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Q. My child has a fear of trying things by himself. I am afraid he is not going to learn how to do things for himself. How can I help my child ?
Q. My child drinks very little water, how do I make my child drink more water ?
Q. My baby keeps pulling at the ear. How do I know if he has ear pain?
Q. My toddler insists on being carried, even though he can walk. I am concerned if he is getting too dependent ?
Q. My child has a habit of hitting other children. How can I stop this ?







Q. My child has a fear of trying things by himself. I am afraid he is not going to learn how to do things for himself. How can I help my child ?


A. You may envisage that your child should do a particular task and when he does not meet your expectations, you get frustrated. Your child can sense your anxiety and frustration and feels the same. Some children express their frustration by throwing tantrums, whining, etc.

Sometimes a child's aesthetic sense tells him that grown ups produce a better result. It seems logical to have the adults to do the task, rather than trying to do it himself. As a parent be sure you are not pushing too hard or setting unrealistic standards. Do not buy toys that are way beyond your child's ability. Challenge your child, but do not pressurize him. Do not criticize him for failing to perform. Constant censure can damage self-esteem, hurt feelings and engender a fear of trying. When your child feels more confident, he will start doing things for himself.

You can encourage his participation by :

a. Asking his opinion : Prompt your child in making a decision if he is confused. Ask his opinion and get his advice on whether he would like to do a particular task.
b. Give him lessons : Your child may hesitate to try, since he does not know how. Guide him how to go about the task.
c. Invite him to help you : If you are solving a puzzle with him, ask him to fit the final puzzle piece. If he resists, do not push. Present a lot of opportunities for him to try his hand in small ways that offer his success and safety.
d. Praise him for any contribution : Compliment and praise him for any of his acts that will make him feel confident. Voicing your appreciation of his efforts will boost his ego and will encourage him to try harder next time.












Q. My child drinks very little water, how do I make my child drink more water ?


A. Children become very thirsty only once their fluid reserves are running low. It is the parents job to make sure that their child drinks enough fluids to stay hydrated and happy. Every drop counts !

Importance of Water

a. Water makes up between 55% to 65% of our body weight. The loss of 10% of water results in serious consequences like dehydration.
b. Water helps to regulate body temperature.
c. It helps in the transport of the products of digestion to appropriate organs.
d. Water is the major constituent of plasma and has a vital solvent transport function carrying blood cells and nutrients and maintaining normal blood volume.

Sources of Water
Juices, drinks and other beverages contain large amounts of water, as do fruits, vegetables and other foods.
Schedule water breaks every 30 minutes or so. Make sure your child gets enough fluids. If he resists water, give him fluids in the form of juices. It is a very acceptable drink as it usually contains vitamin C and certain minerals, which is excellent for your toddler.

Offer some milk too. Milk is an important fluid as it provides calcium, proteins, and vitamin B riboflavin. Insist with your child to consume fluids, till it becomes a habit. Drinking lots of water is good for the system. There is usually no harm in taking in more and the excess is gotten rid of by the kidneys quite promptly.









Q. My baby keeps pulling at the ear. How do I know if he has ear pain? Top

A. Babies are very susceptible to ear infections because their eustachian tubes are short and narrow. Most of them, eventually outgrow this susceptibility.

Symptoms :

1.  Ear pain, which is worse at night, baby pulling at her ears or holding them crying, or refuse to suck the breast may indicate ear pain.

Fever which may be slight or high.

3. Fatigue and irritability.
4. Nausea or vomiting.
5. Loss of appetite.

Occasionally there may not be any symptoms at all.

Complications that arise due to ear pain :

1. Because of the child's crying the pressure can burst the eardrum, releasing pus into the ear canal, resulting into Acute Otitis media. Treatment should be given with antibiotics to prevent further damage.

Hearing loss - which is temporary, but can become permanent if the condition persists for many months untreated.

3. Mastoid Infection.
4. Meningitis bacterimia, pneumonia.
5. Brain Abcess and Facial Paralysis.

Season :
All the year round, but it is much more common in the winter, and usually follows a cold or 'flu.

Prevention :
There is no sure way to prevent infection, but the following may reduce the risk of baby's falling victim :

1. Overall good health through adequate nutrition, plenty of rest and regular medical care.

Breastfeeding for atleast 3 months.

3. An upright feeding position, especially when a baby has respiratory infection, or an elevated sleeping position (putting pillows under the babies head and of mattress) when the child has a cold.
4. Decongestants for children with colds or allergies, particularly before an air flight.Make the baby suck on breast or bottle during take off and landing, as most ear problems occur then.
5. Low dose of antibiotics (as prescribed by your doctor) for children with frequent ear infection.
6. Smoke-free living space.

Chances of Recurrence :
Some babies may not have any episode of ear pain, and some may have 1-2 episodes of pain with no repeats and others may carry on the infection repeatedly into toddlerhood and preschool years.

Diseases with similar symptoms :

1. Any foreign body in the ear may cause ear pain.

Ear pain is very commonly seen in swimmers.

3. Any respiratory infection can mimic a ear ache.















Q. My toddler insists on being carried, even though he can walk. I am concerned if he is getting too dependent?


A. Walking is a novelty for toddler, when he first  puts one foot in front of another. Every step he takes, deepens his tender feelings of pride and accomplishment. Then the novelty wears off. Walking  then starts to be a responsibility - something that was expected, and often required of him. True to his two year old negativity, he began to  respond to parental pressure to perform with    refusals. "If they want me to walk" he may reason "that's probably a good enough reason not to walk" and this makes him cling to his parents to carry him.

Suggestions to make your toddler back on his feet :

1. Make the walk recreational : Divert the child's minds from the task of walking by pointing out interesting sights on the road, playing games ("lets see if we can step over all the cracks") or singing songs.

Appoint him your assistant : Toddlers love to be helpers. When you are walking to the shop, ask him to carry the shopping list, and also give him a small light bag of purchases on your way home, in order to make him feel "big".

3. Try not to rush or push him : Never try to rush or push
your toddler as his walking strides are much smaller than
yours. Give him enough time to walk in his own stride pattern. However if he feels tired or goes limp and tries to sit in the middle of pavement, then it is advisable to pick him up and carry him.
4. Praise his efforts on two feet : After a walk, congratulate him and tell him how grown up he is getting,and point out that walking is one of the many fun things he can do now, that the babes in the arm cannot.
5. Do no criticize his failures : Don't call him a baby or fuel any possible existing jealousy by telling him that
you cant carry him because you are pregnant or because you have to carry the infant sibling.
6. Make a deal : If the walk is too long, then try cutting
a deal "you walk this street, I'll carry you the next". Alternate until you are home free.
7. Set an active example : If everyone in the family walks
a lot, eventually your child will too especially if you don't make an issue out of his reluctance now.










Q. My child has a habit of hitting other children. How can I stop this ? Top

A.  Hitting is very common at all ages, but it should never be encouraged but can be stopped in the following ways :

1. Provide  loving, consistent  and  firm care to your toddler.

Make sure that your toddler knows that hitting is not in the rules for children.

3. If the  hitting  tends  to become aggressive, then the behaviour  of  the  child   should be observed, and if necessary counselling may be done.
4. Try  to  keep  the  child out of a situation, where he tends to start hitting.
5. Never , under  any circumstances , try  to  hit your child  to teach him a lesson. Some parents do this to show the child "how it feels" and it only encourages the child to think that hitting is o.k.