Have you ever felt at any point in your life when an opposite person failed to appreciate you? Or as a parent has your child ever come to you and told you this’ But mom why I am not appreciated?’ Lets see how this sixteen years old teenager felt as she was not appreciated by her mother.
You feel good when someone appreciates you and makes you feel worthy. But some of you might not have got any appreciation for whatever you do. Same was the case of this sixteen years old teenager. Our sessions went on for 2 to 3 months and I have highlighted few instances.
Case study of a sixteen year old teenager
This is a case study of a sixteen years old teenager. One evening I got a call from a teenager who said she didn’t get admission in the desired college and wanted to meet me ASAP. She said she was getting weird thoughts and no one could understand her. I could Gage from her voice that she was quite hassled and hence I gave her an appointment on priority basis.
Protocol of counselling
When I take sessions, I always meet the parents first and then the child however in this case I had to meet the girl as she had lots to discuss about her parents. I made sure that Aditi (name changed) met me with the consent of her parents.
Body image issues
Aditi started with this topic that how she scored above 90% in her boards yet couldn’t get admission in her desired college. The reason she couldn’t get admission was because of some mistake while filling the form. She said she was waiting for one more list in which she might get admission.
She shared that she had body image issues and didn’t value herself. She has just studied all her life and not shown interest in any other activity as studying had always been her passion.
She felt that she was not comfortable to get clicked because of her figure. Aditi was feeling low to such an extent that she had lost interest in studies also. She blamed her mother for her miserable condition as her mother has never appreciated her from her childhood days itself. She added although she was sixteen however her mother felt that she was incapable of doing of doing anything in life and that she would be a failure.
Tragedy during board exams
During her board exams her mother’s sister went through an extremely rough phase and Aditi’s mother invited her sister to stay at her place for couple of days.
Since it was a very sensitive issue related to separation of the couple there was lot of commotion in the house. Aditi could barely concentrate and hence she went to her friends house.
Aditi looked very dejected and kept cursing her home environment for the reason to not get full marks in two papers.
Mother never appreciated daughter
During the sessions she shared that despite of the rough phase she tried her best to study yet her mother blames her till date for not getting above 95%
Aditi said that, “since childhood my mother has never appreciated me. She has never acknowledged me for whatever work I do. I am a teenager yet I do the vessels, mopping and other household chores whenever needed without making a fuss. I had never demanded cell phone till I completed my 10th. I was not appreciated when I scored 92% instead I was always told that why didn’t I get more marks.
My mom didn’t even ask me or tell me once that her sister would be coming home. It was not like my massi didn’t have other place to stay. She did have but my mother chose to bring her at our house. I feel if there would have been some other girl then she wouldn’t have passed also with so much of disturbance in the family that too during the important phase of my life.
I am always compared with my younger sister because she is an extrovert and I am an introvert. And till date I am craving from some sort of appreciation from my mother. Am I so bad that my mom doesn’t compliment me for my single deed?. My massi has a failed marriage and I dont k now why my mother feels that I am so dumb that even I will be a failure in my life.
How can a mother be so negative? if I become a mother I will never curse my child this way.
My mom keeps telling me to shred weight. Its not that I am didn’t try but due to my mom’s overall attitude towards me I become disturbed. I start binge eating and get sleepless nights too. I don’t know what to do to get appreciated from my mom?”
Lack of Self appreciation leading to unwanted issues
While interacting with Aditi one thing was clear that she used to speak sense. At age of 16 she knew what she wanted in life and an extremely ambitious girl. Infact over the course of sessions what I understood was that because her mom considered her worthless she started doubting herself. Her ambition got killed which lead to many issues like
Low self esteem
Hatred towards life
Only study and no play
She has always been studying and no other activities hence she seemed to be very lost.
Aditi told me that she didn’t have any hobbies in her life apart from studying which really killed her from within. She said that this was the biggest mistake of her life wherein she didn’t pursue a single hobby. She felt sad that she always gave importance to studies and didn’t pay attention to any other stuff like hanging out with friends, focusing on curricular activities etc.
Incident while travelling by train
So in one of the sessions Aditi told me that she was going to college by train. BTW just to mention finally she managed to get admission in her favorite college at her own merit. So while traveling she had sudden cramps inside her stomach, giddiness and she felt as if there was a blackout. She said she reached college and instantly went to the doctor who was available in the college. The doctor checked him and said everything was fine with her. In fact Aditi was almost on the verge of crying because of the discomfort she had in train as she was clueless so as to why this happened
You all must be thinking why this happened. Even I had this thought. On interrogating I came to the the conclusion and that she got lost in her thoughts. She was thinking so hard that it impacted her body. She had a very strong thought that what was she doing in this world. A Sixteen years old thinking about her purpose of life and feeling low was quite unusual.
Not a very happy child since early days
During the session lot of things got unfolded. Mother and father first shared about their views about Aditi. They said that she had stubborn and demanding nature many a times. Aditi is an unhappy child since her childhood days
On questioning mother about what sort of emotions she had during her pregnancy the mother said she used to be upset most of the times during her pregnancy and didn’t enjoy her nine months. I have been telling during my workshops on pregnant ladies that it is important to be happy as it directly impacts the womb. Do read my article for more information
Sharing by mother on how she never appreciated her daughter
It was very honest of mother to share couple of things. She agreed to this fact that she never realized how she failed to appreciate her own daughter.
Mother also confessed that she had always commented on Aditi’s figure. She said that Aditi was a healthy child right from the time she was born hence it was not her fault that she had a huge body.
Aditi’s mother pondered over the circumstances that came up during the board exams. She then said ideally Aditi was not to be blamed for not scoring above 95% however she continued blaming her. She said she never appreciated her with regards to her performance.
Her mother said she herself is a very impatient and a bad listener. There were times when she has ignored what Aditi wanted to share because her mother didn’t like to listen. She said because of hectic schedule in family she has ignored emotional needs of Aditi however she didn’t realize that all of this was piling up in Aditi’s mind to such a great extent.
Father’s perspective towards mom and Daughter’s relationship
I had a healthy discussion with mother. There were few things that mother did because of her short temper and few things without even knowing that it would impact Aditi negatively.
Father was patiently listening and was giving tips to the mother as an when required. He told the mother that she should stop taunting Aditi for getting low marks. Especially when she has got admission in one of the best colleges. He reinforced all the points that we discussed for Aditi’s well being.
Better relations, positive strokes is equal to happy mind
In the follow up session post parenting session Aditi looked quite relaxed. She said her mom’s attitude had changed towards her and she could feel the difference. It made me happy and I told Aditi if she can change at this age then even Aditi must. I was feeling good that mother took feedback so positively. We started discussing about how Aditi must now focus on her lost self esteem while making friends and her goals in life. We discussed about how quality friends play an important role as compared to quantity of friends.
We also had a session on how to increase self-worth by intrinsic motivation. I shall write sometime about this in future articles.
Few pointers that helped mother which might help any other parent too
- Stop nagging to your teenager
- Treat your teenage child like a friend
- Your child also has his views so please appreciate those views
- Be a good listener when they share something
- Words of appreciation is very important for self worth
- Sit and talk to your child when you feel he is lost
- Don’t ignore emotional pains
- Academics is not just the only thing for the success of your child
- Lot of hormonal changes happen at this age hence there might be sense of irritation too
- Peer acceptance becomes important for your teenager
- Your child is at sixteen is no more a child but an adolescent hence its important to deal him like one
- There are certain habits which will be difficult to change so please don’t stress yourself to change those habits of your child
- Lastly it’s not only about teenager or a child; self-appreciation is needed by anyone and everyone
“Seven things every child needs to hear: I love you, I’m proud of you, I’m sorry, I forgive you, I’m listening, This is your responsibility, You have what it takes.” Josh Shipp