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“Identify the stressors”- 20 January 2019.

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Written by Rita Aggarwal
Friday, 01 February 2019 18:33

WE

Q. My son is preparing for the 10 Std boards and seems to be stressed. As parents we do not give any pressure to him to study and get high grades. He is disciplined and good boy and works hard himself. But I worry that he has become irritable and argumentative in nature. Is this stress signs? I read a lot of psychology and love the subject. But I am a housewife and do not work as a career. How can I help him as a mother and reduce his stress? I want him to be happy and healthy child and also do well in life whatever it may be.

Ans. It is nice to know that as parents you do not give any tension or pressure to your son and allow him his freedom to do things his way. According to you he is a well disciplined boy and works hard. But you are noticing signs of stress which is certainly possible at this stage when he is preparing for board exams. Even if parents do not give any pressure to the child there can be stressors in his life which he is not sharing with you. The important thing for parents is to know and observe the stressors that may be impacting him thus. If he does not volunteer information about his state of mind, then it would be appropriate for you to sit down with him one day and ask him his points of stress. You could ask him bluntly but politely if something is bothering him for you notice some signs of irritability in his behaviour. Ask him if he has low moods and if there is something which depresses him. Ask him if the reasons are at home, at school or with friends or with some subjects at school. Ask him if his preparations for boards are going well or are bothering him and he needs any help in terms of tutoring or coaching. An enquiry from your side will help him to open up and share with you. That is half the solution.

LP

Q. My boyfriend hides his phone /mobile when he talks to others. I don’t know why he hides from me some things which make me disturbed. He is a good friend and we have been friends from two years. He watches my mobile when I am not there and I have seen him do that twice. But he does not show me his mobile. Is he cheating me- how to find out? I am very much upset with this. Once I had a big fight with him on this but he did not answer me properly. Please tell me what to do?

Ans. Your friend seems to be a secretive person if he hides his conversations with others from you. It can be a habit to be secretive but what is of concern is his tendency to keep checking your mobile while he is secretive about his! This does not speak well of his nature and personality traits and may prove to be troublesome for your friendship in future if at all. Observe him a little more and ask him if he is suspicious of you due to which he checks your mobile. If he agrees that he is suspicious of you (and there is no reason for him to be suspicious of you, then he might need some psychological treatment. His secretive nature also is strange if you have been friends for two years. This means that he does not trust you totally and you may think twice before committing yourself to this friendship. Take it as a warning or a caution.

XYZ.

Q. My marriage is getting fixed soon and I am in a big trouble. I don’t like the boy my parents have found for me and I also like someone else. This friend of mine is not proposing to me and my parents have already seen one guy. What should I do now madam?

Ans. if your friend has not proposed marriage to you what is the future for both of you? You could explain this situation to your friend and tell him that you might have to listen to your parents. If he asks for some time, then give a deadline to your friend to commit for marriage or else let him go. On the other hand, if you don’t like the guy your parents have chosen, you must tell it to your parents and be assertive about it. Otherwise you will put each one in trouble and unnecessarily spoil the boy’s life too besides your own. You must act fast to resolve this dilemma and not just sit and brood over it. If your friend shows no interest in you, tell your parents that you are ready but want a compatible match and not this boy. I hope you have valid reasons and not just your fancy idea of not liking him due to your emotional entanglement. Don’t spoil your chances by losing a good match due to foolishness. Be practical and wise.

“Heal your own wounds”- 13 January 2019.

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Written by Rita Aggarwal
Friday, 01 February 2019 18:31

R.S

Q. My son seems distracted and we are worried for his finals for board exams in February. He seems to be not worried while we very anxious for him. He is unwilling to come for any sort of help and counselling and tells us not to worry for him. What should we do as parents for him and how to motivate him? Please advise us.

Ans. You have not mentioned his past records. If he has generally been a good student with disciplined habits of self study then you need not worry at all. If you notice a significant change in his behaviour and study habits, then your concern is genuine and valid. One way is to have an open dialogue with your son as to how his preparations are going, is he confident of a good performance, what percentage is he targeting and expecting and how many hours of input is he putting and is there any subject or chapters of difficulty and concern for which he needs personal help. Take a cool and calm assessment from him- this helps him get into a thinking mode and into making a proper assessment of himself and his preparations. Put your expectations on him in a realistic way. Do not lecture and do not pass your anxieties on to him in any way. Just express concern and curiosity and a desire to help. Do not nag and do not emotionalise matters- this irritates children a lot. Bring him for career guidance or coaching if that works.

XYZ

Q. I am a good student and have always come in the top ten ranks in school and college. But from third year college my marks are going down and I am feeling depressed. I don’t know the reason, I feel stressed and not feel like studying. My friends try their best to cheer me up and my parents are loving and supporting. I am in a professional programme which is very tough and I have made the choice of studying it. I don’t know the reason as to what is happening to me. Please help me overcome this problem.

Ans. We need to identify the problem to be able to help you. If you cannot fathom the reason then you may have to come for counselling sessions to help you find the causes of your stress and depression. Professional studies can be taxing and can cause stress if you don’t keep pace with the routine work or get stuck with some chapters or subjects that appear tough for you. If you have always been a good student and now find your grades falling, that itself may cause anxiety and depression to you. I could think of many more reasons in your personal life but this will only lead to making assumptions. For knowing the real reasons we need you to fill the gaps. A session may help.

Anonymous.

Q. I recently came to know that I was abused and seduced in childhood. After I read an article in the magazine, I realised that I too had faced something similar to it in childhood and had told no one about it. I don’t remember sharing it with anyone and I was very small maybe five to six years old. It was a next door neighbour and my Uncle too who used to abuse me. I had forgotten about it. After reading it, my mind is totally disturbed to know that ‘I have been abused too in my childhood’. I did not know till now that there is something like ‘child sexual abuse’ until I read about it. Now I feel very angry and cheated by those people and by my parents who did not bother to protect me. I shared this with my girl –friend and she said that I should forget it but I cannot. The more I think about it the more disturbed I feel about it. Please guide me what to do?

Ans. Reading about the topic helped you define your problem you faced in childhood. Earlier it was a problem with no name and you forgot about it in the natural course of life. It springs up to your mind as you identify with many other girl or boy child who have experienced sexual abuse and it makes you angry. It also makes you feel cheated by those known persecutors as well as your parents who are unaware and have betrayed you with their innocence. As a child you did not report the matter as you could not verbalise the problem but now it suddenly comes up as a major malaise in society of which you too have been a victim. Since you identify with the issue you have become sensitised about the problem and this makes you a better person to raise awareness about it in society and help others from safeguarding their children. You can make it a common cause to fight for socially. As far as your personal life is concerned you need to resolve it in your mind through counselling and meditation. It would be advisable not to pick up the issue with the family and the perpetrators of the past. Let matters rest at home and heal your own wounds.

“Self integration is important”- 23 December 2018.

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Written by Rita Aggarwal
Friday, 01 February 2019 18:30

Anonymous.

Q. I have a very strange problem!! I Motivate everyone and I always live happy!! But still, when I sit alone I feel de-motivated about myself. I think people don't like me and they just want to be away from me. I don't know if they really do so, but this sometimes make me think deeply. I feel demoralised! Everyone judges by looks and so I think no one likes me. I feel like crying and moving somewhere where people don't know me!! Please ma'am will you suggest me what to do?? In the hope of answer and solution..!!
Ans. When you sit alone you feel negative about yourself you say otherwise you keep happy in the company of people and keep them motivated too. You also say that you are not sure if this feeling is true or not but it makes you think deeply. This could mean one or two things and you could try to figure it out for yourself. One reason could be that you are an extrovert by nature and naturally like to socialise with people and keep happy when you are surrounded by people. This makes you feel wanted and loved and warm. Extroverts begin to feel lonely when they stay or have to stay alone for a period of time and start feeling unwanted and unloved. If no one calls you up for a period of time you lose your bearings and feel lost in this world. If this reason is not true then the other reason could be that you are not comfortable with yourself for when you are alone all the self doubts and ghosts of the past begin to haunt you and make you insecure. Being comfortable with oneself can occur if you meditate daily and introspect yourself deeply. Thinking deeply about yourself and accepting self wholeheartedly for whatever you are is the best route to being comfortable with yourself. Everyone must learn to build inner strength and positivism by taking a good look at oneself and accepting the package. Find out what you think are your weakness and strengths and become aware of what you find difficult to accept. If you fail to reconcile and integrate yourself you would need a few sessions of psychotherapy.

P.P

Q. My husband, a senior government officer is addicted to electronic gadgets. He keeps on watching the latest launch of mobiles, sound systems, tvs, watches, cameras etc, and do unnecessary purchasing, though is very reasonable to the requirements of my children and me. Earlier I thought his passion to be okay as he has no bad habits and loves us. But, we are quite low on savings. With two kids over the age of 15 and an ailing Mil and us over the age of 45 , I advice him to save more for education, health and marriage of kids. But he turns deaf ears. Otherwise we are happily married for over 20 yrs. Please advise some ways to convince him. Thanks and regards.

Ans. With the comfort of online shopping many people have become shopaholics! People buy unnecessary items which you can actually do without and although the items are sensible or reasonable items as you state, they may be redundant to the actual needs of the family. In the sense if the family is low on savings as you say with two kids and the health needs of your mother-in-law, you would do better to save and be frugal. Most men are fond of electronic gadgets and can be changing them too often. When you say addicted then it becomes a serious issue that needs deft handling and just complaining and cribbing about it will not help. You could ask him to consult and take an advice from a consultant about the percentage of savings essential for running and meeting the family needs in the long term. They explain nicely and sensibly about how much to save and where to make the savings/investments. You could ask a friend to send in a wealth manager/consultant to talk to your husband. He is more likely to listen to someone in authority rather than you as a wife. Another option is to bring him for counselling on some pretext or the other and we can take care of him.

“Be strict about rules”- 16 December 2018.

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Written by Rita Aggarwal
Friday, 01 February 2019 18:26

Q. The class 10 board exams are nearing soon. My son is not studying as the way he should. He wastes time, sleeps a lot and gets angry if I remind him for his studies. I am very worried madam- he is a good boy and gets very good marks. From last year he is like this with behaviour and study. His father is a short tempered man and shouts at him. I am between the two of them and I am going stressed with it. Please help me –should I bring him for counselling?

Ans. If he is a good boy and a good student and is behaving contrary to his general nature since last year, then we would need to explore the reasons for the change in behaviour. It could be so many things that may be upsetting him in his life and surroundings. It is important to note the changes in behaviour and address the matter there and then instead of delaying it for a year or more. The shouting by father does not help at all and may have a negative effect of escalating the negativity. He may be in mild depression which often goes undetected and misunderstood and needs attention. Please bring him for counselling –it will help to identify and solve the problem. You could try by giving him a good listening session without being judgemental at all and just be empathetic and sympathetic. He should be heard and not shouted with anger. Once he opens up with his problems he will be fine. Do not delay as exams are round the corner so to say.

Q. I recently caught my child watching wrong films on net. He is in the senior class but how will this impact him? I have still not spoken to him that I know about it and am nervous how should I tell him? Now-a-days it is difficult to scold children and we parents fear he will do something harmful to himself. Please advice madam how I should approach the problem.

Ans. If you find it difficult to approach the problem bring him for counselling for it can be handled effectively. If you can gather your guts and be patient and kind and understanding instead of being moralistic and aggressive, you could find many details of how when and where he started it and the effects on his personality. Watching porn has many negative effects on tender minds and should be restricted –if he is an adult he is in a better position to handle it. Nevertheless even for adults there are long term repercussions on the personality and moods of the person. Tell your kid to stop it immediately and that could be stated as a law of the house. He has to follow the rules set by parents. It is good to be strict about some rules and regulations in the house.

Q. I read last week in your column about dangers of online chatting. I too have a experience about it. All was going well and I was happy with life that he is a wonderful person and loves me so much. Now I am shocked with his personality. I cannot tell you the facts which I came about him. I feel like suicide now as my life is wasted and I am cheated like anything. He is a rascal and has cheated many women. Why does he do like this madam? Please help me think my life nicely.

Ans. It is traumatic to get cheated and betrayed like the way you have been. Your emotional trauma makes you feel depressed and hopeless and suicidal as well. All this can be dealt with properly if you maintain the right attitudes and approach to life and yourself. He cheated you and he should suffer and go to hell. Why should you destroy your life due to a psychopath? If you look at it from an angle –you could say that you have saved your life in a timely way before more harm could be done to you. He could have gone on for many years and caused more damage to your psyche. It’s time to heal your wounds and time to learn from the episode. All such experiences of life teach you wisdom which you not get from books. It’s a great learning to know first- hand what it feels like to be cheated. No one asks for such experiences but when they happen they leave behind pain, humiliation, bitterness and a lot of wisdom too which is what you should collect. It is not the best way to learn but then when you indulge in dangerous activity and want to take risks in life you should be ready to face the negative consequences too. When people like me write about the dangers of a specific activity wise people listen to the advice. So relax, think realistically and heal yourself and begin a fresh life. I hope you have good goals in life to motivate you and encourage you for a better life. I wish you all the best. Suicide is never an option however hurt you are.

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