PARENTS of “tweeners” and teenagers usually face the challenging task of understanding and correcting their children’s changing behavior. Absentee parents, particularly those who are working overseas, have a more challenging role.
Risky behaviors of teenagers include engaging in sex, drugs, alcohol and smoking.
“Early exposure to vices can be addicting. Exposure could come from peers, and mainstream and social media,” said Dr. Rainier Umali, psychiatrist, in an interview on Radyo Klinika at DWiz 882 KHZ AM.
Dr. Umali believes that parents who spoil their children usually have teenagers who end up abusing themselves through vices. Sometimes, children who are products of broken homes or victims of violence at home have the same behavioral changes.
Talking to your children in a calm tone (not an accusing tone) can help in preventing the situation from blowing out of proportion, according to Dr. Umali.
“Don’t ask why. Ask them: what’s the reason for your behavior? This will make your child think and explain the reason behind his actions. And both of you can come up with a solution the problem.”
The psychiatrist also believes that delaying the use of communication devices and engagement in social media in young children can help prevent early exposure to the temptations.
“Discipline is still the key in raising our children well. Both parents should be strict in the right way and avoid playing the good cop and bad cop because this will be confusing for the child.”
Teenagers who have mood swings could be suffering from depression or bipolar disorder. “Never trivialize or think that your child is overreacting when their mood changes from ecstatic to extremely angry. Observe your child on how frequent these mood swings are happening. Try to talk to them, listen and emphatize,” noted Dr. Umali.
“Don’t shout back when they are angry at you. Allow your child to express everything that they think or feel, and talk about it when he has settled down.”
Consider also having your child checked if he has non-convulsive epilepsy, if there are changes in behavior. In non-convulsive epilepsy, the child could experience problems in cognition, memory, arousal or motor behavior.
Recognizing these behavioral changes and reacting immediately in a calm and positive way could help tweeners and teenagers from damaging themselves psychologically and physically, stressed Dr. Umali.
To spread awareness on preventing drug abuse and maintaining mental, physical and emotional wellness, Dr. Umali’s group, People’s Volunteer Against Illegal Drugs (PVAID), will hold a F.A.N. (Filipinos Against Narcotics) Run on August 10, 2019, Saturday on Roxas Boulevard, Manila. Assembly is at the Quirino Grandstand at 4 p.m. Categories are: 3 kilometers, 5 kilometers and 10 kilometer-run. Race kit includes a singlet, race bib, hydration bottle and glow in the dark stick. To register online: www.pvaid.ph or contact 0998-932-0911.
Radyo Klinika has been awarded Best Radio Magazine Program in the 2016 Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas Golden Dove Awards. It airs Tuesday to Friday, 7 to 8 pm on Dwiz 882 KHZ AM. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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