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Why has my niece lost interest in studies?

Q: My niece who is 13 years old and studying in 8th grade in Mumbai has suddenly lost interest in studies and has become very irritable and arrogant in her behaviour. She hates anyone telling her what do to. She used to play badminton at inter school level and has discontinued that too for the past 1 year as she says she is unable to cope with the physical stress. Can you please suggest how to tackle the problem as she will be in 10th within the next couple of years? As of now she is average in her studies with 70% marks.

A:Your niece is going through a period of storm and stress or adolescence as it has been described by psychologists. There are rapid physical and psychological changes which the youngster often finds hard to deal with. As family members there are some simple steps that should be taken to smoothen the process: a) be patient and supportive - not critical. b) keep communication channels open. c) set firm limits. d) make good reading sources available. e) keep in touch with teachers and friends. f) get a medical check-up done. g) consult a psychologist or school counsellor.

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