Review of Ninh Quang Truong’s new book “Chơi cùng Con” by Dr. Hung P. Le, principal of an international school in Hanoi

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In celebration of Vietnam Family Day (28/06/2020), KidsOnline is privileged to support the publication of MC Ninh Quang Truong’s debut book, “Choi cung Con” (Play with Your Kid). We also thank Dr. Hung P. Le, the first and most enthusiastic reviewer of the book. His review is shared below, with permission.

From the onset, I’d like to profess that I do not know Mr. Ninh Quang Truong. I have never met, spoken to, or have associated with him in any way; however, after completing his book I feel like he is my best friend.

I would like to congratulate Mr. Truong on the amazing journey in “Choi cung Con.” It is a testimony of love from a father to a child. It is in “Choi” that father goes in-depth about his relationship with his child. In “Choi” the child has a deep psychological connection with the father, and ultimately Truong has accomplished his mission beyond expectation.

“Choi cung Con” has an elegant layout with a “learning outcome” for each theme, along with photos. The book has a touch of modernity by including technology into the hard-printed text, with QR codes to demonstrate each lesson. This pedagogical layout provides for both first-time parents and others who may already have a few children the rules of engagement with their children, and it offers educators of early childhood learning how to best simplify the lessons for young learners.

What excites me the most about “Choi cung Con” is that it makes everyday activities into an amazing experience; it stimulates the imagination of a young mind filled with fresh neurons and all the synapses firing at full throttle to take in all the colors, sights, and sounds in his/her environment. The author has a deep sensibility for the minds of one to four year olds and is able to “play” with the child in simple manner which for many adults is a very complicated task.

When I conducted my training in developmental psychology, there was one single book that stood out among the rest – All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum. This was considered a must read for everyone who was training in the field of early childhood education. Ninh Quang Truong’s “Choi cung Con” sets itself apart from other educational and parental texts that exists in Vietnam. As a father of two, I find it delightful that such a book has been made available in Vietnam.

In Asian cultures, child rearing usually falls onto the shoulders of the mother. However, numerous world-wide medical, psychological, and educational journals have concluded it takes two parents to make it work. In our modern life, it is critical that a male figure is embedded into the lives of children. The quality of time, the energy that we put in, the efforts that we offer to our children now – the impact will last into adulthood, and the most immediate impact we can witness is when the child goes to school and socializes in his/her the broader world. The child will have a strong sense of self confidence and maturity, together with having a profound intellectual mind and being an emotionally well-balanced individual. In short, if you want a brilliant child in the future, “play” with him/her now!

When Truong plays with his son, it seems that he is playing with every father and guiding them through the process, in his “subliminal” messages to all fathers: “Hey guys, it’s not all that hard, don’t think too much; just sit and have eye contact with your child, speak encouragingly to your child, and excite your child by being present in his/her life.”

I only have one minor displeasure about this book, and that is after reading this book Truong makes me feel so guilty that I haven’t played enough with my own two young children!

For me personally, every father must read and apply this book, and every mother must get it as a gift for “Father’s Day” and be the daily enforcer of “Choi cung Con di Anh!”  I highly recommend this amazing book to every parent, and grandparents too. Truong has contributed greatly to early childhood education and offers great incentive for parents, caretakers, and early childhood educators to pay closer attention to “Choi cung Con.”  Congratulations Truong! Now, I must go to play with my children!