Talk With Kids About Suicidal Thoughts

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le

Suicide games available on many websites manipulate and lead kids to commit suicide as a final goal. If we search the phrase “Suicide Games” on the Internet, there would be more than 56.300.000 results in less than a second. With the advanced technology nowadays, it is that easy for kids to find a way to kill themselves. Therefore, it is time for you to start talking to your children about their suicidal thoughts.

Noticing the signs

The word “FACTS” can sum up the signs of suicidal thoughts in your kids. Notice these to adjust your way of talking later on.
F, as in Feelings: these can be feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, fear of losing or any kinds of negative of emotions that turn your kid into a different person from before.
A, as in Actions: any actions that relate to suicidal tendency – taking risks, talking about death or withdrawing from usual activities.
C, as in Changes: both physical and emotional changes
T, as in Threats: when your kid starts to make plans or express a desire to die
S, as in Situations: the occasions that can trigger suicidal thoughts such as humiliation, failures, rejections, or losses.

The strategies

Be normal about suicide

Do not be scared or overemotional when you discuss suicide with your kids. Regard it as a usual topic, but do not belittle the consequences of committing suicide. Clearly state that death will not be a release or escape for your kids and that there are still better ways to make life happy. In this case, timing is very important. Choose a time when your kids can feel like there is an attentive audience or start with headlines of a suicide case that is going around in the media. By this way, you can grab your kid’s attention to the talk. This is the first priority because an open talk about suicide can unbind the fear that urges your kids to harm themselves.

Have a scripted plan of what you are going to say

Talking about suicide is never an easy task. So, if you are uncertain about the content, you should have a script beforehand. When you use the script, remember to stick to your words. You would not want your kid to think that even you are not sure about the topic.

The contents of what you should say

Share your feelings
Let your kids know that you sympathize and care about their feelings too and how badly it would affect the family if they choose to commit suicide.

Words of encouragement
Remind your kids not to ask too much of themselves. Also, tell them that being around other people is better than being alone.

Use therapeutic poems
If you cannot put your thoughts into words, use poems as a means to express yourself.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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