Make Your Child Stress-Free

Make Your Child Stress-Free

Author: Dr P V Vaidyanathan. MD (Paed); DCH
Publisher: Ulhas Latkar, Ameya Prakashan.
Price: Rs 150/-
Pages: 176.

Few days ago, when the schools were about to start for the new academic year and everyone was busy for the preparations which ranged from buying new books to new pencils, I was amazed to hear from a six year old that He is stressed!!! Yes, while buying new stuff in a store the big frown on the small forehead of my friend's child made me curious to ask him what happened and pat came the reply that you know aunty I am stressed!!! Tomorrow the school starts and I am scared to go to school.

Stress has become a global disease and has pervaded all age groups! One may ask, with insurmountable amount of data is available at the click of the mouse, why read this book?

Well, the most important factor which makes it mandatory is that it is written by someone who is a practicing child specialist for more than 17 years. And his experience transfers throughout the book, as one can actually see the world of stress our growing ones live in. It is a storehouse of all the information one needs and aptly makes us experience the trauma our children are going through for which unfortunately we, as parents and physicians, are unaware.

The book is spread over 176 pages, divided lucidly in 10 Chapters and here are the salient features why you need to read all of them.

The World of Stress
Stress is a shadow, faithfully following us to the grave and often being the cause of us reaching our graves.
A short overview which explains in a nutshell how stress has become grave over the years.

Childhood Stress
Parents react with disbelief and shock when informed that their child is in distress Stress has been typecast and is always associated with adults.
Unfortunately "Childhood Stress" is an entity which does exist and comes in all shape and sizes. This section throws light on to what brings about the stress in the day to day life, its identification and how the changes manifested by children are subtle and often ignored.

Understanding a Child's Needs
To understand stress in children, it is first important to understand their needs
Most parents take care of the primary need of the child but so do the orphanage! So what does a child in the orphanage crave for - the human touch. This section explains many more such needs of the child which are often not even realized by those around.

We, the Parents
One of the toughest jobs in the world is that of bringing up a child. There is no one shoe that fits every foot thus parents have to learn by trial and error.
This section ranges from the expectations of the parent towards the child and their role. Interesting to read are the virtues that parents develop and the author has enlisted twenty commonest ones, patience...endurance...maturity etc to name the few.

What is Stress
We encounter stress everyday. We also know it by many alternative terms such as anxiety, pressure and tension.
Stress is explained in general and then the chapter moves on specifically towards stress in children. Stressors are broadly divided into internal (thoughts, beliefs, attitudes) and external (a loss, tragedy).

Symptoms of Stress
A key point to remember is that in children, most symptoms of stress are attention seeking measures.
This section deals with key symptoms in children; entire symptomatology divided into infants, preschoolers, school children, preteens and adolescents, with a closer look of the common symptoms.

Causes of Stress
One man's food is another man's poison and what is an obvious stressor for some may be
innocuous to others.

Several causes viz physical, parental, social, educational etc. are explained beautifully.

Effects of Stress
Stress is an ignorant state which believes everything is an emergency.
Deals into insights of suicide, stress performance curve with graphical presentation for easy understanding and fight and flight response to stress.

Stress Management
We are often upset about things which are relatively insignificant or unimportant thus it is time to put things into perspective.
Obviously one of the longest chapters of the book, the author has turned all the leaves from the book of his experience and managed to give indepth details viz stress prevention and treatment, tips for parents, how to set realistic goals and then limit to achieve them, how to set aside time for activities and participate, to set goals and break them into easily achievable task, how to lead by example, positive channel of communication.

The most interesting is the ABC of combating stress. The whole section is given in points format, which not only makes it interesting to read but also easy to remember. There is a big list of Dos and Don'ts of managing stress; tips to use in an emergency. Last but not the least when to seek / refer for professional help.

Just Be, Don't Become
Each child is different, each child is unique.
There is no institution which can teach one to become a good parent or how to raise a child. A parent has to learn letting go their own obsession of making their child perfect.

The beauty of the book lies in its simplicity in explaining one of the most difficult factors of life called stress. It is a complete guide for parents to understand and remedy stress in children from infants to teenagers. Almost all the important points the book covers has been represented by poems and anecdotes which compels one to reflect in day to day life the problems faced by children and their parents in dealing them.

Also a must read for primary care physicians with a good percentage of paediatric practice.

Book Reviewed by
Dr Sushma Jaiswal

Kindly write for any more info or to buy the book