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Problems in Childhood

Recognize the Problems in Childhood. Life isn't a bed of roses. There are hiccups sometimes. Help your child overcome them with the least amount of emotional damage.

Like the Yin and Yang symbol, you don't really know how lucky and happy you are until problems in childhood occur. Enjoy every minute that you share with your family and always tell them that you love them.

I tell my kids how much I love them every single day. You are everything to them now, so use this to encourage them to do the things you want them to do and get your approval.

Here are some pointers on Raising Happy Children.

Yin and Yan

Some of the problems in childhood that parents face can be relatively minor. These can be rectified in a short period of time by counselling and guiding your child on how to overcome the challenge. We are our children's best coaches. You cannot believe how much time my husband and I spend just talking to our kids and motivating them. I really wonder sometimes how we turned out OK when my parents hardly spent any time saying an encouraging word to me!

Young children can suffer some of the problems listed below :

We all have our own take on these issues, but we should try to be as receptive as possible to your child's signals. Don't trivialize the problem but conversely, don't blow it out of all proportion (My hubby just goes ballistic if someone bullies his little girls :-( ). Sometimes it is difficult for your child to admit to you something unpleasant that he may perceive as a weakness on his part.


Behavioural Problems & Anti-social Behaviour

As it applies to your child, so it applies to the parent too. Always face any behavioural problems as soon as possible. Don't go into denial! Get counselling and psychological help for your child if necessary. Please don't pretend the problem isn't there or that it will go away in time. That is just the ostrich in all of us talking, face the issue before someone cuts off our heads while it is sticking in the ground. Over time if left to fester, it could become much more serious and irreversible, leading to crimes such as stealing, addiction, premarital sex, drinking and drugs.

The police in Singapore are coming across more and more cases of kids getting in trouble with the law, even as young as 12 years old. Some of them are defiant and disdainful of the police. If you can't control your child at 7 years old, how can you hope to influence them at 17 years old when they are older, stronger and running with their own crowd especially if their friends are bad company?

Be proactive, take action as soon as you notice something amiss with your child. I always used to think mothers were like insects, we can just pick up a smell when something is wrong. Remember that everything is habit-forming. Don't allow bad ones to set.

I worry so much for my elder daughter especially since she is my first child, I have actually had sleepless nights just because of my concern over some issue or other. I truly believe in nipping a problem in the bud.

Physical Problems

'Always face reality - It isn't what we wish things to be, nor the way they appear to be, but the way they actually are. Acknowledge reality and use it to your benefit, or it will automatically work against you.' Robert Ringer

Physical problems such as :

  • Weight problems - Childhood Obesity
  • Sickness or Illness - eg Allergies / Asthma (Tip: Swimming is great for overcoming asthma!)
  • Mental Illness - Seek medical help as soon as possible. I consider bipolar personality disorders, bulimia and anorexia etc to be illnesses of the mind.

There have been numerous cases of bored school girls in Singapore cutting themselves with pen-knives. We are so fortunate to live in the land of plenty and yet there are kids so self-absorbed that they would willingly hurt themselves for no good reason. It really gives you something to think about.

Recommended reading on taking action in life : 'Action! Nothing Happens Until Something Moves' by Robert Ringer

Learning Disabilities

  • ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder) - Sports is essential for such kids to expend all their excess energy. Please seek medical help and medicate if necessary. I have come across cases where poor impulse control prevalent in ADHD kids have led them to commit crimes.
  • Child Autism - The Autistic spectrum is so wide from the high-functioning to the uncontrollable screaming. A time magazine article speculated that Autism is perhaps a manifestation of an ultra-male brain, that is less empathetic than a female brain.
  • Dyslexia is learning disability that impairs a person's fluency or comprehension accuracy in being able to read. Singapore's former Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew and his daughter, a surgeon, both suffer from Dyslexia. This shows that intelligent individuals can overcome this disability to reach the full potential of their abilities.
  • Dyscalculia (or Maths disability) is an innate difficulty in learning or comprehending arithmetic. It is akin to dyslexia and includes difficulty in understanding numbers, learning how to manipulate numbers, learning maths facts, and a number of other related symptoms.

Physical Disabilities

Physical disabilities like Deafness (Refer to the Singapore Association for the Deaf for assistance) can be mitigated by Early Intervention. If you haven't read Em's Story, please take the time to read it now. Em showed me what a determined and never-say-die attitude can do. If she had left her sons alone, they wouldn't have been able to achieve even a fraction of what they are doing now. I always marvel that without these handicaps, we the parents of normal kids are facing so many problems. Shame on us if we can't guide our kids to soar!

Computer Usage

This also includes addiction to the TV, iPad, iPhone, laptop, PSP, Gameboy and Arcade games.

I know it is so easy to just let your kids play with these gadgets and give you some peace. I am guilty of that sometimes too.

But watch this Ted.com video by psychologist Philip Zimbardos, the leader of the notorious 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment talking about how excessive gaming is causing a disconnect between our boys and society.

The location of your computer is very important, place it somewhere central with a lot of traffic so everyone helps to monitor the kids. They should be given time limits when they are using any devices. Parents must practise internet safety (though most kids are smart enough to get around any computer controls we set up).

True stories :

  • One parent I know bought a laptop for her 10 year old son only to discover one day that he had been hiding in his room using the laptop to surf porn sites. Where do you go from there?
  • My best friend left her 5 year old son for 5 minutes while he was watching car races on YouTube. She returned to find him watching pole-dancing. He had innocently keyed in 'pole' in the search.
  • Another friend's 14 year old cousin was found by a sexual predator in a chatroom. He started to send sexually explicit pictures to her knowing she was only 14 years old. Her mother on discovering the pictures, reported it to the police. He turned out to be part of a group of guys hunting for under-aged girls in chatrooms and had even had sex with some of them.
  • A group of 10 year old school girls from a premier Singapore school started a blog in which they denigrated their parents, some even wishing that their mothers would just die! What heartbreak for their mothers if they discovered this...
  • One friend had a girlfriend who was such an addicted gamer, she sometimes didn't eat, bathe or sleep because she couldn't bear to leave the computer.

Kids just believe everything on the web to be the gospel truth. They are trusting and should be taught that not everyone out there is good and kind. There are bad people out there too. Most kids are not ready to see sexually explicit material. There is no undertanding and worse, their BS filter is not even on!

Victims of Molestation & Sexual Crimes

Have courage and be strong. It seems like the end of the world if this most unimaginable thing should happen to your child, but it doesn't have to be. How do you protect your child?


Return from Problems in Childhood to The Daffodil Principle - Persistence

Return from Problems in Childhood to Good Parenting

Return from Problems in Childhood to Fathers for Life

Return from Problems in Childhood to More than 100 Ways to Praise you child

Return from Problems in Childhood to Raising a Happy Child

Return from Problems in Childhood to Sports for Kids

Return from Problems in Childhood to Pregnancy Guide

Return from Problems in Childhood to Baby Care

Return from Problems in Childhood to Early Childhood

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