Posts filed under ‘teen suicide’

2 Tips to Help You Prevent Gun Accidents With Your Kids

greys anatomy shooterI was watching Grey’s Anatomy last night, and their subject was about two 8 year old boys who had been playing with a gun and one of them got shot. Since I don’t watch the show regularly, I’m not familiar with each doctor, but as a mom and parent coach, the story line had my full attention!

I  also wondered how the boys had gotten a hold of a gun. When the mothers arrived at the hospital, the mother of the boy who had been shot admitted that it was her gun and that it was locked in a box. So how did they get in the locked box? During surgery, the female doctor asked that question as well – how did the boys get the gun if it was locked up, and where was the babysitter.

That was my question too, and I thought about growing up, when my sister and I would look through everything in my parents’ bedroom when they weren’t home. You would have thought we were pirates looking for hidden treasures. The fact is, we were inquisitive, just like those two boys.
My question about Where was the babysitter was answered by one of the young doctors who asked the babysitter:9_year_old_Vista_boy_killed_in_gun_accid_2973600000_18614212
Where were you?”
“Why weren’t you watching them?”
“How long were you away from them that they had time to unlock the gun box and take it out AND play with it.”
The young babysitter got immediately defensive and said two things that as a parent I HATE hearing – “This was NOT my fault” (whose fault was it ma’am?) and “They are 8 years old; they’re not babies that need watching every minute!” (No they are inquisitive boys who if not monitored, get into anything & everything.) Duh!

To find out what happened to the gunshot victim, you’ll have to tune in to last night’s Grey’s Anatomy, but my point here is 1) What you think is put away or locked away, given enough time, can be found or opened. Trust me. 2) If something terrible happens to your child, whether they are busy or quiet types is something you will regret for the rest of your life. Something simple like your daughter trying to shave her legs like you, or your son drinking nail polish remover (true stories) doesn’t matter – all you’ll remember is what you were doing that they were able to get into something they shouldn’t have.

Tip 1: The older your kids get (yes teens are included), the more you want to keep tabs on them. They are often in unbelievable situations and need us to be there for them unconditionally.
Tip 2: No matter what your belief is in the 1st Amendment – (the right to bear arms), keep your guns out of your home where your young kid can find them or your teen who is depressed/suicidal, or trying to prove something to his peers, tries it just for the hell of it – the outcome is usually deadly. Great message #ShondaRimes

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring Finding Superwoman program for Working Moms, parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters or Mothers and Sons. Email me at: info@clynnwilliams.com

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru
Author, Family Coach, Speaker
www.clynnwilliams.com

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Publishing, 2013)
NEWEST→ Yours & Mine: The Winning Blended Family Formula (220 Publishing, 2015)

April 23, 2016 at 4:12 am Leave a comment

I Accept You Just As You Are

Have a teen or adult child with a secret? Not just any secret, their sexuality secret? Did they tell you or you just ‘knew’ that they preferred same sex mates? What did you do with that information? Did you ostracize them or tell them that you accept them for who they are?

The beautiful thing about being parents, is that we not only have the task of raising teens into wonderful adults, we also need to listen with non-judgmental ears when they tell us things about themselves – especially things that may be different from us. If your teen feels that you don’t or won’t accept them for who they are, they begin to lose trust in you and in themselves. If you won’t accept them, what’s the chance that society will accept them? Who do they go to share their “weight of the world” secrets? Many teens who feel that they can’t talk to anyone (their secret is so bad), commit suicide.

genderbread

Here are some words you may share if or when you need them.

“It’s time for you to move forward with your life and stop worrying about whether you will be accepted for who you are. I’ve known (intuitively) that you had a different sexual preference since your high school / college days. It’s okay with me. Don’t worry about your father either. None of us has the right to cast stones. There is no reason to feel ashamed or have any other feelings that make you feel depressed, unworthy, needing to hide. It’s important (to me) that you live an authentic life, full of love. Be who you are and leave those other concerns behind you. You are important to me. You are safe and perfect just as you are. I love you.”

As parents, we have the responsibility for raising our children, and we also have the choice of accepting them for who they are. We may not like decisions that they ultimately make, but God doesn’t always like the decisions that we make. Accepting our kids for who they are helps them build self-acceptance and self-esteem. We also have to be okay that our friends, family and church may not agree with or accept our child’s sexuality. Thinking now about how you want to handle discussions with your family, friends or pastor, would be a great idea.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Author & Parent Coach

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Communications, 2013)

December 8, 2013 at 1:09 pm

When Suicide is NOT the Answer

I had a friend in high school who told me he was going to ‘kill himself’. I was beside myself with worry, told my parents and my dad said – “If he was going to kill himself, he wouldn’t tell you first.” Of course the guy did not kill himself, but my brother did… Parents should never have to bury their children but they certainly shouldn’t have to bury them because they’ve committed suicide. Suicide is such a desperate call for help and in my opinion indicates that there were no other options. The problem for most parents is how is it that our child, teen or post-teen adult lives and interacts with us every day and we have no idea that they are contemplating suicide? Mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse is often the cause of suicide.[1] Additional stress factors such as difficult interpersonal relationships, long-term sickness or financial worries can also contribute to feelings that “life is no longer worth living”.

According to HelpGuide.org, most suicidal people give signals of their intentions. Below are some warning signs that we can look for to recognize and hopefully prevent suicides with our family, friends and students:

Suicide Warning Signs

Talking   about suicide Any talk   about suicide, dying, or self-harm, such as “I wish I hadn’t been   born,” “If I see you again…” and “I’d be better off   dead.”
Seeking   out lethal means Seeking   access to guns, pills, knives, or other objects that could be used in a   suicide attempt.
Preoccupation   with death Unusual   focus on death, dying, or violence. Writing poems or stories about death.
No hope   for the future Feelings   of helplessness, hopelessness, and being trapped (“There’s no way   out”). Belief that things will never get better or change.
Self-loathing,   self-hatred Feelings   of worthlessness, guilt, shame, and self-hatred. Feeling like a burden   (“Everyone would be better off without me”).
Getting   affairs in order Making out   a will. Giving away prized possessions. Making arrangements for family   members.
Saying   goodbye Unusual or   unexpected visits or calls to family and friends. Saying goodbye to people as   if they won’t be seen again.
Withdrawing   from others Withdrawing   from friends and family. Increasing social isolation. Desire to be left   alone.
Self-destructive   behavior Increased   alcohol or drug use, reckless driving, unsafe sex. Taking unnecessary risks   as if they have a “death wish.”
Sudden   sense of calm A sudden   sense of calm and happiness after being extremely depressed can mean that the   person has made a decision to commit suicide. [2]

As a parent, we don’t understand it when a young person takes his/her life because of hopelessness or frustration. We often wonder where we went wrong. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the third-leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds, after accidents and homicide. It’s also thought that at least 25 attempts are made for every completed teen suicide. If you are concerned, here are some prevention tips that you may use:

  1. Speak to that person if you are worried
  2. Respond quickly in a crisis. Determine if the risk is low, moderate or high
  3. Offer professional help & support

Suicide Hotlines and Crisis Support
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Suicide prevention telephone hotline funded by the U.S. government. Provides free, 24-hour assistance. 1-800-273-TALK (8255). (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline)

National Hopeline Network – Toll-free telephone number offering 24-hour suicide crisis support. 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433). (National Hopeline Network)

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Author & Parenting Coach

www.clynnwilliams.com

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! Available in September, 2013 (220 Communications)


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide

[2] http://www.helpguide.org/mental/suicide_prevention.htm

September 24, 2013 at 11:25 am 2 comments

Can Your Daughter’s Friends Influence Her Eating Habits?

Is your daughter fixated on her weight? Does she consider herself fat? Does she feel that she gains weight no matter how little she eats? Right now I have a couple of students who worry about eating or drinking anything for fear of gaining weight.

As graduation approached for my daughter, I remember the photographer telling her that she needed to stop eating “all those cookies” and lose weight, so that she would look good in her prom dress. My daughter and I laughed at the time, but little did I know, that she took those words to heart, and began watching what she was eating. By the time prom occurred, she was tiny! So were her girlfriends.

According to Journal of Youth and Adolescence, a girl’s peers exert more influence on her dissatisfaction with her body, more so than TV actresses or social media. Dangerous weight control such as excessive dieting or bulimic tendencies often begins during the tween years. For some reason, excessive weight control does not affect girl “jocks”. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130143628.htm
The words “You’re fat” can easily send a t(w)een girl into an eating disorder spiral.

This theory isn’t new to parents. Can’t you tell what peers your daughter is involved with based on how she acts? I certainly could. Are you concerned with your daughter’s obsession with weight? If so, ask your health care provider or school personnel to suggest a prevention or intervention program that will help her better control any obsessive eating tendencies.

C. Lynn Williams – #MsParentguru
Author & Parenting Coach

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)

March 25, 2013 at 6:40 pm Leave a comment

Managing Your Teen’s Mental Health (Issues)

Have you ever been in your own world, and someone makes a statement that completely changes your perspective, or as my mother used to say “disturbs the calm peace of your soul”? It happened to me today. I was sitting in church waiting for the sermon to begin, slightly distracted (with all of the things I wanted to accomplish later), and the pastor started talking about mental illness and the shame often associated with it. I kind of dismissed the topic because it didn’t seem relevant to me or my family members, but the more he talked, the more the sermon topic affected me.

When I talk to people about mental illness, I think of schizophrenia and manic depression (bipolar disorder). Those are probably the most widely known mental illnesses. Mild chronic depression (dysthymic disorder), affects about 3.3 million American adults over the age of 18, per year: http://depression.emedtv.com/depression/depression-statistics-p2.html One in five children experience mild depression before adulthood. Ten to fifteen percent of children and adolescents have some symptoms of depression. Those symptoms include restlessness, irritability, thoughts of death or suicide. Excluding the thoughts of death and suicide, restlessness and irritability are common moods experienced by teens, and not easily noticed by parents and caregivers.

My pastor’s topic centered around the fact that people close to us, like our family members can be affected by mental illness and often we are ashamed of those family members. There’s nothing to be ashamed about. When you have diabetes or high blood pressure, you modify your diet and take medication to get better. For most mental illnesses, you can take medication, see a therapist or mental health professional and lessen or improve one’s symptoms. But because of the stigma attached to mental health, many people do not get the help they need before it’s too late.

As parents, how do we recognize the signs of mental illness in our teens and help them handle their everyday pressures and decisions? According to Dr. Arthur Schoenstadt, there is no one cause of depression. Factors like a family history of depression or substance abuse, certain medical conditions, gender, stressful life events, or personality types increase a teen’s chance of developing depression. Most often, once identified and acknowledged, depression is treatable with psychotherapy and antidepressants.

In my own family, there is a history of brilliance and mental illness. My uncle Donald, whom I never had the good fortune of meeting, was a brilliant scholar who committed suicide in his early twenties. Nobody (in the family) ever talked about him or really understood what he was facing that would cause him to take his life. My brother suffered with Crohns’ disease for about five years before deciding to end his life. As I write this article, my heart goes out to parents who never recognized the signs of mental illness in their deceased teen, whether it was depression, bipolar, eating, conduct disorders, or schizophrenia. Your teen is not just having a series of bad days, and once the season changes, will feel better. They may need meds to feel better.

Here are some symptoms to watch for:
– Very angry much of time, cries a lot, or overreacts to things;
– Worthless or guilty a lot;
Anxious or worried a lot more than other young people;
– Grief for a long time after a loss or death;
– Extremely fearful-has unexplained fears or more fears than most kids;
– Constantly concerned about physical problems or appearance;
– Frightened that his or her mind is controlled or is out of control.
http://www.cumminsbhs.com/teens.htm

If you suspect that your child or teen is experiencing any of these issues, contact your child’s school psychologist or talk to a mental health professional.

C. Lynn Williams,
Author and Parenting Coach
#MsParentguru

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)

March 4, 2013 at 5:44 am 4 comments

Recognizing Adolescent Depression

Parents: Are you able to recognize the signs of depression in your teen?
Here are some signs:
1. Physical manifestations of clinical depression are: headaches, muscle aches, low energy, sudden change in appetite or weight, insomnia or hypersomnia
2. Your teen may also seem restless, irritable, anxious, or belligerent
3. Your teen may have feelings of sadness, hopelessness, despair, worthlessness, or lack of interest in usual activities
4. Your teen is skipping classes or not paying attention in class

To find out more, check out this site: https://www.about-teen-depression.com/depression-statistics.html

If you think something is wrong, it usually is.
MsParentguru

May 14, 2012 at 10:22 pm 2 comments

How to Save Every Teen

Last week I was told that a friend’s son committed suicide. He was preparing to leave for his last year of college the next day. What was so awful in his young life that convinced him life was not worth living?

Let’s not lose another teen/twentysomething to suicide! Talk/listen to your children. Listen to what they have to say! Read Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen – available on Amazon.com and Google books.

Peace to you and your family,
MsParentguru.

August 29, 2011 at 2:18 pm Leave a comment


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