Children with Natural Problems or Problem Children?
Dr Chayanika Singh, clinical psychologist, parenting expert and author of the best-seller How Your Personality Makes or Breaks Your Child shares some tips for the teachers
The teachers are often apprehensive as the classroom challenges are becoming tougher day by day. The target of completing syllabus, maintaining the discipline in the classroom, workload of extra-curricular projects, parents’ complaints and managements’ pressure affect them psychologically. It is becoming a catastrophic situation for all the educationists around the world.
Children come from various family set-ups, from different strata of society. Some lack attention and concentration, some are sad and engrossed in their own thoughts whereas others are engaged in disturbing the classes. Some are not able to perform well and become frustrated. Some struggle even with the basic calculation. Some of them have certain behavioural problems that are categorised as conduct-disorder, depression, attention-deficit, hyperactive. However, this list is not the ultimate. Every child is unique and the problem differs from child to child.
Many times, it becomes tough for the subject-teachers to understand whether the children’s misbehaviour or performance is natural or due to some mental issues. They get confused about who needs help and who needs to be disciplined. In such cases, we should depend on professional psychologists\counsellors to assess where actually the problem is. The I. Q. Test (Psychometric assessment) is essential to understand the academic difficulties to sort out the issues.
It is mandatory for the schools now to employ a counsellor for the benefit of the teachers as well as children. Incidents like suicide, attention deficit, hyperactivity, aggression, bullying, molestation, drugs abuse; boozing, truancy etc. are so prevalent among the students that have prompted the authority to take preventive measures. Counsellors cater to the emotional and psychological needs of those children who need help; they prompt the parents to take initiative to save their child to be the victim of any kind of aberration. They further guide the teachers in identifying the problem children.
Following list contains some behavioural syndromes that subject teachers might find helpful in identifying the problem children in their respective classes. The following checklists are generally used to identify the behaviour of a child, who needs attention at once. In such cases, the role of parents, psychologist and the teachers could be beneficial in intervening and preventing the aberration in a child. The symptoms are—
1. Losing temper frequently
2. Arguing with teachers or parents
3. Defying or refusing to comply with requests or rules
4. Deliberately annoying others
5. Blaming others for his or her mistakes or misbehaviour
6. Being touchy or easily getting annoyed by others
7. Being angry and resentful
8. Being Spiteful or vindictive
9. Being aggressive to animals
10. Bullying, threatening or intimidating others
11. Initiating physical fights
12. Lying to obtain goods or favours
13. Having Poor appetite or tendency of overeating
14. Suffering from insomnia or hypersomnia
15. Remaining visibly fatigued
16. Having low self-esteem
17. Having poor concentration or facing difficulty in making a decision
18. A feeling of hopelessness & negativity
19. Failing to give close attention
20. Facing difficulty in sustaining attention in task or while playing
21. Not following through instruction and failing to finish school task
22. Being easily distracted
23. Being forgetful
24. Fidgeting with hands or feet or squirms in seat
25. Frequently leaving the seat in the classroom and running\climbing excessively in situations, where it is inappropriate.
26. Being slow in grasping a subject
27. Being unable to read or write
28. Poor in calculation
Having one or two of these problems may not necessarily mean that the child has mental problem. Only a professional counsellor can analyse what is right for them.