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TEMPER TANTRUMS

You must have heard about or must have witnessed a toddler or a preschool child going in rage .In our country we designate it as “baccha jidd mein  hai “.In medicine this is denoted by the term” Temper Tantrum “.

Temper tantrums are a child’s expression of anger in outbursts of rage . When a child goes in a rage , parents blame themselves for their ineffective parenting skills . The parents themselves are in a emotionally unstable state . Temper tantrums are a normal part of child development .

They may  occur due to 1. Frustration and fatigue ,2. May be attention seeking or demanding , 3.Refusal , 4. Disruptive ,5. Potentially harmful ,6. Rage like . Tantrums usually start before 2 years of age when a child tries to communicate his desires in different ways . He will express his feelings in the manner which he is able to do . They usually  decrease by 4 years of age but can persist in later years also .Parental depression and family violence may be the contributing factors  for tantrums .

HOW TO DEAL WITH THE TANTRUMS-

  1. Parent should remain calm while handling a child with tantrum . The child is not able to calm down if the parent is apprehensive .
  2. Find out the cause for the tantrum . If the child is frustrated due to excessive fatigue or hunger , he needs support , sleep or food . A few words with positive affirmations can help the child . Comfort him if the tantrum was due to fear . If the child felt ignored before the tantrum then spend quality time with him playing and reading . Mild ailments like pains or some digestive problem can also cause tantrum.
  3. For those tantrums in which children are making unusual demands it is best to ignore them till the child becomes calm over time .
  4. Take steps to prevent the child from getting hurt . Remove all dangerous things from the path . Hold the child firmly . Speak assuringly specially when the tantrum was due to frustration or unfamiliar surroundings. Talk to the child when he calms down . Discuss with him the tantrum and its concern .
  5.  Tantrums seen in school going children are seen as refusal tantrums .Refusal tantrums on issues as going to bed and to school are to be dealt with firmness and consistency . Parents should request the child to comply their sayings and give them time for compliance . If this request fails then the child should be physically moved to the bed or into the car .
  6. When behaviour is disruptive and out of control or occurs in a grocery store physical removal of the child is the best . You may have to carry the child kicking and screaming . You should remain calm whilst doing all this . Allow the child to calm down . This should be followed by time outs.
  7. When significant rage with potential for physical injury occurs hold the child to calm down and allow him to relax  . Discuss with the child when he has calmed down . Explain to him that this behaviour is not acceptable , and make him know that you love him .
  8. Never smock the child .Never yell or speak harshly when you want to stop him throwing a tantrum . Tell him that screaming is not good . Stop screaming then only will your mother talk to you .
  9. Ask your child to express his feelings verbally rather than by tantrums . You yourself should bring down your frustration level by calming down .

 

 

 

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TEMPERAMENT – ITS IMPORTANCE

TEMPERAMENT-A child’s temperament describes the way in which the child reacts to the world . It is his special way of responding  . Temperament is intrinsic and is not affected by parenting styles , rather depending on the temperament the parents have to adopt measures  for bringing him  up .By understanding the temperament of the child parents are able to identify child’s values and the support the child requires to succeed in making the relationships . They are able to accept the characteristics of their child and understand fully that they are not in any way responsible for the child’s temperament . When the temperament of the parent and children differs behavior problems are likely to occur . Active children are a problem for low key parents . Overt parents create pressure on a child who is slow .

The parameters of temperament are – activity , rhythmicity , response to stimulus (withdrawal or approach ), adaptability to daily routines and changes , sensitivity to what is going around him , intensity of reactions , quality of mood , distractibility how distractible and persistent she might be during an activity (attention span ).Researcher’s have categorized children into 3 categories depending on their  temperament –

1.Easy or flexible : Children tend to be happy , are adaptable , develop regular sleeping and eating habits . They are calm and do not get upset on small provocations .

2.Active or feisty: Children are fussy , have no set routine for feeding and sleeping . They are fearful in going to face new situations , easily get upset , their reactions are intense and they cry frequently .

3.Slow to warm or cautious: Children may be fussy , have low activity level , withdraw or react negatively to new situations . With passage of time they may become active and start having positive reactions  on change of environment . Not all children fall into the above three categories .

A child’s basic temperament does not change with the parenting styles , but continuous efforts and consistency by the parents can intensify or lessen some of his characters eg . by regular responsive nurturing a active child may start crying less or when parents persist or encourage a child to solve a puzzle or complete the home work which he does not like to do may succeed in strengthening his parameter of persistence.

The temperament can also undergo some modification  by interacting with the environment eg . a child with low adaptability being cared in a girl’s hostel where the environment places a priority in developing the routines as waking up , going for toilet , eating , playing , schooling , and then sleep will start developing the routine with passage of time . This she does by the response to the caregiver’s attitude and by observing her school mates .

By proper understanding of the temperament caregivers can give special attention to the child as per his requirement . They can guide the child to express himself appropriately . They can predict the undesired behavior by noticing the activities of the child eg in case of a active child they know that even a minor stimulus will provoke his crying and he might go into tantrum so the parent tries to avoid the circumstances leading to tantrum . If they see that the child is fatigued they will quickly make him sleep or when the child appears to be hungry will  feed him on priority .

 

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WELCOMING THE SECOND CHILD

When the second child comes in the family you are more confident for his rearing as you have already learnt the skills earlier .The first child should be prepared for welcoming his sib ,he should be told in the antenatal period that soon he will be having a companion to play with at home .The child is very excited and as per your advice receives the younger one with full enthusiasm .As he sees you giving more of your time in looking after the newborn he starts feeling neglected .He starts becoming jealous and may start showing resentment . He may show regressive behavior may have enuresis that is starts wetting the bed even though full control was achieved earlier. Tantrums may become frequent to seek your attention .

Parents have to deal with such situations positively –

Never let your first child feel that you are now loving the newborn only . You have to explain to him that as he is unable to do his work you have to give him more time but your  love for  him persists  as before. You can narrate to him that he too was brought up in the same manner like his younger one . This can be done by showing him his photographs and videos .

You should engage the child in helping you for doing small chores for the baby .He can be asked to fetch his clothes from the drawer and hand it over to you , asked to get you the diapers when you change them .You can ask the elder one to select the clothes and toys for the second one . This will make him feel important and responsible .

Ask him to share his toy with the young one . Allow him to see and play with the toys of the young one . He will enjoy  beating the rattle  to distract  and quieten the newborn .

Always  instruct  the elder one that he should never try to put anything into the mouth of the younger sib  . Smaller food articles and toys may cause choking .

Arrange and fix time to be with the first one all alone . You can play with him , take him for a walk in the garden or  he may be taken to a zoo. Narrate him a story and whilst interacting tell about the newborn’s  inability to do anything by himself .You can also tell him that he too was so helpless when he was small and you had to do all his work . The younger one will soon grow and will be there to play with him .

When you take the newborn out allow the first child to support the pram by holding the handle . He will feel his importance on doing the job.

Tell him about his role of being a big brother / sister .Being older he is also supposed to look after the newborn.

 

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TELEVISION AND ITS EFFECTS ON CHILDREN

Today we find a television in about 75%Indian homes.It is a good source of entertainment for members of all ages .  Researchers insist that children below 2 years age  should not be permitted to watch the television  . After this the children can be permitted to watch the TV but for very short periods only . The school going children can be allowed to watch the TV for about 10 hours in a week . Watching TV affects the sleep , study and meals .

The parental attitude towards the TV plays a major role . If both the parents spend their spare time in watching TV the children  invariably imbibe the habit of sitting in front of screen . This is because the children copy the activities of their parents . Many times the parents allow them indefinite TV time so that they can complete their scheduled work .

Literate parents allow the children to watch the educational programs . Initially these parents allow them to view the cartoon characters and ask them to sketch out the same cartoons to improve their fine motor skills of drawing .

To prevent improper eatings habits and  sleep problems TV viewing should not be permitted with meals , and there should be no TV in the bedroom . The TV is to be  in the common room where it can be accessed by all members. The TV can be a useful means for mass teaching programs. It is being used in the schools assuming that children grasp what they see faster and retain the same for a longer time .

Harmful effects –

  1. Children who are permitted to watch the TV before 2 years age have delayed language development .
  2. They have reduced attention paying capacity .
  3. Children demand the products they see being advertised. Many of these products are costly and unhealthy . This imposes an additional economic burden on the family for purchasing them .
  4. Children are exposed to violence . After watching such serials of violence they believe that violence is an acceptable way of solving conflicts .
  5. Those children who are allowed to watch the fighting programs develop an aggressive nature , unfriendly and revengeful thoughts come to harbour their minds . Children are exposed to pornography and they become addicted to it .
  6. They may imitate the risk taking behaviour as jumping from heights like superman or try to copy the cycle stunts which can cause them physical harm .
  7. Eating disorders are seen in the form of taking excessive snacks while sitting in front of the screen ..They also take the colas and the fruit juices . Children start smoking and  consuming alcohol by experimenting after they have seen serials in which these habits are practised by the actors . By watching the adverse programs regarding sex the  teenagers face teenage pregnancies .
  8. In families where there is too much TV viewing , family problems are not solved as all the members are busy in watching the screen and we see cases of anxiety / depression in the members .
  9. Children are not able to concentrate in studies . Their minds are distracted by the oncoming programs which they want to watch .
  10. They become sedentary by sitting in front of the screen , do not have outdoor play activity . This leads to obesity which itself has many complications in later life .
  11. Watching TV can induce seizures in the epileptic patients . The children have night mares when they watch frightening scenes just before going to bed . TV news of disasters can also cause night mares . Sleep problems occur when the TV is watched for a longer time , till late hours in the bedroom of the child .
  12. Too much viewing causes shortsightedness , disrupts the hormonal balance , increases the risk of cancer and premature puberty . It decreases metabolism leading to obesity which leads to Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 followed by later complications of Diabetes commonest being the heart disease .

 

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TEACHING CHILDREN ABOUT MANAGING DAY TO DAY FINANCES

“Spend according to your pocket”, is  a commonly heard proverb. There is a faint line demarcating extravagancy and economy . Financial discipline should be inculcated at an early age . If the parents are extravagant they cannot teach children to be economical . Children think that money  can be obtained easily by a magical card when they see their parents getting the money by using the ATM card . Children are to be made well versed in spending money . This aspect of dealing with finances should be taught to the child with priority.

Children should be taught about the finances from  early childhood  as soon as they are  able to identify money and know for what it  is used  . They see their parents getting a lot of things for them eg. toys , clothes , eatables , play games , and many more things by using money .As  the children are not told about the money in the early years so it is natural for the child to assume that it is easily obtainable . Money matters should be taught to the children while teaching them other skills.

The parents should involve the children while discussing the family matters including the finances. They can start teaching the financial matters by giving them a certain amount of money which  is called  pocket money and allow the children to  spend according to their wish. Children should be explained the value of money ,and should also be told about the importance of making savings for emergency funds. Either parent should monitor the manner in which the child spends the pocket money . They can be allowed to work and earn on the week ends as the children of the Western world are doing .In this manner they will be able to  understand the value for money in a better way . They are provided the piggy banks to put in their savings. Older children are explained about opening their savings accounts in the banks and post offices . They are told  about earning interest on these savings . Now children above 10 years age have been empowered for operating the bank accounts . The amount  saved can be drawn and utilised at a later date when needed . This helps them in understanding the value of saving which will be of use in later life . Young children are seen competing regarding the amount which they have saved . This teaches them to spend conservatively and gain  self confidence .

Parents should narate to the children the turmoil which they face for earning the money . Therefore it is very necessary to use it appropriately at the right time . Doing charity and helping needy classmates can be the other fields where the children can spend their money .

To teach them managing accounts while spending, the best exercise that can be offered is – Take the child to the grocery store along with you . Ask him to pay the bill and receive the change . Let him count the change and ask him whether the account is correct or not . At a later period the child can be sent alone to get the grocery items. When he comes home check the accounts and if found correct he should be praised and appreciated .These repetitions will make him confident in doing the purchases and dealing with the monetary funds .

 

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STRATEGIES FOR EDUCATING CHILDREN – ROLE OF TEACHERS

The teachers should-

1.Encourage initiative in young children . Children in preschool and early chilhood should be allowed to explore the world. Children love to play ,so should be allowed activities they would like to do by providing them materials which would stimulate their imagination . Encourage fantasy play . Train them to assume responsibility for putting the toys and articles used back in their respective places . They can be trained to look after a plant in the garden by watering it and removing the weeds . This will help in making them responsible . Young children are likely to make mistakes. They should be told about their mistakes softly and should never be critisized for not doing the work properly ,so that they do not feel guilty . Children should be given age appropriate easy tasks to work on . Tough academic problems should be avoided as these lead to frustration .

2.Provide a healthy atmosphere in school : The atmosphere in the school should be such that the child likes to go there willingly . Teachers should explain to them the importance of studying and learning which will help them achieve their goals . Questions harbour the minds of the children . They should be answered by the teachers . They should be firm and consistent to make them follow the rules . Teachers should not be very harsh on the child . They should give  attention to all students in the same manner , help them correct their mistakes and improve to achieve their goals.

3.Stimulate identity exploration inthe children .Adolescents should be asked about their vocational goals , hobbies and intellectual achievements . They should be asked to express their views. They can be made to participate in religious , political and ideological debates .

4.Promote activities that will arouse creative interest in the students . They can ask them to draw the portraits of their most loved ones , to write about them , reasons for loving them and much more.

5.The teacher should develop positive close relationships with the students . The student will reciprocally develop positive attitude towards him . I saw a very interesting emotional video of a student who lost his mother due to cancer . The teacher took over the role of a mother to the student . This gesture enabled the child to achieve his goal in life .A competent teacher’s trust , initiative and mastery motivates the students in a positive manner. The students like to copy the teacher in all respects .

6.The teachers should be impartial .They should treat all students alike . There should be no discrimination on basis of colour , caste  and socio economic status .  Teachers have been seen to be  the mediators in raising children from low socioeconomic class to develop cognitively and reach high levels.

 

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ROLE OF GRANDPARENTS IN UPBRINGING CHILDREN

ROLE OF GRAND PARENTS – In the modern scenario we see that the grandparents are staying away from the children . Some lucky children experience the love and affection of their grandparents since birth . When the grandparents are staying away from the children may be due to jobs or any other reason it is the duty of the child’s parents to promote bonding  of grandparents and the grandchildren . This bond affects the development of the children .

Grandparents teach the children a lot about their traditional family  culture .They narrate to the children the hours of enjoyment specially on festivals which they spent with their parents when they were children like them . They have more time to read out to the kids and tell them stories . Grandmothers help the female child developing skills  in art and  craft work.

The grandparents being free from job can take the grandchildren out on walks  and help them enjoy nature. Children get infinite love from them and feel secure in their presence when their parents are away on duty. Working parents when they leave their children with maids under the supervision of grandparents do not have to worry about the security of their children .

There is a strong notion in the family that due to over pampering by the grandparents children get spoilt . It is true that children when being scolded due to inappropriate behavior by their parents seek support from the grandparent . It is desired that instead of showering   love in such instances , the grandparent should make the grandchild realize his wrong behavior .

HOW CAN PARENTS  HELP THEIR CHILDREN TO BOND WITH THE GRANDPARENTS –

1.Parents should make their children visit their grandparents frequently .

  1. They should stay in touch with them through advanced media technology and the skype .
  2. Make the children recognize their grandparents in photographs .
  3. Encourage communication by phones and emails .The email will help the child in learning writing skills .
  4. Pass on the hobby tools of the grandparents as paintings , craft work , crochet work  to kids . Any embroidered pieces of work can also be shown to the child . This helps in developing creativity in the child .
  5. Parents should make the children chart a family tree . They are required to help them in this work . If possible the children should be encouraged to get the photographs of all family members which can then be affixed on the charted tree. To increase their knowledge , children can be asked to enter the cities where the family members are residing .

Whenever the grandparents visit the children it is the duty of the parent to child proof their house .They should remove all hazardous articles away from the child’s reach . Children being very enthusiastic explore the home for showing things to the grandparents ,hence the parents should be very careful and should keep the harmful things away .