“Clean your up room, how many times do you want me to tell you that?” She drops the TV remote, rolls her eyes as she stomps off muttering something inaudible to do the chore.
Yesterday you had another altercation with your teen daughter. This is after you had told her for the umpteenth to take out the trash. She yelled that you are the worst mother in the world.
Arguments like these leave you a little shaken. Especially now that you are aware that teen suicide is on the rise. So you always pay keen attention to her mood swings, in case they decide to snap off the chains.
Read this moving Suicide Letter!
Your 9-year-old son is not an angel as well. If left to his own devices, he will watch TV, play videogames, each junk food, and hang out with friends all day every day. Your teenage girl is always on her phone, when not fighting with her brother and their 4-year-old sister over the TV remote.
It is safe to say that; the 4-year-old has completely colonized you. She watches cartoons every second of the day. You even had to buy another TV since you can’t dare reprimand her; else her tantrums will render everyone in the house deaf.
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A week ago, your daughter demanded that you buy her a car. This is after you asked her not to touch yours ever again after she wrecked it while she was out with her friends.
Trust me, you are not the only parent who feels like that you are raising a bunch of terrorists who think the galaxies to orbit around them. Especially when you ask them to do a basic chore and they react like you’ve asked them to give you one of their kidneys.
Teen Suicide On the Rise: The Warning Signs
- Recently, a teenage girl committed suicide after being shut out from graduation.
- Several other teenagers have died while playing a choke-to-pass-out game trending on social media.
- A college girl had a meltdown after she got a C in her first exam in college. The mother got on the phone demanding to speak to the professor; which didn’t happen.
- Here’s another good one, a grown man was accompanied by his parents to an internship interview. I guess to date they are still wondering why he didn’t land the job.
- There are numerous cases of school shootings perpetrated by disgruntled teenagers.
- Ashley a tall girl with a conspicuous scar on her face committed suicide after she could no longer take being called “Gorilla Scarface” by her classmates.
- Stephen* (not his real name) a 19-year-old charming young man, doused himself with petrol and set himself ablaze after he had an argument with his father about unauthorized use the family car.
- Katelyn Davis a 12-year-old committed suicide on Facebook live citing, neglect and abuse at home.
- Amanda committed suicide after a pervert leaked her nude photo online, and the trolls wouldn’t stop.
There are so many other incidences of teen suicide that prove that this is a global problem.
What Might Be The Problem?
Media and technology have a huge toxic impact on young people. Social media, for instance, is turning us into fake celebrities. People now consider themselves lead actors in their own imagined lives.
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They often fool themselves that the followers or friends they have on social media, are their real friends. We have pegged our self-worth to shares, likes, and the flattering comments. When these comments are not very flattering, they badly bruise our self-esteem and have even driven some to suicide.
While playing video games, we pretend to be Formula 1 drivers, Olympians, rock stars, or black ops soldiers. Our heads swell and hearts race with triumph about being something we are not. However, when we turn off the screen, we go back to our normal supposedly miserable lives.
Reality shows have further fueled our-self-absorption. We not only worship these ‘real-life’ characters who should be in psychotherapy but also crave to lead such lives.
Parents Too Have Failed Miserably
This is arguably the worst generation of parents ever. In our quest to raise the healthiest, happiest, smartest, most successful kids, we might be babying them to death.
We have turned into helicopter parents. Hovering around our children attending to their every whim. As a result, our children can’t have delayed gratification. We are obsessed with protecting them from every pain instead of preparing them for the future.
We have told them that they are so special for no apparent reason; handing out trophies for just showing up. Thus, they assume that you don’t need skill, character or do anything special to be special.
Our children expect everything to go their way because we have always made sure of that. Unfortunately, that’s not how the world operates.
Parents now do homework for their kids and resolve their conflicts both with their teachers and peers. They have made their kids happiness their core goal. Now, these kids cannot generate their own happiness since it is usually a by-product of leading a meaningful life.
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They have told them to dream big but have forgotten to show them that this is achieved by taking small steps first and then consistently improving themselves over time. This is why kids nowadays get a meltdown when things don’t work out their way fast.
The result of this irresponsible parenting is a breed of not just spoiled brats but deluded narcissists. They believe the world revolves around them. They are selfish, insensitive and can barely solve their own problems.
This is the reason why young people are getting drunker and higher on drugs, having sex earlier than ever, raising babies while they are still babies, are more sexually fluid, tattooed more, pierced more…because all these distractions make them feel special for a while, yet they are empty in the inside.
When these temporary distractions fade away, reality kicks in. Depression and suicide rise as a result because they are not equipped to handle reality. Parents should be on the lookout of these warning signs of suicide in order to prevent them.
The Uncomfortable Solutions
The good intentions by the parents to protect, and make their kids happy have come back to haunt them. The best way to prevent suicide and other vices among children is to teach them a sense of responsibility from a tender age.
As much as you want to give them everything and solve all their problems to make them happy, you need to let them fall on their faces. Let them experience disappointment and failure from time to time.
Hold them accountable for their actions. The goal is to enable them to discover themselves and help them grow a backbone while at it. Good parenting skills may be the best teen suicide prevention weapon you can have in your arsenal.