Teen on a Ledge

Her knuckles turned white as she held on to the handle for dear life. Her feet shuffled nervously on the ledge that kept her from the roaring ocean beneath her. Her thoughts ran wild as she pondered over what brought her there. I just wish they’d understand! she fumed. I cannot live like them! I am not like them! She shuddered as she thought of what happened last night. All the shouting and screaming. It was just too much for her to handle. Isn’t this supposed to be her own life? Isn’t she supposed to make her own decisions?

She looked around to see if someone was around. To care about what she was about to do. To at least try to make her stop. But all she saw were birds, flying about in circles over her head. Waiting for her to take the plunge. This is it, she thought in resolve. There was no stopping her now.

Slowly and carefully, she let go of the handle. Spreading her arms wide, she prepared herself to embrace the waters. She closed her eyes and stepped ahead, into the air. And down she went. It was faster than she’d imagined. Before she knew it, she’d hit the cold waters. If she knew how to swim, she’d forgotten it as the waves enveloped around her. She felt cold stinging sensation in her lungs. Nothing could stop her now. She’d done it. She’d given in.

This girl gave the 14 years of her life up because she couldn’t take the pressure anymore. Pressure to be like her parents. Pressure to score more marks. Pressure to do what they wanted her to do. She succumbed to all the pressure and finally gave in.

What can you, as parents, do differently for your teenagers?

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