Some Newspaper clippings-
A 16-year-old class IX student of a private school committed suicide at her Noida home on Tuesday evening.
A distraught mother has claimed that her 11-year-old son was driven to suicide by bullies at his school.
India has one of the world’s highest suicide rates for youth aged 15 to 29, according to Lancet report.
A child ending his/her life! Imagine the trauma, the stress and the despairing of that child. An 11 year old child and his little heart were unable to handle the pressure created by the immediate environment that death seemed to be more comforting than life!! Just an eleven year old!
And the parents? Can’t even imagine; God! No one in this world should go through this doom. But the fact is this is happening around us and every day we read this as any other News…..sad! Heart drenching
A child who has not even cherished enough rain drops; who has yet not made enough sand castles; who has yet to decide what he wants to become when he grows up!……ends life….and left behind is the question, WHY? And devastated parents and their unfilled dreams. Not even all the oceans, not even all the sky could fill the vacuum in the parents’ life.
Who’s at fault?
The teacher who gave below acceptable grades or the peers who bully the child? Or the School, or the Principal or the whole education system? Whom to blame?
The teacher passed some derogatory remarks about my child and he couldn’t take that insult in front of the whole class and he committed suicide!
A group of boys bullied my child for his dark complexion and my child felt humiliated and committed suicide!
The School has failed my child in the final exams and my child was uncertain about his future and committed suicide!
The fact is my child was not emotionally strong. He/she had lot of pressure to excel. He had lack of self- confident and suffered from low self-esteem.
But why? Who’s at fault?
Have you, as a parent told your bundle of joy that come what may, you will love him/her unconditionally forever?
Have you asked your child to chase his dreams not yours? That he needs not to achieve what you couldn’t but achieve what he wants?
Have you told him that you will be his best friend forever and he can always share his dilemmas, fears and secrets with you?
Does he know that you will always believe in his worth irrespective of his grades?
Parents are the first teacher of a child and family is his first school. Have you been a good teacher? Has the family provided a conducive environment?
As a teacher I have witnessed parents saying-
“Ma’am, this time my daughter has scored one mark less in the test, she is not concentrating properly please make her stand near your desk so that she can score perfect 10!”
“Ma’am, how come my son has not been selected for the final round of the competition? Could you please tell me the judging criteria?”
“Ma’am, my child has got A+ in all the subjects but how come he got B+ in dance?” “Why was my child not given the first row position in the annual function?”
Parents are driving their children to score full on full, even half a mark less is unacceptable. Every time, continuously and constantly the child is under pressure to excel. Grades/marks are persistently stealing away his right to a carefree childhood. Grades, competitions and achievement certificates are big monsters that always haunt him. “You have to score great grades, you have to win every competition and you must be good at singing, art, dance and sports”.
Life doesn’t end at grades! And every child can’t excel in all the subjects as well as in co-curricular activities!
Parents want to live their dreams, their aspirations and their choices through the child. What about a child’s desires? How much stress a small child can handle?
Thank God my Parents were quite sensible and supportive even when I managed to score just the passing marks in my 10th class Board Math exam, they did not force me to take commerce stream (Science was out of bound due to my marks.) Otherwise today I won’t be writing this article, would have been somewhere in the stars! And after I got subjects of my choice after 10th there was no looking back. I was filled with self-confidence and the desire to outshine.
Who’s at fault?
Were you as a parent available to your child when he needed you at the time he was first bullied? Did you counsel him and cement his self- esteem? Did you tell him how you look doesn’t matter but how you behave does?
How the outside world will behave is not in your control but how you prepare your child to take it, is very much in your control. Build his emotional quotient so strong that any cuss words, derogatory remarks or failures can’t shatter his belief in himself. Develop his confidence that you will always be there to support him as a rock whenever he needs.
Don’t tie the child with your dreams but let him fly to chase his own. Prepare him to face challenges that life throws with conviction. Tell the child, it’s okay to fail, you can always try again, it’s okay to score average; you have other talents to pursue. Don’t worry if you are not able to figure out your future; we’ll sit together and find the best options of your choice. Tell him life is beautiful and you love him just the way he is. A confession – as a parent I am no different from the other parents, but each day every moment I’m trying to be non-judgmental and a better parent.
Be a great teacher, a great parent, be a pillar of strength and love; and see your child bloom in this beautiful world.
A wishful thinking – No report cards, just the aptitude tests and a sky of hope and the world of happiness. Each child is unique, each child is the best.