Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kai Bear

I thought I would post this in case any of your kids go through this, or, if your kids have gone through it, maybe you could add some advice/thoughts.

Kai is 4.5 years old. He is a happy kid. A couple of months ago he started saying some of the following things while crying:

You don't like me
You wish I wasn't born.
I wish I was dead.
I don't want to be alive.
Being alive is terrible.
I want to have cancer (This one made me cry both times he said it. Hurt me to the core.).

So, I asked my friend (who is a child psychologist) about it. I wanted to know if this was normal. I wanted to know if I should respond seriously or not give it too much attention. She indicated that it was important when he was saying this. If he is saying this in quiet contemplative moments, like before bed, then that is a concern. However, Kai is saying these things when I say `no' to him or when he's done something to disappoint me. Therefore, this is more attention seeking. So now, I just say something like `Kai, I love you. Being alive is awesome.' and then change the topic and don't allow him to continue down that path. This worked really well today.

There are so many people that I know who suffer from anxiety and/or depression which made me concerned with the way he was talking. Mental illness is so serious and not talked about very often. I can't imagine what I would do if teenage Kai thought those things. I hope he would tell me.

Oh parenting. Always keeping us vulnerable.

4 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:18 PM

    I think you are such a great mom from being concerned about this. I have recently suffered from severe depression and it is scary/personality changing. I went from loving life to not understanding what the point was of being alive when it hurt so much. Talking about it and letting people know how surprisingly common this is is SO HELPFUL. Thanks

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  2. Good post - and way to go on talking to your friend - good advice and helpful since many kids probably say stuff like this...I'm with on you on parenting keeping you vulnerable!!!

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  3. vulnerable is the perfect word for it.
    thank you lou.

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  4. I so appreciate you posting about things like this. Just thinking about it and imagining what my own reaction would be now (rather than in the moment) makes me feel like I will be a better parent if and when we get to this stage. I love your response to him. He is lucky to have such a thoughtful and caring mom. 

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