Absent Father


1. Everyday he whimpers upon reaching the classroom. Teachers are sick with him. We are puzzled by this behavior. Mum stands by him.

2. Probing into the history suggests a significant finding. Abandon by the father is believed to be significant to cause regressive behavior.

3. The hypothesis needs to be tested. The lab is a special rehabilitation class for children with special need. Teacher F moderates this client. He is a foster father, so to speak. In fact, the client doesn’t need to be in this class. The target is to get him back to the normal class as his IQ is sufficient enough for ordinary teaching in a normal classroom.

4. Feeling of loss and lack of love leads to the feeling of inferiority and low self-esteem. Social relationship is affected. He has no friend and doesn’t like to stay in the classroom. Added to the insult, is his small for age appearance and anxious emotional feeling.

5. When he shows too much attention-seeking behavior, teacher F ignores him. He comes back and reported of being ignored.

6. Father undoubtedly plays important role in the family. In those days, ‘ahem’ would just mean ‘don’t do that’. Father set and enforce a limit. Absence father figure has resulted in emotional difficulties in this child.

7. My advice: Making him understand by giving reassurance on how much mum and dad love him. If he feels loved, he can be helped to have well-adjusted life and grow up into a strong adult. Listen to him, let him talk and make him feel validated.

8. My final say: don’t give up!

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Update (21/3/12)

1. With perseverance, he is attending cognitive rehabilitation (CBT) class weekly and put back into the normal class.

2. Educational progress is monitored by continuous contact with teachers and the mother.

2 Replies to “Absent Father”

  1. Assalamualaikum prof…
    Can I know:
    1) how old this child
    2) diagnosed
    3) and how his performance now??

  2. Dear Atiqah,
    He is about 9 years old. Diagnosed to have depressive disorder in children. Now he goes to school voluntarily. No medication was started.

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