Module 1: The Best Defense Against Suicide
As parents, we take seriously the job of raising our kids. We want them to grow up to be healthy, fulfilled followers of Jesus Christ. There are so many things you can do—and probably already do—to reduce the chances of one of your kids considering suicide. The best defense against suicide begins from day one, with a strong foundation at home as you prepare your kids for healthy living.
If you’ve already been a parent for years, you might not think this section applies to you—but it does. Taking time to consider the topics of parent-child attachment, self-care, loving discipline, and support might reveal an underlying issue with one of your children that may warrant further investigation.
Don’t worry; this isn’t a blame-the-parents section. It’s a be-aware-and-alert section as well as a prevention section. If the following information raises questions in your mind about one of your kids, there’s a lot you can do. You can steer your child’s life in a different direction, avoiding any journey toward negative behaviors or suicidal choices.
Does your preteen know who gets a vote in his or her life? Whether your son or daughter knows it or not, someone or something is influencing their perspective. In this upcoming stage of life, your preteen will be looking for approval. Your son might be asking themselves: what is true or what matters? Your daughter might ask themselves: why do I feel so sad or so angry?
Often, your son or daughter will listen to the voice that’s the loudest or most convincing. Do you know who will that be? Does your son or daughter?
Use this guide to help begin a conversation with your preteen about who they allow to have a vote in their life. As you continue your conversation, help your son or daughter learn more about how they’re wired and what they value in relationships.
- Encourage your preteen to think of people who influence them. This could be family, friends, teachers, coaches, or other people in their life.
- This target has three rings. Each ring represents who gets the most votes in your preteen’s life. Think of votes like influence points. Whoever has the greatest influence gets the most points.
- The center ring is for the people who get the most votes.
- The next ring is for the people who get a medium number of votes.
- The final and outer ring is for the people who get the fewest number of votes.
- Then, have you son or daughter write the names of the people in which section they think they belong.
- For example, if mom or dad get the most votes in your preteen’s life, they would go in the center ring. If a sibling gets a medium number of votes, they go in the next ring.
- Once they finish, use the questions below to guide conversation about topics like influence, purpose, and relationships.