What is troubling our teens?
We have had three teen self induced deaths over the last few months. Besides the true and compelling sadness of all this, it makes me wonder what is happening to our kids and what can be done about it. I have explored the idea that a lot of high achievement oriented youth feel stress, feel like there is no end to the pressure, and no matter how much they do it is still not enough. I have also explored the possibility that the fragmentation of families leads to emotional separation and when kids experience distress they do not feel close enough to seek help nor do they realize the pain their decision will inflict on their parents and other loved ones. I have considered the possibility that we do not have enough hard things for children to do when they are young so that they learn early how to face challenges and find ways to solve problems. I have even wondered whether we are teaching enough about morality, love, or social success.
It is often true that drug use is involved in some of these cases but for many others suicide is related to a loss of a relationship, a failure of some kind, or intense conflict and problems. One mother reported that her tall, handsome, successful son came home one day from school, went into his room, and shot himself for no apparent reason.
I would like to know what you think. I am working on a plan that schools and families could use and I would be interested in your ideas. Maybe together we could identify social, emotional, and educational solutions that will prevent these problems. Thanks in advance.