Learn to say NO!!!

To become healthy adults, children need to learn to deal with moments of frustration and annoyance, and know their limits.

A few years ago, education was a simple process since there was a clear demarcation of power with clearly defined roles. Adults continued to be governed by their parents and children followed the rules of the older generation without any dispute.
With the passage of time, some educators told us that this type of education was incorrect; it is necessary to hear children out and allow them a more participative role in family relationships. This may be true, but some parents have yielded to the temptation to follow the other extreme.
As a result, we have seen situations in which power is in children's' hands and the whole family avoids countering them for fear that they may undergo trauma or suffer from a psychological ailment. This can be avoided if parents deal with them firmly, following a few guidelines:
Establish the rules from the beginning
Having a child is a process that people usually associate with feelings of affection and some fear. We frequently hear first-time pregnant women voicing the fear of not being a good mother. But they need not worry at first.
Crying is the only way an infant can express comfort/ discomfort. Mother-infant bonding can be so strong that mothers can often decode different tones of crying as soon as three days after childbirth.
There are many possible reactions to a baby crying. For example, an anxious mother will run to the crib immediately and try to soothe the baby while a calmer person will realise that the baby may have woken up from a strange noise and needs a few minutes to recover before he can fall asleep. In this way people create defence mechanisms, which are also used in other situations of psychological discomfort. But these two examples of maternal attitude outlining two distinct ways to educate will consolidate children's behaviour in the years to come.
The problem is that often the decision to enforce rules arises at an advanced stage of the child's life - for example, in adolescence – when the responsiveness of the young is already reduced, or even nullified. 
Consistency is important
On rules, consistency of the father and mother's attitude is vital. We refer to the case of some couples in which one parent sets a rule and the other breaks it, replacing it with another. For example, to ensure that a child does his homework, the mother tells him that he can watch cartoons only when he finishes homework.
Shortly after, the father comes home and tells the mother, "Don't you see how little Johnny also needs to be distracted? There is enough time to do homework after the cartoon show."
Both parents may then have an argument due to their concern and affection for their son, but the attitude they assume will be detrimental for the child's education. Conflict between parents increases at the same time the child accepts the rules of one and rejects the other's. Children also take advantage of the conflict, behaving impeccably when they are with one of the parents but adopting an attitude of defiance when they are with both.

The teenage years

Adolescence is a period that follows childhood and extends into adulthood. It is an important phase in which the child is neither fully an adult nor a child. It usually lasts from the age of 14-20 for boys, and from 12-18 years for girls.

It is a fickle, disruptive and critical period which both parents and children are afraid of. Parents, because they usually ignore the reactions of the child in this period and do not know how to handle him, and the adolescent because he fears a lack of control over his own life.
Parents find it difficult to understand that children eventually grow up and can think and act for themselves. For rebellious teens, maturity is often all in the head.
All those from my generation remember our own teenage years, in which we experienced unexplained character changes, those bodily sensations that were beyond our understanding and that urge to eat everything.
Our first cigarette, our first drink, our first kiss and our first disappointment in love.
Adolescents are usually impetuous and seek new experiences, believing they are larger than life and sufficiently intelligent to overcome all obstacles that come in the way of achieving their goals.
But very often, it seems that everything goes wrong. In addition, they often feel they can only trust their friends because their parents have stopped understanding them.
The status quo ceases to exist, parents no longer protect the child and he has to face different challenges in life that lead to the adult world.
In this way, they often face other teenagers whose family ties are not too strong, whose parents are no longer concerned about them, or simply those suffering from a behavioural disorder.
No matter how grown-up and strong
he may pretend to be, the teen is still fragile. With this assumption, I want to get to a very common theme within the group - juvenile delinquency.
We call a young person who is found guilty of an offence that would qualify as a crime if an adult had committed it, a juvenile delinquent. The most common crimes are related to vandalism of property and violence.
Different theories have been put forward to explain the phenomenon. Among them is contact with other criminals, peer pressure, and seeking popularity or adventure.
The prognosis of offenders is not too good because they usually live in slums and if they are not removed from that environment, it is very difficult, almost impossible for them to leave crime.
When it comes to behavioural disorders, the best therapy is behaviour modification while the therapist works with the immediate environment to achieve a change of attitude.
Teenagers need a secure family life, which provides a suitable environment for finding the stability that will lead them into maturity. Disoriented by their internal contradictions, they seek approval and affection to be able to understand what's happening.
The world suddenly opens up and that is how a teenager explores it, without order or logical start; time passes quickly and he has a lot to absorb. Parents may be left perplexed by their energy levels and search for spiritual values and understanding.
Teens want to be popular, be admired and trusted, and mimic adults to achieve their goals.
Parents will need a lot of patience to deal with this disruptive period. They must enforce the rules and value their teen's emotions at the same time.
This is the key to achieving a balance so that when the child grows up, he can look back on his adolescence and remember it as one of the best stages in his life, and not the worst.

Anxiety neurosis

Anxiety neurosis is a mental disorder characterised by an almost constant state of restlessness, anguish, fear, etc., which is like a malaise. The affected person is in constant tension and has a fear of something that he may not be able to define.

He often has negative feelings and has no control over them. This state of mind changes the person's life to an extent where he is not in sync with reality. His life and relationships are also affected. A change of job, home, marriage or any other situation involving change can lead to a state of great anxiety and agitation.
A patient of anxiety neurosis feels the need to constantly do something in order to get away from his emotional turmoil. People who are anxious, apprehensive and nervous often have difficulty concentrating and reflecting upon things.
They are agitated and have difficulty sleeping or sleep fitfully because of frequent nightmares. They may be light sleepers, which leads them to feel tired or low on energy during the day.
They experience bodily sensations such as excessive sweating, tachycardia, respiratory disorders, stomach pain, intestinal disturbances, poor digestion and other changes of the autonomic nervous system. Sometimes this state of mind aggravates other situations such as allergies, dermatitis and other problems.
Anyone can experience anxiety, especially in these times. It has become a constant factor in the lives of many. Depending on the degree or
frequency, it can become pathological and lead to many related problems. Therefore, it is not always pathological and can be situational as well.
For example, some people start biting their nails when they are anxious. Anxiety causes the sufferer to lose a good part of his self-esteem. He may stop doing certain things because he thinks he will be unable to perform them. In this way, the term anxiety is somehow connected to the word fear, and the person is afraid of making mistakes when performing different tasks, without even trying.
Very high levels of anxiety, especially when presented with shyness or depression, prevent the person from developing his own intellectual potential. It interferes not only with learning in the case of traditional education, but in social intelligence as well. The individual will not know how to behave in social occasions or at work, which can lead to career stagnation.
Psychotherapy can help deal with this situation, as well as relaxing activities like yoga, tai-chi and other physical exercises which release stress and lead to relaxation. Therapy helps in identifying the causes of anxiety so that they can be eliminated.
Anxiety has a lot to do with the personality. People  inherit it from their parents or other relatives, or it may be a learnt behaviour. Loss of loved ones can often aggravate this condition, and so can other stressful situations experienced throughout life.
To summarise, we need to know what causes anxiety and also how to handle it, so that the affected person can continue with a normal life after psychotherapy.

Children’s Drawings

For a child, drawing is, in addition to a means of recreation, also a mode of communication. Before starting psychotherapy, or in case a child faces problems in school, a psychologist will use drawing in order to understand what is going on.

Throughout the treatment, the psychologist collects drawings by the child to get a clear idea of the child's state of mind and, at the same time, ensure that psychotherapy is having the desired effect.
Evolution of children's drawing
Around the age of 18 months, a child begins to take interest in making pencil strokes. Scribbling usually starts with making circular shapes. In the beginning, their drawings are devoid of meaning.
Only strokes that are made at a given moment, through even a slight resemblance to reality, are meaningful for a child. If you ask the child what he drew, he can tell you that it was a plane, but it could change to a table or even a cracker later.
Sometimes strokes do not represent anything in particular, so he will give you an interpretation that is most relevant at that moment. Around the age of two or three, children begin to draw vertical, horizontal and parallel lines.
At this stage, their designs are intended to be realistic, but can't be for both physical and mental reasons (The child has little or no control over his movements and his attention span is very limited).
What is most difficult to understand in children's drawings is the proportions. It is common to see designs that have only arms, or hair that is longer than the legs. Strange little figures may come up, with the legs to the side of the body, or the eyes shifted. Children often fail to take into account the elements of each drawing.
Between the ages of three and six, drawings are very different from those of an adult. For a child, a realistic drawing is one that contains all the elements he associates with an object. Houses often have transparent walls, with the furniture and occupants visible.
Human figures are often mixed up. For example, the head, arms, bodies and legs may be drawn differently. Adult observations on drawings can often be counterproductive, as they will impair spontaneity.
If you say that a profile picture drawn by a child is not appropriate because it features both eyes, for example, he may not like it. The different perspective of a child must be appreciated and is a way of encouraging creativity.
Around the age of seven, a child begins to criticise and seek feedback for his own drawings. This stage begins gradually and is not without setbacks. At this age, he can make drawings that are intellectually and visually realistic. Around the age of 12, the intellectual realism is perfectly honed.
Symbols in drawings
In dreams, symbols become meaningful when they are related to personal associations. Drawings also gain meaning in the same manner.
One of the best-known symbols is the sun, often associated with a father figure. The moon is a classic example of a female symbol. Containers and other objects such as jugs, jars, boxes and pockets are distinctly feminine symbols.
Water is commonly associated with life. Colours are associated with different feelings. For example, red is the most emotional colour and is associated with aggression, destruction and sexual awareness.
Blue, being a cool colour, is symbolically associated with depressive feelings. The same goes for the colour black. Yellow symbolises joy, strength and vitality.

Dealing with Phobia

Fear is a universal and old instinct. It can be defined as a feeling that you are in danger and that something very bad is about to happen, and is often accompanied by physical symptoms. When fear is disproportionate to the threat posed by a situation, irrational and followed by avoidance of situations, it is called a phobia.

Almost everyone has one or two irrational fears. Some are afraid of mice, others of spiders, and yet others terrified of heights. For most people, these fears are minor. But for others, they are so strong that they cause tremendous anxiety and interfere with their day-to-day life.
When fears are irrational and uncontrollable, they are called phobias. If you live in fear due to a phobia, there is still hope, and you can overcome your phobias with the right treatment and some self-help strategies. Don't wait to seek help.
In addition to seeking professional help, there are some strategies that may help overcome phobias. Learning about these is the first step towards overcoming them. It is important to recognise that phobias are common, and easily treated by psychotherapy.
There are three basic types of phobia:
- Agoraphobia: A widespread fear of places or situations. This includes a fear of being outside the house alone, of being in a crowd, getting stuck in a queue or of travelling alone
- Social phobia: This occurs when someone has a marked and persistent fear of appearing in front of others or meeting people, often for fear that they will misunderstand their anxiety. This can be specific to a situation or widespread.
- Specific phobias: A sharp and persistent fear (or simple anticipation) of things like flying, sight of blood, injections and heights. These make people steer clear of many situations and stay indoors.
To understand what is happening, think of yourself in a pleasant situation at some point. If you are in good company and there is good music playing in the background, you remember the situation every time you hear that song.
If you stop to think about it, the music does not only remind you of the situation, but you may even experience the same pleasant feelings that you felt at that time.
It is the same for the brain. We experience strong emotions at times, which are linked to whatever happens around us. Phobias usually occur when panic is triggered in situations that are potentially dangerous.
For example, no one likes being cornered or being near a person or an animal that poses a risk. Being stuck in traffic, an elevator or a mall is, for those who suffer from certain types of phobia, a situation of being cornered. For this reason, many people who are prone to panic end up developing a phobia of closed places.
When it comes to panic attacks, professional treatment and therapy can make a big difference. But learning more about panic also helps sufferers. The mere knowledge of pathology will relieve symptoms.
Reading about anxiety, panic disorders and similar conditions will help you understand that your sensations and feelings are nothing unusual, and you are not going crazy. Learn to control your breathing. A deep breath helps relieve symptoms of a panic attack and calms down an anxious person.
Practice relaxation techniques. When practiced regularly, activities such as yoga, meditation, and stretching and relaxation of muscles will help reduce the symptoms significantly.


Motivation is a set of internal forces that mobilise an individual to achieve a particular purpose in response to a state of necessity, lack or imbalance. The word 'motivation' comes from the Latin movere, meaning to move.

Motivation is what is likely to move an individual to perform an act in order to achieve something (the goal). Motivation can be broadly classified into two major types.
Physiological motivation (primary, organic, biological): This includes activities linked to the survival of an organism and is not the result of a learning process.
Homeostasis is a mechanism used by living organisms to regulate their bodies' internal balance. Such mechanisms cause certain body impulses that are closely connected with a particular internal state of the organism like respiration, hunger, thirst, avoiding cold and heat, and sleep.
Social motivation (secondary, cultural): This is what is essentially a result of learning, ie acquired in the process of socialisation. Examples: Need for coexistence (affiliation), success, recognition and social security. This group can be subdivided into individual centric motivation and that focused on society.
a) Individual-centric (self-assertion) motivation stems from the desire to be accepted, the need for security, to belong to a group, to achieve a high social status etc.
b) Motivation focused on society (independent of our private interests) includes respect for others, solidarity, friendship, love etc.
Some question this division of motives, stating that they all have a common background - the pursuit of pleasure, which is the only real reason for all human actions.
Motivational cycle
1. Need is a reason behind an action. It is caused by a state of imbalance due to a lack or deprivation (eg lack of food in the body).
2. Push or drive: It is the act carried out because of need or reason. It is the internal energy that pushes an individual to act in a given direction.
3. Encouragement: Is the goal to which orients the action.
4. Satiety: Is the satisfaction of having achieved the desired objective. This sequential behaviour repeats itself.
When an individual is motivated to achieve a given objective, but cannot, due to an obstacle, he lives in a state of frustration. This feeling depends on many factors, like the subject's personality, age, nature of motivation, type of obstacle etc.
Reactions to frustration: Each kind of frustration has a particular reaction. The reactions too depend on many factors.
Behaviour resulting from frustration
Aggression: Aggression is direct when it is shown against the source that caused the frustration. Or, it can shift to other people or objects. For example, for a child, it could be directed on the parent who prevents him from playing (direct aggression). Or, the child destroys the toys with which the parent prevented play (displaced aggression).
Throughout the process of socialisation, an individual learns to deal with frustrations through inhibition, withdrawal or disguising manifestations of aggressiveness. In extreme situations, the individual may manifest aggressiveness on himself (self-harm).
Apathy (indifference or inactivity): Faced with ongoing frustrations, an individual can fall into an apathetic reaction (indifference towards the source of frustration).
Here, the motivating impulse behaviour is reduced or eliminated

Educating through play

Small children learn a lot better when you associate the act of learning with the pleasures of a game. If you only communicate the idea, they won’t learn as easily as through a game. The concept will be immediately absorbed. This issue is fundamental because we can do a lot of work with children, using games as a tool.
Teaching children to build toys using scrap is extremely easy. A stopper and a bottle can become a spacecraft. The child represents it with his or her imagination. Free yourself from the constraints of ready toys.
Presenting various materials can stimulate the child’s imagination. It is always preferable to build games or toys that are very simple, a rag doll for example. Children quickly lose interest in sophisticated toys as their use depletes quickly.
Colours and sounds
The more the intimacy with the child, the more parents are able to know what pleases him. Colour, texture, versatility and simplicity are factors to be taken into account in the choice of a toy.
In addition, we have to always bear in mind the age of the child. It he is too small, he will tend to put everything in his mouth. Toys with sharp edges and small parts can be dangerous.
In the first three months, toys that make sound are most enjoyed. Moving toys, colourful mobiles, music boxes, plush dolls etc are preferred.
Make-believe games
Symbolic games play an important part when the child is around two years of age. Now is the time to let him play freely. This way, the child can accomplish his desires and resolve conflicts by means of toys.
Simple and colourful toys like docking games, Lego blocks, dolls, pieces of cloth, encourage imagination and are most appreciated and enjoyed. When the child reaches around five years, ‘make-believe’ games come into play; the oscillation between inner and outer worlds allow the child to assume different roles and personalities.

Playing is necessary

Things like playing are important for the development of a child. We can be led to think that a game is just a way to pass time, but it is clearly much more than that. A game comes to us as a more spontaneous child activity, contributing to the growth and development of various facets of personality. The function of a game is self educating. It is through this that the child grows and evolves into adolescence and maturity.

Psychomotricity and intellectual activity
Toys favour development of gestures, movement coordination and control. While playing with marbles, for example, children try to acquire some precision. This precision is of utmost importance for motor coordination. At the same time, the attraction by colours or by shapes, their proper use, and in some didactical games, the possibility of seriation (from the largest to smallest; different sizes and colour), can promote the development of thought.
The child learns, stores data in his memory and studies the cause-effect relationship. This helps him find new strategies to solve problems and learn how to control emotions.

Security and affection
A toy has strong significance in this area. Powered by magical forces, it allows an affective relationship whose effect can be very reassuring. We all know children who sleep hooked to their dolls or teddy bears because these seem to transmit security and affection.
Replace, symbolically, the mother and, in this way, it is possible to find an internal balance. The intensity of the relationship established between children and their toys, combined with the possibility of downloading emotions and feelings, is often a spontaneous process of psychotherapy.
A child may toss his or her doll into the air, beat it or pull off its hair as a way to vent inner rage that could be very harmful if continued to be internalised. Parents get worried when their child, while playing with a friend, uses words like “kill you,” or "I'll shoot you.” These moments are of utmost importance because they can put away internal conflicts.
Never give children the idea that the world around us is full of good things. There are fairies and princes, but also witches.
This is a time when their aggression is expanded and exorcises the bad things that exist within it. If the child is able to embody the big bad wolf and Little Red Riding Hood, he will have a chance to become a balanced adult who, in adverse situations, will find sensible solutions.
Learning the rules
While sharing play activities with others, respecting rules of the game, assuming different roles and including other participants, the child learns rules of human behaviour and draws up a process of socialisation.
Through these things, he realises that there are laws that one needs to respect for things to go well. "Now it's my turn,” "I won and you lost..." terms like these convey the message that children must respect others so that they can maintain a healthy co-existence.

What is hyperactivity?

Hyperactive children have difficulty in observing and learning. They are unable to filter stimuli and are easily distracted. These children are usually very talkative, talk loudly and at inopportune moments.
They are always on the move, always doing something and are unable to stay silent. They are impulsive and do not stop to look or listen. Due to their seemingly endless reserves of energy, curiosity and need to explore things, they are more prone to injury and to break and damage things.
Hyperactive children do not have much patience. Their moods often fluctuate, making parents, teachers, adults and friends bear the brunt of their tantrums. These children form a quick attachment to people and need lots of attention to keep them calm.
It is important for parents to make hyperactive children understand social rules and expectations. The problem is that such children find it difficult to obey them. This behaviour is incidental and not deliberate.
For a hyperactive child and his family, a trip to an amusement park or supermarket can be potentially disastrous. There's just a lot going on and it is very stimulating at the same time. Due to an inability to concentrate and the constant bombardment of stimuli, a hyperactive child may become stressed.
With a constant desire to please, a hyperactive child is unable to control himself. He can be gradually discouraged from hyperactive behaviour. The child is usually intelligent, but you can't slow down the nervous system, which requires the mind's potential to complete a task.
A hyperactive child often feels isolated and segregated from his peers, but doesn't understand why he is so different. Such children are sometimes disturbed by their own disability. Unable to perform routine tasks at school, on the playground or at home, a hyperactive child can suffer from stress, depression and low self-esteem.
A behavioural specialist can help you distinguish between a normally active and energetic child and a hyperactive one. Even the smallest of children can run around and play happily for hours on end without showing any sign of fatigue or feeling sleepy.
An accurate diagnosis is essential to ensure that the child receives proper treatment. Ask the child's teacher to speak to the doctor or send you a written report.
A child specialist can usually make an accurate diagnosis.
To treat an overactive child, help him interact with family members and to make friends at school. Parents of hyperactive children are often worried and always on the alert. Consequently, it is easy to feel tired and frustrated at times.

Food guidelines
Start eliminating refined sugar and additives from your child's diet. Read the labels carefully and eliminate processed foods that contain colourants, preservatives and artificial sweeteners, as well as flavouring, which is commonly related to nitrates, sulphites and benzoates.
Studies show that more than 50 per cent of hyperactive children have fewer behavioural and sleep problems when they follow a restricted diet that does not contain artificial additives and chemicals, chocolate, monosodium glutamate, preservatives and caffeine.

The first step is to look for a competent psychologist and get your child assessed so that you can understand what is going on.
Before any treatment is prescribed, a physical examination should be done to rule out other causes of erratic behaviour, such as a chronic middle ear infection, sinusitis, visual impairment, hearing aids and other neurological problems.
Make the child participate in projects that he likes, to help him concentrate. Learning to focus will gradually change the way he sees the world. Seek his help to complete a project. This will help him feel competent and acquire a greater sense of self esteem. When he completes a task successfully, do not forget to compliment him. Verbal praise can be a great source of encouragement.

Obesity in children

What is Obesity
Obesity is a chronic illness that comes with multiple complications, characterized by excessive accumulation of fat within a magnitude such that compromises the health, among the most common complications is diabetes mellitus, hypertension, lipid metabolism, musculoskeletal changes and the increased incidence of some types of carcinoma and mortality rates.
Obesity is the result of ingesting more energy than necessary. There is no doubt that this excessive consumption can start time phased very remote, in which the cultural influences and family habits have a key role. So we say that obesity has multiple character factors, such as genetic, psychosocial agents, cultural, nutritional-metabolic and endocrine. Obesity therefore is generated by interaction between genetic factors and cultural, as well as families.
There is a clear trend among members of the same family have a body mass index (BMI) similar. There are several scientific publications that have demonstrated a correlation between BMI of fathers and sons, suggesting that probably both genes as a shared family environment, contribute to the development of obesity.
Obesity in childhood
According to the Child Psychiatry Manual, 1983, a child is considered obese when exceeds 15 average weight corresponding to his age, since excess weight corresponds to the accumulation of lipids, which can be measured by the thickness of the fold of skin. However, it is not easy to establish parameters which define exactly the boundary between normal weight, overweight and obesity.
Influence of genetic heritage
The biological variety of the people regarding the storage of excess energy intake is too large. This fact is closely related to the individual susceptibility and their genetic heritage.
Accordingly, some people will never have overweight or obese, others may increase in weight as they increase in age, and yet others can start weight increase since childhood and keep it in later ages.
Therefore, believe doctors and experts from various areas of the participants, it is possible to reduce the Consensus influence of genetic susceptibility to changes in culture by making food family and also of the population as a whole, through education and prevention programs.
Psychological factors have an influence on Obesity
Also takes into account the influence of emotional disorders and psychological factors on the prevalence of obesity. the psychic mechanisms of oral fixation, oral regression and overestimating the value of foods are of great impact on the way people develop eating habits. It is common, for example, that a past history of body image depression and poor appetite control primitive conditioning leads to eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia and obesity.
However, in addition to the genetic, psychological and family influences, the most important factors for the increase in the incidence of obesity was added in the sedentary life habits and consumption of processed foods with the highest content of fats, carbohydrates and less amount of fiber.


Stuttering is a language disorder occurring in about 0.8 per cent of children and adolescents.

Causes of stuttering
Some studies on stuttering twins led the authors to claim the existence of a genetic factor as one of the causes of stuttering. Other cases of stammering in the family were found in 34 per cent of cases.
Based on these studies, scientists have found that, if a man has a history of stuttering, his daughters will have a 10-20 per cent chance of suffering from the disorder as well. Many stutterers are also left-handed or face difficulties related to laterality as children, i.e., poor coordination of gestures.
These problems can be identified in children who have an ability to stick objects together and solve puzzles. Although initially all fingers pointed to the existence of correlation between lateralisation and language disorders, it is certain that many left-handers never suffer from speech disorders.
A large number of authors say that the parent-child relationship can sometimes trigger stammering.
The mother's emotional attitude is vital in stimulating the infant to communicate, and the quality of communication depends entirely on how encouraging this relationship is.
Mothers who are distant and a little cold towards the child can trigger anxiety that may lead to the first symptoms of stuttering. Often this type of behaviour by a mother oscillates in a contradictory manner, swinging between a possessive attitude or one of rejection or aggression.
At one moment the mother can be extremely affectionate, but may later be emotionally unavailable. These attitudes may disturb children and result in speech disorders.
Stuttering can be very annoying in adolescent social life. Being a teenager, by itself, is a time of great internal conflict. When some teenagers face this problem, they become even more greedy for social contact, but face difficulties because of stammering. Others become a subject of mockery for their peers.
This causes low self-esteem and can lead to isolation. School psychologists have found that those who stammer often have a higher than average IQ. However, despite the fact that stuttering is not a mental defect, it does not cease to be a big disadvantage for adaptation in school.
It is for this reason that the average school delay of stutterers is estimated at a year and a half. Family members may be overprotective of a child who stammers, leading to slower development.
What the family can do
Do not increase the child's anxiety. Talk quietly, making him feel that you have the time to listen to what he is saying.
Listen to the stories he tells, appreciating, whenever possible, his capacity for observation. This way, you can show how much you like to listen and talk to him despite the speech impairment.
Resist the urge to stop the child and help him by completing sentences.
Help him increase his vocabulary and gift of speech by reading him a story at bedtime. This will benefit the child once he starts school.
Avoid exposing the child to complicated situations that cause anxiety. Try to find a balance, never giving into the temptation of overprotecting, but always bearing in mind that your child's self-esteem is fragile. Don't let the family comment or make fun of this problem.
Play games with your child that include singing songs and reciting verses. Children usually react well when something is intoned peacefully. This will prepare the child for pre-school.
Solutions for stammering
There are several ways to address this problem:
Speech therapy
Practicing relaxation techniques
Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy is effective by itself or as a complement to other kinds of intervention. Those going through specific crises in adolescence can benefit from it. Psychotherapy is also an option to be considered in order to free children of any anxieties or conflict.

Sibling rivalry

When we think of rivalry between siblings, things like jealousy, envy, competition, and other abnormal and negative behaviour always comes to mind. Jealousy is reprehensible and forbidden, especially when experienced by an older child on the birth of a sibling.

Many parents tell the older child that jealousy is ugly and should never exist as he is the younger one's friend and play companion. This is true, but there is another aspect to it.
When a younger sibling is born, he will share everything the older child was so far used to getting all for himself. These include parental love, the house, sometimes the room, toys and relatives' attention.
The older child realises this at the outset when his mother gets pregnant. The division of the womb begins from then on. Jealousy in this case is expected, and therefore normal.
It is unusual when the older child does not experience any rivalry towards the new-born and treats him amicably. If that happens, we can say that this is strange and disturbing. It is generally not part of the nature of the child, and, of course, his jealousy may surface sometimes.
Intense jealousy can be a source of great anxiety for parents. Jealousy in children, when it is not too strong, is a normal personality trait. It involves a healthy rivalry. When this occurs in sibling relationships, it is a preparatory training for the competitive phase, which the child must face in the social and professional environment later.
Hostility and hatred are the most common manifestations of jealousy. Hostility can range from mild manifestations of aggression and minor peeves to a complete intolerance of the younger sibling, with a desire to 'eliminate' the hated individual.
Jealousy can also be manifested indirectly. The child experiences anxiety and directs his hostility openly towards his brother.
There may also be a regression in the older child's behaviour: anger or aggression against the parents, a lack of appetite, refusal to study or failure in academic tests.
When this phase extends so far, it may threaten the child's personality growth, leading to ambivalence and indecision, difficulty in carrying out tasks that require a capacity for abstraction, as well as in reaching logical conclusions.
In order to rebel against a younger sibling's presence, a child may do the opposite of what parents want him to. For example, if the parents want him to be a good student, be disciplined, etc, the child may behave in exactly the opposite manner in order to attract their attention.
There are also passive mechanisms. The child sometimes internalises his hostility. He may experience nervous tics and speech difficulties, begin bed-wetting or want parents to put food in his mouth - stages which he may have already outgrown.
Another passive mechanism is when the child is listless, dull, lazy and unenthusiastic. He may also lock himself in emotionally, and cease normal relations with other family members.
Since affectivity and intelligence are closely linked, the academic progress and personality development of these children is often impacted. Another passive mechanism is self-devaluation. The child thinks he is not important anymore and keeps a low profile. This depressive reaction may even lead to self-destructive behaviour.
Parents need to praise the child and channel his aggression into activities he performs with ease, such as swimming or another sport. He should be encouraged to make new friends and visit different places. Comparisons with the younger sibling must obviously be avoided. They are inevitable, but will hopefully be done by outsiders.
To say that a younger sibling is more intelligent, capricious or loving will not serve to stimulate a child. On the contrary, it will only make him feel ashamed and inferior. When he grows up, he is likely to be perceived as unwise or unaffectionate, which is not unusual.
We often find adults or teenagers who think they are ugly, incompetent or unimaginative because they always have been compared to younger siblings or other children.
Comparisons of this kind undermine the child's character traits and delay his development. When we talk about comparisons made by parents, we must also take into account their preferences, which can affect the child's emotional development.
Parents should identify and highlight the positive behaviour of each child. Their individual skills and talents should always be valued and never compared. When a child shares a caring and loving relationship with his parents, he will find other relationships easier to manage.

Gifted Children

It is difficult to determine the mental development of a child. It is particularly difficult to assess in very young children. Educators recognise two types of skills - intellectual and creative - and programmes for gifted children today are labelled ‘gifted and talented’. Bright and healthy children from stimulating environments often cannot fit into these classifications. Usually, they are very inquisitive about the world around them, are creative with words as they learn to speak and, while they are playing, are creative with toys.

Some love books and learn to read well before school age. They are eager to learn and some show early indications of interest and a special talent for music, art, theatre or dance. The fantasy world is a strong call for some who use their imaginations in creative ways.
If you’re a mother or father of a child who may be gifted, you’re probably happy about that, but at the same time, maybe, also concerned. You may be torn between pushing too hard and challenging enough to stimulate your child’s brilliance. A formal evaluation is the most reliable way to determine whether the development of a child lies in the official classification of ‘gifted and talented’.
The evaluation of a gifted child should be performed by a person or a service that has experience with young children and also with tests and methods of appropriate interpretation.
This involves the use of certain standardised tests which measure the development of skill levels and talent, but almost never involve evaluating the use of intelligence tests, because of the instability of IQ at early ages.
The results of an evaluation indicate, which areas of learning that a child may begin to dominate at an early age and the reading level appropriate for him/her.
Many gifted and talented children do not read before going to school. Early reading is not the sole criterion for mental or exceptional creative ability. An assessment of your child is a good idea to accumulate evidence or information.
Keep a written record of his/her observation. Use examples and note these features:
Early talking with a vocabulary similar to that of an adult and exceptionally insightful questions or comments or cunning,
Excellent memory,
Knack for drawing or other artwork,
Ability to focus on an activity for long periods of time.
Educators also suggest that you continue to encourage your child’s natural curiosity, without pressure or force. Provide any enriching experiences as possible, especially that your child likes. Take advantage of opportunities in bookstores, children’s museums and the like. Try to find other parents willing to join you and share your knowledge and enthusiasm and lead children to appropriate educational tours.
Remember that the most gifted children are children first, then gifted. It is easy to treat a gifted child as if she were much older, however, they are immature for some things.
All children, whatever their abilities and potentials, need love, attention. Parents should not try to turn them into miniature adults.

Does couple therapy help?

When differences arise between a couple, should they work on the relationship or separate? How and when should this decision be made?

As in any relationship, one person is more flexible and understanding than the other. Some spouses are more radical and have low tolerance levels, especially when it comes to dealing with change. I have noticed differences arising between couples when one partner perceives that the other’s attitude is not the same as before.
Complaints like “But you were not...,” “have changed,” “you don’t go out with me anymore...," “spend too much time in the office” then begin to emerge. What leads to this change? How does a union get affected when both partners are troubled?
When we unite with someone, we need to be completely sure that the decision is the right one for infinite happiness. However, it turns out over several years that life is dynamic and can change, situations change, and that these personal changes sometimes end up interfering with the union.
Small differences lead to lengthy discussions and bickering as the couple becomes a family with the arrival of children. In addressing this subject, I refer to the most tense situations, where the climate is less conducive to dialogue and understanding.
The question asked in the title is almost impossible to answer because each case is unique. There are no fast rules, but there are some considerations to be made for reflection.
Communication is undeniably present in any relationship, regardless of whether it includes affection or not. A kind gesture can be disregarded by someone who does not even recognise the act. A misplaced word can give rise to a heated discussion if there is no tolerance and understanding from a partner.
Some people always try to read between the lines of what is said or done. They are always wondering, “Did the person have an intention to attack me by saying that? Or was he/she distracted and answered abruptly?”
One of the two may become a control freak and ask too many questions, wanting to be aware of the minutest details of the partner’s day. Or else one may plan several things without bothering that the other partner does not even show the slightest interest in any of it.
Many times, change occurs in conjunction with good understanding. Sometimes one partner cannot understand the suffering of the other one, who may be displaying unusual behaviour or keeping a distance.
I believe that couple therapy may help in these cases. The therapist enters as a mediator, trying to translate what one partner means and the other cannot understand, mostly under the influence of emotions.
Is there a way to initiate separation when a person has no courage to face the situation? Initiating dialogue can be complicated, because when the partners try to communicate, they may get overwhelmed and not arrive at any conclusion.
Even if there is affection between them, if a distance is gradually building up and making the partners indifferent, the presence of a professional contributes greatly to the clarity of the picture.
There is no one advice that one can give such couples. They can either separate, or stay in the relationship and tolerate the situation.
The final decision will always be up to the partners. However, during counselling sessions, the couple gets a chance to discuss their problems and complaints, which may bring them closer and help them clarify misunderstandings. The truth appears and fears diminish, making things clearer.
A fear of change is inherent in human beings. It is one of the reasons that people are often miserable. Many things change with separation, and this is why people tend to delay decisions.
Therefore, to sum it up, couple therapy is a good option when one or both partners realise that there is something missing in the relationship.