How to ensure your Teenager’s Emotional Well-being?

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Teenage years can be really challenging for both the child and the parents. Adolescence can be a struggle for your little one, who is confused between the desire to become independent and being attached to parents. Added to this agony, the emotional and physical changes they experience can often become unbearable. Another challenge most adolescents face is fitting in the peer groups at school, while at the same time building their own individuality.

How can I help in ensuring my Teenager’s Emotional Security?

The first and foremost thing you can do as a parent is reassuring your child of your constant emotional and moral support. Teenagers rely a lot on parental feedback in calculating their response to the changing environment. During this time you must make sure that your child feels secure and confident to adapt to the new situation.

However, do not neglect your responsibility to communicate your expectations and restrictions. When you promise them total support, make sure that you insist on moral values like honesty, respect for one another, and self-control, so that while they build their own personality, they adhere to these values.

Provide constructive feedback for your kids, instead of constantly criticising them for every little mistake. It is found that positive feedback inspires better response from the children, and it helps them grow more confident and successful.

Teach your child how to be responsible with one’s privileges by defining the limits or boundaries. Teach them to make peace with the limits to help them grow into law-abiding citizens. Make sure that you encourage your child to talk openly with you when faced with any kind of problem. Create an environment free from the fears of judgement or punishment, so that your children may feel safe and secure at home and maintain a healthy relationship with you, founded on trust and honesty.

How to find out if your Teenager is going through an Emotional problem

Children in their teenage years are more susceptible to self-destructive behaviour. Reasons can vary from sexuality and low self-esteem to social acceptance issues arising from peer pressure. The typical symptoms include anger and restlessness, drastic changes in weight, a drop in academic performance, chronic gloominess, and a complete lack of motivation. When you notice these signs, make sure that your child is able to confide in you about what is bothering him or her.

Most parents are puzzled at these drastic changes in their children’s behaviour and often end up reprimanding them aggressively. This can do more harm than good. Maintain an open communication with your children, and be patient when they express their frustrations. Ignoring even a seemingly silly problem can lead to larger implications in your child’s emotional growth. If you feel you aren’t able to provide a complete solution to the problems, do not hesitate to seek help. There are a number reputed online mental health networks like Insighte.in who provide the expert services of highly experienced counsellors and psychotherapists. Help is just a phone call away.

Not everything you hear about Autism is necessarily true

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There are tons of information online on autism and related disabilities, but not everything you read about it is necessarily true. You can find several websites connecting the rising prevalence of autism in children to immunization or pesticides, but in reality the cause of autism is still elusive. The first step in understanding autism is to know that not everything you hear about autism is necessarily true.

Lifestyle Changes and Autism

One of the most commonly heard notion about autism is that it is a new disease caused by lifestyle changes. However, it is found that the earliest reports of autism in children date back to 1799. More than a disease, autism is a neurological disorder caused by some genetic anomaly. Though there are no conclusive proofs, lifestyle changes and food practices may be one of the many factors causing the rise in the number autism cases these days. Still, no direct evidence could be found to connect lifestyle changes as the sole cause of rising autism in children.

Immunization and Autism

Once there was also a widespread allegation that child immunization was the cause of autism in children. There was an extensively researched article published supporting this claim in 1998, but it was promptly invalidated and branded “fraudulent” by leading medical journals. The reason behind the publicity of such a study was that most of its test subjects started showing symptoms of autism after administering MMR vaccines, but the truth is that it is at the prescribed age for immunization that autism symptoms naturally manifest. Thus there is no conclusive proof that immunization has caused autism in these children.

Are All Autistic Children are Geniuses like in the Movie Rain Man?

There have been reports about autistic savants with exceptional intellect or mathematical skills. It is true that autism doesn’t necessarily come with mental retardation often most of them have higher than average IQ, but you cannot rule it out entirely. Since, autism is a spectrum disorder, the characteristics change from person to person. It is important to make early psychological assessments and seek assistance to train the child to cope with his or her environment.

Autism and Parenting

Once, there was a popular belief that autism was caused due to lack of proper parental care or emotional support. However, no scientific study could ascertain the cause of autism in children, and thus this theory too was promptly refuted and retracted. Autism is a genetic disorder, and has nothing to do with parenting. Yet, for children suffering from autism, parenting is highly important and all the more challenging duty for the parents.

Let us know if you feel we have missed something. Tell us from your experience the different theories that you hear about autism. Post your messages in the comments section below.

Merry Barua – The Woman who Explained Autism to India

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Only a few decades ago, the term autism would have made no sense to an average Indian. During the 1980s, a woman set out on an unusual journey across the capital of India, trying to educate the public about autism, at a time when the Dustin Hoffman movie, Rainman was out in cassettes.

It all began in 1981 when Merry Barua gave birth to an autistic son, whom she named Neeraj. She struggled to get proper care for her son at different institutions, but none could grasp Neeraj’s disability. Only when she moved to the US when Neeraj was 11 years old, she could find the support he needed. After working with Neeraj for over a year, attending a course on how to take care of autistic children, she felt the need to share her knowledge about autism care to millions of parents like her in India.

She felt that the Indian public had little or no awareness about the disorder and started a national movement for spreading awareness about autism in India. She founded AFA (Action for Autism) in 1991 with the sole purpose of educating the public about the disorder and how to take care of the children suffering from it. She formed a lot of network groups and sat down with families, sensitizing them about what their beloveds are suffering from and training them how to take proper care of them.

In 2006, her works resulted in the inclusion of autism in the Disability Act by the government. The government also offered a grant for her AFA movement, which was a huge motivation for the movement. Her efforts also inspired the establishment of several special schools for autistic children. In an interview, she expressed her hope to expand this movement further and include vocational training for autistic children to ensure their employment and independence.

When Body Image Matters to your Child

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At a certain stage of adolescence, it’s common in every household to have one or more image-conscious teen who get on your nerves or leave you simply exasperated by their long hours spent in the bathroom or in front of the mirror. Mothers usually find themselves on the receiving edge of irritated looks from the impossible teenagers while she was only commenting about her son’s new hairstyle or daughter’s choosy eating habits.

Whether you judge them or not, youngsters will have developed their own benchmarks and uncertainties about their physical self. As a parent, you do them a great favour if you can cut down on critical remarks and help them have a healthy body image of themselves. Your opinion matters just as much as their peers’.

Here are some tips that will earn you your child’s respect and love.

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  • Exercise control over your gaze and tongue lest it may give away negative comments about your child’s weight, food, body size, shape and colour. Know that it hurts their feelings and self-worth.
  • Accept that being concerned over looks is a natural part of child’s growth. You don’t need to add any more pressure than the existing media and societal expectations of ‘good looks.’ You were once in their shoes. Value the genes that he/she inherited from you.
  • Give compliments on their efforts to look good. Moreover praise their physical qualities (like grace, strength, speed, smile) and capabilities and who they are on the inside.
  • If your child expresses doubts and insecurities about how they feel about the way they look, be lavish in providing counter points that emphasise their self-worth.
  • Be aware of media’s agenda in promoting stereotypes of ideal body images and discuss such portrayals with your child when you are together. Encourage him/her to limit media exposure if that bothers their real image.
  • You may set reasonable limits on the time and money your child spends on grooming and dressing. Tell them to manage time that they don’t cause inconvenience to others, forget to do chores and to be considerate of others’ needs.
  • Be a good role model by taking care of how you talk of your own looks and how you judge others’ bodies. How you treat your body with respect and kindness is what your child will follow.body 2
  • Help him/her find their own style. Let them experiment. You don’t have to intervene unless their standards get atrocious or unacceptable.
  • Ask your child to surround herself/himself with positive people who are not obsessed about their looks and do not fret about their imperfections all the time. Or suggest a new hobby.
  • You can do your part by providing plenty of nutritious food, making sure that get regular exercise, good sleep and a good collection in wardrobe.

7 Ways to Make Up with Sibling after a Fight

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“Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring – quite often the hard way.”                                             – Pamela Dugdale

 

We get to choose our friends, but not our family, so better deal with them. Perhaps one of the most beautiful relations one can have in the family is the relationship with sibling(s). No matter how much you love them, hate them and love them again, you can’t imagine a life without them, more so when you are both growing up. He/she will probably be the one special person in your singlehood who knows you the longest and the best.

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Silly fights, squabbles, annoying, meanness, calling names, telling lies on the other, teasing, punching, scratching, pinching, screaming, bullying etc. are common forms of sibling rivalry. Sometimes things get nasty between you, parents intervene, you sulk and still you want, and will, get along with each other as good as before.

Well, it happens in most households and it teaches you social skills for handling bigger conflicts in life. Your EQ grows through this and niceties of adjustment are embraced. Positive sibling relation is mutually beneficial and to everyone in the family too.

Do you know that both of you make such a spirited team if you are in that perfect adoring-each-other mode? The things you could do. The fun you have. The times you fight for each other, not against..bro 2

Been in another fight with your brother/sister lately? Well what are you waiting for? One of you has to take the first step to reconcile. Put down that pride, forget the ill-humour. Remember you still love him/her. You are lucky to have an idiot bro/sis to fight sometimes.

Have you tried these before?

  1. Take some cool-off time for yourself, away from him/her. Distract yourself by engaging in some activity that interests you. Meanwhile, try to think from the other’s point-of-view as to the motivation, manner and conclusion of fight. E.g. You were enjoying by yourself that your bro/sis felt left out and bored. It was just a way of getting attention.
  2. Go upto him/her if still upset or angry. Try to comfort, drop in a sorry if you feel like it, watch out for his/her mood. Not good, leave him/her alone for some more time.
  3. Make an effort to do something nice fbro 4or him/her. If a request for particular help is sought, do it without second thoughts. But do not brag about your big-heartedness and spoil the effect. Maybe you can cut a deal like taking turns, trading a junk/possession. E.g. getting a cup of his/her favourite drink, fixing a broken toy etc.
  4. If you have a good sense of humour, get a funny story or video or picture or joke across. Laughing together goes a long way in bringing back the bond. If he/she tells a joke in return, laugh honestly and get back on track.
  5. Sharing is caring. Be generous towards your sibling. Share a treat, or your toy/computer game or anything he/she will like.
  6. Compliment him/her for something, like a good haircut or a smart habit. Encourage and he/she feels great and love you more.bro 3
  7. Invite him/her to do stuff that you may enjoy together. Find ways to play, spend time together. Call up for a game of cricket, passing the ball or UNO cards. Even if you don’t enjoy what he/she likes, it doesn’t hurt to accept his/her wish and enjoy together. E.g. Pretend to have an interest in watching his/her favourite TV program.