Abhra Pratip Ray – Stay Close While Still Giving Kids Their Space

How much space to give to your Teenage Child
Expert session Question & Answers

Child spends a lot of time in the bathroom and wants to be in her room only. How to change this habit without seeming like invading her space? Has slight OCD. (Girl, 12 years)

That’s quite common. Don’t worry. Primarily you have to be friendly to your child. At 12 she thinks she’s grown up and needs privacy. So give her that privacy. But keep chatting (chit-Chat) with her about various things. Being a mother that chit-chat should be smooth going for you. She will open up.

My teenage son says that he is not getting a reason or motivation to do anything in life right now, not study nor play and so we just leave him alone and give him space. What should be our attitude towards this at this moment?

Help your son with a trained mentor or a professional counselor for career guidance and advice. Remember, he needs motivation and not information. Both father and mother should talk to him at the dinner table about the various career options others are choosing, citing non-comparing examples. Appraise your child for everything he does which is good. We need good citizens in future, tell him how a good person works.

Why most of the teenagers are happy keeping the doors of their rooms closed ?

This is true, but you should have an idea of what he / she does. Frankly these days lot of unwanted materials are accessible over the phone. Try to reduce his/ her screen time.

How to handle a teenage boy who is very lazy and is not interested in sports. He wants to be with his mobile or tv.

Today we parents are not providing interesting things to children to do. Give the teenage boy a chance to prove himself. Teenager’s are egoistic. Give small challenges with rewards – like – don’t watch TV / mobile for one day and you get probably a movie with friends ?

How to keep a teen away from the mobile phone?

As per various studies, screen time of teenagers should not be more than 2 hours. Give them some interesting things to do. Take the child to various Scientific activity centers, give sports as a substitute.

My daughter used to be doing very well in studies. Now she is just not interested. Can counselling help in this situation? Who is a good academic counselor. Also, do aptitude tests help? Where can they be done (Girl, 13 years)

Yes, counseling appropriately helps. Kindly don’t go by advertisements or to the so called famous ones, it’s all a myth. Counseling is a scientific process. Psychometric tests are very helpful to take decisions for careers and personal life. But again, most importantly both parents should give time to speak to the child. Your child internally is waiting to speak to you with personal feelings.

How to make a teenagers read as nowadays kids are not interested in reading books.

Reading habit should have been developed at the age of 3 years to 7 years. Now, at teenage, it’s too late. Still give it a try. Give e-Books to read. Stop / deactivate all videos / youtube. Inculcate the habit of reading by parents – newspapers, magazines etc by parents – father and mother both.

There’s a lot of difference in the values we try to inculcate and what’s happening on social media and the real world. How do we bridge this gap? We end up looking outdated to them and they find our expectations unrealistic.

That’s the truth and it’s all around. But today’s child is very mature. They know what’s happening all around. We should feel free to discuss topics with them more frankly.

My daughter is 13 years old and wants to be left alone in her room with her phone and computer. She has crushes every 6 months and then has heartbreak and then is moody and does self injury if I try to discipline her. She has not attended school in 2 months as in a fit of anger she broke her ankle by hitting the wall. So every time she’s let down by a friend or person she has a crush on, she goes through emotional trauma. I’m actually living in fear because if I’m too strict she will injure herself.

Daughter and mother relation is bit of sweet and sour. Fathers are Kings for daughters, but mothers are dearer friends. Be like a friend to her. Sharing your teenage stories with her might help bring her close to you. Speak to her about teenage things – frank discussion helps.

My friend's son who was 9 years old was found watching porn and her elder son who is 13 years was found masturbating. She is very tensed. How to handle this?

Very natural now a days. Kids get exposed very fast. It’s high time that we talk about things openly with the thin boundary line. Parents need to undergo parenting training. Most of the parents situations are now-a-days very similar. Generations have changed. Exposure is more. We as parents have to open up to speaking to the kids. Most and best time is the Dinner table. Bring up your teenage stories at that time. If you have your school / college friends, invite them to your residence and have small gatherings, where your child notices your flashback days.

My son is 13 years old, has a lot of mood swings as they are going through a lot of hormonal changes. He do we deal with that?

That’s quite natural and proper. Let nature take its own time. Don’t worry. Parent should have trust in the child and express that to him / her to instill the same mind-set.

Is 9 years old watching porn or 13 years old masturbating normal? How do we divert them or explain that it's not right at this age.

Give some interesting activity based things for the child to do. Take him / her to science parks, adventure parks etc. Give Karate classes, etc. for physical stress out. Psychometric Counseling by a professional expert would always help in these cases. Be it a boy or a girl, they need to understand what’s happening and why or rather how? A professional speak more openly than a parent about porn and stuff. Parents may feel uncomfortable.

My daughter is 13 years old and as a parent I would like to ask, how should I behave with my daughter, as we know these are the important years of their life.

Primarily girls are very sensitive to this age. For boys, the physical changes haven very naturally. But for girls, the physical changes are a lot of stress. New things happen to the body, mind and hence affect the soul. As a mother, now put on her friendship band and say we are buddies. Speak to her in person (alone) about various things which she should be aware of to survive in this world. But never threaten her or panic her during such buddy type discussions. Make sure she feels confident in telling you everything happening in her life. At times girly talks do help. But at times if she has made any mistake, then be strict (tell her now I am not your friend, but your mother). To open up frankly, many parents have mentioned about masturbating, trust me as per ‘psychology’ it is absolutely normal at this generation. They watch everything in front of us. Forget movies, even our normal tele-series / news channels show objectionable content. A survey by SCOPUS listed journal research paper shows that 76% of Girls and 93% Boys in Indian prime cities are exposed to porn and Masturbating. Boys have easy access, but girls are equally exposed and affected.

14 years old boy has started being irritated with everything around him. At school, at home, with family, siblings and basically everything. Gets into arguments at every instance. Is suddenly full of negativity about how people treat him. What can be done in this situation?

That’s what he shows you / others. There is some other issue. Some bullying / ragging / relationship or may be any other issue. These things have torrential effect on teenagers, which make them behave negatively or abruptly. Visit a counselor – is what I would advise.

Can getting jilted in infatuations cause negativity in teens?

Yes. Infatuation, often referred to as limerence, is a wildly turbulent experience that subjects us to a plethora of positive and negative emotions. Mainly, it causes us to obsess over the object of our adoration and focus on their ‘heavenly’ looks and traits. Infatuation is a deep, painful experience that can completely disrupt one’s life.

Father’s are too busy these days to spend time with children. Many moms are actually like single parents as when fathers are at home they want their own space at home. It’s a fact for many families today. So how can a mother handle this?

Fathers’ need more Parenting Trainings. Jokes apart, true – that’s the situation. Mother’s now have to play dual roles. But then Counselor’s are getting more success in profession because of this. Father’s role is very important – they are the ones who are earning for child / family. Every parent, irrespective of professional commitments need to give ‘some time’. I am not expecting to give one day every week, but one hour in a month may be a feasible option.

How does one help an adolescent going through heartbreak because they will have many broken friendships and heartbreak is a killer these days. Also, how do you help them when they think they are ugly fat and everyone else is better ?

Befriend the child and speak frankly that it just a phase of life. Explain the bigger goals in life (remember not to be philosophical). You have to be diplomatic. Let the child admire his /  her own body, actually as per psychology when we admire our-self, then we admire nature. Admire the small good thing the child does and appraise him / her.

Can nagging cause behavioural changes in teens?

That’s the scenario in today’s generation, so avoid it.

How to get teenage boys especially to open up? Parents at least need to find out all is well in his life overall?

For boys, father may play a crucial role. It’s not acceptable in India that a mother asks that boy of 13 years – if he is masturbating ? So here father can continue the same strategy as suggested for mothers. Similarly for girls – mothers do the same.

How to bring sports interest in a teenage child which is more interested in mobile phones?

Frankly, the seed of the problem was planted when the child was 6-7 years old. That’s when they are supposed to undergo various sporting activities and hence choose and decide upon few for future stress-busting activities. Now you can either provide him with options like badminton / carrom.

I have a school and now a days children use rough language very easily, how should we control them and teach them to use the right language.

Here counselor can not do anything. In the family, we have to modulate the discussions about the use of unparliamentary language.

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Abhra Pratip Ray – Stay Close While Still Giving Kids Their Space

Abhra Pratip Ray is a Professor, Teachers’ Trainer, Educator, Psychometric Trainer, Counselor. He is the owner and Director of Pinnacle EDUCARE(An organization into research of Behavior of senior secondary students and behavioral therapy) and Rays Academy and has been awarded as the ‘Best Teacher by Image Achievers Welfare Forum, Mumbai and the Best Education Mentor award from Brands Academy, Delhi’.

Abhra Pratip Ray – Stay Close While Still Giving Kids Their Space  was one of the most discussed topics. He has written 39 research papers into Educational behavior of Adolescents.

Abhra Pratip Ray has recently presented a research paper in a state level seminar. His expertise lie in Parenting & Mistakes, Empowering Girls, Early Adulthood, Parental Rights, etc.

The Session

Abhra Pratip Ray – Stay Close While Still Giving Kids Their Space  is the topic where she will be answering growing concern and questions from the parents. For more details visit our website.