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At what age do you start talking with your kids about

suicide? Anything our kids have asked about where babies come from we have answered. But early Tuesday morning a 13 boy was caught with guns and lots of ammo in a backpack. He was outside of a gas station, which I think was closed. But anyway, the deputy was looking in the backpack when the boy pulled another gun and shot the deputy. He and another deputy returned fire, and the boy died. My kids heard me talking about it. And I did explain the best I could what happened. The boy had posted suicidal thoughts on his FB page. So I talked about that, too. I guess I answered my own question on this one. Now is when we talk with them. I just wasn't ready for this talk. Sex, ok. Suicide, not so much. Any other input? Any other stories?

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Asked by Raine2001 at 10:07 PM on Jan. 20, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 25 (24,018 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • Oh wow. Such a sad story you gave here. Suicide is talked about in jr high, at least in my sons 6th grade Health class. It is a hard topic to talk about with your children, I don't recall my son and I having talked about it until he was in jr high.

    Answer by ronjwake at 10:12 PM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • My oldest is 13 now. My middle child is 11, he already knew what suicide was. I talked with him again before bed. He thinks committing suicide would suck. That's basically what he said. My oldest wasn't involved in the conversations, he's special needs, and isn't on that level of things. But my 11 and 8 yr old were involved with the conv. I had to explain that being unhappy to think about suicide isn't the normal unhappy. IDK. It's a terrifying thing.
    The first time I took our 11 yr old to see his psychiatrist (ADHD with Aspbergers), the doc asked me, right in front of him, if he has ever talked about suicide. I'm still pissed about that. But it is something my husband and I are very scared of. I mean, shit, I tried it when I was younger. I feel horrible for this kids parents. I feel horrible for everyone that is affected by it.

    Answer by Raine2001 at 10:24 PM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • I don't think there needs to be a "suicide talk" as much as you need to help your children understand death and the idea of an afterlife (as well as you can) as well as home much a person's death affects those around them. My children are just 2 & 3, but we have already begun to help them understand the concept of death, afterlife and the affects of death. In fact we buried my uncle on Monday, so that helped to open the door.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 10:52 PM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • I think that suicide and it's consequences need to be addressed in a similar manner to that of murder or other "criminal" activities. Although I see nothing wrong with suicide in cases of terminal illness or a few other situations, I feel that they are on the same level with one another in most cases, or at least should be discussed in such company. What needs to be explained is that suicide doesn't hurt the "victim" but those that love him, as murder does. To me it's the idea of pain to those who love him that needs to be explained to someone more than the physical consequence. If you have religious beliefs attached to suicide then those need to be discussed in religious context, but again, that would be a separate, yet connected, discussion.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 10:54 PM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • 8 weeks before my son’s 7th birthday. Hubby and I had to tell my son that his dad had killed himself. My son had seen what his dad was really like for the first time just a few months before that and had refused to see him or talk to him. He still has a lot of anger built up inside him and that was 6.5 years ago. He still refuses to talk about him and does not want to go to the cemetery. I had him in counseling for a while. His counselor asked him to tell her about his biological father. He said, “My good dad or my bad dad?” He wants to change his name to my hubby’s name. I told him that we could change his name, but that would not change who he is. He was not happy about that. He REALLY wants to be hubby’s son and not the son of an alcoholic druggie who committed suicide.

    Answer by Leslie2164 at 12:39 AM on Jan. 21, 2010

  • I would talk to them about when the subject became relevant. Obviously it's something that your family has to acknowledge now and it can be the opener for subjects like bullying that can lead to suicide. I think that you should tell them that suicide is a terrible thing. Some people are so sad and don't get the help that they need to get better. That's why it's so important that we're nice and understanding towards others. If someone is getting picked on we stand up for them and show them kindness because that's what we'd want someone to do for us. If you see someone that's very very sad or talks at all about harming themselves or someone else you need to ask an adult for help. Never assume that it's just a joke or try to protect others from getting in trouble. We should not live in fear but in love and try our best to do what's right.

    Answer by mrsjonzy at 3:49 AM on Jan. 21, 2010

  • I did not have that talk with my kids. If they ask questions I will answer them. I have a friend whos ex husband killed himself the day before one of his DD's birthday. My kids have seen first hand the devestation that brings. I have told them that suicide is a permenant solution to temporary problems. When my son was 17 he came to me and told me a girl he liked broke up with him. I did not know they had been that close, perhaps it was a bit one sided. He told me he didnt care about anything anymore, girls, friends, family. He told me he sometimes had to bite his lip or pinch his skin to convince himself he was real...scared the shit right outa me! I was so glad he came to me. I called the doc, we talked, and he is fine now, 23 with a wonderful girlfriend he loves. Being open with your children is the best gift you can give, to have the door always open to them.

    Answer by salexander at 11:00 PM on Jan. 21, 2010

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