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    3. Expert Answers - Understanding and Managing your Child's Behaviour and Feelings


    Expert Answers - Understanding and Managing your Child's Behaviour and Feelings


    Expert Answers - Understanding and Managing your Child's Behaviour and Feelings

    If you have queries regarding your child's behaviour then ask your questions to Clinical Psychologist Dr. Meghna Singhal on 27th June 2019. Post your queries between 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM and get all your answers by 6:00 PM on the same day. You may choose to post your questions anonymously too. ... more

    • Team ParentCircle
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    • Jun 25 2019


    Ramani Varsha Sep 17 2019

    Thank you for a very informative session like this. Though I had seen these much later than the actual session, most of the questions here are something that I face too. Thanks Dr.

    Preeti Jun 29 2019

    Hello doctor,

    My son is twenty months old, but he dont listen to want to I say, until he wishes to, i mean few things he do but not all the time, also when compared to other kids he talk very few words and get hyper soon. Please suggest.

    Thanks ®ards

    Preeti Jul 11 2019

    @Preeti Talking to babies may seem silly, but speaking parentese can have a significant impact on your baby's cognitive development, especially language skills, when done well. Find out how to talk to babies!

    Ashwini Shastry Jul 3 2019

    Hello Dr.Meghna,

    My kid is 18months old and hasn't eaten a morcel of food in the last three months. He only wants his bottle. He used to eat well till he was 14months old and he stopped eating one fine morning. It was a hard stop. Tried distracting him with games, videos, books. Didn't work. No amount of coaxing helped. He has had very serious episodes of illnesses in the last couple of months and is just out of the hospital. He falls ill mostly because he lacks resistance ( he doesn't eat) and doesn't eat because he is sick. It's a vicious cycle and very worrisome. Also, has started throwing terrible temper tantrums of late. We are in need of help.

    Ashwini Shastry Jul 8 2019

    @Ashwini Shastry Dear Ashwini, it can be so frustrating trying to feed an adamant toddler! From about 18 to 20 months to 2.5 years, the challenges of eating with a toddler peak. This is not 'terrible twos'. There is nothing terrible about a child finding his identity, his preferences and his place in the world. Yes, it's hard on you, but much harder on him. However, distraction feeding is not a solution. For example, eating while watching a screen can lead to a number of problems: watching ads for processed food products increase consumption of such foods, leading to obesity. Also, eating food while focusing elsewhere leads to passive eating and ignoring of hunger and satiety cues, leading to either under- or over-eating. You could try the following strategies to help your child eat better:
    Make mealtimes a family activity, with all the family members gathering at the dinner table. If your child needs to eat earlier than other family members, sit with him while he eats, talk about the different foods on his plate, make up stories about them.
    Offer the child what you eat as a family; dont prepare separate meals especially for him. If he refuses to eat, respect that decision. When he gets hungry after some time, offer him the same food item again.
    Don't offer him the bottle. Bottle feeding should be stopped after 1 year of age. If he wants milk, offer it to him in an open glass with or without straw, and only after meals.
    Toddlers usually hate mixed-up food and refuse to eat food they used to love like khichdi, or sambar with vegetables, or mix veg pulao. As they begin to make sense of the world, they like things to be separate. They don't like things mixed up, and it annoys them when a carrot is touching a bean. This can be really hard if as a family you eat a lot of dishes that have mixed things or do one pot dishes. You can either cook some food separately, or through play, teach your child to separate what they like/ don't like. For instance, with your son, you could teach him to take out the veggies separate from pulao when it's not mealtime. This will make him less angry at mealtimes.
    Toddlers usually get fixated on one or two foods, usually beige/ white in colour, such as just ghee and rice, or just roti, just yoghurt, just boiled pasta, or just potatoes. Anything else, including vegetables is rejected. What you can do is continue to make the other foods, and keep them where child can see, and make sure child can see others eat. It is only a phase and will tide through. You don't have to cut veggies in cute shapes or make cat face with carrots. Relax and let child decide.
    Toddlers can get angry when you serve foods they don't want. They might sob, scream and yell when you do this. So dont serve him. Ask your toddler to serve himself. He is 18 months and though he'll spill, will learn to serve herself. This makes him feel in control and make it more likely to try what he has served himself.
    Toddlers want snacky foods, or just fatty food like a big spoon of ghee or butter or coconut oil. A toddler has a busy lifestyle. They want to learn about the world, go break something, go smell something. Low calorie food annoys them. They have an affinity to high sugar/ high fat foods. Unfortunately this is readily available and is usually junk. So don't stock biscuits, namkeen, etc where kids can see them. You can make an exception for butter and fats because kids tend to naturally stop fatty things as they feel satisfied, but this doesn't happen with junk.
    Offer your child powdered mixed dry fruits and nuts or make dry nuts laddoo with loads of seeds and dates. This will help your child regain his strength and immunity.
    If your toddler looks at the food, yells, and asks for something very specific like 'apple', set gentle but firm boundaries. Dont relent and give him something he yelled for. Its hard to break that habit. Instead be consistent and loving.
    Please take care of yourself. Your child's hospitalisation and frequent illnesses may have left you feeling drained. Please remember that you cant pour from an empty cup. Everyday try to take up one activity (e.g., walking, reading a book, doing yoga, or taking care of your appearance) that doesnt involve caring for others and also makes you feel good and relaxed. All the best!

    Team ParentCircle Jun 27 2019

    Dear Dr. Singhal, thank you so much for your time, patience and attention to detail. We are sure the session has been of immense help to all our parents who have shared their dilemmas and concerns with you.
    Our heartfelt gratitude to all parents who joined us today. We look forward to hearing more from you and supporting you in the journey called 'Parenting.'
    You can keep asking your queries, share your experiences and guide other fellow parents in our Circles.

    Ruchi Aggarwal Jun 27 2019

    Thanks for answering our questions Dr. Meghna. My younger Daughter(6years) always seems unhappy . She lacks confidence & seems like she is need of a lot of attention . I have heard her say mummy thinks I cant do anything well. She is a fussy eater, she gets very scared even with little hurts or a doctor examining her .. I feel she needs a boost of confidence & feel more secure. What can I do for achieving that?

    Ruchi Aggarwal Jun 27 2019

    @Ruchi Aggarwal Dear parent, this response by your daughter mummy thinks I can't do anything well is very significant! It speaks of her belief about your confidence in herand thats the key to her own confidence. Let me ask you somethinghow do you encourage her to pursue her interests? How do you praise her when she does something well?

    1. Focus on your relationship with her, which at this point of time, is the most important source of support, security, and connection for her. The more you will display genuine confidence in her abilities, the more youll talk to her like she is the most wonderful, smart, and kind little girl, the more shell believe these things about herself.

    2. It is extremely important for you to encourage her to pursue whatever activities she shows interest in. Dont push her but give her a gentle nudge time and again. If she displays resistance to do something or is unable to do something well, talk to her about her feelings. You could ask How did you feel when you came in last in swimming? Focus on her effort, rather than the outcome. You could say It was really courageous of you to try rather than saying Dont feel bad about coming in last.

    3. Dont give false praise. Kids can very easily discern when we are being truthful and when not.

    4. Help her focus on her strengths. Talk to her about what she likes in herself. Use everyday situations to point out good qualities in her. In some families, I recommend spelling out the childs name and brainstorming one positive quality with each letter and sticking this up on the fridge for everyone to see.

    5. When she gets scared with what seems trivial to you, dont diminish her. Talk to her instead about how she is feeling and acknowledge her feelings. No, she wont feel more scared if you acknowledge her fear, instead it will help her calm down. You could say something like I saw your friend pushed you in the playground. How did that make you feel? Talk to her about different situations and what other children might feel in them. And what she can do if she does feel scared. What can she do to find assurance and security? Could she come and tell a trusted adult (such as a teacher or you?) Could she tell her friend not to push her (thereby standing up for herself)? Could she pause from the game for a few minutes and return when she feels better? Empower her to try different options that help her feel in control. All the best!

    barghavi Jun 27 2019

    My 7yrs son always behaving like don't bother about anything and some time very adamant i used to say NO for unnecessary things that time he starring his tantrums like beating me or screaming in high tone i can tolerate these things in home but in public places i can't manage him everyone giving me advise everyone getting upset with him...Am really worried and trying to correct him ... he is doing this to me only not with his daddy or grandparents...He is having very good habits like he won't do bad things to siblings or his friends always sharing things and very adjustable and he used to tell love u mom many times every day ..i am the only person for him to shower his anger and same time his love ...

    barghavi Jun 27 2019

    @barghavi Dear parent, I can understand your feelings. It must not be easy for you, being at the receiving end of all your childs anger. But one reason why he is behaving like this with you (versus everyone else) is because your child sees you as his safe space. He can be totally himself with you because he trusts you more than anyone else in the world. He trusts you and paradoxically, thats why his worst behaviour is reserved for you.

    1. What I suggest to you is to focus on keeping this connection going with your son. Pause and calm yourself when he reacts negatively. Deal with him with patience and objectivity. Youll be teaching him a big lesson in emotional regulation if you do this.

    2. Keep talking to him every day, be cued in to his lifewhats happening at school, with his friends, in his studies, etc.

    3. At the same time, practice firm limit setting. How is it that he thinks its acceptable to hit you (even when hes angry)? The next time he hits you tell him firmly but calmly that this is unacceptable behaviour, and that he should use his words, not his hands, to convey something. If he screams, tell him calmly I dont appreciate being spoken to like this instead of screaming back at him. Dont give in to his tantrums just because hes misbehaving.

    4. When he does calm down, use the opportunity to talk to him about his behaviour. Tell him that hitting and screaming is unacceptable behaviour and teach him ways in which he could express his anger. Dont criticise him for being angry. Instead, teach him acceptable ways of venting his anger. Brainstorm ways that are likely to help him. Would punching a pillow help him? Or jumping up and down? Or shredding old newspaper? Or splashing his face with cold water?

    5. The next time he gets angry, use a signal to remind him to use any of the decided strategies above.

    barghavi Jun 27 2019

    @barghavi Thank you so much mam I am feeling better now

    Sri Snnigdha Jun 27 2019

    Dear Dr. Meghna
    Thanks for taking the time out to read.our Qs.
    How can a child be coached to pay attention to the task..repeated attempts to gentllt telling him.
    Gets distracted easily. Hits parents and doesn't like being tied down. Picked up the behavior in school...doesn't listen unless he is being yelled at.
    Hates traveling in car due to nausea.
    Tried to distract him with candies and stories as well.

    Sri Snnigdha Jun 27 2019

    @Sri Snnigdha Dear parent, lets see how we can best help you! Here are a few strategies you could try to deal with your childs attention issues:

    1. Play focus games that require thinking, planning, and use of memory. Games such as jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, card games (such as Uno and Memory), as well as activities such as spot the differences, or in which the child has to look for the hard-to-find or missing objects.

    2. Play games that require your child to sit or stand still for some time (such as statue or the freeze game, in which children dance to music and have to freeze when it suddenly pauses).

    3. Do sorting exercisessorting into a number or sequence or type, such as grain sorting (in which you mix big pulses such as rajma and chana/chola and ask your child to sort them, and then move on to mixing 3 different types of pulses or small grain pulses, to increase the difficulty level). You could also encourage your child to practice putting things in a sequence, such as reading a book, following a recipe step-by-step, setting the table, or putting things in alphabetical or numerical order.

    4. Pay attention to his environment. Is his study environment full of distractions? When he sits down to study, is there a lot of background noise in the house? Does he have to keep getting up to procure his study materials? When he doesnt finish a task, is he allowed to go play or watch TV?

    5. Reduce use of gadgets. Watching screens (TV, iPad, mobile) is detrimental to ones concentration in the long run. Ensure that your child doesnt watch more than 30 minutes of screens daily. Instead, allow him to spend more time in open spaces, such as playground and parks. Ensure that he gets enough physical activity and exercise daily.

    6. Turn something dull into something interesting. Of course crashing cars into one another might be more interesting (and simpler) for your child than practising spellings or reading sight words! A little creativity on your part into turning boring tasks into fun, interesting exercises will go a long way in helping your child focus.

    You also mention several other behavioural issues, such as hitting parents. What is your response when he hits you? Do you hit back? Yell? Scream? Does he see other family members being aggressive toward each other? None of this will actually work. Instead, focus on forging a connection with your child, the foundation of which is love and mutual respect. The way you behave with him is the way hell learn to behave with you and others. Talk to him kindly, even if he doesnt listen. Put firm limits but without being harsh. And never use candy to distract him.

    If you require more help, I recommend you meeting a qualified mental health professional such as a clinical psychologist to sort out the multiple issues in your family.

    Bharathy Jun 27 2019

    Hi madam my son most of the times cries telling that he wants the same clothes , footware, toys or books like what my nephew has. How to overcome this. Please guide.

    Bharathy Jun 27 2019

    @Bharathy Dear Bharathy, I can understand your difficulty. You didnt mention your sons age. But it is common behaviourchildren asking for things their peers have. Before I suggest strategies for you to try, I would like to ask you: how do you respond to your sons request? Do you give in and buy him all he demands for or give him a strict NO?
    You could try the following, if you havent already:
    1. The next time your child asks for something your nephew has, dont condemn his request or label him as being greedy. Instead, affirm his desire and then explain your honest reason for objection. You could say something like In our family we have a specific budget for buying clothes and toys. This will also help him understand that each family and their values are different.
    2. Build a wish-list. Bring out a paper and a bright marker and stick it on your fridge or a prominent place in your house. Every time your child asks for something, it goes on the list. Then you could ask him to choose any item from the list when a special occasion such as a birthday or summer vacation comes along. The advantages of having a wish-list are manifold: they help acknowledge your childs wishes, give time to children to change their mind (in which case the item can simply be crossed off the list), and make them realise that they actually dont want everything they say they do.
    3. Practice what you preachthats the best way to teach the importance of nonmaterial values to children. As a family, buy less stuff, and ensure that your child doesnt hear you whining about that new handbag you saw in the mall! Emphasise traditions that dont involve shopping and giftingsuch as visiting friends and relatives, getting together as a family and visiting a temple/orphanage, singing songs, etc.
    4. Involve your child in charity. Have your child pick out any 10 toys he doesnt play with anymore or any 10 clothes he doesnt wear anymore. Then make a trip to an orphanage, or blind school, or slum and give out these items. In fact in some homes, the rule is every time a new item is purchased (or received) an old one is given away. All the best!

    Bharathy Jun 27 2019

    @Bharathy Hi Meghana madam thank you for the guidance. My son will be 5 years old and my nephew is 4.5 years old. Most of the time I tell my son I cannot buy him now. But later he forgets about it. He cries for sometime in the beginning and later forgets about what he was asking for

    Pranati Patra Jun 27 2019

    How Parents can facilitate siblings to have mutual respect and cooperation?I wish they grow into balanced and sensitive persons.

    Pranati Patra Jun 27 2019

    @Pranati Patra Dear parent, both your children require your attention for care and emotional connection, and whenever you attend to one, the other seems to want more of you. So while you cannot be present for both of them at the same time, you can stay connected with each in a different way. For example, while talking to one child you can hold the hand of the other to let her feel a connection with you.
    1. Avoid comparing them. It doesnt motivate children to improve, instead only harms their self-esteem. For example, it is not a good idea to tell one child Look at your sister. She gets such good marks. You should also work hard like her.
    2. Work together as parents. Being on the same page as your partner about ways of handling your different children is important. If you do, disagree about some methods (e.g., you might think that giving a child instructions and leaving it there works well but your partner might believe that giving consequences is very important), its crucial that you reach some agreement, such as through negotiation.
    3. Teach your older child to help and care for the younger one and let your children know that in your family violence is non-negotiable. Equally crucial is to avoid taking sides - if both the children are right in their own way, as you mentioned, teach them skills to deal with the problem on their own. For example, teach them how to share but if they dont, you can pre-decide consequences such as taking away the toy or book for a specified period of time. However, do give them back the item after that to provide them an opportunity to practice sharing. If the fighting resumes, you can take away the item for a longer period of time.
    4. Help your children understand how they each respond to challenges, new experiences, routine, and everyday interactions. Help them understand how their temperament impacts their behaviour, so that you can guide each of your children to become the best version of themselves and build mutual respect and understanding. All the best!

    Brishti Ghosh Jun 27 2019

    My 11 years old daughter is very talkative at home.But outside she is very shy .Few days back one of her classmate heated her badly & complain to teacher that my daughter is heated him.When teacher was hard to my daughter that time also she doesn't feel to say her injury.Next day I met to teacher & told the truth.Even teacher felt bad that time.But Every time I can't help her.Wat to do please say.

    Brishti Ghosh Jun 27 2019

    @Brishti Ghosh Dear Brishti, I can understand how bad you must have felt. Your daughters shyness in front of others, however, has nothing to do with the skill of assertiveness, which she seems to lack. You could help your daughter build assertiveness and stand up for herself in the following ways:

    Use everyday moments to talk about friendships and what they entail. For example,
    friendships should be characterised by mutual respect, and not coercion. Talk
    about how its not okay to force someone to do things they are not comfortable
    with, or to use physical violence, even if you have a conflict with someone.

    Talk about boundaries with your child (such as physical boundaries, emotional boundaries, social boundaries, etc.). An example of emotional boundaries is that if someone is teasing your child, calling her names, she has a right to speak up about how it makes her feel. If the peer keeps doing it, your child has the right to stop being friends with that person.

    Play the What if? game. Discuss with your daughter some possible peer conflict situations. Ask her what she would do in such situations. Role-play the things she could say and do. This will equip your daughter with tools she can use if an actual situation arises without having to think on her feet about what to do.

    Respect her feelings at home. It is important that your childs words are respected at home. This does not mean giving her her way. It means acknowledging her feelings (even if they are negative feelings) and let her know you are listening. This will help her build confidence and self-esteem. Tell her that you appreciate her speaking her mind, even though she disagrees with you.

    Encourage extracurricular activities that involve team building exercises, such as sport or involvement in girls scouts or other clubsthey are an excellent way to build confidence and exercise assertiveness.

    And of course, model assertiveness yourself! Be mindful of how you interact with family and friends. There is a big difference between being assertive and being rude. For example, when you make a customer service call, maintain a polite but direct tone. If you say no to someone, stick to your word. Make sure your child sees you modelling what you are teaching by holding your ground and sticking to your word, especially with those who violate your boundaries. All the best!

    Roopa M Jun 27 2019

    What can high school kids do to effectively manage their time? Please share tips for time management.

    Roopa M Jun 27 2019

    @Roopa M Dear Roopa, not everyone is able to find that balance when it comes to their academics and hobbies and passions. You could help your high school child balance academics and hobbies in the following ways:

    1. Help her draw a home time-table (with time slots for meals and rest) with her most productive time accounted for. For example, if she is most productive in the evenings, she should schedule her schoolwork then. Accordingly then, she could utilise 1 hour every week in the afternoon (maybe after coming back from school, when she needs to unwind) for playing a musical instrument or pursing a hobby.

    2. It is important to schedule in physical activity and exercise in this time-table but the timing is important. Would it be feasible to build in 1 hour of playing on a weekend and 1 hour on a weekday when the homework is comparatively less? If your child plays a sport such as badminton regularly, he will realise that he is able to concentrate on schoolwork much better, which in turn saves time.

    3. Help her fight off procrastination. If studying for a test or revising a chapter needs to be done, help her understand how procrastinating that would make it even more difficult to do later. If she revises a chapter when its still fresh in her memory, it will consume much less time and practicing doing this will help her in the long run.

    4. Build in a rest day. Everyone needs rest to rejuvenate themselves and to keep themselves motivated. Encourage your child to build in a rest day (it could be a weekday or a weekend) which will help build the strength to handle pressure of the remaining week.

    5. Check time-robbers. Checking our mobile phones for app notifications consumes more time than we realise. It is much smarter to even schedule social media/e-connecting with friends time in your home time-table, or to engage in these distractions in breaks, so that this time is accounted for and doesn't end up being wasted. One way of doing this is to simply keep one's mobile switched off or in another room while studying. Another is to catch up with messages and notifications while commuting.

    6. Focus on your body. A healthy diet and at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep is very important (and often that adolescents overlook).

    7. Keep the connection with your child going. Allow your child to believe that he has scope to make mistakes. Praise him for his effort, rather than for the outcome--it will keep him motivated. All the best!

    Meena P Jun 27 2019

    How to sensitize children about drug abuse, especially young teens? One of my students had to be rusticated from school because he got addicted to marijuana. How can we help children understand its implications?

    Meena P Jun 27 2019

    @Meena P Dear Meena, your concern is understandable. Drug use and abuse is a shockingly widespread phenomenon among adolescents today in India. Unfortunately, a lot of parents are not aware that their teens are using drugs, and often shy away from talking about drugs to their children. Heres what you can do to sensitive your children about drug use and abuse from an early age (preferably from ages 9 years and up for both boys and girls):

    1. Have open ongoing conversations with your child about what drugs are, and what are the consequences of consuming drugs. Talk about the toll it takes on the individuals mind and body as well as families. Be open and honest. This will help ensure that your child doesnt get his information about drugs from the wrong/incorrect sources.

    2. Talk to your child about the difference between fiction and reality, i.e., what is portrayed in cinema, how drugs are glamourised on screen, and what a contrast it is in the real world.

    3. Allow your child to talk as well. Your child may already have an opinion on the matter. Encourage your child to share with you, without resorting to making judgments or criticising his view. Talking to your child and giving him the space to share will also strengthen your bond with him, ensuring that you are cued in into his life.

    4. Use videos to impart factually correct information. Websites like http://www.drugfreeworld.org/ have videos on drug abuse specifically targeted at young children. They offer information about drugs and empower children to make the right choice.

    5. Teach your child the skill of assertiveness, or being able to say NO when someone offers him a drug. Practice role-playing different peer pressure situations with your child, so that your child hones his skills to resist pressure and builds confidence to be able to make the right decision.

    6. Lastly, role model keeping away from drugs such as tobacco yourself. All the best!

    S Jun 27 2019

    Hi. It seems my 7 year old daughter is exploring her body, which is normal. Since they are exposed to various kind of social media, specially tv. She likes to touch her own private parts and likes to fiddle with it. She comes and tells me about it too. I don't show either upset or happy expression. I just tell her it's normal but at the same time she is too young for all this. What exactly should be my words and behavior in response to this? And is it really normal? I guess she is too small.

    S Jun 27 2019

    @S Dear parent, yes youre right in thinking that even at her age, exploring her body is normal. Pre-schoolers and school-aged children often touch themselves and fondle their private parts out of both curiosity and pleasure. For a lot of them, engaging in such self-gratification is an occasional tension release, a response to boredom or a need for some comfort. A lot of children do it without being conscious that theyre touching themselves, but since your daughter is aware, you could do the following:

    1. Talk to your daughter about whats acceptable (touching her private parts herself in private) and whats not (touching herself in public, or asking someone to touch her in private). Use the correct terms for private parts, such as vagina, bum, penis, etc. and educate her about safe and unsafe touch.

    2. When she comes and tells you, youre right in not giving a positive or negative expression. Additionally you could remind her that touching her own private parts should only be done in private and not in front of anyone.

    3. You could also ask her (and figure out yourself) why she touches her private parts. Is it pure habit? Does it have to do with comfort? Or with filling in time when she is not engaged or focused on anything else? Or, is it mainly to do with seeking out the pleasure of touching?

    4. It will help to find a way to distract her, or engage her in a fun but consuming activity. Or some other comforting behaviour (like getting a foot rub or soaking in a warm bubble bath). Or she might just need to get up and start moving, or focus on some other activity that will keep her mind from drifting.

    5. Depending on her behaviour in other contexts (such as school, with her friends, etc.) you need to be concerned about this behaviour only if its happening in public or even at home if its happening unconsciously (in which case you could come up with a signal to remind her to stop). All the best!

    Deepti Jun 27 2019

    My son is 4 year old. He does not like to follow instructions and is very restless most of the time. How to handle and make him understand the importance to follow.

    Deepti Jun 27 2019

    @Deepti Dear parent, I can understand your difficulty. Getting pre-schoolers to follow instructions is no cakewalk! The simple rule to getting your child to follow your instructions is not to get into a power struggle with him. But before I suggest any strategies, I would like to ask you: How do you respond to your defiant pre-schooler? What do you say or do when he doesnt listen to you? Do you get frustrated? Angry? Do you scold? Yell? Hit?

    1. As parents, it is extremely important- if we want our children to follow us- to first display emotional regulationthat is, get a hold on your emotions first. Pause and calm down. Instead of thinking hes doing this to trouble me, think differently Hes doing this because thats what kids do. This will make a world of a difference in your attitude when you approach him to complete some tasks.

    2. What are the types of instructions your child is more resistant to follow? Is it about dressing up for school in the morning? Or clearing up his toys? Or something else? For routine-related issues, such as getting up in the morning and going to school, you could involve him in making a picture time table for himself. Have him cut colourful pictures from magazine and stick them in a sequence of what order we follow when we get upwe brush our teeth, have breakfast, etc. So when he actually gets up, instead of telling him what to do, simply point to his chart. He is much more likely to follow something he has taken ownership of.

    3. Try being playful instead of doling out instructions. Instead of saying clean up your room, try saying I bet you can't put all the blocks in your basket! and challenge him to do so within 1 minute. From a resistant pre-schooler you have will have an eager child who runs to win the game.

    All the best!

    Adyasha Jun 27 2019

    How to handle excessive anger and mood swings in kids?

    Adyasha Jun 27 2019

    @Adyasha How to overcome stress in teenagers

    Adyasha Jun 27 2019

    @Adyasha Dear parent, it is indeed difficult to see our kids being excessively angry and having mood swings. Children get easily overwhelmed by situations in which they perceive a lack of control. They dont have the vocabulary to express their feelings. They also lack the ability to be able to soothe themselves or remedy their upset. This results in an outburst, typically expressed through crying or by throwing a tantrum or mood swings. It is our job as sensitive caregivers to help them tide these emotions. Here are some of the ways you can help your child when she experiences anger or mood swings:

    1. Pause: The first step is to watch out for your own emotional reactions. If you find yourself getting frustrated, upset, or angry, just take a deep breath and try to calm yourself. Your anger or frustration will rarely be effective in a situation in which your child is overwhelmed as well. Also, by calming yourself (instead of screaming, hitting, etc.) you will be imparting a valuable lesson to your child - that when we get angry, we have the choice to calm ourselves.
    2. Empathise and communicate: When your child is upset, logic wont often work until we have responded to their emotional needs first. Try to empathise with your child, by putting yourself in their shoes, and connecting with them emotionally. Try saying, Sometimes its really hard, isnt it? or I understand youre upset. Hold your child (if they allow you) to comfort them physically. However, this doesnt mean you give in to every wish or desire of your child. It means that you are making your child feel heard and cared for, instead of dismissing their feelings or desires as silly.
    3. Engage: By connecting with your child, you will be able to communicate to them that you are tuned into how they are feeling. Once they are tuned in, only then will they be able to talk logically with you about their behaviours. At this stage, you could bring in problem-solving that is, brainstorming about the many ways in which the problem situation could be resolved and picking one that is best feasible and acceptable to both of you.
    Its generally a good idea to discuss their behaviour and its consequences after the child has calmed down, since when the child is angry is not the best time for lessons to be learned. All the best!

    Adyasha Jun 27 2019

    @Adyasha Dear Sumita, adolescence can be a very difficult time for both teens and their parents alike. The physical, emotional, and social changes that adolescents go through can be very confusing and daunting. At this time, they require parents who understand what their teens are going through and support them in the best possible manner. The best thing you can do as a parent to help your teen overcome stress is to be cued in to her, that is, to be sensitively attuned to your teenkeep your channels of communication open, be aware of what is happening in your teens life without being intrusive and controlling, and give her the space to figure out who she is as a person. You could do this by

    1. Having open ongoing conversations with your teen on a daily basiseven if your teen tells you something you dont approve of, fight off the urge to jump in with your judgments and dislikes. Try to hear her out with patience and help her figure out her own path.

    2. Guide her in the steps she needs to take to solve a problem, you could brainstorm possible solutions with her for example, but whatever solution she chooses, help her own it by discussing the possible consequences. If you do this consistently, rest assured that you will have a strong bond with your teen and she wont think twice before sharing any part of her life with you herself.

    3. Help her balance her life (both academic pursuits, extra curricular activities, hobbies, time with friends and family) by drafting a weekly time table for herself, to prioritise whats important to her and manage her time better.

    Also emphasise to your teen the importance of getting adequate sleep, regular physical exercise, and a nutritious diet. These go a long way in keeping her mind and body healthy and stress-free. All the best!