Disturbing increase of behavioural problems in kids as parents exit for job

Here is a painful sign that will add more blame on busy and struggling working parents – one out of five patients walking into NIMHANS for psychiatric assistance is a kid.

Here is a painful sign that will add more blame on busy, strained and struggling working parents – one out of five patients walking into Bangalore-based NIMHANS for psychiatric and counselling assistance is a kid.

With numerous couples – both professionals and businessmen – struggling to keep their jobs or spending extended and stressed out hours at work, children are being hungry of time, attention and love. Doctors said this is resulting to a stable trickle of psychologically disturbed toddlers aged five years and below.

Reportedly, director of NIMHANS, P Satishchandra said “The youngest case we’ve seen is a one-year old. The child could not identify any recognizable faces, as well as those of parents, since they were barely around. Passed on from one set of caretaker to another, the child was throwing awful outbursts, forcing the parents to look for our help.”

He added children now have several numbers of authorities and each one with a dissimilar parenting manner, which puzzles them. They experience from learning confusion and lack of attention.

A professor of child and adult psychology at NIMHANS, Shoba Srinath said “Children respond to stress and strain. When parents fret about losing jobs and paying debts, it has an unpleasant effect on the child.”

Fancy toys and gadgets and baby-sitters cannot fill the emptiness left by parents. A similar increase in children immediately needing counselling is being observed.

One of the doctor told that he asked a 5-year-old to sketch pictures (part of a test to understand how they think about some topics). The child drew empty nests and black desolate trees. He was oppressed at school, but could not speak up about it and projected his anguish by moving back. Both his parents work long hours; one is in the IT sector and the other in healthcare.

A lot of parents of such distressed children are normally from the IT, ITES and financial services sectors. A reasonable sprinkling of business families also approach for assistance.

Frequently, the affected children belong to homes where parents work in different cities and get together only during the weekends and then one of the parent gets one toy every day for his/her child to make up for returning home late. If the child does not get the gift on any of the days, they show outbursts and the parents believe that there is some trouble with the child and not their parenting skill.

Reportedly, 10-15 percent of children in crèche are demonstrating symptoms of learning disability. Parents are also sluggish to catch such behavioural problems. Parents first think it is a bodily illness and get the children checked for any ill health. Only later on do they comprehend the cause behind behavioural problems. This is more frequent among first-time parents in their late 20s and early 30s.

This also happens with business families, in a case an absentee businessman father resulted in a psychiatric involvement and prescription for his children aged 8 and 13.

The problem is increasing day per day and is getting severe. The problem is emerging even in smaller cities. There are examples of children being gifted ipads so that they don’t bother parents who get their work home.

Games have colours and items banging on display in less than a second and a child look forward to similar stimulus from his real life. They are saddened and irritated when the same does not happen.

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