Q. My child is showing bad behaviour from some months. He is 9 years old and good with studies. He is active and very active at home. In school he sits quietly and no complain from teachers are there. He does not make much friends and keeps aloof. At home he is very troublesome. We are worried. Where should I take him- should I take him to a doctor, does he have a medical problem or should I bring him for counselling? His teachers are happy with him. Ours is a joint family with four more children and eight adults. Please guide us.
Ans. Please understand that there is always a reason for a child’s bad behaviour. The child must be hurt by someone physically or emotionally by bullying/ragging. There could be someone from your joint family- you need to find out whether an adult or an older child has hurt him. Investigations will help you get information. If he is normal and well behaved at school and behaves badly at home, then the problem has to have the origin at home front, whether it is you and/or his father or the extended family members. Take him to a counsellor/psychologist and after assessment she may refer him further if needed. Otherwise the problem may be solved soon. Do not take him to a doctor first- it is not necessary.
Q. I have lost my head. I am a working woman and was widowed many years ago. My children became big and went to college. Then my problems of loneliness starts and I miss my children. I try to talk to them daily but they don’t like my interference I feel like that. This hurts me a lot. I cry daily and cannot sleep well. I made a friend near my office but I don’t think that is the right thing to do. He is showing interest but he is married and has children. What should I do? I need some guidance and some advice. Please help.
Ans. It is true that as children grow up they live a life of their own and parents should keep in touch but not ‘interfere’ in their lives. Parents should ‘let them go’. A lot of freedom is good for them to face the challenges and learn to cope with them properly. As a single person, it is good that you are working and have a life of your own and are economically independent. What is missing in your life is the fullness in your personal life. Filling up the emptiness/loneliness is a matter of adjustment and the ability to fill your life with friends and creative hobbies. Getting involved with a married man is not advisable and you are right by staying away from him. Instead you could think of re-marrying and finding a suitable partner for yourself. Age is not a barrier but you may have to ask your children if they are okay with it. A session of counselling may help you clear your mind about your needs and then set goals for achieving them. All the best- Cheer up. Be brave and strong. Do not cry and feel depressed.
Q. My friends tease me a lot. They call me names and rag me about my slim figure and my colour of skin. I am dark complexion and am very thin too. I feel like crying and fighting with them too. I hate them but they are my friends. If I fight with them they will leave me and I will be alone. No one will talk to me. I am afraid of losing my friends. What should I do Madam? Please guide me in detail of what I should do? You are my only hope. I cannot talk to anyone at home.
Ans. You seem to have two problems- one, is that you suffer from a low self image and esteem which you have developed due to the ragging and bullying by friends about your colour of skin and slim figure. The second is that you are a submissive and fearful guy and lacks the art and skill of assertiveness. You do not stand up for your rights and take the humiliations lying down. This lack of assertiveness is linked to your low self esteem and negative image. You would need to build up your positive reserves and positive thinking of yourself as well as learn the art of asserting. These are life skills and part of coping strategies which everyone needs to learn in their life. Sometimes if it is taught at home by parents children do not suffer like you are doing but many have to learn them from outside. We can train you in all these positive skills in a few sessions if you are prepared. All this suffering at the hands of so called friends is damaging to self. The earlier you train the better.