The recent spate of student suicides in Hong Kong is worrying.
Every suicide has some tragic underlying factors. They can be anything such as insurmountable pressures in life, psychological troubles, broken social relationships, and so on.
Desperate people might have some thoughts in common — seeing no way out in life and having no one who could possibly understand their difficulties.
In this situation, what should parents, officials and educators ask themselves? And what are the most important things that are at stake?
I believe most new parents would like to secure the safety of their newborns, providing a loving and caring environment so that the children can grow up healthy and happy.
As soon as toddlers start going to school, parents put in a lot of effort in planning and taking care of almost everything — academic achievements, skills and interests nourishments — of their beloved.
When the children leave campus, parents would be eager to see their offspring get good paid jobs and eventually have their own homes.
Expectations, standards and goals set for the young from us are clearly weighing in on the children every day. If there is no appropriate emotional and related support in place, youngsters could be pushed to the edge of a collapse.
However, what really is “success”, and what are the most important things for our children?
Here, I’ll outline three major issues that are weighing on my mind.
Building up one’s self-esteem
Assisting children to know themselves, including — but not limited to — understanding their strengths and weaknesses, uniqueness, and personalities, will help establish their confidence.
One’s value should not be taken from of his or her abilities and achievements, which are common variable parameters used for comparing people in certain dimensions.
Of course, we have to equip children with the ability to overcome adversity, letting them know that they have our unconditional love and support as all-time backup.
Fostering close bonds in relationship
Some times in order to achieve certain goals, we might have forgone something valuable as trade-offs. For instance, a lot of parents may have neglected quality time and interaction with their sons and daughters while keeping themselves busy with all sorts of preparations in a bid to get the kids admitted to elite schools.
Good relationships take time and devotion. Nothing should take higher priority over it.
Contributing to society
As members of society, we don’t live on our own. When we stop focusing only on ourselves and instead care for others and the neighborhood, we’ll begin to realize that life can be lived for greater causes rather than for ourselves.
Start contributing to society and lead a purposeful and meaning life!
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on March 24.
Translation by Darlie Yiu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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