Tag Archives: wise habits

How to Deal With Your Teenager

Live and Learn
How to Deal With Your Teenager

by Kru Dokmai, Head Teachers (Thai)


I’d like to share what I read about how to deal with teenagers. As many of you know I have 2 children. They are 11 and 6 years old. For the older girl, I imagine it will be easy to deal with her when she is an adult, but it’s not easy at this age (11-12 years old). The way I treated her before doesn’t work anymore!

This article helped me to understand teenagers more, and is helping me learn how to deal with my own pre-teen. As your kids go into their teen years, many things will begin to change. To get along and help your teen develop in a positive direction, you’ll need to change your expectations and develop empathy, all the while establishing boundaries.

Creating a safe, supportive, structured, and loving environment is as important for you as it is for your teen.

Adjusting to Their Independence

1. Treat them like a teen, not a child or adult. Your teen is not a small child anymore, so it’s important to adjust your expectations and not treat them like a child. However, teens are not quite adults and cannot be held responsible as an adult. The teenage brain is in the middle of a critical stage of development, and teens need you to help them through this part of their lives.

2. Be flexible with their freedoms. If your teen is making an effort and showing their responsibility, allow more freedom. If they are making bad choices, be more restrictive. Ultimately, show them that their behavior gives them freedom or restrictions and their own choices determine their outcomes.

3. Focus on trust, not suspicion. It’s true that teens can get into a lot of trouble, but don’t focus your attention on the bad things they’ve done in the past or the risks they might face. If you think your teen may be up to something, have them explain it to you fully. Ask questions instead of jumping to conclusions.

Enforcing rules and consequences

1. Stay calm. If you are angry, take a moment and gather yourself. Take a few deep breaths or walk away and come back when you’re calmer. This way, you’re more likely to give reasonable consequences.

2. Establish boundaries and stick to them. The teen should know what is expected of them. Teens will want to push the boundaries, so remain firm when you set a limit. Discuss these boundaries with your teen, and let them have a say in how they work. They are more likely to follow rules that they helped establish. Put boundaries and rules in writing so that there’s no confusion as to what’s expected of your teen.

3. Enforce consequences. Learning to navigate problem behaviors can be tricky. If you’re too lenient, your teen may think they have no limits or you don’t take their behavior seriously. However, if you’re too strict, your teen may grow to resent you or they may rebel. When your teen breaks a rule, calmly tell them what they did and why they are in trouble. When deciding on a consequence, make sure it’s proportional to the behavior and not given out of anger.

4. Be reasonable. One of the best ways to be reasonable is to listen to your teen’s perspective. When they’re in trouble, ask them what a reasonable consequence might be. Get their input and consider their perspective.

5. Handle conflicts. Sometimes, your teens may want to prove themselves to you or test their independence in your home. Refuse to fight with them. You can avoid major conflicts by monitoring your own reactions to your teen, even if you think they’re being outrageous.

6. Use effective communication. Keep a path of open communication between you whenever possible so they can ask questions, admit mistakes, and reach out when they need help. Instead of jumping to conclusions about your teen’s behavior, ask questions.

Showing Your Love

1. Have fun together. Make sure you find time to enjoy your teen.

2. Develop empathy. Your teen is looking for someone to understand what they’re going through. They generally don’t need you to fix their problems for them (they’ll figure that out for themselves), but they need someone who’ll listen to and empathize with them.

3. Honor and respect your teen. Just as you want your teen to treat you with respect, treat them with respect as well. Constantly yelling at a child can damage their emotions and cause them to feel insecure.

4. Support your teen’s interests. Get them involved in the activities they enjoy and show that you support them. This shows that you care and are invested in their skills and happiness.

5. Open your home to your teenager’s friends. Be a good sport by opening your own home to them. Create a space where they can hang out by themselves but you can casually walk through.

6. Be available to them. Show your love to your teen by being there for them. Not all teens want to talk with their parents, but let them know you’re willing to listen.

Enjoy quality time with your teenager!

Source: The article was co-authored by Paul Chernyak, LPC. Paul Chernyak is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Chicago. He graduated from the American School of Professional Psychology in 2011.


Tea with Teachers: Answers to Parents’ Questions

Here are answers to the questions parents asked during our recent Tea with Teachers event at Panyaden.

1. Can you explain your teaching methods?
In all classes, we aim to boost students’ independence and their sense of responsibility for their own learning. Key elements that we put in place include the following:

  • We keep lecture-style lessons to a minimum. Teachers keep instructions and explanations to 5-15 minutes maximum, then the focus turns to learning in small groups and or as individuals.
  • We involve students in identifying success criteria for the tasks at hand. Having a clear picture of the goal helps them self-monitor their progress.
  • We start the year with a unit about how the brain works and teach them how to learn more efficiently. Learning how to learn!
  • We accept mistakes and teach students ways to learn from them.
  • We describe their learning and behavior in non-judgmental words, leading them to assess themselves instead on relying on us.
  • We present the same information in different ways so students with different learning needs can access it reach the same goal.

2. Will K2 students learn combined vowel sounds in Thai language? (K2 parent)
In Kindergarten 2 Thai, children will be encouraged to read aloud a wide range of stories and listen to poems which they will start to recite by heart. They will become confident in being able to identify letters and will strengthen their learning of phonological awareness. They will be exposed to a range of daily sight words containing the simple and combined vowel sounds, and will practise forming individual Thai letters.

ในวิชาภาษาไทยสำหรับระดับชั้นอนุบาล 2 นักเรียนจะได้รับการส่งเสริมการอ่านหนังสือและนิทานที่หลากหลาย และได้ฟังบทกลอน บทกวีที่เหมาะสมตามวัย เพื่อพัฒนาทักษะด้านภาษาจากภายในอย่างเป็นธรรมชาติ
นักเรียนจะได้เรียนรู้เกี่ยวกับพยัญชนะไทยและพัฒนาความมั่นใจในการจำแนกเสียงของคำจากเสียงพยัญชนะ นอกจากนั้น นักเรียนจะได้เริ่มเรียนรู้และคุ้นเคยกับคำศัพท์ประจำวันที่ประสมด้วยสระอย่างง่ายเพื่อพัฒนาการเรียนรู้การสะกดคำในระดับสูงต่อไป

3. How can foreign parents help their kids to learn Thai?
Learning a second language yourself is a powerful way to model the importance of that second language but, maybe even more importantly, it’s a way to show your child that learning is a lifelong endeavour and that taking risks and doing something difficult is actually enjoyable! However, you don’t have to master a second language to help your child. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Provide learning materials that match your child’s interests: books, games, music, etc.
  • Organise activities where your child will have to use his second language: horse riding, swimming lessons, a visit to a theme park, etc.
  • Invite a neighbour or a friend who speaks the targeted language.
  • Show your personal interest in the language.
  • Read to your child in your first language but find someone to read to her in her second language or use audio books.

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4. Can the school increase the length of English learning time? (Year 2 parent)
Children in Year 1-7 have 5 hours of focused English language time each week but are also learning and practising English at other times, such as during integrated learning (maths, science, history, geography) and performing arts, so there are many more hours of English per week than in the English language lesson. As a bilingual school, we put equal emphasis on English and Thai.

5. How can we as parents support at home?
For Year 1-7 we will be sending activities home that aim to involve parents. On top of that, we suggest that parents:

  • Encourage reading by reading to your children every day, making sure that they see you reading, and limiting screen time.
  • Arrange a quiet, comfortable space for children to read or do homework and avoid distractions – like the TV being on – during that time.
  • Come to our parent-teacher workshops later this term where we will share ideas about our approaches to learning and behaviour. We will notify you of dates in advance.
  • Ask your children to explain the Wise Habits each time we send information about them home and look for opportunities to reflect upon them with our child.

6. Can we have access to the curriculum?
Yes, the UK curriculum is publically available and can be viewed here: Early Years Primary Years 1-7

Information about the The International Primary Curriculum – which is the tool we use to organise the different subjects into themes and units can be viewed here: IPC

7. Can we see the Thai language curriculum for Year 5?
Yes, we have the Thai curriculum for every grade at school as a PDF file. Any parents who would like to get a copy, please write to Kru Dokmai at dokmai@panyaden.ac.th.

ทางโรงเรียนมีหลักสูตรภาษาไทยสำหรับทุกระดับชั้นในไฟล์เอกสาร หากผู้ปกครองท่านใดต้องการสำเนา สามารถติดต่อครูดอกไม้ได้ตามอีเมลนี้ dokmai@panyaden.ac.th.

8. Can we have an overview of the following 3-4 months, upcoming festivities, field trips?
Main school events are available from the school’s calendar. We will also be sending home a summary of the term’s learning activities each term. This will be done soon.

9. What is the main language of communication among children?
Teachers only speak their first language with students. We expect all students to communicate with teachers in the teacher’s first language. Children choose the language they will use among themselves and we hear a lot of switching between Thai and English with English tending to dominate with the older students. To fully support Thai and English we monitor and adjust, in every group, the number of speakers who don’t have Thai or English as a first language.

Panyaden Wise Habit 2014: Sati


‘Sati’ by Neil Amas, Panyaden School Director

Wise Habit Sati session at Panyaden School Chiang Mai
Sati is most commonly translated as presence of mind, awareness or mindfulness. It originates from the Sanskrit word smṛti, the root meaning of which is ‘to remember’ and as such an important aspect of sati is retention or recollection. To have sati is to be fully present, not lost in daydreams, anticipation or worry. It is being alert and attentive to everything as it is, not filtering things though our subjective opinions. It is also remembering to be aware of something or to do something at a designated time in the future.

In order to cultivate sati one needs to faithfully return back to refocus on an object whenever the mind wanders away from it. Venerable Ajahn Jayasaro explains, ‘’Mindfulness is not a floating, nebulous ‘awareness.’ You can’t just be mindful. You always have to be mindful of something.’’ The Buddha identified four objects for us to maintain calm awareness of in day-to-day life (satipatthana): our body and bodily functions (such as the breathing), sensations (feelings), state of mind (whether concentrated, scattered, discontented etc) and mental phenomena (such as the Four Noble Truths).

Sati is part of the Noble Eightfold Path. Practising Right Effort (samma vayamo), Right Awareness (samma sati) and Right Concentration (samma samadhi) together helps us to train the mind to be calm, balanced and, ultimately, freed from the dissatisfactions that cloud our thoughts. As unwholesome or negative thoughts arise in the mind, we apply sati to recognise them and prevent them from causing difficulty or unpleasantness. Sati is the moderating tool we use to assess our practice and progress in the other Wise Habits. For example, if we make a strong determination to avoid harming others (avihimsa), “we immediately illuminate, whenever it arises, the intention to harm. We become mindful of the intention to harm” (Venerable Jayasaro). Sati also helps us identify the right balance between the Wise Habits. We might become aware that although we have plenty of enthusiasm for a task (chandha), we lack sufficient patience to complete it (khanti). Sati is like a mental witness, a built in system of notes and reminders which helps us stay present, learn from past mistakes, do things better next time.

Ajahn Jayasaro, Panyaden School Chiang MaiVenerable Ajahn Jayasaro advises parents and teachers to realise clearly what we are doing at the present, what we are teaching now, what students are learning now and whether they are listening to us. This helps us to keep focusing on teaching or parenting, doing our best to teach and guide our children continuously without being distracted. There are times when we talk to our children with one eye on the computer, or with our minds thinking about what happened at work today or what chores we need to do later. And yet we also experience times when we give full attention to what we are doing with our children. This tends to result in a happier, healthier experience for everyone.

We need to encourage eye contact from our children, remind them to place their shoes neatly on the shoe rack, ask them to describe the taste of their food, have them check their bags routinely before school in the morning, encourage self-awareness of sensations and feelings when they get angry or upset and remind them of their home and classroom responsibilities. A child who kicks off his shoes, gulps down her food, forgets her school book or loses his temper easily does not have sati. We might encourage ourselves and our children to choose a particular activity such as preparing or eating a meal, washing the dishes, or taking a walk, and make an effort to be fully mindful of the task as we perform it. In time we will find ourselves paying more attention to everything.

Changing the mental habits and conditioning of a lifetime, no matter how short, is not easy. But as we develop sati the mind becomes lucid, the body alert and we are able to think with clarity and composure, to make wise choices, to know our responsibilities and improve ourselves. No matter how brief the moment that the mind is fully focused and attentive to the present, it is very powerful.

If we are unaware of our present actions we are condemned to repeating our mistakes from the past and never achieving our dreams for the future. It is said that if you miss the moment, you miss your life. How much of our lives have we missed? Be mindful!

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คลิกที่นี่ สำหรับภาษาไทย – คุณธรรม ๑๒ ประการ โรงเรียนปัญญาเด่น : สติ

Kindergarten 2 Science

Fun with Colour

Kindergarten 2- Tie-dye T-shirts, Panyaden School

Over the past week, Kindergarten 2 has been experimenting with colour. Through various activities and keen observation, they learned to differentiate the spectrum of colours and hues. Take a look at the bright tie-dye tees they made for themselves!

During the experiments, our children also learned to apply wise habits like chanda (being enthusiastic), viriya (perseverance) along with khanti (being patient and tolerant).

More photos of Kindergarten 2’s Science experiments here.

Panyaden School Kindergarten 2 class with their colourful T-shirts
Kindergarten 2 class with their colourful T-shirts

Kindergarten 2 fun with colours, Panyaden School Chiang Mai Kindergarten 2 Science - Fun with colour, Panyaden School

Panyaden Giving Project

Panyaden School Chiang Mai Logo

Panyaden’s Philippines Appeal

December 4‐December 15

As part of Panyaden’s Giving Project, we want to extend our helping hands to those who have been affected by the devastating typhoon that swept through the Philippines. We will be launching a Philippines Appeal beginning Dec 4 and lasting two weeks. Students will be asked to bring in donations to their classes and will host after‐school activities to raise awareness and funds.

By working together, we want students, parents, and teachers to cultivate the wise habits Caga (generosity), delighting in unconditional giving, sharing or relinquishing and Metta‐Karuna (kindness and compassion). As Venerable Jayasaro notes, “few things enhance the sense of connection between family members as group acts of generosity.” We also want to emphasize the importance of being environmentally mindful and the need to collectively protect our earth.

Learn more about the upcoming Philippines Appeal from our P5-6 student ambassadors at the Friends of Panyaden Flea market on Friday 29 Nov (from 3.30pm – 6.00pm)!

Who will send our funds to the Philippines?

Our fundraising efforts will support the work of the UK‐based organization DEC (Disasters Emergency Committee). We have selected the DEC based on its successful track record in aid distribution, direct contact with NGOs that work on the ground and long‐term commitment to the relief effort.

For more information: https://www.dec.org.uk/appeals/philippines‐typhoon‐appeal


On Samadhi by Neil Amas, School Director

DSC_1708 Neil Amas, Panyaden School Director

The word samadhi originates from the Sanskrit sam-a-dha, meaning “to bring together.” It is usually translated as “concentration” or composing of the mind. It is the mind that does not waver, does not scatter itself and is focused on the task at hand despite being disturbed, persuaded or provoked. When we achieve samadhi we attain the calm and collectedness needed to make wise choices and decisions.

Samadhi is the second of the three divisions of the Noble Eightfold Path, sila (moral development), samadhi (mind development ) and panya (wisdom development). Samma samadhi, ‘or right concentration’ is part of this second division and refers to “single pointedness of mind” or concentrating the mind to the point of mental absorption, leading ultimately to successively higher mind states (jhana).

In everyday actions of ordinary life we require concentration, but this is not necessarily ‘right concentration’ as taught by the Buddha. A mind of single intent is capable of doing what it does more effectively, be it good or bad. The skilled pickpocket must have a high capacity for concentrated thought; the cat waits with all its attention focused on its prey. But samma samadhi refers only to concentration that leads to beneficial thoughts and actions. In Buddhist teachings, before we can achieve samadhi, we must overcome the ‘Five Hindrances’ to a calm and focused mind: sensual desire or greed, ill will or aversion, restlessness or anxiety, laziness or lethargy and doubt. With right effort and mindfulness these conditions begin to lose their power and the mind gets firmly established in right concentration.

A mind firmly composed by samadhi provides the foundation from which to achieve the other Wise Habits. Undisturbed by distraction or persuasion, we set the mind on persevering with the task at hand (viriya), to keep our word (sacca) or endure difficulties with patience (khanti). With a strong determination we watch over ourselves to keep our thoughts and actions firmly in line with what is practical, logical and beneficial (yoniso-manasika).  ‘’A steadfast and unwavering heart is free of apprehension, remorse and confusion concerning our actions and speech. This is samadhi’’ (Venerable Ajahn Chah).


As parents and teachers we are always hoping our children will improve their concentration skills.  We can do this by reducing distractions, such as the TV or computer, while they are working on their homework. We can set them activities that require progressively prolonged periods of concentration and offer praise and encouragement for their efforts. Basic meditation techniques to promote calm and focus can be introduced from an early age. From counting the breath to listening to sounds around them with their eyes closed, recalling each one to you afterwards. Older children are able to sit for an increasing number of minutes in silent meditation.  They can start by keeping the focus of attention on their breath, raising their hand each time the mind wanders off.  Children often have a surprising propensity for higher states of concentration. But whatever the capacity and length of time, the calm and collectedness that result from meditation, and the enhanced thinking skills that result, are proven and hugely beneficial to all of us.

Venerable Ajahn Jayasaro writes “if we can compose our mind with sati, we have no need to depend on sleeping pills, alcohol, ‘retail therapy’ or other unwholesome ways to help us relax. When the mind is peaceful, we are better able to reflect, we increase our perseverance and patience, faith in our practice and we understand more. As we understand more, our faith increases, and so on, the cycle continues.’’

If we train the mind in a wholesome way, it becomes calm and assured, bringing a sense of peacefulness not only to oneself, but also to those around us. The mind that reaches samadhi is like the moon which has emerged from behind the clouds clear, sharp and bright.

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Wise Habit Samadhi Week 3

Panyaden School Wise Habit, Samadhi Week 3 Slide1

Today Master Samadhi and Kru Ou led a 1-minute meditation with the students. The Master also read letters from Kru Goy and Kru Timber commending their Prathom 5-6 students for using Samadhi (being calm and focused) when they led their parents in different activities on Budding Day. We also had a wonderful surprise visit from the Kung Fu Chef  who came out of retirement to remind the students to remember to apply all the wise habits that we have learnt.

Panyaden School Samadhi Week 3 Panyaden Samadhi 18

See more photos here and on Facebook.

Panyaden Wise Habit – Not Harming

dsc_2611 Students in assembly hall of green school Panyaden (Chiang Mai)

Our first wise habit this term is Avihimsa or ‘not harming’. Wise Habits Grandmaster, Kung Fu Chef, has now grown old and handed over some of his teaching duties to his disciples. Today he introduced Master Avihimsa to the students at morning assembly and his disciple showed two skits of how words and actions can hurt yourself and others. Firstly, a student was mean about another student’s book. Then, two students were gossiping about a friend when he walked by and caught them.

Our students volunteered 3 suggestions of how to practice this virtue:
1. Use polite words to everyone
2. Playing fairly and nicely with friends
3. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all!

dsc_2634a Teachers acting out roles to teach students school's wise habits, Panyaden School Chiang Mai dsc_2690a Learning about wise habit, Avihimsa at Panyaden School Chiang Mai

Photos of this morning’s session are on the blog image gallery. Click here.

Teacher Training – Panyaden Approach and Policy

Teacher's Training at Panyaden School Chiang Mai

Our last training session before the start of term focused on school policy and approach. We quizzed each other on key school rules and procedures and made presentations on
the Wise Habits in order to integrate our new teachers and encourage a common and consistent understanding of
doing things the Panyaden way!

image_2 Teachers during training at Panyaden School Chiang Mai image_3 Panyaden School Director Neil Amas conducting teacher training image_13 Neil Amas, Panyaden School Director training teachers

Term 1 My Project

Grand Opening at Panyaden School

Parent cutting ribbon at My Project Grand Opening, Panyaden School Chiang Mai

What a delight to see the wonderful projects our students have created through a lot of teamwork and perseverance! All 7 teams of Panyaden’s Prathom students presented photos and slideshows to their parents, peers and teachers.

Students' bilingual presentation of their independent learning projects, Panyaden international School Chiang Mai  Panyaden International School Chiang Mai primary students giving a bilingual presentation  My project: students giving a bilingual presentation at Panyaden International School in Chiang Mai  Ribbon cutting at Panyaden International School's My Project Grand Opening in Chiang Mai

Our students have invested a lot of thought, planning, focus, commitment and teamwork into the making of each project. Today’s bilingual presentation was a good way of wrapping up as well as for each student to step back and give us their perspective on what they have learnt throughout the whole process. It was clear how much fun our children had interacting and working alongside their schoolmates. They shared with us what they liked or disliked, the difficulties and joys they faced. They showed us which wise habits they used along the way, in particular khanti (patience), viriya (perseverance) and chanda (enthusiasm).

Panyaden’s Head Teachers, Kru Dokmai and Kru Michel (who both spearheaded this programme), facilitators as well as other teachers and parents have every reason to be proud of the growth and learning these children have shown.


Happy house made of bamboo and mud by students of Panyaden International School Chiang Mai        Students on plastic boat made by their classmates, Panyaden International School Chiang Mai  Panyaden School Chiang Mai student project: boat made of recycled water bottles

Click on following Panyaden blog links to see slideshows and more photos of the various projects:

Slideshows of individual projects:

  1. Boat Part 1
  2. Boat Part 2
  3. Bamboo Bridge
  4. Happy House
  5. Balloon-powered Cars
  6. Friendly Panyaden Students Magazine
  7. Making Clothes
  8. Wall Murals

Photos taken on 24 Aug by Ally Taylor