Out with the old, in with the new Happy New Year MANSI ! By Dr. Pradnya Ajinkya

In a group of 75 children, thirteen year old Mansi feels socially withdrawn and refrains from activities in the presence of peers. It did occur to her to tell her parents and teachers. The peers threatened to beat her for informing the teachers. Parents look up the tormentor's details and decide to speak to their parents. It worked. A few days later Mansi came home with a hand and leg injury. She explained that the children publicly teased her and pushed her and they said it was natural to tease and fight with one another. The parents listened to Mansi and her stories of getting insulted and roughed up in the classroom and pathways and they wondered if it was normal. Mansi can't  help but get negative and disturbed. Even if the children later downplayed, Mansi was not able to leave isolation. The isolation and degradation just followed her like a black hole. She feels that she does not fit in at some point.  Her friends who tormented her explained that Mansi should be taught life skills -- survive and succeed. 

Therapist : It is ugly when children are bullied, socially separated and isolated. With children, the need to be a part of their friends and groups is survival. In the above case the school also can't disclose how they deal with kids involved in bullying and make children feel unsafe. Sometimes Mansi seems to stick to these kids, waiting for acceptance. However, Mansi is uncomfortable in the victim role. The children around want to teach  her life skills by laughing and pointing fingers at her in a way to isolate and exclude her. From a social control perspective, Mansi having experienced the trauma, will never want to go through it again. Part of her is angry. Mansi can make the problem huge. It is important to bring it down to its right size immediately. 

Mansi : 1] Who can help me to change the levels of social behavior and correct the situation?

Therapist :  What do you think has to change in order for them to change?

Don't let it bother you, may not be a right answer. 

Also solitary-passive behaviors do not provide a means for coping with feelings of unease.

Mansi : 2] What is my role in this situation?

Therapist : Balance reassurance with coaching. Many children have gone through similar situations and doing good and okay. 

Mansi : I feel I don't fit into any situation. I feel like a loser.

Therapist : It is a powerful thing to help yourself identify and solve your problems. You will get a tool to aid you the rest of your life. 

Mansi : Shall I ignore these feelings?

Therapist : It is important to feel and do something positive about them.

Mansi : I feel I have a huge problem?

Therapist : Bring it down and cut it to it's right size immediately.

Mansi : How?

Therapist :  By setting limits.......

Mansi : I feel powerless when I am picked on?

Therapist : Set the limit without losing the objectivity.

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