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How to handle a restless and unhappy child?

Q: My wife and I are both working and we live in a nuclear family. I have two daughters aged 8 years & 4 years. The maid takes care of the children during the day. My elder daughter is becoming very aggressive day by day. She does not listen to us, does not want to study, is always annoyed with one thing or the other and then keeps crying. Please help us, how do I make her understand and realise that the way she is growing up is going to lead all of us into trouble. I am very desperate with this child. Please help.

A:Everything has a reason. If your 8 year old daughter has suddenly become restless and unhappy, there must be a reason for it. Please do not treat it usually. How well do you know the maid who looks after the children in your absence? Are there any other servants in the family? Any frequent visitors? I do not wish to alarm you, but she could have had an unpleasant experience in school or in the home. Please talk to the child gently and without anger to find out what is bothering her. You must listen to her carefully and get the messages both from what she says and what she doesn't say. Perhaps the girls mother could take a weeks leave to see what is happening in the house and patiently locate the cause for the childs distress. Sometimes what we call bad behaviour is a message from the child, asking for help. Also talk to her teachers and friends, quietly and conversationally. I am sure the childs behaviour will change for the better, when you have spent time with her and in her cause.

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