ASK THE EXPERT - November 2019

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. This is what my daughter said :
I am constantly bullied by my teacher and classmates for literally no reason I get average grades but my teacher keep telling me how worthless I am. just few days ago she insulted me in front of whole class just because I was bit late on my work just 4 or 5 sec she looked at my eyes and here we go her routine starts . Because of this everybody thinks I am a loser I don't even have a single friend to play with .
She never wants to go to school she always crys before going to school. I want the school organization to arrange a assembly telling them getting bullied from a student or a teacher it's same . I know there will be tons of students who will be also getting bullied .I am not telling anything in verbal to her class teacher as I don't want to make the matters worse for her

Gender: Female Age: 9 to 13 Category: Others (Parent-Teacher Relationship)

Response: Your concerns are understandable and it seems that your daughter is distressed about how she is treated by both the teacher and classmates. APSACS encourages an atmosphere free of any form of bullying and discrimination. Your concern and suggestion will be passed on to the to school administration. We would also encourage you to talk to the Section Head and the Principal about your concerns, as they are the main authorities to address such issues.

We would also like to ask a few additional questions to better understand how your daughter can be supported. Has she recently moved to this school and if not, did she experience this problem in her previous class as well? How does your daughter feel about the attitude of the other teachers who teach her? When she says that she doesn't have friends, what are some of the suggestions you give her about making some? Are there children she especially likes, finds caring, who can be invited home to help her develop better connection with? Do write back and update us in this regard.

2. He is very emotional.

Gender: Male Age: 14 to 18 Category: Others (General)

Response: The information provided is insufficient to guide you. Please give examples of the situations that he deals with ‘emotionally'. Share whether this is a recent change in his reaction to life situations or if he has always responded this way.

3. Hi there, My child is studying in APSACS in class 5.he is little bit shy to utter anything in front of three to four family members.i want to reduce his stage fear factor.

Gender: Male Age: 9 to 13 Category: Lack of Confidence and Shyness

Response: C hildren can naturally feel awkward and shy. However, compared to other children their age, some children are more anxious in social situations. They fear that they will be judged and evaluated and thus hesitate communicating openly. Some of the things that can help you improve your child's confidence in social situations are:

•  Validate your child's fears related to social situations and let him know that you will support him to reduce these fears

•  Let him know that the more he faces these situations, the less they will make him anxious

•  Help him verbalize his worries and fears related to the social situations and get him to identify ways by which he can reduce these

•  Share some techniques of building social speaking skills, e.g. practice talking in front of the mirror, maintaining eye contact with someone in the class/hall who makes him feel less anxious

•  Help him practice ways by which he can remain calm before and during these situations. Some of the ways could be by thinking of fun times and things to distract himself from the ‘worrying thoughts', taking deep breaths (breathe in through the nose and breathe out through the mouth a few times), replacing ‘worrying thoughts' with ‘calming thoughts'

Other general confidence building skills that you can work on with your child are:

•  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

•  Teach him to be assertive and share his thoughts and feelings with others. Teaching children the skills to say ‘No' to situations and things that make them uncomfortable is very important since they may find it challenging to do so

•  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/she should achieve

•  Set limits and discipline the child through respectful measures instead of resorting to put downs, insults and corporal punishment

•  Respect individual difference and avoid comparison with siblings and peers

Listen to the child's needs and explore reasons that maybe making the child feel under confident e.g. bullying in school, inability to attain the grades he/she 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

4. Control his rage , anger and sensitivity on any disapponting matter.

Gender: Male Age: 14 to 18 Category: Behavioural Issues & Adolescent Development

Response: Can you elaborate what you mean by ‘disappointing matter'? 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. 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.

5. There was a debate compitition and teachers chose student by favouritism.

Gender: Female Age: 9 to 13 Category: Others (Teacher-Student Relationship)

Response: We strongly recommend that you speak to the Principal or Section Head of the school and share your concerns. Kindly do share with them the specific reasons and behaviours that have made you arrive at a conclusion about the teachers favouring certain students. By giving them concrete and specific examples you will be better able to communicate your point of view. In case there has been a misunderstanding that would also get clarified. All the best!

6. My daughter student of class vi is having issue regarding her rash behaviour with fellows n at times with elders as well. She is an outstanding student but we cant understand why at times she misbehaves.Her class attention is suffering a bit too. As a mother I hav counseld her alot but there is no considerable response seen.

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

Response: Thank you for sharing your concerns. Is this ‘rash behaviour' with other students and elders a recent occurrence? What are the kinds of issues she misbehaves on and how have you counselled her? It would be important to find the underlying reasons for the misbehaviour so that it can be addressed accordingly. There could be a number of reasons behind her behaviour. For example, she may be stressed about something at home or school, she may not feel competent and confident about her abilities, she may be having problems academically, she may not know how to appropriately manage and communicate her feelings especially that of anger, disappointment, sadness and fear.

We suggest that you speak to her in a calm and friendly manner about the behaviours that you have noticed and that are inappropriate. Instead of lecturing, admonishing, resorting to physical force, share your concern and let her know that you would work with her to address the issues or/and help her develop skills to deal with these situations. You can also observe her in her various interactions and take feedback from her teachers to better understand the triggers of her misbehaviour.

7. She is naughty

Gender: Female Age: 9 to 13 Category: Others (General)

Response: The information provided is insufficient to guide you. Please give examples of the behaviour that you consider as ‘naughty' and the kinds of challenges that arise from it.