Suicide by Young Children - A Disturbing Trend


George D'Souza, Orlem-Malad-W, Mumba

It is very disturbing to read news reports about young children committing suicides. Fast opinion seems to point at excessive stress due to studies-which may be the main reason. But that does not end there. The parents have to go through unimaginable trauma till they live. No parents can withstand the shock of losing a child, after all every parent tries to give best to their children and look forward for good results from them.

As news pours in, all of us try to fathom the reasons behind this. What is that troubling these children who take such drastic steps to end precious lives? There may be many reasons-let's analyze.

Psychological  Connection

Most of the parents try to push their children to some extreme length to achieve higher grades all the time. True, but this puts tremendous pressure on the child, depriving him his own free time. As a parent myself, I see how terrible it is to see our children have to go through as day after day, hour to hour and every minute of their time is scheduled for tuitions, homework and projects. Except for major holidays, there is no time for a child to be himself to recall the events of the day. Sadly their day ends at 11-30 at night and they have to wake up at 6-00 am. to go to school. Whereas, the schooling till SSC is very strict while children become free birds-once land into the college! A real paradox of our mature, overburdened educational system; so to say.

Academic  pressure

The burden of portion and number of books is so much that the children get crushed under them and the day never ends. Today primary school children are forced to study the portion what secondary level children used to- decades ago. We expect our child to be genius and grow fast mentally; while emotionally what happens to them -we do not bother. At their tender age we make them achievers like robotic machines, like morons, rather than grasping and exploring the surroundings for small joys during the rains or winter. They are not lucky to discover the happiness of watching colorful birds, blooming flowers and noisy insects. Interacting with nature comes once a year, that too if they go for a picnic. Otherwise, all those things happen within four walls-on POGO and cartoon Channels!

With no physical exercise and sports activities, a larger chunk of students have no happy childhood. Our system of education is killing their childhood softly. In this stressful way many become obese due to junk food they tend to eat to compensate the loss of joy and contentment. Then we tease them as 'fatty' rather than pondering over the reasons behind it.

Peer (Social)  Pressure

Students who come from the lower income group have tremendous pressure on them.

Their parents expect them to study well and get good results, thereby hopeful of getting good job, eventually improve their economic status in future. They are not wrong, but aspirations have to be limited to individuals and should be left alone to the child's ability. Today educational institutions have become like factories, which churn out degree holders in regular intervals like robots that chase goals after goals but pay less attention to understand themselves and others. More work is done through machines and our life is on the fast lane -mechanized!

Examination  Stress

In olden days there were two semesters in a year and test papers had choice of questions, at least for half the portion. It was delightful to have choices. Today, sadly, children have no choices. Compulsory subjects and hard questions intimidate children like predators while children tremble with fear. The child is confronted with these fearful situations which threaten to destroy their very ability to the core. Students are torn between the academic results and pressure of facing parents. They collapse within and a permanent scar gets embedded in their psyche. The comparison and competitions turns into rivalry.

Lack  of  Free  space

Due to the pressure of studies, children remain tense and try to find an escape route through activities-sometimes not right and they do not really understand. It may be internet, mobile use or eating junk food etc. They fall into bad company and stray away into forbidden areas like drugs and other abusive lifestyle where they lose self control. Any attempt to stop these tendencies results in serious consequences- from suicidal to depression. Reality shows and other competitions distract the young ones from real situations where they are supposedly kept grounded. Aspirations sometimes go too far resulting loss of life.


Though situation is unavoidable, surely we can do something about it. We ourselves are responsible for this mess. If we love our children, support them and give them a buffer to fall back, they will never fall into traps like suicidal tendencies. Listening and lending patient ear will enable them to confide their feelings. Years back families were large and siblings were secure due to their chances to confide and play with each other.  Today families have fewer children and many have only one! How do you expect a child to develop a childlike relationship with parents who are busy? How many of us really take time to play with our children?  Today we want our children to learn fast, grow quickly and earn more. But the paradox is that when that child develops unwanted qualities including sexual activity, parents shockingly exhibit ignorance and strange silence. May be faster achievement comes with a rider; the consequences. It is time to ponder. We better have people with average expectations who are happy in life than disgruntled and grumbling generation of scholars! (achievers)