A parent asks: This is about my 10-year-old child. She straightaway says that she doesn't like studies. She lies and hides teachers' remarks, assignments and dates of class test. All she loves is music, dance and playing. She intentionally misplaces her books during exams to avoid studying. Please help.
Dr Saliha Afridi (Clinical Psychologist, Director, The LightHouse Arabia, Dubai) replies: First, I would be curious to know how 'studies' are being discussed or presented to her. Is it something that has a lot of pressure associated with it? Is it something that she can do during part of her day while she spends the other part doing the things she enjoys? Is there enough time for her in the day to do the things she enjoys? Kids these days are often living in a pressure cooker. They are hyper scheduled and under an enormous amount of stress to perform in many scheduled and structured activities in school and after school. There is very little time for them to be kids and free-play.
Second, children only lie when they don't feel safe. If she is lying about her grades or her assignments, its because she does not like the reaction you will give her if she shows them to you. If you take the stance of curiosity and wonder about your child, rather than dictate or drill her...she may respond differently.
Third, once safety and curiosity have been established, helping your daughter with a routine that allows for both work and play during the day will be something that will be helpful. You may use rewards as a way to motivate her to go through her day in a more balanced way.
Disclaimer: This blog is a conversation and is not an alternative for treatment. The recommendations and suggestions offered by our panel of psychiatrists are their own and Gulf News will not take any responsibility for the advice they provide.