Watch out for signs of trou­ble

Psy­cho­log­i­cal prob­lems among young­sters should be promptly iden­ti­fied and tack­led

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page - Samir Parikh

Chil­dren to­day are in­flu­enced not just by their fam­ily, but also their peers, school en­vi­ron­ment and the me­dia. Psy­cho­log­i­cal prob­lems in child­hood are be­com­ing more vis­i­ble and should be promptly iden­ti­fied and tack­led

from fam­ily: Chil­dren some­times find it dif­fi­cult to com­mu­ni­cate their feel­ings. In­stead, they might feel lonely and mis­un­der­stood, thereby re­coil­ing into their shell. Par­ents must al­ways have com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nels open to their chil­dren.

in­ter­act­ing with peers: Friends typ­i­cally be­come more prom­i­nent in teenagers’ lives. Spend­ing most of their time alone or not en­gag­ing in things they used to en­joy can be a dan­ger sig­nal.

drop in aca­demic per­for­mance: Chil­dren’s grades do not drop only be­cause they are ‘dis­in­ter­ested’. Emo­tional dis­tress af­fects ev­ery sphere of life; if a stu­dent’s grades have fallen, par­ents should have an open con­ver­sa­tion with them and not sim­ply dis­miss or rep­ri­mand them.

in sleep­ing and eat­ing pat­terns: Psy­cho­log­i­cal prob­lems of­ten have phys­i­cal or bi­o­log­i­cal signs. Eat­ing too much or too lit­tle or sleep­ing too much or too lit­tle are strong in­di­ca­tors of dis­tress.

avoid­ance: If your child con­sis­tently makes ex­cuses to skip school, it might be an in­di­ca­tion that s/he is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing some aca­demic or so­cial dif­fi­culty. In such cases, it is im­por­tant to talk to your child’s school teacher.

in per­son­al­ity: Par­ents are in the best po­si­tion to un­der­stand and pre­dict their chil­dren’s be­hav­iour. If there are sud­den changes in chil­dren’s per­son­al­ity — be it the way they dress, their moods, or the things they say, look into the mat­ter.

signs of ir­ri­tabil­ity and ag­gres­sion: Chil­dren do not al­ways ex­press sad­ness or dis­tress the way adults do. Ir­ri­tabil­ity and un­char­ac­ter­is­tic ag­gres­sion war­rant at­ten­tion.

self-es­teem: Hav­ing a strong sense of self-worth is the only way to ward off un­to­ward in­flu­ences. Re­in­force your chil­dren’s ef­forts. Help them as­sert them­selves.

over­whelmed eas­ily: Stress is a part of ev­ery child’s life; be it the pres­sure of ex­ams, balancing ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties or car­ry­ing the right kind of ac­ces­sories. If you find your child get­ting very eas­ily over­whelmed over small things, ad­dress their cop­ing skills.

tru­ancy and de­fi­ance: School au­thor­i­ties are some­times in a bet­ter po­si­tion to iden­tify vul­ner­a­bly chil­dren. Bunk­ing classes, de­fy­ing teach­ers and van­dal­is­ing school prop­erty can be a child’s way of ex­press­ing his dis­tress.


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