April 17, 2024

Dear Manang,
My daughter has changed drastically this past year. Her silence is deafening. She hardly speaks to anyone in the house and stays in her room all the time while she’s home. She’s always on her computer and phone but she doesn’t seem to be talking to anybody. I am worried because I saw her wrist with a bandage. I think she has been slashing herself.
Trina of Paterno Street, Baguio City

Dear Trina,
The danger flags are all up. Children who withdraw from the world are depressed. The reasons for their depression are the keys to unlock their world. Your first approach is to ask your daughter how she feels or what she needs. Squeeze her hand a little or hug her a little. Have you felt lonely? Imagine that her loneliness is a thousand times worst than yours because she has no friends. You are the only friend and yet you look at her like she is sick. She seeks attention and you are still cold. Don’t wait until she begins to talk to the wind, hold her hand and bring her to a counsellor. Have her counseled by a guidance counselor or a doctor. There are ways but begin with yourself and spend more time with her.
Touch and hug more,
Manang

Dear Manang,
My son is in grade 2 and I keep getting messages from his teacher that he has problems in school. His grades are low. I really don’t mind because I know some children are late bloomers. What do you think is wrong? Is my son a slow learner? I don’t think so because he is smarter than other boys. He knows many things.
Katkat of Felipe Street, Baguio City

Dear Katkat,
Sounds like your son has dyslexia. This happens when a child reads or sees letters from right to left instead of from left to right. Test him and check if he recognizes the letters. If he does put two letters together and check which letter he reads first, the right one or the left one. If he begins with the right one, he is dyslexic. Sorry for making this too simple but it is not a big problem. It is you to be patient in sitting with him and making him point at the left letter and tracing the letters until the last one on the right. This trains his eyes and mind to read left to right. The biggest crime a teacher can commit is to call a child dumb or stupid. No child is dumb. They need patient teachers.
Sit with your child,
Manang