Against Child Abuse is helping parents to understand their children's needs 'I am 100 per cent a good mother,' said Wong Sui-fun, who has two daughters. Making such a bold statement is never easy, but Ms Wong is confident she has been taking good care of her children since she took a parent education course 10 years ago. Like many parents in the city, Ms Wong had used harsh punishment and attended the 'Be a Good Mother' course organised by Against Child Abuse to learn how to be more understanding of her children. 'When my younger daughter was six, I threw her schoolbag and textbooks out of our home because she couldn't spell the name Ming-fai in English,' she said. Another mother, Mary Chan Wai-lin, had a similar experience. Ms Chan's daughter Chiang On-yin recalled how she was stressed when she was young. 'I knew I would be beaten when I failed to meet my parents' expectations like when I got bad grades on tests,' she said. But changes came when the mothers decided to take the course. They were taught to control their emotions and understand their children's needs before resorting to harsh punishment. 'One of the major topics was to deal with their kids' problems without using corporal punishment,' Ms Wong said. 'Parents should talk to the children and understand why they made such mistakes.' Ms Chan added the course had helped her to be a better person. 'I have grown up. Without the course, I think I would still be very stubborn and ignorant.' The courses had also provided parents with a support network. 'When my kids had problems, I sought help from other parents,' Ms Chan said. 'If no one was there to help me, I would have gone mad.' Because the two mothers understood the importance of parenting education, they volunteered to be mentors in the group's centre in Tuen Mun and in their communities. Their daughters have also become volunteers. Ms Wong's daughter, Crystal Leung Pui-man, 23, organises activities to promote parenting skills in different districts. Against Child Abuse director Priscilla Lui Tsang Sun-kai said the organisation had been promoting parenting education since 1979. It first set up hotlines for reporting child abuse cases and answered parents' calls about child-care problems, 'but we found the idea was too passive and launched the parenting education programmes'. Mrs Lui said in the 1980s and 1990s, the group focused on prevention of child sex abuse. 'Recently, we have helped parents to tackle the problems brought about by the cyber world,' she said. 'We provide parents basic knowledge of computers and tell them the pros and cons of the internet.' Mrs Lui said the group could not satisfy the overwhelming demands from parents, and encouraged parents like Ms Chan and Ms Wong to become mentors. 'You know how effective the programmes are when you see children become volunteers because they saw the changes in their parents after taking the course.'