Happiness is more important than scores

Updated: 2014-10-25 21:24

By Li Yang(chinadaily.com.cn)

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Chinese parents should think more about their children’s mental health and happiness than their academic record, an article in the China Youth Daily states. Excerpts: Long-term depression and insomnia drove a Chinese student at Johns Hopkins University in the US to commit suicide on Oct 15. He came from an affluent family in China and attended boarding school in the US.

In August, a Chinese student at California State University in Fullerton threw himself out of a window because he failed to pass the language test. The student came from a single-parent family.

These two extreme cases expose some common problems confronting Chinese students studying overseas. They have pressures caused by academic difficulties, lack of money, and cultural clashes. If these pressures cannot be relieved in time and allowed to fester, those students may develop psychological illnesses, or even go to extremes to end their own life.

Chinese parents feel proud of their children’s academic performances. But they do not care about the pressures on their children.

Chinese parents can send their children to study abroad more easily than before. As long as they have money, their children can secure a seat in foreign universities, even if they do not have good academic records at schools in China. It means some children from wealthy families are forced to go abroad for an education for which they are not at all prepared.

Statistics show Asian college students are more likely to commit suicide than their Western counterparts. They are not used to seeing a psychologist for professional treatment.

Facing the same problems, parents in the US would let their children suspend their schooling for between six months and a year, or to transfer to another university that is less stressful. Compared with the children’s health and happiness, these temporary setbacks are nothing. However, few Chinese parents would consider this.