Category Archives: Dealing with Your Kids

How to Teach Your Kids Responsibility

They say that for an adult to become responsible, he should be trained while still young. After all, parents can’t be around all the time to tell the child how to take responsibility for the choices and actions that will affect the people around him.

Show It and Practice It
You can’t expect the child to be responsible if he doesn’t see that in his parents. Show him by starting with small tasks like cleaning up after his mess. Ask him to help you if he spilled his drink for example. You can also ask him to participate in household chores, but don’t force it on him. Make it fun and praise him after a job well done.

Make Rules and Stick to It
Doting parents often allow slips, but that sends a wrong message to the child. He will think that those rules can be bent and he can just smile at you to escape the consequences. Everyone at home should also observe the same rules and practice the same routine.

Establish a Routine
Children need to be shown how to do things. Let them practice until it’s part of their routine. When your kid is already going to school for example, establish a routine for morning preparations. When he gets home, tell him about which tasks have to be completed first before letting him play with his toys or watch television.

You Should Be Easy to Talk To
You don’t need to be a monster to your child to teach him responsibility. Whenever he does something wrong, you should be calm but firm when the child approaches you. It will be easier for him to talk to you about what went wrong if he knows you’re there to listen and give advice, not judge and punish.

Don’t Be Afraid of Consequences
Some parents think that letting a child learn about consequences of misbehavior is a bit harsh. But if you don’t let them sort out their problems for themselves, they will never learn how to do so as adults. If he refuses to complete his homework for example, tell him he won’t be able to play video games. Even if you feel sorry, don’t go back on your word.

Praise Good Deeds
If your five-year-old daughter volunteered to wash the dishes, let her. Worry about the mess later. She will see it as play and not work. Just make sure someone is around to assist her. Praise your kid when they help or finish a task regardless of the result. You don’t have to have a reward system for everything. You should save those rewards for more important accomplishments.

What is Separation Anxiety Disorder?

Separation anxiety is common among children when they feel worried about being separated from their parents. It is a normal feeling that usually goes away as the child grows up and learns that the separation isn’t usually permanent. For some, however, the prospect of someone going away triggers exaggerated reactions.

Separation anxiety disorder is thought to be the most common type of anxiety disorder among children. Kids who come to school for the first time cry when they are left in the classroom. This may continue to happen until the child gets used to being separated for a short period of time from his/her parents or guardians.

It is considered a disorder if the child exhibits the following symptoms:
1. Complaints of headache and other body pains
2. Dizziness and shortness of breath
3. Fast heartbeat
4. Anger or sadness
5. Feeling of shame, helplessness and fear
6. Worrying about possible harm to persons the child is attached to

The child will also refuse to participate in class because he/she will feel worried all day. When at home, he/she might not want to sleep alone in the room because of nightmares. The child will refuse to be alone in the room even when awake and will always ask for someone to be near him/her.

As a result, the child cannot do things without someone watching over him/her. He/she will be the first one to refuse participation in class and is prone to absenteeism. The child will also never learn to become independent.

There will be limited social interactions. There is no chance to form friendships because he/she would rather be with the parents or siblings. If the child feels threatened of being left, he/she will throw tantrums.

The behavior will create a stressful environment at home and at school. Although most teachers are taught how to handle the situation in the classroom, the parents need to reinforce it at home. If the behavior is not addressed early, the child becomes clingy.

What causes separation anxiety? Although there is no one cause, traumatic experiences in the past can be a trigger. If the child has lost a loved one for example, the child might have found it difficult to understand. If he/she cannot cope with the help of the parents, it develops into a fear.

If your child exhibits any of the symptoms, you can ask for help from a child psychiatrist. He/she must learn to feel safe when the people he/she is attached to goes away for a while. Younger children will need counseling and exposure. The parents have to participate in the treatment for it to be effective.

For older children, psychotherapy is needed. He/she will also need support from the family. Medication might be prescribed for serious cases or if the patient is an adolescent. The family will have to reinforce the treatment at home.

Easing Separation Anxiety in Children  


It is normal for our small children to be anxious when we say goodbye. Leaving them will be the most difficult thing but we have to face but it is necessary at some point in time to teach them one valuable lesson in life – being independent. We cannot be there with them all the time so it is important that we start as soon as possible.


The anxious feeling of our children is called separation anxiety and it is a natural stage in development. As a parent, it is imperative that we understand separation anxiety and know the coping strategies to help the children cope up. The natural reactions to separation include tantrums, crying and clinginess. Separation anxiety lasts from a few days. Here are some tips on easing separation anxieties amongst children:

Practice it

There is no way to get better than to practice. As a parent, make a conscious effort to practice separation so when the time comes, your child already knows how to proceed or react. Do it gradually. For instance, leave your child with a caregiver for brief moments and short distances.

Know proper timing

If you are dealing with babies, you need to know proper timing. You can do this by scheduling separation when the babies are full and well slept. Remember that babies tend to be vulnerable when they are hungry or tired.

Check the surroundings

When you leave a child, do not just drop him/her in an unfamiliar territory because he/she will surely be anxious. The best thing to do is to check the surroundings first and determine if it is familiar with the child. A familiar environment can make a whole lot of difference at the end of the day.

Develop a ritual

Rituals don’t have to be that elaborate when saying goodbye. A simple kiss or wave through the window may be enough to ease the tension of the child. The ritual will assure the child that you will be back in no time.

Consider a consistent caregiver

When you hire a caregiver, make sure that he/she is the same until the child learns how to cope up. Make an effort to keep the caregiver for the benefit of your child.

We did everything but our child is still having a hard time coping up. That may not be a case of separation anxiety but of a serious disorder that needs professional help. The child may be suffering from separation anxiety disorder. There are many professionals here in Singapore that we can refer for possible treatments. separation-anxiety