Last week I heard of a young girl committing suicide. She was 14 and went to a CBSE board school. She hanged herself from the fan in her room. That’s how her parents found her. They were caught completely unawares, because apparently she was a very bubbly girl and they did not expect her to be pressurised by studies and stuff. I heard she took this step because she could not handle the pressure. Was it from school or was it from home ? I don’t know the whole story. But this isn’t the first time we have heard this. (I was also told that another child from the same school had taken this drastic step just 15 days earlier)
Every few days we hear of teenagers committing suicide either because they could not handle the pressure of studies or because they dint get good marks in their exams. Isn’t this a pitiable state? It’s just so sad to see such young lives lost for such a petty thing. You might say marks are not petty. Your future in college depends on it. I agree. But is it more important than peace of mind and most of all the life of your child? A lot of successful people around are uneducated or not very highly educated. It’s ok. And being a little less successful (that really depends on what your definition of success is) is not harmful at all. As long as you are happy.
So what really is defined as success? When I googled it showed me “accomplishment of an aim or purpose”. That’s it. That’s the simple definition of success. Now the aim or purpose is what matters. We all have our own views of what our aims are. Someone wants to be a successful businessman, someone lawyer, someone Doctor, software engineer etc etc and the list goes on. But does anyone think what our real success would be?
For me being successful means being in a life which is happy. I might have lesser money than my friend. I might not go on international holidays ( or any holidays). I might not own the LVs and Guccis. But I have my family who loves me. I have a comfortable house to live in and food on my table everyday. As an addition to that I have domestic help to help me with my cooking and cleaning.
The one thing people are fooled by probably is a job which pays very well. Many times people are caught up in jobs which they don’t like at all. But they continue because they are in a rat race. A race to earn better than a friend. Or to go to better destinations than their friend or own a bigger car. But they are not happy. Then why go through all the pain. Why not do something that you love. Won’t you do it much better? We have one life. Let’s live it happily. Not be fooled by these silly definitions of happiness being money.
Don’t get me wrong. I am all for a good education. Given the circumstances I will send my children to the best of colleges and universities. But I have to keep my child’s potential in mind for that. I have to be the judge of what my child is capable of and how much can she handle. I agree I need to motivate her. But there is a difference in motivating and pressurising. It is a thin line but I must recognise it. We must choose our words and tone carefully when we talk about these things.
And yes…. we must talk. Always keep the channels of communication open with your children. If they have a problem they must know they can trust you and tell you about it. Figure out ways in which you can talk to your children to help them open up. I agree that teenagers can sometimes be a tough nut to crack. But I feel if we keep those channels open from a young age then they will come to you even when they are older. I don’t know…. I havnt experienced that yet so maybe when I get there in a few years I’ll know more.
Well I won’t blame the parents completely. Isn’t the education system in our country a little wonky. Like how do I say…. more stress on books and theory rather than practical and application. Score good marks and only then you can get into a good college! Some colleges have a 99% cut off for admission. Like really??? Don’t you think the real challenge of a good college should be to make weak students brighter? If the students are already bright (rather should I say brightest!! Like 99%????) then all they have to do is put the study material in front of them and they can clear the exams anyway. I can bet on it that regular commerce graduates are not worth a penny in today’s world. And can get only meagre clerical jobs. So …. yes, in my opinion our system also needs to change.
So be careful people. Of what you say and how you say to your children. And keep them safe….