BEIJING, May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- On May 11, 2013, the "Blue Bird Seed" project of China Charities Aid Foundation for Children (CCAFC) led a public welfare round-table summit at the Beijing Yulong International Hotel with the mission of discussing and promoting legislation of a half-day holiday for Children's Day, as well as exploring issues such as parents being able to accompany their child during the holiday. More than 10 representatives attended, including popular children's program host Ju Ping, Deputy Director General of CCAFC Li Qimin, official representative Jiang Jiwei, Fujian province NPC member Li Zhenhui, legal experts Liu Huili and Xia Zhize, public welfare organization representatives Li Xinmin and Wu Yin, school representative Gao Junmei, family education expert Niu Lin, humanics expert Liu Shibo, and psychologist Huang Xiaomei. The event was co-sponsored by Frog Prince (China) Daily Chemicals. Planning, organization, and implementation of the summit were handled by Guangzhou Hexiang Brand Management Company.
A half-day holiday on Children's Day is good for children's growth
The 64th Anniversary of China's first celebration of International Children's Day will come in a little more than 10 days. As we all know, a favorable family environment and time spent with one's parents are positive actions for the healthy growth of a child's mind and body. To achieve this goal, we need proactive engagement of the parents and other family members, as well as a harmonious environment across the whole of society, the government, educational institutions, and all organizations. Children's Day, which was originally set up with the healthy and happy growth of all children in mind, is a matter of great importance.
Li Qimin, deputy secretary general of the China National Committee for the Wellbeing of Youth and vice president of the China Charities Aid Foundation for Children, said at the summit that the Children's Day holiday should not only be for kids, but also a time of celebration for their parents. "Giving parents a half-day holiday is likely to strengthen the bond between children and their parents, which, in turn, will help promote an all-around healthy development of the children." As for the variety of events organized for children on the day, Li said, "Children are gathered to passively participate in many activities, which is not in the best interest of their balanced and healthy growth. If they show high engagement in their participation, their interpersonal skills, their ability to deal with day-to-day situations, their lifestyle, and even the ability to protect themselves will be improved." Beijing Wangjing Nanhu Dongyuan Elementary School president Gao Junmei agreed with the above view. In a survey of what kind of activities children like best on Children's Day conducted by Gao in her school, most responders selected physical competitions and visiting a museum, while very few chose to watch an artistic or theatrical performance. The reason is that children are more willing to be part of the activities rather than just an onlooker, forming their own values in the participation. As a result, participatory activities should be mandated during the holiday as children can build their characters and form their habits including life values through taking part in a series of activities as they grow up. However, one important thing to remember is that the activities should be those that are most conductive to children's growth as well as ones that children themselves choose to be a part of.
As for arranging holiday events for children, public welfare organization representative Li Xinmin, vice director of the project department at the China Charities Aid Foundation for Children, said that active rather than passive participation by children is encouraged. If a school designs Children's Day events that give children a sense of ownership and satisfaction, the event will be meaningful. "When designing events for children, public welfare organizations should focus on getting children in touch with their essential nature. By taking into account the priorities described in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, they must get down, look straight into the child's eyes, and learn what the child really wants."
As a government representative, Jiang Jiwei, vice director of Education Committee of Chaoyang District, Beijing and author of Introduction to Thinking Education, agreed to give parents a half-day holiday on June 1. Children's Day was established to guarantee the basic rights of parents and children amid lack of such a mechanism across the whole of society. "It is essential and humane to give parents a half-day holiday on Children's Day, and we should strongly advocate it."
Legislation guarantees Children's Day holiday
According to China's Regulation on Public Holidays for National Annual Festivals and Memorial Days, children under the age of 14 are entitled to a one-day holiday on Children's Day. However, parents cannot enjoy being with their children on that day because they do not have the day off. For this reason, Children's Day has been labeled "an angel without wings" by some online pundits.
In recent years, the debate on whether to give parents a holiday on June 1 has been heating up. In 2009, Liu Hongyu, CPPCC National Committee member and Beijing's NPC member, called for legislation that would make June 1 a holiday for parents of children aged below 14. In 2011, two mothers in Tianhe District, Guangzhou held up placards and collected signatures in the downtown area, asking for a day off on June 1 so they could be with their children. In May 2012, the "Blue Bird Seed" project of the China Charities Aid Foundation for Children gathered more than 30 entrepreneurs, industry associations, and media representatives to sign the "Half-Day Holiday - Caring Pact" in Guangzhou, under which they promise to provide a half-day holiday on June 1 to employees with children under the age of 14. The move attracted widespread attention, leading to an unprecedented cry for the half-day Children's Day holiday. Driven by the strong demand, market watchers look to promote the legislation on the occasion of this year's June 1, as a channel through which to protect children's rights by legal means.
Li Zhenhui, Fujian province's NPC member and chairman of Frog Prince (China) Daily Chemicals, is showing his support for the proposal by implementing a half-day Children's Day holiday for parents in 2012. "The new policy has brought about a better atmosphere, increased cohesiveness, and higher working efficiency. It makes a difference by not only resulting in better economic benefits but also demonstrating the company's social responsibility of caring about the healthy and happy growth of children." Li Zhenhui is also taking actions to move the legislation forward.
Reputed public welfare lawyer Liu Huili also voiced agreement and expressed several arguments in favor of the legislation. "Whether in terms of public opinion or social physical infrastructure, China's first-tier cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou can play an exemplary role thanks to their well-established legislative environment and eventually promote the legislation across the whole of society," Liu said. Another well-known lawyer Xia Zhize had a different viewpoint, explaining that getting the legislation in place is a difficult task and requires great effort, and that the problem can be solved by continuously calling for action from all circles. Liu Shibo, a doctor of cultural anthropology at Sun Yat-sen University, said that the legislation is not as difficult as we imagine and it is feasible with the help of people from all walks of life.
CCTV's well-known children's show host Ju Ping said that we should attach importance to newer holidays like Children's Day in addition to long-established, traditional folk holidays such as the Dragon Boat Festival.
Call for parents to spend time with their children in the name of love
It is too early to tell whether legislation of a half-day holiday for Children's Day can succeed. However, according to information gained from the summit, the legislation is feasible from a legal viewpoint. In the opinion of the attendees, legislation is just a means and the ultimate goal is to call on parents to spend more time being with their children, as the parents' presence in their children's lives plays a vital role in their healthy growth.
"Intimate Mom" Niu Lin emphasized at the summit that time spent with fathers is more important "because children have most of their contact with their mothers and female teachers." In a survey of "who is the person that children prefer as a story teller," fathers won out over mothers. As a result, fathers should take their children out on walks in nature as well as along a crowded street, to help them integrate into society. In addition to oral communication, skin-to-skin contact such as hugging are important parts of showing love and affection. Time spent with children is the essence of their lives.
Renowned psychologist Huang Xiaomei said that time spent with parents is the best gift for children and is the reason why children love their parents. "Many parents hurt their children in the name of love, and we must let them know how they can set good examples. Giving parents a holiday on Children's Day offers a good chance to see if they can pass the test."
As the sponsor of the event, "Blue Bird Seed" founder and CEO Wu Yin commented, "Through the legislation of a half-day holiday for Children's Day, we look to inspire people to think about the issue of spending quality time with their children, and our aim is to let parents know the importance of spending that time with their children every day."
To sum up, calling on parents to spend more time with their children is the ultimate goal, and legislation may be the best choice in the current environment.
SOURCE Guangzhou Hexiang Brand Management Company