Positive Parenting Creates a Loving Environment for Children
Phang Sam Ang, a 25-year-old mother of two who used to use violence to discipline her young children, expressed her thoughts about the changes she has made in her own life once she started to understand her children's feelings and respond to their needs positively.
Mrs. Sam Ang and her family live in a small traditional wooden house with a zinc roof in an urban community in Kampong Cham, Cambodia. Mrs. Sam Ang stays at home to look after her one-year-old son and six-year-old daughter while her husband works as a construction worker in Phnom Penh, typically earning around 40,000 KHR (about $10 USD) per day.
Mrs. Sam Ang and her husband used to raise their children the same way their parents raised them, frequently shouting or yelling at them when they cried.
“My children did not feel close to us,” said Mrs. Sam Ang, adding that she paid little attention to hygiene and food for her children and often fed them packaged snacks.
She continued telling us that she never spent time teaching her children because she thought that they could not learn at a young age.
In 2020, with funding from Save the Children Hong Kong, Save the Children started implementing the Raising Awareness and Innovative Strategies for ECD (RAISE) project in Mrs. Sam Ang’s community. In close collaboration with local authorities, the project began establishing caregiver groups to teach community members how to take care of their young children at home, including washing their hands and reading books with them.
Mrs. Sam Ang was invited to join a group, and has since learned about raising children in a positive way. Furthermore, she has learned ways of improving their nutrition, hygiene and sanitation, and promoting early learning for young children.
She quickly applied what she had learned with her children and shared it with her family. She has also become very interested in how to educate children, and has started communicating with her family in a more positive manner.
Since joining several meetings, Mrs. Sam Ang spends most of her time teaching her young children using books provided by the project, and she has noticed that they enjoy learning this way. She makes learning fun for her children, and they have become more interested in learning as a result.
“I am happy to see the change in most of the caregivers in my community. In particular, Mrs. Sam Ang has a good relationship with her young children and I have never seen her beat her children,” Sor Khoeurn, a village chief, said.
Since Mrs. Sam Ang started applying positive parenting techniques and providing her children with healthy food and hygiene, she has noticed big improvements in her family life.
“Now, I am glad to see my family is full of happiness and I feel so close to my children,” Mrs. Sam Ang stated. “My children are respectful to their elders, and when they received things they always show recognition.”
With a big smile on her face, Mrs. Sam Ang pleasantly says “I would like to see all caregivers stop using violence to discipline small children because it affects children’s development.” She concludes by saying that she would love to see her young children become good people.