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Agony Aunt helps you to deal with relationship problems

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Unfair teacher

Hi and a 15-year-old student from Mumbai. I have an issue with my chemistry teacher. I feel like she doesn’t like me and treats me unfairly. She is super nice to all my friends but behaves completely differently with me. She scolds me and blames me for things I didn’t do. I even complained to my coordinator about it but I think I made it worse. What should I do now?

Ans: In a situation like this it is essential that the concerned teacher is spoken to about your observations and deductions, directly rather than letting it reach her through a different channel. You could arrange for a meeting with her along with your parents if necessary so that all of you get a better understanding of what could possibly be the reason for her different behaviour towards you.  Our personal biases might also influence our thinking regarding a particular person. Thus, make sure that the way you feel the chemistry teacher treats you isn’t influenced by any such bias.


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Overprotective parents

Recently my parents and I have been fighting a lot. I’m 20 years old but they still treat me like a child. They are so overprotective of everything, it’s so annoying. My mom calls me ten times even if I’m a little late. My dad is very strict about everything. I tried talking to them about it but they never change.  All of this just feels so suffocating; it always puts me in a bad mood. How can I show them that I can be responsible?

Ans: The process is gradual and being angry and revolting against their over protectiveness will not be a good approach as it will be only garner reactivity and possible stricter actions from their end. Try approaching them from their point of view i.e. listing down things you wish to do and they would have an objection towards so that whatever preconceived notions exist, you all could resolve them together and be on the same page. I get that you are being frustrated with them not being able to understand you, and thus helping them understand you by breaking it down for them might be an approach you could try to at least have a breakthrough of some kind with them.

Annoying husband

I’m a 47-year-old married woman with two children. Recently I don’t feel attracted to my husband. He gets annoyed whoever I go out with my friends and thinks I don’t pay attention to him. It’s just that when we spend time together, he’s just complaining about something or the other. And I’m just fed with all this whining. Anytime I tell them to stop complaining we just have another fight. Being with him is really draining. How do I deal with him?

Ans: Many a times irritable behaviour is a sign of saying that things aren’t going too well on the personal front and one would really like to talk about it but doesn’t know how to enable that. Your husband might be experiencing something on these lines which is causing friction between the two of you. Being responsive here and not giving into a fight could start to having simple conversations. Both of you want to be heard which isn’t possible at the same time. Thus, give him space to vent out his frustration and then responding to it could be helpful to you as it keeps your reactions to a minimum and thus doesn’t drain you much. And if his venting process is getting to you emotionally then suggesting him to see a professional for the same also could be another way to help him as well your relationship with him.

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A father’s agony

Hi, I’m a father of two teenage kids and I feel like my children hate me. They barely spend any time with the family anymore and when they do, they’re on their phone. Whenever I tell them off, they just back answer and lock themselves in their room. It’s not like my wife and I am very strict and we’ve tried being very understanding. It’s just that we have no idea what goes on in their life anymore and don’t know how to deal with this entire attitude. What should we do?

Ans: I understand that parenting can pose to be a challenge at times and also test patience to highest degree. The feeling that your kids hate you especially since they are in their teens isn’t an alien one as many teens follow the ‘my way or the highway’ philosophy. In order to make your kids more participative, merely telling them what to do and what not to could not be well received. For instance, asking them to keep their phones away would be met with lot resistance and nothing is achieved except fights. Thus, arrange for family gatherings such that they are compelled to keep aside their gadgets and get themselves involved in the activities planned. Once in a while being their friend rather than parents gives them a reassurance that you are on their side.