- Introduction – present data.
- State the reasons for increasing behavioural issues and suicides among children in India.
- Mention the role of teachers and parents in ensuring mental well-being of children.
- State the importance of Emotional Intelligence in this regard.
According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau data, India recorded a new high of 12,526 suicides by students. The percentage has sharply risen by 21.19% since 2019.
There are multiple reasons behind this, such as:
- Increasing competition in academics and employment.
- Unrealistic goals set by parents and society.
- Exposure to technological apps that are not suitable for children.
- Lack of adequate psychological support from family.
- Unavailability/lack of counsellors/mental health professional and also lack of access to them.
- Body-shaming, social ostracization by peers for not conforming to their standards.
- Social media traps such as the ‘Blue Whale challenge’, trolls etc.
These reasons demand increased attention from elders, i.e., parents and teachers, to ensure mental wellbeing of their wards. In this context, roles of parents and teachers include:
- Providing adequate psychological support to help children cope with pressures regarding examinations, employment and other personal crises.
- Teaching children to express their emotions in the right manner and not suppressing them.
- Determining career options by use of regular aptitude tests, rather than by social/parental perception of these options. In the long run, this would also ensure development of a content human being who loves what he/she does.
- Emphasising on the mental well-being of children at home and educational institutions.
- Monitoring the use of social media by children.
- Encouraging group activities to avoid isolation of children.
- Being friends to them as they approach adolescence and according weight to their opinions in family discussions.
Importance of EI in this regard: EI is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage one’s emotions as well as emotions of others in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, decrease anti-social behaviour and defuse conflict.
Several studies reflect that EI is strongly linked to academic performance, avoidance of risk behaviour and life success among students. Further, it aids in self-awareness, self-regulation, optimal decision-making, active listening, etc. EI can help students develop a strong mental attitude to cope under pressure.
Thus, equipping children with EI skills, along with friendly support from parents and teachers, can help in healthy growth of the children in this era of increased pressure from all dimensions.