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6-year-old says he wants to kill himself
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6-year-old says he wants to kill himself

Last week, my husband experienced and incident with our son unlike any other.  It started when my son was outside playing with a friend and was asked to come in and do his homework.  He was not happy that he needed to come in and was crying a bit.  Then when my husband sat down to help him with his homework everything went downhill.

My husband stated that our son did not want to do it, and was not concentrating.  Our son was reminded that he needed to do his homework...voices were never raised...it was a stern warning however.  My son then went into a crying fit and my husband left him alone to cry, telling our son that when he was done crying they would start the homework assignment again.

My husband was in the kitchen getting dinner ready and our son walked in, took out a butter knife from the drawer and said that he wanted to kill himself.  My husband was shooken up about this, but calmly talked to him about why he would say that and our son said that he wanted to get away from his father and that he was very angry.  They talked about it more, and my son insisted that if he could reach the sharper knives that he would stab himself.  He stated that it was okay because he would go to heaven and be away from his family.

I was not at home at the time as I was visiting my mother.  They called me and my son repeated everything to me and also stated at least 5 times that he wanted to kill himself.

This is a normally a happy child.  We have never experienced any warning signs or behavior issues with him.  He does well in school (although we have been told by his teachers that he needs to listen more) is active in sports and other activities, we are home most of the time and he sleeps and eats well.   He has been talking more about heaven and hell as he is at a private school and they are learing more about God, creation, heaven etc.

We are speaking to a child psychologist about this (went the following day to an appointment) but we got no where with the psychologist.   I didn't feel as if we were given any guidence or advice as to what do to or say should this happen again or how to help him not feel this way.

Your advice is much appreciated.
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282524_tn?1348492612
My son's therapist and psychologist have both told me that if my son is threatening to hurt myself or someone else to take him to the hospital. I had to take my son to the hospital this past august because he told me that he was going to bust his head open and bang his head on the wall very hard. Needless to say, he acted like an angel and the doctor thought I was nuts. I hope you have better luck.
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13167_tn?1327197724
Cm,  have you talked to his teachers or someone at the school?  You could just be vague if you wanted,  and state your son has said some things at home concerning his knowledge of suicide and death,  and you were wondering if something had come up at school,  or if there was a discussion about suicide.

You don't have to necessarily go into the whole story - just try to find out if some discussion - or another child had a family emergency - or anything like that,  to shed light on his behavior.

This seems very out of the blue - like he's copying something,  doesn't it?  

Best wishes.  I think it's a good idea to take him to a second child psychologist to be sure nothing worse is going on.
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Avatar_f_tn
This is an extremely tough thing to deal with.  Children at that age do not have a true concept of what it is to die.  We talk about heaven as such a happy place when someone days because we don't want our children to be sad, we do not go into the gory details about death being permanent.  I don't know if your son watches television, but it is also very common in tv shows and cartoons to portray death as something you bounce right back from.  Someone may die on one tv show, but be alive and well on another.  The concept of death is so hard for them to grasp.  My suggestion would be to find a marriage and family therapist who specializes in children to work with your son.  In the meantime have a semi-frank discussion about what his intentions are when he says that he wants to kill himself, does he want to go away forever? to never be able to see you guys again?  I also do 5150 crisis evaluations (someone who is a harm to themself or someone else), and would say that if your son is making threats that seem this serious, he should be taken into a hospital to be evaluated.  I would also speak with his teacher to monitor any behavior, any odd drawings or if anything comes up in the class.  Good luck
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