Kids, your parents aren't the enemy

A 14-year-old boy allegedly committed suicide after his mother scolded him for playing games on his mobile phone, asking him to study instead. This incident, recently reported in mid-day, points to a larger trend of kids adopting extreme measures when they are upbraided or censured over the most trivial issues.

Police officials from Nalasopara (E) said the 14-year-old, Aniket Singh, was a Std IX student. He had been playing games and loud music, and watching movies on his mobile phone, and had reportedly ignored his mother’s pleas to put away the phone. After she took the phone away, he went to the bathroom and hanged himself with a string.

This is an extreme and unwarranted reaction to what was a small censure from a concerned parent. There have been similar reports — a 13-year-old girl committed suicide because she was not allowed to cut her hair in a certain style by her parents. A 17-year-old took his own life because he was not allowed to join a basketball academy.

This is an unfortunate offshoot of an age of instant gratification. Children are not learning the virtue of patience, and are unable to accept it when they do not get what they want. They cannot stomach a simple ‘no’ to their demands, however unreasonable they may be. Perhaps this says something about the current parenting trend too, where they offer instant rewards when kids do as they are told.

Children must be taught that being corrected is not the ultimate humiliation. They must understand that those who reprimand them do so because they have their interest at heart. Today, even teachers seem hesitant to reprimand their students because they do not know how the student will react once being pulled up.

This is hugely unfortunate. To make mistakes, be corrected and then learn from them, is part of growing up. This is the value that needs to be constantly reinforced.

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