Owing to an arm injury, 14-year-old Jia Ning had to take rest at home for a few days. However, even after he had recovered fully, he refused to go to school for almost a month, despite his mother's repeated pleas. His behavior left his mother confused and sad that her son once high-performing son had suddenly taken an aversion to studies.
On the TV talk show, the boy opened up to psychologist Li Zixun. The teen felt that except for urging him to study, his mother barely had any other kind of communication with him at home. Even requests to go out to play were turned down.
However, when he refused to return to school after recovering from his injury, Jia Ning saw a sea change in his mother's attitude, much to his delight. She cooked all his favorite foods and even played chess with him, in an attempt to coax him back into the classroom.
Li said the boy had figured out that the only way to make his mother worry for him and give in to his wishes was through his studies. So he decided to make his school a bargaining counter to negotiate with her. What he was actually craving was simply more care and affection from his mother.
Li also helped the mother to introspect and realize that her behavior stemmed from repressed anger. She could not forget the hurt left by her former husband, who was addicted to gambling and often did not return home. So the mother was afraid her son would also go astray if she did not exercise tight control over him.
By opening up to one another, the teen and his mother were able to reconcile their differences. Li said lack of communication was the fundamental reason for many family conflicts.
In recent years, more Chinese are becoming open to psychological counseling. In line with this, more and more TV and radio stations are airing shows such as CCTV's Psychology Interview.
(China Daily March 28, 2007)