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    3. PARENTS ASK, EXPERT ANSWERS | BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS IN CHILDREN [January 20, 2021]

    Behaviour

    PARENTS ASK, EXPERT ANSWERS | BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS IN CHILDREN [January 20, 2021]

    Behaviour

    PARENTS ASK, EXPERT ANSWERS | BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS IN CHILDREN [January 20, 2021]

    One of the biggest challenges parents face is managing the difficult behavior of children - whether they are refusing to put on their shoes, or throwing a tantrum in public. Often parents find themselves at a loss for an effective way to respond to their children.

    Let our parenting expert guide you through it!

    Ask your questions here mentioning the childs age. Our expert will be happy to suggest consistent ways to manage such behavioral problems in children. ... more

    • Team ParentCircle
    • 171
    • 8
    • 283 days ago

    Comments

    Team ParentCircle 281 days ago

    We'd like to thank our expert, Ms Arundhati Swamy for taking out her time to take up all questions on priority today for our community members. Thank you parents for asking your questions today. Feel free to leave your responses or ask more queries if you may have.

    Team ParentCircle 282 days ago

    My child is very emotional & sensitive. She is 7 years , almost 8. On playdates and in sports(PE) lessons she wants everyone to follow what she thinks is right. She doesn't like if the other kids want to do something else or she focusses on what the other kids are doing in PE lesson instead of her own. Then she takes things personally and starts complaining and whining. Suppose , kids are playing with a ball and the ball comes to her, she thinks the boys are troubling her on purpose and goes right to the teacher to complain. Instead of thinking whether the kids did it on purpose to trouble her or not. How should I teach her not to be so touchy and only focus on her ownself?

    Team ParentCircle 282 days ago

    @Team ParentCircle Dear Parent, it is challenging to cope with a touchy child because you will have to be alert and try hard to keep her emotions under control. Some children are naturally more sensitive than others and hence reactive to people and situations. Your child also seems to want things her way and most peers will not indulge in her wants and demands. This makes your child feel left out and ignored, because children do not have the patience to fuss over someone. They want to get on with their games and activities and have a good time.
    Lets begin by trying to understand why your child is so insistent. Is it because at home people tend to give in to her because it makes her happy, or because its the easier thing to do, or because they want to avoid a tantrum? If so, then you would need to work on your feelings first what drives you to be indulgent with her. Explore this in the context of your own growing up experiences and look for clues thats how you were raised or wished to be raised; or you believe that its alright to give in to your childs demands, perhaps because she is still small, and it wont matter later on.
    Children feel better when we draw clear boundaries for them and set the right expectations, because they are not yet capable of doing it for themselves. And when a parent does not draw those boundaries a child feels lost. Boundaries for behaviour are crucial for helping children develop self-control. Perhaps you have been drawing loose boundaries where you state them but allow your child to get away with being demanding. Or have you been drawing inconsistent boundaries or your child where you are sometimes firm and give in easily at other times? Inconsistent boundaries leave a child feeling very confused and they learn to cope with this by manipulating you. But none of this will work with peers and people outside the home, hence the difficulties in getting on well with them.
    Do set clear boundaries and every time your child steps beyond them, be firm. It will make her unhappy but its okay. She will soon learn to stay within those boundaries of acceptable behaviour more often. It will also make her more aware of others needs and she will learn to adjust in group play.
    Your child tends to seek attention by complaining to the teacher when she feels left out and ignored. It helps her compensate for the lack of attention from friends and classmates. So the key is to give her frequent reminders when she resorts to power tactics to get her own way, and help her become comfortable with listening to others as well, and accommodating their needs too. Allow her to experience the discomfort of feeling disappointment, at home where you can support her by saying, I know you are feeling disappointed that you cant play for more time. Let me give you a big hug. These words and gesture embody empathy and makes your child feel understood. She thinks, Mumma knows ow I am feeling, and shes not angry with me. As the disappointment subsides she becomes more ready to listen to your suggestions as you work things out together.
    Hope this has been helpful. All the best.

    Vineeth Sengupta 282 days ago

    My 8 year old seems to be seeking attention a lot. Mostly from friends and people at school and not at home. She goes to an extent where she says she does home work, studies so that her teacher will call out her name in class and appreciate. I personally felt that wasn't the right way for her to take her studies. She does a lot and spends a lot of money on her clothes and gift for friends but I am unsure how much her friends feel the same way towards her. I don't want her to feel hurt...how can I make her understand there?

    Vineeth Sengupta 282 days ago

    @Vineeth Sengupta Dear Vineeth, you are on the right track in seeking solutions to your daughters attention seeking behaviour. Addressing the issue at a young age will definitely help her grow in confidence and use her full potential. There could be several reasons why your child is craving for attention at school. So, its best to elicit the reasons from her. Often children are not aware of what makes them behave in certain ways and therefore they cannot control those behaviours. So, your first step would be to understand that she is dealing with strong emotions. You could begin by having friendly and casual chats about school what happens in class, who her friends are, what mischief takes place, her favourite teachers. This exercise is more of information gathering for you so that you get a broad understanding of her school and classroom. Do not pass any judgments on what she shares with you, just continue to be interested. This will encourage her to share more details. As she gains comfort in sharing with you, you could gently begin to probe into her feelings, What did you feel when your friend did well in the test, or It must have been so tempting to join in the prank, and so on. Gradually she will express deeper feelings. She will need your help to manage those bid feelings. You could say, It must be so hard for you. How can I help you? Many times, just being a quiet listener could help her clear her mind and work things out for herself.
    If you sense that she does not feel good about herself, explore those feelings with her. Try to get down to when she started feeling poorly about herself and how it has led her to behave in certain ways holding back or pretending to be good at something, and the image she presents of herself to others. From there on do little things at home that will help build her confidence involve her in simple household decisions, seek her opinion about something, ask her to help you through a dilemma (do keep her age in mind).
    Children with low self esteem also tend to seek acceptance from friends by being overly generous. Some friends could take advantage of this generosity or take her for granted, which would make her feel resentful and trapped. So yes, its good that you are taking this step to help your daughter.
    With regards to her studies, evaluate her strengths and identify areas she may need help with. Let her know that she must compete with herself set small achievable targets, improve gradually and bridge the gaps. Show her how to break up the studies into small chunks. Does she have unrealistic expectations of herself in academic work? Let her know that she could be above average in some subjects and average in some. And its okay to be that way. All the best!

    Dharini Srinivasan 282 days ago

    Parent of 7 year old boy. How can improve the temper related issues in single child especially when we ask the child to stop using gadgets or watching tv? Being a working mother and husband mostly on travel I find it hard to control his temper related to gadget addiction. My son gets angry very often. Also how can we imbibe the concept of sharing and caring, though we as parents keep telling about the benefits of sharing and caring.

    Dharini Srinivasan 282 days ago

    @Dharini Srinivasan Dear Parent, you are faced with three challenges raising a single child, being a working mother, and managing things on your own most of the time. It must be so hard for you. Lets work together on this and give you as much support as we can. First we will examine whats happening to you.
    Do you feel physically exhausted and emotionally drained? If so, we suggest that you take care of yourself first, only then will you feel strong enough to cope with your responsibilities. Hard as it may be, please make sure you get restful sleep every night, that you eat regularly and stay fit. Only then will you have the energy to attend to your multiple tasks.
    List out all the emotions you experience and know that they are all normal emotions. Frustration, loneliness and helplessness are common among mothers whose spouses are away most of the time. Indulge in some self-talk tell yourself its okay to feel all those emotions. It will help reduce the intensity of the emotions and bring them down to manageable levels.
    Find friends whom you can talk to when you need a shoulder to lean on, to vent out or just take a short break. You could also be that friend for someone who has similar needs. Its reassuring to know that other mothers share similar challenges.
    Do only as much as you can at a comfortable pace. Shouldering all the responsibility of the family and home can often make you stretch yourself beyond reasonable limits and you dont need to prove anything to anyone.
    Many working mothers come home tired and dive into household work. But your child is waiting for you all day, when you will reconnect with him. Those few moments of connection with your child as soon as you return home recharges emotional energy for both of you. Spend those moments chatting, or watching what he is doing, or even sit together enjoying each others company, sharing how the day went off, relating some humourous story about the office. This puts you and your son in a positive frame of mind and done, regularly, it will build a strong parent-child relationship. Wait for this to happen you will find him talking and sharing more than before, he offers to help you, and he begins to listen to you. You are both ready for sorting out the next problem his use of gadgets.
    Talk to him about what he enjoys about them, let him teach you how to use new features. Show interest in what he enjoys. It makes him feel good about himself. By laying this foundation you are also preparing the way for more serious conversations about gadgets and setting clear rules about their usage. Research tells us that children who feel accepted, valued and understood by their parents are more likely to be cooperative and helpful.
    To imbibe values of caring and sharing in your child, make sure he sees you practicing those values regularly. Once your relationship is stronger with your son, talk to him about charity, ask him how he would like to help and what kind of help he would like to give people. Volunteering is a great way to introduce children to compassion and care. Let your child accompany you and even one a month of this activity can be impactful.
    We also have insightful articles on behaviour, emotions, working mothers, parenting the single child and instilling values in children. Do take a look at them in the articles section. All the best!

    jaydeep pardasani 282 days ago

    My 7-year old easily gets 1.angry and 2. in a shouting mode. Despite trying to make him realise repeatedly, this behaviour continues. Please tell me what to do?

    jaydeep pardasani 282 days ago

    @jaydeep pardasani As parents, we all go through stressful situations, daily. Making a conscious effort to understand what you are feeling and why, will help your child too deal with strong emotions in a healthy manner.

    Keerthi 282 days ago

    hi my 4.4 year old child easily gets irritated on silly things, any one teases him for fun and ask him to wait for 10mins in order to complete his demands. he starts shouting, whining, nagging. how to handle this behavior. recently he was medicated with steroids due to some health problem name HSP.

    Keerthi 282 days ago

    @Keerthi Dear Keerthi, since your child is under treatment for a medical condition, there are bound to be changes in his behaviour. A young child can be quite bewildered and scared of doctors and visits to the hospital. Its hard for him to understand what happening to him. He is also watching his parents expressions of worry; their conversations and discussions. The first thing you can do to help your child is to explain to him in very simple terms that he is unwell and that you and the doctors are doing their best to make him fit and strong again. He needs this reassurance from you.
    With regards to his behaviour, could it be that you are more indulgent and protective of him because of his health condition? Whatever be the case, we suggest that you focus on helping him get well, answer his questions about his condition in simple ways. Engage with him for at least 15 minutes every day playing, laughing, fooling around, telling stories, having fun and doing things together. Remember to set aside your gadgets during this one-on-one time with your child. The attention you give him during these times makes him feel important, valued and loved. While you spend time with your child every day in this manner you will discover how he thinks and feels, what excites and interests him; his fears and joys. This understanding helps you become more alert to what his facial expressions and body language is communicating to you. Thus, you will be able to respond to his needs and he learns to trust that you will always support him. Within this strong relationship your child will become more cooperative with you. We wish your son a speedy recovery.
    When he has recovered completely and if the difficult behaviours still persist, do write to us again and we will be happy to help.

    Team ParentCircle 282 days ago

    My 11 year old is very stubborn. She does not want to hear anything that's against her wishes or her behaviour. Her teachers have a couple of times mentioned that she is not able to take up criticisms or remarks made on her for various things. How to make her understand that it is ok to be imperfect. Its not that she knows what it means, but example, a week back I told her that her room was a mess and that she could do a bit of a cleaning. I offered to help her too. but she instantly refused and got angry. i don't want her to have high temper as she grows older.

    Team ParentCircle 282 days ago

    @Team ParentCircle Dear Parent, it feels like your preteen is giving you quite a difficult time. She appears to be uncooperative with you, and very sensitive to her teachers. Both these indicate that she could possibly be struggling with some big emotions inside her anger, frustration, sadness, confusion, fears. Home and school relationships are important for her overall wellbeing and sense of self, and one impacts the other. So, lets first work out what is within your control your relationship with your child. There could be several reasons for her behaviour with you. Rather than try to guess or presume those reasons, its best to find out from her. To help her see you as being approachable, could you take the first step? Say to her, I know sometimes I say or do things that upset you. I need your help to stop hurting you. This approach will require a bit of preparation on your part begin by telling yourself that all your mixed feelings towards your daughter are normal. Watch the natural flow of your own emotions and breathe slow and deep until you feel a sense of calm within you. Your childs behaviour is also a signal to you that she needs your help. Therefore, you must respond to the signal. She may be surprised by this new approach so be prepared for some strange expressions or queries from her. Stand your ground to let her know that you really are making serious attempts to sort things out with her. In time, she will soften and feel a little more relaxed. You could then ask her, How do you feel whenever I say no to something you ask for? Then allow her to express all her feelings an outpouring. Do remember, this is not about you, its about her so do not take it personally. Just remember that she is filled with mixed emotions, is unable to handle them and wants you to help her sort them out so that she can get on with her life. While you have these conversations, be more understanding rather than judgmental. Your child needs you to just listen to her. It helps her see things more objectively and the shared experience between the two of you makes her feel emotionally safe and secure. The goal is to build a strong relationship with your child. This gives her emotional strength and builds resilience that helps her cope well with situations feedback from teachers. When children are frequently upset at home, it affects how they relate to other people. Theres a very good chance that an improved relationship with your daughter will result in her feeling better about herself and more open to getting on well with people.

    Keerthi 282 days ago

    my 4 year old child sometimes struggle to strike a conversation with people or to make friends. sometimes with lots of ease he starts conversation I don't understand this behavior, how to handle such situation?

    Keerthi 282 days ago

    @Keerthi Dear Keerthi, its quite confusing isnt it, when your child displays these behaviours. So, lets try to understand the possible reasons. One thing is clear your child does have good conversational skills. But he chooses not to use them with certain people or perhaps in certain settings. And only he knows why he makes those choices. Therefore, we suggest two things you could do to understand whats going on in your child.
    First, recall the scenarios and make a few notes about the people, places and situations in which he was able to converse with ease. Do the same for the times when he struggled to make conversation.
    Next, read the details you have noted down and see if certain patterns are emerging the type of people, the places, the situations, and your childs mood during that time of the day. You could say, I saw that you were happy to talk to. Or Today you seemed to be unhappy to talk to. Proceed to help your child explain what he was thinking and feeling during those moments.
    Also, do remember that a four-year-old could respond negatively when in certain states:
    physical state tired, sleepy or hungry
    emotional state upset that you didnt get him what he asked for, or angry/sad for being forced to talk to someone when he is not in the mood or feeling ashamed because he felt embarrassed by someones comment.
    social state meeting people for the first time, especially if they look different from most people, speak a new language or are too friendly.
    Cognitive state preoccupied with some fantasy or imaginary story and does not want to be disturbed.
    The key is to accept that your young child is still trying to understand how the world around him works and withdrawing into himself is perhaps his way of finding the space to process his experiences. When he knows you are there to support him during difficult moments he will gradually learn to step out of his comfort zone. Else, pushing him into social interactions when he is not comfortable will only make him more cautious and anxious.