IT is sad to hear of teenagers taking their own lives. Maybe there is a need for an in-depth study on the phenomenon.
When handling kids who show sign of stress, we can do the following:
INSTILL confidence in them;
TELL them all is not over when they don't do well in exams. There are other options out there;
DON'T confuse them. Don't make promises you can't keep. This will make them distrust you;
DON'T make them feel small;
DON'T correct them in front of others. Talk to them in private;
DON'T discuss their behaviour in the heat of moment;
DON'T preach and nag;
DON'T take notice of their small faults;
DON'T be put off when they ask honest questions;
TREAT them like people and not things;
USE guidance, not force;
DON'T think it is beneath your dignity to apologise to them when you are wrong; and
DON'T suggest that you are perfect or infallible.
Be consistent, decisive, and respectful of your children. Teach them to respect teachers. Hold them accountable for their actions. Balance responsibility with forgiveness and love.
By B. S., Seremban, Negri Sembilan
Source: New Straits Times Letters to the Editors 08 April 2012