The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Parents in GenX jumble

Parents have joined teachers in the long line of adults struggling to cope with today's problem child.

An increasing number of parents ' at a loss while trying to ascertain what the children want ' are repeatedly approaching school authorities, psychologists and counselling centres seeking solutions to 'behaviour problems' of the growing-up years.

'Today's parents are a confused group of people trying to keep pace with the demands of their children,' said psychiatrist Rima Mukherjee, after attending a long interactive session with guardians of Class IX-XII students in St James School on Friday. 'They are all seeking answers to questions that parents till the other day never had to face,' added Mukherjee.

St James had organised a three-day programme in an attempt to educate parents on how to nurture healthy minds. This is the first in a series of such sessions to be conducted in schools across the city.

'With the world becoming so competitive, it is difficult for the child as well as the parents to cope with the changing times,' said Alok Paliwal, whose son studies in St James.

The nature of parenting problems is broadly the same, only 'the manifestation of the disorder' differs, feels Smita Singh, a counsellor of a child guidance centre in central Calcutta. Some key questions raised by most parents are:

Why does my 17-year-old want to go to a nightclub'

Why does my child demand so much weekly pocket money'

How much time should I allow to my child for activities like partying and going out with friends'

How can I make my child sensitive to the needs of others'

How can I divert my child's attention from TV and Internet'

Can free mixing with the opposite sex be allowed before 18'

Aniruddha Deb, another psychiatrist dealing with child and adolescent psychiatry, points out how with changing times parents too should make an attempt to develop the right attitude towards the young ones.

'You should not be finding faults with the children all the time just because you are not in sync with their times,' added Terence Ireland, principal of St James School, who termed the programme a sensitisation process for parents and teachers.

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