How to Safeguard Your Teenager from Your Worst Nightmare
Being a parent in today’s world is a scary thing to go through. The world we live in today is not the same world we grew up in, and the dangers are worse and more frequent in today’s society. There is a silent enemy that plagues our children of today. Suicide is one that is growing more common as we go along day by day. Now that we live in a society with a “new norm” of social distancing, it has affected more teens than we can count. We have reached numbers that are unimaginable when it comes to teen suicide, and we all wonder what we can do to safeguard our children to prevent this silent killer and protect the rights for survivors.
Knowing the Signs
It is difficult for parents who are single or forced to work to make a living with teenagers at home. Sometimes these signs go unnoticed when the parents are not around. This is the most heartbreaking because the parents feel like they are doing the best they can, and a silent killer comes to steal their prized possession. Realizing that it is difficult for teenagers, especially during these trying times, parents should take extra precautions and never say it cannot happen to them. The truth is that is the first one it happens to in the family. There are signs to look out for teens that parents should never ignore or punish their teens for feeling.
The most common signs are notes, threats, previous attempts, depression, substance abuse, final arrangements, hurting oneself, inability to concentrate, dramatic changes, planning, or access to weapons or pills. When these signs reveal themselves, take immediate action. Never punish or make the teen feel worse than they already do. Get help for them, and do not play around. Friends, family, and those closest to the teen should be able to spot these signs. Sometimes it is only hormones, but taking the chance that is all it is, is deadly.
Parents Are the Last to See It Coming
Many have spoken about who lost their teen to suicide, and they all say the same thing. “They never saw it coming.” Sometimes the teen keeps it locked inside so well that no one knows. But the truth is, someone knows whether it is a friend or family member, or school authority. Many turn a blind eye and let it pass. When it happens, they are the first to blame themselves as to how they could have stopped it. But they didn’t. Can these people be sued for wrongful deaths? Or should they? It is hard to say. No matter whose fault it is, the nightmare becomes a reality when a parent loses their child. It is even worse when they lose them to suicide because the guilt is overwhelming about what they could have done to save their babies.
Today younger children, even as young as nine or ten, are committing suicide. Most of the time, it is bullies that cause the situation, but depression also plays a massive role in suicide. They do not know how to handle these feelings at a young age. It is difficult for an adult.
What to Do
There are different steps to take in helping a suicidal teen. The one thing you do not do is blame them. They cannot help it, and if they are condemned, it will only make it worse. Education is the best way to go about it. If you educate your teen about suicide, they can spot their emotions, and perhaps it will show through they have a problem even though they do not tell you or anyone. Some do not know they have a problem. Remember, these are young adults, and the only way they learn is through education or teaching them. They know they are hurting, and something is wrong with how they feel. But there are no ideas as to what to do. The teens feel alone.
The next steps would be getting the professional help involved and getting the teen to open up and express their feelings and emotions. Most teens today feel isolated due to the social distancing, and it is not helping the situation. Understanding and compassion is the best thing to offer to a teen who is suicidal. Letting them know someone cares can make a difference. This is the shield that can protect them. They need attention and do not know how to get it.
Saving Your Teen
Unfortunately, there is no one hundred percent guarantee with anything. All parents can do is love their children and be there for them in their time of need. Teaching them right from wrong and giving them a safe place to grow up in is all we can do for them. We can always do more, but taking notice of the signs is the best way to help a teenager suspected of suicide. Getting them to counseling immediately and supporting them is all that can be done. Just be there for them.