We often are clueless when our kids are throwing tantrums or acting very weird. The cause of these reactions can be the stress. Even children experience stress like their parents. But as parents, we should know what level of stress is bearable. What stress level needs alarm bell ringing and monitoring. Stress has a detrimental effect on the health of kids. So we should know what the main triggers of stress are. Even though it may sometimes look trivial to an adult, it is not so for kids. We must never forget that children have their struggles and also have to interact with the outside world. Here are the leading kid's stress buttons.
Quarrelling and fighting with their best friend. When a serious conflict occurs with their besties, they get upset, and stress develops. They are often unable to express their emotions. Anger follows which is a public outburst when they fail to handle the pressure. You can find it out by giving a patient hearing. Filing up the words and labelling the emotions of very young kids helps a lot. Always have some practical advice up in our sleeve and teach them how to move on.
Birth of a brother or sister. A lot of early preparations are required to adjust the older one with the inevitable changes and the sharing of the space and time when the baby arrives. However, hard you prepare the older kids the stress may build up upon the arrival of the sibling. Allocate times with your older children and make them feel being a proud sister or brother. The attention and the love the new baby attract from the other relatives, and social surrounding creates jealousy and stress of alienation. Be careful and remind them whenever you feel necessary.
Moving to a new school. In modern day work life, we often need to shift places for a better career prospect. Inevitably it means that the child has to changes school and along with it comes a disruption in their social network of friends at school and environment language and culture.The feeling of an outsider in a new school builds up stress. Attention should be given more during the settling process and be involved the integration process.
Bullying in school: Bullying of your child involves repeated physical, verbal or psychological attacks. Your child cannot usually defend him- or herself because of size or strength of the others. So the problems of refusal to go on the school bus or attend the class, bedwetting or preferring isolation. Take it as a serious issue and do get involved in sorting it out as it can cause permanent damage to a child's self-esteem.
A teacher who does not like you. When your child is singled out by the class teacher and subject to banter and criticism, it becomes stressful for your child. As school is an important fundamental part of growth and a child spends a considerable amount of time you have to be proactive to understand the problems for such behaviour. The stress may cause your child to stay away from school and even activities in the school. Necessary steps are required to bring down the stress level by hearing patiently and obviously having a discussion with the teacher along with your child. If improvement in the situation does not occur, do not hesitate to change the section or even school as soon possible.
Parent quarrelling and fighting. The stress of parents outbursts into arguments and fights. But parent's arguments usually don't mean that they don't love each, but kids fail to understand. They feel unprotected and apprehensive about the relationship. The children listen and observe how the parents resolve these fights and take important cues in their dealings of fighting or argument solving skill. The reflection of these stress are found immediately in studies or even in frequent mood swings.
Extended family quarrel (tiffs between parents and grandparents): In Indian culture, the difference of opinion builds up to a great extent because the concept of giving space to individuals is unimportant. Moreover, the quarrel often involves about the upbringing of the kids. The children caught in between the fights feel stressed out because they held themselves responsible for the arguments. They become a confused lot. Talk amicably and sort out the difference and wisely follow a middle path for the kids to enjoy the love all the family members. Also, explain to the kids the difference in simple language for them to grasp the situation.
Not having enough money and financial stress: The reasons of financial stress can be myriad. Laid off or loss of the main earning member of the family or even medical reason. Parents are more stressed out than usual and argue and worry about how to pay for things. It percolates to the child, and they are stressed out too. Parents have to be positive and prioritise and plan. It is important to educate your child of saving and financial planning as early as possible.
Taking a test. The Indian education system centres around the taking different test right from the school admission process to adult life of job interviews. The stress level is alarming, and often it leads to psychological breakdown and even suicidal thoughts and attempts. Be sensitive to your child mental development which will help them to handle stress in their grown-up live positively and boldly. The health issues and complications are irreparable if a child goes through constant stress. Find ways to relieve the stress through hobbies and do nurture them.
Overburdened schedule of children: Scheduling your child with enrichment activities is good, but the delicate balance should be there. Do not drag them into each activity. Make sure children have enough time with no activities, and similarly, parents also have time to spare and no specific goal in mind. It is the balance of “boring time” and “activity time” which is now is losing it grips.
Recently going through the newspaper and current Indian scenario, it struck me that we teach and do a lot of activity to teach our child safety. The road safety, the playground safety, the kitchen safety, bathroom and many others to go along. Do we teach our children body safety? I bet it scores the least important in our teaching list. We as Indian Parents do not always talk to our children about body safety early enough. We think kids are too young and to talk of abuse is too scary. Here are things that could help your child build up resistance against child abuse and make them less vulnerable.
The question that comes foremost to our mind is where to initiate the education of prevention of sexual abuse. You can simply start by teaching your preschoolers the original name of the private parts. In India, there are a large number of vernacular and dialects and to teach a child is a real challenging and as well as embarrassing. Many of the words for genitals are considered slang. So the easiest way is to follow the local language of that region, of course, the mother tongue.
Why are they called private parts ?: Why are the vagina, penis, buttocks even breast called private. This was the first question asked by my daughter? The simplest way to explain by not confusing and scaring the kid are the underwear rules.
After this comes the explanation of "A good touch and a bad touch."This is one of the most challenging and tricky to explain to a kid. My daughter simply did not understand it. I am still striving to make her understand. She does sometimes gets confused and asks me “Ma was that a good touch” when someone tried to pat her hand or cheeks. It makes me feel guilty at times, and I question myself. Am I robbing away the innocence of a child ?. But the touch factor is the crux of the sexual abuse.
There are certain things I have clearly stated to her as a bad touch and should promptly report to parents or grandparents are as follows:
No one should touch inside your underpants. You should immediately say “No take out your hand”. Shout out loud.
No one should ask youto touch their private parts or unzip their pants or underwears.
No one should kiss your genitals.
These are the binding underwear rules that should be reiterated to your kids often.
The next question in the line is how to deal with known perpetrators as they most of the time known offenders
This makes it especially difficult for the child to understand that how can known people be abusers.
So what we can do? We can groom our kids to report and disclose everything to parents.
In comparison to the previous category this one is rather easy to make the child understand:
All these instructions and understandings have to be done in a casual approach and always reminded. The learning and grooming of a child to prevent a sexual abuse is a process which needs patience and love.The primary object here is to gain the trust of your child.
In India, child sex abuse statistics is really bone chilling. The old data of 2006 shows around 42% of children in India has been sexually abused. It is undoubtedly more rampant but as many cases go unreported due to our social stigma. The common myths that we need to know about child sex abuse are as follows:
Critical Thinking is the fundamental skill required by kids to progress in their respective field or in problem-solving. Moreover, it is a backbone and the stepping stone for language and literary success. There are many types of research which prove that critical thinking starts at a very young age. The back and forth conversation a child have with their parents or caregivers or anyone adult whom they feel are important in their lives helps them to think and prod many new ideas.
Now how do we nurture this critical thinking process right from toddlers to preschoolers? It is simple - Just engage them in meaningful conversation. Here are some simple and powerful ways to develop a critical thinking mode in your kids by conversation.
Thus the ability to critically think is a process which the child should be inducted into and then honed continually and gradually. This will help them to push into a higher level of thinking. Thus talking with your kid is an exercise of their young mind.
Talking with your child helps in nurturing their curiosity. This fact has been scientifically established. After reading a lot of experts reports and even listening to their talk, the relation is quite clear. More the child talks more are their desire to know. Now at the hindsight, I know that, whenever I ignore my daughter's inquiries, I am also curbing her curiosity. All of us as parents go through the “Why? Why? Why?” sessions. It gets on our nerves at times, and no one is above it. What role does talking have in curiosity building? When a pre-verbal infant starts with their interest, it is usually by pointing out to the objects. Then comes the toddler stage where the formation of words and sentences are taking place at a rapid state. The answer to their many ill-formed queries would help them to make further inroads in the subject matter.
Time constraints is the major challenge modern parents are facing. There is a busy and hectic schedule of yourself and so of your child. In out time grandparents partly covered this lack of time. As the families have become more nuclear and mobile, this opportunity is no longer available. I distinctly remember I used to sleep with my grandmother and look at the tree in your courtyard where a bird had built a nest. Through the windows, I would watch how the birds build a nest; feed their babies and so forth. Numerable questions were directed to her. She gave answers patiently. A lot of curiosity about nature, life skills were explained by our grandparents. The developing brain effortlessly captured a lot of new words, sentences, rhymes in the mother tongue.
No one is asking us to quit our jobs and leave the household works and sit down and just talk with the kid. It is the quality of time spent in talking with your children and how you direct the talking sessions.
Here are few easy hacks to keep the curiosity intact in your kid by speaking to them.
Simple things like talking is a powerful tool for the brain development of your child. Researches prove that talking increases a whole lot of abilities in your kids. Talking is one of the cheapest forms of entertainment that can be provided to a child. Why do researchers bother so much about the simple activity which was an age-old form of entertainment for babies and kids? This talking business is suddenly encountering numerous competition from various social media, television, race from formal education and so forth. The sufferer is our children, and this suffering entrenches a long way into a teenager and even as a young adult. The other day I was reading an article, and the benefits of talking to babies right from newborn are really mind blowing and rather hard to believe. The most pertinent advantages are listed below:
Talking do not start one fine day. It has to be from the very beginning from the birth of the baby. Even before the child can answer back; the understanding of the words begins as early as 3 months. The child begins to learn about emotions even sooner than that. The reciprocation of emotion is primal.
Typically mothers and infants use emotional cues as the primary source of exchange of information between them. So this can be seen as the most sophisticated form of language and as mothers and caregivers we have all witnessed it. It is so natural that we often do not take notice of it. A particular tone of crying is enough cue that the baby peed or hungry. The understanding is quite strong, and it is correct 90% of the times. Everyone will have some rich experiences with their babies and how funny expression each one would have. My daughter would like one particular tone of rhyme when I would sing to her. She would cry or rather fuss if the tone would fall to murmur while dozing off during the time of putting her off to sleep. Obviously, this is a finer form of emotion exchange rather than hunger or something basic.Then let's dissect the benefits individually and see how they support in the developmental milestones of our babies.
Praise your child very often is the new coinage words of the modern society to elicit fabulous job from your child. As we look more intently in the eastern cultures of the world we would easily be reminded that praise was not the norm of our parents, teachers and educators. Praise was rare and delivered in a subdued way. The progress report would often carry remarks “Keep up your efforts ". Excellent, Great and all these superlative were given a miss unless the child did some commendable work. So did that mean our parents or teachers were not enthusiastic in encouragement or boosting of self-confidence? The underlying truth is that if anything used in abundance it loses it shine
A perfect example of it is not very hard to find. I have observed it in our daily life with my 3 years old daughter. She was going to the preschool and started to learn the numbers and to trace them. As she goes to an international school, the environment is to praise the child for every bit of achievement. It was going on for long enough, but her expectations of praising her for every single number she traced was becoming a habit. When we praised her; "you are a smart girl" she would enjoy tracing it. She believed she is a real smart girl. Suddenly she found out that remembering number 2 was difficult and she faced a hurdle to trace it. After a few try, she would shift to trace or write other numbers leaving number 2. The tracing of number 2 was difficult for her and posed a threat to her smart image. Thus she put it aside immediately.
After going through some articles on the power of praise and their use and abuse I came to conclusions that our old method of appreciating the effort of the child is the best to stick on.
I shifted my focus from praising her to saturation; to her efforts. Simply I coaxed and cajoled her to write the number 2 and sincerely appreciated her effort. She slowly tried by herself to practice it a few more times. Significantly I reduced the praise for every letter or number she would write. In future it will make her less intimidated by the new academic challenges she would face every day.
Finally, the conclusion is that effects of praise can vary significantly in child , depending on the type of praise given. Here are the key things of how to praise your child.
The onus of overpraising our child falls on parents. We put the child in a highly competitive environment and then use a dollop of praise to minimise the effect of the competition. It works short term but harms more in the long run perspective. Simple after the end of the day discuss with your child the difficulties the child faced and how they have invented strategies to overcome the struggles. Make it an everyday affair and praise the tactics if they were helpful in long run.They serve the great purpose of boosting self-esteem instead of just a mere blanket praising.The difference is sure to be evident within a few months.
Kids Habits: How can kids learn to self-control
We, adults, know that self-control is the most sought after behavioural characteristic and the benefits reaped in practising restraint are amazing. So why not teach the skill of self -control to children from early years to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. There are specific brain regions essential to self-control which develops with age. The process is slow, and it can be achieved gradually by kids. So we have to proactively make an environment that helps in shaping self-control in the developing brain of very young kids.
The abilities to control impulses, wait for a reward, and to avoid distraction or shift the focus from one activity to another starts from around three years to around six years. This period is often termed as “renaissance period” in the development of brain regions for self-control. The benefits of self-control taught in kids have a direct correlation to the benefits the child reflects in his academic IQ and social awareness and the EQ. Here are the immediate benefits we can reap as parents.
1. The decision-Making Skill:
In today’s world the decision-making ability is much needed in a preschool or even an elementary school interview conduction. Develop a kid with self -control first and decision making becomes a simpler process. The chance of faring better in the interview exam also increases manifold. The children have the self-control to read the question in written interview and answer the multiple choice with better maturity and not impulsively tick the first that comes to their mind. There are many games to boost these process.
2. Improves focus and reduce Distraction:
As the preschooler starts to go to school he or she is often distracted by other activities, and so the attention gets diverted from the instructions the teacher gives. If self-control is taught, then the focus of taking instructions or doing any particular job like painting or similar activities requiring much concentration becomes easy.
3. Memory and IQ booster and cognitive control:
You may wonder what is cognitive control Here is the definition: " is a construct from contemporary cognitive neuroscience that refers to processes that allow information processing and behaviour to vary adaptively from moment to moment depending on current goals, rather than remaining rigid and inflexible.” This has a direct correlation with the memory to process information and holding the information just long enough like planning a chess move or memorising a phone number or dialogue for a school drama. Now, say while learning the dialogue there may be distractions from friends chatting or giggling. The child can quench anger or frustration to these chatting and giggling by using self-control. The impulse to react does not happen immediately. Thus, increases the retention power or memory. We have to remember that all IQ test are conducted not in an entirely controlled situation. The ‘distractors’ are present in all the cases. To perform by surpassing the ‘ distractions’ is the key to IQ test success.
4. Restraints in Social Meltdown:
It is often frustrating to see your kid crying in a middle of a social function. Crying is an impulsive reaction to the frustration or anger the child have been experiencing currently. Self-control helps the kids to steer from the negative emotion to a more stable release of the energy. I have an interesting experience with my daughter to share regarding self-control and frustration. Returning from a hot summer play she wanted an ice lolly. She was exhausted, fatigued and frustrated. I asked her to wait for her to cool down. She instantly refused and wanted the ice lolly immediately. Then all I reminded her was how she got a sore throat after drinking chilled water and could not have her favourite ice cream for an extended period. The three years old could control her impulse and regulate her emotion and was ready to wait. To my amazement, she waited for full 15 minutes and asked whether it was now appropriate to eat the lolly.
5. Self-control and Motivation:
To learn to be self- motivated is important for a kid to pursue their studies or hobbies or even any extracurricular activities. Self-motivation comes from self-control of the short-term goals, and the child must be motivated to achieve the long term goal. No one wants to deny themselves from the benefit of long term goal. However, the conflict between short term and long term is there for the child to process the benefits. It is only with positive motivation the kid may be interested in long term goals which are often abstract for the time being.
The conclusion we can derive from these is that self -control is a life skill which a kid needs to learn from an early age. In the next topic, we will discuss the simple proactive steps to undertake to develop this skill.
The conclusion we can derive from these is self -control is a life skill which must be taught to a kid from an early age. In the next topic we will discuss about the simple proactive steps to undertake to develop this skill.
We are obsessed with our babies getting, proper hours sleep. Suddenly the sleep do not become the major or primary concern during the kindergarten years. We get so much engrossed with the development of our kids that we compromise with the hours of sleep a kid needs to get.
The consequences of irregular sleep hours are enormous, and the manifestation is, of course, in the kid's behaviour which we often ignore or think it will taper off. The saddest part is these lost sleep hours make the teenage years more difficult unmanageable and disastrous. The recommended sleep hours of a preschooler is 10 to 13 hours. The most appropriate being more than 10 hours of sleep. The benefits which you can reap is immense. All the attention related problems for a preschooler gets sorted out if the child has a good sleep.
Here are some simple tips to follow that can make your preschooler a happy child instead of a grumpy fussy one.
We have learnt the truth about lying in kids and even toddler. The next logical question would be how as parents we can discourage the lying habit of the child. Scientists have some striking observations which are markedly different from the prevalent myths.
Read stories which encourages speaking the truth and depicts the benefits of doing so.
The child has done something wrong but has the courage to own it up. He is not punished terribly for that deed. Hence a real enforcement of telling the truth. The kid understands that punishment is not the ultimate result of telling a lie.
The stories of the life of great people who owned their misdeeds are effective.The message of not lying and owning up are effective communication of the positive message. It explicitly encourages them to speak the truth even if the child has done something inappropriate. The fable of the boy crying wolf and ultimate result of that boy gets in big trouble the third time he lies reflects a different meaning to them.
In the end, you will be scolded for your misdeed is the message the child get. So the fear of punishment is the catalyst here. The child in this fable reinforced the result of lying is punishment, and this is nothing new to them. They will now device many stories to cover up the lie. Fear of the consequences of lying threatens them.
Does lie of a child matter down the road of their growing up. The answer is yes and no. The irony of lying is that is that it is both abnormal and normal behaviour at the same time. It is not unexpected and the same time not to be ignored.
The key here to succeeding; is to have a balance of both the world. This help the kid for a happy, healthy growing.