Dear Indian Parents,
As one more kid choked under the burden of unfulfilled parental dreams and unrealistic societal expectations, we would like to ask how many more kids need to succumb to death before you realize that your expectations are murdering your own child.
You may feel your unchecked expectations and control is the motivation for your kid’s excellence. But, the reality is just the opposite.
More often then not, it leaves kids feeling inadequate and less!
And, if you still feel your expectations are pushing your kids towards success, we may like to share what recently happened in Hyderabad, that would break your heart.
According to ToI, Mark Andrew Charles, a final year master’s degree student of Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-H) committed suicide on July 2.
Even though many parents and kids struggle for years to get admission to IIT, what is disheartening is the fact that it couldn’t bring any happiness or hope to Mark’s life!
What makes this more saddening, is the 8-page suicide note, which Mark left behind. In the note, he has given out reasons for taking his own life. This suicide note is a strong reminder for each one of us, who made a lot of sacrifices for our kids to give them all the opportunities to succeed, but not a single chance to fail.
Mark, who hailed from Varanasi, shared his heart-breaking feelings about how he felt he had no reason to live as he let down his parents and wasted their sacrifices.
A part of his suicide note read:
“I never thought I would end up letting all of you down.
Do not miss me. I don’t deserve it I am not worthy.”
“I don’t have a job probably I wouldn’t get one.
No one hires a loser. It’s amazing to look at my grade sheet.
A few more letter and it’ll look like an alphabet chart.”
Writing to his friends, Mark shares the best friendship advice in his last note:
“IT me kaam karte karte apni life matt bhul jana. Live a little every day. Ek hi zindagi mili hai.”
But, here’s his most heart-wrenching words that he shared for his parents:
“Thank you for being the best parents. I am sorry I turned out to be such a waste.”
Maybe things could have been different if someone could have spoken with this young boy to tell him that no grade makes him unworthy of love. Someone could have explained to him that he wasn’t a waste. Someone could have given him a hug and told him that he was not letting anyone down!
The increasing number of suicides among young Indian kids make us wonder why we Indian parents get so much obsessed about our kids’ achievements and milestones that we forget to teach them the most important life skill – HOW TO HANDLE A FAILURE?
We need to remember that our kids are ‘humans’ with their own desires, dreams, aspirations, and potential. And, we can’t be projecting our unfulfilled dreams on our child. We need to stop forcing our child to do something which we couldn’t achieve. She/he is not a tool to fulfill our unaccomplished aspirations and desires. He/she is different.