Category Archives: Parenting

Special Children and Their World

Special Children“I am not odd, I am just different”… These were the lines spoken by the protagonist in one of the films that we were shown in our clinical internship. The central character was playing the role of an autistic individual. Though it was just a movie, but the problems and issues that were shown in it were etched in my mind and heart. This blog is dedicated to all the special children, their caretakers and my readers who want to know what does being a special child means, what are the clinical symptoms and how they should be taken care of.

Children with Special Needs

Who are children with special needs is the question that taps the mind. Special children are the ones who suffer from brain abnormalities. They have neurobiological problems, which manifest in different physiological and behavioral abnormalities. There are different categories of neurobiological problems in children. Let me tell you some of the common problems falling under this category:

ADHD

The full form of this acronym is Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. As the name suggests, ADHD is characterized by hyperactivity, impulsivity, lack of attention and so on. The symptoms include: Lack of attention, problems in organizing and planning, getting easily distracted, very impulsive and impatient, problems in following instructions, forgetfulness, etc.

Autism

Autism is a complex disorder to be identified and understood. It manifests itself by the age of three. Sometimes people with autism are so well off that one can hardly recognize that they are experiencing autism symptoms. Following are some of the symptoms and pointers for autism:

  • Developmental delays
  • Delays in attaining milestones
  • Lack of eye contact
  • Spinning of objects
  • Difficulty in expressing needs
  • Inappropriate manifestation of emotions
  • Throws tantrums and does not like to be cuddled
  • Spins objects
  • Wants to remain alone or aloof
  • Irregular fine and gross motor skills

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy is caused due to damage to the brain before and/or after birth. Following are the conditions that usually cause it:

Before Birth After Birth
Illness during pregnancy Brain Injury
Premature Delivery Trauma
Accidents during pregnancy Accidents
Insufficient supply of oxygen to the baby caused due to premature separation of placenta Viral infection
Blood type or RH incompatibility of parents, etc. Child abuse

Children with cerebral palsy often experience the symptoms based on the part of the brain that is affected. Based on this, they may suffer from mobility problems, seizures, problems in speech and hearing, spasms, etc.

Mental Retardation

Mental Retardation is also known as Intellectual Disability. It manifests itself before adulthood and is characterized by cognitive impairment. For a person to be diagnosed with MR, his/her IQ should measure less than 70. The degree to which one is affected by mental retardation is also studied in how a person with MR operates in his/her surrounding environment and intellectual abilities. Mental Retardation is divided into three categories depending on the IQ score of the person. Here is a representation of the types of MR:

Type IQ Range
Mild Mental Retardation IQ 50 – 69
Moderate Mental Retardation IQ 35 – 49
Severe Mental Retardation IQ Below 49

Children with special needs often have difficulty in coming at par with the mainstream society. They are often abused, misunderstood and bullied. The world falls apart for the parents who first find out their children to be facing neurobiological problems. Though living conditions become very challenging for the children themselves, for parents and care takers…. Yet today management and care facilities for children with special needs are much more developed. In their own unique ways they are able to do worthwhile things in this world. Do you know there are world famous personalities who fought against their disabilities and attained highest summits of success in the world fraternity as a whole? Some of them are: Mozart, Danish Author Hans Anderson, Lewis Carroll, the world famous painter Michelangelo and so on.

If you find your child or loved one to be experiencing such problems, then please don’t lose heart. With the help of strategic interventions and care, the symptoms can be managed to a considerable extent. It may be difficult, but it is not impossible.

Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” – Helen Keller

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

Sharpen your Child’s Brain

Sharpen your Child’s BrainTo reach out to you when I’m in need, and to try to be here for you when you need me back. And to feel such tenderness when I look at you that I want to stand between you and all the world: and yet also to lift you up and carry you above the strong currents of life; and at the same time, I would be glad to stand always like this, at a distance, watching you, the beauty of you.” Orson Scott Card, Children of the Mind

Children are the biggest assets we have as parents, as a society and nation. No pleasure can match up to a child’s sweetness, giggles and fascination. When you are sad, dejected or feel low just try looking at the cute activities of a child… you will get instant happiness and relief. Children tend to have immense potentialities within them. Psychologists say that majority of brain and personality development occurs in the first five years of life. Therefore, children should be given a conducive environment to live in so that they grow up as fully functioning individuals.

Sadly, we tend to be so engrossed in our own lives that we forget our importance in the lives of our children. We tend to thrust the pressure of our challenges, struggles and frustrations on our children. This leaves a huge negative impact in their lives too. Next time you feel like shedding your frustration on your child, just think that being your kid was not his/her fault. He/she deserves all your love and concern, care and affection.

If your child’s mind is not nurtured in a proper way, then its potential remains unraveled and un-used. This may lead to many behavioral and personality problems in future. In order to help your child grow up in the most effective way, there are many things that you can do. Shaping and molding a child’s mind in a healthy way gives rise to a happy, healthy, successful, virtuous individual in the making. Do not let your child’s life and potentialities go in vain. Trust me; your child has many gifts within him/her waiting to be unpacked! Here are some easy exercises that you can do in order to sharpen your child’s mind:

Quality Time

Spend quality time with your child. I know if you are a working parent, it is difficult to be by your child’s side 24/7. What I intend to say is spending “Quality” time with your child is important. How much time you spend with him or her is not as necessary as how you are spending your time with your kid. If you are spending almost 8 hrs a day with your kid and all you are doing is staying mum or doing your work, this does not help. Even if you are there with your kid for an hour try to speak to your child, sing songs or play together, show your love ‘n’ warmth to your lil’ one or go out for a walk/drive/visiting place together. In short, whatever time you get with your child, try to spend it actively, in an involved and worthwhile manner.

Sun ‘n’ Shower

Nature is one of the best nurturer of human mind. Make your child play outdoors in the garden, sand or seashore. When your child gets ample oxygen and sunshine his mind develops in an amazing manner. This also gives a boost to his immune system and psychological well being. Each and every day and season has its own significance in physical and psychological development. Summer stands for alertness and confidence, winter gives serenity and balance, spring brings brightness of hues with it while autumn brings hope. So no matter what a season is, your child should get an exposure to all these so that he/she gets ample raw materials for a healthy brain and body development. Do not cocoon your child indoors. Let him play out in the sun and feel the soft drizzles of rains too. Nature is the best nurturer and medicine too!

Indoor activities

Interesting indoor activities also cater to a significant cognitive development in a child. Dab your kid’s hands with colors and make him/her paint on a canvas; play with stacking cups or read out a book, sing a song or dance to your child’s favorite tune… indoor activities are also equally important as outdoor games.

Tip: Always remember to baby-proof your home to prevent your child from injuries.

Challenges and Soft-skills

Along with playful activities your child also needs specific understanding and skills so that his/her mind can fully develop and sharpen. I have seen many parents who are overly protective for their children. They spoon-feed their kids even before they ask anything; they hug their kids tight even before they fall. But, this will only make your child even more introverted, shy and dumb. Therefore, it is necessary to be protective but not too over-protective.

Just as your child needs playful activities to train his brain, he/she also requires challenges to enhance significant cognitive skills like decision making, critical thinking, memory boost, dexterity skills, fine motor and gross motor skills, speech and language development, personality development etc. Try to involve your child in your daily chores, make him/her to help you put things at the proper place, put waste paper in a dust-bin, and fix a problem with you and other simple tasks. This will work as a buffer to your child’s brain and behavior development as a whole. Moreover, this will also improve his/her sense of understanding, self-esteem, sense of belongingness, self-confidence and so on. My 1.8 yr old son deliberately makes his baby-cycle to fall down. In the beginning I picked it up for him. But, when he used his own strength and idea to make his cycle stand up again, the happiness and pride in his face was beyond words and comparison!

Believe me, your child has every tool and raw material to make his body and brain develop in an effective manner. He/she just needs a workshop of life where he/she can experiment, get involved and learn. Here are some more vital things that you need to do in order to sharpen your kid’s mind and personality:

Age-appropriate Interactions Just as you like interacting with people of your age group, your child also likes to be among other children of his age group. As a parent or relative no matter what activities we do to nurture our child in the best possible way, but children tend to develop at their best when they are also given a chance to play and mingle with other children of their age. Try making your child interact with children of his age group through a parent’s group, a playgroup etc.
Sleep and rest Just as you get tired after a long tiring day or after a strenuous job, your child also gets tired. Do not stop your child from taking rest or sleeping. This may hamper brain development to a substantial level. Allow your child to take rest or sleep whenever he/she wants to. The brain develops, grows, replenishes during sleep.Major neural connections and brain development happens during sleep. So sleep and rest also sharpens your child’s mind.
Modeling Treat your child the way you like to be treated. Of course you also won’t like to be slapped or punished. So how can your child like that? When we become harsh or punitive towards our children we are pulling their minds to fall into a pit of pain and negative emotions. Instead try to be a role model for your child. Children learn through imitating. So now you need to decide which behavior you would like them to learn!
Age – appropriate activities I have seen many parents who switch the TV on while making their children eat something; moreover children are also given laptops, tablets and mobiles to play at a very tender age. If you are doing this to your kid please try to stop that soon. Your child’s prefrontal cortex is too feeble to absorb many activities or complex actions at once. Age-appropriate games, eating styles, activities are very important to help your child’s mind grow in an effective manner. Don’t try to make them out-grow their age. This will only make their life even more complex and gruesome.

Though your child may look small and tender, but his/her mind is filled up with immense potentials and strengths. It is like a huge ocean that can absorb things very quickly.

Can you tell me what does the figure below represent? A child drew it in a therapy session.

Child Drawing in Therapy Session

The therapist also could not understand anything out of this drawing. After being asked the child said that: This is a picture of my home. My parents always fight with each other and want to leave each other. So I want my home to be safe and together and that is why I am trying to tie it with strings of love and togetherness. I love my mum and dad very much and want them to be together”.

So folks, this is the depth of understanding of a child’s mind. Do not consider a child to be foolish or small. May be your child cannot speak or express with the right words, but he/she can surely sense your words and emotions, thoughts and behavior.

Hope this blog would encourage you to help your child grow in a loving and caring yet challenging and free way!

Best wishes,

Sareeta

Exam Phobia Management Tips: For Parents and Students…

exam_phobia_2

Hello everyone, hope you have read my previous blog post on Exam Phobia. If you haven’t read it yet, I would suggest you to read that first. That post will tell you more about exam phobia and the extent of damage it can do to someone’s life. Here we will learn about some important management tips for exam phobia. These tips will help you to effectively deal with exam phobia, if you are experiencing it. Moreover, these pointers will also help you to prevent it. So, here we go…

Exam Phobia Management Tips for Parents

  1. Take it easy when it comes to communicating the aims and aspirations you have with regard to your children. If you try to be too edgy or strong with them, then they may end up being scared from failures and challenges in life. This in itself would be the first step towards exam phobia.
  2. Dominant, aggressive parenting styles do irreparable damage to a child’s or student’s life. Being a democratic parent is worthwhile both for you and your children. Being too dominant, aggressive, and punitive on your children when it comes to studies and achievements often creates or aggravates exam phobia.
  3. Never not to compare your ward with others. This is the worst mistake that often parents do. This hampers your child’s personality, thought processes, self-worth, self-esteem and confidence.
  4. Try to build a conducive environment where your child or the aspirant can study without getting disturbed.
  5. Often rewarding a successful achievement or consoling a failure helps a lot in effectively dealing with or preventing exam phobia.
  6. Try to be a role model for your children. If you yourself are struggling with your own failures, challenges and issues, you can never do justice to your children too. Life would obviously set many thorns in your path. It’s how you deal with these thorns and at the same time be a role model for your ward too.
  7. Make your child have a certain vision, ambition and mission in his/her life. The clearer he/she is about his/her future, the more he/she will be capable of making dedicated efforts to achieve such goals.
  8. Rather than making success or failure as an aim, try making healthy participation an aim for your child. This will help him/her to understand the worth of his/her studies and achieve milestones accordingly.

Exam Phobia Management Tips for Students/aspirants

  • Try to build loads of self-confidence and self-worth within yourself. Do not let others overpower you. Do not let failures pull you back or a success make you over-confident. Balancing is the key.
  • Try to maintain a good and healthy lifestyle first. If you yourself are unhealthy or if you would lead an unhealthy lifestlye this would affect your body and mind leading to different physical and psychological problems.
  • Daily exercise, a good peer group, having a definite aim in life, good dietary habits, a healthy and consistent sleep regime, abstinence from addiction, etc are some of the healthy and worthy ways to keep exam phobia at bay.
  • Most students do not read at the starting of a semester. They get serious only when the exam dates are hanging on their heads. If you are also one of them, then you need to seriously work on your studying habits.
  • Maintain a good and strategic studying habit. Read from the starting of a year or semester. Be regular in attending your classes. Apart from that make your notes with dilligence and finesse, clear doubts…these habits will not only help you prevent and manage exam phobia but will enhance your knowledge and help you pass your exams with flying colours.
  • Just rote learning or surface memorization is not enough. Try to go to the deeper concepts of the topics.
  • The more you have expertise on a topic, the more you practice it…the stronger would be its impressions in your brain (memory chunks) and will be remembered for a longer time.
  • Proper time management will help you keep decent pace in your studies, preparation, project works, practical works, and other assignments from time-to-time.
  • Exams often foster competitive spirit among students. While a healthy competition with others is appreciated. But, the actual competition should be with you and within you. How much you know, how much you should know and how can you know more….these aspects matter more than comparing and competing unnecessarily with others.

Always remember that success and failures are all a part of life. With persistent efforts you can attain your goal one day. What is important is your participation.

If you have read my previous post on the technical know-how and symptoms of exam phobia, if you or anyone related to you are struggling with exam phobia, then please don’t hesitate in contacting us. Through our online phobia therapy program we offer expert online cognitive behavior therapy interventions for exam phobia.

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” 
– Vince Lombardi

With Best Wishes,

Sareeta

Great pregnancy tips for all parents-to-be

Babies

Gushes of heartfelt emotions shower on you, the moment you come to know about the advent of a little one in your lives. These emotions can neither be described nor be controlled. They can only be felt; beyond physical limitations and beyond eternity. When the good news of the little one comes, everyone related to you becomes so excited and elated. The journey of nine months and after that will not only bring many moments and experiences to cherish but also change your life for a lifetime. This blog post is based on some important things and concerns that all parent-to-be should know before holding their little ones in their arms. Happy nesting and happy reading!

For Mommy-to-be:

With the pregnancy strip showing a positive sign, many of you would be feeling happy and overwhelmed at the same time. What to do, what not to do, whom to tell, whom not to tell, when to share the big news, what next…All these are some common questions that start hitting the mind. Here is a step by step process of to-do’s for you:

  1. The moment you discover that you are pregnant, it’s a big time to hug your partner/ your baby’s daddy-to-be and thank each other for the gift that would be coming in a couple of months.
  2. Fix an appointment with your gynecologist/obstetrician for the scanning of the fetus and the future course of actions.
  3. Talk to your ob/gyn about your family history of any disease (if any), your allergies, what to eat and what not to eat, etc.
  4. I know you would be pining or craving to yell out the good news to your loved ones and relatives. But hold on! Talk about the good news only when the tie is ripe, when you and your partner have emotionally settled down a bit and when your nesting urges have sunk in. Usually breaking the news after 12 weeks or 2-3 months is advisable. This gives you ample time for everything.

Medical and Health Tips for Mommies-to-be:

  1. Never miss your doctor’s appointment, medicines he/she prescribes at any cost.
  2. Never take over-the-counter medicines for the opportunistic health issues you face during pregnancy. Always seek doctor’s advice. If possible make your ob/gyn write about some SOS medicines that you can take in case of acute problems.
  3. Some common physical ailments during pregnancy include: Nausea, vomiting (I used to vomit at least 22-25 times per day), acidity problems, digestion problems, frequent urination, swelling palms and feet, headaches, breathing problems, palpitations, sensitivity towards smell and noise.
  4. Common psychological issues include: Food craving, food aversion, insomnia (sleep problems), mood swings, stress, anxiety, depression and worrying.
  5. Don’t worry…the above ailments/issues may or may not exist in some cases. Some may get one or two symptoms out of the whole. Each and every pregnancy is different.

Workouts and Exercise for Mommies-to-be:

  1. As I said, every pregnancy is different so doing exercise or workouts is not always advised. Some women are asked to take complete bed-rest for the entire 9 months. Some women have a very high or very low-lying placenta. So exercising may harm both the mother and the child growing in the womb. That’s why every mom-to-be should take clear-cut advice from their ob/gyn whether or not to exercise and what workouts are suitable.
  2. One thing that is very effective and side-effect free is “breathing exercise”. I would like to share the most effective breathing exercise with you here. You can do it while listening to your favorite music too: Sit in a comfortable position. Breathe in or take a deep breathe. While inhaling, imagine that you are inhaling positive thoughts and positive vibes/energies for you and your baby. Then hold your breathe for 1-2 secs imagining that all the positive thoughts and vibes are settling in and spreading in both of you. Finally breathe out slowly. While exhaling, imagine that all the negativity within you is getting expelled in the form of black smoke. Repeat the same for 4-5 rounds slowly and in a calm manner. After that rub both your palms and touch your body/tummy/all round your body.
  3. Walking in fresh air is also a good and subtle workout that is very effectual. It can be done through all the trimesters.

Diet-regime: What to eat and what not to eat when pregnant:

  • Completely avoid eating papaya and pineapple during your entire course of your pregnancy as it can cause premature delivery, uterine contractions and abortion in extreme causes. Some people/cultures/countries do prefer eating raw papayas…but the decision is all yours. Prevention is always better than cure.
  • Avoid smoking, drugs and alcohol. If someone pushes you towards the same or if you get an urge to do so, then simply avoid that person/place/situation. Smoking (active and passive), drugs and alcohol cause serious birth defects, premature labor and abortion, and fetal death syndrome.
  • Try covering your nose with some cloth when someone smokes near you or when you go in a polluted area.
  • Try to experiment on the foods that you eat. Some foods make you feel more pukish or nauseated. While others cause acidity problems. So its best to prepare a diet chart on the basis of your preferences.
  • Overcooked food, under-cooked food, oily foods, excessive fat-rich food may be harmful. Be extra careful while eating fish and meat. Make sure they are healthy in your preggie days and are cooked cautiously.
  • Balanced diet is the key to a healthy diet regime during pregnancy. I used to crave for salty and sour foods only. And sweet based food made me feel sick. My baby boy was born with a very low glucose level and was on the threshold to getting a fits attack. Luckily he got out of that danger. So do not make a mistake like me. Even if you crave for a certain category of food, do not forget to add other categories of vital food to your platter too. And yes, avoid mixed-food salads as they mix nutrients and create hazardous elements. Instead of that eat whole fruits.
  • Eat right and eat healthy.

Clothes to wear during pregnancy:

  • Wear light clothes.
  • Too tight clothes should be avoided.
  • Avoid wearing pants and clothes that are too tight right over your stomach and your abdominal area.
  • Cotton and light-colored clothes are the best.

Body Care and Hygiene during pregnancy:

  • Do not use body lotions that are filled with a lot of chemicals. Use herbal products instead.
  • To avoid stretch marks you can use some herbal creams with the recommendation of your ob/gyn.
  • Make sure to flush the toilet/bathroom with antiseptic liquid before using it. Keep your private areas clean to avoid infections.
  • Keep your surroundings clean in an overall way. It will not only make you feel better but also help you to stay healthy throughout your preggie days.

For Psychological Issues/Balance during pregnancy:

  • Share your emotions, feelings with your partner or anyone you can rely on and trust.
  • Talk to your baby more often.
  • Spend ample time with your partner too. Because after your baby arrives there would obviously be an attention-shift altogether.
  • Keep a stress-ball with you to release any kind of stress.
  • Watch you favorite movie, listen and hum your favorite song.
  • Chocolates tend to pacify anxiety and stress.
  • Meditation works wonders.
  • You can create your time line album of events in your life, how you are excited for your baby, how you want him/her to be…..everything. This will be a creative and emotionally uplifting experience for you, your partner and also your child when he/she sees it.

For Daddy-to-be:

So hey, you are going to be a “Papa”…yipeee! It must be an emotional experience for you too. As a father, the society expects you to be responsible, disciplined, to be the bread-winner and protector as well. With all these stressors and pressures, still you have a whole lot of heart-rendering experiences and happy moments waiting for you. Here’s what you can do to buffer yourself up for your beloved and your kid:

  1. Get yourself mentally prepared for the big change or transition from a partner to a father.
  2. You can join online forum for fathers-to-be to learn more and share your concerns too.
  3. Spend as much time with your beloved; planning surprises, pregnancy dating, etc will help you uplift your spirits of parenthood and strengthen your relationship too.
  4. Take proper care of your health too. Sleep well, eat well.
  5. Managing your financing, baby-proofing your house is a good and wise way of planning for the journey of life ahead.
  6. If you feel you are not ready for it yet or are stuck up with some past issues/present concerns…then try talking to someone who can help you out or seek professional assistance.

Remember, you are the one who is the entire world to your partner and baby. So feel good, feel proud and spread love too.

We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves.
Henry Ward Beecher 

 

Best wishes and lots of baby-dust on you!

Sareeta

Teenage: A Threshold to Progress Vs Pitfalls

Teenage Problems, Social Issues and Bullying

“I think being a teenager is such a compelling time period in your life ― it gives you some of your worst scars and some of your most exhilarating moments. It’s a fascinating place; old enough to feel truly adult, old enough to make decisions that affect the rest of your life, old enough to fall in love, yet, at the same time too young (in most cases) to be free to make a lot of those decisions without someone else’s approval.”

― Stephenie Meyer, Author of the Twilight Saga

Every now and then we hear a mother telling her adolescent or teenage daughter to sit properly, a guy is told to behave properly, remain hygienic, stay away from bad peer group….It’s like when you were kids everything was so cool and awesome. But, when you step into your “teens” your freedom is said to get choked. Suddenly your day might get filled with words like “don’t”; “behave yourself”; “how dare you”…and stuff like that. I remember one of my clients who were a teenager. She was very upset with her parents as they did not allow her to wear short clothes, party and booze, no night-out, no mingling with guys, etc. She used to say that she is not bad or cranky. She called her parents as being “paranoid”, who always doubted her and took away all the freedom from her life.

If you are a teenager who can relate to the above sentences/situation, if you are a helpless parent of a troublesome teenager, then you have come to the right place.

Teenage is basically a phase of transition. It is a period of change in your body, mind, personality, behaviour manifestations and so on. The chemical changes or maturation process going on inside your body leads to transitions in different levels of functioning. These levels of functioning can be from varied platforms and perspectives like personal life, social life, educational life, personality, thinking, behaviour, belief systems so on and so forth. An imbalance or problem in any of these dimensions can make teenage a difficult phase of life.

As a teenager you may experience varied kinds of challenges in front of you. These challenges came as the key to either your progress or pitfall. If you know how to handle these challenges, you can utilize these in a healthy, adaptive and righteous manner. However, if you fail to deal effectively with these aspects then they can do a permanent damage to your life as a whole. This damage will not only affect you, but also your parents, sibling, peers, society and higher levels of life living. Some of the major challenges are:

  • Body Changes
  • Changes in thought processes
  • Personality changes
  • Parental role-shift
  • Peer pressure
  • Educational and other stressors
  • Media Exposure and related issues
  • Other important challenges

Now let us discuss these issues one by one, how they tend to affect your life and how you can deal with each one of them to optimize your level of a fruitful living.

Challenge / Issue Risk Factors Management
Body Changes  
  • High or low self-image
  • High or low self-esteem
  • Changes in self-confidence
  • Changes in diet: Can lead to bulimia or anorexia nervosa
  • Changes in sleep and lifestyle
  • Treating body change as a normal growing up process
  • Exercise, Yoga, Meditation, Walking, Hobbies, etc
  • Mirror therapy or positive self-affirmation
  • Balanced diet, reduce in-take of junk food
Changes in thought processes
  • Quite obviously if changes in the body occur it can also result in changes in thought processes. This is due to hormonal changes mainly.
  •  Try to control your racing thoughts
  • Channelize negative thoughts into positive ones
  • Talk to your elders
  • Do not seclude or cocoon your thoughts. Effective communication or sharing is the key to achieve a healthy/socially acceptable thought cloud.
 Personality Changes 
  • Right or wrong choice of social models and trying to copy or mimic them
  • Loss of your own individuality or unique traits
  • Ill-effects of comparison and contrast
  • Self-identity
  • Self-awareness
  • Mirror therapy
  • Cognitive processing
  • Meditation
  • Emphasis on life goals and value system
  • Do not compare yourself with anybody. Try to develop yourself with proper inspirations and role models
 Parental Role-Shift
  • Fallacies in parenting
  • Parental unawareness of teenage problems and issues
  • No idea on how to help a teenager
  • Ineffective communication
  • Effective parenting skills
  • Self-help or support groups
  • Books and other related material that would aid psycho-education on parenting
  • Professional help, if needed
 Peer Pressure 
  • Bullying
  • Anti-social and unsocial behaviour
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Other maladaptive behaviours
  • Inculcating appropriate value system
  • Strictly adhering to moral and ethical behaviour
  • Choosing right peers
  • Abstinence from unnecessary or inappropriate things/situations
  • Support system
  • Mutual respect and mutual understanding
Educational and other stressors 
  • Problems in attention, focus, memory and concentration
  • Loss of interest in studies/professional goals
  • Exam Phobia
  • Stress and anxiety

 

  • Do not put over-expectation on your teenage daughter or son
  • Clear goals / aims in life
  • Increase motivation to achieve your goals
  • Practice, time management
  • Exercises related to memory and concentration
  • Adequate sleep and rest along with a balanced diet
Media Exposure 
  • Exposure to inappropriate media content leading to personality problems, behavioural malfunctions, anti-social behaviour, promiscuity and so on
  • Using logical reasoning in these situations
  • Age-appropriate exposure to such content
  • Abstinence
  • Moral and ethical judgment

Just as a knife in the hands of a criminal takes one life and in the hands of a doctor saves one; similarly every aspect of life has its own strengths and set-backs. Teenage is one of the golden periods or phases in life where you have a whole world of positive opportunities in front of you. It is not wrong to have friends, adhere to what your parents/elder say, have definite goals, and know about different things. In fact, they act as great boosters to self-confidence, sense of fulfillment, progress, happiness and well-being. What makes it good or bad is the way you utilize them, understand them and deal with them. In teenage it’s like the ball is in your court. You are no more an innocent child. It depends on you on how you bowl the ball – either hit a six and live a wonderful, healthy, meaningful, successful life or get clean bowled by unnecessarily and unethically falling into the pits of drudgery, disease and destruction.

Ideally, you should try your level best to make your teenage yours an ideal phase by living in an ideal way. This ways you will live life as a celebration, as a gift. You will not have to regret over anything as you grow up.

“If you surround yourself with the good and righteous, they can only raise you up. If you surround yourself with the others, they will drag you down into the doldrums of mediocrity, and they will keep you there, but only as long as you permit it.”
― Mark Glamack, Author

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

The Psychophysical Route to Conception, Pregnancy and Childbirth

pregnant2

Helped are those who create anything at all, for they shall relive the thrill of their own conception and realize a partnership in the creation of the Universe that keeps them responsible and cheerful.

– Alice Walker 

The essence of the world, the life force within you-me-everyone around us is “conception”. Without it life would be lifeless and impossible. Do you know that among all organisms, human conception is very rare? Some can conceive too easily, while others have to struggle a lot in order to be showered by the eternal “baby-dust”. Moreover, human beings can reproduce only once a year with babies ranging from single-born, twins to quadruplets. Whereas, in case of animals and other living beings conceiving and birth is a different process and perspective. That is why human conception is so unique, rare and spectacular. Isn’t it a wonderful thing? With it comes a spark of happiness as well as new responsibilities and commitment. When you procreate and bring your baby into this world, you create a replica of your own existence as a whole.

Conceiving is like an easy process for some couples, but for some it is a long phase of efforts and struggle. This post is dedicated for all parents-to-be, for the once who are going to start planning for a baby and for the ones who want to know more about conception, pregnancy and childbirth.

Conception:

In the generic sense of the term, conception means fertilization of the male and female gametes and implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus or womb. The fertilized egg has now nine months to develop and grow into a baby. When the term and process looks so short and simple, what makes it so difficult to achieve in case of some couples? Even if some couples manage to get through the threshold of conception, why cannot they reproduce full-term babies? What is it that creates a difference or bifurcation between conceiving, getting pregnant and entering into parenthood? Well, these are many kinds of questions that hit our mind. Even if they are various steps to a common end, that is, giving birth to a baby…there is a thin line that separates all these aspects.

Following are some of the psychophysical techniques that would help you to increase the odds of conceiving:

  • Even before you plan for a baby talk to your partner about the kind of baby you both want, personality traits and so on.
  • It is wise to seek a “pre-conception counseling” before starting to plan for the little one’s advent.
  • Check your TSH levels (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Levels), blood sugar, hormone levels, increase your knowledge about ovulation, make an ovulation calendar, and get yourself registered in a website for more information and support system. Talk to your doctor about all these aspect in the “pre-conception counseling”.
  • It is said that eating of Folic acid tablets 3 months prior to planning of a baby helps increase odds of conception, keeps the child healthy and away from diseases like cleft palate, nutritional deficiencies and so on. So during the pre-conception counseling, this is also an important point to discuss with your doctor or OBGYN.
  • Be physically and mentally prepared for parenthood. Plan your expenses; manage your finances and savings.
  • Eat healthy meals, exercise regularly but only mild workouts, meditation and breating exercises are also helpful.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle, cut out your alcohol intake, caffeinated drinks, smoking and other dangerous habits.
  • Keep a daily journal, encircle yourself with good vibes, try to remain stress-free as much as possible and try to remain calm, happy and composed. Moods, emotions, stress levels also play a vital role in conception.
  • Certain sexual positions aid deep penetration of the male sex organ into the female counterpart. These positions are basically the missionary position (man on the top) and side ways position (lying to your sides). Such positions make the conception process easier by helping the sperms to be ejaculated deep into the uterus or the egg that is ready to be fertilized.
  • Men need to avoid wearing tight boxers and women need to avoid too tight clothing, particularly in the abdominal area. Tight clothes thrust a negative impact on fertility.
  • If your age is under 30 and you have tried for a year, it is high time to consult a doctor if you haven’t conceived yet. Similarly it’s the case for one who is above 30 years and has tried conceiving for more than 6 months. As we age, our fertility declines.
  • Self-affirmations about conceiving, accupressure, accupuncture, reiki, etc are also some of the effective ways of increasing odds of conceiving.
  • Patience, perseverance, knowledge, expert advice and determination are the greatest pillars of strength in the road to conception.
  • Finally, do not stress yourself out by the word “baby” always at the back of your mind. Start correct, eat right, think great and do fab. When all the aspects are brought to an optimum level…enjoy your love-making…your baby will arrive when the time is ripe.

Pregnancy and Childbirth:

This is particularly the golden period every couple thrives or pines for. Almost everyone planning for a baby jumps out of thrill and joy when he/she gets the slightest clue of his partner’s pregnancy and upcoming parenthood. Nesting is something that is very primitive to organisms on this planet and human beings are no exception to it.

Let me tell you about the important do’s and don’ts during pregnancy and childbirth:

  • Once you found out that you/your partner is pregnant, schedule a doctor’s appointment immediately. This is the first and foremost thing to be done.
  • Eat the right amount of food and the right quality of food during pregnancy.
  • Strictly avoid smoking (active and passive), alcohol, drugs and other unhealthy habits. These drugs and substances also lead to many complications for the mother and child.
  • Among them death, premature delivery, abortion, birth defects, brain and heart damage are the most lethal forms of problems.
  • Read good books, talk to your loved ones, join support groups, write journals, pursue creative hobbies, listen to music, talk to the little one growing inside. All these would add upto overall feeling of wellbeing for you and the life growing within you.
  • Do not wear too tight clothes, do not self-medicate and do not go into unhygenic conditions.
  • Prior to your delivery talk to your doctor whether you want to opt for a normal delivery or a c-section.
  • With a little bit of effort, carefulness and loads of happiness the little one you would bring into this world will be your best creation.
  • For some the route to conception is very easy, while for others it is a bumpy ride. In any case, keep trying, keep the spark of your love and affection, keep yourself well-aware of the medical-biological-physical-psychological aspects and never lose hope.
  • With positive thinking, determination and strength the road to conception can surely at the milestone of holding and cuddling your baby in your arms.

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

Effective Parenting: Charms and Challenges

Infant Grasping Mother's Finger

Heavenly happiness embraced me when I came to know that I was pregnant! I can never forget that moment in my life. Thinking about the chuckles and giggles of our little one, his coos and babbles; his naughtiness and cuteness…All these filled my and my hubby’s heart with unending happiness.  I am sure many to-be parents like us would have felt the same way and even more when they must have known about the advent of their little angel.

However, behind the curtains there is also a flip side of being a parent. Can we be successful parents, can we give our child the best in the world, can we take care of him nicely, are we physically-mentally-socially-financially ready to be parents? Many questions like these kept on hitting our minds. You must have also felt the same. Nothing in the world can be matched when it comes to the joys of parenting. But, at the same time it has its own charms and challenges.

Have you ever thought about bringing up your child in the best possible way? Have you sacrificed a significant portion of your life in giving the best to your child? Do you feel that even after doing so much for your child, still a lot has to be done? Are you a rule-maker or rule-follower when it comes to parenting and managing everything at house? If you are also thinking about these dimensions, then you are in the perfect track of becoming an effective parent.

Parenting: When should it start?

You will be astonished if I say that the process of parenting should start right from the moment you exchange your marriage vows. Yes, friends…Parenting skills and values are something that should be nurtured right from the beginning of a marital relationship. This will not only help in a healthy conception, but also increase your potentialities of being an ideal parent. If you procrastinate to build these ideals right from the beginning of your marriage, then you may miss out many milestones of effectual parenting. For some couples children come as surprise gifts, for some they come in a planned and timely manner. No matter when a child enters in your life…try your best to be the best and give him/her the best.

This can only be possible if you and your partner respect each other, have better understanding between each other and if your marriage is build on the foundations of mutual trust, open communication and mutual understanding. Let us discover the different challenges to becoming an ideal parent and how you can surmount the odds. I hope these wonderful words will give a clear picture on what you can do to be a successful and effective parent:

If I had my child to raise all over again,
I’d build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I’d finger-paint more, and point the finger less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I’d take more hikes and fly more kites.
I’d stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
I’d do more hugging and less tugging.
— Diane Loomans, from “If I Had My Child To Raise Over Again”

Effective Parenting: Do’s and Don’ts

  • Try to make your marital relationship bloom before you start thinking about a baby. Spend ample time with your soulmate in nurturing love, affection, trust, mutual respect, communication, and mutual understanding. Your little angel won’t like to see his/her parents fighting and blaming each other when he/she will arrive in this world.
  • Seek a pre-conception counselling just before you plan for a kid. This will help you to enhance a great level of insight on you and your partner’s health; it will increase the odds of conceiving and will also prepare you for the upcoming parenthood. Moreover, any medical issues can also be easily identified and intervened with the help of pre-conception counselling.
  • When you start the love-making process for conception try to speak to your partner about the kind of baby you want: His personality, behaviour, your aspirations about your child, the way he will look, etc. This will have a tremendous positive impact on your psyche, love life as well as the soul you are going to attract towards the mother’s womb. Many couples don’t know about this and get all messed up when the D-Day arrives. This is a practice in spiritual psychology, alternative healing, parapsychology and philosophy.
  • Planning your finances, insurance, medical facilities, emotions, relationships and issues beforehand will make your parenthood even more easy and worthwhile.
  • The very moment you discover that you are a mom or dad-to-be, talk to the baby as much as you can. Creating a pregnancy tour diary – from both the parents for the litte one is one of the best ways to enjoy and nourish the moments of parenting. Talking to the foetus, singing for him/her, soothe touching of the belly will improve parent-child bonding, understanding, aid to overall sense of physical and psychological well-being.
  • When your baby arrives in this world, your world will change a lot. Along with heart-melting happiness and thrill you will also have to get geared up for sleep deprivation, noises, physical strain, mood swings and so on. Preparing yourself for being a new parent through self-help books, internet, talking to your partner, taking advice from friends, joining a parents group will by immensely helpful.
  • Never yell in front of your child or throw your frustrations on your little one. This will make him/her more submissive. It will also affect his/her self-esteem, confidence, and mental-physical health.
  • Never disrespect your partner in front of your child for whatever reason it may be. This will reinforce your child to disrespect your partner too.
  • Take ample care of yourself. This will help you to take proper care of your baby too.
  • Rather than becoming only a rule-maker, try to be the rule-follower in the house. Children learn very easily by seeing/observing their parents’ behaviour. If you want your child to be filled with positive traits of punctuality, truthfullness, neatness and cleanliness, leadership, truthful, discipline, etc then you should be punctual, truthful,neat and clean, confident, disciplined first. Rather than making your child to follow some other person, let him learn by setting your own example. This will not create a contradictory picture in your child’s mind.
  • Do not thrust your own ambitions, aspirations and control on your child. Discover the potentialities of your child and help him to nurture it.
  • Do not ever compare your child with other kids. Pamper you child no matter how big or small success he achieves. Comparing your child with his other fellow-children creates a very negative impact on his self-esteem; positive feelings towards you; self-confidence and his personality as a whole.
  • Try to be your child’s best tracher, best ideal and best example. If he says, “I want to be like Bill Clinton, its great….but if your child says that “I want to be like my mom or dad”, then that day you can consider that you have mastered the skills of being an effective parent. 🙂

Parenting is one of the best gifts showered on a person. Many couples do not get this golden opportunity though. If you have been blessed with this gift try to make your child’s journey in this world worth-living, worth-cherishing and worthwhile. Even animals reproduce and procreate…but, what makes you different and unique from the other is your power to make love meaningfully and spread love unconditionally.

“Treat your child the way you want to be treated, respect your child the way you want to be respected and love your child the way no one has ever loved his child in the entire world…”

Happy Parenting!

Best Wishes,

Sareeta