SHOULD A CHILD BE GIVEN HOMEWORK?
Much homework should not be given to the child. The child already is in school from 8 o’clock to 3 o’clock. He gets up at 6 o’clock to reach school by 8 o’clock. On top of it, when he reaches home by 4 P.M., the thought uppermost in his mind is that he has to complete his homework. In fact, the school timings of a child are roughly equal to office timings of a government employee. When such employees reach home, they are usually tired and stressed out. Do they have to do any homework?
Continue reading Child Care: Should a Child be Given Homework and Undergo Tuition and Should There Be Corporal Punishment?
CURE OF SCHOOL PHOBIA
The important thing is that the child should not miss schools, because then it becomes all the more difficult to cure it. The parents should find out what exactly is making the child fearful of school. Talking with the child and the teachers may reveal the cause. Most likely it will be one of the factors mentioned above (at the age of 3-4 years, it is usually separation anxiety). If the parents feel that the cause is not separation anxiety but something else like a stern teacher, a bully etc., they should not hesitate, but rather go and discuss the matter openly with the principal or the class teacher. Once the parents have an idea of the child’s fear, they can take steps to rectify it, alone; with the help of the teachers; or with the help of doctors.
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❖ All anecdotal reports of a child being toilet trained early (before one and a half-year) are due to a “conditioned reflex” whereby the child becomes conditioned to strain reflexly whenever he feels the potty seat under him. The child is not conscious of the bowel movement nor has it come under his control. He has to be retrained later on in life, which will be a true and learned training. Retraining is harder, so don’t toilet train a child before he is ready for it.
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An important part of a child’s development is to achieve control over his passage of urine and stool. From birth till the age of one and a half-year, the child passes both urine and stool involuntarily in his diapers. Only after that is some sort of control achieved. Culturally, human beings, as opposed to animals, are supposed to pass urine and stool in the toilet. We associate it with a sense of cleanliness.
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❖ Up to 1 year (infancy stage): The key issue is formation of a strong emotional bond between the child and parents.
Continue reading Child Care: Child Psychology and Associated Problems
The child is unable to control urine voiding, usually during nightime. A neonate is a natural enuretic and only by the age of 2-3 years is the child able to have some degree of mastery over his voiding of urine. As the child masters it, he gets up at night whenever he has the urge to pass urine and tells his parents. Such a child, by and large, is day and night-time dry and only occasionally, he may pass urine in his pants e.g. when he is too busy playing or when he is in a deep sleep. Such rare occasions are normal and the child should not be made conscious of it or scolded or made to feel guilty.
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It depends upon the following three important aspects:
1. Anatomical readiness: During the first year, the muscles of the lower half of the body including the muscles that control the sphincters of the bladder and bowel are yet not fully under the control of the nervous system. It is obvious that firstly, the child should gain neurological control over the muscles used for controlling defecation and urination, before he can be toilet trained. When this full neurological control comes differs from child to child. A similar analogy exists for walking also. As mentioned in another chapter (“Growth and Development”), the age at which a child starts walking differs from child to child.
Continue reading Child Care: When are Children Ready for Toilet Training?
• Feeling of guilt: In many situations, parents may feel guilty regarding child-rearing. Common instances are when the mother is a working woman, the baby has some handicap, the child is an adopted one, there is preference for one child over other etc. Whatever the reason for guilt, it acts as a stumbling block in disciplining the child, as the parents expect too little from the child and too much from themselves.
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It is divided for simplification into 4 age groups: infancy (up to 1 year); toddler (1-3 years); preschool (3-6 years); and school going (more than 6 years). The psychological development in these groups is discussed below one by one.
Continue reading Child Care: Normal Psychological Development of a Child
1. Corporal punishment: The term discipline while frequently used to mean some sort of punishment actually is derived from the word “disciple” which means to teach. By complimenting good behaviour, and setting consistent and appropriate limits for unwanted traits, the child is made to distinguish between the desirable and the undesirable, the good and the bad. Punishment, when necessary, should be age appropriate and not psychologically destructive to the child. Corporal punishment is not only less effective than positive reinforcement, but also potentially harmful. It teaches a child that physical aggression is an acceptable way of dealing with anger. In the long run, it makes them insolent and rowdy.
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