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Kids need talk, not talking-to!

india Updated: Sep 25, 2006 00:42 IST

WHAT DO we do when sanitary napkin ads are flashed on TV and children ask— what is it? Asked moms during a workshop on Positive Parenting at Valmiki Rangashala.

“Don’t hide facts from your children. Discuss them openly, as they already have a lot of input on that. It’s only that you remain hesitant to discuss sex with your child,” said the psychologists, adding, “not explaining timely what your children ask only intensifies their guilt and induces misconception.” Scolding and brushing them aside cannot do what a talk can, they said.

Many such questions put to the psychologists and Dr Sanjeeta Kundu, Clinical Psychologist, Max Hospital, Delhi and Dr Pallavi Bhatnagar, Reader, Department of Psychology, Lucknow University gave the answers.

They also discussed some case studies on how a child gets an adverse psychological impact leading to a drastic behavioral changes when he witnesses frequent fights between his parents over extra-marital relationship.

“Some disagreements are natural and healthy thing between a couple, but fights generally lead to a negative silent impact on the child,” said Kundu.

None of the parents had awareness that if their child had a problem, then somewhere they were responsible for it. And the third thing was there were just a few couple — just three our four.

On this Dr Pallavi Bhatnagar commented: “Parents are working in the biggest factory of the world. The people-making factory. How a child shapes up, what happens and what becomes of a child depends on how much in tandem the parents ‘work’ in this factory.  

“Parenting is the least understood, most taken for granted and least addressed issue,” said Kundu.

Some broad tips given at the workshop were: Dear parents, drop your ‘judgmental caps’. If you focus on the limitations and shortcomings of your children, compare them with other children then it leads to frustration, jealousy, negativity and a feeling of worthlessness in children. So focus on their abilities, talents and capabilities rather than harping on their limitations.

Accept children in totality and give then opportunity to grow freely instead of forcing your outlook on them and what you want them to be.

Some effective techniques of communication were taught and some ‘relationship therapy’ was presented during the session. The workshop was organised by Swasti—the society for mental health and counselling..