My 10-year-old daughter and my 5-year-old son have a love-hate relationship. He loves her and she hates him. Well, at least some of the time. She oftentimes plays with him especially if she can set the terms. She is a skilled negotiator (a.k.a. manipulator) who can usually get people to see things her way. However, she loses her patience with him which results in crying followed by “I wish we never adopted him. Let’s send him back.”
The other day, this whole pattern cycled through but this time she said “I want to kill myself.” Time out.... In the medical world this is a statement that is not to be taken lightly. It generally means a trip to the emergency room and a psych consult. That further tempered with a suicide in a relative from someone at my daughter’s school made me sit up and pay attention. Should I be taking her to the ER? Calling her pediatrician?
I sat with her and listened to her complaints and stroked her hair while she cried. She was fine yesterday. I wanted to take her seriously, yet it was hard to when she has never shown signs of depression before.
I kept a close eye on her the entire day. I encouraged (forced) her to go on a family bike ride thinking that between the exercise and the sun exposure that would help her sullen mood. And it did. Where the Spring Creek trail merges into the Poudre trail we pulled over to throw rocks into the water and everyone was in good spirits again. She even played with the boy that night despite my repeatedly saying that she really didn’t have to.
Luckily this episode was a false alarm. Girl drama. But I will remain super alert as she inches towards puberty, as I know the risk of depression increases during this developmental period. At least I know where to find a good therapist…
Reynosa - Our hearts are full. Melody and I spent the six days between Christmas and New Year building a house for a single mom in Reynosa, Mexico. Brenda has four...
2 years ago