ASK THE EXPERT - July 2018

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. He doesn't participate in any activity showing keen keen desire. More about over he want to remain in himself never shows hidden emotions and doesn't want to share any queries. How should I help him so that he may become active and change his timetable.

Gender: Male Age: 14 to 18 Category: Shyness and Under Confidence

Response: Is this a recent change or he has always been shy? It is important to have more information so that you can be guided most appropriately. The shyness, lack of confidence and hesitation to talk could be due to a number of reasons. This may be a reaction to emotional distress caused by stressful life circumstances such as any sudden change in the routine/life circumstances, a change in the family situation, conflicts, abuse, death or illness of a loved one or coping with emotional physical and social changes brought about during the adolescent age.  

Children's confidence and participation can be raised through a number of measures. However, it is important to understand the possible reasons for underconfidence or limited participation by the child, so that more efforts can be made to address those reasons. Some of the things that you could consider doing to build self-confidence in the child include:

•  Praise him for the little efforts, hard work, qualities and traits

•  Allow him an opportunity to explore interests and develop skills and abilities in those areas

•  Normalize feelings related to failures and help him identify ways of dealing with the weaknesses

•  Keep expectations age appropriate as well as to a level that the child can handle. Check your own unrealistic expectations about how the child should look, behave and what he should achieve.

•  Respect individual difference and avoid comparison with other siblings, cousins, class fellows etc.

•  Listen to his needs and explore reasons that may be making him feel under confident e.g. bullying in school, inability to attain the grades he is aiming for, stressors at home, a change in life circumstances etc. Help him work through these feelings and develop skills to deal with the different situations.