Our community has been rocked by tragedy. With a number of youth suicides over the past week. My heart goes out to all the family members and the friends of these young people.
My words fail adequately express the depth of sympathy for the sorrow, hurt, loss and all the other emotions that must be felt at this time.
It’s hard to comprehend even as an adult yet alone a teenager.
As a mum of a teenage son these tragedies are close to home. I don’t have any solutions but I do have a few ideas.
I believe it’s vitality important that as adults we hold space for our young people to talk about how they are processing what’s happened.
They are talking about it – even if they haven’t brought it up at home yet.
It’s good time to TIME IN and find out how they are making sense of it.
ASK the questions that need to be asked.
These are some of the questions I used. In saying that, all our children are different and have different things going on in their world’s and we need to meet them where they are at. So I do not intend for these to be cookie cutter questions…. rather food for thought and hopefully inspiration for some conversations you might have.
- Did you hear about the suicides?
- Do you know them?
- Do you friends know them?
- It’s a big thing to get your head around aye? It’s even big for an adult …. what’s it like for you?
- How are your friends coping?
- How can you support them?
From that last question we had a conversation around checking in with mates, active and reflective listening….just holding space for them to talk and feel heard.
Remembering not to take on board his friend’s problems as his own.
And importantly a conversation around RISK.
Ie: If you have concerns around RISK to themselves or others to please tell an adult.
Any adult. But preferably the adult you think will hear you best and/or be in a position to do something about it
I AM HERE. I LOVE YOU & I CARE
About you and your mates.
I wasn’t given a manual when my son was born. And didn’t receive a memo for what to do when your son is a teenager in a community so hurt….. I’m making this up as I go along…. it’s totally my first time being a mother of a 17 year Man-Son.
I’m doing the best I can.
I believe this is all we can do as parents…. is our best.
So PLEASE if you have any gems or insights…. please share. Let’s support each other and our young people.
This is going to take alot of healing – and in the process we will need to keep our communication open
Closing with love