ASK THE EXPERT - June 2020

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. I want to know when this corona will end? i am very frustrated and i am getting angry very quickly. Also negative thoughts coming . please let me know what to do?

Gender: Female Age: 14-18 Category: Other

Response: Thank you for writing. The ongoing pandemic and the uncertainty of the situation can indeed be frustrating.. Feeling frustrated or fearful in these uncertain times is understandable. Children and adults alike worry about their own wellbeing and that of their loved ones. Learning to adjust to social distancing norms, hand-washing routines etc. can also be taxing. . Some of the things that you can do in the current circumstances are:

•  Accept that what you are feeling is normal under the circumstances and others are also feeling this way

•  Recognize that things will remain uncertain for some time and that it's okay not to know too much about how things would be in the future. Plan only a few days or weeks ahead

•  Try to recall past instances that were stressful and what you did to cope with them especially the negative feelings. Try applying those same coping skills in this situation and see if those help

•  Set a routine for yourself. Allocate specific time for specific tasks. A routine and regularity will help in adjusting with the recent social distancing norms.

•  Stay in touch with your friends.

•  Spend time with your loved ones. You can play games with them or think of other fun or meaningful activities to do with them

•  Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting. Rely only on authentic news sources

•  Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, exercises or play physical games

•  Make sure you are taking healthy, well-balanced meals.

•  Make sure you are sleeping at least 8 hours a day.

•  Try to indulge yourself with activities that you enjoy, but do no usually get the time to indulge in, like learning a new skill. It will help your mind focus on the present and the positive around you.

Do let us know if these were helpful for you. Good luck!

2. Im a student who studies in class 8 i have lied to my mom about completing the weekly assignments when i only did 1 or 2 week works i couldnt understand them so i just lied to her and now i feel very guilty i have been lying to her from the past 2 years i finally decided to change but i lied again so should i tell her the truth im scared she might get very angry and start crying

Gender: Male Age: 9-13 Category: Other; Behavioral

Response: Thank you for writing. It must be frustrating to not be able to understand the concepts to complete your assignments. Also to be in this conflict, whether to keep lying, or talk to your mother and see her in distress as a result of finding out the truth. It may be beneficial if you talk to your mother about how you want to do better in studies, and require help and guidance in understanding the concepts or assignments. Also you can talk to her about what made you lie in the first place so she may understand what compelled you to lie. Your mother may initially respond negatively but eventually most likely she will understand and be able to help you through your challenges.

Children your age do end up lying at times especially when faced with challenges that they don't want others to know that they are experiencing or for the fear of disappointing loved ones. Remember that its okay to seek help instead of lying as one is then able to find better alternatives. I think you are already aware of the implications of your mother not knowing the truth and we are glad that you have taken the step of confiding in us.

Hope this helps. Keep us updated.

Good Luck!

3. AoA, Hope you are fine in health. My daughter age 6 is studying in class 1. Since her beginning of school, she has problem with studying Urdu. When she is asked for Urdu work she start saying i do not know anything of Urdu and I can't do it. i try to console her and buck up. but she is always unwilling to study Urdu.
Please help me in couping up with this issue.

Gender: Female Age: 6-8 Category: Concentration, Attention, and Learning Issues

Response: Please note that she is very young and in the process of learning. Do observe what may be the reasons why she does not take interest in Urdu? Is the Urdu subject taught in a boring, non-interactive manner? Is there a lot of harsh disciplining around studies? See how you can make learning Urdu fun for her.

It would be important to know if she is facing any challenges in grasping the concepts that are being taught in this subject or is stressed about anything at home, school, about the teacher etc. Lack of interest in Urdu seems to be due to difficulties in this subject only. In this case, you can work in close coordination with her and her teachers so that she can be best helped to overcome the learning challenges. Encourage her to seek help for subjects she does not understand, help her set a daily study routine. Let her know what she can do once she finishes her work, which will help as an incentive. Good luck!

4. my name is ali ii am a student. i want to know that how can we find and judge positive friends

Gender: Male Age: 9-13 Category: Other

Response:Thank you for writing to get information about judging and making positive friends, which are often most important to have in one's life. Since we are all different from each other, what we need and look in friendships also varies. So first think about what is it that you want from your friendships? Some elements of a healthy friendship include:

•  Mutual respect and trust

•  Enjoying mutual interests and hobbies

•  Listening to each other's point of view without putting each other down. Children may at times laugh and make fun of each other. However, if happens all the time or is used by one friend/s to put down one person, then it no longer remains healthy

•  Not intentionally hurt, take advantage or spread rumors

•  Appreciate each others strengths and efforts to work on weaknesses

•  Ability to apologize if one makes a mistake or says hurtful things

We hope you find these helpful. Best of luck!

5. i often get really irritated and angry because of corona virus. i also want to know what is solution for becoming angry again and again

Gender: Male Age: 9-13Category: Other

Response:Thank you for sharing your concerns. The ongoing pandemic especially the associated uncertainty, having to limit mobility and physical interactions can be extremely frustrating. This is understandable and knowing that others also feel this way can be extremely comforting and validating. Please elaborate what exactly it is about the situation that makes you feel angry and irritable? Having more information about your triggers will help us guide you better. Self-care at this time is most important. Accepting the uncertainty of the situation and planning few days at a time can be helpful. Think of activities and support people that can assist you in feeling more equipped in dealing with the situation. Good luck!

6. i sometimes really get irritated by my bossy friends who always want me to do what they want also tell how can I get good and positive friends which are hard to find these days

Gender: Male Age: 9-13Category: Other

Response: Being bossed around by peers can be very distressing. You mentioned that it happens sometimes. Tell us a bit more about the situations. Is it one friend or a group of friends who boss you around? What are some of the situations in which you feel bossed around? Is there room for you to say No or to give your point of view? This information can help you pinpoint the issues that become bothersome and then address them accordingly. If you feel that your friends don't know how you feel, you might want to work on improving the relationship by letting them know how their behavior effects you and what you would like them to change. Communicating is often the best way to resolve differences. If you feel that the relationship borders on bullying and doesn't change despite you addressing it with them, you can review and decide whether to continue in this situation. Remember that bullying is never okay and if you feel that you need to involve an adult/teacher to help you with the situation, do so. Some elements of a healthy friendship that you can look for while trying to make friends include:

•  Mutual respect and trust

•  Enjoying mutual interests and hobbies

•  Listening to each other's point of view without putting each other down. Children may at times laugh and make fun of each other. However, if happens all the time or is used by one friend/s to put down one person, then it no longer remains healthy

•  Not intentionally hurt, take advantage or spread rumors

•  Appreciate each others strengths and efforts to work on weaknesses

•  Ability to apologize if one makes a mistake or says hurtful things

If there are children in the class that you aren't friends with right now and feel that they may have values and interest similar to yours then you can:

•  Try talking to them about shared interests or topics.

•  Be a good listener and appear more open for others to connect with you

Let us know if these were helpful.

7. my child has too much burden and stress because of school

Gender: Male Age: 9-13 Category: Exam and Studies Related Anxiety

Response: Thank you for sharing your concerns. The information provided is insufficient. Please give examples of what you consider as ‘burden and stress' and the kinds of challenges that arise from it. It is important to know that it is perfectly normal for most children to feel nervousness and stress due to their studies especially when they have to take exams. Sometimes anxiety manifests itself in bodily symptoms like headache, nausea, and gastrointestinal problems. Some of the things that you can help him with are:

•  Be available to listen and validate his fears and concerns about the studies and school. Sometimes all that a student needs is a listening ear and validation by the parents that they will support their child no matter what the challenges may be.

•  Make sure he is getting enough rest and sleep and is eating a balanced diet. A recent study has shown that people who sleep for 8 hours before taking a Math's test are three times more likely to understand and solve the math's problems as compared to people who stay awake all night.

Encourage him to make a study plan in advance, keeping ample time for subjects that he finds most difficult. Managing and planning the study time will help him cope with stress and avoid the panic and anxiety experienced by many students.