His life was straight out of a movie

The other day, a principal of a reputed school called me seeking help for one of her students, a boy of 13 years. She said the boy’s parents were crying for help and that they were sitting in front of her. So, I slotted an appointment for them to come and see me the same afternoon.

The family came in. As usual the boy’s parents began complaining how their son was absenting himself from school.

I spoke to the boy in front of them. His answers were in whispers which at times I could barely hear. After about 15 minutes, I asked his parents to sit outside and had a one-to-one conversation with the boy. At first, he was hesitant. When I assured him that I don’t judge people, he began interacting.

From the hour long interaction I had with him, I realised that the boy feels unloved by his parents. He feels his parents didn’t want him. He also shared with me that he was in a hostel for two years. His story made me feel that his life was straight out of the Tare Zameen Par movie.

My interaction with the boy was almost over. I asked him to sit outside and asked for his parents to come in. When I asked his parents what they thought about their son, the father said, he wanted his son to become a doctor.

The principal had mentioned that the boy was an intelligent child and scored very well. So, I didn’t know where the problem was. And I asked the boy’s parents to continue telling me about their son. When the husband and wife started sharing information sometimes individually and sometimes together, I pieced the information together. That’s when I realised what was happening with the boy.

To make their son more studious, the parents consciously neglected him. They shared with him pictures of them with their relatives children only to get their son to be even more studious. What his parents did frustrated the boy and his mind became restless. He didn’t know where to turn to for help. He began locking himself up in his room and slept all day.

He created his comfort space. He realised he needn’t get out of his room and face the world. So, he slept all day. At night, he’d stay awake watching movies.

His parents simply didn’t get it. The father pursued his desire to make his son a doctor and put him in boarding. The first year went by. At the end of the second year, the boy refused to go back to boarding. So, they put him into this school.

I asked the boy’s mother what she felt about putting the boy into boarding and she said, she wasn’t even asked. Decision was taken by her husband.

Now that he wasn’t attending school, the father was contemplating on putting him back in boarding.

I spoke to the boy’s parents and asked them whether they were ready to lose their son! Further, I asked them what difference does it make to them with what he grew up to become! Their son was studious and responsible. I helped them see a different perspective, a different way to address the situation on hand. They saw a new possibility.

As a matter of chance I asked them, how many times have you taken your child on a holiday! They said… never.

To me, this boy was on the brink of depression. The principal had saved him in the nick of time by getting help to him.

I suggested that they first restore their love for their son and then take their son out on a picnic.

In the evening the family came and this time their daughter was also present. The father came to show himself. I performed his Nadi Pariksha. After the diagnosis, I asked him, how important is others opinion of you to you? In different words he said that was all that mattered. We had nailed the root cause of the boy’s condition.

My work with the boy’s father took more time that what I took with the boy. My work with the boy was accomplished and work with his father has just begun.

Two days later I called the principal to give an update. She answered my phone call and said I’ve done a miracle. I asked her to clarify her statement. She said, the boy has resumed school. She also mentioned that the way he wishes her a good morning reassured her that the boy was okay.

Many a time, we as parents assume that we know it all and take action which at times backfires on our children. How much do we really know? I’d like to answer this question for you… actually we know nothing. Give your children a chance. Listen to your children patiently. If you can’t do that, find someone who can help you listen to your children and also get your children back on track.

You are the best example your children can find in this world. So, be the best parent they can ever find.

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