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Question. Sir, I am 30 and my husband is 33. We have a 4 year old daughter. Both of us are working, so while we are at office, my mother in law takes care of our daughter. She is a very active kid otherwise, but she has not started to speak yet. It is worrying us that she is unable to even speak two syllable words properly. We have consulted the pediatrician and he see no apparent physical condition causing this problem. According to him she is a perfectly normal child, physically with her milestones at appropriate ages. He suggested we see a psychologist to know the exact reason for this problem. We are very worried sir, please help us in this regard.
Ans. Please relax. Sometimes it happens that, owing the environment around, the upbringing, the people they grow up with etc., children tend to have delayed speech or a couple of other issues as well. It is a serious issue, but not something which cannot be resolved. Kids in the ages 0-6 are very receptive to whatever we try to teach them and language skills picked up in this time go a long way in building their communication skills. Come and see me along with the child and I will examine her overall, check her motor movements etc., basically test the other functions in her if they are all normal and assess the exact problem and then decide what needs to be done about it.

Question. Our daughter is giving us a real tough time. She is 17 and is in her 12th standard. Her behavior is a cause of concern to everyone around her. She doesn’t pay heed to whatever we try to tell her and treats us, her parents as her biggest enemies on earth. She doesn’t hesitate to say anything to us. She sometimes even uses abusive language. She doesn’t even care for her safety and has fallen into some really bad company. Her way of clothing is highly objectionable. She is out with friends till late in the night. Even the little time she is at home, she is in her own world, locked inside her room with her phone and computer. I sometimes hear her crying over the phone and throws tantrums if we try to speak something to her even in the positive sense. She has developed a kind of repulsion towards us. I am sure even she doesn’t know where life is taking her. She has become very blunt and I notice a lot of mood swings in her. Can you please help her to come on track again and live a normal life of a 17 year old? Is giving her freedom the biggest mistake we have committed? Please advise.

Ans. Teenage is a tough time for both the children who are going through it and also for the parents. Hormonal changes occurring in their body cause a lot of physiological and psychological changes in them, because of which the children get irritable, upset, have mood swings etc., At this point of time when they are themselves going through a tough time, if you as parents try to lay down rules or start tightening the strings for them, they get flustered and start throwing tantrums. They will begin to lose that trust and faith in you and start treating you like enemies. Hence it is important that you first learn how to handle such adolescents, the care you have to take while talking to them, being gentle and giving them unconditional love and affection. Despite all your efforts, If you feel that your child is not getting back to normalcy and is in some real serious trouble, please seek professional help.

Question. Sir my son has been married for a year now. From his childhood we have seen him as a very happy person who is extremely jovial and sociable. From the time he got married, I have noticed that he is under some form of psychological stress. Our daughter in law has all the qualities one could ask for. She is beautiful, highly educated, has a good career of her own, we thought in every way she could complement our son very well. Sadly, that was not meant to be. We have observed that any situation, big or small, she always tends to compete with him. She has serious issues when asked to perform any household chores and tends to argue over petty issues almost all the time. She compares herself with our son and expects equality in every petty thing. Initially we thought, maybe our presence isn’t giving them enough privacy and maybe because of that, the issues are cropping up, but that was not the case. Even after we moved out, they continued to argue and fight every morning. We have never seen her cook or do anything that is expected of a normal Indian married woman. Our son is deeply frustrated. These days, they don’t even sleep in the same room. They had courted each other for almost a year before they got married and I wonder why he failed to understand her! What started off as a fairy tale wedding has become a pain for him now. I have been your fan from the time you were a novelist. I also heard you practiced family law for a long time too… Please advise our son should divorce her…

Ans. Mrs. S.K. I kind of get what you are trying to say. I am also sad to note that a person of your age and experience has to believe that the fault lies with your daughter in law alone and that your son has no role to play in this! Have you forgotten that you always require two hands to clap. According to me, the situation has not gone so out of control that you have to think of divorce for them. I see that one part of the major issue here is both of them have severe ego hassles. The other half however is more problematic. They have a problem is understandable, they are undergoing the initial hiccups in a marriage which is very common these days, but you as his parents are blowing this issue way too much out of proportion and magnifying it, which is also causing damage to their relationship. Involvement of third party, be it even parents, only causes deterioration in the marital relationship. If you ask me, I would say it’s not divorce that they need. With some professional help, they can resolves issues in their marital life and start living a happy married life, within just 15 days of marital counseling. So without any further delay, please stop imposing your ideas onto them and get them to see me. Good Luck.

Question. Our son is doing his second year of Engineering. He is a bright student and secured a seat in one of the best engineering colleges in Andhra Pradesh. He has always been good at studies but somehow lacked social skills in any form. He doesn’t talk to anyone, prefers being alone, doesn’t mingle with people. He never even ran errands at home like going to a bank to deposit money or buying groceries from a local store. He avoids any form of interaction with outsiders. He hardly has any friends and doesn’t even enjoy playing outdoor games. When questioned he gets all irritated and starts arguing with us. Academically we have no issues concerning him but his attitude towards people and life in general is scaring us. Can we hope to see changes in him get him to you for counseling?
Ans. Of course counseling can help to change his outlook towards life and people. As you notice in the present world, academics do play a role in molding an individual’s career but almost equally important is communication and how he basically conducts himself. If he cannot master the latter, there is a danger of losing out on many career opportunities. To be able to make a mark in the professional world, one needs to overcome this fear, hesitation and the ego related to interacting with people. Personality Building techniques in Pranayoga will definitely help your son inculcate all the qualities required for him to be an overall success. 15 days is what I need to ensure changes begin to show in him. See me along with him as soon as possible.