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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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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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POSITIVE PARENTING

Positive parenting means allowing the child to develop by maintaining a supportive and respective relationship with him  . It is gentle loving guidance that keeps the kid on the right path offered in a way that resists temptation to be punitive .Understanding the child wholly by knowing his temperament , manner of reacting , his likings , habits of playing and eating  is the key to positive parenting .You have to make efforts to know the desires , thinking pattern , likings and behavioral levels of the child .The parent should be well aware of the learning ability of the child .

To understand the child well you will have to give him quality time so that you can give him affection and can communicate freely with him .Kids though small ,have full functioning minds . If you bypass their desires and feelings you reach nowhere. You can infuse good manners by explanations  , keeping patience and  not by commands.

To be a positive parent you should be proactive   that is you should be able to read the actions of the kids  and be  able to judge that the child is about to misbehave . After the child has misbehaved you should be able to react in a positive way .Children misbehave when they feel discouraged .When you use discipline methods  that overpower them or make them feel bad about themselves you lower their self esteem  .” It does not make sense to punish a child who is already feeling bad about himself and heap more discouragement on top of him”–KATHRYN .J.KVOLS.

There should be no communication gap between the child and the parent .At times the child is not able to express his feelings to the  parent because the parent is very strict and not ready to listen to the child. . The positive parent can judge what is going in the child’s mind and reacts promptly   .Never talk to the children in scaring way or impose punishments. Punishments  widen the gap between child and the parent ,children are seen retracting from parents when they are frequently punished. The children are to be disciplined with love and convinced logically for being good and responsible .

Showing   pleasant  faces to the kids makes them feel affectionate and attached .Smiling creates a friendly environment and it is seen that children respond better to an  affectionate person. Respond to your kids when they come to you expecting appreciation or smile, never let them feel that you are avoiding them. Appreciating the good efforts is a positive sign for them and an indirect suggestion of what you want them to follow.

Positive parenting becomes successful by your constant efforts for several years. You can’t make your child a genius in a day. Parents have to slow down when they  see that the child  is being burdened .They send the child to school ,after school  engage them in extracurricular activities and in sports.  Extracurricular activities and mental exercises will benefit the child when it is allowed in limits .Children should be allowed to participate according to their capabilities eg.I want to show you a day’s schedule of my niece who is seven years old –She goes to school at 7.30 A.M. comes back at 2 P.M.,goes to dance class at 3P.M. for an hour , plays table tennis at 6P.M.She gets too tired because in addition she has to do the daily home work given in school .She committed one day regarding her tiredness to her  brother . He said you can stop doing one of the three activities . She readily said school can be stopped  , meaning that children are being overburdened in school .The time they spend over there is disproportionate to their age and so the child feels bored .The ability to learn is enhanced when the child is ambitious and enjoys in the atmosphere.

The  parents should organize the activities of their children  in a proper way .As per study recently it was quoted in the newspapers that Indian children spend much more time in school as compared to their peers in the Western countries. The child is not enjoying at the place of learning ,meaning there are some faulty techniques operating in the school .You are sending the child to school to learn but today’s education system is burdening the children with heaps of information which is  to be memorized .It will basically help the child  to earn his livelihood in later life . Advice is beneficial but falls behind .

Parents are to be the role models of their kids. It is with the parents that the child interacts since birth   and hence they are the ones who influence him the most. Being  good role models covers half  your  journey of building the character of your child .Love your children unconditionally and do not hesitate in expressing it in the form of hugs ,kisses ,words of love and affectionate responses .These will make the children know your concern for them .Being positive parents is not just  a simple task ,you have to be dedicated to mould your babies into the best human beings .Sadhguru  has rightly said that before you bring the new life into the world you should be prepared to sacrifice yourself by being committed to  the 20 year long project of upbringing the child.

 

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PARENTING BASICS

Parenting is not always about teaching the child  about the do’s and don’ts .Parents should learn the art of being happy from their toddlers .These  children involve the parent to play with him and enjoy the moments of fun when the child rides on him  by asking him  to acquire the position of a  horse. The child crawls and run about the house with the parent following him .

The only thing which a parent should  give to the  child is abundant  love , provide care and support  and teach him a few basics of life  required by him for surviving. The child should be allowed to grow by using his own intelligence. Parenting becomes a difficult task when the parents desire that the child should grow according to their wish  .Let the child enjoy his BACHPAN and do not try to pressurize him with the burden of going to school carrying the heavy bag on his back .

The main thing which a parent should adopt while raising a child is LEARNING TO BE HAPPY. The parent’s  personality should be such that it  always attracts the child. It is truly said that” the true wealth of the family is the responsive nurturing of children that will enrich the society with confident high esteemed adolescents”. Sadhguru has  rightly said that “ a child is a privilege ,this bundle of joy has come through you ,nurture him with love and support.”

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PARENTAL ROLE IN HANDLING EXAMINATION STRESS

 

Examination is such a word  ,the thought of which is sufficient to cause stress in the mind of the examinee .All children right from the school age till the time of career development and even after that for competitive examinations pass through  this stressful phase .Parents are also seen in a tense state due to the exams.They are advised to remain stress free if they actually want to help their children overcome the stress of examinations .

The parents should organize the activities of the child at home . If the children are doing the regular home work and learning it becomes easier for them to overcome the stress of examinations . We hear small children saying that they are very busy because they are having their exams .They have to learn a lot and so are not allowed to play or watch the TV .Parents can help children in handling the examination stress in a perfect way if they had been helping the children daily with their academics.They should-

  1. Pursue their children to follow the time table at home regularly . Study time ,play time and TV watching time are all to be fixed
  2. They should make them study actively . The parent should be available close by when the child is doing his home work so that the child’s difficulty can be solved fast . The parent should spare time to hear the answers to the questions .
  3. The children should be asked to study in a peaceful place . They should not be assigned household chores during the exam time . If the children have completed their learning they can assist the mother just for a change
  4. Do not be annoyed with them and do not pass negative remarks regarding their studies at this peak time as these will make the child feel bad and disturb his effort for studying .
  5. Make the child learn for the coming next day test and not to waste time in other activities . Teach him some tips for memorizing the answers . Give some questions and ask the child to write down the answers in a fixed period of time . This serves as a pre test for the child.
  6. Ask your child to relax by playing or walking outside . TV watching can be allowed for a very short period , rather due to the distracting effect it should be avoided . The child can be permitted to hear music.
  7. The children should be sent out to get fresh air hence activities like playing and walking should be encouraged.
  8. When the child sits for a long time he becomes lethargic . He becomes tired and his brain becomes incapable of retaining after a peak time. It wants rest in the form of relaxation . To relax child may go out . When he plays outside or does some exercise endorphins are released They are feel good hormones and help the child in overcoming stress.
  9. Give the child the right food . Due to stress the children opt to give up meals This is not advisable as the brain needs energy . Children should have a balanced diet at least two times a day . In addition fruits can be taken any number of times . Fatty food should be avoided as it produces lethargy due to slower digestion .
  10. Encourage the child with positivity . Teach him the habit of studying—relaxing –studying . Continuous studying is a boredom and brings letharginess.
  11. The most important thing is to make the child take appropriate sleep on the night before the examination day . Child should sleep at the scheduled time and take at least 6-8 hours of sleep . This helps in giving rest to the tired brain and it becomes active the next morning when the child wakes up fresh .
  12. Last moment study should be discouraged . If your exam is at 9 A.M. stop learning after 7 A.M. Do your daily chores , keep your writing material and the entrance card ready and go for the examination with a relaxed mind . I found this very helpful throughout my study period that is up to completing my M.D. examination .

At times we hear that the student became blank in the examination hall . He was not able to recall anything to write . He had studied the whole night without any rest . Adolescents face this problem often specially in competitive exams. They should be counseled by teachers and counselors .

Parents should not pressurize the children to excel in their classes . This becomes a major stress producing factor . The child should be encouraged to do his best and the parent should accept his result willingly . He should not be compared with the siblings nor with the peers .