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Dr Aarti

Dr Aarti Bakshi  |40 Answers  |Ask -

Child and Parenting Counsellor - Answered on Feb 04, 2023

Dr Aarti Bakshi is a psychologist licensed by the Rehabilitation Council of India.
A school counsellor, she has worked for 15 years with young adults.
She has two PhD degrees -- developmental psychology from Global Institute of Healthcare Management and clinical psychology from Singhania University.
She is on the CBSE panel for counsellors and special educators. She collaborates with SAAR Education to help children develop life skills.
She has authored SEL (social emotional learning) journals for Grades 1-8.... more
Gautam Question by Gautam on Feb 04, 2023Hindi

Hi Dr Aarti. For past past three months we've noticed our 2 year old son has developed a habit of screaming (glass shattering magnitude) in the middle of the night. The bouts last from a few mins to 45 mins and it gets incredibly difficult to pacify him. We have noticed most of the time it is correlated to TV Time alloted to him in the evening so we've stopped that practice altogether but sometimes the screaming can occur despite that. We also thought it was a response to bad dreams triggered by a general feeling of abandonment cause we both work and one parent has to go to work twice a week. He usually does use it as a technique now and then during the day to blackmail us to give into his demands but we've stopped giving in. He is incredibly social, talkative and quick to pick up knowledge however doesn't get the opportunity to interact much with other children (cause our work timings collide with his play time) so we are thinking of enrolling him in a pre nursery school so that he gets that time and space to express himself with other children. We are hoping this would also have a positive impact on his sleep pattern. Do you think the screaming is a normal phase and he'll grow out of it or do you think it's part of a deeper problem and needs to be addressed with a child psychologist in person? Would appreciate any inputs

Ans: Hi Gautam,
Seperation anxiety strikes at night too. Scare of darkness plays havoc with the thinking. When your toddler wakes to find they're all alone, they may react by crying or screaming uncontrollably. I can empathise with your disruptive sleep, this is a phase your child will grow out of with time.
A few suggestions:
1. Monitor (cctv/baby monitors/hidden) too the time that you are not with the child and find out details when child is spending time during the day without parents. Who's incharge of hima and his activities? A clear picture of scares, build up of seperation anxiety could help you with the trigger.
2. Boundaries matter: It is commendable that you have found about the temper tantrum bargains and have held yourself from giving in. Do continue that and behavior boundaries will fit in.
3. Peer support: Enrolling for play school is lovely. He will build friendships and be physically tired to sleep through the night.
Hug him tons, cuddle him, read bedtie stories, create memories of running after him, dancing on music whatever the hours you are together. Do let me know the progress!
DISCLAIMER: The answer provided by rediffGURUS is for informational and general awareness purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical diagnosis or treatment.

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Asked by Anonymous - Jan 13, 2023Hindi
Dear Pooja, my husband and I share a very friendly relationship. When we have disagreements, we often tend to forget that our child is around. In the past few months, we have been arguing a lot and this seems to have taken a hit on our son. He is behaving strangely at school. He has got into trouble with other kids in his class and is often caught scribbling at his desk. He gets angry and throws tantrums in public. When we tried talking to him, he seemed normal but he did mention to the counsellor that even my mom and dad fight when they are angry. Since then we have mellowed down a bit. But how do we address this to our child?
Ans: Hi there! As adults, our arguments in a marriage or relationship are inevitable. But with kids around, we need to be more cognisant of the fact that kids get influenced very quickly. Since their emotional spectrums are being developed when they experience arguments or fights, they begin to believe that is normal , but since they are unable to process the frustration that arises , they tend to take it out in their own behaviour with their peers and in their social settings. The best way to address this with the child is through a counsellor or a therapist. As parents who are arguing or fighting, you are the trigger or their anger and instability and the trust factor or the feeling of you being the safe space for them has been compromised. Have your child consult a professional coach or counsellor who will ensure the child gets a safe space to express and will help re build the bridge between you and your child with their expertise of handling the child's psychology and helping your son process his feelings.

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Anu Krishna  |1044 Answers  |Ask -

Relationships Expert, Mind Coach - Answered on Apr 12, 2023

Hello Anu - we have a 5 year old son and he's getting out of our control these days and we don't know how to handle him. His actions and tantrums are mischievous and hurtful at the same time. Earlier he used to get scared from his mother but she's also losing control over him these days. If we scream or shout, he repeats the same things that kind of irritates us more. If we try to be reasonable with him, it's of no use - he takes us for granted. If we tell him about repercussions on his actions like a timeout or no tv time or no play time, he does not listen and at the end we give him to his crying. He also becomes uncontrollably violent at times - though he thinks it's a game, but in reality his actions literally hurt us. I know partially I am to blame as when he was younger, these violent games looked fun but now that he's older and stronger, they are not fun anymore to me or anyone in our house. I've tried to explain him, but at the end he is just 5 years old! Every morning to night it's a mountaineous challenge for us. My wife and I talk after he sleeps, decide what to do or not do from the next dat but bam! it's just the same routine every single day. Moreover my wife is pregnant with our second child so I fear this might have a bad effect on our 2nd baby as my wife remains stressed out. I know this could be every parent - but then if it happens that often, is there a solution? Can you help us?
Ans: Dear Shubham,
How is it possible for a 5-year old to understand logic when he is throwing an emotional fit (tantrum)?
Like you said it yourself; when it could have been stopped and changed, it wasn't done. He probably felt that it was fine to behave 'violently' (though I don't understand the context in which you use this word).
Now. all of a sudden when you and your wife are trying to stop him, he is pulling away as this behaviour was rewarded earlier. he has your earlier silence as your love and affection for which which he fears will be withdrawn now if he stops his behaviour.
So, logic isn't going to work; it doesn't work with adults, and here the child is merely 5 years.
So undoing what was done is going to take a lot of effort and patience (beyond all the talk that you and yoir wife are doing).
Start by:
- ignoring his tantrums; he will time-out himself in exhaustion
- talking to him at his eye level; get down on your knees, so he doesn't feel intimidated by your height
- hugging him a lot; a caring touch is worth a thousand words
- telling him how excited you both were when he was born; this can ensure that he will be special even after the arrival of the new baby
- distracting him with creative things; story telling and fine motor skill games improve focus and concentration
- cutting down on foods filled with sugar; sugar boost is artificial and can make a child or anyone go a little anxious
- ensuring him that he is loved a lot; saying it aloud while hugging him will soften his behaviour over time

Try these and I hope they work. If not, kindly without delay seek an appointment with a professional who can deal with children at your son's age.

All the best!

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