“We need to push our kids out of their comfort zones to make them successful in life.”
Are you one of those parents who believe in the above-mentioned parenting mantra. Then we have one important suggestion for you – Make sure you’re not pushing them too hard. Because pushing them too hard can make you regret your parenting style later on.
And, if you still believe pushing your kids without any checks is the best parenting advice then please spend a few minutes in reading what happens if kids are pushed beyond limits.
Recently, a 17-year-old student preparing for IIT (Indian Institutes of Technology) entrance exam was found hanging at his hostel room in Rajasthan’s private coaching hub of Kota on Tuesday.
Sadly, this is not the first suicide in Kota. There are as many as 19 students have committed suicide in Kota this year and this is the third such case since Saturday. In fact, Kota has been in the news since 2013 due to frequent student suicides and has constantly highlighted issues of stress and parental pressure.
Over 77 students have committed suicide in Kota since 2013. A Tata Institute of Social Sciences report blamed study stress, parental pressure, depression, homesickness, love affairs, liquor or drug abuse and emotional issues for the suicides.
Every year, 1.5-2L students move to Kota right after their Class 10 exams for engineering or medical coaching. They have to live with 18-hour study schedules, no relaxation, and unhygienic hostel/PG food, and do all this while staying out of home generally for the first time. The high-pressure lifestyle often triggers destructive behavior patterns like substance abuse, bullying, sexual experimentation, loneliness and anxiety.
And all this leads certain students towards the worst outcome – suicide.
The important question we need to ask ourselves as parents – are we willing to even risk the life of our children, just so that we see them achieving something they might not even want.
Experts believe that students are pushed towards suicides (across India) due to below reasons:
Loneliness and Hopelessness
Lack of emotional support
Thus, it is important for parents to make sure their kids are getting the required support and are being motivated in the right manner. It’s important to look for the early signs and respond in a positive manner.
Here are some of the early signs that a student might be getting into depression and thinking about suicide:
Withdrawing from friends and family
Significant increase in irritability and/or aggression
Expressing feelings of being in pain, trapped, angry, sad or hopeless
No longer participating in activities or hobbies that used to bring enjoyment
If you notice any such signs in your kid, it is important that you take immediate action and talk positively with your child:
Interact with your child positively (give consistent feedback, compliments for good work)
Increase his/her involvement in positive activities (promote involvement in clubs/sports)
Appropriately monitor your child’s whereabouts and communications (texting, Facebook, Twitter) with the goal of promoting safety
Communicate regularly with your child’s teachers to ensure safety at school
Talk with your child about your concerns; ask him/her directly about suicidal thoughts
Last but not least, please seek medical/expert help. We have often seen that parents avoid taking their kids to an expert for psychological issues for the fear that their child might be tagged as “mental”. But remember, this is just a disease and can be best treated with the help of an expert.