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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

‘Pay attention to behavioural changes in your child’

  Updated: Sep 28, 2019 19:56 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

Even a small behaviour change that stays for 10 or 15 days in a child may indicate ‘something big’ going on in their minds. So, never ignore behavioural changes, said experts.

“Parenting is an art and couples should learn it even before marriage, at least the basics about relationships, parenting and healthy communication. All this will help build a family where each one understands the other,” said Amity University psychology professor and dean Manju Agrawal.

“In fact, conscious and cautious parenting is needed and parents need to model the behaviour they want their children to have,” said Lucknow University psychology department faculty member Manini Srivastava.

Dr Agrawal, who is an expert in behavioural sciences, said understanding a child or a teenager is possible if the parents or family communicates in a healthy manner. How to communicate with children is a skill all parents should have so that the child is able to freely express whatever is precipitating in their minds.

“Nothing makes a child take an extreme step in a day or a moment but when things precipitate for days, weeks or months, then one day, it might become unbearable for them, particularly when they are unable to share it with someone,” said Agrawal, explaining how small children take such extreme steps.

She suggested all families should have a family psychologist as they have a family doctor and not always depend upon close or distant relatives to sort things out within the family.

Children too should also be allowed to do self-correction which is possible if the behaviour modelling is done properly, said Dr Srivastava.

It’s a fact that when you do not give children time, they search for alternatives where they can share their thoughts, but sometimes this alternative is incorrect and so it turns out to be fatal, said Aastha Geriatric Centre founder Abhishek Shukla. “Children have a lot of queries which parents have the responsibility to answer,” said Dr Shukla, himself a father of two.

Behavioural change is a sudden and unrelated change in the manner in which a person interacts with family members and a regular peer group. “If you ask first year engineering students, you will find half of them took up engineering under a self-pressure for financial security and many under parental pressure or both. They never wanted to become engineers but could not even share this with parents,” said Agrawal.

Simple steps such as spending time with children can help parents assess their state of mind.


Watch out for

# Sudden change in a child’s behaviour that remains for over a week

# A change in reaction to normal talk/discussions within the family

# Indifference to a family gathering

# Staying alone most of the time

# Disinterest in routine things

First Published: Sep 28, 2019 19:56 IST

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