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Motivational speaker Shradha Salla: Parents must understand child anxiety

Learn to be sensitive and read body language to better your little one’s emotional health

Motivational speaker Shradha Salla believes firmly that if our children cannot learn the way we teach them, maybe we should teach them the way they learn. Her intuitive approach and solution-oriented perspectives have been gaining ground as she focusses on strengthening little people, to ensure they are confident enough to tackles issues like  peer pressure, effectively. Mother to Aarna, 14, and Sunehra, 12, Shradha helps children and parents channelise their energies effectively, through her workshops.

Excerpts from a conversation:

Motivational speaker Shradha Salla believes parents must grasp the reasons behind their child's anxiety to better their emotional health
You interact extensively with children across schools. What is the main issue of concern that has come up in your perception of their psychology?

Anxiety disorders. This includes general anxiety or an obsessive compulsive behaviour pattern, spanning all domains in a child’s life, from peer pressure to the competitive streak to be the best to issues related to their own social standing, to even simple day to day activities. Certain issues crop up that rankle children throughout the day, and beyond.

What about the moods of a child?

A child’s mood flips like a coin; the trigger could be anything, from a household issue to a small tiff on the bus ride to school. But what is important is that throughout the day, this pendulum is moving. As parents, we must recognise this issue and help our children to control it for bettering their own focus. Also, a child may be good in studies and another, great at sports, but the level of competition is very high. Often, we as parents tend to compare their kids to others. Hence, instead of looking into their own personal strengths, the children tend to go into a low phase feeling the grass is always greener on the other side.

What is the correct way to handle these issues?

There is no wrong or right way as each child is unique and each parent wants to do the best by her or his child. I always believe in the intuitive approach. Follow your instinct. The extent of severity in some cases can be solved by with a spot of patience and perseverance. Other cases may require a bit of professional help.

Share a few tips with us.

It is a collective effort. We start by establishing a natural environment in schools where direct competition is healthy and each little person is recognised and applauded for their own special talent. This encouragement reflects in the child’s behaviour and temperament as well. As parents, we must desist from taking our child’s day to day simple problems too personally and work as a team with peers and teachers. The idea is always to focus on the issue that demands attention at the moment, and come up with a practical and positive solution.

How can parents help in cultivating a positive outlook and self-confidence in their children?

I always believe that behind every young child who believes in himself is a parent who believed first. But social, genetic and environmental factors also play a very important role in your child’s life. 

Shilpi Madan for Indian Express

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