It is that time of the year when many parents and their kids would be stressed about performing well in exams. As a part of the series – Coping Up With Exam Stress, at IFORHER we felt it was more important than ever to share a reminder that marks are not everything.
In modern times, the exam pressure has come to a very dangerous level. It has now become a leading cause of depression and suicidal tendencies in Indian students. With children reeling under symptoms of anxiety during exam season, it is important to talk about the issue.
Twinkle Khanna wrote an important piece on TEEN SUICIDE that gets a very important message across to parents and kids to ease up on the pressure.
While expressing grief over her family friend’s teenage son committing suicide, in her write up ‘Drifting Kites’, Twinkle mentioned:
“A family friend has lost her young son. The young man, in his early 20s, went to America to attend a friend’s wedding, left a suicide note on Facebook and killed himself before anyone could reach him. I cannot even begin to imagine what his mother is going through.
There is no pain greater than losing a child. You start worrying about these tiny beings — from the time they are in your stomach; from hearing their heartbeats on the sonogram and counting kicks in your last trimester — you begin your journey of worry. You worry about their health, their education, their careers, their spouses, their children…
Worrying, but not really believing that one unlucky day your greatest fear may actually come true.
You lose a child to an accident or an illness and with a broken heart. You console yourself that you did your best, it’s perhaps God’s will, he has gone to a better place; but when your child decides that the life he has been given, the life where everything he knows is what you have taught him, is not worth living, how do you live with that?
How do you stop blaming yourself? How do you go on?”
Then she raised a very valid point about teaching not only our kids to accept failures but also making ourselves open to the idea that it is okay if they fail.
“We teach our children to study hard, to strive to succeed but do we teach them that it’s okay to fail? That life is about accepting yourself? That there is no stigma in seeking help? Our Indian culture is based on worshipping our parents. We grow up listening to words like respect, obedience and tradition. Can we not add the words communication, unconditional love and support to this list?
I look at the WHO research. The highest rate of suicide in India is among the age group of 15 to 29. Do we even talk to our teens about this?”
She also offers the best advice that any parent can offer to their kids to give them the hope to live when things get tough. As she observes her son flying a blue kite, she mentions:
“The kite goes high and then swings low till it almost seems to fall into the water and all I want to say to him (my son) is that soon he will see that life is just like flying a kite. Sometimes you have to leave it loose, sometimes you have to hold on tight, sometimes your kite will fly effortlessly, sometimes you will not be able to control it and even when you are struggling to keep it afloat and the string is cutting into your hand, don’t let go.The wind will change in your favour once again, my son. Just don’t let go…”
At IFORHER, we feel it is important for us to let our kids know that it is okay to fail; that it is okay to fall and find the courage to get back up. We know there are some hard-hitting and practical things, which every parent would agree to.
Do let us know how you ease your kid’s pressure and comfort them. And, we would share your parenting tips with other parents across the world.