Excessive pampering and too much attention to every minor needs of kids is turning into a disturbing trend with a growing number of children displaying aggressive behaviour, forcing parents to rush to psychiatrists questioning their parenting abilities.
In a shocking incident, a couple has committed suicide in Ahmedabad after they had a spat with their daughter over study timings. Doctors say they have been receiving cases of many couples who are worried on how to deal with children.
Dr Anjali Chhabria, Psychiatrist, said parents are having problem on how to deal with their child’s tantrums whether the child is a three-year-old or 17-year-old.
“They succumb to the child’s demand many a times thinking what will others think if they hear the child shouting, crying. One should not think about it. If the answer to the child’s demand is no, the parent should maintain it with same tone and not succumb to it. Also one should avoid saying no to everything the child asks for,” said Chhabria.
Dr Avinash Desousa, Psychiatrist at LTMG (Sion) Hospital, said he attends at least 3-4 child aggression cases in a week.
“One of the reason is parents give everything that a child demands. In a long run, the child faces difficulty in accepting a no. It is important for parents to make the child accept a no at an early age. Later it becomes difficult for parents to control as the child responses aggressively,” said Desousa.
In the last few decades, the style of parenting has changed and become more focused.
“The core values of parenting remain the same, but it is now more focused. Most of the couples now have only one child. Parents are emotionally evolving and involving. Style of disciplining too has changed and punishments are not harsh anymore,” said Dr Parul Tank, Psychiatrist, Asian Heart Institute.
Psychiatrists also blame penetration of digitisation in our life as a reason behind parenting woes these days.
“A child in today’s digital age has exposure to various forms of media on one click. They are watching lots of violence on digital media playing video games like clash of clan, road rash among others and translate into day-to-day life. Low physical activity, inadequate sleep among children too leads to aggression,” said Dr Desousa.
Giving an example of how gadgets and digital world is affecting parents-children life, Tank said recently she got a couple whose 8-year-old daughter had school phobia.
“She didn’t want to go to school because teacher scolded her. To compensate on that, parents gave her iPad. She got hooked to the gadget and then started bunking school because of that. Parents need to regulate the gadget usage timing of children. Also ensure that they spend quality time with them and not be busy on their phones,” said Tank.