What is Conduct Disorder And How To Handle It ?#MentalHealth #CauseAChatter

Canva/Pexels

Parents can be the biggest allies or worst enemies when it comes to dealing with children and adolescent. Their denial of their child’s mental health issues can complicates things and can worsen the situation. There are so many therapies available which kids or anybody who is suffering from mental health conditions can be benefitted from. But I see most of the times parents ignore the seriousness of the situation and write it off as defiant behavior, active imagination or they just hope their child will grow out of things such as torturing animals and setting fires. Denial is one of the defense mechanism and can be extremely unhealthy in the long run.

Conduct problems have become very common among students and adolescents in our society. And the reason could be many, to name a few

  • Nuclear Families
  • Working parents
  • Exposure
  • Social Media
  • Expectations
  • Competition
  • Nanny culture
  • Family history

But first it is important to understand what is Conduct Disorder?

Conduct Disorder is a mental condition. The behaviour goes beyond normal bullying to hurting people to Intensive disregard for societal norms and the rights, feeling, and personal space of other people. Children with conduct disorder are often difficult to diagnosed, as all kids act out sometimes. It is only when extreme behaviour shows up over a long period of time and isn’t caused by the child’s environment. And also if major age appropriate societal norms are violated or if their is a significant impairment in everyday functioning at home or school can be labeled as Conduct Disorder.

When we talk about normal behavior, it depends on the child’s age, character, and physical and emotional development. If their behaviour doesn’t match with family or societal expectations or is disruptive, it may become a problem. And that’s when intervention is needed.

Now lets move on to the symptoms of Conduct Disorder

  • Aggressive Behaviour: such as cruelty to animals, fighting, extreme bullying or committing physical and sexual abuse etc.
  • Destructive Behaviour: Destructions of property, breaking and throwing things, stealing etc.
  • Deceitful Behaviour: such as shoplifting, lying, cheating etc.
  • Violation of rules: such as running away from home, ignoring rights and feeling of other people, not caring about social norms etc.

Childhood onset conduct disorder can lead to problems like drug abuses, adult crime, marital disruption, alcoholism and many more.

But what factor causes all of these?

  • Genetic predisposition : Having a parent or sibling with conduct disorder or having a biological parent who abuses alcohol or has depression, bipolar disorder or any other mental health conditions.
  • Physiological influences
  • Social Influences
  • Family Influences
  • Environment influences
  • Individual characteristics

In fact combination of all these factors can lead to conduct disorder. In order to understand the conduct disorder exhibit by a child, it is important to find out the social and medical history of the child and the family. One thing that we need to remember is, it is our thoughts that creates feelings within us and these feelings creates behaviour and behaviour reinforces these thoughts. We all realize the influence of our childhood on the adult we become. Therefore, the foundation of a house and our childhood experiences are the foundation on which the rest of our lives are built. And if the foundation is not solid and has emotional cracks and wounds, these affect the structure of our adult lives. If a child has experienced awful instances like the way his/her parents always argued, that his/her brother was abusive, that school was hell etc. , all these will lead to bad memories which can haunt them throughout their life and shape their life accordingly.

Can we do anything about it?

Yes, we can. But prior to this, creating awareness with respect to conduct disorder is must, as there is very limited knowledge in this area. Recognizing at the right time and acting on it when they appear, can minimize the distress experiences by the child and the family.

Congnitive Emotional Interventions (CEI)

Now this is an extended version of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral therapy), which aims at helping individuals to evaluate the basis of their emotional distress, understand their trigger points and this exercise will train individual to enhance their cognitive control over their emotions. Most of the time people form certain beliefs and attitude based on their environment and if they have negative influence on them, it leads to emotional distress results in mental health conditions one of which is conduct disorder. So CEI process will help in reducing emotional distress by correcting errors in thoughts, perceptions and beliefs. As a result an individual will have better self control and become direct agent of their own changes rather than as helpless victim of external events and forces.

The major strategies that are adopted in CEI are

  • Cognitive Restructuring: The technique involves first identifying a situation that leads to stress and the thoughts and feelings that arise in that situation. Then examine the thoughts by understanding what is true about them and what is not. Finally, develop an alternative and more balanced thought and determine how you will feel when you adopt this new way of thinking.
  • Cognitive problem solving: In this first identify and define the problem, find alternate solutions, evaluate them and find the best one.
  • Thought stopping strategies: List your most stressful thoughts, imagine the thought, Stop the thought, Practice steps 1 through 3 until the thought goes away on command, after your normal voice is able to stop the thought, try whispering “Stop.” Over time, you can just imagine hearing “Stop” inside your mind.
  • Three column technique: In this technique, fold a paper width-wise into three columns. In the first column, write your negative thoughts, such as, I can’t do anything good in life. In the second column write cognitive errors like I hate my self, life is not fair etc. In the third column write those thoughts which are based on fact and not distortion, which would be, I have challenges so, I will keep working at it until things get better. Now underline those things that created anxiety or negative emotions. By doing this you make an individual realize that they are not doing anything good to themselves and not adding any value, so start ignoring these inner critics.
  • Cognitive mapping: It is like a flow chart or popularly known as mind mapping. Describing the problem in detail can help us identify key thoughts and behaviors’ that otherwise might be overlooked. It will not only help you identify the origins of your difficulties but, more crucially, help you spot the patterns of thought, feeling and action that are keeping the problem going in the present.

All these techniques will help a child or an adult to replace their self-criticizing thoughts with self-compassionate ones and keeping track of their negative thoughts will lead to more adaptive coping behaviour.

This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter

E-Commerce Contribution In Building Economy

Ecommerce has given a new dimension to economic growth and added more value to business and customers. I believe after the Industrial revolution the biggest development seen in the business world is the emergence of e-commerce which will revolutionize economic growth. The world is witnessing a digital revolution involving the internet and the use of websites all around the world has set the stage for e-commerce. Essentially this new economy is the digital economy that offers the most important facilities, the capacity to make transactions beyond the border, time, and space.

Ecommerce has enormous growth potential and is going to be the driving force of economic development. It is important to understand the true potential of e-commerce if we want to see structural change in our economy. Ecommerce has been there for the last two decades in some other form, be it fax, telephone, Tv, Electronic payment, electronic data interchange, money transfer system, etc. But the spread of the Internet has become the new forcer popularizing it. The internet provides access twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, anytime anywhere. Therefore, time and place are no longer a constraint.
Though E-commerce is built on the traditional business structure but offers the flexibility of electronic networks that led to improvement in operations and as a result substantial cost saving as well as increasing competitiveness and efficiency through redesigning of traditional business.

Recently we have witnessed many countries attaining a higher level of development. The reason behind this massive development is E-commerce, as it has given a new dimension to economic growth thereby creating a conducive environment for further development.

Ecommerce and Economic growth in India

Acceleration In Demand

India’s e-commerce order volume increased by 36% in the last quarter, with the personal care, beauty, and wellness segment being the largest beneficiary. India’s e-commerce market is expected to reach US$ 111 billion by 2024 and US$ 200 by 2026.

Enormous opportunities

Despite gloomy consumer spending, economic slowdown, and uncertainty created due to Covid 19, e-commerce players are expecting strong sales growth. India’s e-commerce market is expected to reach US$ 350 billion by 2030.

Policy Support

100% Foreign Direct Investment is allowed in B2B eCommerce. Another advantage is 100% FDI under the automatic route is permitted in the market model of e-commerce. Since 2014, the Government of India has announced various initiatives, namely Digital India, Make in India, Start-up India, Skill India, and Innovation Fund. The timely and effective implementation of such programs will likely support the growth of E-commerce in the country.

Increasing Investment

The recent rise in digital literacy has led to an influx of investment in e-commerce firms, leveling the market for new players to set up their base, while churning out innovative patterns to disrupt old functioning. Huge investments from global players—such as Facebook, which is investing in Reliance Jio—are being recorded in the e-commerce market. Google also reported its first investment worth US$ 4.5 billion in Jio Platforms. This deal was followed by the purchase of Future Group by Reliance Retail, expanding the presence of the Ambani Group in the e-commerce space.

Change in Buying behavior

Earlier when customers wanted to buy anything they used to set aside time to shop during certain hours of the day or had to go through catalogs but today customers can simply use their computers and now smartphones to shop online. They are no longer restricted by store hours, geographic marketing areas, or catalogs mailing lists. Just with simple clicks, they can gain access to a variety of goods at any time of the day. Consumes have developed trust and have changed their attitude towards online shopping. The convenience of a variety of digital payment options, convenient return policy, and security have affected consumer behavior to a great extent.

According to reports the Indian e-commerce industry has been on an upward trajectory and is expected to surpass the US to become the second-largest e-commerce market in the world by 2034. The growth in the E-commerce sector will also boost employment, increase revenues from export, increase tax collection by exchequers, and provide better products and services to customers in the long-term which in turn will see rapid growth in the economy.

Reference: www.ibef.org

Pic Courtesy : Pexel/Canva

Written as part of Blogchatter’s campaign #ECommerceBuildsEconomy link: https://www.theblogchatter.com/search?keyword=Featured%C2%A0ECommerceBuildsEconomy

How To Bring Up A Disciplined Child ?

Parents want the best in life for their children, a major part of their time and effort is directed towards their child. Children are always their priority and raising them in a healthy environment and taking good care of them is all that they could think of. Parenting is not inherent, it’s an art that has to be cultivated. Sometimes as a parent while dealing with our children, we tend to forget our childhood, its joys, and sorrows, its pleasure and difficulties. Things which children enjoy immensely like splashing in a muddy puddle, borrowing in the sand, imitating teachers, frolicking in the rain, this might seem useless to parents and the only thing they look for is how to discipline them so that they don’t make them embarrassed in front of others.
Remember discipline does not mean putting an undue restriction on children. It is an ongoing process that requires giving specific instructions that are clear cut with a lot of clarity. As every child is unique and acquiring new skills every day, parents need to be patient and should not treat them like a puppet. The right kind of discipline is one of the keys to having a happy home and is also essential for the holistic development and well-being of every child. Discipline varies with age, needs, and situations.

15 Ways to Discipline Your Child

Satisfaction of Basic Needs

Conducive environment at home is very vital to promote proper physical and mental growth of the child. They should be given adequate food, clothing and other basic needs. They should also be given enough opportunity to relax and rest. Child should be protected against any difficulties. As we know food and temper have a direct correlation. A hungry child gets moody and start rejecting their food if their meals are delayed. Even not getting proper sleep and rest makes them irritable and cranky and can reduces concentration. Also watch out for signs of physical fatigue in your children. If the child is tired and exhausted this may cause screaming, yelling and answering back.

Home should be a Happy Place

Relationship between parents and children should be balanced. Children should feel secure and well adjusted in their houses. Home should be a place where you can be yourself, so give them an environment where they can share and grow freely. Remember children from happy homes are more social, outgoing and adaptable. Give them free time to play as they can develop better imagination.

Be a Role Model

Children observe and imitate their parents. They pick up any thing and everything they do, be it words, actions or mannerism. Thus, if you want your child to read books, read them yourself, if you want your child to speak truth, be honest yourself. There are two pre-conditions for the establishment of strong identification with the parents. First is, genetically inherited traits which are natural, like color of eyes, way of walking and talking etc. and second is, psychological attributes. Therefore parents should possess some ideal qualities which could be inherited through direct observation.

Do not Label a Child

Avoid labelling a child. Sometimes we hurt a child unknowingly. A child might be stubborn, slow, clumsy or difficult. And unconsciously we start labelling their actions. For example we may say things like you are really clumsy, look at the way you are carrying your glasses, or You have become too stubborn, Why don’t you listen to me at once and so on. If we frequently labeled them, this bound to affect their self-esteem or make them angry and frustrated. While talking to a child, it is best to speak slowly and choose words carefully.

Be Impartial

Be impartial and fair to all the children at home, irrespective of their age and sex , this can lead to better acceptance of rules made by the parents. Fighting, hitting, teasing are regarded as part of growing up for boys, while girls are discouraged when they show such behavior. Girls might tolerate this discrimination till a certain age but  some time they will certainly revolt. “Why do I have to come at 7 p.m. when didi can stay till late?  Why do I get less pocket money then bhaiya? These questions can be piercing but are relevant. If the parent feel their action is justified, they should explain as communication makes lot of things simpler.

Catch them Young

Children at younger age learn things faster. They are capable of mastering anything and everything they see and learn. So if you want to inculcate any good habit, this is the time. 3 Golden words like Sorry, Thank You and Please are generally picked up by them very fast, as most of the parents make an effort to use these words frequently in front of them. Similarly simple commands if said in fun rhyming way like, it’s time to wash your hands , wash your hand, wash your hand; Its time to put your toys away, toys away, toys away, can actually make them gather all the scattered toys. Therefore, add fun with learning.

Play with your child

Time spent with children never go wasted. Play with your children before they get too old to play with you. Give your 100% attention to them and enjoy the time spent as you may not get another chance. Clear your mind and put your problems at bay. Focus exclusively on the child and show them that you really care about them. Children need your attention, and sometimes they will misbehave, just to attract it. When you spent quality time with them, you are indirectly telling them that you love them and they are important to you. Playing encourages healthy mental and physical attitude. This way you will not just make your child happy but could identify their talents and sharpen their skills.

Appreciate your child

If you want your child to be disciplined or perform well, it is important to nurture their self-esteem, as it is the central element to have a child with high self-confidence and self-love. Self-esteem cannot be built in a day; it’s a process which takes time but can be achieved if done with persistence. Praise boosts the morale of the child, it encourages them to achieve better result. But remember don’t over do it and do it when it should be done as they are very smart and can detect false praise. Children feel excited on smallest of achievements and if they are not praised by their parents it could lead to disappointment and rude behaviour.

Respect their Privacy

This is especially true in the case of adolescents. It is imperative to be vigilant  at that age but at the same time as a parent we should know our limits and do not suffocate them. Twenty four hour supervision is not necessary. In fact, they feel irritated if put under this kind of surveillance and they may react adversely. As a parent we should understand that privacy is an important aspect of sexual development. Teenagers are very conscious about their appearance, so never tease or ridicule them about the physical changes taking place in them. Trust them but be alert for any unexpected changes in their behavior. If you give them space, they will give back respect that every parent deserve.

Be Empathetic

You can never compare your life with that of your children. Things have changed drastically and the earlier we accept the better we get with parenting. Look at the tremendous pressure they feel academically and socially. Increase competition, comparison, peer pressure, excelling in extracurricular activities, expectation from parents and from the society are few examples that has made their life extremely backbreaking. A sensitive child many get traumatized and this can lead to anxiety and other mental health problems. Before addressing any problem , it is a good idea to assess the feeling of the child. A different approach has to be followed in each case.

Be a good listener and have heart to heart talk

A healthy talk ensures that many problems are solved by mere exchange of words. Listening attentively to a child is very important for it sometimes gives us a clue as to why he is behaving badly or doing what he/she is doing. A family that eats together and prays together, stays together, is something being emphasized in Indian society. And I feel its true, the more we communicate the lesser we assume and the lesser we assume the better we understand each other.

Immediate Reward and Reprimand

A reward encourages good behavior and discourages bad one.  Immediate reward for good behaviour is a very effective technique for disciplining. Never deffer reward to another day as immediate gratification leads to positive results and good behaviour. Remember two things, firstly delayed reward may break the association of stimulus and response and may become ineffective, secondly, the rewards need to vary as some children get used to certain rewards and will not act without it. Same way reprimand immediately will have more disciplinary value. If we delay in reprimanding, the child might think that the parent is weak and ineffective. Here it is important to set some ground rules and both the parents should agree on that. Both parent should be equally effective in correcting their child’s behaviour.

Set time limits

It is a good idea to set clear time limits for work, play, entertainment and going out. The child should know that he/she has to adhere to a set schedule and what is expected. Children also feel comfortable when they do things in time. Make them aware that time limit may vary and they need to except that fact. Also, let the child face the consequences if he or she breaks the set time limits.

Making up

A child has to learn to make up for everything. Be it something lost, damage or taken away. They have to learn to make amends for impolite, rude or careless behaviour. They should also learn to take responsibility for all their deeds and should be aware about the consequences for all their actions.

Time out

If the child is behaving in an exceptionally destructive or aggressive way, he/she should be asked to sit in a corner without taking part in any conversation or any activity. The period of isolation is to make them realize, introspect and calm down. This work wonders as children do feel sorry after a specified period.

Remember, It’s in the parents’ hands to mould their children into perfection. Haim Ginott has rightly said – Children are like wet cement, whatever falls on them makes an impression.

Need For Mental Health Awareness and Inclusiveness #MentalHealthAwareness #CauseAChatter

Mental Health Awareness is something that can help the millions of people who are impacted by mental health conditions across the globe. It should be considered as any other illness. Month of May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness month ,the sole purpose is to help people with mental illnesses understand that they are not alone in their struggle and that getting treatment can make all the difference. If we apply this approach to mental health every day of the year, more and more people could benefit from knowing about these common illnesses.

The difference in the quality of medical care received by people with mental illness is one of the reasons why they live shorter lives than people without mental illness. Even in the best-resourced countries in the world, this life expectancy gap is as much as 20 years. In the developing countries of the world, this gap is even larger. But of course, mental illnesses can kill in more direct ways as well. The most obvious example is suicide. Suicide is at the top of the list of the leading causes of death in young people in all countries in the world, including the poorest countries of the world. But beyond the impact of a health condition on life expectancy, we are also concerned about the quality of life lived.

We need to use a matrix called DALY , Disability-Adjusted Life Year.

The Disability-Adjusted Life Year (DALY) and the Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY) are two popular health status indices, used to measure health outcomes based on the duration and quality of life for an individual. The QALY was the first developed health status index, and is mostly used in developed countries. A QALY is defined as a year lived in perfect health. 

Both metrics use a scale of 0-1 to represent the quality of life:

  • QALY: “0” is equivalent to death; “1” represents perfect health. 
  • DALY, “0” represents perfect health; “1” equates to death.

I am sharing this just to understand that by this calculation we can discover which populations are living with the greatest health burden, and prioritize those areas for future health interventions.

After Daly calculation some startling things about mental illness from a global perspective has been discovered. For example, mental illnesses are amongst the leading causes of disability around the world. Depression, for example, is the third-leading cause of disability, alongside conditions such as diarrhea and pneumonia in children. When you put all the mental illnesses together, they account for roughly 15 percent of the total global burden of disease. The World Health Organization estimates that there are nearly four to five hundred million people living on our tiny planet who are affected by a mental illness. But consider for a moment the incredible diversity of mental illnesses, from autism and intellectual disability in childhood, through to depression and anxiety, substance misuse and psychosis in adulthood, all the way through to dementia in old age, and I’m pretty sure that each and every one of us can think of at least one person, in our most intimate social networks. What’s truly important from a global health point of view, is that the vast majority of these affected individuals do not receive the care that we know can transform their lives, and remember, we do have robust evidence that a range of interventions, medicines, psychological interventions, and social interventions, can make a vast difference. And yet, even in the best-resourced countries, roughly 50 percent of affected people don’t receive these interventions. treatment gap reaches approaches an astonishing 90 percent.

It is quite surprising that when I meet people who are affected by mental illness, I hear stories of hidden suffering, shame and discrimination. It is this injustice that makes me do a little bit to transform the lives of people affected by mental illness, and want to bridge the gap between the care provided and their illness.

In India or I can say in the world we face immense shortage of mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists and psychologists. Can we do anything about it. Yes, we can ? There is something called as Task Shifting. Now the idea of task shifting in global health is , when we see a shortage of specialized health care professionals, we can train whoever is available in the community to provide a range of health care interventions. As you know in our country mid wives are trained in a complex task like delivering babies than why can’t we train ordinary people for mental health interventions.

There are five ways in which this task shifting can be done

  1. Simplify the message by avoiding all the jargons that medicine has invented around itself.
  2. Simplify healthcare interventions that can be easily transferred to less trained individuals.
  3. Deliver healthcare not in large institutions but close to people’s home.
  4. Deliver health care using whoever is available and affordable in our local communities.
  5. Reallocate few specialists who are available to perform roles such as capacity building and supervision.

Task shifting is not just significant for developing countries but has equal importance for developed nations. In developed counties the cost for health care is rapidly increasing and a huge chunk of those cost are human resource and secondly health care has become incredibly professionalized that it’s become very remote and removed from local communities. Therefore task shifting will not just make health care more affordable and accessible but can proved to be fundamentally empowering. This way ordinary people will become more effective in caring for health of others but will become guardian of their own health.

Therefore, it is important that health care advocate and professionals should stand together with people who are suffering from mental health illness so that they can receive the health care that can transform their lives and can live with dignity.

“Share and Seek Help As Every Story Matters”

This Post is Part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter Campaign

How To Deal With Self-Defeating Behaviors? #CauseAChatter

Get out of your comfort zone, accept the change, be positive, be resilient, perseverance is the key to success are few things that we keep on listening. And why not? People who have growth mindset are the ones who follow all of these and are more successful in life. Most of us are aware about all these qualities but still there is something that holds us back and we fail to understand the real cause.  In my experience, people who fail to learn the lessons that life teaches them fall under the prey of self – defeating behaviour.

Self- defeating behavior works against your own interest. It keeps you away from the goals that you have set for yourself . They are distracting, self-loathing and self- sabotaging. Nothing can drive you crazier than knowing that you have been keeping yourself away from gaining love, success and happiness which you deserve and desire. Self-defeating behavior occurs when impulse wins over awareness. It might give you quick gratification but you will long for lasting satisfaction, it might give you immediate relief but ultimate resolution is what will make you happier. It is like a coping mechanism, which can make you feel better for a while but can be really be nasty in long run. Self defeating behavior is your biggest enemy, the earlier you get rid of it the better it is for you. There are many self defeating behaviours,  to name a few

  • Procastinating
  • Holding a grudge
  • Trying to change others or having expectations from them
  • Waiting until it’s too late
  • Always having to be right
  • Letting fear run your life
  • Becoming obsessive or compulsive
  • Feeling sorry for yourself

As with the most persistent patterns,  this behavior has roots in childhood experience.  Children who are abused or neglected in their childhood, feel unprotected and alone. Then there are children who do not lack affection but are not given adequate guidance, grow up feeling incompetent an incapable.  In both these cases they end up with stubborn self defeating behaviours. This kind of behavior are quite impulsive and people act without regard for long term consequences.

How to deal with such impulsive behavior?

3 Awareness Level

  1. Physical Awareness : Take a pause and notice what you feel and where you feel it.  As we know impulses begin as physical sensation. It could be your gut,  head, chest or any other part of your body.
  2. Emotional Awareness: Ask yourself the reasons for feeling stressed out or tensed. Try to connect your physical sensation with your emotions.
  3. Impulse Awareness: What action do you feel like talking when are going through such emotions?

Once you understand these three awareness level the next thing that you need to ask yourself is, what the outcomes are likely to be, if you take any action? Once you become aware about the consequences it helps you to deal better with any situation and in turn can keep you ready with the alternatives which can be more constructive.

Do it Now

Stop procrastinating. We procrastinate not because we are lazy but because we are lonely. It’s a human nature, we always look for a support or an accountability partner.  That little push from someone can actually makes a hell lot of difference. A procrastinator can become an activator when he or she is around others. That’s why we have jogging buddies, study groups and collaborators.

Acceptance

Can you fix something until you admit it’s broken?  No right?  Acceptance is the catalyst for change. Once you accept that there is a problem , you can find a solution.  The longer you persist in self defeating behavior the more likely you are to lose the respect and trust of people. God also help people who are ready to help themselves.

Self love

Self-love surrounds you with positive feeling about yourself, it encompasses not only how you treat yourself but also your thoughts and feelings about yourself . So, when you conceptualize self-love, you can try to imagine what you would do for yourself, how you talk to yourself, and how you feel about yourself that reflects love and concern. There are times when you feel really low and not confident about yourself or the things you do, self love will not let you loose hope. Practice certain things in your life that can bring self love in action.

  • Positive self talk
  • Forgiving yourself when you mess up
  • Meeting your own needs
  • Be assertive
  • Do not let others take advantage of you or hurt you
  • Prioritizing your health and wellbeing
  • Prioritizing mindfulness
  • Spend time around people who are supportive and avoid negative people
  • Ask for help
  • Set realistic goal with challenges
  • Accept the imperfections

Learn to say NO

Many of us struggle to say no, fearing rejection, anger or just the uncertainty of what the other person’s response will be. Our people-pleasing is often rooted in childhood. We might have been raised to be a good girl or boy, praised for being “mummy’s little helper”, or we might not have been given enough attention, and so sought it by pleasing others, even at the expense of ourselves. Not saying No not just takes away your precious time , time that you could have used in more productive things but can also lead to self and other’s manipulation. Warren Buffet famously said: “Successful people say no to almost everything.” Saying no allows you to say yes to what is important to you. It allows you to be a better person because when you say yes, it comes from a good place, not from resentment or fear.

Be Authentic

You don’t have to put up an act to make a good impression. Remember if you fail to express disapproval, the unacceptable traits can become habitual. Be yourself from the beginning of a relationship. Why would you want to be involved with someone who doesn’t like you for you. Being fake is the most dangerous self defeating behavior as there comes a time in every relationship when the parties let their guards down. The longer they have been concealed, the greater the disruption to the relationship.

“One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight for a very long time” ~ Andre Gide

Professional Help

Believe in yourself, nothing is impossible but even after doing all of these if you still feel that you need professional help, do not hesitate as meeting with a counselor or psychologist can be an important part of reducing unhealthy behaviors. A psychologist can help you to identify triggers that lead to your self-defeating behaviors and provide tools to help you replace them with healthier options. 

“Share and Seek Help as Every Story Matters”

This Post is Part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter Campaign

Four Digital Marketing Channels Aids In ECommerce Growth

In the mid-1990s, online shopping via e-commerce was in its infancy. But today things have changed and has taken a drastic turn. There is exponential growth in this kind of market and one of the biggest reason is, our encounter with pandemic. Personally I don’t remember going out for shopping in last 2 years. We are six people in our family , all are in different age groups and I can confidently say that online shopping is being popular among all age groups. 

Reasons for Online shopping popularity are :

  • Huge variety of products
  • Better prices with greater discounts and offers
  • Easy shopping and discreet shipping
  • Quick and easy replacement and refund of products
  • Fast delivery
  • Zero Human touch
  • Easy Comparison with other similar products
  • Detailed description about the products and vendors
  • No sales pressure
Source :Global online Consumer Report KPMG International

So, when advantages overpower the shortcomings then why won’t people prefer online shopping?

Ecommerce is growing fast. The rapid adoption of smartphones, easy and affordable access to technology, and the convenience of shopping from anywhere, at any time are the major reasons for the rapid growth of online commerce. In E-commerce business buying and selling completely depends on the internet. Therefore, digital marketing gets into the picture, as it is the only medium to support E-commerce business to grow.

Today customers are not just dependent on content or word of mouth marketing as far as buying a product is concerned, they make sure that they read the reviews about the product and do enough comparison on all the platforms on which the product is listed.

Importance of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is a valuable asset for any business for its growth and to establish authoritative online presence.

  • Better reachability
  • More personalized
  • Better Return On Investment
  • Better trackability
  • More affordable
  • More interactive

The four main digital marketing channels that can help E-commerce business to grow faster and face various challenges.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is one of the digital marketing channels that uses organic tactics to gain visibility in search engine results pages. As you don’t have to pay for it, the results are considered more valuable and authoritative. There are various SEO tactics but the major ones are

  • On-page SEO : Optimizes each individual page and helps search engine understand a page of content and therefore gives higher rank. The strategies used here are keyword research, content creation and keyword optimization.
  • Technical SEO : Optimizes the website as a whole. The strategies used here are site speed, mobile friendliness, indexing, site architecture, crawlability and security.
  • Off-page SEO : Optimizes website’s reputation by connecting to higher quality websites. The strategies used here are link building, managing local listings and directory profiles.

Therefore, SEO helps in increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to the Ecommerce sites organically by using these strategies.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

The only difference SEO and SEM is, Search Engine marketing uses paid ad campaigns based on keywords to reach the customers who are searching for your website.

SEM uses pay per click (PPC) advertising platforms like  Google Ads and Bing Ad to use the available ad formats to reach target audience and also involves everything from setting up and optimizing paid ads, to managing the account to increase conversions and returns.

SEMs will usually begin a campaign with comprehensive keyword research and competitor insights to create targeted campaigns that place their products and services in front of a target audience. This results in higher click through rate , with better conversions in new markets, and greater ad ROI in the markets.

E-Mail Marketing

An email is sent to promote business’s product and services . Email marketing make the customers on your email list aware of new products, discounts, and other services. It can also be a softer sell to educate your audience on the value of your brand or keep them engaged between purchases. I think it is still one of the powerful tools that small businesses can use to acquire, engage, and retain customers. There are four types of popular email marketing campaigns that can help your business grow, they are Email Newsletters, Acquisition emails, Promotional emails and Retention Emails.

Emails play a vital role in providing a better shopping experience to consumers. Once your order is placed on any Ecommerce platform, immediately you get the confirmation email and also a digital invoice. Users can also email questions about products, your experience, or remind customers of their abandoned shopping cart, or general information requests about the company. Personalized emails help your customers connect with your company well.

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Social media has revolutionized the world. There is hardly anyone who is not active on social media. Therefore, it has become easier for brands to reach out customers through social media. Now digital market professionals are including paid social media due to strong social media networking and this has become their newest strategy to reach out more customers.

If E-commerce platforms want to grow organically by themselves in a short span of time then it’s only digital marketing professionals who could make it possible by grabbing maximum attention from the target audiences and help out their business to convert those into sales. I am sure, there would be more digital marketing channels popping up in the future, So all the big and small time businesses (MSME) should get a hang of it and get ready for future growth and challenges.

How Can Indian MSME be Empowered? #GrowingBusinessTogether

Most of us are aware that the agriculture sector is one of the biggest contributors in the Indian economy. But how many of us know that MSME sector is second largest with high employment and contribution in terms of foreign exchange earnings. In order to know more about MSME. Lets first understand what defines MSME in Indian context as it differs from county to country.

WHAT IS MSME?

According to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006 , the government of India has defines micro, small and medium enterprises under two categories

1.Enterprises engaged in the manufacture or production, processing or preservation of goods

  • A micro enterprise is an enterprise where investment in plant and machinery does not exceed Rs. 25 lakh;
  • A small enterprise is an enterprise where the investment in plant and machinery is more than Rs. 25 lakh but does not exceed Rs. 5 crore;
  • A medium enterprise is an enterprise where the investment in plant and machinery is more than Rs.5 crore but does not exceed Rs.10 crore.

2. Enterprises engaged in providing or rendering of services and whose investment in equipment and other items not directly related to the service rendered or as may be notified under the MSMED Act, 2006 

  • A micro enterprise is an enterprise where the investment in equipment does not exceed Rs. 10 lakh;
  • A small enterprise is an enterprise where the investment in equipment is more than Rs.10 lakh but does not exceed Rs. 2 crore;
  • A medium enterprise is an enterprise where the investment in equipment is more than Rs. 2 crore but does not exceed Rs. 5 crore.

IMPORTANCE OF MSME IN INDIA

The micro, small and medium Enterprises (MSME) in India include 63.4 million units and accounts for nearly 30% of India’s GDP, employing about 460 million people. The sector also makes up for 33.4% of the India’s output in manufacturing, giving employment to around 120 million Indians, according to CII.  When it comes to exports, the MSMEs contribution is estimated at about 45% of the total exports.

REASONS BEHIND LOW CONTRIBUTION

 Despite such huge contribution, 99% of MSME remain micro in their life cycle. What’s the reason behind this? Well the reasons are many but to name a few, it is due to

  • Lack of standardization
  • Lack of efficiency
  • Lack of consistency
  • Low productivity
  • Low rate of technology adaptation
  • Unfavorable government policies
  • Lack of trusted eco system

But things are changing and definitely changing for good. I have listed few positive changes recommended by government with some doable solutions.

WAYS FOR MSME TO EMERGE STRONGER

Financial Inclusion

As most of the MSME runs on sole proprietorships (an unincorporated business with only one owner who pays personal income tax on profits earned), there entire focus remains on how to save their business from sinking and sustain in the market for longer time, rather than spending time to grow the ecosystem. For this it is important that financial institutions like NBFCs should help them by bringing more financial inclusions. The concept of financial inclusion encompasses all public and private initiatives to bring financial services to those households and MSMEs traditionally excluded from the formal financial sector, and furthermore, to improve and perfect the serviceability of the financial system for the players that are already part of the formal financial circuit. 

Digitization

MSME has always been a labor intensive this leads to poor quality products and low productivity. The study also found that digitization of MSME could expand their contribution to India’s GDP by 10 percentage points, pushing it up to 46-48%. Therefore, it is imperative that MSME attain their full potential and reach to the next level of business growth by adopting technology. Many tech companies are focusing on MSME and making them tech friendly. Large tech companies like Dell, HP, Intel, Vodafone, Idea and WhatsApp came together under the guidance of industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for project called Tech-Saksham. The project plans to reach out to over 10,000 MSMEs. The tech companies will work with MSME by assisting them with technology, resources and expertise to make sure India’s large MSME base gets digitized.

Company like google has come up with a program in partnership with FICCI called ‘Digital Unlocked’, to provide digital skills to help SMEs to connect with their customer base online, through out the country. Even Facebook has announced ‘Facebook’s VC Brand Incubator Program’ that will focus on helping MSME achieve growth in India by providing them with technology skilling and support. Cisco, one of the largest player when it comes to networking has come up with an initiative called ‘Start Portfolio’ where in, they will interact with 25 MSME everyday to help them go digital.

Atmanirbhar Bharat

Introduction of ‘Make in India’ concept by our Prime Minister helped decentralizing localism by taking pride in indigenous brands, emphasizes resilience and adaptability, and encourages local craftsmanship and employability. Make in India initiative facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skill development, encourage employment, and build a sustainable eco-system for the MSME sector in India. This will encourage the idea of making in India for the MSME industry and help amplify their presence across sectors. 

Digital Transaction

The government has come up with many schemes to help micro and small industries. The Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme of the government can be beneficial for the sunrise sectors, including electronics, electrical and machinery.” Many large companies have come up to help MSME by making them work as their ancillaries. Another scheme which is also introduced by the government recently is ‘Fintech’, this is to promote digital transactions in the country, a move that the industry believes will drive adoption of e-payments in smaller cities and spur innovation by fintech firms. This will help MSME to become more sustainable and can survive in a long run.

Adaptability

As a proud Indian, I take immense pride in saying that we as a community are quite adaptable when it comes to change and if the change is for good nothing can stop us. Advancement in technology has always proved to be beneficial not just for riches but for people who struggle with their daily living. Therefore whether its is adapting technology or accepting policies and schemes , MSME are doing every bit to make themselves self sustainable that will help leverage our economy.

Growth Matters Forum is a community for business owners to explore ideas, streamline growth and create an impact. Join the community here.

References

https://www.cepal.org/en/inclusion-financiera-pymes/background

https://www.cepal.org/en/inclusion-financiera-pymes/background

https://www.financialexpress.com/industry/sme/cafe-sme/msme-eodb-atmanirbhar-msmes-how-modi-govts-make-in-india-2-0-is-gateway-to-self-reliance-for-small-businesses/2017162/

https://msme.gov.in/

Pic Courtesy : Kathleen Ellen / Corporatefinanceinstitute / Canva

Montessori Method Of Teaching #AllAboutPreschoolers

Montessori method of teaching is the most loved and practiced method. Ironically these methods were not derived from any extant pedagogical wisdom. Marie Montessori who is the founder of Montessori Education Method had sidestepped the more traditional education path for women, teacher’s training, in favor of science. But as an astute scientist and quick minded observer, she has soon discovered some important and revolutionary principles about children and the process of learning.

She said that children have an innate drive to learn, and that all on their own they are capable of amassing an incredible amount of information and wisdom about the world around them. She further discovered that children’s innate power for learning worked best when they were turned loose in a safe, hands-on-learning environment. Given furniture, equipment, and supplies that they could access and work all by themselves, they were self-motivated to explore, experiment, and reach new understandings. She found that if children were put into groups with other children with a small range in ages, they would not only work together but also help teach each other.

Montessori also found that children of all ages thrived when they were given the opportunity to experience mastery of real life skills and knowledge that was appropriate to their age and stage of life. Thus preschoolers thrilled at being allowed to assist in the kitchen and felt pride and increased self-esteem at being able to help set the table and use appropriate manners and verbal expressions. Meanwhile self-confidence and joy of young teenagers was bolstered by mastering basic home economics, and by learning information about running a business, or building furniture or a home. These young teens also did best when the primary emphasis in their learning process was practical and action oriented, rather than purely intellectual. Montessori believed this was because this age group was under so much psychological and physiological pressure that the surging swings of emotion made it harder to focus on purely abstract studies.

The most significant discovery of Montessori was the awareness that it is the teacher who must pay rapt attention to the students, not the other way round, a notion utterly contrary to the expectations of those days. But she found that by observing how the individual children responded to various lessons and materials , she could easily figure out what lessons or experiences to present next. And by acknowledging that each child is an individual, with individual needs and abilities, she could apply this method to guiding particular children to fulfillment of their potential.

Many of us are not even aware that the tern “Montessori” is not patented, due to which many so-called Montessori schools seem poorly acquainted with the philosophy of learning promoted by Maria Montessori. Some appear to believe this method is all about toys being put away neatly on shelves or about old-fashioned style puzzles and manipulatives purchased at exorbitant fees from specialized distributors. Montessori herself felt that the crucial ingredient was learning to be a good observer of children, learning to deduce and intuit children need, both in general and as unique individuals, in order to develop to their fullest potential.

In my next post I will be sharing different planes of development and Montessori education practices. So stay tuned……….

11 Behavior Management Techniques for Preschoolers #AllAboutPreschoolers #MyFriendAlexa

Hi Everyone

This is my last post for #MyFriendAlexa. I hope you enjoyed reading my posts. I am planning to continue this series so please stay tuned.

As a parent or a childcare provider if you are looking for an effective learning environment, you ought to focus on early childhood behavior management. Nobody is born well-behaved; you need to create a supportive and inclusive environment wherein children can feel safe and comfortable. It becomes the responsibility of every adult who is interacting with them to model good behavior and avoid the bad ones.

Each child entering the school comes from a different environment and are equipped with different set of behaviors, skills, knowledge and attitudes. Most of them are not even aware of what is expected of them when they enter pre-school. Therefore, setting clear, positive and well defined rules and expectations for children becomes very imperative.

When we talk about childhood behavior management techniques we are teaching them values and habits that they need to adhere to and at the same time making sure that they get along with others and achieve their goals as they grow.

A well -behaved child not only reduces the disruptions but will make sure that he or she is in sync with other kids and the activities planned can be delivered smoothly. Learning good behavior is one of the key development outcome which can help child to be successful not in their early years but build a foundation for a lifetime success.

BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES

Set clear, well defined rules and expectations

This is just a beginning; they have put their first step towards learning. It is vital to give them clear instructions which they can understand and not confuse them and create anxiety. Do not expect too much at once, reinforce the rules by giving them concrete examples and visual aids. This will not only help them in better understanding, but they can enjoy the process of learning too.

Set proper routine and schedule

Having a set routine and schedule allow children to know what is expected from them , in turns makes them more confident. When they know what is coming up next makes them excited and happy. Uncertainties creates anxiety that leads to bad behavior or tantrums. Disoriented child gets distracted very easily and may cause disruptions which can leads to chaos.

Appreciate good behavior

To create a mental model of good conduct, it is important that a child is encouraged and rewarded when good behavior is displayed. A bad behavior should not be punished but acknowledged and corrected in the best possible way without hurting their feelings. Once a kid realizes that a good behavior is rewarded , they go extra miles to please you.

Create a reward chart for good behavior

Anything tangible, something which can be touched or seen and felt is appreciated at this early age. Kids do feel happy when they are encouraged but if it is accompanied with something tangible , they remember it for long. By letting kids visually see how their actions lead to rewards, you help them get excited to do their best, as well as building the important developmental skill of learning to make progress toward a goal over time.

Improve your Emotional Quotient

As a care provider, you should know how to control your emotions by not getting angry, or defensive or emotional when bad behavior happens. Showcasing such emotions creates shame or guilt which creates a negative impact on children which might lead to withdrawal or continuing of their bad behavior. Instead display compassion and understanding while still reinforcing age appropriate consequences.

Identify the trigger point that causes bad behavior

Observe and if necessary, document the bad behavior by knowing the trigger points. Once you know whether bad behavior is recurring in nature or just onetime affair you would be able to address it accordingly. While making behavior reports and tracking progress over time, you can identify patterns and make sure you’re meeting each child’s individual needs.

Ignore mild misbehavior

Sometimes kids misbehave due to boredom or the desire to be noticed. Everyone likes attention so do kids. By doing this they attract attention without being harmful. Paying attention to this might create further disruptions. So best way to deal with this is to ignore.

Ignore their mild misbehavior by reinforcing positive behavior makes them realize that if they want attention, they will have to earn it by trying their best. Make sure that they are observed for a particular time period to understand the pattern.

Place effective consequences

Positive reinforcement is necessary to make them understand the importance of good behavior but setting consequences is even more vital to stop bad behavior. When kids know well in advance the implication of bad behavior, they will not only respect the rules but will refrain themselves from showcasing it. Kids should know that there is a direct relation between a bad behavior and their consequences.

Join hands with parents

As both parent and care provider share the same goal of guiding kids to showcase their best behavior, it would be nice if they collaborate for the same. By having same expectations, their will be less chances of confusion and discipline a child would become more and more consistent and effective.

Use positive language

Sometimes what you say doesn’t matter but how you say does. Picking up right vocabulary is very important while dealing with kids. Try not to use negative words like “Don’t do this”, instead say “This can harm you, let’s try something else”. If explained the consequence well, there is 100% possibility that child will not indulge in bad behavior at all.

Be patient

Never deny a child’s feelings. Only behavior is unacceptable. Kids are still exploring and trying to understand everything from their own experience. Give them time, do not be in hurry. It takes a special kind of personality to connect with children on their level and build rapport with them. You need to play with them on the floor, smile, and show sincere affection so they feel they can trust you. To do this, you not only need to love children, but also have a high level of patience.

If you want to see the change, Be the change and if you want to see the good behavior, showcase one!

You can read my previous posts here

How to choose right preschool for your child?

 7 Main Domains of Early Childhood Education

Importance of Early Childhood Education

What is Early Childhood Education?

How To Develop Child’s Creativity?

How to teach the importance of health , hygiene and safety to Preschoolers?

Teaching Aids Help Children Learn Better

I am taking my blog to another level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.

Pics courtesy : Pexel / Canva

Teaching Aids Help Children Learn Better #AllAboutPreschoolers #MyfriendAlexa

Teaching aid is a tool used by teachers, facilitators, or tutors, to illustrate or reinforce a skill, fact, or idea. As the name suggests, teaching aids, aid the process of teaching for the teachers, and provide opportunities for better learning for the children. Next to parents, teachers are the most important adults shaping the future of children. Indeed, teachers do so much more than just teach; they are involved in the lives of their children in many ways to enhance their learning experience. Teachers are more than just that, they are facilitators. They not only facilitate, they also are friends, confidants, role models, etc who identify children’s’ strengths and areas for development and plan instruction to maximize children’s learning and potential. Making use of a teaching aid rather than using just verbal communication enables better understanding and learning of a concept.

IMPORTANCE OF TECHING AIDS

  • They encourage brainstorming and generation of ideas.
  • They give children the opportunity to see what they are thinking.
  • Teaching aids are motivational tools that draw greater attention of children.
  • They help in increasing the attention span of children.
  • Teaching aids can be preserved, updated and reused.
  • They are cost effective.
  • They provide visual, tactile and auditory experience.
  • Teaching aids can be used with large and small groups.
  • They can be used for children across all age groups.

3 TYPES OF TEACHING AIDS

There are many aids available these days, but they are broadly classify as

  1. Visual Aids: The aids which use sense of vision are called Visual aids. For example: actual objects, models, pictures, charts, maps, flash cards, flannel board, bulletin board, chalkboard, overhead projectors, slides etc. Out of these board and chalk are the commonest one.
  2. Audio Aids: The aids that involve the sense of hearing are called Audio aids. For example: radio, tape recorder, CD, gramophone etc.
  3. Audio-Visual Aids: The aids which involve the sense of vision as well as hearing are called Audio-Visual aids. For example: DVD, television, film projector, film strips etc.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF TEACHING AIDS

Flash Card

Flash card should have a boarder on all the four sides. The ideal size of a flash card is 1/4th of the mount board/ A4 size. Background of the flash card should be white or plain (depending upon its use, for example, Concept flash cards need plain background; story flashcards will have a colorful background based on the plot). Flash card should be held in such a manner that the picture on it is not covered in any manner. All the flash card has stories written on the back side of each scene, they should be numbered and kept in sequence. After speaking about a particular scene that flash card should be placed on the back side of the other cards and not on the table or on the floor, to avoid distraction of the children.

Calendar

The calendar must contain Day/ Month/Year ,Date- Yesterday/Today/Tomorrow, Season/Weather/Special Event. Festival, Holiday. The calendar can be made on one of the walls in the classroom at the child’s reach. Use a range of colors and texture to make the calendar interesting and attractive.

Picture Talk

Picture talk is used to take a recap of a particular concept. There should be boarders on the four sides. As it is too big to handle in the hand, it should be kept on a chair or table with the facilitator sitting at the back holding it. The background should be colored and not plain. While showing the picture talk of a particular concept allow children to first speak about all the things, they can see on it and then the facilitator can elaborate and cover the points missed.

Object Talk

Most of the object used should be real ones except rare cases like wild animals. The objects should be given to children to feel, observe and have a practical and better understanding about it. It is mostly use for introducing a new concept.

Flip Chart

Flip charts are usually used to narrate a story but sometime can also be used to introduce certain concepts. It is made in the form of a spiral bound table calendar. It helps in saving time and energy of drawing and making the same character again and again.

Flannel figures

Depending on the concept, the characters should be drawn and cut outs should be out of box board/ mount board. The characters should not be made too heavy otherwise they will not stay on the flannel board. Sandpaper should be stuck on the back side of the characters so that it can be placed on the flannel board and moved when required. The basic advantage is that it is very easy in handling and can be used either while teaching a concept or telling a story. Children can also use them easily to retell stories or revise concepts.

T V scroll

A square or a rectangle carton should be used by cutting one side to make the screen of the TV with gelatin paper. Cover the other sides with chart paper. Story is drawn, painted or made on the individual sheets and are attached together in sequence to make a long roll. The beginning strip of the roll should be attached to one rod and the end to the other rod. Turn the rod to rewind or forward the story.

Poster

Poster is used to introduce concepts. It can also be used to introduce and remind children of the different rules, revise concepts, for display. Use variety of colors and textures to make the poster interesting and attractive.

Word Wall

A word wall is made to help children revise the words learnt in the class, it provides a ready reference for them to see as and when required. It is an effective technique for print exposure. Word wall should always be at the child’s level, in large print format, must have only words that have been introduce to the children and should laminate the words so that they don’t tear easily.

Puppets

There are different types of puppets to name a few there are finger puppet, rod/spoon/stick puppets, shadow puppets, body puppets, bag puppets, box puppets and glove/sock puppets. While using puppets it is extremely important that child has a good eye contact, get the puppet to look from one child to another, the puppet appears as if talking to the audience.

There are certain guidelines with respect to teaching aids

  • The décor of a classroom can transform the space into a welcoming and inviting place where children feel comfortable.
  • The chart should be displayed such that it is at the eye level of the children.
  • Display all children’s work such as worksheets and activities in the classroom.
  • Use strings, ribbons, cloths pin to hang worksheets
  • Avoid pasting directly with cello tapes and fevicol

The right classroom environment can play a pivotal role in how well children learn. These aids should provide them with educational, stimulating focal points without becoming distractions. Involve the children, let them help you hang posters or choose which wall hanging goes up next. This will keep them more personally engaged and make them an active learner.

You can read my previous posts here

How to choose right preschool for your child?

 7 Main Domains of Early Childhood Education

Importance of Early Childhood Education

What is Early Childhood Education?

How To Develop Child’s Creativity?

How to teach the importance of health , hygiene and safety to Preschoolers?

I am taking my blog to another level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.

Pics courtesy : Pexel / Canva

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