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What do I do when my 5yo threatens to kill himself?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My 5yo has always struggled with frustration, especially with his emotions.  They often get the better of him.  Nothing new there, really, right?  But now when he gets angry with his older brother, he now threatens to kill himself.  I do not know where he got this idea.  As far as I know, no one in the house has ever mentioned the concept.

 

What do I do?  I have tried ignoring it.  I have tried talking to him about it.  I have tried (to my shame) telling him off.

 

Any suggestions?  It is quite shocking to have your 5yo threaten suicide.  I know he doesn't mean it, but still!

post #2 of 6

I don't think I am qualified to answer since my DD is only four and never did anything like that. However if she started saying things like that I would have taken her to theraist to figure out if it is just her "running the mouth" or there is some underlying issues that make her feel this way and help her deal with it or learn how to behave appropriately. JMO

post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by lexapurple View Post

I don't think I am qualified to answer since my DD is only four and never did anything like that. However if she started saying things like that I would have taken her to theraist to figure out if it is just her "running the mouth" or there is some underlying issues that make her feel this way and help her deal with it or learn how to behave appropriately. JMO


yep!  i wouldn't think my child was actually suicidal based on what you described, but i would go this route both to be sure, and because it sounds like he needs some tools to express what he's feeling (and to cope with those feelings), and therapy is great for that.

 

post #4 of 6

empathy. empathy. empathy.

 

since he is struggling to appropriately handle his emotions you have to guide him. someone has to do it. either you or a play therapist. 

 

when he says that and you know why you completely ignore the killing part and say i know you must be so angry and frustrated. sometimes older brothers are not fun. they dont want to play with you or share their toy. sometimes it can be a pain being a little brother. 

 

as you go on empathising with a calm soothing voice you should usually see him calm down. 

 

he is at teh age when hormonal changes create really bad behaviour. sadness. upset. deep, deep frustration. almost like a teenager. not sure if this is what is happening. 

 

when dd was 6 i told her about my bro;s suicide. so she knew about it. i also explained how devastating it was for our family. 

 

when seh was mad she'd use it a few times. but by then we had talked about our death and how we would react and what we would do. however i also knew dd absolutely did not mean it. 

 

during those peaks of frustration i would make sure the usual 3 were religiously followed. enough rest, an outlet for energy and enough food in the stomach. lack of any one of those would make things worse. 

 

one of the biggest things that has helped dd is to do grieving times. we'd sit and exchange what we are sad about. it helped her see that life was bittersweet. that along with the good there is the bad and vice versa. 

post #5 of 6

First, let me say that must not be something pleasant to hear from your child at first. 

 

I would be really shocked to hear my daughter (who will be turning 6 this weekend) say that.  I would not take it lightly and like others have said would seek a child psychologist just to make sure there's nothing serious.  There's a GRAND possibility that this is just out of frustration and/or attention but I would still consult.  It would be good for him, but also would help give you ideas as to how to deal with this.

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

post #6 of 6

How old is your other kids? He probably got the idea, or more realistically the words, from them, or a song, movie, etc. If a 5yo hears this as an option for expressing his feelings, and his other attempts at expression thus far have not gotten the results he wants/needs, then maybe he'll try out these words and see if they get the effect he's looking for. That's my guess.

I would first find out where he got this idea, asking him and his siblings about it. Then talk to him about what he is feeling as far as what he needs to express, and help him find the right words and activities to express himself. Just because he feels badly doesn't mean he needs to act badly, speak badly about himself or other people, or make threats. Moreover he probably doesn't have a clue what he is saying when he speaks those words.

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