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Healthy Mind and Healthy Body

Horlicks had sponsored the programme, and this was organised to help children during their exam times and was named 'Horlicks Mission Exam 2011'. A 12 minute film on 'Parenting' was played before the talk.

The talk was given by a panel consisting of five specialists, Dr. Ali Khwaja, Dr. Phyllis Farias, Dr. Sheela Krishnaswamy, Ms. Wanitha Ashok and Mr. Gul Mohammed Akbar.

Healthy Mind and Healthy BodyPlace: Lalit Ashok
Date: 8 Feb 2011
Time: 2.30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
People gathered: 60-70 parents, teachers and students

Dr. Phyllis Farias is a Psychologist and she spoke on Healthy mind. She said the factors that can have an ill effects on the child's mind were
Marital disharmony: the parents must make sure that they do not have any ill arguments in front of the child. It is natural to have disagreements or a difference of views or thoughts between the parents, but they must make sure that it does not advance into something ugly which the child cannot bear.

Comparison: when the child is compared with another child, it maybe a sibling or a friend, he may loose his self-esteem and confidence in himself. God has made everyone unique, and if he only wanted everyone to be the same he would have simply had a xerox machine. So it is very important to understand that you have to accept the child and not compare him to another child.
Healthy Mind and Healthy BodyExpectations: Parents have a lot of expectations from their children, irrespective of the child's interest in that particular task. They always expect their child to be in the first place ahead of all the others. Dr. Phyllis also mentioned about a parent saying that her child had won 360 prizes in various sports activities, and the child had withdrawn from these activities after a year. The parent should know what they have to give their significance on, is it the upbringing of the child or the statistics and figures the child is getting. So the formula for doing well is the 'Feel good factor'. If the child is interested in doing a particular activity, allow him to do it.
Discipline styles: Parents should know how discipline should be brought about in the child.


Healthy Mind and Healthy BodyDr. Sheela Krishnaswamy who is a Nutrition expert spoke about a few misconception which people have about food and their effects. She gave the following statements and asked them to state whether they were true or false
1.Intake of sugar leads to hyperactives in children. - This is a false statement
2.Almonds with ghee increases the memory- this is also a false statement, but many people said it was true and they had also made it a habit to give it to children during their exam times, to help them increase their memory.
3.Supplements can make up for food- this too is a false statement, but some people believed it to be true.
4.If there is an intake of low fat food, there is no weight gain- this a again a false statement, some parents mentioned that they believed this was true. Dr. Sheela replied that any food if over eaten will increase the weight.
5.Any food is OK, as far as the child is active- this is also a false statement, but their was a unanimous 'Yes' as response for this statement.
Dr. Sheela then spoke about the various healthy food and its benefits, she also mentioned that any food was alright as far as the intake is in the right proportion.          
Healthy Mind and Healthy BodyMs. Wanitha Ashok is the fitness expert and also a aerobic instructor, and she spoke about the benefits of exercises and postures. She said that the exercises are very important as they increase the blood circulation in the body and due to this the activeness of the brain also increases. The postures that one maintains while sitting, standing or walking is also important. The more one maintains a straight posture the more calories he burns. Exercise especially for students during exams are very important for their relaxation and better concentration. Exercises such as yoga, deep breathing also proves to be beneficial to students to reduce stress and improve alertness in them.

Healthy Mind and Healthy BodyDr. Ali Khwaja spoke about the stress has increased the burden on children. He said that competition is created by us, and then the children are burdened due to this competition. Parents should first understand and accept their children as they are. Referring to the film which was played during the beginning of the session, he said that children may be bad at listening to parents, but are very good at mimicking them. Hence instead of just telling the child what to do, you be a role model for the child and you first do the thing that you expect from your child. For example parents are always heard of complaining that their child does bad in studies. So instead of telling the child to study why don't you take up a book and read, or even better enroll yourself into some course. You set an example for your child and he will, without your your asking, will follow you. Don't change rules everyday, because this could upset the child, he will also think that you are being dishonest.Healthy Mind and Healthy Body The same rule applies to what you decide to give your child, be conservative what you give your child. For example, a mobile phone, if you feel that your child does not require a mobile phone, do not give it to him, no matter how much he begs for it or even threatens you about it. Be very firm that you are not intending to give him a mobile phone, if you have decided on when you are going to given him one, also mention that to him. Make him understand why you feel it is unnecessary for him to have a mobile phone, explain yourself properly. And again, if you have given him a mobile phone, don't change your mind and take it back suddenly, he may feel completely disappointed and let down.Healthy Mind and Healthy Body Communication with your child is very important and the spelling of communication should be 'LISTEN'. One should know how to listen to the child and know what he is feeling. For this a parent must be a good listener and understand what the child is feeling at that moment. Understand that when a child is stressed out he or she can easily put on a mask, they may show themselves as completely out of stress and become very cheerful. This is a major indicator that the child is undergoing sever stress and is also afraid to show it out. Encourage your child to have long term goals, because these are the children who will have less stress and also score better marks. They know and understand what their goal is and they start working towards it in a more relaxed and appropriate manner. The best method to beat competition is to make the child compete against himself. This will increase the abilities of the child and also reduce stress. Teach the child to relax, and have last minute relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises etc. The child should also have proper sleep, nutrition and fun and laughter, especially during the exam times.  

Healthy Mind and Healthy BodyGul Mohammad Akbar is a fitness expert and also martial arts expert. He displayed a few techniques in martial arts and also told the importance of knowing them. Speaking about students and their preparation for exams, he said that last minute preparations will not help the student. It will be like Sachin Tendulkar learning a new stroke the previous day of an important match, it is impossible to do this and is also unhealthy. A student should prepare for the exams not in the last minute, but well before that. He should plan it in such a manner that he has enough time to revise the lessons. Parents play an important role here than the teachers, because the children spend a lot of time at home than in school. Hence parents should encourage their children to take the right path. Talking about exercises he explained about their importances, he also mentioned that if the family members can exercise together it would be useful to everyone in the family.
Healthy Mind and Healthy Body
Question1: My fourth daughter is not scoring good marks in the exams whereas the others siblings have done well, she is also interested in football and has a ligament problem because of playing football. She always feels left out also.
Answer (Dr. Ali and Dr. Phyllis answered this question) : Dr. Phyllis mentioned not to compare the child with other children, and she also mentioned that there is a stage where the child will go through, where she will feel let down and as a parent you should learn to recognise it. Dr. Ali mentioned that counseling will be required not only for the child but also for the parents. You have to first learn to understand your child and let her do what she wants, do not load her with those things that you are interested in.
Healthy Mind and Healthy Body
Question 2: I am a teacher and my son studies in the same school where I teach. I also teach his class. I get complains from other teachers about my son always talking in the class, and he also disturbs other students. What is the solution for this, as I cannot defend him or punish him. He also judges his teachers, I find that the teachers behave the same way but I am not able to agree with him .
Answer: Don't try to control your son. He may be speaking because he feels the class very boring or he maybe understanding the lesson or class faster. He is capable of understanding people the right manner, has a gift of communication and this is very good for the child. So you need not be worried about him, accept him and be happy he is this way.
Healthy Mind and Healthy Body
Question 3: I am a teacher and I find that the students act very smart in class. What is the solution for this.
Answer: First understand who owns the problem. If you think that you are getting affected by thinking that the child is smart, then you are the person who has a problem. If you think that the child is getting affect because of his behavior then you need to help him. Again these are only a few children and not all, this is because they are constantly under the microscope. As a result of this they may feel very pressurized and behave this way.

-Report by Jyothi Chandran

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