Many in Ho Chi Minh City have chosen to participate in the courses after they found themselves bewildered by parenting books and other resources.

“I have come across several books about raising children, but I still fail to communicate with my kids, nor understand their feelings,” Phan Thi Minh Thu, a resident from Binh Thanh District, explained.


Willing to befriend own children

Hundreds of parents have flocked to a free parenting course opened in District 10 in April to get a general impression of neuro-linguistic programming, in the hope of improving their parenting skills and fostering better communication with their children, but more importantly, to befriend them.

“I have two children, one three years old, the other 12, so what I expect to learn from this course is to figure out and apply effective communication in order to be my children’s companion,” Nguyen Thai Ha, their father, shared.

Other parental concerns change depending on a child’s age group. Some said their kids refuse to eat, or become stubborn when entering adolescence; while some fail to understand their youngsters’ moods.

“How I can help my child to be open and share his feelings with me,” Bui Thi Hieu Nhu, an attendee, asked, saying that she really wanted to empathize with her 13-year-old son.

“My son used to talk about things he had experienced at school like friends, teachers, and more, but he seems emotionally distant from me as a teenager,” Nhu recounted, adding that tension sometimes occurs when he neglects her commands.

Parents from neighboring provinces have also enrolled in parenting courses held in Ho Chi Minh City, interested in learning about appropriate child rearing methods.

Remedies for the soul

Many find the courses beneficial not only for parenting but also for building the bond between family members, and motivating each other to nurture happiness.

“These are the remedies for the soul,” Minh Thu, a mother who has taken part in four parenting classes, said.

“On joining these courses, I get advice on, and knowledge of, raising my children as well as motivation to maintain happiness among my family members,” she added.

Many parents believed learning how to raise children is essential in modern life, when asked why they were attending the courses by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters.

Thanh and his wife, Hoa, even asked for a day-off from their workplace to attend a parenting course.

“Conflict will arise if I adopt new parenting principles alone, so I tried to persuade my husband to attend the training course with me,” Hoa said.

Tran Dang Trieu, one speaker who ran a parenting class in May, said, “Children need not only love and care, but also those [parents] who they can share their thoughts with as well as those who recognize their efforts.”