ASK THE EXPERT - September 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. my child become more careless and ruder and making mistake during Urdu writing

Gender: Male Age: 9-13 Category: Attention, concentration and Learning & Adolescent Development Issue

Response: Thank you for sharing your concerns. It would be essential to know about the onset, nature, and severity of rudeness, the situations in which he reacts with anger. It seems like your child gets agitated when he writes in Urdu. The agitation may come from the struggle he faces while writing in Urdu. It can also come from the apprehension of making a mistake. It is very important to note how you respond to his behavior. As parents are role models for children, sometimes when parents respond to certain mistakes in a certain way, the children start imitating their responses.

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 rudeness. 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 adults want from children and what children want to do. As a result of these changes there is more interest in peers, less interest in studies, spending time with family and adults, frequent arguments and need to exert their own individuality and identity etc. The adolescent period 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. The best way to deal with this issue is to talk to him in an open and friendly manner about your observations. Allow him the space to first share his concern and worries and work with him to find ways by which these can be addressed.

You mentioned mistakes in hand writing. Please specify if he is able to point out his mistakes in Urdu writing and correct them by himself once identified? Also note that every child learns on a different pace. If he is struggling in Urdu writing, work in close coordination with him when he is writing. Check if your own expectations from how much the child should be able to make mistakes are age-inappropriate and if you are expecting much more than children his age can do. Good luck!

2. MY CHILD IS IN 7 CLASS, BUT HE IS TOO MUCH AGGRESSIVE

Gender: Male Age: 9-13 Category: Behavioural Issues; Adolescence Development Issue

Response: Thank you for sharing your concerns. It would be essential to know about the onset, nature and severity of anger, the situations in which he reacts with anger and how you respond to the anger. 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 anger. 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 adults want from children and what children want to do. As a result of these changes there is more interest in peers, less interest in studies, spending time with family and adults, 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. The best way to deal with this issue is to talk to him in an open and friendly manner about your observations. Allow him the space to first share his concerns and worries and work with him to find ways by which these can be addressed.

3. my son is 5 year old when i tell him we are going outside or some other place he start vomiting or when he wake up in morning he want to take breakfast he think if he take breakfast the vomiting start so he did not take breakfast. Please give me the solution of his problem thanks

Gender: Male Age: 3-5 Category: Mental Health (other)

Response: Thank you for writing. Does he have any medical condition that may be causing this? If not, then it seems that your child may be experiencing anxiety about certain situations that lead him to vomit. Furthermore, it seems he has also developed the fear of food and that it may lead him to vomit. Many children experience anxiety which can manifest in different ways. Try to find out reasons that he feels anxious about going to certain places. Help him feel calm and validate his fears and concerns. Point to all his strengths and keep encouraging and supporting him. Through stories and playful activities help him understand that sometimes fears get linked with situations that may not be related, for example vomiting with food. Let him also know that it is natural for children to at times get scared of getting sick and to avoid food for a while and that by gradually experimenting with eating different types of food, these fears can be overcome.

All the best!

4. I want to ask about my classfellows. Whenever I get good marks they become jealous and everytime they try to get me insulted in front of the teachers and whole class. They tell teachers false things about me and then I get insulted. What should I do in such a situation?

Gender: Male Age: 14-18 Category: Other - Peer relationships

Response: Thank you for writing about your concerns. Being lied about and facing consequences as a result in a deliberate and repetitive manner is bullying. Tell us a bit more about the situations. Is there room for you to communicate your point of view? And if you do, what is the reaction of your peers? 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. Please note that bullying is highly discouraged in APSs and if you inform your teacher or administration, there is a likelihood that strict action will be taken against the classmates involved in bullying.

5. My child is studying at *****.he is 10 years old ....he is active child but naughty .problem he hy k is saal wo reh gya 4 main hi start k 1st term main us k Mark's bohat gandy aaey usko 4 class main unseen concept sy bohat problem Hui but in 2nd term he improved... but unfortunately he is in 4 grade ... ab wo acha parhna chahta par wo hesitate feel krta k kuch galt na kar du last year teachers NY usko bohat d grade kiya hum joint family main reh to obviously ird gird k logo NY b to mjy samaj nai aata main usay kesay handle karu k wo acha parhny lag jaey aur teachers tang na hon is say... wo koshish b krta lekin us k control main nai hy I think kuch b

Gender: Male Age: 9-13 Category: Attention, Concentration & Learning

Response: Thank you for sharing your concerns. We would need to know if the struggle in studies is a recent change or if the student has had these problems since the beginning of his studies?

It seems like your child has developed fear of failure and judgement. This mostly result in the child struggling with anxiety every time he is about to study. The child's apprehensions may be related to how he will be treated by his teachers, and extended family if he fails again. Try talking to him, listen to his fears. Validate and normalize his feelings and let him know that he can talk to you if there is something bothering him that is contributing towards his struggles with studies. By communicating openly, you will be giving him an opportunity to discuss and share with you in case he is bothered about something and going through a difficult time.

It would be important to know if he is facing any challenges in grasping the concepts that are being taught or is stressed about anything at home, school, with friends, etc. At times, both things could contribute towards the struggle in studies. If the difficulty in studies is about a subject, you can work in close coordination with him and his teachers so that he can be best helped to overcome the learning challenges. Encourage him to seek help for subjects he does not understand, help him set a daily study routine, break his work tasks into smaller tasks if he loses concentration on longer tasks and make sure he is getting enough sleep and exercise. However, if other non-academic issues are bothering him, support him in better dealing with and communicating his feelings and thoughts. Please also note that the student is passing through the adolescent age. During this time, many children go through a series of normal emotional, physical and social changes. As a result of these changes there is more interest in peers, less interest in studies, spending time with family and adults, 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. Validate and normalize his feelings and let him know that he can talk to you if there is something bothering him or if he has any questions related to growing up. By communicating openly, you will be giving him an opportunity to discuss and share with you in case he is bothered about something and going through a difficult time.

6. Aka ma'am I am having periods and I tell it to my mother but she says no what should I do?

Gender: Female Age: 9-13 Category: Adolescent Development Issues

Response: Thank you for writing. It's a bit unclear from your message what your mother says No to. Do explain that a bit more so we can guide you better. It must be distressing not to be able to speak to an adult about these natural changes and get guidance. I hope you know that these changes occur when girls enter puberty and are a normal part of growing up and not an illness. Try talking to your mother again parents about how you are feeling or there is an elder sibling, cousin, a trusted teacher or an aunt do ask them for guidance too. Do write and update us.

7. Child shows aggression while doing writing activities.

Gender: Male Age: 6-8 Category: Behavioural Issues

Response: Thank you for writing. Has your child always shown aggression while writing or is this a recent development? Also does this happen while he writes in a particular language or subject or does that happen every time he starts writing? Since he is still young and learning to managing and communicate emotions, this could be his way of expressing distress in case he's having difficulty in writing. You can sit with him and ask him what part of writing activities make him angry. Talking to him will also help clarify if it is even related to writing or that it's the time of the day when is tired or has something else bothering him.

Also, please specify how do you and your spouse discipline him at home, especially during studies? If you resort to force or physical punishment then remember that this would need to stop. Use of aggression and force makes children believe that it's okay to resort to aggression when they are dealing with any unpleasant feeling. It also makes them more stubborn and less resistant to change. Try to identify the reason for his aggressive behavior. Is it due to a recent change in the family, any stress in the household that could be having an impact on him? If that were the case, then his reaction would become better once the stressful situation improves or is addressed.

8. he is unable to have attention in studies

Gender: Male Age: 9-13 Category: Lack of Concentration, Attention & Learning; Adolescent Development Issues

Response: The information provided is insufficient to guide you. We would need to know if the lack of attention in studies is a recent change or if the student has had these problems since the beginning of his studies? Is he unable to understand concepts, not pay attention, both or any other issue with the learning?

It would be important to know if he is facing any challenges in grasping the concepts that are being taught or is stressed about anything at home, school, with friends, etc. At times, both things could contribute towards the lack of interest. If the lack of attention in studies is due to difficulties in a subject, you can work in close coordination with him and his teachers so that he can be best helped to overcome the learning challenges. Encourage him to seek help for subjects he does not understand, help him set a daily study routine, break his work tasks into smaller tasks if he loses concentration on longer tasks and make sure he is getting enough sleep and exercise. However, if other non-academic issues are bothering him, support him in better dealing with and communicating his feelings and thoughts. Please also note that the student is passing through the adolescent age. During this time, many children go through a series of normal emotional, physical and social changes. As a result of these changes there is more interest in peers, less interest in studies, spending time with family and adults, 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. Validate and normalize his feelings and let him know that he can talk to you if him or if he has any questions related to growing up. By communicating openly, you will be giving him an opportunity to discuss and share with you in case he is bothered about something and going through a difficult time