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Is there something troubling our son?

Q: I have a six and a half years old son. He is a very sensitive child. About a year back we shifted to Mumbai. Because of the new school and new set of friends he faced little adjustment problems initially. He is good in studies. But for the last few months there is a visible change in his behaviour. Actually my husband and me used to fight on certain issues. When we noticed it was affecting him, we stopped fighting completely. He is very fond of watching TV and views many programs on Discovery and cartoons (that are non-violent). He gains a lot of knowledge through discovery programmes. He thinks a lot and when I give him something to eat, he makes assumptions that lizards and cockroaches have passed through his food and that if he eats it, he will die. Or that I have touched the wall through which once a lizard had passed and if I do not wash my hands, the food will become poisonous. He asks a lot of questions about dinosaurs. In school he is a quiet, introvert and highly obedient child. Everytime he enters a new class, he has problems adjusting with the new class teacher. Earlier I used to think that our son is very inquisitive (which is good). But now, I feel that something is troubling him. As far as we our concerned, we have completely stopped fighting. Is it possible that watching discovery could affect him. His studies are also getting affected by this. Please suggest what should we do.

A:If you think that something is bothering your child, why dont you talk to him and find out? Watching Discovery channel is not in itself dangerous, though often they are serials that are too complex for young children. Something on TV could also have scared him. You must convince him that hygiene and cleanliness are good, but we do not have to worry about it all the time. He should not get obsessive about being clean. If his teacher is new, the situation is common to all the children in the class. He will get used to her as will the other children. It is mildly upsetting for a child to see his parents argue, but even if feelings are not openly shown, if there is anger or mistrust between the parents, the child will sense it. Make the time he spends at home, full of joy and fun. Let there be children's music, story books to read and interesting toys. Spend time with him and listen to him, to find out what is going on in his mind. If any problem becomes acute you can consult child psychologist.

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