Htun Htun Aye, 35, used to be a typical Burmese style father. “I thought my children had to be afraid of me, or they would never listen to me or respect me. I love my children, but I kept it inside. I never let my love show to them, ever.”
His 4 children were scared of him. They would obey, but they didn’t want to be close to him.
That changed after he started attending our Early Childhood Development (ECD) class. His wife went the first week, and after coming back from the class she told him, “We should go to this class together.”
Htun Htun Aye joined her and stayed for the rest of the 6 week class.
“My mind started changing.” He said. “Now I’m trying to understand my children. Now I talk to them.”
In the past Htun Htun Aye never praised his children or thanked them for doing things when he asked them to. But then he learned in the class about how important it is to notice the good things his children do, and praise them. Not just to punish them when they do something bad. (The homework assignment for one of the weeks of the ECD class is to pay attention so you can catch your children doing something well, and praise them for it.)
“Now I show love to my children. I give them hugs and kisses. Before I thought I had to be the boss of the house and never show affection. Now I feel like I’m more connected to my children. I show them in my actions that I love them. I feel like we are all more happy than before. My children used to be scared of me. Now our relationship is warmer, they want to be close to me when I am home.”
Htun Htun Aye didn’t actually live in the section where we taught the first ECD class. He came to join it from a nearby community. When we started teaching a class in his community he was the one who told all of his neighbors and friends that they should attend. He and his wife became our Family Education coordinators in their community.
Imagine not knowing you could show love to your own children! Imagine the change in their home now that Htun Htun Aye lets his children see the love that is in his heart for them. Your partnership with Family Education is transforming families.
The Charis Project’s Family Education classes are specifically tailored to the culture, and accessible for those who have no education, to equip parents with the knowledge and skills they need to make their homes safe and loving and help their children grow up to be strong and healthy adults.