If you are just not able to do this, then be with the children when someone else tells them. It may be that the child witnessed the death. In this situation, it is particularly important to talk clearly about what happened to acknowledge the truth of what they saw and heard. It is also necessary to reassure the child that the death was not their fault and there was nothing they could have done to prevent it. Be honest and consistent It can help even very young children to have a simple story that they can use to re-tell and slowly make sense of what has happened.
Use words they understand. Always ask them what they think about what you have said to make sure that they have actually understood. For younger children, information in small chunks may be easier to understand. Events surrounding murder can often become very confused. Facts may be changed to become more comfortable to live with — or to make them easier to explain.
It may seem like the worst possible time to talk about this but giving the children an honest explanation will help them make sense of what they are hearing and what is happening. Young children may not need to know the exact details of how the person was murdered when it first happens. I told you that she was killed by the man who was her boyfriend.
Can I now tell you what happened on that day and how she died? Finding the right words Our experience shows that there may be stages involved in telling a child that someone has died as a result of violence. These stages may happen in the space of minutes, hours, days, weeks,months or even years. This, in turn, is affected by their age and developmental understanding. The pace will also be affected by the situation, for example the possibility of your child finding out what has happened from other sources or from older members of the family. As we mentioned earlier, we recommend that a child is told by a parent, carer or close relative — or, at least, that they are present when someone else, for example the police family liaison officer, explains.
This all takes time. It needs to be handled with care, giving children the chance to say how they are feeling. You may want to ask your child if they would like to know more details and then be guided by their response. If a child says they do not want to hear more just now, they need to know that they can come back to you for more information.
Then again, you may decide that your child cannot handle any more information at the moment. It is important then to let them know that you will tell them more another time — and then to do this. If a child asks a question about what has happened, they are usually ready to hear the answer. However, supportive adults may need to anticipate the questions and anxieties a child may have in their head and take responsibility for initiating these conversations. It took a lot of praying, and faith that everything would turn out okay whatever that meant. He stayed inpatient for a week, but had to be readmitted four days later due to extremely violent behavior.
This included trying to swing on the blade of a running ceiling fan, choking me and beating me. All this, seemingly, because I said "no" to his request. We got through the rest of the summer as best we could. It was very stressful on our other sons, especially our second son who was five—years-old at the time.
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He had unfortunately become a human punching bag to his big brother. When we discussed with them what was going on with our oldest, our five-year-old was jumping for joy. That is how unsafe he felt in our home. It's a terrible feeling to know that you just can't keep your children safe, especially from a sibling. When school started that fall, our son went back to school. We explained to the rabbi and his teacher what was going on with him.
Things seemed to be going well considering he spent two weeks in a psych unit, didn't go to any summer camp, and had to adjust to going back to school which can be a trauma in itself. But then we found out that there was an incident during the second or third week of school. Pretty serious in their minds, overreaction in ours. We had a meeting, which included the psychiatrist.
The bottom line was that the school didn't want to deal with our son. The principal decided our son should be home for two days, and they wanted a dose of meds to be added and given during the school day. The school wanted guarantees we couldn't give. In the end, we didn't add any meds because we knew that wasn't the answer.
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We just shifted the doses to appease the school. All it did was make our son fall asleep in class. I was very angry. We pay a lot of tuition money for my children to learn, not to take naps. It was actually a very nerve-racking time. My husband and I were afraid that the school was setting the stage for kicking our son out. We even went so far as to look at a Jewish special education school in our community. The problem was that it didn't sound like they would want to accept him. Our son is very bright, and most of the kids in their school are not able to learn on their grade level.
The school was afraid that our son would get bored and act out, which would not be a good situation.
But after much discussion and prayer, especially prayer, things in school calmed down. Unfortunately, his behaviors at home did not. When our son first went into the hospital last summer, my husband asked me what my biggest fear was. I told him it was that our son would try to kill himself. Maybe not today, tomorrow, or next month, but maybe five or ten years down the road.
I really didn't think that it would happen when he was seven—years-old. He told me that he was killing himself because he didn't want to live anymore It was Yom Kippur night. Of course, it was about five minutes after everybody left for services. I wasn't really paying attention to what my sons were doing. I mean, how much trouble could these boys make?
They were all in the living room with me, getting into their pajamas, goofing around. I was feeding the baby, reading a book, ignoring my children. For whatever reason, I decided to look up. I saw my eldest son trying to strangle himself with his belt. At first it seemed like an impulse, but once I got it off him and we talked, I realized that this was something he really wanted to do. He told me that he was killing himself because he didn't want to live anymore. My heart almost stopped beating. How would a seven-year-old know about these things? He told me he always felt stupid, this is a child who taught himself to play chess when he was four , that nobody loved him we tell him that we love him everyday , that he has no friends even after his incident in school someone invited him to sleep over for Shabbat.
I saw from this conversation, through many tears of his and mine, that he really has a low self-esteem and is slightly delusional. We didn't put him into the hospital that night, although we should have. We knew that if we did, he would end up being there for all of Sukkot , and none of us wanted that. For the next couple of weeks, we were walking on eggshells, trying to keep him somewhat sedated, until after Sukkot when he tried to strangle himself again.
Then we put him back in the hospital. How could He do this? But, I realized, whether I like it or not, it is making us stronger. I have a friend whose daughter has autistism. There are plenty of times we can't handle it. Times when we want to just walk away. When we felt that we had hit rock bottom, when we couldn't possibly handle any more, we decided to finally be proactive with what we were dealing with, rather than solely reactive.
It is at that point that we really started the process of getting help for ourselves. Through advocating for our son, and meeting other families, we saw that we weren't the only ones in our community dealing with these struggles. We decided to start our own support group. Our group really just started during the summer and we have a core group of about six or seven families. There are three main goals of the group: 1 providing basic support for the families 2 educating the community about mental illness to help take away some of the stigma, and 3 providing a social outlet for families.
We meet about once a month, and hope to eventually open ourselves up to include any family in our community who has a child with a serious mental illness. Until he stabilizes, we see that this is our life For many years, we hoped that this problem would be solved.
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That it would just somehow go away. We have now accepted that taking care of our son is a daily struggle that could continue for the rest of his life. Our son's days, and our lives in general, are very unpredictable due to this horrific disease, but for now, this is what we have. We, including our other sons, have somewhat figured out what sets him off. Okay, we are generally walking on eggshells around him, but until he stabilizes, we see that this is our life. He is doing well in his school, which is a special school.
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His school is a level 5 school, meaning it is the most restrictive environment within the public school system. They work on a point system as a positive reinforcement. The school is a real ego stroker, if you know what I mean, and it has been really good for my son's self esteem. But it is also strict in what it does or does not allow. If you mess up, you are in the resource room, and if you get violent, you go to the isolation room. Most importantly, the school accepts him for who he is. And he attends a learning program once a week for special needs boys at one of our local yeshivot.
Connecting to others in similar situations also reinforced something we always knew in our minds but had to really feel in our hearts and souls. This challenge has shown us the importance and need for true faith and belief in our Creator. He is the one who is truly guiding us through our lives.
There is no question that if He gave us our situation, He can also give us the means and strength to deal with it. And every day, we see more and more that there can be light at the end of what has been a very dark tunnel. And with time, I can see the progress that we have all made. A few years back I would not have envisioned that I could be a source of strength and optimism to others. But I have been, and that has inspired me to believe that we will make it through this.
And as hard as it can be to see at times, underneath the anger and illness is a beautiful child, a precious soul that we have been blessed to have as our son. There is no question that we have faced many challenges and, unfortunately, may have more to come. But we also believe that we will somehow have the strength to face them, and one day, overcome them as well. I just need some advice and an empathetic ear I guess Reply. Heartbreaking and inspiring xxx Reply. I just bawled my eyes out! My daughter is almost 10, started out the exact way as your son, she was 9 weeks premature though.
Took hours to rock to bed, she i hadd to pump cuz she couldn't get enough, I had to give her a bottle after breastfeeding, she hit every milestone too She's extremely advanced in math, creative and amazing. She has always been disobedient, difficult and loves negative attention.
Has panic attacks, and she takes Zoloft, Clonodine, and Concerts. Wish you the best of luck It's like a roller coaster ride Thank you all very much for sharing your stories. Long story short, she has rages everyday, not eating and not sleeping well. She's taking medicationsl as needed. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. Keep up faith! If you look at why our children turn to street drugs after they have been given prescription drugs like Prozac,Adderall, Ritalin, Neurontin, Carbatrol, Aditvan and other related benzodiazepines like Xanex, Seroquel, and others, this is the reason-- they are self medicating.
Drugs like these hit their brains. When your children come off their parents health insurance drugs like Cocaine fulfill the void and calm the anxiety, bipolar episodes, depression and the like. All throughout my son, Brian's life he hasn't been what's called "normal". At age 4, he was given Prozac, 5 mg daily in liquid form, age 10 Zoloft, and cut his arm many times. Brain was in a delayed development program at age 4 due to many delay issues and in special education all during his school years.
By the time he started high school, he was reading and comprehending across the board in all subjects at the 5th grade level yet the school only gave him modifications which were absurd so i had to pull him out and home school him. Fast forward to now, Brian is 26 years old, tried 5 times to either have thoughts of suicide or actual attempts - crashing the car into a hwy wall going miles an hour in or recently swallowed 2 bottles of his medications of Ativan and Librium which landed him in a Behavioral Mental facility in Jan Watching my adult son, Brian struggle every single day and wanting to die every day pains me as his mother to watch Reply.
Well dang. I was hoping for an answer to the issues as my son is the same. Adhd medicine and anxiety meds only helps so much. I hate seeing him go through moments of rage then sadness or unsure what he is feeling. It's heartbreaking. Good luck to all of u. I understand pretty much what you are feeling because my son suffers from depression and anxiety. He does a full load at his University and works part time.
He has ups and downs. When he has his downs, I feel helpless on how to help him except listening to him and giving him encourage and sometimes that is not enough. Thank God he does go see his therapist on a regular basis. It is also hard because his University is not close to our home so I have to pray that he gets through those down moments. I also have bipolar 2. I know the struggles and just hate that my son now has them. It is very hard when you can't just wave a wand and make everything better for them. Your son is in my thoughts.
Debbie, I am in Maryland also. I am at wits end and am soo lost and alone My daughter is 10 an has now recently begun putting hands on me when not getting her way.. Our lives have literally been turned upside down since her birth as you know how it goes.. Please I need resources I dont know where to turn And apparently dont care of the struggle at home which Ive kept them abreast of since she began headstart at Shes always been in the same school so this isnt anything new She physically fought me this morning, I had to walk out an go for a ride I was so distraught If you find a Moment, Id greatly appreciate your repsonse Your not alone!!
I have an 11 year old daughter she just saw I think the 6th or 7th psychologist in the last month. I'm a single mom with 2 jobs. No family and a bipolar 11year old. She has laid hands on me. She has started fires in my house including her hair. She cuts herself and attempted suicide.
She no longer has friends. She is angry. She screams, yells, throws and breaks any and everything daily. She jay spent a week in a mental health hospital. She met many kids like herself and I think in some ways it helped and in some ways it made her worse. I'm alone I have no help. She kicked my car door and its Broke.
I was almost fired more than once. I'm cut off from the world not because I'm ashamed but because I don't want to have to explain our life to be accepted or otherwise. I'm judged even by my best friend so I can imagine what others think. She says no one loves her, she is so insecure and worries endlessly your not alone! J-- Hopefully I can help direct you. I pulled Brian out of public school and finally home schooled him.
I believe a lot of your daughter's anger isn't aimed at you but her frustration in school because she feels inadequate compared to others her age. Also get her counseling so she can vent to someone else besides you. Thank ful and grateful for you and how opemely you have shared with us. It is comforting to hear we are not alone and talking about it and educating others helps thank you. My son is 12 years old and bipolar. He has been extremely violent since age 2. He has matured so much this year and really grown so much but we still have very bad awful days.
We now have more good then bad days though! Even with all the bad I am so grateful to have my son. He sees the world in a way I never would and his heart is so pure in the way that he cares for others. Despite those ugly moments bipolar brings us it too has brought my son and I closer together and stronger as we fight this awful thing together. Don't worry people!!! I was a bipolar child and niw adult and I turned out jus fine and have a child of my own now who will probably be like I was. We go on to live normal lives,if you let us. Thank you for the encouragement!! I think she may have been molested as a young girl, and her Father, My Zaydee, could not intervene.
She was very beautiful, photogenic, and extremely intelligent with a remarkable memory. Things I don't possess. She suffered during the Great Depression and never lived on Her own until marrying my Father. She had special schooling to become a dietician , but never achieved a position doing it. She lost all of her pregnancies except me, and was very vocally disappointed because I wasn't a male.
She did lose a male after my birth. She was angry, and had to be protected from stress, including from me. I had many troubles in school , the neighborhood and little support , except the Wisdom of my Father. The Jewish community of the time did little to reach out to us. I was not raised Shomer Shabbos , Kosher, or even involved with a more conservative Synagogue and social connection.
Reading what you said about your son matched my boys behavior. But lately my son I'd constantly talking about death and had stated a few times that he wants to die. Today the school called and said my son threatened to kill another student and said he wanted to kill them all and himself. The therapist doesn't want to give a diagnosis but I know what it is.
I don't have much option around here but he needs help before I have to have him hospitalized. I'm extremely saddened. I love the good days, but the bad days are just so horrible. I've even had to go as far as restraining him for his own safety. Any advice? I'm in Sidney Ohio. This has been my life every since my son was a toddler and it's only getting worse. He was just hospitalized last month and I had to leave my job to take care of him, and now I'm being evicted because I lost my income and couldn't keep up with the rent, which is another strain on an already fragile situation not only for me but for my other sons as well.
I don't know what to do anymore, I've been to countless therapists and doctors, he's been hospitalized so many times since age 8 I can't even count anymore and now he's The fighting with his siblings, the cursing at me, destroying the house, not sleeping, the aggressive behavior towards us, I can't take it anymore. I understand your pain. I lost both jobs and am facing the same. She destroyed everything we own. She has shaved her head, cut her eyelashes, burned off her bangs with fire not a curling iron, she scratches and scars her face, cuts her body, cuts up her clothes this is just to name some of the self harm.
I can go on all day about my stuff and the house. Now to worrie where I will be sleeping is another stress!! I wish I did. I can only tell you your not alone. We may never have the answers but we have to keep going for their sake. All they were was a revolving door with no real treatment plan in place and I refused to do it anymore.
I had her placed in along term facility but she was only there a couple months. She was furious about it. Even with nurses doing 15 minute checks she still had managed to cut her wrist.
She also took her glasses off her face, broke them and cut her own throat. The insurance pulled out and I was scared things would get worse. I think a mixture of events, meds and tools she learned turned her around. She is still bipolar but she learned to control herself and she uses her tools. We are closer now more than before. She has even thanked me for not giving up on her. There is hope for everyone!
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