It is obvious that some kids are dying inside. Their anger, sour attitudes, and sloppy work are testimony.
What I learned along the way was that the child who is kind, complaint, and hardworking might be experiencing his or her own internal death.
Guitar Notes by Mary Amato beautifully portrays this dual reality. Tripp, a guitarist, and Lyla, a cellist, are dealing with very similar—yet, very different—painful circumstances. They are unable to communicate effectively with their caring parents.
One parent struggles to understand defiant behavior. The other has no clue that outward perfection hides intense pain.
If you have a tween or teen, I recommend you read Guitar Notes privately, and then, perhaps, with your child. It is a good conversation starter.
What methods do you have for discerning what is beneath the surface?