In my post exactly one week ago, “3rd child commits suicide in 8 days,” I ended by writing that if our society doesn’t change, “you know that we will have a lot more blood on our hands in times to come.” Since that post, I’m extremely saddened to say that 2 more schoolboys have taken their own lives. One 14 year old boy this morning who jumped to his death in Wah Fu Estate, and a 15 year old boy who attended West Island School who plunged to his death in Time Square this past Sunday. Meanwhile, a 15 year old boy from Yau Tong is in hospital after he tried to hang himself, but luckily discovered by his mother before it was too late.
It happens to children from all walks of life
According to the local media, the 14 year old of Wah Fu Estate was scolded by his parents the night before for spending too much time playing computer games. He jumped to his death the morning after. The 15 year old boy of West Island School was a “rooftopper” who had an Instagram account where he would upload photos from rooftops. He plunged to his death in Time Square. Prior to his death, it was reported that the child had told his family that he had been unhappy in school. These two examples show that suicides affect children and their families from all walks of life – it transcends social background.
Parents need to communicate better with their children
In many cases, it would seem that parents could have done more in communicating with their children. Of course, I am in no place to judge any parent as I’m not one myself. But as someone’s child, I do believe that having a strong parent-to-child connection would alleviate much of these problems. When parents and their children don’t communicate, children aren’t provided with proper guidance. Coupled with inexperience and lack of mature foresight, it would be very easy for them to make a wrong decision. This is where parents should come in and steer their children to the right path.
Hong Kong is not a friendly place for parents
I do understand that parents in Hong Kong do face a lot of stress. Much of this comes from their work. Hong Kong is a stressful place. It is not parent-friendly. Employees often work overtime and often, both parents have to work to make ends meet. If the child is lucky, he might have his grandparents to take care of him. If not, he might be stuck with his domestic helper. He might only spend 2-3 hours a day at most with parents. Sometimes, it might be past bedtime when his parents return home. When parents are already tired, it is understandable that they might not be most patient.
More and more are putting off with having children
I’ve met many married couples who decide not to have children. I’ve also met many single people who don’t wish to have children in the future. Some might not want to have children because they consider them to be a burden. It costs a lot to raise a child. And considering how competitive society has become, if they were to have a child, they would have no choice but to “push” him to be “competitive.” On the other hand, some might think that their lives are already difficult enough. They simply don’t want to create another life to make that child suffer like his parents. Either is not a good sign.
When all of this comes together, the end result is that many people are not confident enough to raise children. Parents want to give the very best for their child. But when they have any doubt on whether they can provide the “very best,” they might decide against having a child in the first place. They just don’t want their children suffer. It takes a lot of confidence in ourselves and in society to make a conscious decision to have a child. But a problem is that for those who do have the confidence, some might end up putting more weight on their young children than they can shoulder. All the whilst we are all bystanders as more children and their parents suffer together.