ASK THE EXPERT - September,October 2017

Note: Dear parents, Thank you for sending in your queries. Some of the queries put up by you were not related to children's emotional and behavioural problems but about admissions and results. Please note that this page does not address such questions. Some of you have also sent incomplete queries, with one or two word sentences, such as ‘rude behaviour', ‘happiness' and ‘aggression', which are difficult to respond to, as there is no explanation or description given about how the problem has started, what you find difficult to manage as a parent etc. The more descriptive the problem is, the better we would be able to respond to it.

Thank you

1. Why my child is so aggressive. And why she don't love to study

Gender: Female Age: 14 to 18 Category: Behavioural Issues

Response: To guide you better, we would need more information about your daughter's aggressive behaviour and lack of interest in studies. It would be essential to know about the onset, nature and severity of aggression, the situations in which she reacts aggressively and how you respond to the aggression. Similarly, it would also be important to know the exact challenges your daughter faces in her studies. Is there difficulty in understanding concepts or lack of interest or both? At times children are upset about changes in their life, peer pressure, difficulties in studies, or feelings that adults don't understand them which can contribute to them reacting with aggression. During the adolescent period, which roughly starts around 9 to 10 years of age, children go through physical, hormonal and emotional changes. The need for more autonomy and independent decision-making becomes an important concern at this age and can create a rift between what parents want from children and what children want to do. The best way to deal with this issue is to talk to her in an open and friendly manner about your observations. Allow her the space to first share her concerns and worries and work with her to find ways by which these can be addressed.

2. My son is very intelligent.. He is a quick learner..but he gets fed-up of homework.. It becomes very difficult to convince him to do his homework.. He gets more irritated with written homework than learning.

Gender: Male Age: 6 to 8 Category: Concentration, Attention and Learning Issues

Response: Children have different learning styles and some can find wtiting or homework frustrating. Acknowledge his frustration with written work but at the same time tell him how it can help him learn and revise concepts. Think of ways by which homework time can be made easier for him. It should certainly be at a time when he is fresh and able to concentrate. Make sure that your son does not study in a room with too many distractions such as people talking, television, too many toys around etc. Break his main task into smaller tasks so that he can understand them better and is also not distracted. Let him know what he can do once he finishes his work, which will help as an incentive. You can also assess if he has any difficulty in writing and if that is the case, you can provide him with the required guidance and support. Good luck!

3. My child is very stubborn and does not pay any attention towards his studies. His teacher always complains about him. I even hired a tutor for him, still there is no change in him. Kindly suggest a solution to this. Thank you.


Gender: Male Age: 14 to 18 Category: Concentration, Attention and Learning Issues

Response: Talk to your son about your concerns openly and share your expectations about studying habits, etc. Help him identify ways by which he can organize himself better so that he can fully concentrate on his work and also do it more independently. Help him make a timetable with time allocated for relaxation activities. To help him concentrate better, make sure that your son does not study in a room with too many distractions such as people talking, television. You may also tell him to keep his phone and other electronic gadgets in a separate room when he is studying. Encourage him to break his main task into smaller tasks so that he can understand them better and is not distracted. You can also assess if he is getting ample sleep, nutrition and is not disturbed by any family issues and stressors. All these things can also affect children's ability to pay attention.

Another angle to keep in mind is related to the adolescent age (roughly starting around ten years and above), which your child is going through, where a series of normal emotional, physical and social changes occur. As a result of these changes there is more interest in peers and opposite sex, less interest in spending time with family and adults, distraction, frequent arguments and need to exert their own individuality and identity etc. The adolescent period can be overwhelming for adolescents, especially if they lack correct information about the changes that they are experiencing or/and if they feel that there is no one that they can communicate with. It might help if you talk to your son in an open and friendly manner about the changes associated with this age and provide him an opportunity to share his concerns and ask questions.

3. My son is not serious in studies.

Gender: Male Age: 14 to 18 Category: Concentration, Attention and Learning issues

Response: Talk to your son about your concerns openly and share your expectations about studying habits, etc. Help him identify ways by which he can organize himself better so that he can fully concentrate on his work and also do it more independently. Help him make a timetable with time allocated for relaxation activities. To help him concentrate better, make sure that your son does not study in a room with too many distractions such as people talking, television. You may also tell him to keep his phone and other electronic gadgets in a separate room when he is studying. Encourage him to break his main task into smaller tasks so that he can understand them better and is not distracted. You can also assess if he is getting ample sleep, nutrition and is not disturbed by any family issues and stressors. All these things can also affect children's ability to pay attention.

nother angle to keep in mind is related to the adolescent age (roughly starting around ten years and above), which your child is going through, where a series of normal emotional, physical and social changes occur. As a result of these changes there is more interest in peers and opposite sex, less interest in spending time with family and adults, distraction, frequent arguments and need to exert their own individuality and identity etc. The adolescent period can be overwhelming for adolescents, especially if they lack correct information about the changes that they are experiencing or/and if they feel that there is no one that they can communicate with. It might help if you talk to your son in an open and friendly manner about the changes associated with this age and provide him an opportunity to share his concerns and ask questions.

4. My son is very intelligent.. He is a quick learner..but he gets fed-up of homework.. It becomes very difficult to convince him to do his homework.. He gets more irritated with written homework than learning.

Gender: Male Age: 6 to 8 Category: Concentration, Attention and Learning Issues

Response: Children have different learning styles and some can find wtiting or homework frustrating. Acknowledge his frustration with written work but at the same time tell him how it can help him learn and revise concepts. Think of ways by which homework time can be made easier for him. It should certainly be at a time when he is fresh and able to concentrate. Make sure that your son does not study in a room with too many distractions such as people talking, television, too many toys around etc. Break his main task into smaller tasks so that he can understand them better and is also not distracted. Let him know what he can do once he finishes his work, which will help as an incentive. You can also assess if he has any difficulty in writing and if that is the case, you can provide him with the required guidance and support. Good luck!

5. Harsh in atitudu towords brother sister

Gender: Male Age: 9 to 13 Category: Behavioural Issues

Response: Since how long has your son been acting this way? How are you currently addressing this issue? Are you resorting to physical punishment and hitting to deal with the issue or generally to discipline him? If so, then this behaviour would need to stop as hitting does not teach children anything about managing their own anger and frustration and in fact makes them angrier. Your son's harsh attitude could either be due to his inability to express his disagreement assertively or be his reaction to a stressful situation such as bullying, abuse, parental conflicts, a recent death and illness in the family or behaviour he is picking up from adults on how they deal with their conflicts. Explore these areas in order to best address the root cause of the problem. Help him think of alternative ways of expressing his views and feelings instead of resorting to harsh behaviour and model these healthy alternative behaviours yourself in conflicting situations so he gets to learn from them.