Nighat Ara, Psychiatrist
How can I handle my teenage children a daughter 17 and a son 14, my
life has become so difficult with both of them revolting against my
dos and don'ts in life?
Handling teen-age children is indeed a challenge for many parents. How
difficult you find your child depends on the teenager's temperament
as well as your competency as a mother. You seem to be concerned about
them revolting against your dos and don'ts in life. I guess this is
a very common problem with teenagers. Adolescent children do not like
to be totally controlled by their parents. They develop their own opinion
and like to experiment with life. They don't want to accept all the
rules imposed on them without a question. Adults feel challenged when
their children are demanding to be treated as equals and asking for
clarifications or alternatives. In this hierarchical society, parents
consider themselves superior to their children. Today parenting has
become a stressful job. Society is changing slowly but definitely. Eventually
autocratic families (e.g. where husbands hold the supreme power) are
gradually changing into families of equality (e.g. women are claiming
equal rights). Children growing up in this transitional society are
also asking for their share of equality. Here equality means equal dignity
and respect (children are definitely not equal to their parents in terms
of knowledge, experience and skills). Lot of parents are struggling
between the traditional and modern parental roles. Among different parenting
styles (autocratic, permissive, democratic etc.), choose the right one
for healthy growth of your children. No wonder, parenting sucks like
hell at times, but again it is so wonderful to be a parent. It would
be wise not to take everything personally. A lot of this parent-child
conflict probably reflects social and generation changes, not merely
your personal situation. Respect is essential for good communication
between two individuals regardless their age gap or relationship. It
is also important that we listen to them and allow them to express their
feelings about us. Teenagers sometimes need to rebel against their parents
in order to define themselves. They do this to own their values and
beliefs that could be different from yours. If they don't rebel as teen,
s/he may rebel as an adult and there are plenty examples that children
who were very difficult as teen-agers grew up into matured, responsible
young adults. Just make sure your teenager is rebelling in a relatively
non-harmful way (e.g. odd dress, loud music, junk food, bedtime etc).
Make them aware of the consequence of each behaviour. Sometimes observational
learning is enough for them, other times they need to experience it
first hand and learn from their own mistakes. No doubt, the world is
a dangerous place (not only for Bush and Bin Laden, but for ordinary
people like us too!), safety is a big issue for many of us. As a parent,
talk about safety rules without creating unnecessary pressure on them.
Most important is letting them know you are both physically and emotionally
available to them. Don't beat yourself up on small things. Otherwise
you may win a battle but lose the war, when your teenager will choose
to rebel in a way you find totally unacceptable. Keep up your spirit
and remind yourself what you like about being a parent
DR. Mahfujul Haq Khan BDS, DDS, FSDCE
(USA), PhD (Japan), Post Doc. (Japan) Specialised: Crown and Bridge
work, and Periodontal plastic surgery (USA) Senior Medical Officer,
Department of Dentistry, BIRDEM Hospital
Dear Dr. M.H. Khan
I am 37 years old. I am suffering from bad breath for the last ten years.
I tried many things to get rid off this. Can you explain about bad breath
and how can I get cured?
I am your regular reader, Thanks
Humaon Azad Mirpur, Dhaka
Don't be frustrated. This is a very common problem in our society but
unfortunately but very few people feel free to consult it with their
physician/Dentist. Bad breath (halitosis) can cause embarrassment, create
social and psychological barriers. I will give you a brief regarding
causes of bad breath and its management.
Every disease has definitive treatment, but diagnosis should be correct.
I think I should point out to my respected reader that causes of "bad
breath" originating from oral region is about 50-60%, whereas rest
comes from other systemic problem. I do understand that you are maintaining
strict oral hygiene by yourself, but did you have professional cleaning
in every year, did you check whether you have any caries or not? Sometimes
or it is real difficult job to clean your hidden plaque/tartar by regular
toothbrush and paste yourself. Please try to use dental floss and inter-dental
brush for cleaning in between the spaces of teeth. Without examining
you its seems very hard for me to advice for any further investigation
to evaluate other systemic problem. Bad breath sufferers should feel
encouraged to seek treatment because of the high success rate in managing.
The majority of bad breath problems begin in the mouth.
· Bad breath that is of oral cavity origin can be traced to a
sulfur compound produced by bacteria. Dead and dying bacterial cells
release this sulfur compound which gives the breath an unpleasant odor.
· Bacterial plaque and food debris accumulates on the back of
the tongue. The tongue's surface is extremely rough and bacteria can
accumulate easily in the cracks and crevices. Large amounts of sulfur
compounds can be produced in this area, making it a frequent site of
origin for bad breath.
· The tooth attracts bacteria containing plaque and if not cleaned
regularly and thoroughly, this can result in large accumulations of
bacteria that result in bad breath.
· People who have periodontitis (Gum disease) often experience
bad breath because of bacteria accumulating in areas that are not cleaned
easily, such as deep pockets around teeth.
· Fortunately, treatment is very effective for people who have
bad breath of mouth origin.
Other reasons for bad breath (other than the mouth) are:
· infections, especially in the sinuses or lungs
· diabetes mellitus (acetone smell to the breath)
· kidney failure (can produce a fishy odor)
· malfunction of the liver
· disorders of metabolism (foul, fishy odor that comes and goes
and may be difficult to diagnose)
· fasting (when the body is not provided with fuel in the form
of food, fat and protein will begin to be broken down; the result is
bad odor from the waste products of this metabolism)
If your bad breath continues once potential oral health problems have
been treated, see your doctor to rule out any other causes.
· Treatment begins with a complete oral examination and health
history, you may have an "odor-meter" test done. This test
can accurately measure the volatile sulfur gases and the extent of a
· Periodontal disease and /or cavities should be treated and
· Oral infections must be eliminated or impacted teeth may need
to be removed.
· Good oral hygiene must be stressed, including cleaning the
teeth and tongue (By using tongue scraper). Once the oral infection
is treated and cured, mouthwash and toothpaste may have some effectiveness
in managing oral odor. Ask your oral health professional for a product
that may be helpful to you.
The rainy season's
started, but the weather's still hot. What better way to cool off than
by taking a quick dip in the pool? The more adventurous people could
try diving into a pond or stream, like the stalwart skinny-dipper in
A DIFFERENT SKY
You know her,
I know her too, I have been her once in a while, maybe you too have
been her, and some of us are still…the Queen B.
female (usually) who resides in a small group of men, overpowering
all other females near, far and there, hawking attention, spreading
feminine estrogens, believing that she secretly owns the dreams and
wishes of the group of men that she has claimed as "friends,"
"family" or "Significant others." The word queen
is self-explanatory and B can stand for anything from a Bee to a female
dog. The phrase is put together to create the whipped effect and the
characterisation and implementation of the phrase is up to a person,
to make it fit as necessary, from over-possessively-caring to psychotically-vicious.
Being away from
Bangladesh and living abroad, many Bengali men crave that companionship
of a proper Bengali woman. Growing up in Bangladesh, and being segregated
from females most of their lives, Bengali men often have a make-belief,
half-false image about Bengali females. And a Queen B is said to take
full advantage of that situation.
Imagine you are
a single Bengali man in America, living with four other Bengali men
who are as pathetic as you if not more, and then a Bengali girl walks
into your lives, a girl who reminds you of someone who you looked
forward to seeing on the way to school or college in Bangladesh, or
a girl you use to stare at from your roof top to her intentionally
wide open window. She is either a newly married bride who one of your
lucky buddies have brought over from Bangladesh or a semi-girlfriend
of one of your roommates and if not the first two then you have met
her at the community college you are taking night classes at. You
and the group of your friends simultaneously grow a secret crush on
her, a crush not deep enough to be called love, but grave enough to
make her the focal point of your group, to listen to her ideas as
obtuse or brilliant as they might be, to boost her ego, giving her
the power to have a say over your lives, your attractions and your
denials. You seek approval from her silent or talkative eyes, because
her presence gives you a certain satisfaction, it gives you an exposure
to an unknown world, a Bengali female willing to hang out with a bunch
of harmless yet pretending to be macho men, it makes you feel special.
You include her in all things, give her undivided attention, and this
one girl becomes almost sacred to you, the Queen B of your empire.
Slowly she starts
having an opinion about your taste in women and choices in life. You
realise your idea of beauty has changed to something that would fit
her appropriately and you dismiss and mock with her any girl she remotely
finds threatening. She hides her insecurities and you feed her self-esteem,
until one day you loose half of yours. You see her residing at the
height of perfection, her background, her education, and her decisions
in life. Even her foolishness you categorise as misfortunes.
Things do get
uncanny when another female is present in your all-male-one-female
group. The Queen B is quick to point out how much cosmetics this other
female has on, or the mischievous tales and bad reputation of this
woman, or how boring and just-not-good-enough this new female is to
be worthy of any attention from such fine young men like you. The
attentions of other females only go so far in your life and the Queen
B with her invisible sword destroys all outside female involvement
and interests involving you.
Luckily one day
you do realise how wretched and distressing the life of a Queen B
is, and you move on, as her possessiveness now binds you in an untied
monogamy amidst the world full of options.
So you or some
well-wisher of yours finds you a new woman, who becomes your girlfriend
or wife, with all strings attached and without most foolish games.
And with your girlfriend or wife, who utterly hates the Queen B, you
make fun of her overbearing, manipulative and ghastly behaviours.
You slowly loss touch with the ex Queen of your life while she goes
to find a different hive, finding equally clueless and pitiable Bengali
man like you, to stroke her confidence and harvest her insecurities.
*You can contact the writer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org