Sushant is a 14-year-old, who has always been quiet and reserved by nature. He is a bright and quiet boy who always got very good grades in class. However, Sushant did not have too many friends in class and never interacted much with any of his peers. He kept to himself and his studies. Suddenly one semester his grades dropped drastically. His parents were shocked and thought Sushant was keeping bad company. They reduced his playtime and gave him a stricter study routine. In class, the teachers saw Sushant scribbling more on the bench with his head down, rather than trying to pay attention to what was happening in class.
One day Sushant cut his arms and that’s when he was brought to the school doctor for first aid. That’s when the teachers and parents realized that something was amiss. The parents spoke to Sushant who took time opening up. They finally consulted a counselor and Sushant confessed that he secretly liked a girl in his class, who he could never befriend due to his poor social skills. Since he did not have any close friends in class, he was unable to convey his feelings to her even indirectly. The girl had become the center of his life and she did not even know it. And Sushant felt he was a loser. He was undergoing emotional trauma and perhaps that was the reason he cut himself-to alleviate some of the pain he was feeling. We sat Sushant down and explained to him how hurting himself would not help him befriend the girl.
We encouraged him to become more social and interact with people. That helped him build social confidence. His grades improved, and he now has a small yet happy friend circle.
The parents should have encouraged the child to be more outgoing in the first place. That may have given him confidence. After his grades dropped, they jumped to wrong conclusions and further restricted his playtime (which for an already unsocial child was the wrong thing to do).
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