The behavior of a person can usually be explained by that person’s state of mind. The external conduct is almost always directly linked to internal emotions. Knowing this fact is very beneficial to someone like a guidance counselor because it lets him or her almost read” the psychological state of a student based entirely on their behavior.
In Darlene’s case, her behavior has been very well documented, making the task of psychological assessment much easier. There are many facets to Darlene’s behavior, each revealing a different part of her state of mind. Judging from the way she dresses and grooms herself, it appears as if she comes from a less wealthy family than most of the other children at her school. This has probably been a factor in her sullen behavior. Because she can’t afford more expensive clothes, she has been put into a different social class than most of her peers. It is known that all humans have an emotional need to be accepted” by their peers, but unfortunately for Darlene, being accepted is a need that she has not satisfied due to her lack of wealth.
Darlene also expressed that this form of classism” against her was apparent at Sunday school. It was so great, in fact, that she actually quit the classes to get away from the Sunday school “snobs.” It should come as no surprise that Darlene has also expressed a desire to quit high school as well. This may also explain her reluctance to join any clubs and the way she anticipates unfriendly reactions from people she meets.
Darlene’s teachers agree that, although she has above-average intellect, she only acquires average marks. I believe this problem can be traced to her parents. It is known that Darlene’s parents keep her at home six days a week, and when they do let her out, she must be home by ten. Additionally, Darlene must do a lot of housework on the weekends if she wants to receive her weekly allowance, and her parents do not approve of her friends.
Darlene’s poor performance in school may very well be her way of getting back” at her parents. By getting average marks, she is trying to tell her parents that keeping her in and being restrictive of her social activities won’t help her school work; it will only make it worse. I assume that Darlene also feels like her parents don’t pay enough attention to her. Both of her parents probably work, explaining why Darlene has so many responsibilities at home, and neither of them likely has much time to spend with their daughter. Darlene would also like more freedom to go out and choose friends. The psychological needs that Darlene lacks are social acceptance, attention from her parents, and freedom.
If I were to advise Darlene on a course of action, it would be to discuss the problem with her parents and not try to hurt them by doing poorly in school. This is because it is not only hurting her parents, but it is also hurting her. I would tell her that the only person in the world she can change is herself. Additionally, I would advise Darlene that any peer who does not like her based solely on how much money she has is not worth having as a friend. I would also tell her to ignore people who treat her badly because of her lack of wealth. Eventually, they will stop annoying her because they will not get any reaction from her. However, Darlene will have to work on her attitude so that she can be more sociable and more accepted.