It was Monday morning. Neeta was reluctant to get ready for school. Her mother noticed this but still kept quiet. This was going on for the last 3-4 days. Her mother was concerned about what was going on in Neeta’s mind. She decided to speak with her in the evening.
Neeta not accepted by new classmates
Neeta and her family had recently shifted to India. Neeta had her lower schooling done in California. Now, she has joined Thomas School, Mumbai in 6th Std.
Classmates were not ready to accept Neeta in their group. They considered her a NRI and labeled her with different pointers like Miss Showoff, Miss “ahh—ttitude”, Miss NRI etc. They were not allowing Neeta to be part of any activity or assignment done in the class. This was the case of bullying in some form or other.
What should Neeta do?
Should she report to her class teacher, parents and relatives? Should she do something about the treatment she is faced with or should she just ignore it so as to be friendly and gain the trust of her peers?
In Neeta’s case, she has chosen to ignore for the time being. She is staying quiet and not doing anything about it. But she was not happy about it. Finally, her mother made a move to determine what is wrong.
After reading about “React of Ignore" behaviour patterns of children, she understood Neeta is under “Suppressed” quadrant.There is something wrong done to her, it is a big issue and she has chosen to ignore it.
According to statistics, ~30 percent of our school-age children (5.7 million) are bullied in schools, on playgrounds & in recreational facilities each year.
She decides to have a conversation with Neeta.
Neeta : - Mom, I won’t go to school tomorrow.
Mom: - Why what happened?
Neeta:- I don’t have any friends. I want to go back California.
Mom:- I understand. You are new to school. Friends will take time to accept you in their group. Don't lose heart so soon.
Neeta:- They always mock at me. How do I win their heart and mix with them?
Mom :-I am sure we can do something. Tomorrow I will prepare some cookies. You share them with your classmates. They will love it. What else can we do?
Neeta:- I will tell them about my old school events, parties and trips.
Mom:- Good. You can also discuss with them about upcoming holidays. Ask them if you can together organize some event in the new school.
Neeta:- Can I invite them at home for a get-together after school or on weekend? Then we can go for a bicycle ride as well.
Mom:- Ok. I am happy that you have solutions make new friends. Just be bold as you were earlier.
Neeta :-Thank you Mom. I will definitely see to it that I have double the number friends as compared to the old school.
The plan worked. Neeta was able to make friends in the new school. She was able to resolve the challenge with her mother’s support. Most important thing is she and her Mom decided to do something about the situation rather than let the suffering continue. This allowed her to move from the “Suppressed” state to “Confident” state.
Points to ponder:
1. Where are you on the quadrant?
2. What is the desired behaviour? Should we focus on issues only if it matters to us or keep larger issues in mind?
Have you also encountered situations like these ever at home, school or neighborhood? How do you respond when you see something wrong, either done to you or someone else?