Category Archive : Child Psychology & Parenting Tips

REASONS PEOPLE BECOME MANIPULATIVE

Psychology says manipulation is directly influencing someone’s beliefs, desires, or emotions, such that a person falls short of ideals for belief, desire, or emotion in ways typically not in his/her self-interest or likely not as per the situation in the current context.”

Manipulation is an art or perhaps even a pseudo-science, may be a dark science to an extent. History is replete with examples of manipulation.

Is it good or bad?

Thanks to the digital connectivity sharing information is a cakewalk in today’s fast-paced life. But this same connectivity also helps in manipulating the public perception of reality through ‘fake news’. But manipulation can be positive or negative depending upon whether it takes the form of persuasion or coercion.

Persuasion is about getting people to do things they want to do whereas Coercion is about getting people to do things they don’t want to do. Inspiring or encouraging a person to do something that can be beneficial for him if he is afraid of doing is called good manipulation.

While using somebody for your own self motives with primary means to hurt that individual whom one is using is bad manipulation.

Positive manipulation motivates employees to achieve their goals thereby improving organizational performance.

Using negative manipulation, manipulator twist words, play on emotions and manage a situation in a sneaky fashion to get what he wants. This kills the confidence of the person being manipulated.

What goes on in the mind of a manipulator? Psychological reasons behind the manipulation.

Delhi’s Top Psychologist and Marriage Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo tells us the reasons behind the manipulation. They are as follows:

Narcissistic Mentality: Manipulators usually suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder which is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and the deep need for admiration. They consider that they are better than others. They are not concerned about how others feel. Individuals with narcissistic personality (NPD) may find it difficult to form close relationships. So, they may resort to manipulation to maintain a good relationship with their partners.

It’s In Their Family: Sometimes manipulators have a difficult childhood wherein they are deprived of love and affection, status and privilege from their family members. Sometimes they struggle for economic and social survival. This is what turns them into manipulators.

It’s In Their Genes: Manipulative behavior can be hereditary too.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD): BPD might help manipulators to satisfy their emotional needs or for obtaining validation. This happens because such manipulators feel insecure or abandoned.

Give Me Power: Manipulators love the feeling of being powerful. They love to control people and situations. They want to be the king and be in charge of everything.

Lack Of Consciousness: This is another reason for being manipulative. They believe that the only way to achieve their goal in this ‘unsafe world’ is by manipulation.)

Last but not least, whatever the psychology behind manipulation is, manipulators can change for the better. They just need the right guidance for that to overcome that negative trait which becomes a part of their life.

DON’T STRESS ABOUT STRESS!

Here are a few stress busters for children and teenagers!

A teenage child suddenly stops attending school, despite being a good student. When asked, she would simply slam the door and lock oneself in for hours. After a few days, the child finally told his parents about being bullied at school. The child was under severe mental stress so much so that the kid even tried committing suicide.

Every individual has some trouble, but when you worry it becomes double! Hence, don’t worry, be happy!

Currently, India ranks the highest in the world in terms of the suicide rate for the youth between the age groups of 15 and 29. About 9 out of 10 Indians suffer from stress.

What is stress?

In today’s fast-paced world, where one has no time to stand and stare, the word ‘stress’ needs no formal introduction. However, in simple words, stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. For instance, when you sense danger, be it real or imaginary—the body’s defense system kicks into high gear in a rapid, automatic process called the “fight-or-flight” reaction or the “stress response.”  

What causes stress?

Stress occurs from the tension between an individual’s reaction to hard times or challenges and his or her ability to handle and resolve the stressful situation. These situations and pressures that cause stress are called Stressors. Stressors can be either physiological (or physical) stressors or psychological stressors.

Physiological (or physical) stressors put a strain on our body i.e. very cold/hot temperatures, injury, chronic illness, or pain.

Psychological Stressors are events, situations, individuals, comments, or anything you interpret as negative or threatening. For e.g. unable to secure good grades at exams or being bullied at school or relationship crisis.

Good stress and bad stress

Psychology says the pressure of exhilarating, creative successful act is beneficial while that of failure, humiliation, and infection is detrimental.

Good stress motivates and keeps you on your toes during an important presentation at school or college, increases your concentration level and even drives you to study for an exam when you’d rather be watching TV. Athletes even break the world records under stress.

Bad stress is when stress stops being good and helpful and starts affecting your physical, psychological and social health and reduces your productivity and creativity.

How To Distress? / A Few Effective Stress-Busters/Ways of Beating The Stress

The best way to relieve stress is to learn the skill of managing it. Here Delhi’s Top Psychologist and Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo talks about the various ways/tips and tricks of beating/ handling stress in children and teenagers.

Eat Right:

You are what you eat. Junk food not only hampers a child’s physical growth but also affects their brain development. So, say NO to junk food and YES to healthy food like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, a variety of protein foods, and low-fat dairy products. Eat a balanced meal for a healthy body and a healthy mind.  

Think Positive:

Learn to be optimistic! Train your brain for more positive self-talk. Think ‘I CAN’ rather than ‘I CANNOT’.

Listen To Music:

Music can be a great healer for relieving stress. It acts as a medicine for your stressed mind.

Exercise Daily:

Exercise pumps up your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins and is a great stress buster.

Empathize/ Sharing And Caring:

Parents must try to put themselves in their kid’s shoes and understand their point of view. This is called cognitive empathy. After all, sharing is caring! Listen to your child and help him or her to deal with the daily stress and strain of life.

Rest Is Must:

As per the National Sleep Foundation, teens must get 8-10 hours of sleep daily. This helps to regulate hormones, consolidate memory, solidify learning, and restore energy.

Reduce Screen Time:

Teenagers who spend seven hours or more a day on screens (excluding schoolwork) are more prone to stress and anxiety, are less emotionally stable compared to those who spend just one hour a day on screens (excluding schoolwork).

Meditation:

Meditation helps teens and children to deal with peer pressure, to be more focussed, be more confident and thus acts as a great stress buster.

Tips to Deal with Your Teenage Kid – By Counselor & Psychologist Shivani Misri Sadhoo

As your kids enter into their teen years, various things will begin to change. To move along and assist your teen to develop in a positive direction, you are required to change your expectations and develop empathy, all the while establishing borderline. Making a safe, supportive, structured, and loving atmosphere are as essential for you as it is for your teenage kids.

Delhi’s top Psychologist and Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo shares tips to deal with your teenage kids.

Adjusting To Their Independence

Treat them like a teen. Not like a child nor an adult. You need to accept that your teenage kid is not a small child anymore. So, it is essential to adjust your expectations and stop treating them like a child. But teens are not adults as well and are not supposed to be held responsible as an adult. The teenage mind is in the process of a critical stage of development which kids need you to help them through the phase of their lives. They are not developed in their decision-making skills, managing impulsiveness or reasoning. Rather  assuming, they would act and think the way an adult does. Always be ready for possible irrational behaviour.

If you’re not happy because your teenage child keeps making the same mistakes, have some compassion, patience and understand that your teen is still learning a lot and nowhere near being an adult yet. It is a part of being a teenager to learning through failure and mistakes. Frame the unpleasant experiences in their lives as learning opportunities.

Be Flexible With Their Freedom

If your teenage kid is putting an effort and showing their responsibility, practice more freedom. If they are making bad decisions, be more restrictive. Sooner or later, show them that their behaviour gives them freedom or restrictions and their own choices regulate their outcomes. If your teenage kid is asking for permission to do something you are willing to say no to, listen to them out. Tell, “I ‘you are not comfortable with it, and I want you to assure me that you are responsible enough towards what you do.

Similarly, say, “I gave you the freedom and you weren’t ready for it, so we are supposed to scale back now.

Focus On Trust, Not Suspicion

As a parent you need to accept the fact that teenagers can get into a lot of trouble, but do not focus your attention on the bad things alone, they’ve done in the past or the risks they may face. Even if your teen has greatly damaged your trust, it is essential for both of you to restore that trust. If you think your teenage kid may be up to something, ask them to explain it to you fully. Ask questions to seek clarity instead of jumping to conclusions. If you are not certain, tell your teen, “I’m worried, but I am opting to trust you on this.”

Implementing Rules And Consequences

If you are angry, stay calm. Take some time and gather yourself. Have a few deep breaths or walk away and come back when you are calm. This way, you are more capable to give fair and reasonable conversations and consequences. Particularly, if your teenage kid knows how to push your buttons or set you off, it is notably important to keep your cool and not discipline them out of frustration or anger. If you feel angry or upset coming on, tune into your body. Focus where you feel upset, do you have knots in your stomach?, do you tremble? or start sweating? Look for these signs and realize this is time to back off.

Things You Should Never Tell Your Child

Every parent wants their kids to be successful and they try to convey and teach them attitude that they believe will help their child to achieve his/her goals. But one important thing most of us tend to forget that our kids belong to a different generation, i.e. in different time zone, social structure, economic condition, technological advancement and hence what proved successful in our lives possibly may prove counterproductive in their life.

Hence it’s been found in many recent surveys and studies many things that today’s parents teach may produce good results in short term but even eventually, this leads to burnout and we get — less success.

Today Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo shares a few of the possible damaging things many of us are currently teaching our children about success, and what to teach them instead.

1.  Don’t Constantly Remind Your Child to focus on the Future Goals.

Set target to get admission in IIT, Medical, best Delhi University college and best course etc. are some of the most common advises that we hear most Indian parents generally give their kids. It’s true that every parent desires good academic and career progress for their child’s so they can settle well and live a happy and content life.

A mind that is constantly trying to focus on the future — from getting good grades to applying in good colleges — will be prone to greater anxiety and fear. While a little bit of stress can serve as a motivator, long-term chronic stress impairs our health as well as our intellectual faculties, such as attention and memory. As a consequence, focusing too much on the future can actually impair our performance.

Children do better and feel happier if they are learning how to stay in the present moment. And when people feel happy, they’re able to learn faster, think more creatively, and problem-solve more easily. Studies even suggest that happiness makes you 12% more productive. Positive emotions also make you more resilient to stress — helping you to overcome challenges and setbacks more quickly so that you can get back on track.

It’s certainly good for children to have goals they’re working towards. But instead of always encouraging them to focus on what’s next on their to-do list, help them stay focused on the task or conversation at hand.

Hence instead pushing or constantly reminding the child to focus on the future and keep an eye on goals, what we should be telling them is Live (or work) in the moment.

2. Don’t tell or Show Your Child that Stress is inevitable and we need to keep pushing ourselves.

Generally, parents don’t directly tell their child that stress is inevitable and we need to keep pushing ourselves, rather in today‘s age, a large population of parents display this message through their actions and conversations.

Those who are overburdened in offices, live in a constant state of overdrive, burn themselves out and become terrible when they miss a professional goal and at night becomes so wired that they use alcohol or sleep medication to calm them down.

Children in such environment tend to develop feelings of anxiety at a young and they start to worry too much about grades and feel pressurised to do better in school or in competitive exams. Most distressingly, we’re even witnessing stress-induced suicides in children.

All in all, this is not a good lifestyle model for children. It’s no surprise that research shows that children whose parents are dealing with burnout at work are more likely to experience burnout at school. What we should be telling them instead: Learn to chill out.

It’s recommended that parents should consider teaching their children the skills they will need to be more resilient in the face of stressful events. While we can’t change the work and life demands that we face at work and in school, we can use techniques such as meditation, yoga and mindful breathing to better deal with the pressures we face. These tools help children learn to tap into their parasympathetic “rest and digest” nervous system (as opposed to the “fight or flight” stress response).

3. Don’t tell your child it’s a dog-eat-dog world, rather teach them to show compassion

Research shows that from childhood onward, our social connections are the most important predictor of health, happiness, and even longevity. Having positive relationships with other people is essential for our well-being, which in turn influences our intellectual abilities and ultimate success.

Moreover, likability is also one of the strongest predictors of success. According to experts, when you express compassion to those around you and create supportive relationships instead of remaining focused on yourself, you will actually be more successful in the long term — as long as you don’t let yourself be taken advantage of.

Children are naturally compassionate and kind. But at the same time, many young people are also becoming increasingly self-involved. So it’s important to encourage children’s natural instincts to care about other people’s feelings and learn to put themselves in other people’s shoes and cultivate empathy.

It’s true that it’s a tough world out there. It would be a lot less tough if we all emphasize on less cut-throat competition and put a higher premium on learning to get along well on the journey that’s called life.