Hong Kong youth battling dark thoughts need parents to stand by them
I am writing in response to the article, “To reduce youth suicide, teach children self-control and let them develop social skills, say experts” (September 10).
Cases of teenage suicide have increased in recent years (“More Hong Kong students taking their own lives, study finds”, September 10). As a young Hongkonger, I would say teaching teenagers self-control and developing their social skills might not be enough to stop the suicidal from taking that final drastic step.
In recent times, most of the young people in Hong Kong have to face huge pressure, whether from parents, school or peers. What teenagers need most of all is a person who understands them, and does not always punish or pin blame on them. Sometimes, parent don’t understand their children, and they just think they are acting up and not following their rules. Because of this, youngsters are not willing to share their emotional problems or worries with parents. Day by day, those worries pile up, ready to explode, and might cause them to contemplate suicide.
I believe that parents are the people who young people trust the most. Parents should be good, non-judgmental listeners, so teenagers can share their worries and concerns without fear or shame. They should give advice, and also keep an eye on their children if they show signs of negative emotion. That would help a lot of youngsters feel better about themselves. Loving care from parents works better than building up children’s skills of self control.
Alice Li, Kwai Chung