Healthy Ways to View Your Child | Episode 4 SHICHIDA Podcast

In this episode we invited the Centre Manager for the SHICHIDA Australia Parramatta campus, Shabnam Hashemi, to talk about her experience raising 3 young boys. Join us as we chat to Shabby about how to view your children in a healthy and constructive manner, so that they can grow up with confidence.


Danh: Hello, everybody, and welcome to another episode of the SHICHDIA Shining Stars podcast, a podcast where we address all the questions parents have about early childhood education. My name is Mr. Danh, and with me today is a very special guest. She is the center manager of the Parramatta campus of SHICHIDA Australia. Please welcome to the show, Shabnam. Hi, Shabby!

Shabby: Hi. Thank you for having me.

Danh: Thank you for joining us. Shabby is here today to talk us through some of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to how parents view their children. Parenting can, of course, be challenging, especially for new parents. It is very easy to fall into parenting pitfalls that can have a detrimental effect on both you and your child.

Making mistakes is inevitable. No parent is perfect, and it is through these mistakes that we learn how to be better. Hopefully by the end of this episode, we will all have a better understanding on how to view your child in a healthy and constructive way.

So Shabby, your kids are SHICHIDA kids, right?

Shabby: Yeah, that’s right. So I have three boys and I’ve put them all through SHICHIDA. When I started working here, I was fascinated by the philosophy. So as a mom, I thought, wow, I would love this for my kids. And my oldest at the time was four years old, so I got him in just in time. And yeah, so he started when he was four and the others started quite younger.

At the moment, my eldest is ten years old. Middle child is turning eight very soon and my youngest is six. So at the time they were quite young when I started them, the younger two, and they’ve been coming to classes for the last 4 to 5 years, I would say. Once a week they’re coming to classes and yeah, I can say honestly, they’ve I can see a lot of benefits with them coming to SHICHIDA.

You know, it’s just a part of their life now. Recently my eldest actually graduated. Last year he finished and we had their graduation ceremony. It was wonderful. It was very lovely to see and see all the families coming together and just to see all that talent in one place. As a as a mother and a teacher, it really made me feel happy.

It’s like I was with those students and also my own kids saved from the start of the journey. And to see them taking so much out of the program at the end is so rewarding. Yeah. So yeah, I’m really happy that I did find SHICHIDA when I did and I was able to put in all three boys.

Danh: Yeah, I’m really happy that you’ve had a positive experience with SHICHIDA and yeah, I mean, bringing in three kids for weekly classes, you know, although it is a massive benefit to them, it must’ve come with a few difficulties as well, right? Even just in terms of scheduling all that around their other activities. Did you ever find it difficult?

Shabby: Well, I mean, I wouldn’t use the word difficult because just even as adults, if you really like something, if you really want to do something, you do your best to do it. I would say it wasn’t a difficulty, but it was more that we did have to overcome a few things in terms of scheduling. So we knew what we wanted. We wanted them to come to SHICHIDA on a Tuesday afternoon, for example. So it was more about working around our schedule, who can bring them, etc..

So yeah, we worked hard to make that happen. We did do, you know, say for example, my husband and I both are full time, but he is fortunate that he is more flexible with his work. So he could do the drop off and I take over. Thinking back the early years when the parents are still in the classroom, so he did have to be present, I would say, yeah that was obviously something that we had to invest in. So we knew that, you know, where it was going, that eventually they would be by themselves and they needed parents in the classroom at the early age. So he did have to change work schedule just a bit to be in the classroom. But overall, it was fine because in our mind we knew this is what we wanted.

So, yeah, it wasn’t really that – I wouldn’t call it a difficult, if you get what I mean.

Danh: Yeah, I mean, like looking back on it and seeing how much it has benefited your family and your children, you know, obviously you’re happy with the investment in time that you’ve both had to put in. So that’s great.

Shabby: Yeah.

Danh: And I guess, yeah, at the end of the day, it is super rewarding to see your child go through the program and end up on the other side with this awesome graduation where they get to display everything that they’ve learned in the program and everything that they’ve gained in the program.

So you yourself as a parent, did you find that you learned a lot from the program itself?

Shabby: Yeah, 100%. Honestly, I cannot imagine how much I would feel in the dark if I didn’t have SHICHIDA because it has so much structure and reassurance that it can give parents and it’s a different way of viewing. So it’s not stressful. It just makes you realize that your child is a child and how should you educate your child that will suit them – not to suit our needs or our wants, if that makes sense. It made me respect that every child is different. It made me realize that they each have their own potential in different areas. They don’t have to all be the same.

I learned so much honestly from what the curriculum, the philosophy can teach. You teach these kids, they’re like little mini adults in a way. So they’re going to be our future, right? Yeah. The significance of early education is mind blowing. Every child’s mind is a treasure that we have to look after in order to look after our world.

We have to, you know, make sure that these kids grow up right. And that’s what SHICHIDA does. It instils that into these children, into the parents to have, you know, better societies, better communities in the future.

Danh: Yeah. 100%, I love the way that you’ve put that Shabby and you’ve really like hit the nail on the head in terms of our two biggest goals at SHICHIDA. Of course to develop the children’s love of learning and help them, you know, make the most out of their abilities and get the best future for themselves, but also to educate parents and give them the kind of tools that they need to guide their children throughout their lifelong learning journey.

Because, as you said, you are so uncertain as a parent, especially as a new parent, nobody gives you a guidebook when you have your child.

Shabby: Yes.

Danh: So, yeah, it is a big goal of ours to, you know, give parents a bit more confidence in their abilities to become their child’s first and best teacher. And that is indeed the goal of SHICHIDA as a whole, this podcast, of course, and specifically this episode as well.

So we’re going to talk today about some do’s and don’ts when it comes to viewing your child. So you’ve gotten us off to a really good start in saying that children are the future. Yeah, they are going to shape the world in the future. So we should always keep that in mind. But there are also a few kind of like easy mistakes that parents might make when viewing their child.

Shabby: Yeah.

Danh: Can you just run through a couple of those?

Shabby: Yeah, definitely. Because as I said, I’ve got three boys and they’ve all got different personalities. With the help of SHICHIDA, I actually understand and I have to remind myself as a parent, we definitely do not compare. We shouldn’t compare our kids to other kids or to siblings, right? Because every child is very unique, just like every adult is very unique.

And we shouldn’t expect perfection. We shouldn’t be perfectionists, because what is perfect? Every child is different. Every human is different. And if you’re if you have that in your mind that you want your child to be perfect in this or perfect in that, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment because there’s no such thing as a perfect human being.

And we as parents, sometimes what we do is we start pinpointing on, my child isn’t good at their numeracy. Oh yeah, they’re good at their English, but what’s wrong? Why can’t they do the numbers? But it’s like, if you focus on the on the negative and what they can’t do, you’ve lost sight of what they can do and this is very dangerous and it can actually affect their self-esteem, their education and their learning.

So I do tell myself, yeah, as a parent, you should really focus on their strengths, not on their weaknesses and things that they can maybe develop over time with more nurture and care.

Danh: Yeah, I mean, it’s good to know about them, you know, obviously, so that we can kind of address them in a constructive way. But at the same time, we do have to acknowledge and put a strong emphasis on your child’s strengths as well, because like you said, all children are different. You know, they have different areas of strengths and different areas that they need to work on. If we focus solely on the areas that they need to work on and neglect the things that they are doing well, they themselves will feel like they’re only doing poorly, you know?

Shabby: Yeah.

Danh: Yes, because we always say that children feed off our own energy and the energy that we put out. So it is very easy for children to be influenced by their parent’s reaction to acts and their parent’s words. So yeah, definitely a little bit of encouragement goes a long way. Yeah.

Shabby: Yeah, yeah. Honestly, that’s the truth.

Something else I would honestly like to tell parents: you don’t have to look at your child in their current form and feel like that’s the, that’s their complete form because, you know, like I said and, and I always use this phrase, then they’re mini adults, so they’ve still got lots of time to grow and develop and find their personality, find their character, find their likes and dislikes.

If you look at your child and say, no, my child is not going to be successful in this, or my child will never know how to dance or draw, looking at them when they’re two or five or seven. You know, when you put it in words, it’s like, really? Is that what I’m doing? But yeah, that’s what some parents, we do.

We shouldn’t do that. You know, we shouldn’t look at that as their complete form. As adults, we’re always changing and growing, so, you know, why not our kids?

Danh: Yeah, especially children, Because they change so quickly. Every day almost, they have something different going on. Right? It is very much a time of change and a time of growth.

Shabby: Yeah.

Danh: We always say, especially the 0 to 3 year old period is the Golden Period where there’s just massive brain development going on. So yeah, like every day will bring new teachings and add new experience to them. Yeah. So definitely like when you’re viewing your child, just understanding that, you know, this is just the very start of their lifelong learning journey. And they’ll continue to grow just as adults, we continue to grow and develop. So yeah, just understanding that as well just gives people, you know, more of a peace of mind.

Shabby: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And one more thing. Sorry I could go on and on, but there is this thing where because as parents, we want the best for our child, whether it comes to their food, the clothing they wear, and even like academically, right?

But sometimes when we do fall in that trap – we become obsessed with academia as though that is it. It is the end. And it doesn’t matter if my child is a fabulous musician or a fabulous artist, but they’re not getting the marks. I want them to get in their literacy and numeracy and things like that and automatically we feel like that’s a fail.

But we shouldn’t. I don’t think we should place a child’s strengths solely on the academic development because every child is different. I mean, the world needs a variety of personalities and strengths and we need different people. We don’t want everyone to be the same, right? Isn’t that what we always promote? Like, diversity. We just want diversity. So if you do put a high priority on your child’s academia over anything else, then you’re actually going to make their learning, their education in life very, very unhealthy.

Yeah, I just I want to emphasize that point as well.

Danh: 100%. And I think, you know, this kind of mentality is changing in the world as well. I feel like when I was growing up and going to school, it was much more academia focused. But these days, I think, you know, people acknowledge the importance of EQ as well, so emotional intelligence and the part that that plays in learning and also in the world as a whole, which we will talk about in a later episode with Tazzie.

But what you’ve said about diversity and encouraging kid’s natural talents, even if those talents aren’t specific towards academia, like you said, some children might be musically gifted, some children might lean towards athletics and sports, yeah? So yes, recognizing the natural talent in your children and nurturing it in a positive way will let them, you know, get the most out of their life.

I think that’s the thing about early learning programs like SHICHIDA, yeah? A lot of the time, you know, parents might come to us because they’re looking for something to compensate for their child’s perceived areas of weaknesses. Like, for example, my child can’t do math. I need to find a program for him or her that, you know, will get them to the mathematical standard that we need them to be.

But SHICHIDA is not really for that. You know, obviously going to SHICHIDA will help in terms of developing their confidence and giving them fundamental skills. But it is also about letting your child find a passion for learning. And I think that’s something that is lost if we are just constantly drilling them and trying to hammer out any perceived weaknesses, you know.

Shabby: Yeah, I like the way you put it. Like that’s true. Yeah.

Danh: But in terms of ways to view your children, you know, you’ve touched on so many good points here Shabby. Do you have any other advice to give to parents as a mother of three children yourself and as a teacher at SHICHIDA?

Shabby: Yeah, definitely we do end every class at SHICHIDA when there are parents in the classroom, to give a big hug to mum and dad or grandma, grandpa in the classroom. I really, really love that because I feel like at the end of the day, the most important thing you can give your child is love. So if you give them happiness, love, that’s the best way that they will take education in very, very naturally.

So you want to always be their cheerleaders, their supporters in life, and they will be able to become the best human beings they can be through that. So we should never, ever have learning and knowledge and education seen as a burden or as a, you know, like anything negative. It should be loving and it should be a time to bond with your child because you’re teaching them.
We introduce these kids into the world. We want to teach them the world. Do it in a loving way, and you benefit your child emotionally, physically, intellectually, in every way if you do balance that, love, strictness and trust with your child in day-to-day living, that’s what I would say.

Danh: Amazing. Thank you so much, Shabby, and thank you for your time today. This this is very helpful advice and it is also just super easy to implement as well. Thank you for that.

Shabby: Thank you for having me Danh.

Danh: But remember everybody, your baby is learning and absorbing information from day one, so it’s never too early to start supporting their learning. The SHICHIDA Program is a weekly 50-minute learning program that uses fun brain boosting techniques that children age zero to nine.

Each class accelerates your child’s development by providing the vital elements for them to thrive and excel. For more information on how the SHICHIDA Program has been helping parents and kids get an early start in education visit You can enter the coupon code FUN50 to receive a 50% discount on your first lesson.

Alternatively, you can follow us on Instagram @shichidaaustralia. You can join our Facebook group to be part of the conversation or you can subscribe to our YouTube channel to get instant access to a wealth of parenting and early childhood education videos. Please join us next week as we invite Marcelle, the manager of our Doncaster Campus, to talk about how parents can become their child’s first teacher.

Thank you so much for listening and thank you again, Shabby, for joining us.

Shabby: Thank you so much for having me.

Danh: Until next time, bye bye!

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In the very first episode of the SHICHIDA Shining Stars Podcast, we talked to the grandson of Makoto Shichida, the founder of the SHICHIDA Method of early childhood education – the one and only Kodai Shichida. Join us as we chat to Kodai about his experience growing up with a legend of early childhood education and reminisce on the time he spent going to SHICHIDA lessons as a young child, as well as how these experiences paved the way for his success later in life.


Danh: Hello, everybody, and welcome to the very first episode of the SHICHIDA Shining Stars Podcast, a podcast where we address all the questions parents have about early childhood education. My name is Mr. Danh, and with me today is a very special guest. Joining us all the way from Japan. He is the grandson of Makoto Shichida, the founder of the SHICHIDA Method of early childhood education. 

Welcome to the show, Kodai Shichida!  

Kodai: Hi, this Kodai! 

Danh: Hi Kodai. How are you?  

Kodai: Good, good. Thank you. How are you? 

Danh: I’m well as well, thank you. Kodai is here today to talk to us about what it was like growing up with Makoto Shichida and being a part of the Shichida family.  

So for those that are new to the SHICHIDA Method of early childhood education, the revolutionary program was developed by Makoto Shichida, who was a prominent teacher in Japan, who taught students of all ages. Through his lifetime of teaching experience, he noticed how easily young children were able to pick up new skills and information – much easier and faster than teens or adults. Working from this observation, he put over 60 years of research into developing the SHICHIDA Method, which has since been helping even the youngest of children discover a passion for learning. Kodai… 

Kodai: Yes? 

Danh: So your grandfather was the founder of SHICHDIA and developed the SHICHIDA Method of early education based on years of research and experience with kids. Could you talk us through what was it like growing up with him?  

Kodai: Yes. Firstly, he was a very calm person. 

Danh: Were you guys like in the same household or..?  

Kodai: We were in different houses because I was living with my parents and my grandparents were in different house. But also, you know, we used to meet regularly and you know, every time I went to his house, he was always welcoming me. And also like, you know, he spent time with me doing catch ball, playing cards. We played cards together. That’s a very nice memory. Yep. 

Danh: Nice. What kind of card games would you play with him? 

Kodai: We played like a memory game – matching game. That’s like I get, you know, like an ACE and then I want to find the other ACE.  

Danh: Okay.  

Kodai: That was fun. That was very fun.  

Danh: That’s interesting. Because obviously the SHICHIDA Method also has a pretty strong emphasis on developing memory skills. And also a strong emphasis on fun. So it’s interesting that one of your clearest memories of playing a game with your granddad was about, you know, a fun memory card game. 


Kodai: Yeah.  

Danh: And you also mentioned that the shooter was very calm person, yeah? Are you saying that because you were quite a naughty child?  

Kodai: *laughs* Well, I wouldn’t say I was very, very naughty. 

I mean, I was naughty in, you know, I think in a normal way. I wasn’t TOO naughty I would say. But yes, he was always there to, you know, tell me when I did something bad as well. 

He wanted me to respect other people. Like other kids. Yeah. 

Like there was the one time I had, like a big ball – like a yoga ball. It was a big ball. And I only had one ball. There was another kid, even though there’s only one ball. And I was playing with the ball and my grandpa – because I was using the ball for the whole time and you know, I was holding to it – he once told me off. Yeah.  

Danh: Okay. So he was trying to teach you to kind of think about other people, yeah? And develop that, that emotional intelligence as well. 

Kodai: Yes. So like, it’s more love and strictness. It was not only praising all the time, but also he was strict sometimes.  

Danh: And you have to be, yeah? We’ll talk about that a bit more with Marcelle in a later episode, but those three core pillars of parenting: love, strictness and trust, yeah? So strictness is still a big part of parenting and teaching children what the boundaries are so that they can develop that emotional intelligence and learn how to put themselves in other people’s shoes. 

So it seems like even just hanging out with your grandpa, it almost feels like you’re taking a SHICHIDA lesson because the kids are developing your memory and also you’re developing, you know, emotional intelligence. So just from your stories, your anecdotes, I can see so much the SHICHIDA philosophy is just stuff that Makoto Shichida just lived by day to day. 

Kodai: Yeah.  

Danh: So that’s that’s really interesting. Thanks, Kodai.  

Kodai: Thank you too. 

Danh: So outside of spending, you know, just personal time with your grandpa, you also grew up with the SHICHIDA Program, is that right?  

Kodai: Yes, that’s correct. Yes.  

Danh: Do you remember what age you started taking lessons at SHICHIDA?  

Kodai: I started when I was in my mom’s womb.  

Danh: Okay, so there’s a prenatal program in Japan. 

Kodai: Yes. There’s a prenatal program. 

Danh: Nice.  

Kodai: Yes, I wasn’t even born.  

Danh: So it might be hard for you to remember those lessons, but do you have any memories about going through the program? Obviously, you would have been very young while you were taking classes, but maybe you can tell us about some of your earliest memories taking classes at SHICHIDA. 

Kodai: Yes, of course. One of the memories I remember is I don’t know, when I was three, four years old, I was pretty young. I remember doing, you know, like Ka-ching Ka-ching and writing Mini DaVinci Map stories. Okay. And doing numbers and clocks as well. Time – analogue time – the fundamental concepts. I still remember doing that when I was a young age. 

Danh: Did you have a favorite activity?  

Kodai: I like counting blocks and I also liked the Pi Song. Remembering the Pi Song helped me to have confidence to work with numbers. 

Danh: So it kind of exposed you to a lot of numbers, yeah? I guess for those unfamiliar with the Pi song, it is basically a song that recites the circular constant of Pi. 

But more than that, it’s an exercise in auditory memory. So by singing along with the Pi song, we’re kind of practicing memorizing a large data set by using our voice and bone conduction as well as our ears. So yeah, I mean, because it is such a large group of numbers, I can see why having, you know, an affinity with that exercise would give you a bit more confidence in numbers. 

Would you say that as a kid you are more interested in the numbers aspects or more interested in writing and reading or maybe the critical thinking side of things?  

Kodai: If I had to choose, I would say numbers and critical thinking. Can you still recite pi? Yes, I can still recite up to 100. 

Danh: Go on, then. Just kidding. 

Kodai: Okay. Okay. Because I have to say in Japanese in my head and then translate it. So it’s a bit hard. But yes, 3.1415926535. Yeah.  

Danh: Very good. Excellent. Okay, so you still got it. And you mentioned the English side of things. So obviously you grew up in Japan speaking Japanese as your native tongue, but I imagine you were also learning English at the time at school or once you got to school age. 

I don’t know so much about the SHICHIDA program in Japan, but is there an English program as well? 

Kodai: Yes, we do teach English for Japanese speakers where we incorporate the SHICHIDA essence. So like even though they might not be fully ready to learn English at first sight, we do learn, say, like colors or shapes in English. So that’s the idea of English lessons in Japan. Yeah. 

Danh: So it’s kind of more like immersing them in the English language so that they can absorb it better as really young kids. So yeah, similar to a lot of concepts that we use in SHICHIDA. A lot of it, especially in the early ages, is about input more than output. 

Kodai: Yeah.  

Danh:  But would you say that, you know, going through that experience – because you’re, you know, we’re obviously doing this interview entirely in English, would you say that, you know, doing lessons at SHICHIDA at an early age helped you kind of pick up the language a bit easier? 

Kodai: Yes. Yes, for sure. I started being really serious about learning English in high school and from that time, I’m pretty sure I was picking things up very quick. It was relatively easy to remember what the English words and phrases mean, and then, you know, like also speaking conversations and everything. Yes. Being immersed in English from a young age has really, really helped me. And I like the idea of being able to understand English so that I can get more opportunities to work and to look at articles that are written in English. 

Yeah, that’s helping me a lot.  

Danh: Yeah. And I guess even though you started, you know, learning English in earnest once you got to high school, I guess also that solid foundation, not just in English, but in just kind of memory skills that you built in SHICHIDA have probably helped you a lot when you actually, you know, buckled down and started studying English as well. 

I guess also the exposure to English and things like numbers and critical thinking. It’s also designed to help kids find what they might be passionate about in the future. And that’s kind of the beauty of SHICHIDA is because the curriculum is so varied, no matter what kids become interested in later in life, they have the skill set and they have that foundation to pick it up really quickly. 

And it’s great that that was able to transfer to you when you were studying English in high school.  

Kodai: Yes. 

Danh: But I also wanted to talk about how you felt during the lessons at SHICHIDA. Do you remember how it felt taking classes week to week? 

Kodai: Yes, I do remember. I remember going there and then enjoying all the time. Pretty much all the time. Yes. Maybe there are some times I may not feel like going, but, you know, once I go there and then start doing activities that always made me focus to what I needed to do at the time. 

Danh: Yeah, I guess we see that a lot with our young students, yeah? Like sometimes they just kind of not in the mood, you know? Maybe they’re hungry, maybe they’re tired. But, you know, once we sing the Hello Song, once we start doing the bubble, it’s almost like a switch. And then they start, like, really enjoying themselves. And again, that’s a huge part of the SHICHIDA philosophy, right, is to make sure that the learning is fun for the kids.  

Kodai: Yes. And I wasn’t the exception to that. 

Danh: Yeah, that’s great. And since then, Kodai, you’ve gone on to study in a lot of different places, including Australia, yeah? Do you feel that the SHICHIDA program helped you along the way? 

Kodai: Yes, for sure. I think the biggest thing is the love of learning. I think I have been a kid with big curiosity, which helps me to go deeper in whatever the topic that I needed to study. 


Danh: Okay. Yeah. And because you have like that natural, innate curiosity that drives you to kind of find the answers for yourself, yeah? And like, if you have the drive to learn, then that’s like half the battle, right? 

Kodai: Yes. And also, I think I was confident because I was doing SHICHIDA, thanks to my parents. I knew things in advance, especially when I was a very young kid and that, you know, being advanced from a young age allowed me to have confidence and being confident in school helped me to learn more. 

I think SHICHIDA really, really contributed. 

Danh: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. You know, we see it all the time when we’re teaching. Once a child feels confident in what they’re doing, that’s when they actively want to keep doing it and keep getting better and better at it, as opposed to if they’re not confident in something, they can be very quick to give up. 

Kodai: Yes. 

Danh: So, yeah, it’s great that, you know, SHICHDIA was able to give you that solid foundation, but also that innate love of learning. Excellent. Thank you so much, Kodai, for joining us today and talking to us about your experience growing up with Makoto Shichida and also your experience being one of the original SHICHIDA kids.  

And remember everybody, your baby is learning and absorbing information from day one, so it’s never too early to start supporting their learning. 

The SHICHIDA program is a weekly 50-minute learning program using fun brain-boosting techniques for children aged 0 to 9. Each class accelerates your child’s development by providing the vital elements for them to thrive and excel. For more information on how the SHICHDIA program has been helping parents and kids get an early start in education, visit 

You can enter the coupon code FUN50 to receive a 50% discount on your first lesson. Alternatively, you can follow us on Instagram @shichidaaustralia. You can join our Facebook group to be part of the conversation or you can subscribe to our YouTube channel to get instant access to a wealth of parenting and early childhood education videos. 

Please join us next week as we invite the Director of SHICHIDA Australia, Shiaoling Lim, on to talk about how SHICHIDA came to Australia. 

Thank you so much for listening and thank you again, Kodai, for joining us. 

Kodai: Thank you so much. Thanks for listening and thank you for having me too. 

Danh: Until next time. Bye bye. Bye bye. 

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