How Patrick Met His Best Friend
There lived a young boy called Patrick who lived with his parents up the hills beyond the scary forest of Bumble. They had just moved in from a faraway town unknown to many. He was unique and different from his peers and classmates. Since Patrick was a new student at BlueSea elementary school, he isolated himself. During school break and lunch hours, he chose spots in the school compound that were sparsely populated to hang out or take his lunch. It was undeniable that there was tension as he battled his competencies and the expectations of his surrounding, his peers. His character and personality surpassed their understanding. Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development states that an individual’s personality develops in stages right from infancy. His personality had built up right from childhood, and the harsh environment he had been exposed to influenced his character.
For this reason, the cheeky and unruly boys in class picked on him often. They made fun of him, his hair, his school bag, and how he dressed to school. In extreme cases, they would forcefully take his bag, pour down his books and personal stuff in the bag and push him to the ground. Since Patrick was a loner and quiet all the time, he watched the boys harass him without attacking back or even reporting to the teachers. Vygotsky’s Theory of Cognitive Development claims interactions with significant othersimpact higher-order mental functioning. His parents’ fights and absence shaped him to be how he is. At first, he was fearful and scared. Whenever the boys approached him, he would tremble, breathe rapidly and fidget because he knew what they would do to him. Weeks passed by, and Patrick got used to the ill-treatment from the boys. He adopted the mechanism of spending time alone and in isolated spaces to resolve his psychosocial crisis.
One day, as he was in the science lab finishing his assignments all by himself, Patrick heard sobbing sounds coming from one of the lab cabinets. His curiosity prompted him to tiptoe towards the cabinet softly to open it. He opened the cabinet door slowly and carefully before peeping. He found a young boy sitting in the closet with curled knees, his hands holding his knees. He buried his head in them so Patrick couldn’t see his face. “Hi, my name is Patrick. Are you okay? What seems to be the problem?” Patrick asked. Before he could catch his breath or move a step further, he heard him speak between sobs, “Hello, my name is Mandy. I just realized I don’t have my backpack, and I can’t seem to find it anywhere.” Piaget’s theory of cognitive development claims that children move through four different stages of mental development. Mandy’s childhood was lonely since his parents were hardly around. This aspect explains why Mandy chose to hide in the cabinets instead of seeking help from the teachers. He didn’t know how to work his way around the problem because of his upbringing. Perturbed and lost with words, Patrick stretched out his hand to the boy as a friendly gesture. Instantly, the two created a strong bond. He patted his back with gentle strokes and reassured him. “Everything is going to be okay, Mandy. We are going to find your backpack.” He spoke. He handed Mandy a tissue to wipe his tears and held his hand to help him up.
Like Patrick, Mandy struggled to create and maintain proper friendship circles at school and home. He spent most of his time alone drawing arts. Mandy used symbolism to express his feelings and understanding in his preoperational stage. He had been alone all his life since he was an only child, and his father’s line of duty could not allow them to settle in one place permanently. On the other hand, his mother worked as a nurse and sometimes had double shifts, spending little time with Mandy. His prime adaptive ego quality affected his perception of the world and his environment. Due to his parent’s inconsistency and emotional absence as an infant, Mandy developed mistrust and believed that the world was dangerous and unpredictable. Through his different life stages, he lost his sense of control and felt inferior. His prime adaptive ego quality affected his perception of the world and his environment. In addition, Mandy had trouble identifying his life purpose and working towards it like his peers. He had difficulty adapting to new environments, socializing, and making meaningful connections that resulted in genuine friendships.
Patrick took his time, sat beside Mandy in the science lab, and held his hand until he felt better. He evaluated Mandy’s problem and tried to derive potential solutions. Like other children, Patrick adopted this trait in his concrete operational stage. He engaged Mandy in conversations to distract him from his worries. They talked about school and strategized how to report and find Mandy’s bag. Mandy responded positively to the attempts, and soon he was comfortable and with a smile on his face. No sooner had the boys started implementing their strategies than the third-period bell rang. The two boys were forced to part ways. However, they agreed to meet later after school at the same spot.
Deep down, Patrick was thrilled to have met Mandy. The idea of having a real connection and having someone to call a friend excited him. The emotional trauma due to a dysfunctional family and an unhealthy environment limited his vulnerability and ability to express himself freely to anyone, including his parents. Patrick grew up watching his parents argue and use aggressive strategies against each other in extreme cases. Sensorimotor intelligence picked up the negative energy as he grew up, influencing his individuality. He didn’t have anyone to scaffold his learning resulting in his lower mental processing abilities. His social interaction, limited by living in an isolated environment, hindered his potential mental growth. Consequently, Patrick could not identify the instruments to communicate his feelings, opinions, and thoughts.
All-day long, Patrick anticipated the evening bell to spend and explore with his new friend Mandy. They finally caught up in the science laboratory. Patrick invited Mandy to his home to study and play video games together. It was the first time he had invited someone to his house and felt a true sense of belonging. Words cannot explain the joy and satisfaction of having made a friend. They walked to the bus and even took seats next to each other while giggling and playing around. This event turned his life around for the better. His confidence level elevated, and he walked with his head up, unlike the previous school days. He talked to his parents about it, and they seemed excited for him. They agreed to Mandy’s visit and even offered to take them both to the park to play more fun games and enjoy each other’s company. It was among Patrick’s best days ever, and he cherished his friendship with all his heart.
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