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.

Body Language Signs that can tell you to pay Immediate Attention to your Marriage

No matter how hard it may sound but maintaining a wonderful relationship is not easy, especially in today’s fast lifestyle. Without much warning romance can dry out, marital life can turn monotonous and if couples still don’t pay right attention then their marriage can slip from bad to worse.

So how people can identify it’s time for them to give strong attention to their relationship?

India’s eminent relationship expert and marriage counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo shares that prior to a relationship start to sour, there are certain body language signs that couples exhibits. She shares if couples pay attention to these warning signs, they can identify it’s time to focus hard on their relationship.   

1. Observe the pupils

Generally eyes can tell, a story about one’s relationship. When people are sexually attracted to someone, their pupils generally dilate in the moment of intimacy. The change of pupils happens subconsciously; hence it’s a good indicator of your partner’s interest in you.

So pay attention to your partner’s eye, if you witness the pupils getting shorter when you get intimate or go for a kiss  – remember it may be a sign that something is deeply bothering your partner.  Look for the right moment and discuss if something is bothering your partner.

2. Stonewalling

If a person turns their back on their partner, hangs up the phone before the conversation is over, or tunes out, it is referred to as stonewalling. Not taking your partner’s thoughts or perspective into consideration is a major red flag.

3. Touching neck during conversation

In emotional situations, people have tendency to find ways to comfort ourselves. Especially, women, in particular, typically touch their neck or throat. Oftentimes, touching the neck or throat indicates that someone is keeping something from another person.

4. Conversation and attention

Check how your partner reacts or pay attention to you when you are in conversation with him/her?  If he/she plays with his/her phone, nods without listing or worse, completely ignore you, then you its time you must introspect yourself, try to identify why your partner feels disinterested during the conversation. Sometimes it can be a simple thing like – your partner is too tired to listen to you or he/she doesn’t feel interested on your topic or sometimes it can be something else. Hence talk to your partner if you witness this body language.

5. Leaning away

 Couples from healthy relationship have tendency to lean toward one another with their bodies, legs, shoulder and even chairs. If you or your partner starts to seat away from each other, or even if you both sit in one sofa, your body points in opposite direction to each other – it could mean that you both are disinterested in connecting with each other. Hence it’s an indication that you both must pay full attention to your marriage.

Does Couples Counselling or Therapy Really Work?

In general, couples who are fleeting through distressed relationship doubt if couple counselling would never work for them or not or would it be a wastage of time and money – and that stops them from seeking professional help from an expert who can save their relationship and marriage.

The problem arises because there are myths about the low success rate of couples therapy. People with no experience of good counselling or who don’t know about the subject, give the worst advice to distressed people. “Couple Counselling is a waste of money”, “rather wear gems or consult an astrologer, do yoga, meet new people” but don’t trust a trained and certified expert who is trained and experienced especially to help distressed couples and to save their relationship and marriage.

Delhi’s eminent Psychologist and Couple Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo tell us that the success rate of couple therapy is extremely high. She says there has been much research done to check the success rate of couple counselling and the results are always extraordinary, for example recently a research was done by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, families and couples who have attended family or couples therapy sessions indicate high levels of patient satisfaction. Over 98% of those surveyed reported that they received good or excellent couples therapy. Respondents also reported improved physical and emotional health and the ability to communicate better at work after attending therapy.

So how couple counselling work? Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo says good couple counselling works on certain basic principles and that pulls out couples from their distressed state to a positive and healthy relationship condition. These principals are:

1. Good couple counselling changes the views of the relationship.

First, the couple therapist helps both partners see the relationship in an objective manner.  The therapist helps the couples to learn to stop the “blame game” and instead look at what happens to them when they involve each partner negatively.

2. Modifies dysfunctional behaviour.

Effective couple therapist attempts to change the way the partners actually behave with each other. This means that in addition to helping them improve their interactions, therapists ensures that their clients are not engaging in actions that can cause physical, psychological or economic harm to self or to their partner.

3. Decreases Emotional Avoidance

Couples who avoid expressing their innermost feelings put themselves at a greater risk of becoming emotionally distant and hence grow apart. Effective couples therapist helps their clients bring out the emotions and thoughts that they fear expressing to the other person. Attachment-based couples therapy allows the partners to feel less afraid of expressing their needs for closeness.

4. Improves Communication

An effective couple counsellor focuses on helping the partners to communicate more effectively. The new communication mode which the counsellor redevelops within couples is not abusive, nor does it ridicule partners when they express their true feelings. The counsellor helps the couples learn to listen more actively and empathically.

5. Promotes strengths

Effective couple therapists point out the strengths in the relationship and build resilience particularly as therapy nears a termination.  The point of promoting strength is to help the couple to gain back their trust, their love, their bliss and satisfaction which was put on the back burner by both the partners.

Why Today’s Teenagers Are More Prone To Psychological and Emotional Issues?

According to India’s National Crime Records Bureau India reports a maximum number of depression cases of depression, anxiety and the suicidal tendency among teenagers originates from exam pressure and from pressure to perform. But the question is why today’s young generation is emotional & psychologically fragile? so much so that they become highly prone to suicide and psychological disorders and issues?

According to Delhi’s leading Psychologist & Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo, among many reasons, today’s teenagers are more prone to psychological issues due to a massive shift in food habits in metropolitan Indian families. Today’s Indian kids find extreme joy by consuming nutrient deficit burgers, pizzas, cold drinks etc. These foods not only hamper adolescent’s physical growth but affect their brain development too and when the time for exam pressure comes and huge numbers of them just get emotionally and psychologically shattered.

Junk foods” such as cakes, croissants, and doughnuts) and fast food such as hamburgers, hot dogs, cold drinks and pizzas not only misses essential vitamins and minerals (required for child growth) but they also contain a very high glycemic index. High glycemic index foods are referred to those which are rapidly digested, absorbed and metabolized and result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar (glucose) levels and blood sugar fluctuation images a person mood.

Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo suggests that no one should eat junk food on a regular basis. Kids especially should be encouraged to foods rich in the B-vitamins, folic acids, such as lentils, bean, spinach, oranges, asparagus, avocado, seeds, tomatoes, and fortified cereals along with foods high in vitamin D develops can help their child’s brain development and better functioning process.

Along with balanced died today’s parents should also encourage their kids to play every day and keep them away from fast food joint and from junk food, as much as possible.

Are You Sure You Are Not Lonely in Your Relationship?

Loneliness is not the same as being alone. Being alone is a fact whereas loneliness is a feeling. You can feel lonely when you are with friends or with your partner.

At the same time, you don’t need to feel lonely when you are alone.

In other words, loneliness can be termed as the desire to get connected with someone and that someone is not available. This can certainly occur when we are alone, but it also occurs in relationships when one or both partners are unavailable for connection perhaps due to anger, doubts, distrust, withdrawn, tired, ill or just being complacent in the relationship.

So what really causes loneliness in a relationship? According to Delhi’s eminent Relationship and Marriage counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo, in relationship loneliness is created by certain situations and conditions and there are:

1. When a person is emotionally fragile, many times it’s seen that such personalities start protecting themselves from getting emotionally hurt by expressing anger or by withdrawal. In such a scenario, their partner finds it difficult to connect with them.

2. One may feel lonely with his/her partner when their partner deliberately shuts them out with work, TV, food, alcohol, hobbies, the Internet so on and so forth.

3. One may feel lonely when he/she tries to have control over their partner’s feelings. Since no one in this world likes to be controlled and such tendencies soon pushes away the person’s partner physically and emotionally.

4.  One may feel lonely if the other half keeps judging them regarding their thoughts, feelings, looks or actions. Judgment creates disconnection, and disconnection can be very lonely.

5.  One may also feel lonely when their partner can’t connect with them due to being overly tired, frazzled and overwhelmed or unwell.

Do You Know People Mostly Judge Intelligence Based on Voice and How Fast The Person Speaks?

Be it be proposing a girl, pitching to a client, talking to an investor or appearing for a job interview, in fact in every important conversation that we have in our life, it is utmost important that the other person should recognize our intelligence and maturity. On the contrary, people generally get nervous, tense and anxious during important conversations that suppress their intelligence and they feel being a loser.

It’s true that the more we experience a particular situation, the more we become better at it, but that involves a lot of time wastage and loss of opportunity till the time one develops his/her mastery conversation skills. But is it possible for a person to boost his/her first glance appearance to others and convey to strangers immediately that he/she is intelligent? Or in other words is there a key that unlocks people’s perception for you as intelligent or not?

The answer is “YES” says Delhi’s leading psychologist and Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo. Counsellor Shivani says the factors that determine the first glance perception of strangers to be intelligent or not are his/her tone of voice and how fast he/she speaks.

There have been many scientific studies done in this area, one of the famous one is the study published in the Journal of Psychological Science where MBA students had been videotaped while they had given pitches on why they should be hired. Prospective employers and professional recruiters were then given three options: viewing the video, listening to the audio, or reading a transcript. Here’s what the study concluded:

The evaluators rated a candidate as more competent, thoughtful, and intelligent when they heard a pitch rather than read it and, as a result, had a more favourable impression of the candidate and were more interested in hiring the candidate. Adding visual cues to audio pitches did not alter evaluations of the candidates. For conveying one’s intellect, it is important that one’s voice, quite literally, is heard. To summarize, when it comes to first impression on intelligence, looks don’t matter; your voice does. The reason behind this finding is attributed to human evolution; our voices are the tools that have been carefully honed for communication.

Here are 3 Keys To Making a Good First Impression

Since your voice is important in making your first good impression, Counsellor Shivani shares the key factors that help a person to make a good first impression.

1. Use a lower pitch and vocal inflexion.

People associate a high pitched tone with nervousness or childishness. Hence deliberately lower your vocal pitch if you generally talk in high pitch during an important conversation or to important people. This will help you to express both your confidence and maturity.

2. Avoid Filler Words

Filler words, sometimes called vocal crutches, are words such as “aha”, “um”, “like”, “so”, “you know”, “yes yes” and other similar phrases. And while everybody uses filler words, overusing it makes a person looks under confident and incompetence at times.

The problem with filler words is that people generally are not aware that they use them. Hence to avoid using filler words, one can record themselves in conversations and listen to the recordings five minutes a day for two weeks. The awareness of using fillers helps a lot along with conversation practice where one can learn to substitute silence for these fillers; verbal pauses, even when overused, only serves to increase a speaker’s credibility.

The 4 Habits of Long-Lasting Couples – Relationship Tips By Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo

In today’s fast moving lifestyle, building a healthy and long lasting relationship with your spouse is not easy; a large portion of the population that daily faces professional, travel and financial pressures, find the least time and energy to devote to their family and spouse.

According to Delhi’s eminent marriage counsellor and relationship expert, Shivani Misri Sadhoo, the key to maintain a healthy and long term relationship is not to take relationship or spouse for granted rather put a constant effort to enhance the romantic bond by – building healthy relationship habits. These good romantic relationship habits could be:

1.  Always go to bed together.

One of the effective good relationship habits is to go to bed at the same time. Remember happy couples resist the temptation to go to bed at different times. There’s nothing more soothing than a bedtime cuddle.

2. They don’t expect their partner to read their mind; they ask for what they need: 

The happiest couples generally ask for what they need and listen to each other’s needs. Running around hoping that another person will know what you need or that you are supposed to know exactly what they need is a recipe for disaster. The happiest couples are delighted to openly talk about needs and honour differences in needs without feeling like anyone should have already known or that their ‘soul mate’ will have the same needs as them.

3. Always trust and try to forgive.

In every relationship, there would be arguments and small fights but couples who are dedicated towards their relationship make a habit to trust and forgive, rather than distrusting and begrudging as their default setting after an argument.

4. They focus on what they do right, not what they do wrong.

Positive reinforcement is an age-old concept used with children but it’s also important for fully grown adults too. So compliment your partner when they deserve it and try not to look for things they do wrong.

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.

Why Must You Smile More Every Day?

If you think smiling is just a social courtesy, way to greet a person, and then think again. Research has found that human smile holds an unlimited potential to improve the person’s social, psychological and physical well-being.  Today Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo shares various reasons why it’s important to smile more often as you can.

1. Smiling reduces stress.

Smiling helps in reducing body stress. According to Smithsonian, people who smile through stressful events (whether the smile is genuine or not) have fewer physiological stress reactions and reduced stress hormones, and they report less stress than those who don’t smile. So next time you’re stuck in traffic or working against a deadline, stop to smile.

2. Smiling helps your heart.

Smiling not only can relax your body, it also has the power to slow your heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and decrease your chances of a heart disease.

3. Smiling improves relationships.

According to a University of California, Berkeley study, people who smile often are more likely to have fulfilling and happy marriages and relationships than people who do not. Try smiling at your spouse every day to see if the research holds true for you.

4. A smile builds trust.

Studies have proved that a genuine smile increases the trust that the recipient of that smile feels. In fact, the bigger your smile (not a crazy smile, but a big approachable smile), the more trustworthy you appear. Building trust is an absolute must for business and individual successes, and when you give your clients a warm smile, they are likely to trust you more.

5. Smiling makes you happier

We know we smile when we’re happy usually but do you know its works in reverse too. The human brain is stimulated when facial muscles move into a smile, whether or not the smile is caused by happy emotions. Hence as per the study, people who hold a smile, regardless of their emotional state, have reported feeling happier afterwards.

How to Bring Work Life Balance in Today’s Corporate Life?

Developing and maintaining work-life balance can seem impossible in today’s competitive workplace and fast lifestyle. Technology has made employees accessible around the clock. Fears of job loss increase longer working hours. Physicians and mental help experts agree that the compounding stress from the never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.

According to Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo, despite these realities, there are people who are managing to carve out satisfying and meaningful lives outside of their work and maintaining good work-life balance. She suggests for bringing work-life balance, people must understand and try to bring certain habits in their life. These habits are:

Make Deliberate Choices

Instead of just letting life happen, people who achieve work-life balance make deliberate choices about what they want from life and how they want to spend their time. They talk to their partners, spouses, and others who are important in their lives and come up with a road map of what is important to them, how they want to spend their time and commit to following their path.

Time for family, Friends and Important Interests

People who have managed to bring work-life balance in their life, commonly don’t just wait to see what time is left over after work. They make a point of planning and booking time off to spend outside of work and powerfully guard this time. Hence when they are home, they don’t think or get bother about office worries, when they are at the office they guard themselves against having any home worries.

Strong sense of what they expect from their life

People who manage work-life balance have developed a strong sense of who they are, their values, and what is important to them. Using this as a guideline for everything helps them determine what success means to them. They know what makes them happy and strive to get more of that in their lives. In short, they don’t run a blind race that causes professional, mental and emotional complexities.

They stay away from mobile addictions

People who maintain balance commonly control their mobile habits. When they spend time with family they silent their electronic devices to enjoy the quality uninterrupted time. Having developed the ability to compartmentalise their time, they seek out moments to simply enjoy the experience and savor life.

They devote time for healthy habits

People who manage work-life balance often develop an interest in healthy activities and perform them daily. Activities like yoga, aerobic, meditation, music, sports, or some other interests allow them to get away from the pressures of everyday life to relax, rejuvenate, and regenerate themselves.