Cranbridge International School, Kuala Lumpur
Kiddy123 Frame
Small Wonder Malaysia
Odyssey, The Global Preschool (Mont Kiara)
British Montessori, Ampang
The children's house

Parenting 6 7 8

by on 19/06/2015 4912

This article is written by Dr. Thomas S.Y. Hooi, a trained and certified educationist, also the founder of GeniusBrain Worldwide Sdn Bhd.

I believe it’s every parents’ dream to be able to have a good relationship with their kids during their growing up years, from the day our kids are born till they’ve achieved adulthoods, which means 21 years old. Why 21 years old? Power technology in researching into human brain has shown that teenager’s brains are still developing. The teenager’s brain works differently from both a child's and an adult's. It displayed a transition from dependence to independence in a youth's life, therefore the teenager’s brain doesn’t look like that of an adult until the early 20s. When they reach 21 years of age, their brains are more developed and the executive brain part will be in control, hence they’re more matured and will be able to make rational decisions because the executive functions of the brain will be regulated by the prefrontal regions of the frontal lobes.


And as parents, we will be more comfortable when our children can be more independent as to know that they can take care of themselves, we have done our part as parents.

The question now is, while they are in our care, directly or indirectly, for the 21 years, what is the best way for us to establish an intimate parenting relationship with them? I think the most common rules of the thumb will be imitating what their parents has done for them such as following their parents’ footsteps, buying parenting books or even discussing with other parents on the effective way to communicate with children even though they know very well that every child is different. Hence, I introduce this simple and straightforward article to enable parents to have a lasting and efficacious relationship with their children.

Welcome to PARENTING 678. It’s not six hundred seventy eight. It’s Parenting Six, Seven, Eight. What does that mean. Well, when you add 6 plus 7 plus 8, you’ll get the total number of 21, therefore this represents the first 21 years of our kids' life – from the day they are born until they reach 21 years old where they’ve achieved ‘adulthood’.

The Parenting 678 principle is to guide us on how to communicate and raise our kids by executing different type of communication methods of different ages. I break the age group into 3 categories:

1. The first 6 years.
It starts from the day a child is born until he/she reach 6 years old.

2. The second 7 years.
It starts from 7 years old (when they enrol in Primary School) until they reach 13 years old (beginning of Secondary School).

3. The third 8 years.
Its starts from 14 years old (they have already experienced learning environment in secondary school) until they reach adulthoods, and that is 21 years old and above.

We often heard that when a child is in primary school, they tend to listen and obey their school teachers more than their parents. But this trend change once they entered secondary school as they will be more influenced by their friends/schoolmates more than their teachers/parents. Most of the time, parents will noticed these behavioural changes. However, parents continue to play the same role similarly as when their kids were born without realizing that those behavioural changes is actually occurring in their child's life.

Parents may have a challenging time to communicate with their kids if they do not make any changes in the relationship/communication methods. This will incite the kids to evade from their parents, especially if they are influenced by the negative elements from their friends or the environment they’re in. Therefore, this will create a rift between parents and child, and as a result it will be more difficult for the parents to restore the once-loving and intimate relationship with their kids. It’s just like a sail moving further away from the port without the navigation system.

With the realization of the above scenario, it shows us that as parents, we should and must play our roles well. We cannot use the communication method with 6 years old and continue to use it with 12 years old or 18 year old kid. It simply will not work and can result with a sour relationship between the kids and their parents. Long term effects can create negative outcome for the family bond. I have seen how a mother and daughter relationship deteriorates because the mother is reluctant to play her role as advised in Parenting 678 as she insisted that her daughter who is a teenager should always adapt to her style. This reminded me of a book written by Dale Carnegie, which I have read more than 25 years ago about building friendship. One of the subjects is about when talking to children. We should talk about things that interest them, not talking about the parents’ interest. Unless, of course, if we would like to bore them with our subject.

Successful teachers are those who are fond by their students because the teachers show interest in their students. And in return, students reflect their interest of the particular subjects that was taught by the teachers whom they are fond of.

And now, the question is how we can apply Parenting 678 into your life as parents.

Inside Parenting 678, I already mentioned the first 6 years, follow by the next 7 years and continue with the 8 years. Humans are flexible and should not be rigid. Parenting 678 will serve as guidelines for concerned parents.

The first six years – 0 months to 6 years old

In the first 6 years of your kid’s life, you are the one who spent most of their time with them till they enter preschool/kindergarten. The most important role as a parent, we should shower the kids with CARE and LOVE. This action will help stabilize their emotions. Let them enjoy their early childhood without pressure so that they will enjoy learning things happily and freely and continue to do so when they entered kindergarten. Always remember that at this age, our kids just started to explore life, hence everything is new and exciting to them. Conclusion: The first six years is LOVE AND CARE year.

The 2nd seven years – 7 years to 13 years old

This is the 2nd stage of communication. At this stage, continue to be a loving and caring parents. But of course, there will always be exceptional case when we heard of parents who abused their kids. In my opinion, this may happen because the parents themselves unable to control their own life like providing a stable and comfortable living for themselves and their family, hence this may resulted to child abuse. If the parents are good provider, I doubted child abuse will happen.

At this stage, to create a better and closer bond with their kids, parents should spend more time to PLAY and TEACH their kids. Since most of the new generation of parents are educated, hence most of them will be able to teach/guide their kids on primary school subjects. I am not suggesting parents should be their full time teacher but do spend some time by PLAYING AND TEACHING them. As a parent, we should fulfil this basic need of our kids as kids need guidance at this level. And we too should PLAY with them by bringing them out for a walk, enjoy some simple exercise with them or play some toys together with them. I still remember the time, on the weekend, when my kids were in primary school, I will fill up a small pool with water and enjoy myself in the small pool with my 2 daughters. I can see the joy on their faces and the family happiness that was created with this simple PLAY session. They are teenagers now by the time this article is published and when we recall the experience together, they always remember it with laughter.

The 3rd 8 years – 14 years old to 21 years old

These are critical years in a kid's life. Teenagers presume they know everything and they are the focus of the world (for example, they like to think that everyone is looking/scrutinizing them). As a parent, the old methods like PLAYING and TEACHING may not be effective at this level. Teenagers tend to listen more to their peers as they begin to build friendship and trust among the peers. Hence, at this level, bad influence is dangerously seeping in because this is the time where most teenagers are duped to join gangs and become a gangster. They want to feel a sense of belonging and loyal to their group. As a parent, whether we like it or not, we need to become their FRIEND and change our communication method with them. At this level, we must walk back to the time when we ourselves are teenagers. Ask questions like what type of friends that we like and what we dislike about our parents when we were teenagers. We must be our kid’s FRIEND. For this age group, PLAYING and TEACHING communication will not work effectively for them. CARE and LOVE at this level is secondary. This is because as I mentioned earlier in this article, a parents’ CARE and LOVE for their kids is forever. So, be their best and closest friend. Someone where they can confide in and provide them a shoulder to cry/lean on. Kindly read back to the introduction part that I mentioned about teenagers’ brain. The development levels of their brain at these age play a great role in their behaviour.

In a Nutshell

As a parent, we will always love our kids and will try our best to provide them with the best things we can afford to them. The bond between a parent and their kid should always be strong and shouldn't weaken over time. Some parents play their role wrongly by using the wrong type of communication methods with their kids, hence they ended up asking themselves what’s wrong with their kids instead of how they should communicate with their kids with the right communication methods. I do hope this PARENTING 678 will be able to provide simple guidelines for parents to foster a greater relationship bond with their kids until they reached adulthoods.


Dr Thomas S.Y. Hooi - GeniusBrain

This article is brought to you by  Dr.Thomas S.Y. Hooi, the founder of Genius Brain Worldwide Sdn Bhd. The company is fully committed in its role to provide GeniusBrain Exclusive Children Enrichment Programmes to existing education establishments and aspiring entrepreneurs  who would like to setup centers to conduct GeniusBrain programmes. The company is now aiming to be the major contributor of enrichment education products and programmes for the Asia Pacific market. You can contact Dr. Thomas via email:


 GeniusBrain      GeniusBrain