What You See Is Not What It Is


In a recent parents-teacher meeting I was told by my daughter’s class teacher that she has a ‘severe attitude problem’. My daughter, two weeks short of turning 11, as the teacher continued to tell, refuses to mix up with the girls in the class. She chooses to ignore them. I was not surprised by what I was told as my daughter shares just about everything that happens in the school. Only that I would not have used the word ‘attitude’ and that too bolstered by the adjective ‘severe’.

Some people just can’t make friends easily and my daughter happens to be one of them. I will not use the word ‘different’ for her. She just hasn’t come across like-minded people of her age. She does make an effort to understand their jokes, gossips, trivia and she just doesn’t get them. Last she told me that when she sat with another girl in the class, the girl asked her to not to sit next to her and the reason being : “I don’t like your face!” And another time when my daughter wanted to borrow some paints for the art activity, a girl snubbed her by saying that she didn’t have any to offer her and even if she did , she would not lend it to her.


How do you expect my daughter to react? How would you react if you are told your face is dis-likeable? My daughter chose to ignore. I don’t see what argument she could have put up on this and she is grown up enough to know when exactly to complain to the teacher and when not! It must be painful for having been told things like this but she does not express her feelings to me – just plain facts.

Fortunately being in a co-ed school, she has the other gender to try making friends with and voila! she has 2-3 boys as her friends now. At least she is lucky to have this option. I have been to only all-girls’ schools which has its own set of pros and cons. But that saga is for another day. 

Coming back to the parents-teacher meet, given the academic and administrative pressure on the teachers I don’t blame them from forming opinions just on the basis of what they see. As a parent I am happy that I chose to refute what the teacher had to say rather than nodding my head in agreement and getting over with the once-in-a-quarter meeting on a Saturday morning as usually I prefer. I am happy that I am aware of the emotional roller coaster ride most children including my daughter, especially pre-teens and teens, go through in life, particularly in school. There are some scars from my school time that will remain unhealed forever and I am glad that I have them as I feel I can understand my child’s psyche better.

I daily look forward to her tales from school and usually it is these little episodes that gives me a better insight to her mental growth. Studies and sports can take a backseat. It is what in the mind that I try to delve in as this is what will shape her as a woman eventually.


photo above: daughter using Snapchat and its filter