by | 12 Dec 2019 | Education

Parents should be vigilant to act when children display signs of committing suicide over poor report cards

Distance Education Service Provider, Brainline, has called on parents and guardians to be vigilant as learners could opt to commit suicide over bad report cards during this period.

Many schools, both traditional and home education centres, have released final results for Grade 1 – Grade 11 over the last few days. Coleen Cronje, Chief Executive Officer of Brainline, says with suicide trends rising during this particular period, it is important that parents regularly interact with their children.

‘The most important factor for parents to keep in mind is neither to overreact nor to start blaming the school or teachers for poor results. A poor report card is not the end of the world and parents should play an active role in providing perspective to their children. Parents should not fall into the trap of creating an environment of acceptance just to shield their children from these pressures. It is important to focus on cultivating a culture of understanding and when a problem arises, the parents, the child and the school should combine efforts to address the challenge ,’ she says.

Suicide amongst teenagers in South Africa is on the rise and the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) states that 9%of all teenage deaths are due to suicide. In fact, only car accidents and homicide account for more deaths than suicide in youths in the age bracket of 15-24. A recent medical study by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare found that receiving poor grades in school is associated with an increased risk of suicide at a young age.  Cronje says it is critical to ascertain what the cause for the poor results could be and act accordingly.

‘Now is the time to let logic prevail and pinpoint why the child received a poor report card or failed his or her grade. It might be a very simple reason such as difficulty with learning or reading. The sooner one can establish the reason for the child’s learning disabilities; the quicker it can be effectively addressed.’

Cronje says a poor report card is not necessarily the end of the road. ‘Depending on the school or institution, there might be options for a re-exam or an opportunity to submit a project that was due during the course of the year. At Brainline we give our students the unique opportunity to apply for re-exams early in the following educational year to allow them to improve their grades.’

Cronje says parents should also use the opportunity to remind their children that a report card is not the full picture when it comes to their worth as a human being. She says intelligence can be segmented into 9 different categories, which at times is not reflected in a mere report card.

‘Some children excel in other areas depending on their personality type which include musical intelligence, logical–mathematical intelligence, linguistic intelligence, intra–personal intelligence and spatial intelligence. It is critical to establish what your child’s strong and weak points are and also into which category of intelligence they fall so that you can cultivate that particular trait.’

Brainline is a leader in home education and has provided structured home education on a distance education model to thousands of learners since 1987. It is also IEB-accredited.

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