Jan 19, 2010
It is very disturbing to read news reports about young children committing suicides. Opinion seems to point at excessive stress due to studies-which may be the main reason. But that does not end there. Parents have to go through unimaginable trauma during their entire life. No parents can withstand the shock of losing a child as every parent tries to give their best to their children and look forward to good results from them in return. .
As news of more children committing suicides pours in, all of us try to find out the reason for this disturbing trend. What is it that troubles these children who take such drastic steps to end precious lives? There may be many reasons.
Many parents try to push their children to the extreme to ensure their children get higher grades all the time. This results in tremendous pressure on the children depriving them from enjoying any free time for themselves. As a parent myself, I see how terrible it is to see our children go through the mundane activity of tuitions, home work and completion of other projects. Day after day, every hour and every minute of their time which is spent in tuitions, homework and completion of projects. Except for major holidays, there is no time for a child to be himself to recall the events of the day. Sadly their day ends at 11-30 at night or much later and they have to wake up at 6-00 am or before that to get up and study and them go to school. The schooling is very strict up to SSC and once they step into the college the children feel they are like free birds, a strange paradox, which shows how rotten our education system is.
The burden of school portion and number of books they need to study are so much that the children get crushed under the weight of the burdens of bags and there seems to be no respite.. Today primary school children are forced to study the portion of what secondary level children used to learn decades ago. We expect our child to become geniuses and grow fast mentally while emotionally what happens to them –we hardly bother. At their tender age we make them achievers like robotic machines, like morons, rather than encourage them to grasp and explore the surroundings for the small joys during the rains or winter. These children are not lucky to discover the happiness from watching colorful birds, blooming flowers and noisy insects. Interacting with nature comes once a year, that too if they go for a picnic. Otherwise, all those things happen within the four walls-on POGO and cartoon Channels!
With no physical exercise and sports activities, a sizeable chunk of students have lost their childhood in the rat race to satisfy the whims and fancies of their parents. Our archaic system of education is killing the childhood of our students softly. In leading a stressful life students get used to obesity by resorting to easting junk food contentment deprived to them. Many a time we tease them as ‘fatty’ rather than pondering over the reasons behind it.
Peer (Social) Pressure
Students who come from the lower income group have tremendous pressure on them.
Their parents expect them to study well and get good results, thereby pinning their hopes on them as they expect them to get good marks, land up a good job and eventually contribute towards improving the economic status of the family. Of course parents are not wrong but they have to exercise restraint when it comes to expecting too much from their children. Today educational institutions have become factories that churn out degree holders at regular intervals like robots. They chase goals year after year and end up paying less attention to understand themselves.
In olden days there were two semesters in a year and test papers had choice of questions, at least for half the portion. It was delightful to have choices. Today, sadly, children have no choices. Compulsory subjects and tough questions intimidate children like predators. The child is confronted with these fearful situations which threaten to destroy their very ability to the core. Students are torn between the academic results and pressure of facing parents. This leads to undue stress and finally children find solace in committing suicides rather than face the wrath of the family and that of the society.
Due to the pressure of studies, children remain tense and try to find an escape route through activities-sometimes not right and they fail to understand the implications of their behaviour. Sometimes children get into bad company and charter through the forbidden path, They fall into bad company and start getting into bad habits like drugs and other abusive lifestyle, which then goes out of their control. Any attempt to stop these tendencies results in serious consequences- from suicides to depression. Programmes like Reality Shows and other competitions distract the young ones from real situations where they are supposedly kept grounded. Aspirations sometimes go too far resulting loss of precious lives.
Though situation is unavoidable, surely we can do something about it. We are responsible for this mess we have created. If we love our children, support them and give them a buffer to fall back upon , they will never get into traps like suicidal tendencies. Listening and lending patient ear will enable them to confide their feelings. Years back families were large and siblings were secure due to their chances to confide and play with each other. Today families have fewer children and many have only one! How do you expect a child to develop a childlike relationship with parents who are busy? How many of us really take time to play with our children? Today we want our children to learn fast, grow quickly and earn more. But the paradox is that when these children develop unwanted qualities including becoming sexually active or get addicted to drugs. May be faster achievement comes with strings attached. It is time to ponder and device ways and means to overcome this mess. . We better have people with average expectations who are happy in life than those disgruntled and grumbling generation of scholars! (achievers)