What are growth spurts?
Growth spurts are sudden outbursts or increase in height of children in their growing years. When that happens, you might notice that they grow tall and lanky and their bodily proportions might be altered, for example, long legs and shorter torso. They might look awkward, but for a short time. It has been observed that growth spurts might bring in leg pain in some children. It may be due to weakening of muscles.
What are the things parents have to consider when they have to choose a school for their child?
There are certain important criteria which might dictate the school that you choose for your child. Whether you want your child to study in a co-education school or not; the fees that suit your budget; the Board that the school follows – International or National, if so, state (sslc) or central ( cbse) or ICSE; the proximity of the school to your home; the reputation of the school, preferably from parents whose children are studying there; admission procedures adopted by the school. It is always better to keep few choices and not depend on one single school for admission.
What preparation should be given to the child to help him accept the new environment of another school easily?
First and foremost, please do not paint a very rosy picture of the new school. Do not tell the child things that will misguide the child into thinking that he will have everything the way he wants in the school. When the child finds out that it is not the reality and they do have to stick to a routine, obey some rules and mingle with many children, adjust with new teachers and their ways of handling things, he might not like it.
As it is, children will be excited with the thought of going to a new school, wearing uniforms or travelling by school bus etc. Prepare him from about the age of 5 years itself about the time when he will have to join a school which has many more children with him, bigger play ground, classrooms and such other points of interest. Talk about how he can express his feelings to his teachers there just like he does in the earlier school.
Help him build his confidence by making him interact with many adults, either at home or at school under your supervision. Encourage him to deliver a message to your neighbor or his school teacher, so that he gets used to talking to them confidently. You can also ask him to order dishes in a restaurant thus interacting with a waiter or a steward. In this way, in his new school, if he has to approach his teacher and express his feelings, he will be ready to do so.
Why do girls whine a lot more than boys?
There is no reason for this. It could be a part of the general character. Generally girls take longer time to forget and come back to terms with the parent if they have had a small disagreement on an issue. Boys are found to be more practical. Similarly girls may keep whining, till this girl gets her way, she might go on and on. Girls have been found to do it more than boys.
When is the right age to talk to a child about death?
Usually, what ever the age that the child comes across death of any known person, is the time you can talk to him about it. You do not really need to look for a particular age and treat this as a topic of discussion. When there is such an event, then you can talk to the child and be specific and let the details be age appropriate.
For a very young child, you could say that the person who died has gone away and that you are not going to see that person again. Younger the child, it is better to stay away from too many details.
If the person passing away was a close relative of the child, then you can tell the child that he will be there for you, but you can see him when he comes in your dreams. Talk about how you can keep the memories of the person alive by recollecting the times he spent with the child.
What should be done when others complain to me about my child? How should I react?
If you haven’t seen what happened, and you find that his friends are complaining, support your child in front of them. You could say that you will talk to him and try to sort out the issue. When alone with the child, try to find out why he did what his friends were complaining about. See if you can get to the base of the matter and sort it out there.
When an adult complains about your child’s actions, it is very natural that many of us take the side of the adult and blame the child, which is not the right way of handling the situation. Even in such a situation, stand firmly on your child’s side and tell the adult that she need not worry and that you will take care of the matter. Express your unconditional support for your child by being calm and in control of your emotions. It could be possible that you are feeling angry inside, but do not let it show at that instant. You do not have to defend your child’s actions; just say you will look into the matter.
My son doesn’t share much of what happens in his school at home. What should i do? Is it indicative of anything serious?
Very few boys talk about what happens in school as compared to girls. So it is not really serious if they don’t get into details of their day at school. If you have come to know of something that has happened in school, ask him leading questions so that he is led into a casual conversation over dinner or so, and then hope that your child opens up. Do not coax him to share with you every single detail.
Narrate some incidents of your day and encourage him to also speak up. Also accept your child as he is and do not coax him to do something he does not want to. If you are at home when he comes home, it is possible that he might be willing to share. But if he comes home before you do, then he might be engaged with other things, and by then it is possible that he might have even forgotten his day at school.
Our child is not interested in reading. But he is very good in picking up any game, be it indoor or outdoor or even virtual. How to get him into reading too? I have tried many times and failed.
If the parents are readers, if they are seen reading by the child, mostly the child will get into the habit. A child cannot be good in everything. Some like reading and some don’t, some pick it up much later. Reading, as a habit can also come in later in life.
Some children pick up the habit when they see other children reading -Peer pressure too helps. A book on sports related books could be of interest to him. May be a biography of his favorite sportsman, book on how a particular game is played, book of world records etc. You could find out his area of other interests and provide with those books, then he might read. All of you at home could read a particular part of a story and discuss the story. That might create some interest in him to read. Do not coax him to read. The more you try to push him into reading, the farther he drifts from it.
Rules are set about the time spent watching TV or playing computer games every day. He changes them to suit his requirement, much to my dismay. I am not able to resist giving in because I enjoy his negotiations. What should I do?
Agree that children are quite good in negotiating. But it is always good to make the rules and stick to it. You have to remain consistent with the rules and let him know that neither you nor he can break or bend them. Be very strict on consistently following the rules, which are mostly set with your and his compliance. Once in a way, may be on a special occasion or holiday, you can be a bit lenient, but make it clear that it will never be during days when he has school work to do or when he has assessments. It is not right at all to give in to his ways.
How do I instill moral values in my child? What is the kind of stories or examples i should take up to do so?
In real life, parents are the prime examples for the children to follow. Children emulate the language, behavior, culture etc that the parents adopt in their lives. So no story is going to impact them as much as you would do. If you are not abiding by the morals and ethics that you want to bequeath them with, then it is impossible for the child to recognize it in stories and adopt them in his life. So practicing what you preach is the best way to pass on the morals to your child.
Being a little docile, our child is unable to stand up for himself in a group of children of his age. He is always found doing odd jobs for them instead of being actively involved in play. How should I help him?
You can help him by not pointing out to him that what he is doing is wrong. If you find he is docile, accept him as he is. If he is not minding the activity, you cannot do anything about it.
Try to make him more confident about himself. Help him to get a high self esteem. Find out if the group of children he is with is aggressive. Change the group of friends if they are aggressive, if you have a choice. Or invite them home and you can also indulge in general talk. If your child doesn’t t like it, do not interfere. If it is a group of very aggressive children, it is better not to let him mingle with them.
When should we start educating our children about sex?
Around 11 years, if it is a girl child. As soon as she starts her menstrual cycles, repeat the details that you have been educating her about the good touch – bad touch, how to be careful when she is with boys and why is it necessary to have healthy relationships with friends and the importance of taking care of herself in company of boys/men. If the girl child is younger, say 9 years and she has had her menstrual cycles already, touch upon the importance of identifying the good and bad touch and instruct her to be careful while being with boys.
For boys, educating them regarding sex can be a little later.
As soon as I return from the office, our son demands all my time. As a mother, I understand his needs, but I have other responsibilities too. How to make him understand my point of view? I don’t want to hurt him.
What are the other responsibilities that you have? Is it cooking, in laws etc, in such a case include him with you as you go about your work. Talk to him all the while that you are doing any other activity. Anything to do with home, include the child. That way, he won’t feel left out.
Right from the beginning the child should understand that there are particular times with the mother, father and times without them. When he is out playing with his friends, finish all your work and then be ready to bond with him. You can also talk to him that you need your time for yourself. Keep expressing your inability to immediately pay attention because of your engagement at the moment.
If you are a working parent do not feel guilty. It is a path you have consciously chosen; it is fine to be that way. But you cannot have your office work coming into the home. In case that is happening, try to keep that for later in the night when you have paid attention to your child’s needs. You cannot have everything perfect. You can do your best. Children take advantage of such guilt feelings in you. You can try to return home calm and collected. That way you can clearly find out his needs and act accordingly. In case you are restless or tense, the child tends to be that way too, or you feel it is difficult to handle him.
I see that many of my friends have the habit of telling everyone about their children and their talents and achievements endlessly. What could be the outcome of such an act, when the child is listening to it all? Is it good for him?
It is not bad for him. It is better than complaining about him. But it is boring for the people who listen to it, unless the audience is a grandparent or relative of the child who don’t mind it.
Too much talking about his work or achievements may elevate his self esteem, but see to it that the child doesn’t become over confident.
When he is 3 or 2 yrs old, you might have exclaimed about some things he did or created. That will be expected by the child about everything. He expects it from the teachers, friends and every other person he meets. When the teacher won’t do that, he will be disappointed.
Always praise him normally. Do not over do it. Once older it could shock him that there are so many others like him. He may be special to you, but he should also understand that there are so many other children who are like him. Hence, the praise should be appropriate and not over the top.