Q. My son seems distracted and we are worried for his finals for board exams in February. He seems to be not worried while we very anxious for him. He is unwilling to come for any sort of help and counselling and tells us not to worry for him. What should we do as parents for him and how to motivate him? Please advise us.
Ans. You have not mentioned his past records. If he has generally been a good student with disciplined habits of self study then you need not worry at all. If you notice a significant change in his behaviour and study habits, then your concern is genuine and valid. One way is to have an open dialogue with your son as to how his preparations are going, is he confident of a good performance, what percentage is he targeting and expecting and how many hours of input is he putting and is there any subject or chapters of difficulty and concern for which he needs personal help. Take a cool and calm assessment from him- this helps him get into a thinking mode and into making a proper assessment of himself and his preparations. Put your expectations on him in a realistic way. Do not lecture and do not pass your anxieties on to him in any way. Just express concern and curiosity and a desire to help. Do not nag and do not emotionalise matters- this irritates children a lot. Bring him for career guidance or coaching if that works.
Q. I am a good student and have always come in the top ten ranks in school and college. But from third year college my marks are going down and I am feeling depressed. I don’t know the reason, I feel stressed and not feel like studying. My friends try their best to cheer me up and my parents are loving and supporting. I am in a professional programme which is very tough and I have made the choice of studying it. I don’t know the reason as to what is happening to me. Please help me overcome this problem.
Ans. We need to identify the problem to be able to help you. If you cannot fathom the reason then you may have to come for counselling sessions to help you find the causes of your stress and depression. Professional studies can be taxing and can cause stress if you don’t keep pace with the routine work or get stuck with some chapters or subjects that appear tough for you. If you have always been a good student and now find your grades falling, that itself may cause anxiety and depression to you. I could think of many more reasons in your personal life but this will only lead to making assumptions. For knowing the real reasons we need you to fill the gaps. A session may help.
Q. I recently came to know that I was abused and seduced in childhood. After I read an article in the magazine, I realised that I too had faced something similar to it in childhood and had told no one about it. I don’t remember sharing it with anyone and I was very small maybe five to six years old. It was a next door neighbour and my Uncle too who used to abuse me. I had forgotten about it. After reading it, my mind is totally disturbed to know that ‘I have been abused too in my childhood’. I did not know till now that there is something like ‘child sexual abuse’ until I read about it. Now I feel very angry and cheated by those people and by my parents who did not bother to protect me. I shared this with my girl –friend and she said that I should forget it but I cannot. The more I think about it the more disturbed I feel about it. Please guide me what to do?
Ans. Reading about the topic helped you define your problem you faced in childhood. Earlier it was a problem with no name and you forgot about it in the natural course of life. It springs up to your mind as you identify with many other girl or boy child who have experienced sexual abuse and it makes you angry. It also makes you feel cheated by those known persecutors as well as your parents who are unaware and have betrayed you with their innocence. As a child you did not report the matter as you could not verbalise the problem but now it suddenly comes up as a major malaise in society of which you too have been a victim. Since you identify with the issue you have become sensitised about the problem and this makes you a better person to raise awareness about it in society and help others from safeguarding their children. You can make it a common cause to fight for socially. As far as your personal life is concerned you need to resolve it in your mind through counselling and meditation. It would be advisable not to pick up the issue with the family and the perpetrators of the past. Let matters rest at home and heal your own wounds.