Teen suicides rate are on a surge; not just in US, but all around the world. In Singapore alone, 27 teens committed suicide, which is an appalling figure. But what is it exactly that’s driving teens to the edge at such a young age?
Jacob (not his real name) failed to pursue his desired stream in the primary school. This disappointment was immense for him, so much that his confused parents took him to a counsellor. Yes, a counsellor, thinking that their child is simply notorious and trying to avoid studying.
Fortunately, the counsellor was able to help Jacob move out of the depressing and suicidal phase of his life. His parents had no idea that their child wanted to end his life. Jacob finally gave up committing suicide to start off his life once again.
Jacob was achieving satisfactory scores in his examination, but not enough to make his parents happy. With school life, he also had to manage tuitions to keep up with the “necessary” grades.
Why did Jacob become suicidal? Because it was too much for him to take it—feeling that he has disappointed his parents. The accumulated stress and the resulting depression caused him to give up.
What I haven’t made clear till now is that his parents took him to a counsellor because they wanted him to get through his primary school exams, and not because he was depressed. His parents had no idea at all with how much they had been stressing their child with unnecessary burden.
According to Mr Koh, the psychologist who counselled Jacob, it’s all about the high expectations that parents start to have from their kids that can lead to feelings of failure and disappointment.
Koh also said that he has been seeing more cases of kids between 11 to 12- year-olds seeking help.
Jacob’s parents have finally tempered their expectation regarding his school performance, now he is studying in a secondary school.
When kids are pressured to have better grades, they have to work harder and even give up some of their activities. However, in reality, kids have to go through a lot more that, that induces social alienation, repugnance and stress, and affects their academic, social and private life.
Parents need to understand the signs that may reflect on their kids’ perverse mental and physical health. As a parent, I believe that it’s not possible to overlook your child’s situation, unless its intentional. Reassurance is necessary if you want your suicidal kids to start reliving their life. This would involve proving to your kids that your love is unconditional. Kids should know that your love is not based on how well they perform in their studies, but in spite of everything that they or do, or do not.
Spend some more time with your kids, you will surely be able to identify the signs of stress in your children, if there will be any.
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