Category Archives: school

Is Addiction to Gaming is a Mental Health issue? Yes, Says WHO

The World health organisation in its revised manual of International Classification of Diseases (ICD), classified Gaming as a mental health disorder. As per WHO, it is a “pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour” that can aggravate to an extent that it takes precedence over other life interests”.

The objective of the classification is to alert health professionals as well as systems about its existence and that the people suffering from this condition need help of mental health specialists. This statement does comply by the fears that umpteen parents have with respect to their kids involvement in gaming. But, on the flip side, Dr Harvey, spokeswoman for British Psychological Society also issued a warning about stigmatising video gamers and unnecessary worry to parents. There is every possibility that medics are flooded with parents citing help hence it’s important for parents to know that not every child who plays video games is an addict.

Addiction to Gaming

Many others have welcomed this new classification stating the importance of identifying the people who are hooked to games quickly as mostly they are kids, teenagers more so. Even though they need help, these teens do not seek help themselves. Another researcher working on researching on video gaming disorder for the past three decades welcomed the classification stating that it would help in regulation the condition and developing treatment strategies.

As per Britain’s Royal College of Psychiatrists spokesperson for behavioural addictions the have many cases of distressed parents due to their child dropping out from school and more so the family structure crumbling down. She also said that psychological therapies and a few medications could work well towards treatment of this disorder.

Even Psychiatrists in India cite digital detox as a treatment procedure to cure this disorder. The director of Mental health and behavioural sciences at Max Healthcare said that screen time addictions leads to lack of interaction between parents and children and thus low emotional connection. This further leads to aloofness and isolation in adolescents.

The characteristics of gaming disorder include eating problems, avoidance or neglect of physical activities as well as disturbed sleep patterns.

An active child shows interest in everything. They display happiness and feel good. They perform well academically too. Physical activities are a must for children to make them active all throughout the day. At least an hour of physical activities per day is a must. Read More


No Reading or Writing Makes Worsens Mental Health of Children

A new report says that children who are not into reading or writing do face issues with their mental health. The study was carried out by the National Literacy Trust (NTL) and found that school children who like writing or enjoy reading fare three times better on the mental well-being meter compared to their peers who are disinterested in reading or writing. The percentage difference is quite a lot viz. 39.4 against 11.8. The survey involved the study of around 50K children and disclosed that around 40.3 percent of children with the aforementioned reading skills had high levels of mental well-being compared to 13.1 percent children who did not read had low levels of mental well-being. The report also mentioned that around 21.6 percent of children felt unhappy with their lives and 26.5 percent were clueless about coping with stress.

No Reading or Writing Makes Worsens Mental Health of Children

As per the director of NLT, children and youngsters today have to bear the brunt of lots of pressure be it school, social life or home. Hence, it’s our duty that we help our children to overcome the challenges that life throws and enable them to live healthy and happy life.

The joy of reading and writing does help a long way in molding the mental health of children. If helps a child cope through the stress or worries that he or she is experiencing besides giving them an opportunity to explore as well as understand difficult feelings. It also makes them feel less lonely.

Furthermore, the curriculum in school and pressures to perform leave very little time to children to devote time to do activities like reading or writing for pleasure. Again for poor families reading books can only happen if their kid is in school, the only place where he or she can have access to books. More importantly, accessibility to books is not the only idea. The bigger picture is about children themselves wanting to read books. It’s about generating that interest in them where they find time to read or write for themselves and their own joy and not anybody else’s.

Well, so if you want to help your child live a happy and stress free life then encourage them to read more and write more and see how they blossom mentally.

An active child shows interest in everything. They display happiness and feel good. They perform well academically too. Physical activities are a must for children to make them active all throughout the day. Read More


Is Feeding Junk Food to Children a form of Abuse?

Parents in the name of pampering their children or giving feeding them their favorite stuff end up feeding them junk. Many children in America and around the world get caught in the wrath of obesity and as per paediatricians and researchers, it’s the parents that are ultimately to blame and not children. Children are like wet clay that get molded into the shape that the potter, in this case the parent wants. So, food habits are the responsibility of the parents.

So, if you as a parent are feeding your child junk, is it a kind of child abuse. See, the definition of child abuse says ‘ any action that endangers or impairs the emotional, mental as well as physical well-being of the child, viz. all forms of neglect are included under abuse. No feeding a balanced diet to the child and giving the child junk thus causing child obesity.

Feeding Junk Food to Children a form of Abuse

As per the definition, there is every chance of a parent being prosecuted for that. Hence, it is quite difficult for a parent of an obese child, if prosecuted to plead not guilty.

Having said that, India is still to consider such a law but America is might already consider the same because of the swelling population of obese children. But ethically, it’s is the due responsibility of the parent to ensure that the child is not deprived from healthy food. Once in a blue moon, feeding junk food is alright but not on a routine basis. Junk food is extremely harmful to the body as it is loaded with processed ingredients and sugar. Many times in order to avoid managing tantrums of children, parents bribe them with sweets and junk food.

As per a notable paediatrician, it is the prime responsibility of a parent to give their child the gift of a healthy life. This can be only done by developing food habits during the early years of your child, so that these habits become a lifestyle of your child as he or she grows up into an adult. Do not let yourself as a parent be so busy that you start abusing your child through the anti-nutrition culture. Be vigilant about what you serve your child and give them an opportunity to blossom to the fullest in terms of health and fitness.

Whether you are an Indian, where such laws aren’t much of a concern for parents or a resident of USA where these laws are in force already, ethically and as a responsible parent, your child’s health needs to be your priority. So, give it utmost importance.

*Sourced form the Internet


Raising Creative, Curious and Healthier Children

The American Academy of Paediatrics has been recommending doctors to write prescriptions that mention play. Play is extremely important for the promotion and development of cognitive, emotional, cognitive, language and self-regulation skills. This will help them manage themselves, foster relationships between them and parents and manage stress as well. It is only when play is made an integral part of the life that children grown into creative, curious as well as healthier individuals.

vse-Raising Creative, Curious and Healthier Children

There are many schools which are so much academic excellence oriented that they tend to cut down on extra-curricular activities like art, music, physical education and more. This can also happen due to insufficient infrastructure facilities. Another distraction from play is the heavy use of media in daily life. This includes smartphones, tablets, television, play station and more. This has led to a decrease in outdoor play to a lot extent.

Though, it does not mean that media is all that bad. If done properly, as in use of age appropriate media through co watching or co playing can be beneficial, yes. At school the teachers need to use the method of playful learning where the child follows his/her own curiosity. Games like peek-a-boo is a real good idea when you child is in infancy stage. As per expert doctors, play is the best thing a parent can do for the child and it helps the child hone social skills, maths and language skills as well as reduce stress levels. Playing with parents is actually helpful not only to parents but to children as well.

A survey carried out in around 2012 revealed a study of over 9K school going kids and that only half of them went outdoors to play or for walk during the day with one of the parent. There were umpteen reasons like safety issues, inaccessibility of parks and academic pressure. Many schools cut down physical activity and sports due to studies. This issue has already called for a national debate and there are new bills already passed towards the increase in play time in schools.

Well, understand that it is play only that can help your little flower blossom to the fullest. So, even when you do concentrate on academics, try giving ample time for play for your child.

Vydehi School of Excellence – An active child shows interest in everything. They display happiness and feel good. They perform well academically too. Physical activities are a must for children to make them active all throughout the day. At least an hour of physical activities per day is a must. Read more


Screen Time Limits Required for Parents Too – Pediatricians

We’ve been reading about limiting screen time for children and how important it is to do so for the development of these children during their growing up years. But, as per pediatricians the same goes for adults too. They also need to restrict themselves from being on their phones or tablets or electronic gadgets all the time when off. An off hours-time or a timeout for these gadgets is needed as per JAMA pediatrics published resource.

The primary reason behind the same is that Children always pick up stuff from their parents. They pick up what they see their parents doing, the way they speak or behave. So, if parents themselves are hooked to gadgets and tell their children to stay away from them, it does not really make a lot of sense, isn’t it? Therefore, particularly when it comes to habits related to smartphone, they very much tend to pick up this habit too.

Screen Time Limits Required for Parents

As per a developmental behavioral pediatrician’s own research, parents who keep themselves tied up to their smartphones have very less parent- child interactions and even increased rate of conflicts with their kids. Over time they even find it difficult to manage behavior of their children.

As per her a bunch of researches she did, parents who watched more television had kids also doing the same. Also, if television was in the background on then it affected their interaction as well as play of kids negatively.

As per her and co-author of University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, parents need to give a serious thought about their relationship with their smart phone or gadgets. A good idea is rather to go for a walk when feeling stressed rather than getting hooked to the smart phone. Many of the parents to get over office stress, to avoid family interactions that are difficult or other similar reasons try to get engaged on purpose to their gadgets. So, whenever you are on phone try to keep track of the time spent be it on social media or email checking, etc.

Matter of the fact is that multitasking ain’t easy and many a times affects efficiency negatively. Same is the case with parenting say researchers. They also recommend that parents find a solution and a time when their time with their family and kids is not affected and they can do their phone related stuff as well. They need organize their time schedule and say strict no to smartphones during mealtimes, bedtime and specific time allocated for spending with family or doing certain tasks and activities together.

As per another researcher parental screen time can pose a safety issue for children as children could be left unsupervised at that time plus it could also take away the time that could be rather spent with children in a face to face chat.

In a nutshell, parents are the role models for most to the kids and keeping the point in mind, parents first need to improve their own behavior in order for children to follow.


Do Genes Influence Academic Success?

A study has revealed that genes influence as much as over 60% on academic performance even after considering intelligence of a human being. We’ve have come across studies that connect happiness, health and occupational stature to life trajectory and achievements but this study reveals something completely different. Does that mean we are born smart or dumb? Not exactly but yes, it does mean that genes do have a substantial influence on your academic success. Almost two third of individual differences in achievements in school can be explained on the basis of their DNA as per the post-doctoral fellow of psychology, Margherita Malanchini. This study is helpful in a sense that it can be used to identify children who are in dire need of early intervention because if there are genetic issues related to academic success they are bound to stay through the schooling years.

genes influence academic success

The study was carried out over 6000 pairs of twins from primary and uptil the end of compulsory education. Genetic factors influenced as much as 70% while in twins it was 25% due to the shared environment and 5% due to non -shared environment factors. But, a significant drop in grades was non due to change in non-shared environment factors.

A group of researchers have worked on 1200 differences in genes that are used to measure the level of education people achieve. As per these researchers, their findings do shed light on the role played in human behaviour by genes.

These researchers have studied the educational history of over one million people across the age group of 30 plus from 15 different European countries. When they tried to analyze people on their mathematical abilities as per their education level, they could point out to many genetic associations to these traits.

Well that does not mean, that an individual cannot become a successful person if he or she does not have it in their genes but yes it does tell us that genetics is powerful enough and that the study can help researchers explore in depth the relationship between environment and genetics for shaping the academic trajectory of an individual.


How to Deal with the Fact that Your Kid is LGBTQ?

It really a testing time for parents, when they come to know that their child is a lesbian, bisexual, gay or a transgender. However, broad minded you are, it does come as a shock to most of the parents. Well, understand that it is quite normal to feel that way. Anger, sadness, scare are all valid feelings that are bound to feel as a human. Though, there have been quite a few instances where parents have even felt happy for a reason that their child has opened up to them. In India, also more than in the west, parents find it quite difficult to understand the fact and digest it the same. But, most of parents are more scared about the outside world. Because as a parent they might even accept the fact but they always worry over how the outside world is going to treat their child.

How to Deal with the Fact that Your Kid is LGBTQ

Why go far, Bollywood is known to be an integral part of every Indian family and many Indian films are known to have made mockery of sexuality and characters that are gay. But, Parenting has the power to change things and situations and mold your child to grow up into a confident youth.

Acceptance – Once you come to know of the sexuality of your child, accept it even with a heavy heart but do it. Acceptance is the first step to make your child feel safe and supported inside his house. Talk to them in an age appropriate way and if you have more than one child, do not be bias to the one who is a different sexuality. If you are not comfortable talking to your child find a counsellor or an adult who can do so.

Get Familiar with LGBTQ terms – Never use any offensive language or sensitive LGBTQ terms, however angry you are or whatsoever the reason be. Make them feel that they are equal to other genders in every way.

Build a safety circle – Try to build a community support for your child, so that if ever the child is experiencing bullying issues then they can provide support. It’s like building a circle of safety that includes your reliable friends, relatives and family members.

Discuss about relationships – Tell them that they are not the only one in the world, but there are many like them and they can find friends who understand them and even close friends.

Correct others in front of your child – If others tend to pass negative or derogatory comments against your child, correct them there and then even if it means doing it in front of your child. This will only reinforce that you accept your children the way they are and also teaches them how to tackle these things calms and keeping your cool.


Bullying – A Topic that Needs a Conversation with kids

Even if we try to avoid this word, the fact is that Bullying is prevalent in the schools in spite of the vigilance. Particularly when kids start school after summer vacation or get into a new school, this is one scare that does make rounds not only in the minds of kids but parents alike. But, its only conversation with your child that can help you reach out to them with these issues.

Bullying

Tell Them You’ve Been There too.
When you want to reach out to your child, you need to be on the same page as that of the child. Then only can you and the child connect? When it comes to bullying, you can reach out to the child stating that you’ve been in the same shoes as theirs and that you’ve trodden the same path when in your childhood days. It’s nothing new, it was there, is there and the only way is through, but smartly. Sharing your own stories makes kids comfortable and helps them feel that they are not the only one being bullied and feel supported.

Don’t Judge them. Listen to Them
Talk to them in a way they feel safe and comfortable speaking out their heart. You may directly ask them to share their feelings with you, without any worries. Tell them you just want to listen out to their say and that they can share anything that is on their mind without feeling awkward or scared. This helps in empowering them because you are respecting their voice. Once they share their thing, it’s important to feel it from within because it could be heartfelt or even outrageous as well.

Parental intervention – When you are on the side of the child being bullied or you’re the parent of the child who is into bullying, both ways you have to handle your child because your actions and words are going to help them work on theirs. So, if your child is into bullying he/ she needs to know how their words and actions can be life-changing and harming the life of that person not only for that moment but for years to come. You can ask them to apologize with their heart and not repeat your deeds again. You need not blame them or yourself but handle it calmly and critically enough. Tell them that apologizing might just help the people they hurt, feel better. For parents whose kids are going through bullying, can share their life experiences with them and also share their own feelings of scare and disgust, etc with the kids. They can also tell the kids that these things do happen and they pass. You need not take them to your heart and that life is going to be okay, and there will be good friends you are going to meet along.

Engage Your Child – This can help. If your child is engaged in activities he or she loves, there is less chance of any distractions as the child concentrates and channelizes energy into the right direction. Hence, enrolling your child in extra-curricular activities like sports, music, art or craft and more is a good way to also get them connected with like-minded friends.

CBSE

Well, conversations that are healthy and instill confidence in your children can help them stand strong for themselves and find their way through the bullying.


Parental Conflict Affects Mental Health of Children

When a couple gets into fights seldom they think about the presence of their child there and how it could affect the mental health of the child adversely. Well, many of them aren’t really aware of this fact and many of the literate are aware and try to be mindful of the same, but fail at times due to their lack to control their emotions at that time. Well, here’s a study which reveals that brawls in a marriage tend to affect your child more adversely than a divorce.

Parental Conflict Affects Mental Health of Children

Around 30% of the children who witness parental conflicts at home are said to develop behavioral issues. This includes their emotional and social skills as well as academics. This can carry forward through their adulthood lasting a life time and even through the next generation.

Children of all ages irrespective of age are affected due to the consistent arguments amongst parents. A study has revealed that babies as young as 6 months of age show higher symptoms of physiological distress when subjected to inter parental conflicts. Outside it affects through high levels of hostility, violence, aggression and inside it’s through anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and in severe cases suicidal feelings.

The report of the study was published in 2017, by the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF). It says that unresolved conflict between parents can cause serious harm to child’s early development, mental health and all through life and beyond.

The fascinating part is that this inter parental conflict impacts on the father and child relationship more than mother and child. Though while devising ways to address the issue simply considering parent child relationship would not get you positive outcomes. Even couple relationships need to be taken into account and supported.

Another critical part to teach our children to cope or manage conflict and learn to move on. Well, all parents want best for their children but life is life and marital issues can crop up into your marriage anytime. The idea is to think about the whole family and not just individual life. Communicating with each other and getting external support to resolve issues while giving priority to your child’s well-being is the key.


Gentle Parenting – The New Age Way to Non Misbehaving Kids

Also known as positive discipline, gentle parenting abstains from giving away any rewards or punishments to encourage good behavior amongst children.

No Compliments or Rewards
Many parents offer their children rewards for doing things or bribes may be in form of lollipops, TV shows, toys, etc. They even use statements like good girl or good boy. In positive discipline method of parenting, parents need to abstain from the above.

No Punishment
Parents also tend to punish kids on misbehaving or wrongdoing by giving a timeout, smacking, scolding, shouting or yelling at them. Positive parenting is about avoiding this too.

Using positive discipline, the idea is to make children empathetic, calm and capable of controlling themselves. Offering rewards or punishments to children apparently teaches them to behave in certain ways, for the purpose of either avoiding punishment or bagging a reward.

The New Age Way to Non Misbehaving Kids

The Gentle Parenting Approach
Positive discipline is about encouraging healthy partnership with children.

  • No Commands – The approach involves giving choices to children than commands.
    Eg. Do you want to brush your teeth first or wear your pajamas?
  • Play way Approach – This involves using play way styles to ask your kids to do stuff
    Eg. Let’s play a game of toy arrangement.
  • Concentrate on Behavior – Sometimes, parents tend to label a child as naughty, quiet, etc. But, more importantly, it’s about the behavior. You may explain to the child how you feel about something.
    Example – I feel frustrated when I have to arrange your clothes and shoes that you throw here and there.
  • Negotiate Limits – Negotiating limits can work well with inculcating positive discipline. For example – How many more minutes before we leave the park?
  • Have Trust – Trust your child and it applies to the behavior as well. If the child is misbehaving, it may be an indicator of some needs that are not met. Try to read between the lines.
  • Parental Timeouts – When angry, the idea is to give yourself a timeout and not the child. Reset yourself and then talk to the child.
  • Treat children as Partners – If a child is involved as an equal partner in the family, he or she has that sense of belonging and even develops responsibility. This also means that the parents apologize, if they go wrong somewhere.
  • No force – This approach is about avoiding from telling children to say sorry or thank-you. It even means not forcing to hug seniors if the child does not want to and listen to why he/she does not want to meet, hug or talk to the particular elder.

Benefits of Gentle Parenting
The believers in this methodology feel that children who are raised using the positive discipline or gentle parenting style tend to be sensitive to needs of others because their own needs are met, they are respected and treated as equal partners in the family.
Well, there is definitely more effort involved in raising children irrespective of using this method but rewards and punishments are only short terms solutions as per a child behavior management expert. Positive parenting helps children become productive members of the family