Why would a teenager commit suicide over a failed exam, or for that matter, over anything? People take their own lives out of despair, when they see no light at the end of the tunnel. The future is pitch dark, they see no point in living.
Once upon a time, I, too was guilty of pressuring my children to “get all the A’s they can”. Then my family and I had the opportunity to live in another country, where the children began to experience a different culture, a different approach to education. In this school, the children learned to love learning. Everyday, they looked forward to school. Yes, you are still expected to do well, but it was miles away from the kind of pressure they have had before. The atmosphere was so positive and encouraging. Yet the standards of achievements were high. Until today, my children still consider this particular school the best they have ever attended.
A respected teacher of mine says, “The purpose of education is to awaken the conscience.” We want our children to grow up into smart adults, so that they can contribute to humanity in their own way. Let them feel the pain of the homeless people on the streets, and think of ways how to help them. Let them learn how the blind struggle for a living, and invent systems to alleviate their suffering. Let them witness other children their own age going hungry, and think of how to deliver food to them.
This should be the dream of every parent. Excellence in academics might be one way, but not the only way. There are many, many other ways for your children to excel. Let your children be your gift to the world, by you polishing them to become rare gems over time with a lot of patience, wisdom and long term vision.