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Why does my daughter cry every morning?

Q: My 6.5 years old daughter is very stubborn. She never listens to others/parents and does only what she likes. For the last 3 years she has been going to school but even then every morning she wakes up crying with same complaint that she wants to sleep more. We try to sleep early in night around 10 PM. But she never wakes up without crying. How can we improve her habits? Also, she does not take proper food and likes only 2-3 vegetables. She does not mix with other children especially in groups and has very limited friends and only those who obey her instructions. She tries to avoid go out as far as possible even school picnic. Only thing she likes is watching TV and eating Maggie. Please advise.

A:One of the child's problems may be exactly what she says - not enough sleep. If she goes to bed at 10.00 PM, that is not early. She should be in bed by 8.30 PM or 9.00 PM at the latest. Many children stay up because their parents are awake and watching TV. You must make specific rules for her and keep them. You did not say at what time she is woken up, but that it is a time when she has not had enough sleep seems to be happening. The practical things you can do:

  • After her evening meal put off the TV, quieten the place where she sleeps, read to her for 5 minutes or tell her a story or sing to her.
  • She must have healthy food cooked with low spice and with good nutrients to meet her growing needs. Ready-made food like Maggie noodles must be avoided as such foods contain MSG (monosodium glutamate) which excites the system and is totally unsuitable for children.
  • Make soft food for her. She need not eat all the vegetables that are cooked for adults. Her diet will be adequate even if she has only 2 or 3 vegetables. She might like some fruits and could have them once a day.
  • Talk to her and find out what makes her happy. Let her know that parents are really concerned about her.
  • If she has a few friends, that is good enough for a start. As she grows up, she will increase her circle of playmates.
  • All children are not alike and you will have to learn to like her for who she is instead of making her over in your image.
  • Get her health checked (not as a punishment)! and make sure she has no worms in her system or lice in her hair. Children pick these up in school and may need immediate attention to them.

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