I feel very lonely and suffocated

During the lockdown we are all confined to our homes. My father is a police officer in another city and I live with my mom and my sister. During this crucial period when parents should spend time with their children, my father is out on duty; though my mother is with me, I feel she too is away. When she finishes her house chores, I help her a little, she sticks to her phone. When I ask her to talk with me she turns a deaf ear. So, I read some books or watch something on the laptop. My parents have removed the TV saying that it would affect my studies. I feel lonely and suffocated.
Meena (15) / Noida

Dear Meena,

You’re feeling quite frustrated and lonely that your mother is emotionally distant even though she is living with you.

The phone seems to have become a lifeline for her. Perhaps she feels that since all is well at home, she can attend to others! She may also be worried about your father. Empathize with her: “You feel happy to connect with dad and your friends on phone, isn’t it?” “The phone is quite a lifeline in these times!”

When you do the household chores, try to get closer to your mother and know her as a person. Ask: What are you thinking about _? What are your views about? Connect over movies, music, news, likes and dislikes.

If you can’t get through to her, share your feelings: “I feel quite lonely and insecure when I don’t get to spend quality time with you.” Suggest: “How about setting aside a family hour each day? Then, we will get quality time with each other, and you will get time to be on the phone, as well.”

While it may take a bit of time…don’t give up! However, if after sometime it doesn’t work, seek help from a trusted adult.

Nasreen Hashambhoy
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Nasreen Hashambhoy

Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.