The Medical City Holds Forum on Resilience, Balance, and Children’s Emotional Wellness

By The Medical City , | July 04, 2019

The success of every individual begins at childhood. The way children are raised helps build their ladder to success. For this reason, the 8th Season of the Preschool Congress focused on “The 5 Cs: Building Blocks to Success.” The Preschool Congress is a yearly event hosted by the Center for Developmental Pediatrics (CDP) of premier health institution The Medical City (TMC).


The success of every individual begins at childhood. The way children are raised helps build their ladder to success.

For this reason, the 8th Season of the Preschool Congress focused on “The 5 Cs: Building Blocks to Success.” The Preschool Congress is a yearly event hosted by the Center for Developmental Pediatrics (CDP) of premier health institution The Medical City (TMC).

The event was held recently at the Liseng Giap Auditorium of the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) in Ortigas, Pasig City and was attended by over 400 participants composed of parents, teachers, guidance counselors, school administrators, and healthcare professionals.

The Preschool Congress was divided into two sessions with the morning session dedicated to the lectures and the afternoon for workshops. Topics discussed during the morning session were “Resiliency as the New Intelligence,” “All about Balance: Laying the Ground for Structure and Creativity in Children,” and “The Foundations of Emotional Wellness.” Specialists from the TMC-CDP and Center for Behavioral Health (CBH) were the speakers during the forum.

The first speaker, Dr. Stella Manalo, pointed out the importance of resiliency, defined as “the ability of a person to overcome stress and adversity with adaptive or positive outcomes.” (Bowes & Jaffee, 2013) Dr. Manalo is the head of the TMC Department of Pediatrics Section of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

To fully understand what resilience is, it is important to have a clear grasp of the concept of stress. Dr. Manalo cited stress as an integral part of life. Resiliency occurs when adults support children and help them cope adaptively to the various stressors they encounter as they journey through life.

Dr. Manalo said parents and educators should equip children with tools to overcome adversity and build resiliency by strengthening the following factors: competence and confidence, connectedness, communication, creativity, and critical thinking. These are the 5Cs to success.

The second lecture was equally important as it talked about striving for balance in the lives of children. Dr. Kaye Napalinga said that in order to optimize a child’s development and overall functioning, it is necessary to find a balance between his or her various activities.

“Developing your child’s body, mind, and person are critical components in his or her ongoing development.  To achieve balance, nutrition, sleep, physical movement, mitigating early childhood adversity and promoting healthy relationships are essential,” said Dr. Napalinga.

She added that play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth.

Dr. Napalinga and the rest of the speakers reiterated the screen time (electronic media use) guidelines for children. Based on experts’ recommendations, children younger than 18 months should avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they are seeing.

This also holds true for children aged two to five. Screen use should be limited to one hour per day of high-quality programs and parents should co-view media with children. For children, aged six years and older, consistent limits should be placed on the time spent using media, and on the types of media, and to make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity, and other behaviors essential to health.

The third talk was about the Foundations of Emotional Wellness delivered by Dr. Jacqueline Navarro, TMC-CDP director, and Dr. Mary Daryl Joyce Lindo-Calleja, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Consultant-Director of TMC-CBH. Dr. Calleja is a member of the member of the Philippine Psychiatric Association.

Emotional wellness is also referred to as mental health, emotional intelligence, and social/emotional development. Its core features are the ability to identify and understand one’s own feelings, accurately read and comprehend the emotional states in others, manage strong emotions and their expression in a constructive manner, regulate one’s own behavior, develop empathy for others, and establish and sustain relationships.

Factors that help with emotional wellness include having high quality relationships, helping children label and identify emotions, having appropriate expectations of the child’s development, and reinforcing positive social behaviors.

Positive social behaviors need to be reinforced for children for them to understand what behaviors are desirable. Parents should also focus on being more specific when praising their children. A child who shares his toy should be praised for his socially appropriate behavior.

The afternoon workshops, facilitated by TMC-CDP specialists, featured sessions on Building Creativity through Play,” “Mastering the Art of Critical Thinking and Competence,” and “Navigating Emotions and Experiences of Children.

For inquiries and registration, please contact The Medical City Center for Developmental Pediatrics at 9881000 or 9887000 ext. 6630.

About the CDP

Established in 2009, the CDP is the first in the Philippines to offer routine developmental screening and surveillance for children 0 to 8 years old. This ensures that they will get all the help and guidance they need while growing up. Parents of children without any known developmental concerns may still bring their children to the center for routine screening.

The CDP offers a complete range of services for children, from developmental screening to therapy services. The services include Developmental Screening, Feeding Difficulty Evaluation and Management, Comprehensive Developmental Evaluation and Diagnosis, Multidisciplinary Team Conference, Neuropsychological Evaluation, Therapy services (Speech and Language therapy, Occupational therapy, Physical therapy), Special Education Evaluation and Liaison, and Family Education and Support Service.

The center’s specialists and allied medical professionals provide a complete evaluation of children with developmental or behavioral needs. The diagnosis and management of children with developmental or behavioral conditions are done by a multidisciplinary team of specialists. The CDP’s therapy services are designed for children who require services such as occupational, speech and physical therapy.



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The Medical City Holds Forum on Resilience, Balance, and Children’s Emotional Wellness

By The Medical City ,

July 04, 2019


The success of every individual begins at childhood. The way children are raised helps build their ladder to success. For this reason, the 8th Season of the Preschool Congress focused on “The 5 Cs: Building Blocks to Success.” The Preschool Congress is a yearly event hosted by the Center for Developmental Pediatrics (CDP) of premier health institution The Medical City (TMC).

The success of every individual begins at childhood. The way children are raised helps build their ladder to success.

For this reason, the 8th Season of the Preschool Congress focused on “The 5 Cs: Building Blocks to Success.” The Preschool Congress is a yearly event hosted by the Center for Developmental Pediatrics (CDP) of premier health institution The Medical City (TMC).

The event was held recently at the Liseng Giap Auditorium of the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) in Ortigas, Pasig City and was attended by over 400 participants composed of parents, teachers, guidance counselors, school administrators, and healthcare professionals.

The Preschool Congress was divided into two sessions with the morning session dedicated to the lectures and the afternoon for workshops. Topics discussed during the morning session were “Resiliency as the New Intelligence,” “All about Balance: Laying the Ground for Structure and Creativity in Children,” and “The Foundations of Emotional Wellness.” Specialists from the TMC-CDP and Center for Behavioral Health (CBH) were the speakers during the forum.

The first speaker, Dr. Stella Manalo, pointed out the importance of resiliency, defined as “the ability of a person to overcome stress and adversity with adaptive or positive outcomes.” (Bowes & Jaffee, 2013) Dr. Manalo is the head of the TMC Department of Pediatrics Section of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

To fully understand what resilience is, it is important to have a clear grasp of the concept of stress. Dr. Manalo cited stress as an integral part of life. Resiliency occurs when adults support children and help them cope adaptively to the various stressors they encounter as they journey through life.

Dr. Manalo said parents and educators should equip children with tools to overcome adversity and build resiliency by strengthening the following factors: competence and confidence, connectedness, communication, creativity, and critical thinking. These are the 5Cs to success.

The second lecture was equally important as it talked about striving for balance in the lives of children. Dr. Kaye Napalinga said that in order to optimize a child’s development and overall functioning, it is necessary to find a balance between his or her various activities.

“Developing your child’s body, mind, and person are critical components in his or her ongoing development.  To achieve balance, nutrition, sleep, physical movement, mitigating early childhood adversity and promoting healthy relationships are essential,” said Dr. Napalinga.

She added that play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth.

Dr. Napalinga and the rest of the speakers reiterated the screen time (electronic media use) guidelines for children. Based on experts’ recommendations, children younger than 18 months should avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they are seeing.

This also holds true for children aged two to five. Screen use should be limited to one hour per day of high-quality programs and parents should co-view media with children. For children, aged six years and older, consistent limits should be placed on the time spent using media, and on the types of media, and to make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity, and other behaviors essential to health.

The third talk was about the Foundations of Emotional Wellness delivered by Dr. Jacqueline Navarro, TMC-CDP director, and Dr. Mary Daryl Joyce Lindo-Calleja, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Consultant-Director of TMC-CBH. Dr. Calleja is a member of the member of the Philippine Psychiatric Association.

Emotional wellness is also referred to as mental health, emotional intelligence, and social/emotional development. Its core features are the ability to identify and understand one’s own feelings, accurately read and comprehend the emotional states in others, manage strong emotions and their expression in a constructive manner, regulate one’s own behavior, develop empathy for others, and establish and sustain relationships.

Factors that help with emotional wellness include having high quality relationships, helping children label and identify emotions, having appropriate expectations of the child’s development, and reinforcing positive social behaviors.

Positive social behaviors need to be reinforced for children for them to understand what behaviors are desirable. Parents should also focus on being more specific when praising their children. A child who shares his toy should be praised for his socially appropriate behavior.

The afternoon workshops, facilitated by TMC-CDP specialists, featured sessions on Building Creativity through Play,” “Mastering the Art of Critical Thinking and Competence,” and “Navigating Emotions and Experiences of Children.

For inquiries and registration, please contact The Medical City Center for Developmental Pediatrics at 9881000 or 9887000 ext. 6630.

About the CDP

Established in 2009, the CDP is the first in the Philippines to offer routine developmental screening and surveillance for children 0 to 8 years old. This ensures that they will get all the help and guidance they need while growing up. Parents of children without any known developmental concerns may still bring their children to the center for routine screening.

The CDP offers a complete range of services for children, from developmental screening to therapy services. The services include Developmental Screening, Feeding Difficulty Evaluation and Management, Comprehensive Developmental Evaluation and Diagnosis, Multidisciplinary Team Conference, Neuropsychological Evaluation, Therapy services (Speech and Language therapy, Occupational therapy, Physical therapy), Special Education Evaluation and Liaison, and Family Education and Support Service.

The center’s specialists and allied medical professionals provide a complete evaluation of children with developmental or behavioral needs. The diagnosis and management of children with developmental or behavioral conditions are done by a multidisciplinary team of specialists. The CDP’s therapy services are designed for children who require services such as occupational, speech and physical therapy.


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