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My friend has a ten year old boy that has threatened to stab himself. What advice can I give?

I've told her to take him to a psychologist. His grades were all A's and then they moved from Colorado back to Houston to be with her husband (not his father) and they are all F's. Every since he's been back he gets picked on at school and he doesn't have a good role model in his life. The husband is a piece of crap. His father is in jail for beating his mom. He says he doesn't want to even take his homework to his teacher because he gets picked on so bad. He has no friends. What can I tell her?


Asked by love_my_boys at 8:13 AM on Feb. 6, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (8)
  • She needs to be told the truth, but I'm sure that's not what she wants to hear. Everything that meant stability to this child has been ripped away. He is probably angry about it. There's a good possibility that his threat to hurt himself was meant to punish her for what she's done to him. He may even feel that he is somehow responsible for what's happened, even though that makes no sense. Children do often think that things are their fault. Also, when a child feels helpless and hopeless in the present, they lack the ability to be hopeful for the future. That probably would explain the decline in his grades. He's probably feeling like it doesn't matter whether he does well in school or not. His little heart is aching, and now he's in trouble at every level. What are the chances she would be willing to take him back where they came from and forget being with her worthless husband?

    Answer by NannyB. at 8:31 AM on Feb. 6, 2009

  • It sounds like hes suffering from childhood depression. She needs to take him to his pediatrician and have him diagnosed and get a referral to a therapist. The dr canalso prescribe antidepressents for him.

    Answer by gemgem at 8:31 AM on Feb. 6, 2009

  • "He says he doesn't want to even take his homework to his teacher because he gets picked on so bad."

    Is the teacher picking on him? If mom won't listen and do something to help her son, you can call the school counselor and tell him/her your concerns including the fact that he is threatening self harm.

    Answer by goaliemom93 at 8:39 AM on Feb. 6, 2009

  • Tell her to move back home. She's being abuse and harming her child by staying there. He deserves better even if she doesn't think she does.

    Answer by admckenzie at 12:47 PM on Feb. 6, 2009

  • He definitely needs psychiatric evaluation. I don't believe in taking a troubled kid to get diagnosed and medicated, but when it comes to hurting themselves, now that draws a line. Also, maybe getting him involved in an extracarricular activity would be good for him. Maybe the coach would be a good role model, and it'd be a positive outlet for his aggression. Or maybe a big brother program. This child is obviously traumatized, and if his step father is a piece of crap and his mother is still married to him, she needs to understand the example she's setting for her son. It pains me to know someone would put such a negative influence around their child.

    Answer by ktrog at 9:24 AM on Feb. 7, 2009

  • I think the poor kid has dealt with too much....and he is trying to let everyone know. So he needs to be paid attention to! Yes, counseling would be a good start, but his mom needs to try to be a parent to him.

    Answer by BJoan at 10:27 AM on Feb. 7, 2009

  • The child needs help! Tell your friend that she should start with the school counselor and if that doesn't work she needs to find a private counselor. That boy is crying out for help, he more than likely does NOT want to hurt himself but he does need help dealing with moving, making friends, dealing with his father being in jail. He needs to know that there is someone he can talk to when he needs to . She needs to know that kids his age DO committ suicide. A few years ago an 11 yr old hung himself because kids at school where bullying him and he felt that he had no one to talk to and protect him. She need to get him help now.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 3:42 PM on Feb. 7, 2009

  • Sounds like she need a swift kick in the a@#. if she can't see her kids went from A's to F's maybe the step dad is doing somthing to him i would talk to the school counseler.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:45 PM on Feb. 7, 2009