ASK THE EXPERT - September 2016

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 is so much irritating her teacher and make lots of fun in class and dont take interest in study during the class.

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

Response: What is your child's behaviour like at home? Does he exhibit similar behaviour while interacting with you and your spouse? How long has this been happening and what have the teachers done to deal with this behaviour? These are important questions that we would need information about before we can provide you with the right guidance. It is suggested that you speak to your son about the complaints that you have received and let him share with you his views and what could be done to manage it.

2. She makes eye contact but does not smile even according to situation and does not raise hand to answer the question even if she knows correct answer though stay attentive during lecture. Why .

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

Response: It would be difficult to provide you with the exact reasons for this behaviour without having more information about her general behavioural as well as an understanding of how long has this been happening i.e. is it a recent occurrence? One possibility may be that she is shy and feel under confident and if that is the case she would need to be encouraged constantly and given opportunities to share during class room and small group discussions. Another possibility is that she could be going through some sort of emotional distress due to a stressor at home or school, onset of a mental illness or growing up changes. If you feel that it is the later and not due to her being shy and under confident, we suggest that you speak to her and share your observations. Provide her the opportunity to share her concerns and encourage her to seek support from her parents or any other trusted adult in the family.

3. My daughter is a position holder but she find great difficulty in learning....she tried her best to learn her lessons but due to physically weakness she is unable(i think so).....she become very worried about her smaal mistakes .

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

Response: It can be a pretty disappointing feeling for children if they are unable to reach the targets they set out for themselves despite putting in effort and hard work. In such situations it is important to explore if the inability to reach the target is due to high expectations from ones' self or because of issues in understanding a particular subject. If it is a matter of high expectations and your daughter is already getting good grades, then she needs to know that all individuals cannot be at the top of the class and that if they are not, it does not mean that they are inferior in any way. Help her see her strengths and discourage unhealthy competition and expectations. Make sure that she takes time out to pursue hobbies and interests and is not always studying. Sometimes children exhaust themselves by studying all the time, not taking enough sleep, food or exercise and thus are unable to perform to their fullest.

If it's an issue in lack of conceptual clarity related to a subject/s, you can help her identify ways of improving that particular subject. Make sure you emphasize the importance of learning as opposed to just securing the first position in the class, which could be extremely stressful for children.

Do check your and your spouse's expectations from your daughter to make sure that they are not unrealistic and adding to your daughter's stress. It is unclear what you mean by ‘physical weakness', does she have an illness, is she underweight, etc.? This information will help us guide you further.

4. She was a hardworking and position holder student upto class10 but now she is not showing interest in studies. there was also a time when she was much concious about getting best and start to cry even on second position but now she is not giving attention to studies even after failure .

Gender: Female Age: 14 to 18 Category: Adolescent Development Issues

Response: There could be two possible explanations for what is happening with your daughter. One possibility is that since she is going through adolescence and changes associated with it, these distract her. During the adolescent age (roughly starting around ten years and above), many children go through a series of normal emotional, physical and social changes. As a result of these changes there often tends to be more interest in peers and in pursuing interests other than studies, less interest in spending time with family and adults, frequent arguments and need to exert individuality and identity etc. Some of the things that you mention seem to suggest that your daughter may also be experiencing similar changes. 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 other possibility is that something has recently happened in your daughter's life that is disturbing her and causing this sudden change. This could be a conflict or problems in the family, bullying in school, peer pressure from friends to engage in some activities that she is not willing to or any other similar situation. Both the above-mentioned possibilities could be creating the distress. Lecturing her about her studies (which is just a symptom of her problem) would not be useful alone.

The best thing would be if you to talk to her about the changes that you notice in her and share your concern. Communicate in an open and friendly way and encourage her to share her thoughts, feelings and concerns not matter how strange or uncomfortable they may seem. Let her know that no matter what career she wants to pursue, she would need to have some level of basic education to do well in the career. Let her know what other children her age experience so that she is able to understand and normalize her own feelings. Even if she does not share much the first time you speak to her, let her know that you are available for her whenever she feels like talking. By communicating openly, you will be giving her an opportunity to discuss and share with you in case she is bothered about something and going through a difficult time.

Good luck!

5. How to treat problematic student.

Gender: Male Age: 6 to 8 Category: Others

Response: The information provided in your email is insufficient to guide you. We would need to know about the behaviours that are causing problems and how are you currently managing them.