I watched a video clip of Russia Today about Russia having the highest teen suicide rate in Europe. The video talked about increases of suicides around the late December and early June exams. Teens experience these periods as highly stressful and for some it is too much to take or to cope with on their own. Russian experts say that these emotional stress builds up over time and when parents are able to see what their kid is dealing with they rather be not confronted with it and want to continue life as normal. Russia is quite underdeveloped when it comes to psychological help and according to the video there is not much to do about it in the current Russian society. Yearly 4000, mainly
girls, take their own life’s due to exam related emotional stress.
I myself have a teenage daughter that is going through her final Middle School exams, right now. I also, just as the Russian parents, saw that the stress was building up. Where my daughter A. had this attitude of “all is going to be fine”, during the school year, she now is aware that she can’t make a huge difference anymore. Just not fucking up the exams. She payed attention in the classroom during the years, wasn’t a big fan of doing homework. Therefore she reduced homework to a minimum. This year she had to choose her future school career, is it going to be High School or all the way up to University. A lot of stress when you’re just 14.
So 2 weeks ago I asked A. if she wanted to talk or blow off some steam. I couldn’t look the other way like the Russian parents in the video. I knew that with a little bit of common sense we could tackle A.’s problems. Not that I’m a magician, but simply because common sense takes things apart without emotions and feelings involved. And of course I did also, many years ago my exams, which was indeed a stressful and emotional period in my life. Though never to this point of wanting to end my life. Probably because kids nowadays are moving in such a fast interactive multi media world and they’re constantly impulsed by tv, social networks, mobile phones. Looking at it now I had quite a protected youth, simply because cell phones were not yet normal in the streets-cape, internet was not yet for the average people and still in its research phase, television had only 3 channels in Holland. We simply had to entertain ourselves, on which my generation did a better job than when I look at my own kids how they sometimes get bored due to overstimuli and an excess of virtual entertainment.
Anyway back to the exam stress, A. and I sat down and A. started to cry. It was indeed too much at this point, no suicidal too much, but emotions and feelings pulling and pushing her all over the place. While explaining after she calmed down what was kind of holding power over her, was this feeling of being tossed around by her own energetic charges. During the year she did her stuff, but as most teens nothing more then required. A. has been debunking a lot of her textbooks for what was written in it, but of course that was a no go area with her teachers. However when you see how you’re being fooled it’s even harder to try and learn the stuff. A. went into her exams with a 7 ( out of the 10) as her average mark. Not too bad for doing the minimum and being down graded as a foreigner. Nevertheless according to A. not high enough to not worry for her exams.
A. told me that for the last 6 months the teachers had been scaring the students for the exams and told that they didn’t work hard enough and that flanking was a real possibility. This fear management of the teachers was quite severe and in a way I do understand this kind of psychology to try and get these youngsters to work. But fear is not the tool to learn them self-responsibility and even enjoying to master information and see where to apply it. Of course being able to apply the learned information is an utopia in our current school system. So the teachers on one hand scared the shit out of A., it was feeding into her insecurity. Did she put enough effort in her school work or not, was a constant question on her mind, now she couldn’t change that anymore and only work with the consequences.
On the other hand a lot of the students who did their exams last year and the years before said that the exam was really easy and they didn’t have to study for it, everybody was passing anyway. This message was one that A. wanted to hear of course, but she didn’t trust it due to the information the teachers had been giving in a agressive way. It was simple A.was trapped in a polarity going from one side to the other, the exams are difficult versus the exams are easy. Further more this polarity was opening up all kind of teenage insecurities, till a point that the only future projection A. could do was fear. Not even anymore being able to name the fear game. No wonder she felt overwhelmed by her own accepted and allowed manifestation.
We dissected the polarity and all the turmoil that was attached to it and now she was able to see what it was that was holding her in place, within this fear. Really cool to do this with your child and to see that she was capable of opening up this point with a little bit of “objective” support from outside. If A. a 14 year old girl can do it, then all of us can do it and interpret our world according to what is really here and what needs our real attention to be an effective being and become of value for society in an equal way, where outcomes are best for all, because we understand life and know what we’re doing or dealing with.
A. did her 4 written exams, a national multiple choice exam and her oral exam is scheduled for the 28th of June. She said, till so far the teachers did lie to us about the exams and till so far everybody was allowed to attend the exams. All of a sudden all had an average mark of at least a 6, while their marks could impossible lead up to this average. Hhmmm, a nice introduction to society, showing the students what corruption in action is, because that’s the point they will remember.