Highlights of Chat with Dr Anupam Sibal: Child health and development – Part 1

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Q. To what extent can one mould a child's personality? I have heard the younger the easier it is but what about innate characteristics? What can we influence? Can we make our kids more friendly/ understanding/ clever? What do we not have any control on?

A. To a great extent, one can mould the personality. The earlier one starts, the better it is. Leading by example helps. If we want our child not to get angry, we must not get angry in front of our child. In terms of intelligence, one is born with whatever IQ one is destined to have. Nurturing can get the best out of that IQ.

 

Q. What about being an extrovert? DNA also influences personality?

A. Some kids are more extroverts. One can't influence that to a great extent.

 

Q. Can you guide on how to understand a 2.5 year old toddler better? I mean, when both parties (parent and child are trying their best), yet there is a gap and then the toddler has a meltdown. How to deal with it?

A. Without getting over analytical, analyze why the meltdown happened. May be the parents fought and the child observed that. May be the parenting technique changed. This happens. Don't worry.

 

Q. What are the practical ways of getting rid of thumb sucking especially when a toddler resorts to it during sleep? We have tried storytelling, singing, reading at bedtime yet the thumb seems indispensable to her.

A. Thumb sucking is normal.

 

Q. How does one define quality time - is just being around them enough or is it always important to engage in a constructive activity?

A: Uninterrupted time away for gadgets or any distractions.

 

Q. My 1-year-old starts getting sticky and loosish stools on consumption of cow's milk but is perfectly ok with Lactogen. Does Lactogen suffice as milk in terms of the nutrients it gives the child?

A. Both milk and lacto are fine. Don't worry about consistency. Milk only makes up a part of the diet of a 1-year-old.

 

Q. Please advise whether it's advisable in this day and age to keep a child home till they are 3 yrs and to be enrolled into Junior KG. I have heard mixed reviews from various moms. Some feel that Playschools just teach them to sit, eat, etc. which can be taught at home... Others feel it's important to get the child to socialize. Kids these days are so much more mentally evolved than what we were due to their exposure to technology and the fast paced environment. What would you advise in this day and age?

A. Spending quality time is important. Time you spend is more important than the time kids spend with gadgets. They need to socialize. 3 years or 4 doesn't really matter. Every child is different.

 

For many other interesting questions answered, Read: Part 2, Part 3

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Early Learning & Brain Development

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