Sometimes news like this makes me believe that maybe the joint family system, that India was known for and what we grew up with, is so important, especially in today’s times where both parents need to work or have long hours at work. The horrifying reality is that children today as old as one are meeting with counselors. Their parents are unable to understand what is the real reason behind the tantrums and learning disorders in children that are so young.
What has been observed across leading metros in India
- A child as old as one fails to recognize familiar faces, including those of his parents.
- Withdrawal Symptoms
- Learning Disorders
- Delayed speech and expression
Dr Sameer Malhotra, who heads the Department of Mental Health and behavioural sciences at Max Healthcare in Delhi, is noticing a similar rise in children urgently needing counselling. They account for almost 10-15% of such patients coming to the hospital, he says. During this study, Malhotra asked a 5-year-old to draw pictures (part of a test to understand how they feel about certain topics). The child drew empty nests and black barren trees. He was bullied at school, but could not get himself to speak up and projected his angst by withdrawing. One of his parents is in the IT sector and the other in healthcare. Both work long hours.
The real reasons for this behaviour in kids
- Long hours and busy schedules of parents
- Constant churn in caretakers
- Multiple authority figures and no consistent disciplinarian
- Parents work in different cities and meet only on weekends
- Parents resort to gifts/toys/sweets to cover on their guilt of not spending time or coming late. When this pattern sees a disruption there is a tantrum.
- Parents resort to easier techniques like give the child gadgets and screen time which has such fast action and reaction that the child resorts to the same behaviour in the world around him too. And when that is not met it leads to disappointment and tantrums.
While I would not like working parents to feel guilty alone, it is often observed that even stay-at-home moms also find the experience extremely overwhelming. There is one thing that my paediatrician had told me after my first child was born and has kind of stayed with me very strongly is “Children throw tantrums to seek attention, give it to them. They don’t really need toys, chocolates and gifts to pacify them.”
Content Source: Economic Times Mumbai Edition
Image Source: Examiner.com