Posts filed under ‘twentysomething’

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

We Choose People Like Our Parents

Do you believe we choose mates like our parents? My daughter certainly thinks so, and I am really wondering if parents are the reasons young women in our communities to go awry, south, crazy, whatever phrase you want to attach here.

Here’s the story: I am related or mentoring at least five women over the age of 20, who are pregnant and unmarried. Two of the young women I have known all of their lives. Their parents are hard-working people. Well their mother is hard-working; dad is retired now, but was always what my grandmother would say – ‘nickel slick’. Nickel slick is someone who knows the rules, but doesn’t always abide by the rules. These girls were raised properly, taught to respect themselves and yet seemed to follow the path of their girlfriends (getting pregnant) and not their mother. Why?

Daily I hear that social norms are changing, and marriage is passé. It’s no longer necessary to be married to have children. One of the young ladies felt that way long before she got pregnant. While I completely disagree with that line of thinking, let’s dig deeper to get at the root of the issue. Why are our daughters feeling that they have to raise children by themselves, with no husband and many times, no boyfriend? In African American communities, “Non-Hispanic black men and women aged 25-44 have lower percentages who have ever been married than non-Hispanic white and Hispanic persons of the same age.” – See more at: http://marriage.laws.com/marriage-statistics#sthash.ydfVSfgd.dpuf. According to Dr. Boyce Watkins, “black women aren’t getting married because many of the available black men are incarcerated.” http://tiny.cc/mtyjzw.

I believe the issue has to do with how we are raising our daughters. I talk about it in my new book: Raising Your Daughter: the Joys, Tears & Hormones! It’s one thing to expect your daughter to conduct herself as a lady, wait until marriage to have sex, and allow men to respect her as the beautiful woman that she is. Is that the example that she sees growing up? Is that how you conducted yourself? Was her father (your husband) faithful to you? Did he treat you kindly and respectfully? Today, many women are starved for love & attention. Maybe you don’t have a relationship with your father. Maybe you didn’t know your father. Maybe he didn’t tell you he loved you. So, the first ‘nice’ comment you receive from a guy, you have sex with him and you believe you’re in love. Major mistake! And not a mistake you want your daughter to have to learn from. Teach your daughter to have dates where nothing is required of her but her company. Matter of fact, teach her to be selective, have many dates, and decide if you like what your date is talking about. Get to know him, his family and his background before you become intimate.

Having a child should not be a ‘Rights of Passage’ for your young daughter. I guess that means you have to do a better job of picking your mate too.

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)
Raising Your Daughter: the Joys, Tears & Hormones! Available in late summer, 2013

July 1, 2013 at 6:29 pm 1 comment

Parenting the Pampered Prince

How do you feel about deadlines? As a rule, I don’t like deadlines but you must admit, they keep you on track and focused. Our pampered prince has a deadline to re-enroll in school or find a full-time job or else he has to move out. Big risk! Huge consequences! It was necessary because I continue meet you (other mothers) who are sharing horror stories about their sons who live at home expecting to be supported by their parents. Needless to say, these are men who are in their 30s, 40s and 50s.

I was proud that we gave him a deadline, however a part of me wants to continue to mother him, cajol, help, (fill-in-the-blank here) and yet how do I expect him to successfully complete this task if I constantly run after him?

What would you do???

January 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm 1 comment

My Son The Pampered Prince

I always know when I have to address an issue because I start to lose sleep or the issue begins to occupy my thoughts. Well the white elephant in the room is my son. This son dropped out of an Ivy League school because he wasn’t completing the work. Our house rules for our kids have always been either attend school or get a job (or both). For some reason, he has lived on the very edge of those rules and this weekend things came to a head. The class he attended has ended for the semester and the part-time job he had, ended in November.

Now the rubber is meeting the road because like all of the other adult children in this family, he has to work or attend school or make his way somewhere else. Being a mom, I hate the somewhere else option!

However being a parent of integrity, I felt it necessary to discuss his plans and next steps. Our son was very tight-lipped during the discussion, however we gave him our goals and a deadline (to meet our goals). Loving him as I do, I really hope he finds work or re-enrolls in school.

I’ll keep you posted!

December 15, 2011 at 2:12 pm Leave a comment

Take Time with Family

When I was a young girl, we spent lots of time together as a family. As kids, it was part of our culture, we didn’t question it and we usually enjoyed being together. When I became a teen, my parents made me take my sister (and sometimes my brother) wherever I went. It was a nuisance and I felt I was too old to have them accompany me everywhere. However, my parents knew what they were doing. There was strength and safety in traveling together. It also kept me out of mischief!

Take time with your kids today and as often as possible, so that when they become teens and twentysomethings, they want to spend time with you. Great parenting = great kids!

October 11, 2011 at 9:14 pm Leave a comment

Putting Your Teen Out

Putting Your Teen Out is not a new phenomenon, but it is definitely an option for parents whose teen is not listening, disobeying the household, getting high, drinking excessively, etc. But is that the best option? You may feel that you have no other options but to put that child out of your house, but I encourage you to think about the later ramifications of putting that teen out: relationship, relationship, relationship. There will be none. You are robbed of knowing that child of yours as an adult, an adult with children. Just think long and hard before you kick your son or daughter out of the house.

Just trying to stay sane…

September 28, 2011 at 10:45 pm 5 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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