Teenagers face all sorts of challenges during the dating years. As a parent, it’s essential to keep a watchful eye on your child and who they date. Mental health issues among teens are rising. If your child’s date has suicidal tendencies, then it’s something serious that needs to be handled.
How Do You Know the Girl is Suicidal?
First, you need to gather your facts before jumping to conclusions. Has your son told you that his girlfriend wants to kill herself, or has the girl told you her feelings? If you’re checking your kid’s phone and social media, then you may have stumbled across this information by accident.
Make sure your positive before you get anyone else involved. Sometimes teens will say and do things for shock value. Many teens who are thinking about suicide don’t reach out for help. So, if you’ve found something on social media while observing, then it’s even more serious.
Talk to Your Son
Every year in this country, 14.6 teenagers between the ages of 15-19 will take their life. It’s the tenth leading cause of death among adolescents, and at least one in six kids have admitted to thinking about killing themselves. These numbers are nothing to ignore.
It’s essential to establish a relationship with your son so that you can talk to him about tough matters. Ask him what he has seen or observed and what he thinks should be done. Remember, he may keep her secrets and be incredibly angry at you if you tell anyone. So this issue could cause problems at your home too.
Confront the Girlfriend
You never want to jump to conclusions, but it’s better to error on the side of caution. Once you know that there is an issue, it’s time to talk to the girlfriend. Start by encouraging her that life is worth living and whatever she is facing is only temporary.
She may be in an abusive situation in her home, and she feels that there’s no way out. Many teens don’t know where to turn for help.
So many kids live in broken homes where mom or dad has a drug or alcohol problem. You need to find out the specifics of why she feels this way. She may or may not be willing to talk to you about the issue, but you must try.
Making Important Phone Calls
Now here is the part that gets tricky as this girl needs help. However, the situation will dictate who you will call. There may be an issue where the parents are neglectful or have substance abuse issues. In this case, you would need to call Child Protective Services.
CPS will do an investigation into the teen’s living conditions. If they feel that there is significant evidence that the child is in danger, they will put her in foster care. The teen might not be in danger at home, but she could have a mental health condition.
If you suspect its teenage troubles or an underlying mental health problem, you need to contact her parents. They will take things from this point and get their daughter help. Though you may feel vested in the situation, it’s now up to them.
Lastly, if you feel the condition is an emergency, then you can always call 911. Someone who is suicidal feels like they have no reason to live, so they need immediate assistance. If the person has a plan or you think they will follow through, then time is of the essence.
Parenting in the Teen Years
Nothing about parenting is easy. When your son starts dating, then you must keep a watchful eye over him and his girlfriend. Some teens have been known to make Romeo and Juliet death pacts to end their misery together.
These teen years are rough with hormones and peer pressure. The communication lines with your kids are essential to make sure that their mental health is sound.