Q. My 5 year-old son is lazy although he is intelligent and has a good grasp of concept. His teacher has given the feedback that he needs to be pushed to complete tasks. She says he keeps thinking about something else and is very absent minded. He has to be prodded to do simple things like brushing, eating, writing etc. Kindly advice.
(Name withheld)
Ans: Please be patient. Handling children requires a great deal of patience and gentle care. It could be that he is simply a dreamy person. He could be thinking up of several issues. However do get a general check up done. Is he sleeping well? Is his weight fine? It would be necessary for you to spend more of his playtime with him and let him talk to you in the course of the activity or game. Have a discussion with his teacher and ask her also for suggestions. Nothing happens without a reason. Locating the cause for the child’s lack of attention will be your parenting task.

Q. How important is exercise for children? Is it mandatory? My 8 year-old son is enjoying indoor games. He sits and plays and does not like to go anywhere. He is happy only when he is inside the house.
(Name withheld)
Ans: Exercise is essential for every person. It keeps one fit physically and mentally too. Please motivate and encourage your son to exercise every day. Motivate him to walk to his friend’s house if living nearby or visit the neighbourhood grocery store with you. Find out his sport of interest and sign him up for some form of outdoor sport such as football, cricket or a recreational class like dance. Encourage him to help out in the household chores like making his own bed, folding his clothes, cleaning his room etc. He could even help out in laying the dinner table. These activities help in burning of extra calories.

Q. I want to become an engineer. What subjects should I choose in class 11? I stay in Guwahati. Please advice.
(Name withheld)
Ans: To pursue a course in engineering, one needs to take up PCM (Physics, Chemistry, Maths) combination at plus 2 level. You could also take up additional coaching for the various entrance examinations. There are institutes of repute which provide professional coaching in Guwahati. You can visit with career counsellor for further queries in case you have any. It would be beneficial for you. All the best! May you succeed in your dreams!

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