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Helping a child find their passion

In today’s world, a child has endless opportunities and possibilities. There are so many options to choose from, right from taking up hobbies, to making a career choice. From a young age, children are curious about their environment. They are constantly trying to explore and make sense of the world around them. It is in this process of exploration that a child may find his passion. For some, this passion is discovered at an early age, but for others, it takes much longer: sometimes only in adulthood.

A child shows his/her passion for something by repeatedly going back to the desired activity and by showing a continued interest for it. He/she may also feel happy and be fully engaged when involved in the activity. In addition, you may notice that the child really excels at the activity, sometimes even with minimal supervision or guidance from an adult.

Your role as a parent is crucial when it comes to nurturing your child’s passion. It’s important to be aware of your child’s interests because it is something that can guide your child towards success and happiness. So what can you do as a parent to ensure your child is honing-in his/her skills?

  • First and foremost, allow your child to explore new avenues. Giving your child more opportunities to experiment gives him/her more chances at finding something he/she is passionate about. Try not to restrict your child to conventional activities, but rather allow your child to explore newer and more unique opportunities.
  • Guide your child through the entire process. It is essential that you and your child are able to communicate openly about what interests him/her, and what does not. Motivate your child to persevere.
  • Allowing your child to express himself/herself involves being open and flexible with your expectations as a parent. Many times, children may not express their deep interest in a particular activity because they are afraid that their parents may not approve, or that they may be disappointing their parents. Talking to your child about your expectations is a healthy way of avoiding disappointment and conflict.
  • Show interest in your child’s interests. Having a parent who pays attention and cares about one’s interests has a lasting influence in developing one’s passion. Support your child by showing a genuine interest in the activity and by helping out during the difficult parts. Be aware of new developments in your child’s field of interest, and keep expanding your child’s opportunities.
  • Making comparisons is a major roadblock towards helping your child find his/her passion. Try not to compare your child with his/her sibling(s), other children, or even with yourself. It is a natural tendency to compare, but this could make your child feel inferior, and could send out a message that his/her passion is not important enough.
  • Encourage your child to find a role model, someone who your child can look up to, and feel inspired by. Having a role model during the growing years can be a powerful motivation for your child to excel in the field.

Finding one’s passion can be a long and confusing journey, and you as an adult, may have experienced similar feelings while trying to find your own passion in life. Therefore, your presence in your child’s journey is very important and meaningful. It’s good to remember that not all children find their passion with ease; some take many years, many attempts, and even many failures. However, having the support of parents can make an immense difference to your child’s quest. Our experts at Parenting On Demand are here to help you lead and support your child on this long (and often confusing) journey. Talking to an expert today can help your child expand his/her horizons!

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Handling your children’s Love-Hate relationship

Are you tired of seeing your kids fight with each other over small issues?
Do you feel frustrated and tired of breaking up fights between your children?
Do you feel stressed when you come back home because your children are fighting all the time?
Are you confused about why they are fighting in the first place?

Sibling rivalry is a very common part of every household. Even though your children love each other, you may still see them quarrel each and every day. This can be extremely confusing, frustrating and worrisome, all at the same time, and it may be adding to your stress as a parent. But it is important to remember that sibling rivalry among children is normal, and there are ways in which you can make things better. In order to know how to help the situation, it’s vital to know the reason(s) why your kids are fighting with each other.

Sibling rivalry could be the result of one or more of these reasons:

  • Bringing in a new family member: Children may take time to adapt to having another child in the household. They may fear getting lesser attention from the parents. They may also be confused about how to share their lives with a new sibling. It is thus, important for the parent to sit down with the elder child and explain the new living situation to them in clear and simple terms. Make sure that you clear their doubts and concerns, no matter how trivial they are (for example, if the child asks you whether he has to start sharing his toys with his new brother). Start talking to your child about this early on, in order to facilitate the development of a healthy bond between the siblings.
  • Children have different temperaments: Another reason why siblings start fighting is because they are at different developmental stages in their lives. This means that each of them have different priorities and needs at their ages. For example, the elder son may have started becoming possessive over his toys because he has become attached to them. When the younger child tries to play with the same toys, the elder child gets angry. However, the younger child does not understand why because he is not yet attached to his belongings like his brother. As the parent, you can make both children understand their differing desires, and help them come to a level of compromise.
  • Healthy competition: Siblings often strive for independence and individuality. They want to have separate identities from each other. This pushes them to compete with each other in many aspects. They may try to achieve individual talents, skills and interests, which set them apart from their sibling. A healthy level of competition is beneficial for the child, but you as a parent should ensure that the competitive spirit is not misused or given too much importance, so much so that it causes barriers between the siblings.
  • Learning from examples: Some siblings tend to fight in order to resolve conflicts. They may have picked up this method of problem solving from the parents themselves. In the home environment, if parents tend to use aggression as a method of solving problems, it is likely that the children will imitate the behavior with their siblings as well. So keep a close watch on how you resolve conflicts, not just with your spouse, but also with your children and with other family members.

While these factors may play a major role in the development of sibling rivalry, it is important to remember that sibling rivalry is also a sign that each child is able to express clearly what he/she wants, and that he/she has the drive and motivation to achieve the goal. It is indeed a challenging task to put an end to sibling rivalry, and is often exhausting, but most often, the fighting dies down as the children become more mature and are able to solve problems in a healthier way.

If you feel that your children’s rivalry seems to be getting out of hand (i.e., if it is causing physical or emotional harm to the children), you could reach out to a professional for help. Parenting On Demand is a platform where you can connect to counselors directly. Our experts will be able to help you identify the source of the problems, and can give you useful tips on how to curb sibling rivalry. So go ahead and give us a chance, as we can help you help your children.

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bullying

The psychological menace called Bullying

You’ve probably heard the term before, most often in the newspaper, when there is a report of (yet) another innocent child being mercilessly bullied in school, much to the shock and despair of parents and school authorities. Yes, bullying is not an uncommon phenomenon. It may be happening around your child, and you may not realize it. Many a time, the bullied child falls prey to feelings of fear, helplessness and worthlessness.
Before I go on to explain what can be done, let’s first define bullying, so that you as a parent can identify it (if it ever happens to your child). In the most basic terms, bullying refers to an outward show of aggression (by a bully) who intentionally tries to repeatedly cause discomfort and hurt to another person (the victim). The bully could be of the same age or older and physically stronger than the victim.

So why do bullies bully?
It’s a difficult question to answer, and often a question that is overlooked by educators and parents. Bullies may have many reasons to bully: they may have a significant need for power over others and therefore, find easy targets in victims who are less powerful; they may come from a difficult home environment in which they are abused or neglected by their caregivers; they may have been victims of bullying themselves; or they may have faced social rejection in the past due to various reasons (such as academic failure/having a disadvantaged family, etc).

What could happen to victims of bullying?
Experiencing bullying can have long-lasting impacts on a child’s mental health, especially if they do not speak-up about it and reach out for help. They could retain a sense of low self-esteem for the rest of their lives; they could be fearful and anxious about the world; their academic performance may start slipping and they may start wanting to skip school or drop out of school; they may lose interest in activities they used to enjoy earlier; and they may be more prone to anxiety and depression.
In addition to this, children who have been bullied may not even report the incident to their parents, friends or teachers. They may fear that no one will take them seriously, that they may get into trouble with the bully for reporting the incident, that other people will consider them weak and incapable of standing up to the bully, or they may believe that bullying is something they must handle on their own.

What can you do as a parent?
Your role as a parent is probably the most crucial role in such circumstances.

  • Having an open and trusting relationship with your child is of utmost importance. Ensure that you and your child have a healthy pattern of two-way communication. This means that your child can trust you with serious matters, and you can do the same, while giving him/her your time, attention and care.
  • As a parent, you need to be constantly aware of how your child behaves, communicates and feels. If you notice any changes in your child, initiate a conversation about it and find out what’s wrong. Give your child a safe space to talk, by being compassionate and non-judgmental of him/her.
  • Observe your child for signs of bullying such as physical harm (torn clothes, bruises, etc.), fear of attending school, crying, acting out and being aggressive, decreased interests in activities, etc. These could be warning signs that your child may be experiencing bullying, and it’s time for you to step in.
  • In the unfortunate event that your child does report being bullied, firstly attend to his/her emotional needs. He/she needs your love, care and protection more than anything else! Be a constant support system for them. You could then take up the issue with school authorities, and take the matter forward as per the institution’s protocol. However, always remember to prioritize your child’s emotional needs.
  • You can also teach your child important coping skills and help them develop a support system for themselves. Talk to your child about healthy boundaries and how to protect themselves from bullies in the future. Ensure your child understands that bullying is wrong, and is a negative way of showing power/dominance (this is important so that your child won’t engage in bullying others in the future).

The topic of bullying is not one that is new. However, it has unfortunately not been given enough significance and often, has not been taken too seriously. It’s high time this changes, and the change could start with you! It is certainly not easy for any parent to listen to stories of their child being bullied, which is why our panel of experts at P.O.D are here to help you. By reaching out to us, you are not only helping yourself, but are also helping your child!

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Children, pets and their intimate bond

I can safely say that I have a very close bond to my pet dog, who first came into our home when I was about 12 years old. My parents brought a little, fluffy, white puppy home in a basket, on my brother’s 14th birthday, and this marked a significant chapter in our family’s life, especially after us children incessantly begged our parents for a pet. That was the day our dreams came true; that was the day a constant source of happiness came into our lives; that was the day we all found a shared best friend. And I can say now, that my life has changed for the better, and has never been the same since!
For quite some time now, researchers in the fields of sociology, anthropology and psychology have tried to study the bond between humans and their pets. It is indeed a fascinating topic, because findings have shown that a human-pet bond is one of the strongest bonds we experience, sometimes even stronger than our bonds to other human beings. And this takes me to my next point, about the bond between pets and children: having a pet can change your child’s life and teach your child values in very novel ways.

Pets and children
To put it in simple terms, pets are known to be providers of affection and companionship. Many pet owners say that their pet reduces their feelings of loneliness, and adolescent children have said that they consider their pet to be their best friend or even like a sibling! Research also shows that children who are raised with pets in the household tend to have more empathy towards other animals, as well as other people. This means that they become more compassionate and caring towards others. In addition, having a pet while growing up teaches children important life skills and prepares them for later life experiences such as raising a child, facing the death of a loved one, etc.

Pets and the family
When bringing a pet into a household, it inevitably becomes an integral part of the family, because every member of the family interacts with the pet in one way or another. Each family member automatically assumes certain roles towards the pet: for example, the parents may take on the role of training and disciplining the pet; the children take on the role of playing with the pet and also sharing the burden of taking care of the pet’s needs; and the family as a whole takes the role of providing affection and love to the pet.
Having a pet in the household also tends to bring the family together, not just at the good times, but also during the difficult times like when the pet falls sick, when the pet has to be trained, etc. These situations actually improve communication between family members as they come together to solve a common problem. As a result, family bonds are strengthened in the process.

So, should you get a pet?
If you don’t already have a pet in your house, you might be wondering whether to get one or not. While there are definite benefits to having a pet around, there are several things to take into consideration before making a decision: a growing pet requires constant care and attention (it’s almost like raising a baby!); your family should be psychologically ready to handle the responsibility of taking care of the pet; your children should also be aware of the inevitable death of their beloved pet, and should be emotionally prepared to handle the loss.
But if you are an animal-lover, and your children are too, it would be good to have an open family discussion on the topic. Talk about what kind of a pet makes sense according to your living arrangements, how responsibilities will be divided amongst the family, the financial expenses to be made, etc. Making an informed decision will help you confidently and joyously bring home a bundle of happiness!

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Parenting a child with learning disability

The journey of parenting is long-winded: one that is not only joyous, fulfilling and enriching, but also full of twists and turns. Challenges come and challenges go, each with its own set of nuances and complexities. At the end of each day, you as a parent have one wish: that your child is happy. However, watching your child struggle to overcome a difficulty that pervades almost all aspects of his/her life is indeed painful to watch.

Learning disabilities, in simple terms, are those that make learning difficult. They may pertain to specific learning areas such as mathematics, language(s), reading or writing, and may also interfere with a child’s ability to organize, remember, pay attention and make decisions. This means that the child may have to face challenges in several aspects of life, the biggest one being his/her school life. On average, a child spends a majority of his/her life at school, thus making a learning disability one of the most emotionally challenging life events for the child.

When facing a learning disability, your child may be experiencing feelings of fear, anxiety, helplessness and worthlessness. Their self-esteem may take a hit: they may feel that they are good-for-nothing, and have immensely disappointed their parents. This is why your role as a parent is the most crucial one in your child’s life. You are probably the only source of emotional support your child has.

However, on hearing news that your child may have a learning difficulty, you may feel confused, angry, scared, sad, guilty and very helpless. It is completely normal to go through the whole range of emotions, but it is important to remember that learning disabilities can be helped, and that your child will still succeed in life!

  • First and foremost, support your child emotionally during this difficult time. Do not point fingers, blame or resent your child for having a learning disability. Instead, offer comfort by assuring them that you will help the child through this journey.
  • Become aware of the disability your child is facing. Talk to an expert in the field, or read reliable online articles. Equip yourself with all the knowledge necessary about the learning disability, so that you can make an informed decision on how to help your child.
  • Help your child understand what he/she is facing, in a simple way that is not scary or discouraging. Tell your child how the remedial process is going to be. Encourage your child to give his/her 100% ability, and most importantly, remind your child that it is not their fault.
  • Reach out to experts in the field; get psychological assessments done for your child, in order to identify the exact intensity of the learning disability, and to understand which method of treatment is the most suitable for your child. You could consult with your child’s teachers, or other professionals such as special educators, clinical psychologists, counselors, psychiatrists, speech and language therapists, etc.
  • While it is important to keep your child’s progress in mind, try not to dwell on the fact that he/she is facing a learning disability. Instead, encourage your child’s various talents; for example, playing a sport or an instrument, singing, dancing, acting, art, etc. It is important for your child to know that the learning disability does not define him/her!
  • Keep the conversation going rather than sweeping it under the carpet. The more openly you communicate with your child about the problem, the more comfortable you and your child will become, and the more strength you will gain in this journey together. Shying away from the topic or denying it could make matters worse, and also cause feelings of guilt in your child.

Without a doubt, learning that your child suffers from a learning disability is one of the most difficult things to hear as a parent. You may wish it to be untrue, so that your child does not have to face the difficulty anymore. However, it is important to remember that your child is going to be fine, and that he/she will simply learn in different, and more unique ways than others! Our experts at Parenting on Demand have had experience in helping children with such difficulties, and can be your emotional support system through this challenging phase. So be a proactive parent and reach out for help, as it will ultimately benefit your child as well!

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teenagers

Why your teenager refuses to listen to you

Talking-back, lying, sneaking out of home, arguing, yelling, hiding.
The teenage years are indeed a trying time, for both parent and child. You wake up one morning and your sweet, obedient child now absolutely refuses to listen to mom and dad! You’re probably confused, and also very frustrated. But there’s an explanation for their behavior. It’s called adolescence. Adolescence is the developmental stage of life which usually lasts from 12 to 19 years of age, and is most often characterized by rebellion, i.e., acting out against one’s parents or other authority figures like teachers, mentors, coaches, and even elder siblings.

As a parent, you may feel angry, helpless, and even scared for your child’s safety. You try your best to understand what he/she wants, but to no avail. While there may not be one particular reason why your teenager is acting out, there are a few possible reasons which could contribute to it:

  • Adolescence is a time during which we struggle to find our own identity. While growing up, we have always listened to our parents and done what they have told us is correct. But now, we have developed the mental capacity to think and reason out issues by ourselves. This makes us want to explore the world and find out who we truly are, rather than blindly follow our parents’ words.
  • Another reason we rebel during adolescence is because we want freedom. Up until now, we have been bound by rules at home, at school and by society. Now that we have seen how adults live, we want to break-free and experience that freedom too, but are denied it. This makes us angry, aggressive and demanding.
  • As adolescents, we are trying to fit-in. Coupled with trying to find our identity, we are also trying very hard to fit in with peers at school. We want to fit-in because we want to be accepted and liked. At this time, we may also give in to peer pressure, without knowing the consequences of our actions.
  • Yet another reason is because we want to take charge of our own lives. We now have the ability to make decisions on our own. We want to be in control of our own lives, but are not allowed to do so. This adds to our frustration and struggle.

So what should a parent do when the teenager rebels? It is definitely a challenging time for the family, but there are ways in which the situation can be managed:

  • Understand their needs: First and foremost, you need to focus on understanding what your child actually needs. Having a sit-down discussion, where the focus is your child and not yourself, may be helpful. It may take a few attempts to get your rebellious teen to communicate his needs properly, because he himself may not be sure of what he wants! But keep trying and help your child figure out what he wants.
  • Be aware: Adolescence is a time of experimenting and risk-taking. This means that your teen may want to try out new things, and may not tell you about it. Become familiar with the your child’s friends, and their families as well. Be aware of where your child is going, and when. However, do not be overbearing or overprotective, as this may frustrate your child.
  • Settle on compromises: When it comes to making rules, your child may oppose every rule you lay down. Instead of making the rules on your own, have a discussion as a family, and come to a compromise on certain rules. Talk about boundaries and where to draw the line between right and wrong. But remember, the more imposing and rigid you are, the more your teen will oppose you.
  • Assess your parenting style: The way you are as a parent matters a lot, especially during adolescence. You may start becoming stricter with your teenager, without realizing it. So take some time to assess your parenting style. You can use this link as a guide.
  • Accept your child: Last but not least, remember to accept the fact that your child is going through a normal developmental phase of life. He/she is not purposely acting out to anger you; he/she is facing the challenges of a new journey. So don’t become your child’s enemy. Instead, be a friend, guide, confidante, and support system.

The terrifying teenage years are indeed a trying time for you as a parent. Our experts at Parenting on Demand are trained and experienced in dealing with such adolescent issues. If you feel lost and helpless with your teenager, talk it out with one of our experts today!

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Helping your child understand death

Death is a sensitive and difficult topic to deal with, not just for adults but also for children. Children may not understand the full extent of the concept of death, and sometimes parents find it too difficult to explain to their child because they may be dealing with grief too. However, events as significant as the death of a family member or friend may leave a lasting impact on the child, so it is important that your child understands what exactly has happened.

It is certainly not easy to talk to your child about death: it may be one of the most difficult things to do as a parent. But it’s vital that your child has some clarity about the situation, so as to avoid feelings of confusion, fear, and helplessness. As a parent, you may shy away from the topic because you fear not knowing what to say to your child, because your child may ask questions that aren’t easy to answer, or because you yourself are dealing with intense feelings of grief. It is normal to feel this way, but there are ways in which you can help your child understand the concept of death.

The best way to deal with the subject of death with your kids is by being clear and encouraging of questions. Although you may not have all the answers, you should provide your child with a safe space to ask questions freely and comfortably. If your child does not understand something in particular, clarify it and ensure that he/she has understood. Your own beliefs about death may play an important role when talking to your child: give them your spiritual understanding of death and dying, and ask them what their perspective is.

As a parent, you may want to sugarcoat things by giving your child simple ways of understanding death, such as by saying, “grandpa has gone to sleep” or “grandpa has gone away”. While these metaphors are easy for your child to understand, they may cause confusion and doubt in the future. To avoid this, try to be more direct and clear, while simultaneously encouraging your child to ask questions and raise concerns.

There is no standard method of explaining the concept of death to a child. Your responses largely depend on your child’s age, maturity level, their ability to comprehend, their reaction to the event and their relationship with the deceased. Relying on your intuitive skills as a parent is one of the best ways to handle the situation. Another healthy form of communication is to encourage your child to speak about his experience and feelings at-length. This will help you understand where your child is coming from and you can gather ideas on how to proceed with the topic.

Experiencing the loss of a near and dear one takes a toll on the entire family, and may sometimes take several months or even years to come to terms with. It may be even more confusing for a child to experience this, and watch the adults around him battling the grief. It is therefore a crucial experience that needs to be addressed in a healthy manner by the parent. However, explaining this experience to a child could be overwhelming and scary for you as a parent. We, at Parenting on Demand, have a panel of expert counselors who can help you through such difficult times, and can assist you on how best to communicate the topic of death to your child. So try not to sweep the topic under the carpet, and reach out to our counselors for help!

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Parenting Styles: How do you respond to your child?

Scenario 1:

When three-year-old Samara goes up to her friend and grabs a toy out of her hands, Samara’s mother instantly scolds her by saying, “No! Give that toy back right now or you will be punished.”

Scenario 2:

When three-year-old Samara goes up to her friend and grabs a toy out of her hands, Samara’s mother sees what is happening and says to her child, “Okay, play with the toy now if you really want to.”

Scenario 3:

When three-year-old Samara goes up to her friend and grabs a toy out of her hands, Samara’s mother sees what her daughter is doing, but does not say or do anything about it. She does not really acknowledge the behavior, nor correct it. The child is left alone to continue playing.

Scenario 4:

When three-year-old Samara goes up to her friend and grabs a toy out of her hands, Samara’s mother observes and walks up to where Samara is playing. She sits down next to her child and says, “I understand that you want to play with this toy, but your friend is playing with it right now, so you will have to wait a few minutes for your turn to play with the toy.”

As is evident from the four scenarios given above, the child’s behavior is the same, but the mother’s reaction in each situation is different. Each of these four scenarios represents a particular type of parenting style. In the most basic terms, a parenting style refers to the strategies used by parents in their child’s upbringing. A pioneer in parenting research, Diana Baumrind, suggested that there are four main types of parenting styles. They are further explained below:

Authoritarian Parenting

The first scenario is an example of the Authoritarian parenting style. In simple language, this type of parenting is strict and rigid. These parents tend to have certain rules and expectations which are already set down, and there may be very little space for the child and parent to openly communicate with each other. The parents may expect the child to do things the way the parents want it to be done. (Remember how Samara was ordered to give the toy back, and was threatened with a punishment).

When the child does something wrong, an authoritarian parent may discipline the child by using a punishment, without usually explaining what they did wrong. Therefore, this style of parenting is structured and rigid. As a result, the child may be well behaved, but may also develop a low self-esteem, be fearful or shy, and have poorer social skills.

Permissive Parenting

The second scenario is an example of the Permissive parenting style. This is also called an indulgent style of parenting. Permissive parents usually set down only a few rules for their child and tend to be lenient when giving punishments. The parent may not be consistent with punishments. They are responsive to the child, but not demanding. (Remember how Samara’s mother acknowledged her behavior but was lenient and not demanding).

Children of permissive parents may have less self-discipline and self-control, because they don’t always have rules as guidelines. They may also find it more difficult to share with other children, and may question authority figures (such as teachers) directly. These children may also crave for structure and discipline in their lives.

Neglectful Parenting

The third scenario is an example of the Neglectful parenting style. This is also called the uninvolved parenting style. The basic characteristic of this style of parenting is an unresponsive parent, i.e., a parent who does not respond to the child’s needs. These parents may not be emotionally involved with their child at all, and may also dismiss their child regularly. They do not show their love and affection for the child, and have little or no expectations of their child.(Remember how the mother saw Samara grabbing the toy from another child, but chose to ignore it and let her child continue playing).

Neglectful parenting may lead to feelings of insecurity and the child may be afraid to become close to others. They may not be able to follow rules properly, as rules were not well established in their own homes. The child may lack self-control, and thus misbehave in later life.

Authoritative Parenting

The fourth scenario is an example of the Authoritative parenting style. This means that the style of parenting is based on an open communication between the parent and child. Authoritative parents tend to set reasonable limits for their children, while considering and understanding their child’s feelings and opinions. When the child does something wrong, an authoritative parent tries to explain to the child what he/she did, and the consequences of such behaviors, rather than handing out a punishment/threat immediately.(Remember how the mother explained to Samara what she did wrong before being teaching her how to wait for her turn to play with the toy. In addition, Samara’s mother communicated that she understood what her child’s need was).

Authoritative parents generally tend to be responsive to their children, and also respect their child’s independence. As a result, children of these parents tend to become independent, well behaved and understanding. They may have a strong bond with their parents, as they are encouraged to discuss their feelings and expectations freely. Therefore, the authoritative style of parenting tends to be balanced and healthy.

As a parent, your style of parenting may not fall into one specific category. Rather, it may be a combination of two or more different styles, depending on the situation or depending on your child’s needs. There isn’t one particular parenting style which is the best for every child, but a balanced approach towards parenting is the most beneficial. This involves care, appreciation, communication, understanding and respect for the child, along with a consistent enforcement of rules. A balanced parenting style helps the child grow into an independent and responsible adult.

Do you often find yourself confused about your parenting style? Do you feel that your method of parenting doesn’t seem to be effective? Our experts at Parenting On Demand can not only help you identify your parenting style(s), but also help you understand how your style(s) of parenting influences your child’s behavior. So go ahead and reach out to our experts at P.O.D who can assist you in your parenting needs.

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How to Make Up a Fight without More Tears

Which family doesn’t fight? Every family has its own squabbles and impassioned arguments and this is perfectly normal. However, it is also important to make up after fights. Don’t let your arguments go unresolved or without reaching a satisfactory (on both sides!) conclusion. So how can you do this? How do you go from screaming at the top of your lungs at each other to calm, reasoned discussion? Obviously, this is not easy. Children and adults deal with different stress factors and often find it difficult to find middle ground when it comes to issues of independence, stress alleviation, responsibilities etc. Here are some tips and advice on how to reach that hallowed ground.

Do not get physical

The above cannot be restated enough. Children may respond in the short-term to physical violence and aggressive behavior, but fear is not conductive to any healthy, functional relationship. You may feel that because your own parents used such behavior to obtain compliance that it is justified for you to use the same methods on your children However, it is not. While obedience is all well and good, independent thinking, trust and respect are more important. And none of those characteristics can be instilled in a child with the use of force or aggression. Indeed, you may just achieve the opposite: your child may act out even more.

Don’t condescend

You know better- but you don’t have to say that to your child. It may seem frustrating to you to see that your child is making mistakes that could be easily avoided, or that you yourself made, but you will not get them to stop by patronizing them. Don’t invoke the adages that old age knows better or that the youth should listen to their elders. Don’t expect your children to respond well to any of those statements. Try explanations instead. And stress that it is your opinion, rather than a fact. When children put their backs up against a wall about something, you won’t get them to change their opinion by stating your own as inviolable.

Give your child space

While letting them know that you are available at all times if they want help/to talk. Maybe it isn’t so easy to walk away from a fight letting your child have the last word, but there is no winning in an argument with your child. And afterwards, let them think over it rather than constantly reminding them of it. And ultimately, let them make their mistakes. It’s the only way a lesson will stick with them. And they might just learn that their parent’s advice isn’t so bad after all!

Do not respond to emotional outbursts

While it is easy to respond to your child’s outbursts with some cutting remarks yourself, it’s important to remember that their emotional maturity has not developed yet. They may not entirely understand the impact their words have, but they will feel hurt if you respond in kind. So don’t give into the temptation-respond calmly.

Parenting on Demand can help with the aftermath of fights, and even help you stop fighting. Everyone needs help sometimes, and seeking help to cultivate a healthy relationship with your child does not mean that you’re failing as a parent. In fact, it means the opposite: that you know that you could do better and that you want too. Our experts at POD can do exactly that. Achieve the peace and tranquility you seek in your home by downloading the App and letting us help you out.

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POD-Blog

The Importance of Emotional Vulnerability

Life is complicated and very difficult, and parenting is one of those facets of life that never gets any easier. To be responsible for a life, without exerting undue pressure and recognizing that your children have lives of their own, is a delicate balance. Sometimes it seems that balance is impossible to achieve. Emotional vulnerability, on the side of both parent and child, can help restore and protect it.

First, what does it mean? To be emotionally vulnerable? It means to put down your guard and your stoicism. It means acknowledging your fear and other negative emotions.
In a busy, interconnected world likes ours, it isn’t easy to find the time to be introspective. Nor is it easy to come to terms with feelings of inadequacy. Parents often feel they have to put up ‘a strong face’ when dealing with their children. In turn, children don’t always understand the anxiety and panic of their parents. They feel like they don’t have anyone to relate to when they feel vulnerable and alone and this causes more strife if they act outwards or retreat inwardly.

Relationships, of any kind, require honesty. This honesty has to be of the emotional kind as well. When you build up walls, and hide behind a veneer of stolidity, the person you are trying to build a relationship with will distrust you. How can your child trust you if you aren’t even honest about your feelings to yourself?

Take a look at this excerpt from popular psychology website HeySigmund:
“Without vulnerability, relationships struggle. Vulnerability is, ‘Here I am – my frayed edges, my secrets, my fears, my affection. Be careful – they’re precious.’ In return, it invites, ‘Oh, I see you there. It’s okay, you’re safe. And here – here’s me.’ It builds trust, closeness and a sense of belonging. Relationships won’t thrive without it.”

Emotional vulnerability is important for children as well. Considering how stressful it is to juggle schoolwork, extra-curriculars and hobbies in the increasingly competitive 21st century, it’s no wonder children are feeling more stressed out than ever before. A recent study showcased on the Indian Pediatrics website reported that “Adolescents who had academic stress were at 2.4 times higher risk of depression than adolescents without academic stress.”
Academic stress must be reduced therefore, in order to lower depression amongst adolescents.

Children need to feel that they can be honest about their schoolwork. Parents need to understand that they cannot exert too much pressure on their children to do well in school. When they do, children may not feel comfortable discussing academic difficulties. This leads to further stress as they get frustrated and feel scared that they are disappointing their parents.

POD – Parenting on Demand is an APP specifically designed to help parents relate with their children better. We can get you and your child the assistance required to form a healthy, functional relationship. This will lower stress levels for both child and parent. Moreover, we will give both of you a support system so you know you are not alone. Our features are designed to provide quick and immediate access to reputed empanelled counselors on demand. You could choose to CALL NOW or SCHEDULE a call or SEARCH for a specific counselor at the comfort of your home. With all the challenges of searching for a good counselor, travelling and keeping it confidential effectively addressed. The SUPPORT YOU REQUIRE IS JUST A CALL AWAY.

Presently the APP is for ANDROID phones and iOS will be released in June 2016.

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