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How to deal with a restless and short tempered child?

Q: I have a daughter who is 4yrs 6months 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 short tempered. She cannot stick to any one thing at one point of time and 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 doesnot 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:Though your daughter appears to be intelligent and normal for her age, her socio-emotional development needs to be given attention: a)You must be consistent in discipline, because if you give in easily then she would take it as a signal that insisting will result in getting what she wants. b)She is comfortable with adults as she has mostly adult company at home, so she needs more exposure with her peer group. c)Though children of her age are naturally active, playful and restless, if you find her more restless than other kids at this age, get her assessed for attention-deficit-hyperactive syndrome and take necessary action, if suggested.

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