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Aruna Agarwal  |67 Answers  |Ask -

Child and Parenting Counsellor - Answered on May 24, 2024

Aruna Agarwal is a qualified child psychologist and behaviour therapist with over 20 years of experience.
She has a master’s degree in psychology with a specialisation in behaviour analysis. She focuses on children between the ages of 2-10 years who face challenges related to behaviour, language development or attention issues and providing them with the right life skills.
Agarwal is the owner of Kidzee, a pre-primary school, and Mount Litera Zee School that caters to primary students.... more
Asked by Anonymous - May 06, 2024Hindi

I am writing to express my concerns about my daughter, who is 10 years old. Over the past six months, she has been experiencing difficulties at school due to bullying from one of her classmates. This classmate has been isolating her from her other friends and has been making her feel uncomfortable. Consequently, her grades have started to decline, and she has been expressing a reluctance to attend school. My daughter has confided in me about this issue, and she is desperate to distance herself from this classmate. However, she is feeling scared and lacks the confidence to do so. Additionally, I have observed changes in her behavior at home. She has become more irritable, moody, and adamant. I believe this may be due to feelings of being neglected in comparison to her younger brother, who is three years old. While she loves her brother dearly, she sometimes feels that I give him more attention due to his age. As a parent, I am trying my best to support and reassure her, but I feel that I may not be providing enough help. I am seeking your guidance and assistance in addressing these issues and helping my daughter navigate through this challenging time.

Ans: Bullying in the school has to be taken seriously by the school and parents. I am glad that you are trying to provide her with strength to deal with this. Try to understand about the other child who is doing that,if possible take the help of teachers,peers and counselors in the school to counsel the child . Meanwhile try to help your child to develop self confidence and deal with this confidently. Make your child have strong self belief to have a better self esteem.
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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Anu Krishna  |968 Answers  |Ask -

Relationships Expert, Mind Coach - Answered on Jun 15, 2021

I need your expert advice in parenting my daughter. I am a 45 year old mother having two children, a daughter (aged 10 years) and a son (aged 7 years). My husband is very bad at finance issues and because of that we had some issues with my marriage. So I shifted to my mother's place with my kids and we were not in touch with my husband for quite some time. It’s been six years I have been bringing up my kids with very less support/ no support either from my husband or my mother. Since my husband is not staying with us, my kids have been missing their father. Of late, my husband visits us often and he spends time with the kids whenever possible. Though she is 10 years old, my daughter is not having that level of maturity. She is very illogical and dull. I have been training her in certain household work like sweeping the house, washing her clothes and all. She is doing all the work with no concentration/involvement/interest and so the output is pathetic. She is like that in her studies also. I have been explaining things in a very detailed way even then she is doing things like that. During my childhood no one was there to explain me but for my daughter I am there but she is not understanding the value of it. I am getting frustrated and irritated because of her. My question is since she was missing her father couple of years in the recent past, her behaviour is like this. Is there anything that I can do for her improvement? Shortly she might be starting her puberty cycle and before that I would like to make her logical and smart. I have been consistently trying for this by chatting with her alone but could not see any betterment. Kindly help me out.
Ans: Dear JR, when you say: She is very illogical and dull, what does this mean?

Does she take time to understand things? Or is it that she is being evaluated based on what others her age are doing?

At age 10, do you want a happy child or a child who excels in washing clothes and doing all your housework.

Sharing responsibilities at home is perfectly fine, but to judge your child based on that by saying: ‘output is pathetic’ only demoralizes the child further.

She possibly has missed her father all these years and what you need to do is fill it with more love, care and what is the point in driving the point that you didn’t have anyone and she has you and she has to understand the value of this.

She is 10, please allow her to be her age and feel free with each of you.

Create an environment that is loving and caring and supporting from both parents will enable her to relax, be cheerful, grow and be active. And this environment is not for any sort of evaluation or to see a favourable behaviour from her in return.

In a few years from now, she will be hitting puberty.

Let her walk into that phase with confidence and pride rather than self-doubt and shame. I am sure that as a mother you know how important that time is for a young girl.

Start thinking of how to be back together as a family as it isn’t easy for you as well to be away from your husband.

This could also be adding to your stress and maybe it comes out in different ways.

Be with your daughter, love her and encourage her and even after that, you see that there is a challenge, then maybe it’s time to visit a professional who can step in and help.

Happy parenting and be well and stress-free!

..Read more


Pooja Khera  | Answer  |Ask -

Life, Relationship Coach - Answered on Jan 16, 2023

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.

..Read more


Aruna Agarwal  |67 Answers  |Ask -

Child and Parenting Counsellor - Answered on Apr 21, 2023

Asked by Anonymous - Apr 21, 2023Hindi
My five-year-old daughter has just started school. For the first two days she was fine, but after that she started crying the whole time. Her teachers called us, asking us to take her home as she was crying relentlessly. We were even allowed to sit with her at school, but still she refused to go to class. Now, she even refuses to go to school. We push her inside the class but she comes out running moments later. Cries the whole time she is in school, whether we are there or not. We asked her if everything is fine, she only says 'I don't like school, don't like teachers and classmates'. Two of her friends, with whom she plays every evening, are also in the same class. But she refuses to even sit with them in the class. She misbehaves with teachers when forced to sit in the class. Though she apologises later when prompted. One day when we left her in school, we got a call within half an hour that she is showing very violent behaviour, hitting herself against the wall and running towards the school gate. All this made us very frightened as school buses keep coming and going on the main thoroughfare. The school counsellor failed to help. She said my daughter is not responding to counselling. We are absolutely clueless about what to do. Forcing her seems pointless.
Ans: The child seems to have Social Anxiety.However this can be determined by detailed Analysis.
You can start introducing the child to small groups rather than just stopping it. The best is introduce her to different set of people in a group and settings more often.Every behavior shown will have a function which we need to understand well before putting the intervention.

..Read more

Latest Questions

Ramalingam Kalirajan  |3913 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Jun 22, 2024

My age is 32, my current salary is 58000/month,how I get 1.25 cr at the age of 55?
Ans: It's great that you're thinking ahead and planning for your financial future. Let's work together to achieve your goal of Rs 1.25 crore by the age of 55. At 32, you've got a good amount of time to build a solid investment strategy. I'll walk you through various steps and strategies that can help you reach your target.

Understanding Your Current Financial Position
Firstly, kudos on taking the initiative to plan your future. Your current salary is Rs 58,000 per month. This is a good base to start building a substantial corpus. The key is disciplined savings and strategic investments.

Setting Clear Financial Goals
Your target is to accumulate Rs 1.25 crore in 23 years. This goal is achievable with a consistent and well-thought-out investment plan. We'll focus on maximizing your savings and investing wisely to ensure your money grows efficiently.

Systematic Investment Plan (SIP)
Starting with SIPs is a great way to grow your wealth over time. SIPs in mutual funds help you benefit from rupee cost averaging and the power of compounding. You can start with an amount you're comfortable with and increase it gradually as your income grows.

Benefits of Actively Managed Funds
Actively managed funds have professional fund managers making investment decisions to outperform the market. They can potentially offer higher returns compared to passive funds. Avoid index funds as they merely replicate the market and might not yield the higher returns you aim for.

Importance of Regular Investments
Consistent investments are crucial. Even during market downturns, continue your SIPs. This ensures you buy more units at lower prices, which can boost returns when the market recovers.

Diversifying Your Investment Portfolio
Equity Investments
Equities are known for their potential to generate high returns over the long term. Investing in diversified equity mutual funds or blue-chip stocks can provide good growth. Ensure you have a balanced mix of large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap funds to spread risk.

Debt Instruments
Debt instruments like bonds and fixed deposits offer stability. They provide regular interest income and lower risk compared to equities. A portion of your portfolio should be in debt instruments to balance your risk.

Gold Investments
Gold can be a good hedge against inflation and economic instability. Investing a small portion in gold ETFs or sovereign gold bonds adds diversity to your portfolio and can provide a safety net.

Tax Efficiency
Tax-Saving Instruments
Utilize tax-saving instruments under Section 80C, like Public Provident Fund (PPF), Employee Provident Fund (EPF), and Equity-Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS). These not only reduce your tax liability but also help in building your retirement corpus.

Regular Fund Investments
Investing through a certified financial planner ensures you get professional advice and optimize your portfolio. Regular funds, despite higher expense ratios than direct funds, come with expert guidance, which can be invaluable.

Creating an Emergency Fund
Importance of an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is crucial to cover unexpected expenses without disrupting your investment plan. Aim to save at least 6-12 months' worth of expenses in a liquid, easily accessible account.

Building the Fund
Start by setting aside a portion of your salary every month until you reach your target. This fund should be kept separate from your long-term investments to ensure liquidity during emergencies.

Insurance and Risk Management
Adequate Life Insurance
Ensure you have adequate life insurance coverage. This protects your family financially in case of any unforeseen events. Term insurance is a good option as it provides high coverage at a low premium.

Health Insurance
A good health insurance plan is essential to cover medical emergencies. This prevents out-of-pocket expenses that can disrupt your savings and investments.

Regular Monitoring and Rebalancing
Periodic Portfolio Review
Regularly review your investment portfolio to ensure it aligns with your goals and risk tolerance. Markets change, and so should your investment strategy. A certified financial planner can help with these periodic reviews.

Rebalancing Your Portfolio
Rebalancing involves adjusting your investments to maintain your desired asset allocation. For example, if equities have grown significantly, they might form a larger portion of your portfolio than intended. Sell some equities and reinvest in underperforming assets to balance the risk.

Maximizing Your Savings
Budgeting and Expense Management
Track your expenses to identify areas where you can save more. Create a budget and stick to it. This ensures you have more funds available for investments.

Increasing Savings Rate
As your salary increases, aim to increase your savings rate. Even a small increase in your monthly savings can significantly impact your final corpus due to the power of compounding.

Leveraging Employer Benefits
Provident Fund Contributions
Ensure you maximize your contributions to the Employee Provident Fund (EPF). This is a safe and tax-efficient way to build your retirement corpus.

Voluntary Provident Fund (VPF)
Consider contributing to the Voluntary Provident Fund (VPF) if you can save more. VPF offers the same benefits as EPF, with guaranteed returns and tax benefits.

Long-Term Investment Strategies
Compounding Power
The power of compounding cannot be overstated. The earlier you start investing, the more your money grows over time. Regular investments and reinvesting returns accelerate growth.

Staying Invested
Market fluctuations are normal. Stay invested for the long term to ride out volatility. Equity markets tend to deliver good returns over extended periods.

Avoiding Emotional Decisions
Investment decisions should be based on logic, not emotions. Avoid making impulsive decisions based on market movements. A certified financial planner can provide an objective perspective.

Retirement Planning
Projecting Future Expenses
Estimate your future expenses considering inflation. This helps in setting realistic retirement goals. A certified financial planner can assist in creating a detailed retirement plan.

Retirement Corpus Calculation
Calculate the corpus needed to sustain your desired lifestyle post-retirement. This helps in determining the monthly investment required to reach your goal.

Withdrawal Strategy
Plan a withdrawal strategy for your retirement corpus. Consider factors like life expectancy, inflation, and market conditions. A well-thought-out strategy ensures your corpus lasts throughout your retirement.

Final Insights
Achieving Rs 1.25 crore by age 55 is definitely possible with disciplined savings and strategic investments. Start with SIPs in actively managed funds, diversify your portfolio, and regularly review your investments. Maintain an emergency fund, ensure adequate insurance, and leverage employer benefits. Stay committed to your goals and avoid emotional decisions. With the right planning and consistent efforts, you'll reach your target and secure a comfortable retirement.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP,

Chief Financial Planner,


...Read more


Ramalingam Kalirajan  |3913 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Jun 22, 2024

Hi sir Am 46 yr old and my financial investment are as below : 1) recently started SIP with 45k monthly investment. 2) am investing in NPS 20k monthly for last 8 years (currently 25 lacs in nps portfolio) 3) am investing in sukanya 70k annually for past 9 years (currents 8 lacs in portfolio) 4) commercial property worth 1.8 cr generating me rent of 70k monthly 5) 1 flat worth 1.7 cr generating me rent of 40k monthly) 6) 1 floor where am staying worth 1.8 cr has a loan going with emi of 66 k which i plan to close within next 4 to 5 yrs max 7) PF is 22 lacs as of now due to some withdrawals earlier. But am doing additional vpf of 10k monthly apart from 25k which gets invested from my salary 8) my take home salary is 2.7 lacs monthly I want to retire in another 7 to 8 years.pls suggest what i need to do or plan so as to have monthly 3lacs income
Ans: First off, kudos on taking charge of your financial future. You have a diversified portfolio with multiple investments, and that's great. Let's break down your current investments and see how you can reach your goal of Rs 3 lakhs monthly income post-retirement.

Systematic Investment Plan (SIP)
You've recently started a SIP with a monthly investment of Rs 45,000. SIPs are a fantastic way to build wealth over time. By investing regularly, you benefit from rupee cost averaging and the power of compounding. Given your goal, it's important to keep a close eye on the performance of the mutual funds you've chosen.

If you're in actively managed funds, ensure they consistently outperform their benchmarks. If any fund underperforms for an extended period, consider switching to a better-performing one. Actively managed funds, guided by professional fund managers, can potentially offer higher returns than passive funds.

National Pension System (NPS)
You've been investing Rs 20,000 monthly in NPS for the last eight years, with a current portfolio value of Rs 25 lakhs. NPS is a great choice for retirement planning due to its low cost and tax benefits.

However, NPS comes with certain withdrawal restrictions and partial annuitization at retirement. To maximize benefits, regularly review your asset allocation between equity, corporate bonds, and government securities. Adjust it based on market conditions and your risk tolerance. Given your timeline, consider increasing equity exposure slightly to boost potential returns.

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY)
You're investing Rs 70,000 annually in Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana for the past nine years, with a current corpus of Rs 8 lakhs. This is a wonderful scheme for your daughter's future, offering high-interest rates and tax benefits. Keep this investment untouched until maturity to fully benefit from its tax-free interest.

Real Estate Investments
You own commercial property worth Rs 1.8 crores, generating Rs 70,000 monthly rent, and a flat worth Rs 1.7 crores, generating Rs 40,000 monthly rent. These provide a substantial passive income, which is excellent.

However, real estate investments come with risks like maintenance costs, tenant issues, and market fluctuations. While they are stable, they aren't very liquid. Keep this in mind as you plan for retirement, where liquidity can be crucial.

Residential Property and Loan
Your home is worth Rs 1.8 crores, and you're paying an EMI of Rs 66,000. Planning to close this loan within 4-5 years is wise. Once the loan is repaid, your cash flow will improve significantly. Until then, ensure you have a buffer to handle EMIs without stress.

Provident Fund (PF) and Voluntary Provident Fund (VPF)
Your current PF balance is Rs 22 lakhs, with an additional VPF contribution of Rs 10,000 monthly, apart from Rs 25,000 from your salary. Provident Fund is a safe and stable investment, offering guaranteed returns and tax benefits. Your regular contributions will compound over time, providing a substantial corpus at retirement.

Take-Home Salary and Expenses
Your take-home salary is Rs 2.7 lakhs monthly. With disciplined savings and investments, you're on a strong path. However, it's essential to ensure that your expenses are well-managed, allowing you to save and invest consistently. Budgeting is key here. Track your spending and identify areas where you can cut back, if necessary.

Setting Clear Retirement Goals
To retire with a monthly income of Rs 3 lakhs, we need to build a significant corpus. Let's look at the broad strategies to achieve this.

Increase SIP Contributions: If possible, gradually increase your SIP contributions. Even a small increase can make a big difference over time due to compounding.

Asset Allocation: Diversify your investments across different asset classes – equities, debt, and gold. Equities can offer higher returns, debt provides stability, and gold acts as a hedge against inflation.

Tax Efficiency: Ensure your investments are tax-efficient. Utilize all available tax-saving instruments to minimize tax liability and maximize returns.

Emergency Fund: Maintain an emergency fund to cover at least 6-12 months of expenses. This ensures you won't have to dip into your investments during a financial crunch.

Insurance: Adequate life and health insurance are crucial. This protects your family and savings from unforeseen medical expenses or financial loss.

Enhancing Your Investment Strategy
Active Management Over Passive
While passive funds like index funds track a benchmark, actively managed funds aim to outperform it. This can lead to better returns if the fund manager makes smart investment decisions. Since you've not mentioned index funds, it's good to focus on active management where fund managers actively select stocks.

Regular Fund Investments
Direct funds might seem cheaper due to lower expense ratios, but regular funds through a certified financial planner can be beneficial. They offer professional advice and help optimize your portfolio. A financial planner provides valuable insights, ensuring your investments align with your goals and risk tolerance.

Monitoring and Rebalancing
Regularly review and rebalance your portfolio. This involves adjusting your investments to maintain your desired asset allocation. For instance, if equities perform well and exceed your target allocation, sell some and reinvest in underperforming assets. This ensures you stay on track to meet your goals while managing risk.

Maximizing NPS Benefits
As you get closer to retirement, consider shifting some NPS funds to safer assets like government bonds. This reduces risk as you near your goal. Also, explore options within NPS to ensure you're getting the best possible returns with minimal risk.

Building a Robust Retirement Corpus
Given your diverse investments, you're well on your way to building a robust retirement corpus. To achieve Rs 3 lakhs monthly income, let's look at the sources:

Rental Income: Your commercial and residential properties already generate Rs 1.1 lakhs monthly. Ensure properties are well-maintained to avoid tenant turnover and vacancies.

NPS and PF: Continue maximizing contributions to NPS and PF. At retirement, these can be significant sources of income.

SIP and Mutual Funds: Regular SIP investments in mutual funds will grow over time. Ensure a mix of equity and debt funds to balance growth and stability.

VPF Contributions: Your VPF contributions add to your retirement corpus, providing a stable and guaranteed return.

Exploring Additional Investment Options
Equity Investments
Equities offer the potential for high returns but come with higher risk. Given your time frame, you can consider increasing equity exposure. Diversified equity mutual funds or blue-chip stocks can be good options. Ensure you have a balanced approach, considering your risk tolerance.

Debt Instruments
Debt instruments like corporate bonds, government securities, and fixed deposits provide stability and regular income. Allocate a portion of your portfolio to these to balance risk. Look for options offering higher interest rates with good credit ratings.

Gold Investments
Gold is a traditional hedge against inflation and economic uncertainty. Consider investing a small portion of your portfolio in gold through ETFs or sovereign gold bonds. This diversifies your portfolio and adds a layer of security.

Planning for Inflation and Taxes
Inflation Protection
Inflation can erode your purchasing power over time. Ensure your investments grow faster than inflation. Equities and real estate generally outpace inflation, while debt instruments may lag. Keep this in mind while planning your asset allocation.

Tax Planning
Tax-efficient investing is crucial. Utilize available tax deductions and exemptions. For instance, investments in NPS, PF, and certain mutual funds offer tax benefits. Consult with a tax advisor to optimize your tax strategy, ensuring you retain more of your returns.

Financial Discipline and Regular Review
Consistent Investments
Stay disciplined with your investments. Regular contributions, even during market downturns, ensure you benefit from compounding and rupee cost averaging.

Periodic Reviews
Regularly review your financial plan and investments. Life circumstances and market conditions change, requiring adjustments to your strategy. A certified financial planner can help with this, ensuring you stay on track.

Emergency Preparedness
Maintain an emergency fund and adequate insurance coverage. This safeguards your investments and ensures financial stability during unforeseen events.

Final Insights
Your diversified investments and disciplined approach are commendable. To retire with a monthly income of Rs 3 lakhs, focus on maximizing returns, managing risk, and maintaining financial discipline. Regularly review and adjust your portfolio, ensuring it aligns with your goals and risk tolerance. By doing so, you're well on your way to a secure and comfortable retirement.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP,

Chief Financial Planner,


...Read more

DISCLAIMER: The content of this post by the expert is the personal view of the rediffGURU. Investment in securities market are subject to market risks. Read all the related document carefully before investing. The securities quoted are for illustration only and are not recommendatory. Users are advised to pursue the information provided by the rediffGURU only as a source of information and as a point of reference and to rely on their own judgement when making a decision. RediffGURUS is an intermediary as per India's Information Technology Act.


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