Melange

MIND OVER MATTER

Q. Dear Madam, is there any guideline that we can follow for children with regards to viewing of television. My children, a 10 year-old boy and a 12 year-old girl, want to watch television all the time. How can we guide them? Please suggest.
(Name withheld)

Ans: Children can get influenced very easily as their minds are quite impressionable. As guardians, it is important to control what their minds are exposed to.

n They should not watch more than 1 to 2 hours of quality programming per day.

n Children’s bedrooms should not have television sets.

n It is very much important to monitor the shows children and adolescents are viewing. Try and view the television programs along with children, and discuss the content.

n Rule out TV at certain times such as meal times and sleeping hours.

n Practice what you preach. If as parents, you watch a lot of TV, your children would want to do the same.
n Discuss what is real and what make-believe on TV is. Explain how television uses stunt actors, animation etc to create fantasy.

Q. Dear madam, my child is very, very shy and introvert by nature. He always avoids visiting his relatives or attending his cousin’s birthdays, etc. He is okay at school but not too social, his teacher said. Everyone keeps saying that our son is so shy that he will find it difficult to fend for himself when he grows up. I am very worried. Please advise us as to how to manage his shyness and help him.
(Name withheld)
Ans: First of all, it is very important to make your son feel loved and accepted the way he is. Further, it is essential to help him identify and talk about his emotions. This will help him to open up and express. Children learn a great deal through observing the behaviour of parents and others. Parents who want their children to act in a more outgoing manner should themselves act outgoing whenever possible in front of the children. It is also important to reward him for his outgoing behaviour. For example, whenever he acts outgoing, praise him. Praise even slight improvements in his behaviour. You could also help your son to develop his social skills by providing him opportunities to experience social situations. For example, encourage him to invite a friend or friends over or to go over to a friend’s house.
Further, it is very important to convey to him that being shy is not a character flaw and it is nothing to be ashamed of.

Ms.Gariasi Dutta, MSW (TISS) is Psychological Counsellor with Down Town Hospital, Guwahati. She can be contacted at 98640-55560 or dutta.gariasi@gmail.com