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Child is unable to concentrate in studies. Suggestion?

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Psychiatrist
Practicing since : 2008
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My son has to appear for his class twelth board exams in feb 2014 , He is unable to concentarte on his studies, it seems he is in touch with a girl and is always wanting to talk to her , i feel this effects his concentration, He has always been an above average student. We have requested him several times to concentarte and stop using his mobile for some time . and he says that he is not in love or is not having any serious relationship with any girl, even then we are sure that there is a girls he keeps talking too. What is your suggestion
Posted Wed, 18 Sep 2013 in Mental Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anjana Rao Kavoor 33 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Encourage son to schedule his daily routine

Detailed Answer:
HiXXXXX
Thanks for writing in to us.

I understand your concern for your son's studies as his twelfth board exams are approaching. At your son's age, children may become more vulnerable to problems like addiction or excessive usage of things like the internet and mobile phones to an extent of neglect of routine activities, seeking fulfillment of emotional needs from strangers, especially of the opposite gender or confabulating or manipulating by making up stories in order to get what they want. There might not always be any relationship, it can be extreme friendship at times. You could also discuss the matter with his school teacher without his information. Please be gentle on this matter and avoid direct confrontation with your son.

Keeping him constantly engaged in some activities by making a schedule for his daily activities till late in the evening, by including sports, studies, projects, monitoring etc. This would help him a great deal. Regular family talks can also help in addressing his personal emotional needs.

Lastly, if you are unable to have him modify his behavior with above approach, it would be advisable to get a detailed psychiatric or psychological evaluation at this point to rule out the possibility of any underlying mental illness, should there be any.

Hope your query is answered.
Do write back if you have any doubts.

Dr. A. Rao Kavoor
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Child is unable to concentrate in studies. Suggestion? 47 hours later
Thanks a lot for your advise,

i have been very patient with him and have been explaining the important of working hard at this stage of his life,
However i still feel that he is not able to concentrate on his studies, i removed internet from my house , i can see that he still is posting messages on face book( Probably using his freinds phone) , meets them during his tutions.
What more should be done to generate his intrest in his studies and to keep him away from all these distractions ( Mobile/facebook etc), one more thing i can see is that he likes being in touch with girls, unfortunately thru face book he comes in touch with people who are also probably very distracted.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anjana Rao Kavoor 19 hours later
Brief Answer:
Keep close watch and psychologist consultation

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Thanks for writing in with an update.

I understand your patience as a mother in handling your son's situation.
He must be told of the importance of career choice and education at this point in his life. You have said earlier that he has been an above average student. First of all you have to create an environment where you take him into confidence and know all that he is doing, apart from school work. This may require patience and at the same time you have to be calm.

He may like the company of friends (including girls) but you must try to know his close friends. Sometimes it becomes important to know what are the social activities his friends are into and if its plain fun or something more serious (especially during tuition and if he is attending tuition classes regularly). In a friendly manner you can try to know how he spends his money in leisure activities. Taking him to a child psychologist may help in such situations.

You must try to make him set goals in studies as we have discussed earlier and make time tables. You could also reward him occasionally if he accomplishes certain academic tasks.

Hope your query is answered.
Do write back if you have any doubts.

Dr. A. Rao Kavoor
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Child is unable to concentrate in studies. Suggestion? 31 hours later
Please clarify that in your breif opinion are you suggesting us to be in touch with a psychologist .

Also as we now do not have internet at home , we feel that he uses his freinds mobile to access Facebook, how should we react, We are giving him his mobile for short periods or he uses mine, should we give it back to him. the only concern we have is that he will start using it too much again.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anjana Rao Kavoor 7 hours later
Brief Answer:
It would be ideal to be in touch with psychologist

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thank you for writing back,

At this point what you should do is use the mobile (since he enjoys spending time with it) as a reward if he shows interest in his studies for a particular amount of time (avoid giving the mobile back to him). For e.g., you could keep a target of one hour of study and give him the mobile for 15 minutes if he sits down to study seriously during that hour. If he happens to get distracted and leave his chair often, he would not receive the mobile. If you follow this for at least two weeks meticulously, you will start noticing a change in his behavior for the good. Other things like food stuff he likes can also be used alternately as rewards since repeating the same can saturate a person. You have to be consistent with this schedule since handing over the items when he simply asks for it can render it ineffective.

This is one of the psychological techniques that you can adopt in your parenting. It has been found to be effective in majority of the cases provided there are some other obstacles faced.

By keeping in touch with a psychologist you can follow up regularly with him/her and modify your parenting accordingly as advised by the psychologist after detailed assessment.

I hope this answers your question,
Write back in case of doubts,
Dr. A. Rao. Kavoor.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Child is unable to concentrate in studies. Suggestion? 15 hours later
As per your breif advise we should be in touch with a psychologist, is being in touch will be enough or should we be consulting a local psychologist.

As we have taken the mobile away from him for the last two weeks , we feel he is not calling the girl he as much as he used to call, atleast when he is at home We see a big variation in his moods like he was absolutely fine till day before yesterday, since yesterday he is not being talking propoerly to me and my husband. He complained to my father in law yesterday that we follow him too much that is like dropping and picking up from tutions etc etc.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Anjana Rao Kavoor 19 hours later
Brief Answer:
Being in touch means consulting a psychologist.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Thank you for writing back,

If he is making it apparent in his behavior that he is angry then you will have to sit down with him to talk and make him understand the reasons why you are doing this. Try and help him be aware of what he is doing and also make him understand the consequences of his behavior such as reduced interest in studies and poor performance in exams. Try not to be harsh with him by being too strict. Tell him that if he performs well in exams consistently at least 5-6 times from now on, he will get his mobile back.

I hope this answers your question,
Write back in case of doubts,
Dr. A. Rao. Kavoor.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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