Remarks: Due to the complexity of various psychological, environmental, familial, emotional, or personality factors underlying the scenario in each question below, we could only answer generally and briefly in each question in this section. Assessment and analysis need to be conducted for different students even though the explicit behaviours seem to be similar for different students. If you have any enquiry, please contact our Consultation and Assessment Centre (CAC) to arrange a consultation session and seek help from our experienced psychologist.
My child learns very fast since he is very young. He can manage to learn many things by himself without the need of anyone to help him in learning those things, but his academic performance does not reflect this. I don’t know why my child could not get a good academic performance, I am so frustrated and am not sure if my child is gifted or what?
Academic performance relates to many factors, for instance, motivation, engagement, self-regulation, determination, academic self-concept, study skills, examination skills, relationship with peers or teachers, or intelligence, etc. All these factors may combine to affect positively or negatively a student’s academic performance. Therefore, whether your child is gifted or not is not the most important thing you need to find out. On the other hand, you need a qualified psychologist with good experience in the gifted population to assess and analyze your child for the factors stated (or not stated) above, so that we can let you and your child understand why his giftedness (if any) could not reflect on his academic performance and the psychologist could guide you and your child to resolve any factors that hinder his study or his intention to put the effort in his study and hence make him unable to get adequate academic performance.
My child is very talkative and lively at home, but he is just the opposite when he is at school. I don’t know why there is such a huge difference in his behaviours between home and school?
Most students, even psychologically healthy students, do have different (or even sometimes opposite) behaviours at home and at school. Having said that, we do need to understand the reason(s) behind such differences in your child. Sometimes, the differences may be only a kind of adaptation process that difference may be diminished after your child has successfully adapted to a new environment. Even if your child has already adapted to a new environment and still behaves differently at home and at school, that kind of different behaviour may sometimes be necessary to maintain a desirable balance between the school and the home. For example, the school requires very strict or proper behaviour for students, your child may be just trying to maintain those proper behaviour required by the school and only shows his own personality at home. However, if your child’s different behaviours are due to other factors that need to be attended to by parents or teachers (e.g. being bullied by people at school), you may need to seek help from a qualified mental health professional then.
My child is very smart and can manage his schoolwork and exams very well as well, but he just cannot get along well with his peers or even teachers. I feel proud of my child in terms of his academic performance, but I feel very worried about his interpersonal relationship which I think the latter may be even more important in his lifelong success than the former achievement, I mean his academic results. What can I do to help my child with this difficulty?
Every aspect of a student is important, either his academic performance or his affective needs (e.g. interpersonal relationship, emotional well-being, behavioural adequacy, etc.), and the needs of each student may vary, which will require a professional psychologist to learn and analyze further. Before approaching a psychologist for consultation, you may need to explain to your child that you are not blaming your child for his difficulties in interpersonal relationships. On the other hand, you need to show your child that you will support your child no matter what reasons have caused the situation (i.e. unsatisfactory interpersonal relationship), you will face the situation with your child and you will seek help with your child from an experienced mental health professional so that your child can overcome any obstacles (which to be identified) and can improve his interpersonal relationship in a favourable direction.
My child is a role model at school as he does very well in his academic performance and all his peers and teachers love him, but he just behaves like a little child at home which he could not manage to tidy up his desk or bedroom well and he sometimes cries hardly or sometimes throws a very big tantrum when he feels frustrated for some trivial things at home. I am very confused that my child seems to manipulate me at home. I don't know how to ask him to behave as he did at school when he was at home. What should I do?
Yes, this must be frustrating, we understand! First of all, we do not assume that the behaviour of your child is a form of manipulation unless we eliminate all other possible factors behind his behaviour. In fact, there are many other possible reasons that your child would behave the way you mentioned, for example, your child had already stressed out after school every day, so his frustration tolerance becomes less functioning at home, and a trivial thing at home may trigger his emotion. If this is a reason, you surely need to give your child a comforting hug with a gentle voice to calm him down other than trying to suppress his emotion as if that was a manipulation of you initiated by your child. Other than this possible reason, there are still a lot of other possible reasons for his emotional explosion at home. But in short, we encourage you to contact an experienced psychologist for his emotion management difficulty.
My child does not tell me anything about his school life or his friends at school. Whenever I ask him about these, he just ignores me. Although teachers never call me for any problems with my child, I do want to know more about his life at school. What could I do to let him tell me more or at least a little bit about his school life?
You are a responsible and caring parent as you want to know more about your child’s school life and his friends at school. We understand how frustrating that your child does not prefer to talk about those topics or to let you know those aspects of his life. Of course, there are many different reasons that a child is not easy or unwilling to tell a parent about those topics. In order not to confuse you by giving you different examples of reasons that a child would refrain himself from telling you about those things which may even put you into great worry about those possible reasons, you are advised to contact and seek help from a professional mental health expert, so that the professional could have some idea about what reason(s) may make your child not willing to talk with you about those things, helping to resolve the factors that hinder your child’s willingness to talk with you about those topics.
My child does not like schoolwork or study, but he is a very intelligent boy. It seems he is ruining his future as he never spends time on his study and teachers keep calling me to ask me to pay more attention to his schoolwork or study. However, I can’t do anything as he does not listen to me and he just asks me not to bother about his study. I am very helpless, who can help me?
We understand how helpless you are when your child’s responsibility for his study is transferred onto your shoulders when his teachers keep telling you to pay more attention to his study but in fact, your child does not allow you to take this responsibility as he just does not give you a role in his study even as a reminder. From a psychological point of view, you should only focus on your role as a caring parent despite the role of reminder that your child’s teachers want you to take. Only when your child feels that you care about his well-being as a parent, then your child may be able to tell you more about the real reasons for his disliking school or study, or your child may be willing to come with you to meet a psychologist who would be able to help your child in facing or resolving the reasons that made your child disliking school or study. Of course, you also need to let your child’s teachers know that only when you focus on the role I have just mentioned and let your child trust you and tell you the reasons that hinder his effort in the study, then you can bring your child to seek help for improving his attitudes and eventually improving his behaviour in school or on his study.
My child has very low self-esteem that he feels scared to talk either with his classmates or teachers. Sometimes, he is teased or laughed at when he talked in a very low voice in front of his classmates, even his teachers do not prefer to ask him any questions in classes as he would never have such confidence to answer teachers’ questions in front of the whole class. I know my child is an intelligent child, but his very low self-esteem or confidence will ruin his school life or even his future. What could I do to help my child?
We trust your child would want to find someone who can help him out of his current situation (i.e., scare of talking in front of others and being teased or laughed at by others). Therefore, you should talk with your child and let him know that you will do whatever you can to find an experienced mental health professional to help him out of this situation. If your child is willing to seek professional help, a psychologist can help your child through consultation or counselling session(s) and promote his self-confidence, assertiveness to express himself, and bravery so that he could have radical changes in his life and then he does not need to keep the situation anymore in the coming days of his school life and also his future.
My child is clever, but he keeps talking, fidgeting, moving, or even walking around in the classroom. His teachers always complain that his behaviour has been creating problems in teachers’ teaching work and also affecting his classmates’ paying attention in classes. I am so worried, as I have already taught or even scolded my child many times for not behaving in these ways at school, but he just keeps doing those things even though he has promised me many times that he would not do that again. What could I do to help my child get rid of those behaviours?
First of all, we trust your child would want to keep the promise that he made for you and he would hope he had the ability or willpower to actualize his hope of stopping all those behaviour at school. However, we want you to understand that it is not the fault of your child when he does not have the ability or willpower to do so as there are very few people who have that ability or willpower to control their behaviour if they have the natural tendency such as talking, fidgeting, moving, or walking around when they learn, especially for gifted students who have the typical characteristic of overexcitability that they tend to have all those behaviour before they can activate their brain during learning or lessons. In fact, even though they seem to be so busy to have all these behaviour during lessons, they can answer teachers’ questions accurately and they can follow whatever teachers have taught in class. Therefore, you or his teachers need to understand the special kind of learning ‘mode’ of your child or other similar gifted students during the lesson so that teachers and you would not punish your child or give him a warning because of his different learning ‘mode’ when compared with other students. Your child needs to know about this before he can see himself as a normal gifted student rather than a problematic student.
My child has a big problem managing his emotion although he is a very good boy in my eyes. Whenever he has any disagreement with his classmates or when his classmates do something that my child could not tolerate, his emotion would explode and he would react like the hulk that makes everyone in his class scare him, and his teachers also have no idea how they can help him. Although my child has never hit anyone at school, his explosive emotional reaction scares anyone away from him. What can I do to help my child?
We understand how you feel when your good boy’s emotional reaction scares away everyone around him as his classmates would find it difficult to understand him or even think your son is unpredictably scary to them. In fact, we trust your son may also scare himself as he may also share the same feeling as his classmates that your child also cannot predict his emotion or behaviour which may also scare him as well. Hence, your child needs an experienced mental health professional who knows how to promote his ability in emotion management and how to teach him the proper way to regulate his emotion and hence his behaviour. Therefore, you should tell your child that many people, including gifted students or even adults, do need such a mental health professional to help them in improving their emotion management abilities and skills which would make your child realise his potential needs and feel so normal to seek help from a psychologist.
My child dislikes mental health professionals, but he needs to seek help from them! My child has a lot of psychological or emotional disturbance since he was young, and we had taken him to consult many mental health professionals, including, counsellors, social workers, play therapists, art therapists, psychiatrists, educational psychologists, clinical psychologists, you name it! He had listened too much to these professionals, but he always think that no one can help his problems. He feels very frustrated and hopeless, but he knows he needs someone to help him with his psychological or emotional problems. What could I do to help him?
We understand how much your child dislikes seeing any more mental health professionals if he feels none of these professionals could help his psychological or emotional problems at all. In this situation, you need to frankly tell your child that the psychologists in CAC have a lot of experience in helping people who also did not like to see mental health professionals with the similar reason your child has, and our psychologist did successfully change the feeling of those people after they came to meet our psychologist and they found that mental health professional, in fact, could help them out of their psychological or emotional problems. If your child still has an eagerness to have a better psychological or emotional well-being, contact the CAC and make an appointment to meet with our psychologist.
You can contact us with our hotline number 3940 0101. We will jot down your name and contact number and some brief information about your child’s situation, sex, age, or grade. Then our psychologist will contact you for further understanding of your child’s situation and information.
When will an HKAGE psychologist contacts me after I have left my brief information with your hotline’s staff?
Psychologists of our Academy are very busy with packed schedules due to various work arrangements, hence they can only contact you whenever they get a chance.
After an HKAGE psychologist contacts me for understanding further information about my child, what else the psychologist needs to do before arranging an appointment with me?
After our psychologists contact you for getting more information about your child, they will arrange an appointment with you on a date and time that suit you and the psychologist.
After an HKAGE psychologist arranges an appointment with me, what do I expect to wait for and to do before the date of the appointment?
After an appointment is made between you and our psychologist, our administrative colleague will send you an email about three days before the appointment to state the date and time of your appointment and to let you know our address and how you can settle the payment for the consultation or counselling session before the appointment.
In a consultation or counselling session, if you and your child are willing to talk frankly about both your thinking and feeling, a psychologist can gather the relevant and necessary information to analyse the situation, difficulties, protective factors, predisposing factors, precipitating factors, perpetuating factors, handling skills, handling experiences, and other relevant information of you and your child. Based on all these results, the psychologist not only can give suggestions on ways of facing or handling the current or upcoming difficulties in life or help to resolve any communication or relationship difficulties between you and your child (if any), and also can decide a suitable psychological treatment plan to restore the necessary emotional, psychological, or behavioural functioning, to improve the psychological or emotional well-being in various aspects, or to decrease the obstacles, negative thinking or emotion. After the psychologist provides you and your child with suggestions to face or handle the current or upcoming difficulties, it is expected to follow the suggestion given by the psychologist and implement those suggestions as much as both of you can so that you can expect the implementation of those suggestions could change your current situation gradually towards a positive direction, or could simply lead to a new situation in a positive direction. If the psychologist has proposed a psychological treatment plan for you and your child, and both of you have agreed to participate in the treatment plan, then both of you are expected to comply with the requirements set for the plan to be implemented until the treatment goal(s) is(are) achieved.