I have a teenage son who I feel has started gaining weight. I understand that weight increase could be normal at this stage but my concern is that he seems to be least bothered about his weight gain. He doesn’t follow a daily schedule, no exercise routine. Instead, he gets irritated whenever this topic is brought up. His favourite hobby is watching television, playing computer games, play stations, or eating. How can I motivate him?
-8/1/2014 1:36:00 PM
Exercise is the best remedy for not just physical illnesses but also problems related to mental health. It is never too late to start working towards a healthy and active lifestyle.
However, encouraging a teenager to exercise might be a difficult process as they are going to be young adults in a few years. So they tend to make their own rules and may probably not understand the value of a healthy lifestyle. They are too young and impressionable at that age.
The best way to motivate them is to be a role model to them. You could start by exercising first and then encourage him to give you company. He could accompany you to the gym or start by playing any sport he likes. This way, you would be able to enter his world and understand things from his perspective too.
Gradually, you could encourage him to make a balanced schedule for the day where he is given equal amount of time to indulge in all his favourite activities —watching TV, eating, playing computer games. At the same time, he must be trained to set apart some time for exercise and outdoor games.
Guide him on the various benefits of a disciplined life. It is also very important for you to be firm in limiting his time. As a family, eating habits should be regularised for everyone with high-calorie meals a strict “no” for all members of the family.
Any close approximations to desirable behaviour, in terms of dietary modification and / or engaging in sports or a related activity should be positively reinforced by acknowledgement of his efforts and public praises. With all these regulations, make sure you are not too harsh to your child and also ensure that you rule out any medical issue related to his sudden weight gain, irritability and loss of interest in doing things. ------ Jitendra Nagpal
I am an 18-year-old boy studying in class 12. My concern is that since the last one year, I have not been able to follow a proper diet routine as a result of which I look quite thin now. My eating habits never bothered me till the last few weeks but I have started feeling very weak and sleepy now because of which my studies are getting affected. I am quite concerned if it is a psychological disorder. Please guide me on what shall I do?
-7/16/2014 2:07:00 PM
Your concern is understandable but first you should relax since this progressive change can be related to the hormonal inbalances happening in the body physiologically as result of puberty.
These changes are quite normal and are experienced by all adolescents in differnt forms. Decreased appetite over a period of time can result in irritability, depression, emotional problems and in your case sleepiness has become a main concern because of low energy/sugar levels.
You could contact a dietician who will help you build a food pyramid and also help you to plan your daily intake. You also need to incorporate some changes in your daily schedule and life style which should definitely include some physical excersice. This will keep you fresh and healthy and will definitely increase your appetite. Instead of three big meals, you can have six small meals to increase your frequency of eating. If required please take professional help. ---- Jitendra Nagpal
I am a 14-year-old girl studying in class 9. My concerns are related to my subjects like history that require cramming. I am unable to remember dates whereas I find that doing calculations is far easier. As I will be in class 10 next year, I really need to do well in order to get my choice of stream. Please guide me on how I should improve my learning ability.
-7/9/2014 4:02:00 PM
Cramming is not very helpful as it is a short-term solution. It is advisable to learn your portion and there are many ways by which this learning can become easy. You can learn by making associations between facts as it makes recall of learned material easier.
Making learning a visually-appealing task can also prove to be fruitful. For example, to learn the dates in history, you could write them all on a piece of paper and make a specific picture related to it — what it signifies to you and try to make a sequel to it. You could also learn by rhyming things to make them easier. Do not sit and learn your portions for long hours as it may end up being monotonous . Make sure you take small breaks to keep your mind rejuvenated.
Try and study the difficult portions during the time your concentration is maximum. Eat healthy food, exercise and sleep well as it keeps the mind fresh. Use of mnemonics can also make learning fun and easy for exam. Names of oceans can be learnt this way:
P - Pacific Ocean
A - Arctic Ocean
I - Indian Ocean
S - Southern Ocean
A - Atlantic Ocean
If required, you could also take help from a school counsellor or a special educator. ---- Jitendra Nagpal