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PRIZED POSSESSION: Parents have a great role to play in moulding the character of their children.
PRIZED POSSESSION: Parents have a great role to play in moulding the character of their children.

Parents can find themselves in tricky situations when it comes to handling children. Here are a few tips from a consultant psychologist.

Here are some tips on effective parenting based on questions that parents often raise about dealing with children. Never compare one child with another. Each student has his/her capability in studies as well as in extra curricular activities. Comparisons of students will make them feel inferior and lead to their developing complexes.

Corrective measures

How far should one go in punishing children? Children have to first be enlightened about their misdeeds. Open discussion between the parents and children is a must at home. The punishment itself should be a corrective one that is meant to help avoid a repetition of the unwanted act. Give rewards as `positive reinforcement' - children should be rewarded for scoring good marks, achievement in extra curricular activities, etc. The parents in the beginning should identify the talents of children in particular fields.Too much of care and too little attention are both bad for children. Nowadays many children complain that their parents do not love them. Equilibrium has to be maintained by the parents in loving and correcting their children. Parents should avoid quarrelling in front of children. Children look for support, security and confidence.

Children and society

Children are a part of society and should be aware of their responsibilities and happenings in their homes. They can be kept aloof on confidential matters. The children should be made aware of the financial constraints of their parents. Children should not be given money unnecessarily. The company they keep should be monitored by the parents. Bad company leads them to trouble. It is now common among the parents to compliment their children, if they get high marks and blame it on teachers, if the students perform poorly the examinations. It is bad for parents to criticise teachers in front of children.Adolescents could be pressurised by their peer group, in many ways. Some of the influence could be negative and lead to activities such as consuming alcohol, smoking, using tobacco, watching pornographic movies, misusing mobile phones, etc. Parents should have an understanding of the kind of groups their children are moving with and monitor their activities. A positive atmosphere should be created at home for open discussion and interaction.

Parents' responsibility

The habit of watching television by children could give rise to problems. There should be a timetable for the students for studying and watching TV. Parents have a responsibility in this regard. Parents too should avoid watching TV while their children are studying. The use of Internet by children should be closely monitored by the parents. Lack of sex education is a major problem faced by the adolescents from Classes VII to XII. Adolescents face five identity crises namely physical, sexual, social, emotional and intellectual in this phase of their lives. Parents should understand this and provide necessary support. Selfishness has now become common among children. Parents should try to help them overcome this trait and learn to be concerned about others.

VIPIN V. ROLDANT

Consultant psychologist based in Kochi

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