If you are a student who has classes in the Vision Tower at Gachon University, you have probably seen the Sesalmaul Research Institute more than once. However, many students don’t know about what type of work they do exactly, and why their name is Sesalmaul. So to inform Gachon students about this, I interviewed staff at Sesalmaul Research Institute which works to raise competent people and improving parenting culture.
1. What kind of work does Sesalmaul Research Institute mainly do?
Sesalmaul Research Institute is divided into two departments, a business team, and a research team. The business team conducts community contribution projects, and the research team assists the business team’s project and studies the development of infants and toddlers at the same time. We contribute to the community contribution projects, donating regular amounts thanks to Samsung Life Insurance and progress the biggest business ‘Family Caring’ with the help of parenting experts. ‘Family Caring’ is the business that parenting experts visit the house and coach about parenting to mothers in person.
Modern society is more fractured than before due to significant changes in family structure. So, we do not only deliver the precise and right information to mothers but also provide affinitive personalized coaching by receiving and answering questions directly. Since 70-80% of brain development proceeds at age 3, right parenting is so important. So, we visit the homes every 3, 6, 12, 24, and 30 months, provide parenting coaching and playbook delivery in preparation for rapid development, and conduct development tests and consultations. We progressed face-to-face education programs for pregnant couples and prospective parents in the Gyeonggi area and the metropolitan area before the COVID-19 situation.
2. By doing this, what’s the final goal of Sesalmaul Research Institute?
Ultimately, we want to help improve Korea's parenting culture and cultivate human resources and talents. We don’t think that the right parenting culture is putting the burden on the mother alone. After a married couple including the husband must be educated and a culture where we can raise children together should be established, parenting efficacy can be grown well.
3. Please tell me about a memorable child through the help of the Sesalmaul Research Institute.
Two years ago, a month after becoming a parenting expert in the Sesalmaul Research Institute, I visited a family whose mother was Japanese. I was worried about communication, but fortunately, she spoke Korean well. She was full of love for the child and passion for parenting. Even after 12 months of visiting, I exchanged questions through messages and visited with pleasure when the child became the age 18 months. And already, a 30-month visit, the last family caring, took place. The 12-month-old baby, who was talking about "Mom," "Dad," and "Mamma," was able to say his thoughts in sentences and ride all the rides in the playground. It was too bad to have a non-contacted consultation because of COVID-19, but I was also happy to see him growing up well. I said hello wishing happy childcare with her child as now, and after finishing the family caring, I received a text message. "I was a foreigner, so I had difficulty raising children in another country, but I was grateful that the teacher told me a lot every time. I hope to see the teacher again later." I always start a family caring praying that the meeting with me would help to parent parents, and I felt warm and happy that the wish seemed to have been conveyed.
4. What do you think is the most important factor in your child's growth?
Until the age of 3, the love of parents is the most important thing. As love means an attachment relationship to a child, we can say it is a close bond with the main caregiver and a trust relationship between the two. For example, it includes comforting a child when a child cries, holding something to eat in the child’s hand, hugging, and changing diapers when a child feels uncomfortable. You should make your child feel that the world is a trustable place through these behaviors in a way that satisfies a child's needs when he or she expresses them. The attachment relationship with the main caregiver is the original form of lifelong human relationships for the child. Since it is a fundamental trust relationship, if we don’t establish a proper relationship, a child can be troubled after becoming bigger. The formation of attachment relationships during this period is the love of parents who express affection a lot and satisfy their needs.
5. What are the qualities a child must have to be a great talent?
You may have heard about metacognition these days. Metacognition and self-regulation are important, and I think these two have something in common. This is because the executive function is in line with metacognition. We say the execution function is that when I am in a situation, I objectify myself, judge emotions and thoughts objectively, and control and cope with perceptions, emotions, and actions flexibly in changing situations. To tell one more thing, self-esteem is also critical. If child has little self-esteem, the autonomy and proactive personality needed to live in society can be undermined. When sufficient attachment is formed, self-esteem develops together. In conclusion, I think metacognition and self-regulation are essential for children these days in the process of solving problems.
6. To become a very talented person, not only do children need to make an effort, but also the environment where children grow up will be important. What kind of parenting environment can raise creative talent?
Humans would be last animal to become independent. So, dependence on parents in childhood is high, and in fact, the role of environment and parents are more important than the child's efforts. Things like parents' attitudes, sanitation, and safety will satisfy the needs. When a child's movement becomes active, it is important to interact linguistically and gently with parents. Not controlling children excessively to explore proactively and autonomously and supporting brain development can be examples. Also, you must not expose children much to digital media during a young time.
7. What do you think is the most important attitude of a good parent?
Many people think love and trust between parents and children are natural, but it is not as natural as they think. There are mothers with various tendencies, such as mothers who control too much or are careful about everything. Children also have their tendencies, which is more important because they may or may not fit their mother. Sesalmaul Research Institute does not pursue different values. We will emphasize love and trust more by helping to overcome difficulties in each situation.
8. The importance of dialogue is emphasized in the relationship between parents and children, what do you think is a good way to communicate?
It is important to listen to a child and reflect them and show reactions. Parents should not forcefully inject what they want to tell them and what they think is important. Rather than injecting parents’ thoughts and conveying knowledge, they should interact with a child according to their interests. Touching is important for young children, and understanding, empathizing, touching, respecting their interests, listening to children, and reading emotions are examples. Attitudes of mutual respect are so important.
9. Please say a word to parents in Korea.
There's something I always say. Early in life is when the hardware is loaded on the brain, not software. Hangul, English words, addition, and subtraction are said as hardware, and healthy bodies, healthy brains, and healthy development are said as software. The machines are the same. If you are a computer with good specifications, it doesn't matter how many applications you download. People go to buy computers and check if they have good specifications, not asking how many applications are downloaded. If you play with your child happily and help to grow up to be loved much, he or she will become a child with healthy hardware. If your body and mind are healthy, you can learn academic skills by yourself later. I hope you will let your child play a lot and give a child a lot of love during childhood.
So far, we have heard the stories of the Sesalmaul Research Institute. As Sesalmaul Research Institute aims, I hope the parenting culture of Korea to be improved and married couples to take responsibility for raising with love together. Also, I hope that many children will grow into great talented people by raising them in a good environment and in the right way under their parents. Let's watch Gachon University students with more interest in the good influence of the Sesalmaul Research Institute.
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