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Q. When I tell my child to do something, he totally ignores me and pretends not to hear me. I get very annoyed and I lose my cool, what should I do ?


A. There are many reasons why a child may tune out his parents :

a. Not listening can be a child's way of testing parental authority and his own autonomy.
b. Another major reason is to avoid conflict.
c. Your child may switch off if you keep sermonizing him.
d. Sometimes a child is so engrossed in his work that he literally blocks out all background noise.
To help open your child's ears to what you have got to say, you may do the following :
a. Listen to your child : When your child is saying something that may not seem important to you, it is of the utmost importance to him that you should listen to him. He is small, not being heard makes him feel even smaller. Try always to lend him a ear.
b. Make eye contact : Walk right up to your child and look into his eyes when you speak.
c. Speak concisely and relatively sweetly : Your child's attention span is very short. So say what you have to, in a few short and sweet words.
d. Be realistic : Teach your child a particular skill before you expect compliance. Parents often issue commands that their children do not understand.











Q. How do I prevent my child from wanting to eat only fast food ? Top
A. You have had a long day at work, your child has had a long day at school and you are too tired to cook and your child is too cranky to wait. So you decide to go to an inexpensive restaurant and resort to fast food.

Do not be too hard on yourself. Do not make fast food a habit. Try to limit the number of visits maybe to a few times a month. When you eat at a fast food restaurant, guide your children towards a healthier choice such as a grilled piece of chicken rather than fried. In place of drinking too much colas opt for fresh juices. Warn them, that too much soda or candy can rot or discolour their teeth. Warn them, that if they do not eat enough healthy food their bodies will not grow big and strong. Frozen yogurt can make a nutritious dessert, at least when compared to pies and biscuits. In place of fries one can opt for mashed potatoes.






Q. What is the cause of mouth-breathing in my daughter of 7 years? At night, when she sleeps she drool saliva and also snores. How can I get her to sleep with mouth closed?


A. The common causes of mouth-breathing in children are :

Enlarged Adenoids : Which are tonsils behind the nose. Though a slight enlargement of the adenoids is considered normal, but if there is a gross enlargement, it can give rise to blocking the nasal passage, forcing the child to breathe through the mouth. As a result of mouth remaining partially open, there is drooling of the saliva.
Deviated Nasal Septum - Nasal Allergy or Infection or Nasal Polyps : These conditions also can be the cause of mouth breathing, as they block the nasal air passage. The nose performs various protective functions like filtration of air, humidification and temperature regulation of the air that we breathe in. When the child breathes through the mouth, these protective functions are by-passed leading to recurrent upper and lower respiratory tract infections. Blockage of the nasal passage also leads to collection of nasal secretions, and this stagnant nasal secretions become infected which spread to the sinuses leading to a chronic sinus problem, with the child having a runny nose and sniffling.

Mouth breathing in a child also causes the dentition and alignment of teeth go awry children who mouth breathe very often will have a foul smelling breath coming from mouth. To get rid of mouth-breathing problem in children, it is very necessary to find the cause and treat it accordingly e.g. in case of gross adenoids enlargement, a simple surgical procedure of tonsillectomy or adenectomy will help.











Q. My daughter has been complaining of pain in the ears and complains she cannot hear very well? What can be causing this problem?


A. Common reasons for pain in the ears could be:
1. Infection of the outer ear - Otitis Externa
2. Wax impaction in the ear
3. Severe upper Respiratory tract infection.

1. Otitis Externa
Otitis Externa is caused by a bacterial or fungal infection of the ear canal, causing pain, discharge and sometimes severe itching. A mild hearing loss may also be there. Treatment by local drops, ointments and a course of antibiotics will be required.

2. Wax Impaction :
Wax is a protective secretion to moisten and prevent infection in the ear canal. Wax usually gets impacted when the patient attempts to clean the ear with cotton buds. Treatment consists in using wax solving ear drops and syringing out the wax by the E.N.T specialist.

3. Severe Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
This gives rise to infected nasal secretions and pressure on the opening of the eustachain tube, which lies between the back of the nose and ears, can lead to the infection spreading to the ear and consequently pain in the ear. This is usually caused by enlarged adenoids, and if allowed to persist for long, can lead to permanent hearing loss.










Q. My child is not responsible at all, what should I do to make him more responsible ?


Most parents have a dream that my child should be responsible one who will do his fair share of chores - cleaning up his room, putting his dirty clothes in the linen bag. Parents have to inculcate these habits early. "How do I make my child responsible" is a question that arises in most parents mind. if you :

1. Start Early : Your toddler cannot perform all regular chores, but it isn't too early to give him an occasional taste of responsibility.

2. Set a good example : Most toddlers enjoy imitating their parents. One of the best ways to inculcate this habit is to be a good role model with your own possessions - put your keys back on the key holder, tidy the cupboard, etc.

3. Choose the right age for the appropriate task : Even if your toddler is willing to help you out, don't push him to do more than he's capable of doing. If he's overburdened he may burn out early and become resentful for helping later.

4. Make the job a game : Try to turn cleaning up or any other into a merry pursuit. Instead of snapping "put your dolls away!" rather playfully suggest "Its time for the dolls to take a nap." You'll have a better chance convincing your toddler that cleaning not so bad after all.

5. Keep chore fun : Many nursery schools play or sing nursery rhymes or sing a special clean up song that children associate with putting away their toys and moving on to another activity.

6. Phrase things in a positive way : In place of threatening children or being aggressive won't help rather its more necessary to be assertive. Instead of issuing an ultimatum, its better to use terms as "Grandma's rule", etc.

7. Make the job a learning experience : Teach shapes and colours by saying "You put the red rectangle block away and I'll put the blue square block away."

8. Acknowledge his efforts : Thank him, Praise him for what he does this will boost his morale and he will continue to do better and better.

9. Don't demand perfection : Strike a happy medium between his standards and yours. Don't be too rigid.












Q. My children only listen to me only when I get angry, what should I do?

Dealing with toddlers can be extremely difficult, their irrationality and unreasonableness can often push the best of parents to the brink and sometimes even over it. Having lost your temper on a particularly bad day is not only understandable, its forgivable.

Children may not really believe that parents don't enjoy blowing their top. Losing their temper often leaves them feeling drained, remorseful, guilty. Children develop an uncanny ability to judge, when you are really serious and mean business. Very often as parents one says a lot of nasty things to your child, which demoralises the child. Sometimes they are humiliated near their friends which makes them feel very bad. This usually makes the children more defensive and resistant to authority.

Losing your cool at your children makes them realize how much they can affect you emotionally. Subconsciously they use this knowledge to their advantage as if they have an upperhand over you.

Anger can be very emotionally exhausting. It drains you out. Frequent bursts of anger also lowers your credibility. Often the point you are trying to make is lost in confusion with other issues you may raise. Loud voices are less effective. Anger is not the best way to discipline a child. It can make your child very rebellious. The problem with this style of discipline is that its very addictive, it becomes a habit. A good way of discipling your child is to establish rules right from the beginning and adhering to them strictly.