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Why doesn't my daughter behave well?

Q: I have a 10 years old daughter, who is short tempered and demands liberty. She lives on her own conditions and misbehaves with family members. She is an average student. She never obeys anyone. I have two children. The other is a 6 years old boy, who is just opposite to her nature so we don't scold him like we do her. She believes that we love her brother more than her, which is actually not the case. What should I do? How do I deal with her? All my attempts have failed and I am really disappointed?

A:Every parent seems to want to have brilliant children with exemplary behaviour. They forget what they were like as children and treat their own child as though the dealer failed to follow their specifications, when delivering their order! All children are different from each other. They do not like being compared to a brother or a sister. In your daughter's case, she was four years old when a baby brother arrived. In most Indian families, the arrival of a boy is greeted with great joy and is widely celebrated. It is likely that the girl is treated as a lesser person, if not by the parents, by grandparents and other relations. Make sure this is not happening in your home. Assure your daughter that you care about her. Instead of shaping her it would be better to let her grow. Of course, she should be taught that good manners make it pleasant for everyone including herself. It is probable that you asked her to help with the baby and told her she was older and should take responsibility. But later, when she demands some freedom, you are not willing to give it. Her reading of the situation is possibly close to the reality at home. She hears you scolding her and telling her that she is a disappointment. In many cases, children live up to their expectations. A recent film called 'Taare Zamin par' depicts many of these issues sensitively. Seeing it will help both parents and children.

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