Issue of September 2, 2018
     
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Couple needs space and a moody child

Dear Manang,

Recently, I noticed that my husband regularly texts me or calls me at least eight times a day. He asks me where I am, what I am doing, have I eaten, or questions about my day. In between, I find myself doing the same. If I don’t receive a message or call within 30 minutes, it is I who tries to connect with him. Is this normal? Does this mean that we are getting closer or more romantic? -- Sandra, Imelda Village, Baguio City

Dear Sandra,

On sight, it seems that you and your husband have found a romantic need to keep in touch. It is ticklish to think that you keep tabs on each other through the day. But do you know that this dependence on each other is a sign that you need to give each other space? Amanda Chatel in “Nine Signs You Should Give Your Partner Space – And How To Effectively Do It” says that this constant checking up on each other and seeking approval for everything that you do is co-dependence, Chatel says, “If they can’t do anything without your approval, are constantly checking in, although you don’t need them to, or basically attached to your hip, then that’s a sign they need to get themselves back. The first step in doing that is getting space.” The seeming closeness is a sign that you need to take a break from each other. She states, “Even the most madly in love couples need space sometimes. Alone time gives us the opportunity to focus on ourselves – which is never a bad thing – as well as explore our other interests, our relationships with our friends and family, and room to grow. People can’t evolve when they’re constantly glued to someone else’s side.” You and your husband need some time off to find yourselves or ground yourselves with your own cores. It just means that it is important that you are your own person and he his own too. You will make better harmony together.

Find your you,

Manang

Dear Manang,

I have noticed that my son has become moody and irritable. When this happens, I leave him alone. I try to ask what his problems are or if there’s something wrong but he is just quiet. I also noticed that he has been avoiding his friends. I haven’t seen his girlfriend or he doesn’t speak about her anymore. These changes have been going on for months now. Are these normal for adolescents? -- Mel, Malaya Village, Baguio City

Dear Mel,

Aleteia Org says, ”If an adolescent locks himself in his room and doesn’t want to talk to anyone or doesn’t know how to express his suffering clearly, try to listen to him without judging, and be compassionate and friendly. If it becomes too difficult to communicate, seek specialized help.” It also says that “Very painful events or experiences, especially when unexpected, can have a strong negative impact” on a person. A break-up with a girlfriend or an incident in school may be the cause to your child’s being sullen or quiet. But these are some signs that your child might be suicidal. If your child begins to sound desperate and says his life is meaningless or useless, these are expressions that you must take seriously. You need to seek professional help from a mental health worker like a counselor or a psychiatrist. I am sorry to alarm you but there has been a sudden 10 percent rise in suicide worldwide and the incidence happens to those who are between the ages of 15 to 35 years old. Suicide is the second leading cause of death after accidents. Reports suggest that you listen to the person and understand their anguish. Accompany them to a medical appointment and inform other family members of what you observe so they may also listen and understand your son.

Don’t wait too long to seek help,

Manang

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