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Retake-Crazy Honors Student

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What makes life lose its colors isn't pain but confusion in the world of the heart. What makes us lose our smile isn't life's tribulations but a silent spirit. No one is without trouble. Conquer your difficulties and embrace health. Communication removes misunderstanding between people. Conversation opens the doors of the heart. Honesty melts barriers. Psychological Sessions A healthy life starts from the heart. You're watching Chinese Central Television's Society and Law Channel She's an honor student. She's also a retaker. Among 2000 people's test scores, she placed first, but every year she wants to be held back and retake the year. I don't know what I've been doing these years? Year after year of retaking has made her parents anxious and impatient. Now you're a student and you don't know what you're doing. What kind of accident has made her enter this strange cycle of retaking? Psychological Sessions, "Retake-Crazy Honor's Student" analyzed and explained for you by the expert. 15 year-old Xiaowen is an outstanding student. From 7th to 8th grade her final exam scores were frequently the best among 2000 students. However, Xiaowen's parents are confused that starting two years ago when she began 9th grade, each time she reached the end of the year and was ready to advance to the next she always found lots of reasons to remain behind and retake the year. The first year she said that her grades weren't good enough When she should have tested number one, she ended up testing fifth. and said that anything less than the best wasn't good enough. The second year, she said that she didn't feel good and asked to stay in the hospital. The end result was that she missed the test to advance to the next year and had to stay behind and retake the year. When this year arrived, in order to allow her to easily attend the high school entrance exam, her parents even helped her switch to a keypoint middle school in another province. However, two months ago Xiaowen asked again to retake the year. Hello everyone. This is the Psychological Sessions studio. I'm Zhang Xiaoqin. Today our studio has invited psychological expert Dr. Yang Fengchi. Hello, Dr. Yang. Hello. In the video clip we just saw, even though Xiaowen's grades have been extremely good, it seems that several times she was unable to advance to the next year Do you feel that the problem this year is still the same as in the past? What excuse did she find this year? At the time I was guessing, and what I guessed was right. At the beginning she said she didn't live in the dorms on campus. "I want to rent an apartment off-campus. Renting an apartment, I can review all the things I didn't learn well in 7th grade." It's because I've switched textbooks too many times. I have to review six textbooks: four for politics, two for history. Furthermore, my previous school emphasized science, but this one emphasizes humanities. Reviewing is extremely difficult. When I just started, I wanted to study it myself. Study the books myself. But I couldn't find much time and I couldn't prepare so much myself. I said to my father, "Can I be a little closer to the campus so that I can save more time and eat meals on campus." At the time, he got angry. Really angry. I always think that what she does isn't reasonable. I said, "We've just rented this apartment and already agreed to it. Why do you want to change apartments again?" Right now the apartment that she's renting is only a few minutes walk from her school. It's right across the street from her school. Xiaowen's parents said that after changing schools their original idea was for her to live on campus but Xiaowen felt that living in a group dorm room wasn't quiet enough and would influence her mood to study. She asked her parents if she could live off-campus. After they discussed the situation, her parents rented her an apartment. However, not long afterwards Xiaowen said that the apartment was too close to the road, too noisy, and too far from school. Riding her bike to school was a waste of important time. Even though they felt their daughter's request was unreasonable, in order to help her continue to go to school they did what she wanted. Who would have thought that after only a few days, Xiaowen said she wanted to retake the year again. After staying behind over and over again, her parents have started to wonder why their daughter is always retaking the school year. As soon as it was test time, just as midterms were approaching, she found some reason why she didn't want to take the test. Was she afraid of taking the test? Yes, that's the way it seems. That's what we thought. If Xiaowen's grades were so good then why would she be afraid of taking tests? It's because her grades were good that she always feels that this time they're not as good as before. If she does poorly on her tests, she immediately feels like it isn't right. In her class, in her whole grade, she tested number one. Later, when she got to 9th grade and learned her new coursework, the midterms frightened her. Then she started to find reasons not to go to school. Every year, the second and third years, he always he always repeated the same thing, "You made the same mistake again! Look at you. I already knew that you would make the same again and wouldn't be able to get through this crucial moment. It's like getting to that point, it was inevitable you would feel sick." For me, I feel like I've encountered a real difficulty. Let's talk to Xiaowen's teacher and see what her teacher has to say about this situation. Hello Mrs. Zheng? Hello. Right now your student Xiaowen is on our Psychological Sessions program taping an episode What's her situation like at school? Why did she decide not to advance to the next year? In class her studies are actually going very well. Her grades in every class are outstanding. Comparatively, humanities are a little weak, but she works hard to make progress and is very competitive. It's a bit hard for her to accept that her humanities scores are weak and I think that she's probably too competitive. She doesn't permit herself to have any weaknesses. You probably already know that this is not the first time this sort of situation has happened? Yes. What do you think about this? I don't have a lot to say about this experience because among the students that I teach, this is the first time I've seen such a strong reaction. I think... So it's also not easy for you to understand? Yes. It's not easy to understand because in everyone's life there are always failures and weaknesses. I think we probably need to accept this fact. OK. Thank you, Mrs. Zheng. We're going to do our best to help her. Thank you. Your teacher is also fairly confused about why this situation has happened to you. But she said it's possibly because you're too competitive and suggests that you try and accept those places in which you are currently a bit weak. What do you think? When I think about the past, I feel terrible. When I look to the future, I'm dazed and confused. Xiaowen used two sentences to summarize her situation, "When I think about the past I feel terrible. When I look to the future I'm dazed and confused." Looking at the past, I think that these two years I don't know what I've been doing. From the first time I redid 9th grade, the first time I stayed behind and started 9th grade again, I had to deal with new coursework. It probably really is the level of difficulty. At the time I was really nervous. I felt my parents didn't give me...I had so much pressure and my parents didn't criticize me. It made me feel like all this was happening because I was bearing that kind of feeling The main problem is that this is continuing. This year is already her third year in 9th grade. Continuing to go to school like this isn't good. Now we've wasted these two months and the two of us are very anxious. When I just started, I felt like I was numbing myself. Every day I shut myself at home and wasn't willing to go out and face things. You don't want to think about this anymore? Yes. I'm so tired. My mother and father didn't agree with me looking for an apartment, so I went to look for one myself. When I was finished with my homework, I went out to look for an apartment. I just feel like I'm in a terrible crisis and I don't know why. Dr. Yang, after listening to them talk, what do you think is the reason why Xiaowen has been unwilling to go to school these three times? It seems that there is a force inside of Xiaowen's mind that is controlling her and not letting her go to school. It's not that some difficulty has appeared in the outside world, it's that as she said, she feels so tired she can't bear it, she cries, and then the tiredness leads to sadness. It seems she herself is powerless. Does it feel like that? Yes. Because of repeating?... For a 15 year old kid, dealing with this kind of emotion is very difficult. Because retaking the year over and over again has left a shadow in her mind. Then when she is studying, she can't find enough energy, so she feels very confused. Her mood and self-esteem are low. She just said so herself, her teacher also said it, that she's a very competitive kid. This kind of competitiveness probably has a deep cause. Why does she want to be competitive? Why does she want to be stronger than other kids? Especially when the result of her competitiveness is that she can't bear doing worse than anyone. These are things worthwhile for Xiaowen to examine. If you were to learn something really well, then what would this mean to you? Later there will probably be more opportunity to have a sense of accomplishment. If you could have a sense of accomplishment, what would this mean to you? I have worth. That you would have worth? Yes. When have you felt a sense of worth before? From the time I was small, I felt that my father paid a bit more attention to me, my mother a bit less. But at that time, my father wasn't nearby, he was away on business. As my mother has cared about me more and more I've been able to feel her care. And is this more and more related to your grades? My grades have a kind of unconscious force. Do you hope that after studying well you'll get more of your mother's attention? I hope to change my mother. If you study well, can you change your mother? I want her to stop playing mahjong. Do you think that her mahjong playing is a big problem? She gambles. She doesn't play mahjong, she gambles. I don't know why at that time she didn't take care of me. She often didn't take care of me. When she was small, her mother rarely took care of her. She was very obedient. She went to school by herself. In the morning she got up by herself. She carried her own book bag and left. As parents we never had to take her to school Her mother didn't care for her, she just loved to play mahjong. Once Xiaowen was attending preschool. I was away on business and she went out in the middle of the night to call a cab. The driver said, "You're such a small kid, where are you going?" She said, "I'm going to find my mother." He said, "Do you know where your mother is?" "I know, just bring me to that place and I'll find her." She even knew the place.. She spent the evening there with her mother. While she slept, her mother played mahjong. This is the way it's been since she was young we didn't take care of her. Neighbors and coworkers said, "Your kid is too obedient. From the time she was young you never took her with you." Now my coworkers are saying, "Since you haven't cared for her since she was little, now she's giving you trouble." Sometimes this makes us have complicated feelings. You can't generalize. Even up to these last few days, her mother has still been playing mahjong. That's not right. She's not. She used to bet, but now she's just passing the time. You can't generalize. You're right, they're different. These two years that I've been with my mother, I feel like she's a really great person. A very kind person. Dad seems to be over simplifying what Mom is saying, but I think that Xiaowen's feelings toward her mother are a bit conflictual. Yes. On the one hand, she said that when she was small her mother didn't care for her. However, she then quickly made excuses for her mother. It is like this. It's like when I get angry at her, she's able to endure it. She doesn't argue with me, I can feel it but I don't say anything. Actually, in Xiaowen's diary, she has somewhat of an understanding of her mother. "She is lonely, depressed, helpless and often sad being in far away places with strangers. But my mother doesn't complain. She plays mahjong to get rid of the boredom. I also don't blame her because she has sacrificed a lot." So reading this child's diary now, we can hear a lot of her mother's pain and loneliness. Her daughter has helped her bear a part of this. One thing that Xiaowen just said made a deep impression on me. She said that during these last two years as she's spent more time with her mother, she feels her mother is still very kind. Listening to this from a daughter's perspective, that her mother is still very kind, I find it a bit poignant. Did you feel that before your mother wasn't kind? She often went out to play mahjong and didn't pay attention to me. I think that not only are other people's parents together with their children, but they educate their kids from the time they are little. Growing up that's the way it is. I feel a bit resentful. Why am I like this? It's her worries about her family that has caused this strange retaking. From now on what should she do to let go of this influence and continue her studies? Stay tuned to Psychological Sessions, "Retake-Crazy Honor Student". When Xiaowen was small, her father worked away from home for many years. Her parents' relationship was poor and they were even divorced. Because of Xiaowen, they eventually decided to remarry. At that time, in order to deal with her own suffering, Xiaowen's mother frequently went to play mahjong. At the beginning, she was worried about Xiaowen, but later as she saw that her daughter's life and studies were all in order, she devoted herself completely to playing mahjong. Xiaowen felt that it was great to be free and careless. However, in these last few years repeatedly retaking tests, Xiaowen's feelings towards her mother have become more and more conflictual. On the one hand, she is angry at her mother for only playing mahjong and not caring for her. On the other hand, she's able to understand her mother's suffering. These kinds of conflictual feelings were then unconsciously transmitted to her studies. Why then in Xiaowen's past, when her mother didn't care for her or played a lot of mahjong, why didn't this problem appear then? Instead, now that she feels her mother is really good to her, why does this kind of back and forth cycle appear now? Maybe Xiaoqin, it's precisely the opposite of your summary? What I mean is that we can see that when her mother was always away from home playing mahjong, her studies were good. Now that her mother doesn't play mahjong, her studies aren't good and she doesn't even want to go to school. Perhaps this cause and effect are reversed. Yes. I think it's the opposite. When the child saw that her mother didn't often come home, she studied well, studied diligently. If I do this then mom will like me and come back home. But studying well, studying diligently, didn't work. So now I don't want to study, I can't study. However, mom came back and isn't playing mahjong and the other things that Xiaowen doesn't like are less and less. Furthermore, the child feels that her mother is very kind. What this child's mind has figured out is precisely this: if I'm not able to study, if I can't go to school, my mother will very properly care for me. Mom, can you say a bit about what changed in your mind? In the past you felt your child was very good, then when you left her to play mahjong there wasn't any problem. Later, how did you suddenly change and come to care for her? Because now it's ninth grade, isn't this a key moment? The high school entrance exam is a key moment for students. So I wanted to be with her during this time so she could take the test and get into a high school. This is what I thought before, but now it's just getting her to normally go back to school. For example, after we go back, I hope she doesn't stop. The longer she stays in the same stage, the more troubles there are. But mom just said something that gave me a deep impression. Right now her child is in ninth grade and she needs to be with her through this crucial and important time, so she cares for and pays attention to her more. So Xiaowen's attended ninth grade three times. Xiaowen is probably frightened that after finishing ninth grade her mother will return to the way she was before? I never thought of this problem at all. Probably it's unconscious. We can see that the result is this: as long as Xiaowen isn't able to study well and finish ninth grade, her mother will put all her energy into her. Can you feel this? Not very deeply. Dad, do you think it's like this? If it's difficult for Xiaowen to get through ninth grade this important time, then her mother will be anxious and want to be closely by her side? Yes. It is this way? Yes. Is your concern a bit more? Yes. Right now I've put my whole heart into her. From morning until night I'm always with her. Before seventh grade, I didn't care for her at all. But from the second time that she redid ninth grade, I paid attention to this situation and frequently talked to her. When a person is young, they are not able to see the difference between how their own parents treat them and how other kid's parents treat their own kids. Or when a child is very young, they're not able to compare their own family environment with other families. But wait until they grow up and have more contact with classmates, exchanging ideas and information, only then will they discover that other people's family environments are not like their own. I really want to change. Actually, at this moment she's using all sorts of reasons to demand love. Can you help me do this? Can you help me do that? Can you solve this problem, that one? In this way, she draws her parent's attention back to her. Then she feels that the love she's been missing has returned. Ordinarily, if I used this method to get my parents attention, then I should study hard and get high grades, in order to secure their love. Why has this situation happened now? Actually, in terms of Xiaowen's personal experience, as long as she studies well, this love will disappear. Yes. Isn't it like this. Both of you should say to Xiaowen something like, "No matter how the situation changes, my love for you will never change." This will allow Xiaowen to feel at ease. Xiaowen, don't think about other things. You only need to study. Together we will do well. Don't worry yourself about other things. You shouldn't say, "Don't do something," but rather how to do something. OK? Xiaowen, you should know that no matter what, I will always love you. It's like someone who drafts a practical plan to start fresh and recover their school life. I really want to recover my school life. Yes. Thank you everyone for talking about this situation. Thank you Dr. Yang. Thanks to everyone for tuning into this program.

Video Details

Duration: 20 minutes and 55 seconds
Country: United States
Producer: Chinese Central Television
Views: 101
Posted by: joshkrieger on Jul 13, 2009

A family-therapy episode from the Chinese Central Television show Psychological Sessions.

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