Suicide isn’t something that takes place immediately nor is it because of just one reason; it takes a process and a series of incidents to exaggerate the mind to end all pain.
Over the years, we have read enough stories of children taking their lives, even youngsters in high-school. The reasons behind these sad circumstances could be many things, and some that have come to light are bad scores on exams and relationship turmoils. In order to understand this, one has to realise that these reasons are not the main reason why children decide to take their life; their minds have a tendency to exaggerate an incident or a series of incidents that they experience.
Their minds have a tendency to exaggerate an incident or a series of incidents that they experience.
A young mind is something that is moulded through the process of growing up, and when a child is affected emotionally they sense feelings deeply. Feeling ignored by family or friends, having moments of loneliness, waves of mood swings, and suffering from violence or any form of abuse majorly affects an impressionable mind.
When it comes to children, it is important to notice even the slightest of changes that occur, whether it’s behaviour or moods. Even though these changes seem minor at the time, they can add to the pressure which ultimately results in them making a strong decision about their life; it should never be ignored.
So as to prevent unfortunate deaths of children, especially at tender ages, they should be taught that they are important and uniquely made by God. It has to be instilled in them that it is their responsibility to take care of their precious lives, and ending it is never the solution to any problem. When a child is taught to realise that their body is the creation of God and they have no right to harm it, they are more aware of the importance of their individual lives.
When indulged in activities and being supported by their peers, their thoughts process in a different yet positive manner compared to when their mind is idle. Understanding the way children comprehend how life works and how situations have solutions, we ourselves can understand the emotions that a child faces in any phase of their life.
Thoughts are the building blocks of actions, and children act on impulses rather than realising things do pass because life is a journey. When a child is going through a difficult part of life, their fear is what takes over, and answers don’t come to mind; this is when they look for dire solutions. They need to be shown that fear is something they can overcome, no matter what their past experiences are.
They need to be shown that fear is something they can overcome, no matter what their past experiences are.
Fear arises from a person’s character and how they react to situations that are presented to them; this emotion is a result of a personality that is harshly shocked by bad experiences. These traits that form a personality are permanently instilled in minds that are easily influenced.
When this inculcation happens, it results in an overwhelming feeling to run away from difficult or extreme situations, indulging in harmful habits that affect the mind and soul, and retrieving of oneself within. Once fear is eradicated – fear of all kinds that is – a child’s mind and heart have the ability to willfully embrace solutions to problematic experiences; theirs or others.
Bringing the experiences I have faced to life, here is a small story: An innocent child of 10 wanted to take his life, and it was interpreted that his reasons were because of bad results in his educational journey. An extreme step is followed by a slew of reasons, and even if it is just one reason, it’s a spectrum of emotions. I interacted with the child and I realised that it was a series of unfortunate events that have affected him over a period of time that made him think, leaving this world would alleviate his struggles. I learnt that he used to be exposed to thoughts and fears from people of authority that made him believe that he would grow up to commit too many sins for which he would be punished by God. He processed a religious belief in a way only a child can and thought that if he lived longer, his sins would increase.
A mind that young and innocent doesn’t rationalize situations the way a mature mind does, and so impressions from other people are what they look up to. They are unable to see grey areas and distinguish between the beliefs of others or the fact that they can form their own.
Children should be connected to beliefs in a way that allows them to freely rely on a higher power for help and not cower in fear. A bond with God should not be based on punishment and reward nor is it dependent on blind faith. Love is the only way to reach a point in your life where you take religion and make it a part of your experiences, depend on its ability to relieve pain and restore hope.
Let a child lead a life with courage and happiness. There are not many doors to understand emotions just the eyes and thoughts speak the million words.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of NTD India.
This article is edited by: Anoush Gomes