As part of our ongoing work with schools and colleges in Beijing, CandleX held a workshop on 29 May in collaboration with Elite Scholars of China. The workshop aimed to teach parents whose children were about to graduate high school and go abroad for college what they could expect from their children’s mental health during the transition, how they could support them, and how they can support themselves through this time.
While schools usually do a great job of making the transition from high school to university easier on students, the needs of the parents often go ignored. During this period of transition, parents go from actively raising a child to being the parent of an adult who is no longer home and might be thousands of miles away. CandleX is proud to partner with Elite Scholars of China to provide a workshop for these parents that discusses how the transition to college in the US can affect their children emotionally, and how they can take care of their own emotional well-being.
Different from previous workshops that CandleX have run on this topic, this workshop was led by the parents’ needs and wants rather than by the planned content. Alongside advice about caring for teenage children as they leave the family home and how to spot signs of mental health issues, the workshop focused on giving parents various different tools to cope with the sudden changes they would be facing, such as meditation and breathing exercises. Because a lot of parents expressed a feeling of anxiety as they thought of their children venturing out into the world, coming back to their breath and finding their center proved to be a valuable tool. In fact, Xiaojie Qin, the workshop facilitator, came back to the breathing exercises three times throughout the session. By the third time, the participants were completely absorbed in the breathing exercises.
Parents were advised to honor the feelings surrounding this new transition and to address them appropriately.
The parents were also able to see the results of a similar student workshop, where students (their children） were asked, in the event of any emotional distress, if they would reach out to their parents. Parents were pleased to find that 42% of students said that they would definitely contact their parents in such a situation, and 26% said they were “very likely” to do the same.
The workshop experience proved to be an enriching one and one that CandleX hopes to continue providing to parents. For more of Candle X’s tools to help parents with these transitions, please see the resources at the bottom of the page.
If you have ideas or comments about our mental health services, or want to attend a workshop, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you.
On 29 June, CandleX is hosting a Launch Party for our flagship Project, Moodlab, at Camera Stylo. Scan the QR code to buy a ticket!