According to PUNCH Metro, A 22-year-old man, identified simply as Segun, is battling for his life at a general hospital in Ogun State after he filmed himself drinking sniper over UTME result. PUNCH Metro gathered that the victim had scored 167 in the last Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations. Segun, who was unhappy with his result, went on Twitter to express frustration at his repeated failure to secure admission into a tertiary institution despite several attempts. Read more here
In a tweet, he had informed his followers that he would go live on Twitter on Sunday, May 12, to show them how to take Sniper with tea. True to his promise, he went live on Twitter and recorded himself as he took a spoon of the mixture while reading live comments from his friends.
Thankfully, some Good Samaritans were reported to have run to the scene and rushed him to a private hospital, from where he was referred to the general hospital. What would have happened if nobody could get to him in time? That would have been yet another suicide committed by a teen or tween in Nigeria. Yet another shocking part is that it was live-streamed on Social Media.
Suicide is not an option!
Regardless of what we are going through, suicide is NEVER an option or solution. And it appears this is something we have to start telling our children in age-appropriate ways. Just last year, an 8-year-old boy hung himself because he lost a game he was playing with his siblings. It is baffling that children that young are thinking about suicide. However, the truth is that most times, we do not know what our children are exposed to when they leave the four corners of our house; whether to go to school or out to a party or a friends house or even the things they watch. What we can do is continue to inculcate the right values in them and show them that we love them no matter what.
Secondary school students should be aware of Alternative Learning Options
Every year, we hear cases of people who write the WAEC and UTME exams but do not pass. What then happens to the students who don’t pass in this country where passing these exams is the only way you can get admission. The system is failing us but we do not have to keep failing ourselves. There are other ways students can get a degree in this 21st century. They just have to be aware.
Alternative options available for students are online courses they can enrol in both free and paid for, career/vocational technical education programs, as well as self-learning (which involves studying by yourself to eventually write a professional exam)
So what can parents do?
1. Parents should follow their kids on social media
Yes, some children have secret “finsta” or “spam” accounts to avoid their parents. A “finsta” is a second account created under a fake name, containing photos the user only wants their closest friends or a select group of people seeing, rather than their regular Instagram followers. They give their parents false confidence that the more acceptable account is their child’s only account. Sigh
It is important that parents follow their children on Instagram to keep tabs on what they might be doing or sharing. Parents need to have real conversations about social media with their children. Social media is here to stay and it has some good elements but also some bad effects. It is the bad we are concerned about such as bullying, addiction, depression, negativity from comparison and more. If you teach your children how to be responsible digital citizens early enough, you will not have to deal with a “finista” account. They will also know how to report or help instead of ignoring others who threaten to hurt themselves.
2. Your Teens mental health is important!
Teenagers health care is important because they go through a lot of physical and emotional changes, especially at puberty. They are a vulnerable group, not only because of the physiologic changes they are facing but also because they begin to question norms, traditions and even family values.
Also, as a result of the increasing connectivity of the world, a lot of things which were not an option for parents when they were adolescents are an option for their children. Some of these examples are suicide, hard drugs – narcotics, international trafficking and sex-slave trade among others.
During this period, parents and families can greatly influence the growth and development of their children. They also need the help of Specialized adolescent health care providers or a life coach that can diagnose and help children as they navigate this stage in the event of an unhealthy pattern or challenge.
3. Raise children who have “GRIT”
Just last week, we shared a parenting guide on how to raise children who have GRIT. Our goal as parents is to raise adults who are emotionally healthy and can thrive personally, socially and academically. Research continues to show that your child’s ability to work hard, endure struggle, fail, and try again may be the key to determining his or her long-term success. This is where “GRIT” comes in. Read more here