Wednesday, February 18, 2015

When Your Child Says They Want To Die

*I am not a psychologist and my only experience with this is being a mom to my three kids*

I remember the very fist time my then five year old son said, "I wish I was dead."  Immediately my thoughts went to needing to get him professional help and how we would navigate through his depression.  I had never uttered these words so where did these thoughts come from?  I asked my child psychologist friend her opinion on it and she put me at ease.  Since then, both of my boys have said it several times, when in the five to six age range.

Two questions to ask yourself to discern the seriousness of it:

1.  When did they say these words?  If they say it at a calm reflective moment, like laying in bed talking about their day, this is a concern.  For my sons, it has happened when either something did not go their way or they felt bad for disappointing me.  It was more a "heat of the moment" type thing.

2.  How long did these feelings last?  For my boys, the next day they were totally back to their goofy selves.  If it lasts any longer, you may want to get professional help.

Trying to navigate their feelings is tough at this age.  They don't want to disappoint those they love and they don't know how to process when things aren't going their way.  It's good to recognize that they are upset and to acknowledge that sometimes life is hard.  Remind your child that you are always there for them and will love them unconditionally.  After that, gently move on.

You know your child best and if you are not sure how to navigate an area of parenting, please ask a professional.  Here are a couple resources in case you would like more information or someone to talk to about your child's mental health:

The F.O.R.C.E. Society
Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre


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