Losing a child is the greatest fear of every parent. The saddest thing is that thousands of parents live this fear every day. Parents are left behind to deal with the aftermath of teen suicide, reveling in grief.
The research conducted by the American Association of Suicidology states that suicide rates have been dropping for the last three years (i.e., 2018-2020). However, the number of people dying of suicide is still too high – 44,834 in 2020.
What is the solution to this epidemic? There is no simple answer to this question. However, there are signs you can look for and steps you can take as parents to prevent teen suicides. Let us delve deeper into the warning signs you may look for as parents.
- Watch Out For The Warning Signs
It may seem challenging to look for warning signs that your teen is suicidal because its indicators vary for every individual. However, it is not impossible. There are warning signs that family and friends may look for to realize that a teen needs help.
Some of the most vital indicators include:
- Drastic mood swings
- Isolation in social gatherings
- Varying sleep patterns
- Feelings of loneliness
- Abusing medication, drugs, alcohol, etc.
These indicators may seem like normal teenage behavior to most parents. Teenagers are emotional, angsty, rebellious, and want to be left alone. However, parents must keep a cautious eye out for them. They may never ask for help directly, so you must watch out for when they might need help.
- Know The World Your Teens Live In
It is worth noting that teenagers have a hard time sharing their feelings with parents under normal circumstances. When teens face problems, such as bullying, body shaming, etc., they tend to hide in their shells even deeper instead of asking for help.
It becomes impossible for parents to keep up with their teens when external factors come into play. For instance, when social media platforms promote twisted games and trends. Take the blue whale challenge as an example.
- The Blue Whale Challenge & Its Impact on Teen Suicide
The blue whale challenge is an online game that targets troubled teens. It engages them in a series of tasks leading up to a suicide. This sick and twisted game originated in Russia but spread like an epidemic thanks to social media platforms.
This game was associated with two teen suicides in the US in 2017. Many schools warned parents regarding the dangers of this game, telling them to watch out if their kids were playing it. In addition to having an open conversation, many parents opt for parental control apps as a contingency plan.
Parental control apps arm you with plenty of tools like app blockers, internet filters, screen time limits, etc. Parents may use these tools to prevent teen suicide and instill healthy habits in their kids simultaneously. The internet filter allows you to block inappropriate websites or set up a list of keywords to deny access to things you do not want your teens to view, e.g., the blue whale game.
What is better is that you get an instant notification if your teens (or the people they speak to) use the blocked keywords. That allows you to step in at the first sign of danger.
- Have An Open Conversation With Your Teens
Gaining in-depth knowledge of what signs to look for and the external risks that lurk around teens prepares you to have an open conversation with them. However, having a dialogue with teens is like diving into unchartered territory. There are no clear directions on how to do this, though.
Some experts say it is better to broach the subject carefully while avoiding direct mention of the term suicide. They think it may encourage teens to look it up and seek more details, while others suggest full disclosure. Parents know their kids better than anyone, so it is up to you to decide how you want to play this out. You may ask them up front if they play that game, or you may just check in regularly and ask how they have been doing.
Many times the interest parents show for their kids is what saves them from taking such a heart-wrenching decision of ending their lives. Some parents use additional measures, such as parental control apps, to ensure their teens’ safety by using parental control apps.
- Use Parental Control Apps
To prevent the risk of teen suicide, most parents take refuge in parental control apps. These apps are helpful, especially when parents want to know what is happening in their kids’ lives but don’t know how to ask them. Parental control apps act as their eyes and ears. They alert them of the problems they otherwise would never know existed. Parental control apps allow you to monitor social media platforms, internet history, phone calls & messages, etc. That gives you valuable insights into your teen’s behavioral changes.
Help Your Teens While You Can!
It is understandable that parents do not want their teens to push them away for prying into their lives. On the other hand, it is imperative to find out what is going on so you can do something before it is too late.
Are you looking for the best parental control app on the market? Check out the FamilyTime app to see how it can help you monitor your kids’ online and offline activities and prevent teen suicide. Let the FamilyTime app walk that fine line between saving your teens’ lives and invading their privacy. It is better than regretting later, knowing you could have done something.