A Report On Tom 's Family

1053 WordsMay 24, 20175 Pages
Earlier in the year I was contacted by a secondary school as they were concerned about one of their students, 14 year old Tom* (*not his real name). Tom was physically and verbally abusive at both home and school, and was displaying disturbing behaviours. Tom had high absentees and was fixated with electronic devices, regularly accessing inappropriate websites. Recently Tom’s cat was found dead with a broken neck and covered in blood. Tom’s version of the story was that he tripped over the cat and fell on it. The school were seeking advice on how to help Tom. Previous to the visit I read Tom’s medical reports. According to the paediatrician, Tom’s mother stated she had a normal pregnancy. Tom was breast fed and a ‘good baby’. He…show more content…
These issues are prevalent during adolescence years (Van Der Horst, Der Veer & Van Rosmalen, 2016). Adolescence is a time of emotional, cognitive and physical development as the adolescent moves from being a child to an adult (Carr, Eshkevari & Kosky, 1991). Erikson (1968) believed that adolescence is a time of identity crisis. As the adolescent moves from childhood to adulthood they experiment with different identities until they form an identity which is their true self. This is known as identity formation (Becht, Branje, Denissen, Koot, Meeus, Nelemans & Vollebergh, 2016). Adolescents require a secure attachment and a safe family unit (or equivalent) in order to work through the turmoil of adolescence. The journey of self-identity is based on who the adolescent was in the past and the present. If the adolescent had a secure attachment in the past, they are able to move from identity crisis to identity formation in the present and develop into a health adult. However, if the past had no loving or safe environment for the adolescent, the adolescent has no one in the present to help them set limits or give directions (Markland & Nelson, 1994). This appeared to be the case with Tom. As Tom’s mother is mentally ill, it would be safe to assume Tom’s needs are not currently met, nor were they met in the past. Maladaptive parenting affects a child’s coping mechanism, trust and self-worth (Markland & Nelson, 1994). A neglected child has no choice but to
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