Monday, April 17, 2017

My Newly Published Book on DEPRESSION

My Way! No Way! TAO Is The Way!
TAO Wisdom To Live And Survive In A World Of Depression

My newly published book is perhaps one the few books with a totally unconventional approach to depression, a universal mind disorder. Instead of the conventional ways of avoiding depression with distractions, such as exercise, suppressing its symptoms with affirmations and visualizations, and elevating its depressive moods with medications, this 180-page book uses the ancient wisdom from China, what is known as TAO wisdom, to experience anything and everything in depression, that is, going through every aspect of depression.  

TAO wisdom may enlighten you so that you may ultimately free yourself from depression, or at least look at your own depression very differently.

Here is the INTRODUCTION to the book:

“TAO is neither a religion nor a philosophy.

TAO is simply a way of life about the Way of life, that is, a general way of thinking about everything in life. It is a pathless path of humanity to live as if everything is a miracle.

TAO is the Way through anything and everything in life in order to fully experience them and live in balance and harmony. TAO is not about avoiding or getting out of anything unhappy and undesirable in everyday life, such as depression; rather, it is about going through depression by experiencing every aspect of it in order to become enlightened, if possible, with the profound human wisdom to continue living in peace and harmony in a world of depression.

TAO is looking at life not as a series of both happy and unhappy episodes, but simply as a journey of self-discovery and self-awakening to the real meaning of life existence. You are defined not by your words and thoughts, but by the ways you act and react, as well as the impact you may have on others around you. You exist not because you are simply here; you are here in this world to love and to learn how to live, as well as to help one another do the same.

TAO is formless, shapeless, and inexplicable in words; after all, it had existed long before there were even words. TAO is infinite human wisdom, which is a pathless path to the infinity and the origin of all things.
TAO is not about making your life any easier; it is about acceptance of all aspects of your humanity that need to be fully experienced, embraced, and then to be let go of in order to become wholesome at other times of your life and living—that is the essence of TAO wisdom, which is true enlightenment of the human mind.

Living in a world of depression, you might want every-thing your way or no way. But TAO is the Way through your depression, enabling you to understand how and why you might have your depression in the first place.”

If this book is suitable for you, you can click here to get your Amazon digital copy, or here to get your paperback hard copy.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, March 27, 2017

Learning and Teaching in the First Year

It is important to maintain and sustain the learning and teaching process of your baby. According to novelist John Steinbeck, a genius is “a child chasing a butterfly up a mountain”; let your baby’s curiosity be the butterfly and let his learning environment be the mountain. Most real learning in the first year occurs within the context of ordinary everyday life. It doesn’t require formal training; it is a natural consequence of everyday experience. Be that as it may, to maximize your baby’s learning potentials, you need to create an enriched learning and teaching environment. The typical American child, however, does not live in an enriched environment: he spends hours watching television or playing electronic toys; he is often engaged in self-directed play, instead of interactive and imaginative play with his parents.
An enriched learning and teaching environment for babies and children to reach their maximum intellectual potentials includes the following:
Your baby needs to spend time in a safe, secure, and quiet environment.
Your baby needs a dimly lit environment to see better; use only 40-watt or less light-bulbs in the nursery.
Your baby needs freedom of movement; use the crib or playpen sparingly.
Your baby needs age-related toys and art materials.
Your baby needs new things to look at all the time.
Your baby needs regular contacts with adults, especially eye contacts.
Your baby needs smiles, as well as friendly and affirmative words.
Is Your Baby Ready to Play and Learn?
There are some obvious physical changes and signs if your baby is good and ready to play and learn.
Your baby needs good rest before he can play and learn. Adequate rest avoids mood swings and improves the brain function in your baby.
Your baby’s breathing is always slow and even, with a relaxed abdomen, if he wants to play and learn.
Your baby sucking rate also slows down considerably.
Your baby’s attention focuses on the source of stimulation, his fingers and toes fanning with excitement towards it, as well as his pupils dilating and his eyes widening.
On the other hand, your baby may show signs of overstimulation when he cries and squirms, flailing his arms and legs, and even thrusting out his tongue.
Good parenting means providing an enriched learning environment for babies and children to learn while playing. A study conducted at the University of Chicago found out that some accomplished adults, such as distinguished athletes, musicians, mathematicians, and scientists all had parents who shared certain outlooks about enriched environment in which they were raised and reared.
They all unintentionally produced a prodigy
They all encouraged their children to play and to explore the world.
They all stimulated and motivated their children through playing and learning.
They were all dedicated to their own interests, and encouraged their children to do likewise, but without pushing them in that direction.
They all supported their children’s self-chosen interests, and made their passion a top priority.
They all encouraged their children to have independent thinking, and to think for themselves through curiosity and asking questions.
The key to successful parenting is to provide an enriched environment for learning while playing, as well as for recognizing talents and potentials that may or may not be the skills and abilities you value most. Praising your baby’s efforts and his accomplishments strengthens your baby’s neurological connections between activity and emotional rewards, and thus instrumental in developing more interest in trying new things and experiences.
Bottom line: the more your baby enjoys spending time with you as he explores the world, the more motivated he will become, and the more he will learn. Relax, loosen up, and always look at the environment and the world through your baby’s eyes, rather than those of your own. It is just that simple.

Read my book: Make Your Smart Baby Super Smart and be a smart parent.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, March 20, 2017

Writing Before Reading

Teaching your child to read requires patience, perseverance, and much effort. But it is very rewarding if your child can read at a much earlier stage than other kids. I began teaching my daughter to read when she was only a few months old, and she could read at the age of three (an average child in the United States begins to read at the age of five or six).

Teaching a child to read comes in many stages, and the last stage prior to reading is the writing stage.

Writing, involving the use of voluntary muscles, is a physical skill that improves with more practice and encouragement from parents. At the end of the second year or the beginning of the third year, wrist and finger movement develops, and by the middle or the end of the third year, your child may have mastered the skill of holding a pencil between finger and thumb. Some children can draw crude pictures of human figures; others may begin to copy their own names.

To help your child achieve a satisfactory running hand is a more realistic goal than to train him or her to become  calligrapher. Good handwriting, however, should be duly encouraged: after all, attractive handwriting is often a joy to behold as well as a pleasure to produce. Moreover, an efficient mastery of handwriting would enable subsequent fluent written communication. It is important that there should be a sensible and consistent policy for the teaching of handwriting.

Teach and encourage your child to do the following to improve his or her motor skills:

Cutting along a line with a pair of scissors.
Lacing shoes.
Stacking a series of blocks.
Buttoning clothes.
Brushing teeth.

Ensure your child’s correct writing posture:

Sit with both feet firmly on the floor.
Pull up the trunk and lean slightly forward.
Rest the right forearm on the table.
Use left hand to steady the paper with the index finger and thumb on the left edge of the paper.
Place the paper to the right of the writer and then lightly tilt it to the left.

Relax your child’s writing hold:

Hold the pencil between the thumb and index finger resting it on the second finger.
Do not bend in the first joint of the index finger to avoid pressing the pencil.
Encourage your child to relax rather than demand him or her not to grip firmly.

Teach your child to write the alphabets.

Make sure your child knows the letter, its shape, and sound before teaching him or her to write.
Ask your child to say the name and the sound of the letters while making the correct sequence of strokes.
Teach your child what to say when he or she is writing the letter, for example, Pee says puh for puppy: down the stem, up and round for the puppy.
Emphasize the importance of the sequence of strokes.
Start and finish each line with written examples for over-writing.
Teach your child the lower case first before proceeding to the upper case.
Make your child talk through while writing and spelling, for example, saying the word and sounds of syllables and letter strings.

Teach your child to copy his or her  own name.

Use a felt pen to write his or her name.
Indicate the sequence and the direction of the strokes.
Ask your child to write over the letters of his or her name, or trace them on a piece of tracing paper.
When your child has finished a painting or drawing, ask your child to print his or her name from a copy of your child’s names.
Ask your child to put titles on the pictures he or she has drawn. Let your child tell you about the pictures, or suggest short and appropriate titles for them. Write titles with a felt pen for over-writing, tracing, and copying.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau