What to do if your child shows suicidal behavior

Is your child thinking of suicide? After hearing this are you feeling numb? You do not know what to do now and feeling guilty as well as really confused. Remember to take a professional help immediately if things go beyond your control. In this article there are few guidelines that you can follow to manage the situation.

You found your adolescent child is depressed, not talking to you properly or trying to hide something from you. You thought these are teenage issues and will go off within the next few days. After few days things went out of your control and your concern increased. Nowadays he is talking about committing suicide too often. As a parent, the well-being of your child is the primary concern and hence you started to look for reasons behind this abrupt change in your child's behavior. Your child is there in your social media circle too and suddenly you found some disturbing posts indicating your child wants to end his life and you feel numb. How to solve this?

As a parent it's terrible to listen to these thoughts from your child. After listening to these you started feeling guilty about yourself and unable to find a way out to help your child. You have to be strong and must stretch out your hands to help your child to get out of the crisis. Your support is crucial at this period and you have to play the lead role to overcome the stress he is going through.

Never take things lightly

Never take your child's thoughts of suicide lightly. Children may use this thought of suicide as a tactic to put pressure on parents, but it may turn out to be a true thought also. At times it is difficult to understand whether your child's behavior conforms to the natural process of growing up or is really a cause of concern. Adolescence is the period when psychological and physical changes occur and children may find it tough to cope with these changes.

Learn about the risk factors

Be aware of the risk factors of suicidal behavior in teenagers. It may be depression, feeling of guilt, painful loss of a close friend or family member, crisis in parental relationship, identity crisis, pressure in studies or failure in exams, substance abuse, bullying in school or social media, hereditary factors, violence in family or isolation. Teenagers cannot properly handle these stresses and may think of ending the life as a consequence.

Spend more time with your kids

Nowadays there are lots of communication gaps in most of the families. Its really sad to see that majority of the parents spend their time in social media. They don't have time to listen to their kids. Spend more time with your kids and listen to them. If kids feel that their parents are always there to listen and support them, they will feel confidence to face the life. As a parent you have to your duty very well. The involvement of parents is a must to prevent suicide among teenagers. At any crucial moment the child needs a supportive and trusted person with whom he can share the true feelings. You have to play the role of that person.

Be empathetic

Put yourself in place of your child and try to understand the true feelings. Listen more to the child and speak only when necessary. Tell him that you understand the amount of stress he is going through and you are always there to help him whenever it is required. Never say anything negative like "you shouldn't feel so stressed at this age" or "when I was at your age I managed things so wonderfully, why you can't"; this will increase the guilt feeling in your child, he will turn inwards and will never be able to discuss his problems openly with you. Never ever scold your child if you find that the things he is sharing are difficult to digest. You have to listen to them without showing any kind of annoyance.

Boost up his confidence

This is not so easy when the child has a thought of ending his life. You have to find out some strategies that will help him to develop the coping skills to keep away the thought of suicide. This includes engaging him in creative activities like painting, singing, writing, listening to music, etc. You have to strengthen the relationship with your child by spending quality time with him on a regular basis. Your child needs the perfect atmosphere to share his feelings and the more time you spend together, the more you will be able to understand about his feelings. You need to endorse those feelings to boost up his confidence. Engage your child in different activities and you actively take part in them. You can play games together or can find out a common hobby to enjoy some wonderful time.

Give assurance to your child

The thought of suicide comes from the feeling of helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness. The child thinks nobody wants him and he is becoming a burden. Here, he needs assurance from you. Tell him that both of you will be together in this time of crisis and you will never leave your child alone to face it. Remind him that how he conquered all the difficulties earlier with all his strengths. Tell him that this crisis will be over also as happened in the past.

Seek professional help

Seeking professional help for your child is most important. You must remember that you are not a mental health professional and hence you are not aware of the specific treatment plan your child needs for this suicidal tendency. Your care and support for the child is very important, but it has its limitations. A mental health professional knows the treatment plan for each case and talk to him about your specific goal for your child's development and how it can be achieved within the time frame. Talk to the mental health professional after each session to know the progress of the child and actively take part in the plan after discussing it elaborately with the therapist.

Keep a watch on your child

You shouldn't leave your child alone. Somebody must be there with your child. Ask your close friends or family members to be with him in your absence. You must keep away things that can be used by your child to inflict injuries on him. Keep away knife, glass bottle, rope, any sharp objects and medications too. Many medicines, if taken above the prescribed dosage may prove lethal and should be administered only under your observation according to the prescribed dosage. In most of the cases the act of suicide is impulsive and so if the objects of inflicting self injuries are not there the impulse may die down.

Get help for yourself

Your child is your prime concern and it's really complicated to deal with adolescence issues when it goes beyond your control. You are always worried because your child has the tendency to commit suicide. You are always alert but do not have time for yourself. Since your constant support is essential for your child, your well-being is also very important. You must get proper sleep, eat a healthy diet and have time for yourself. Ask your relatives or close friends for support and if necessary take a professional help for yourself.

Final words

As a parent, you have the crucial role to play for the development of your child. When your child is thinking of ending his life, you must understand how terrible he is feeling himself for having this thought. Be compassionate and never lose hope. Your child is having a real confusion and unable to cope with the stress he is going through. Encourage your child in every possible way and so that he can come out of the situation. Have patience, take the necessary professional help and follow the therapist's advice along with the guidelines in this article to overcome the crisis.

Article by Sankalan Bhattacharya
Sankalan "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

Follow Sankalan Bhattacharya or read 30 articles authored by Sankalan Bhattacharya


Author: K Mohan28 Sep 2018 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 3

Yes, the adolescent age for a boy or girl is very challenging and during this period the mother should spend more private time with the children to know their problems and change in behavior. Children mostly prefer to live in a world of fantasy and like to experience new things and they are easily caught unaware of the difficult situations they face. So the child gets tensed, not liking anything around them, seems to be left out and all kinds of negative thoughts emanate in the mind as if he or she has lost every hope in life. So it is the parent who must spend time with the child and discuss and sort out issues at the earliest.

Author: Sanjeev Gupta28 Sep 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 3

Yes, when kids grow up they come in contact with different types of persons and at adolescence, he /she thinks differently. They have a lot of fantasies and dreams. As a parent, we have to keep ourselves in touch with them so that they may not go very far in order to fulfill those dreams which actually may not be worth. It will be a very awkward situation when you come to know that your kid is thinking of committing suicide due to whatever reason. We need to understand the cause and also need to check if the kid is putting pressure on you to fulfill his or her demands. This can be done only when we regularly talk with our kid.

Author: Reena Upadhya29 Sep 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 6

It is a very useful article giving lots of information to the parents to manage the kids who are showing suicidal behavioral patterns.

The kid may display certain signs such as during interaction he/she will tell you about wanting to embrace death. They feel that there is no particular reason for them to live in this world. They are often found seeking information related to suicide on the internet. They often feel that they are trapped and lose hope. They worry a lot and are scared all the time. They show their anger or rage every now and then which comes out to conceal their anxiety. They behave recklessly and they show mood swings. They isolate from everyone including family and friends. Whenever you see one or all of the symptoms in your child, it is high time that you need to get help from a professional.

Keep a close monitoring of the kid's behavioral patterns. Monitoring younger kids are easy because they are dependent on their parents or guardians a lot. Monitoring adolescents demand a lot of effort. They are independent and checking on them every now and then seems to be a daunting task and also they may feel annoyed by parent's behavior. You need to generate certain opportunities so that you can see them every now and then or else engage them in tasks where you all work together. Stay connected and invite in their friends and relatives so that they can get rid of the feeling of isolation.

  • Do not include your name, "with regards" etc in the comment. Write detailed comment, relevant to the topic.
  • No HTML formatting and links to other web sites are allowed.
  • This is a strictly moderated site. Absolutely no spam allowed.
  • Name: