Last week my daughter saw a friend’s story on Snapchat that one of the students in her freshmen class took his own life. It was something the student would jokingly make statements about on several occasions leading up to the Snapchat post. We now know that another student made up the rumor as a prank. All it took was one rumor that quickly spread through Snapchat to make the story appear real.
Although this was a prank, my concern was whether anyone addressed his comments about taking his own life. Would this push him to follow through? Does his parents know about what he said? Who is going to have the crucial conversation to address the real issue? Sadly, things like this go unnoticed and significantly impact more families than we think. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death among persons aged 10-24 years. (Source: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6408a1.htm)
Life changing moments happen to our children just like they do for us. When the life changing moments occur for your child, are you taking notice? Do you have the crucial conversations when your child inquires about death, feels like their life isn’t worth living, or wonders what would happen if they take too many pills at one time? We can make a difference with how we respond.
A mother’s intuition is real! When you see that there is a change in your child’s behavior and/or attitude please take action immediately. We have to make it a point to listen to our children when they are speaking out loud about issues or challenges they are facing. Try not to take it too lightly when you sense that there could possibly be a problem. Please have the crucial conversations, listen, and take action. If your child doesn’t want to talk to you then have them talk to a counselor or someone else they can trust. The most important thing is that you address what they are going through before it’s too late.
I will continue to pray for the student at my daughter’s school and that he discovers that his life is indeed worth living. Grateful that the Snapchat post was just a rumor and that he was not another teen who became a statistic.