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Suicide And Children

QUESTION: Suicide and children - As a parent, how do I react to an attempted suicide?


The attempted suicide of a child is something that no parent wants to anticipate. There is no way to prepare completely for the attempted suicide of a child. However, depending on the particular circumstances surrounding the attempt, a parent can be instrumental in preventing the attempt from being successful.

As a parent, I have experienced a threatened suicide and an attempt to commit suicide from both of my sons. The reaction I had was fear, shock, and feeling as if I was in somebody else's life. It seemed unreal. When I discovered that my child was thinking about or had attempted suicide, time almost seemed to stand still.

In the case of the threatened suicide, my oldest son wrote an elaborate suicide note in the form of a "will," leaving certain items to his cousin who lived in another part of the country. After having intercepted the note, our reaction was to take it seriously without blaming ourselves for our son's choice. We were fortunate to be able to turn to the psychiatrist who had been treating him for a number of years. Further treatment and advice all helped the suicide attempt not to be successful.

An attempt to commit suicide by overdosing on over-the-counter medication mixed with prescription medication occurred with my younger son. This was clearly a cry for help. I was angry at myself as a parent and angry at my child for doing something that put his life in jeopardy. This was counterproductive because it did not address the root of the problem and did not help keep communication open. This is so vital to your child and their relationship with you. We had the blessing of help from our child's psychiatrist as well as a wonderful listening ear from our pastor.

Knowing that I could confide in someone about the attempted suicide of my child was so important. Even more important was being able to have a personal relationship with God that moved me to read the Bible and go to Him in prayer for the ultimate advice and solace that I needed.

If your reaction to the suicide attempt of your child is to blame yourself, please know that I have walked in those uncomfortable shoes. As hard as it may seem, turn that reaction of blaming yourself over to God who is the only One who can give peace in the middle of any difficult situation.

Learn More About Coping With Child Suicide.

What do you think?
We have all sinned and deserve God’s judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

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