The way you were brought up, the experiences you had with your parents and even your peer groups play a very important role in shaping you. You may have some complaints about your parents. You may even have some grudge against your parents that has stayed with you for years. Maybe your parents did not …
Here we write articles for on behavioural, emotional difficulties that children face, and some tools and strategies to manage them.
Those of us who have children who are irritable and easily angered probably wonder why they are so short-tempered, why they snap back for everything we say and just WHY they are so aggressive. Most of the reasons we manage to think about center around stubbornness, immaturity, peer pressure, deriving pleasure out of rebellion and an irresponsible approach to life. Naturally, our approach towards correcting such behaviors stem from these reasons. We chide our children, give them repeated instructions and make repeated attempts to get them to obey and conform. However, if you have noticed, these may not have worked. You may see that your child still continues to defy and disobey. In fact, most of you may notice that the more you try to correct your child, the more defiant and oppositional your child becomes.
The Inner Space team announces a parent group session on communication with children. In any relationship, we understand what the opposite person thinks and feels about us only through what they communicate to us, verbally and non-verbally. This is perhaps why ‘telling it right’ is very important in a parent-child relationship too.
As parents, we are naturally concerned about our children. We want them to have a bright future and be self sufficient. Anything that we see as taking the child away from this prospect worries us. We worry, fret and spend considerable time and energy correcting the child. “Don’t do this, it’s bad for you.” “Why don’t you listen to me?”, “I’m saying this for your good and nobody else’s!!” are some statements you would probably connect with. At times, we happen to spend ALL our time with the child in correcting him/her. We consider it our duty to mould them right. Hence, many of us would be constantly on the lookout for the negative behavior, be it disinterest in studies, lack of social interaction, excessive viewing of television, argumentativeness or aggression. Every repetition of that behavior frustrates us and we chide and scold our children or maybe even beat them. However, a good number of times, our child continues to engage in the negative behavior. Therefore, is the current approach you are using effective? What is going wrong here?
Play. A word that is synonymous with setting the mind free, using imagination and almost creating a new world. However, today, we are increasingly turning to electronic games to fill in most of our play time. Video games and the like are certainly entertaining and stimulating. With advanced technology and thrilling effects, they sure give us an adrenaline rush! However, forms of conventional or traditional play can also offer us a number of psychological benefits in addition to physical benefits. We could be missing out on a world of good that our good old indoor board games, outdoor games and imaginative play could do to us. Wonder how? Let’s explore.
Depression can affect children as well.
Many of us would feel that this is just a child, how can he/she be depressed? Perhaps it’s just a mood swing or a phase. Yes, that happens too. Not every child who seems sad or introverted is depressed. But if you notice a significant change in your child’s behavior, which he just doesn’t seem to be ‘getting over’ and is adversely impacting his school work and/or relationships, perhaps it’s time to pay attention.
Given the fast paced life we all lead, it is a tad too difficult to supervise our children the way our parents probably did. They need to be more independent and therefore need to be aware of all the do’s and don’ts of daily life, especially those pertaining to safety. While this is of paramount importance, it is equally important to provide a balanced perspective of safety to our children.
What I mean to say is we need to guard against communicating to the child that ‘the world is an unsafe place’ and that ‘people are all out to take advantage of you.’ If the child adopts any such belief, it may lead to emotional turmoil which could manifest in anxiety and apprehension, separation anxiety and clinginess or a refusal to be alone. Let us understand better how this happens:
‘Self-esteem’ is, to put it simply, what an individual thinks of himself/ herself. Also known as ‘self-confidence’, self-esteem is a key determinant of how we feel about ourselves and the world. It drives our actions and choices and pretty much establishes how we live our lives. Think about that goal you’ve been longing to achieve but haven’t tried to so far. There’s something about that goal which is repulsive…or intimidating. The overt thought is “I want this and don’t want it at the same time.” In several cases, the underlying thought is, “what if I am not able to achieve it??” This ‘what if?’ is so threatening that we choose to ‘camp’ and to stop pursuing that goal.
‘Initiative versus Guilt’ is one of the eight stages of psychosocial development proposed by pioneering psychoanalyst Erik Erikson (1902 – 1994). Each of the stages described by Erikson constitute a milestone in personality development, wherein the child is faced with a primary psychological issue / theme/ conflict that he/she needs to resolve satisfactorily for healthy development of the personality. For eg., the conflict faced by the child in its first year is, “ Is the world a good and safe place to live in?” and in its second year is, “Am I capable of controlling my environment?”