- My 9 year old son is very shy. He does not mix up with other children of his age. Even with family members he is not comfortable at all. We are quite worried. My husband and me, we are very social. We enjoy mixing up with people. Please suggest some tips that we can use.
Ans: To begin with, never label your child. Each of us is different and unique. It is very important to accept and understand your child. He should not feel guilty for being the way he is. It is nothing to be ashamed of. As you have mentioned, both you and your spouse enjoy socializing. You can set an example at home and even outside. Lead by example. Children learn a lot by observing their elders. This is the best possible way for them to develop themselves. Whenever your son displays an outgoing behavior, make sure to praise and encourage him. That works wonders. Try and provide as many social interactions you can. Organize play dates, visit hobby camps etc. This will help further. However if you find he is uncomfortable is any particular situation, do not force him. Let him take his time out and get back whenever he is ready.
- My 10 year old daughter is having lot of behavior problems. How should we discipline her? I get quite angry with her at times and scold her too. She will not listen to us and argues with us. I am quite upset with the whole thing. I don’t know what to do.
Ans: I absolutely understand how you must be feeling. It is important to identify what the problem is together with your daughter. Team work is very important here. She needs to feel that both of you are on the same side. Sit down and discuss at a mutually agreed upon time. This will help in avoiding conflict. Negotiate and make sure to give her sufficient time to adapt to new rules. Do not beg at any point. Make sure to be assertive. Keep clear cut consequences in case of non-compliance. But make sure to discuss this prior with her. Also be sure to praise her whenever she is motivated and cooperative.
- My 6 year old daughter has been thumb sucking since several years now. She goes to school but indulges in thumb sucking at home only. At school there is no problem. We have told her so many times to stop but there is no improvement. I am at my wits end. What do I do? Please advise.
Ans: You have stated that your daughter engages in thumb sucking only at home. There is nothing reported from the school front. I suggest you look for stress factors at home if any. Thumb sucking at times is a sign of emotional distress for the child. You could gently tie your daughter’s hands with a soft cloth during the times when she is mostly to engage in thumb sucking. You could apply something bitter on her finger tips to avert thumb sucking. Whatever you try, don’t scold or ridicule her in front of others. This will make matters worse.
(Ms. Gariasi Dutta, MSW (TISS) is a Psychological Counsellor at down town hospital, Guwahati. She may be contacted at 98640-55560 or mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)