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How can we handle our daughter in a better manner?

Q: I have a daughter who is 4yrs 6mons old. She stays with her aaya and maid when my husband and I leave for work as even though I have my mother in law staying with us, she is also a working woman. She is going to school from the age of two and loves going to school. She likes to meet people and can make friends easily with older people but takes time with children of her age. My main concern is that she is very restless and shot tempered. She cannot stick to any one thing at one point of time. This is both while playing and studing. She also forgets very easily. If I scold or beat her, she retaliates, shouts and cries back at me and then I feel sorry for her and give in to her. We read to her a lot and she likes listening to stories, but if we ask her to tell one, she wont or sometimes cannot. She watches cartoons a lot too, specially when she is eating food. When asked to tell the story, she is unable to tell it properly. Does this mean she does not understand them? Are other children of her age the same as her? Please give us some tips so that we can better handle our daughter and tell me how to improve her concentration?

A:Your child is fine. Many children of that age cannot concentrate for long periods on anything. Asking her to tell the story of a cartoon on TV is not necessary. It is a difficult exercise even for adults, as there is not much of a story there. In any case, instead of treating every contact with your daughter as something to improve her, please start looking at your interactions as something that can make her happy. I do not see any reason for you to scold her and beat her. Please AVOID this kind of harshness. An instruction given gently and lovingly will have more impact and will also be easily accepted by children. Forcing her to concentrate on a story line, for example will take all the joy out of a story reading experience. You should make it enjoyable for yourself and for the child. Are you surprised that she gets upset if you scold her and she shouts back? You are her role model. Since she sees very little of you, she will definitely want to be near you and to be cuddled by you. Parental affection is the best food for a good sense of oneself. It makes a difference throughout life. Making the child perform smartly does not have the same effect. All the best.

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