No need to put pressure on children
More and more cases of student suicide in recent years is indeed tragic, heart breaking and a serious cause for concern which all stakeholders must address at the family, school and the societal levels.
I have found that across the country many more students suffer from anxiety and emotional disorders today because of parental pressure to secure more and more marks regardless of their potential and to take up subjects/careers that don’t match their aptitudes/interests. There is an unfair comparison, constant nagging and hardly any appreciation for their accomplishments.
This leads to a stressful life wherein sleep deprived students go from school for tuitions and coaching centres with hardly any time to unwind. Many children lead a ‘solitary life’ at home as the practice of a family meal with pleasant conversations or playing a game together is missing today. Thus, there is an increasing communication gap between parents and their children.
Some of the other serious psychological problems relate to gaming/ social media addiction, easy access to pornography and drugs, sexual abuse, bullying, physical and emotional violence etc with hardly any access to trained counsellors.
In such a scenario, we need to empower our children to navigate their lives through an increasingly complex and volatile world.
The first and foremost step is to provide a secure, loving, caring and positive environment at home and in school.
Students have often mentioned that they want quality time with parents and that they appreciate teachers who are approachable, understanding, encouraging, non-judgemental and impartial.
While taking cognizance of it, timely and ongoing access to trained counsellors for family as well as individual counselling, mentoring and psycho therapy are essential in schools and in the society.
Awareness about all these issues and necessary action to tackle them will go a long way in saving precious lives while creating a conducive environment for a happy and fulfilling life.
(The writer is educationist and career consultant. Views expressed are personal)