Okay, so my commitment to get online everyday was a little loose this past week. Best intentions, I swear. I’ve been a pretty busy mommy lately!
Last weekend, Carson and I participated in Walk So Kids Can Talk supporting Kids Help Phone. Our little team (Sarnia Walking Parents) raised almost $600 and the people of Sarnia as a whole raised somewhere around the $25,000 mark last I heard! It couldn’t have come at a better time as news of yet another teen suicide is coursing through our community. It is absolutely heartbreaking that kids feel like they have no other alternative… no help… no light at the end of their tunnel. Having long battled with depression myself, I can understand how hopeless life can feel. It’s hard to believe when you feel like you’re alone, but there IS help and it can get better.
Depression is not the only problem our kids are facing. It’s becoming far too common to hear bullying being the reason behind teen suicide. As parents, I feel like we really need to think about what we’re missing here. WHY are our kids being bullies/bullied and what can we do to change this behaviour BEFORE it’s too late? They are obviously learning it somewhere! Where is the line? I can remember saying some pretty mean and hurtful things when I was young for whatever misguided reason (peer pressure, trying to fit in, trying to be funny, etc.) but my memories of being on the receiving end of the mean and hurtful comments are far more clear. I am in my thirties now and some of those things still linger close to the surface. Nowadays kids have it far worse than I ever did, though. With social media there it seems like almost no escape. My perspective on a lot of things has really changed since becoming a mother. I am a lot more sensitive to issues regarding children, that’s for sure. I want to prevent my son from being a bully and I most definitely want to protect him from being the victim of one! Doesn’t every parent feel the same way on some level? We need to educate our children. We all need to be on the same page.
PLEASE provide your children with the information they need to get help when they need it. Don’t just assume you will see the signs. Don’t just assume they will come to you when they have a problem – they might feel too ashamed or embarrassed to tell a loved one and either bottle up their emotions or look for other outlets. Make sure your kids know there is no shame in asking for help and if they are not comfortable talking to you, that that’s okay as long as they talk to someone. Kids Help Phone is a free, anonymous and confidential phone and on-line professional counselling service for youth. Big or small concerns. 24/7. 365 days a year.1-800-668-6868.
Sorry, I know this seems like a pretty preachy blog post but I feel really strongly about this issue!
Take care and I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!