Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home






Watches appreciate care

They adorn our wrists. They come in different shapes and sizes and they love to be taken care of. There are a few things, which can literally elongate the life of our favorite watches.
The straps of watches are usually made from leather. The quality of these leather bands usually deteriorate depending on climate, sweat acidity and levels of wear and tear. To secure the durability of your leather straps, take the following precautions: 1) avoid soaking your strap in water, 2) avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight, and 3) avoid direct contact with solvents, detergents and perfumes.
And for those lovely bracelet watches to last for ages, keep them away from hair spray, perfume and detergent; their chemical composition is highly damaging to the texture of these wristwatches.
Batteries power all quartz watches, so if your quartz watch stops functioning, have the battery checked as soon as possible. A "dead" battery may cause serious damage to the movement if left inside the watch for too long. Quartz analogue watches contain both electronic and mechanical parts which require periodic servicing.
When making time and date adjustments to your watch, it is recommended that you take your watch off your wrist.
Most of the watches have water-resistance capability. Always make sure that the buttons on your watch are pushed home or screwed home, before diving. A hard knock might cause a watch to lose its water resistance without you realizing it. And be sure to service your water-resistant watches regularly. Water-resistant watches must be opened and closed by a skilled watchmaker.
A watch may last for decades if you know how to properly operate and care for it. So take care of your watches and let them embellish your wrist for a long, long time.

By Wara Karim


Counselling for families

Anwara Chowdhury is a U.K. registered family welfare counselor. She has recently moved back to Bangladesh after living in the UK for more than 30 years. In the UK she has worked at Cornerstone Family Centre in Coventry as a Family Counselor for many years. Her job as a counselor was to help children and adults from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds cope with the emotional and psychological problems they face in their day-to-day lives.
The concept of "counseling" is quite new in Bangladesh. Hopefully this discussion with her will give a better understanding of counseling.
What is counseling?
The process of counseling is to enable a person to make constructive changes in his/her life. Counseling is a psychological process and it focuses on altering how people feel and think so that they may live their lives more effectively. Goals of counseling are to assist people to heal past emotional deprivations, manage current problems, handle transition, make decisions, manage crisis and develop specific life skills.
The purpose of counseling is to encourage people to make choices, to take personal responsibility for creating and making their own lives better. In addition this process enables people to experience and express feelings, think rationally and to take effective actions to attain their goals. The gradual process of counseling assists a person to develop self helping skills, not just to cope with present problems, but to prevent and handle future problems. Thus the ultimate goal of counseling is self-helping so that a person becomes his or her own best counselor.
Who can benefit from counseling?
I strongly believe that needs and problems of adults and children are universal. It does not matter from which cultural background they come from. In developed countries they have specially trained people to deal with and help children and adults with individual problems.
Modem society has become so competitive that often we as adults have no time to think about ourselves. We are under so much pressure with our commitments and jobs that we sometimes overlook the important issues affecting our children and ourselves. Due to these pressures we sometimes do not give enough quality time to our children and therefore to fill the gap we often buy material things to express our love. In fact material things cannot fill the emotional needs. Emotional abuse or neglect cannot be pinpointed or show any marks but it can be a scar, which affects the rest of a child's life.
Children have many different emotional problems, which can arise from loss in family, domestic violence, rejection from parents, difficult relationship with parents, low self-esteem, family separation, foster-care etc. These problems may affect their studies, schoolwork, and home life as well as become obstacles in their later lives.
Counseling for adults is equally important. Research has shown that stress is one of the major issues of modern society. Stress happens whenever we are faced with challenges or changes in our lives. Over the years as a counselor I have worked with people with difficult experiences and have enabled them to develop coping mechanisms to handle their situations. Women whether they stay at home or work, face a challenging environment, making valuable contributions to society.
Can you relate some of your experiences as a counselor?
My duty and responsibility as a Family Counselor was to assess the needs of the children and adults and then customize individual sessions for them. For children, the objective was to enable them to express their emotions in a way they felt comfortable and to then provide therapeutic counseling. Each of the sessions was designed based on the age of the child and his/her level of understanding. My work also involved helping children build self-esteem, self-confidence and feelings of self-worth. On certain issues I engaged parents to work together to build positive relationships. Finally each individual was encouraged to explore his/her skills and achievements, to evaluate his/her own performance and draw an action plan for the future.
When I was working in the UK, a 10-year-old boy was referred to me by his school for counseling. During the sessions he demonstrated behavioral outbursts and very negative thoughts about himself and others. He seemed to have extremely low self-esteem and self-worth. Due to his traumatic experiences he lost his confidence and found it difficult to trust others. My counseling work with him took more than a year. The initial task was to build trust between the both of us. Next I encouraged him to take responsibility for his own work. Subsequently this enabled him to explore and experience different stages to overcome his fear and negative thoughts. The final goal was to make him feel positive about himself.
In the Bangladeshi context how can counseling apply?
In Bangladesh many changes are occurring in our social structure. Smaller nuclear families are being created in the cities. Many women are working outside the home due to financial constraints, to supplement their husbands' income or in some cases due to separation from their spouses. Children's expectations and demands are increasing as they compete against other children. This puts financial burden on families as well.
All these factors are contributing to creating many emotional and psychological problems in families. Counseling can help these people deal with their situations.
What should people do?
Over the years, experience with different communities has given me the opportunity to explore and learn about the difficulties and problems people face. Any kinds of disability or psychological problems have a stigma in society. People find it difficult to talk about emotional problems. Due to this, people often avoid seeking any assistance until there is a major breakdown.
My advice would be to aim for the preventative work rather than wait for the crisis to happen. Make time for yourself and time for your children. Listen to your children carefully. Allow them to express without fear. Observe and monitor any changes in their behavior. Find the right professional help for your child or yourself whenever necessary. Above all have patience and respect for each other.

LS Desk



home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2003 The Daily Star