a safe way.
16. Ask your child to commit to not bullying others on the Internet and to protect themselves. Do not treat others in a way that you would not like to be treated.
Scene one: A 7-year-old can’t finish their homework before 11pm each day, and they are criticized for being too inefficient. The father tries to supervise and coach the child, but the child takes a long time to understand a homework question. The father gets angry and scolds the child, telling the child to write the answer to the question 100 times.
1. Children are not copies of their parents. Allow them to grow up at their own pace and in their own way and become their best selves.
2. Punishment may make children lose sight of the meaning of the matter at hand and avoid exploration, and lose an opportunity to benefit from their mistakes.
1. Patiently guide. Support children to finish their homework patiently and with understanding. Give them the proper time and space to solve problems, and avoid getting impatient or using criticizing words. Encourage and guide them to understand and solve problems.
2. Break down tasks. Break down homework into small manageable chunks to help children build their ability to plan and manage time. Teach them how to allocate time, help them realize the importance of each task, and give them necessary support and encouragement.
3. Be sure to acknowledge hard work. Pay attention to children's efforts and their own progress, don't compare children with other children, or just pay attention to results.
4. Cultivate study habits. Work with children to make good study habits and plans suitable for them and help implement the plan.
Scene 2: A child can't stop playing on their mobile phone, and constantly watches, videos, plays games, and adds strangers on WeChat. The parents criticize this behaviour, comparing it to smoking, and comparing the child’s academic performance to that of other children. They call the child ‘hopeless’.
1. When pointing out problems to children, focus on behaviour, not on them as people.
2. Children's exploration and growth in the digital age always needs our understanding, attention, guidance and support.
1. Do not use verbal violence to condemn and discipline, and don’t compare the child to other children. Comparison is a form of judgement. The pros and cons of mobile phones should be discussed objectively, in a non-judgmental way.
2. Establish clear rules. Work out clear rules for the use of mobile phones and electronic devices with children, including rules for time, place and content.
3. Use technical supervision and management. Use parental supervision functions and software to reasonably restrict and control the use of children's electronic devices. Discuss the necessity and reasons behind doing this with children through open and frank dialogue and help them understand.
4. Provide alternatives. Lead children to try other activities and help them find and develop more cultural and sports interests, to reduce their dependence on mobile phones.
Scene 3: A 10-year-old girl has been depressed recently, and she has been isolated by girls at school. She is often unwillingly hugged from the back a boy in her class. She does not dare to tell her parents, fearing they will think she is too shy. Her parents think she is to be blamed for being bullied.
1. Bullying is different from general conflict, and there are unequal power dynamics in bullying.
1. When a child tells you they are being bullied, affirm their courage in coming to tell you.
2. Express support. Tell the child that bullying is not their fault, and that their parents will stand by them and provide them with protection and support.
3. Listen and understand. Listen with empathy and understand the situation, so that the child can express their true feelings and needs when they feel safe.
4. Find a solution. Explore the most suitable and feasible measures with the child and continue to support and follow up. If necessary, cooperate with the school to seek suitable interventions.
Scene 4: A teacher calls some parents, informing them their child edited a photo of two classmates into a wedding photo, and sent it to the classmates. In anger the parents smash the child’s mobile phone.
1. Cyberbullying and violence can cause far-reaching serious harm and consequences. Discuss cyber risks and cyber etiquette with children, take precautions, and provide timely and effective intervention and support.
2. Don't do to others what you wouldn’t want them to do to you. Ask your child to promise not to bully others on the internet. At the same time, pay attention to protect yourself online.
1. Verify the situation. Use non-judgmental dialogue to understand and confirm the situation with the child, and tell them that you just want to understand the situation and will not punish them.
2. Stop and provide correction. If the situation is true, parents should explicitly ask their children to stop bullying immediately and make it clear that bullying is not allowed.
3. Communicate honestly. Have an open and frank dialogue with children to understand their feelings, motives and ideas, and then guide children to understand the adverse consequences of such behaviour.
4. Prevent such incidents from happening again. Guide children to understand and respect others and their differences and establish the value of not doing to others what you wouldn’t want them to do to you.
Scene 5: An 11-year-old in the sixth grade got 92 points in a final exam, 10 more points than their score in the mid-term. When the child reports the good news to their parents, the mother responds by saying the child can do better, and that they will have to work harder to get into a good middle school. The mother compares the score to that of the neighbours’ children. On hearing this the child gets upset, loses control, and shouts at their mother. The mother does not understand why the child is so upset, and further berates the child.
1. Comparison is also judgment. Learn to listen to children's thoughts and needs without judgment and respect their opinions and choices.
When children share their achievements, affirm their efforts and achievements. There will be opportunities in future to encourage them to work hard, but saying so at this moment will likely make children feel their achievements are not recognized. Don't focus on other children or make comparisons; pay attention to the child’s personal growth and progress.
1. Affirm efforts and celebrate progress. Avoid making comparisons with other children.
2. Discuss with your child the next goal. Don't set a higher goal right away, but discuss it with them, listen to their own thoughts on the next plan and goal, and then work out a realistic goal together.
3. Provide support. Ask children what help and support they need to achieve their goals.
Age 12-17 Positive Parenting Guidance
1. Understand that behind our children's pushing away from us is their willingness and courage to try to grow. Give them enough freedom and space, while remaining caring and supportive.
2. Adolescents may experience more mood swings in adolescence than younger children.
3. Distinguish between requests and commands. Making requests with specific positive language is more likely to get a positive response from your child.
4. Observe and understand our children's feelings and needs, rather than being preoccupied with changing them or making them behave as we want them to.
5. As soon as we stop focusing on criticizing and blaming, and focus on experiencing and understanding our own feelings and needs, it is possible to reconnect with our children and find ways to communicate effectively.
6. Only when children feel free from judgment will they be able to speak up about their feelings and needs and will you have the opportunity to get them the help they need in a timely manner.
7. Understand the importance of peers and support your children to enjoy their interactions, but also guide them to listen to their inner voice and be a strong support for their healthy, safe and happy growth.
8. Take time to take care of yourself in order to gain the physical and mental resources and strength needed to support your adolescent child.
9. Always remind yourself that there are no perfect parents. We make mistakes too, so what we need to do is apologize to our children, correct our mistakes, and grow with them.
10. Bullying is different from ordinary conflict in that the 'power' of the two parties in bullying is not equal. When you find your child being bullied, please tell them that it is not their fault that they are being bullied. They are not alone, and we will stand firmly behind them and work with them to find solutions to bullying through open and honest communication.
11. When we use abusive language, punishment or corporal punishment, we may hope that the pain will make them see the mistake and change their behavior, but in reality it will only increase their resistance and hostility, or even become more aggressive, and can damage their self-esteem.
12. While children can enjoy the many conveniences and benefits of the Internet, they should also be aware of the safety risks and challenges it can bring. Such as privacy violations, illegal content, harassment, scams, cyber-bullying, misuse of personal data, sexual grooming and even child sexual abuse. Parents have a responsibility to help their children develop the knowledge and skills to identify, prevent and respond to these risks.
13. Discuss and learn with your child how to prevent online violence and abuse, such as setting strong passwords, keeping personal information private and secure, being alert to contact requests from strangers, not posting and responding to inappropriate comments or pictures, and maintaining your own dignity and that of others. It is also important for children to understand how to report and respond to abuse, such as collecting evidence, using blocking, filtering, and deleting features to reduce harm, and reporting violations to platforms and organizations.
14. Children need our help on their journey to become digital citizens. Provide guidance and support, not anxiety, blame or even scolding.
15. Parenting children with disabilities is a challenging task, so take care of yourself as well as your child. Be proactive in seeking outside help and support to increase the possibilities for your child and your life.
16.Have a healthy conversation with your child about bullying and sexual abuse and guide them to the right information. Tell them that no one has the right to abuse them. Let them know that we will always protect and support them and that they can always come to their parents for any help they need.
Scene one: When a 13-year-old gets home from school, they go into their room and close the door. They want to avoid their parents hearing their conversations. They say they have nothing to say to their parents, which makes them worry and feel lost.
1. Understand that children pushing us away is them using their will and courage, and it is part of growing up.
2. Give them enough freedom and space while maintaining care and support.
1. Respect children's privacy and space. Try to avoid forcibly intervening or controlling their lives. Respect their needs for privacy and independence, and make them feel safe and understood.
2. Invite them to participate in the discussion and decision-making of major family decisions to enhance their self-confidence, so that they will feel trusted and respected.
3. Create an open environment. Create an open and warm family environment that makes children feel comfortable and safe, where children are willing to share their feelings and ideas with their families. Don't criticize children excessively, instead approach them with understanding.
4. Create common activities and communication opportunities. Find some common hobbies or activities and participate with children to create opportunities to communicate with them. Or create opportunities for outdoor sports and help children have more opportunities to get close to nature with their families or classmates and friends.
Scene 2: A 14-year-old child no longer listens to their parents, and often gets into disputes with their parents. The parents feel that they have no idea what their child is thinking. The child doesn’t listen and talks back. The parents feel disappointed and that they’ve lost control.
1. Teenagers may experience more mood swings than young children.
2. Instead of criticizing and accusing, we should focus on understanding our children, and understanding our own feelings and needs. This way we can rebuild our connection with our children and find effective communication methods.
1. Understand that adolescent children experience many emotional fluctuations, but intervening and controlling their lives can make them feel like they don’t have any control.
2. Listen and understand. Listening without judgment can make children feel safe to express their true feelings, thoughts and needs.
3. Provide silent support. Although children have reduced their dependence and obedience to their parents, their love for their parents is still there, and parents can continue to give them quiet attention and support to them.
Scene 3: A 15-year-old girl chats with a stranger online. The stranger tricks the girl into sending a private photo. The parents discover this, but the child lies and refuses to admit it. The parents think the child has crossed a line, and they smash the phone in front of the child.
1. Children need our help and support on their way to becoming digital citizens, instead of anxiety, accusations or abuse.
2. Provide children with information and skills to ensure they understand sexual assault is not acceptable, that it is okay to say no and how to protect themselves and look for help.
1. Avoid violent punishment. When children refuse to admit they have done something wrong it shows they are afraid of blame and punishment. The most important thing is to protect children. When parents want to win children’s trust, punishment and scolding is counterproductive.
2. Temporarily restrict access to the mobile phone. Parents should immediately stop the contact with strangers behaving inappropriately, to ensure that no further harm is caused.
3. Save evidence. Save all chat records, screenshots, and pictures relating to the incident, for potential future investigation and prosecution of criminal behaviour.
4. Have open dialogue. Talk with children and guide them to understand online risks as well as how to protect themselves. This includes not adding strangers as friends, and not revealing personal private information. If children take mobile phones without consent, try to understand their feelings and needs.
Scene 4: A 16-year-old child is reluctant to go out with their parents on weekends and holidays, preferring to spend time with their friends. The child’s friends want to go to the seaside together by train after an exam, without any parental supervision. The parents do not permit the child to go with their friends without adult accompaniment.
1. Understand that adolescents often want to spend time and do activities with their friends, which is an important way for them to develop social skills and establish independence.
2. Distinguish between requests and commands. Making a request in specific and positive language can often yield a positive response from children.
1. Empathize and listen. Communicate frankly with children, listen to their wishes and needs without judgment, and understand their thoughts and considerations about traveling independently.
2. Communicate on safety issues. Discuss the safety risks of travel with children openly and objectively and make your concerns about your child’s safety clear.
3. Look for compromise. Find solutions, such as inviting a responsible adult or relative to accompany them on their trip to ensure their safety.
4. Build confidence and gradually encourage independence. Parents can gradually relax restrictions and work out agreements and rules. This will support independent development while considering safety and well-being.
Scene 5: Egged on by friends, a 17-year-old child smokes a cigarette, and the parents find out. The parents criticize the child severely, but the child rejects the criticism and pushes the father away. The child slams the door and leaves.
1. The change of the relationship between adolescent children and their parents is a gradual process. Children need to get rid of excessive dependence on their parents, and start to think independently, make decisions, and express their views and opinions. Conflicts with parents in this process are mostly the result of children’s attempts to explore their own identity and values, and to find their own sense of existence independent of their parents. You need more understanding, tolerance and patience at this time.
2. Understand the significance of peers. Support children to enjoy time with their friends, but also guide them to cope with peer pressure. Parents can provide support for healthy, safe and happy growth.
1. Stay calm and be understanding. When communicating with children, keep calm and try to understand their thoughts and feelings.
2. Build trust and listen. Express your concern for children's health and happiness, listen to their feelings and thoughts without judgment, and give them a chance to express themselves.
3. Communicate honestly. Guide children to understand the harm of smoking and reflect on their behaviour in an open, respectful and equal way, rather than accusing or criticizing. Parents and children can explore solutions together.