City psychiatrists are coming across a new phenomenon of anxiety among parents, especially middle-aged parents. Thinking of the cut-throat competition these days, parents get anxious and rush to psychiatrists for getting their children counselled.
This is most common among parents, who anticipate that their wards are not worldly-wise.
Dr Ajaypal Sandhu, a psychiatrist at Fortis Hospital, said, “A lot of middle-aged and elderly parents bringing their young and adult children to me for counselling. Parents feel that their kids are not street smart to succeed in this devious and wicked world.”
“In this case, I have to counsel the parents first before dealing with the children,” Dr Sandhu said.
He said, “Parents are guilty that they haven’t taught enough skills to their children. For succeeding, the world requires a person who tells lies, flatters his boss and can bribe officials. Parents request doctors to tone up such skills. They point out that their son’s cousin gives presents to his college teachers and is selected for various college competitions. Their own son, however, is not capable of doing these things, and this is why they need a doctor to help their kids out.”
Dr Sandhu shared a case where a mother attempted suicide just because her daughter could not get admission in a prestigious college of Delhi. She was disheartened thinking that she might have failed in making her daughter that much capable.
“These days parents bear double stress. One is on their front, when they realise that they can’t move forward in their career or status. Second is when they think that they are not that capable of helping their wards in selecting options of college and career. It’s becoming complex, because anxiety and stress of parents ultimately shifts to children and vice versa,” explained Dr Sandhu.
Dr Tarlochan Singh, clinical psychologist at Guru Teg Bhadur Hospital, said, “Parents are more worried if their ward is shy or introvert or isn’t worldly-wise. They come to us and ask to teach all those skills, which could make their children a star among all. Thus at times we end up counselling the parents instead of children, making them realise that not all children can be same and everyone has his/her own qualities.”
“Doctors suggest that parents need to think twice before making their child to learn the trickery and flattery ways to get ahead in competitions. Making a child smart is good, but compulsion of becoming clever don’t work at times, and can lend the adult ones in more stress,” Dr Tarlochan said.