The tragic shootout on Tuesday at Euro International School in Gurgaon ended a 14-year-old boy’s life and marked the end of a violence-free era in urban Indian schools. But why is this generation of children so susceptible to violence?
Sr consultant psychiatrist Dr Sameer Malhotra says, “Social norms are changing, the family values are changing in the process.”
Mental health experts also say that exposure to violence firsthand – at home, for instance – can play a pivotal role especially with impressionable young children and teenagers. And access to weapons, only makes the situation more critical.
Child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr Amit Sen says, “Whenever you have resources you have responsibilities.”
And then, of course movies and violent games serve to reinforce an increasingly skewed attitude to guns and weapons almost normalizing the use of violent means to end conflict.
So where should parents step in?
Malhotra adds, “Role of parents becomes very important here, one parents need to understand, communicate, support, rapport should be maintained.”
And above all, keep an eye on your child’s behaviour. Look for signs of moodiness, signs of withdrawal and signs of bullying. It’s advice no Indian parent can afford to ignore any longer.