I read in the Hindu Sunday Supplement a few weeks back, an article about the decreasing childhood. I nodded to it, messaged a couple of my friends whom I thought would be interested, to read it. There lay the matter. Long after that, a couple of days back, while skimming through the pages of a daily, a small snippet caught my eyes. The heading read '16 year old girl in the city commits suicide'. Like any other newspaper intro, the reason for the suicide was mentioned in the first para. And you know what the reason is? She was scared about her approaching 10th board exams...She was so scared about her performance that she decided to escape the torment and end it once and for all. The newspaper said, she had missed some classes and was skeptic about how she would perform, how her grades would turn out. All I can say is – DEPRESSING
She sure was in a phase of life where she could be molded or led to believe what is wrong and what is right, what is bad and what is good. Who is to be blamed here for the girl's untimely death?
Is it bad parenting?
Is is peer group pressure?
Is is the pressure put on her by her school?
Is it the perceived notions of the society?
One could argue, it is a confluence of all the factors put together. That its the mindset of the society, that children are growing up too soon, that the world is bad and its only the survival of the fittest. But I think, it has got a great deal to do with Parenting. Now, I cannot talk about parenting authentically since I have never been a parent. There are some serious problems with our value system I believe.
There is this line from the movie 'Thank you for smoking' where the protagonist is the spokesperson for the tobacco industry and he defends smoking in front of a jury. The jury questions him about teen smoking and how its is destroying young children. His answer was “Gentlemen, its called education. It doesn't come off the side of a cigarette carton. It comes from our teachers and more importantly parents. It is the job of every parent to warn their children of all the dangers of the world, including cigarettes, so that one day when they get older, they can chose for themselves”. That made a lot of sense to me. Upbringing is what it takes I guess. How you bring up the child.
If the girl was open and confident about her parents, I don't think this would've happened. If the parents gave the child that confidence about her academics and about what true performance is, I don't think this would've happened. Its the values that you impart to one's children that is called education. Whatever the society is or whatever happens in school, if the kid has that fall back confidence at home, thats a child's pillar.
Thank God, I had it all during my formative years and more importantly...glad to have such amazing parents.