Letting them go

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 22 Oct 2017 13:51:22













My child is behaving badly since some months. He is 9-years-old and good in studies. Though he is very active at home, he sits quietly in the school. He does not make many friends and keeps aloof. At home, he is very troublesome. We are worried. Should I consult 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 problem may be solved soon. Do not take him to a doctor first- it is not necessary.


I am a working woman and was widowed many years ago. My children are grown up and in college now. I miss my children and feel lonely. I try to talk to them daily but they don’t like my interference. This hurts me a lot and I cry daily. I made a friend near my office but I don’t think it’s right thing to do. He is showing interest, but he is married and has children. I need guidance and 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.


My friends tease me a lot. They call me names and rag me about my slim figure and dark complexion. I feel like crying and fighting with them. But if I fight with them they will leave me and I will be alone. I am afraid of losing my friends. Please guide me as 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.