Compassion Towards Teenage Traumas
The death of a 15 year-old student in Bengaluru recently, raises some questions about not just the current system of education, but also the parents’ and teachers’ failure in addressing teenage traumas. Reprimanded by her teachers for her behavior in school, which according to them was “not appropriate,” the girl was handed over a letter addressed to her parents imposing half-day suspension of the girl from the school. Hailing from an affluent family, living in a posh gated apartment, studying in a high profile international school did not mean that the girl was very “happy” and “joyful.” While for the teachers, the letter of suspension may have been just another piece of paper teachers often dole out cold-heartedly to students, for the adolescent girl, it was a humiliation she felt unable to bear. She jumped to her death from her 10th storeyed-apartment window!
Do we really care for the psychological traumas, insecurities, fears, complexes, worries, tensions, emotional conflicts that our teenage girls and boys are going through? Most teenagers are not comfortable sharing their troubles with their parents due to fear about “what they would think.” Teachers find no time to understand their students’ psychological issues as they are caught up in their daily schedules of “completing the syllabus”. Seeing a counselor to share their traumas is simply too much of an additional stress for the already disturbed teenager.
From childhood onwards, parents judge their kids, give them marks about “right” and “wrong”, impose unnecessary expectations on them, compare them, label them as “good for nothings” and the child grows up into a bundle of nerves. In educational institutions driven by the current “pressure cooker” system of education, the children have their dreams completely smashed and squashed.
It’s time to rethink, impart some gentleness to our dealings with teenagers, learn to understand their feelings and emotions, ask their opinions about which institution they would want to study, and their goals and ambitions. If parents and teachers talk with teenagers as friends, rather than as dictators, it helps a lot in nurturing positivity in their hearts and minds.
Our God-given life is very precious. A harsh tone and judgment slapped on a tender 15 year old mind could have dreadful consequences. It’s high time that parents and teachers wake up to these realities and lend a healing hand of love and compassion towards their teenage children.