Did he really mean what he said?
November 3, 2012 5:25 PM Subscribe
Last night, in the middle of a huge tantrum, my six year old son said "If you don't let me [do x], I will kill myself." Obviously, we are freaked out. How freaked out should we be?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (23 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Other data points:
- He's in process of being diagnosed with ... something. Maybe ADHD. Maybe Autism Spectrum. Maybe some kind of other social processing disorder. But nothing is clear cut that makes you say "Oh, he's ________". So we wait (until probably late December) for all the testing to be complete.
- He has massive tantrums about things, sometimes. (Last night's was about being removed by his father from a PTO event where he was being physically disruptive by playing a rough game.) He's threatened to run away, or to "never love us again", which we slot as "typical kid threats" but we've never heard anything like this.
- In the moment, his father ignored it (I -- his mother -- wasn't there.) and continued to discipline him (by removing him from the room and getting him to calm down) as he normally would.
- He understands death, and has told us in the past (in context) that he doesn't ever want to die and be away from us.
- We have no idea where he might have heard that specific phrase.
I'm halfway to believing it was a threat on the level of "I'll run away from home and you'll never see me again" but the other half of my brain sees something darker. Neither of us have spoken with him at all about it, and when asked in general terms about his tantrum ("anger event") he just says he's very embarrassed and won't discuss it further.
Should we talk with him about this? Bring it up with his psychologist/special educators? Just disregard it and move on? Has your young child ever said anything like this to you.
I want to stress that he's not normally an out-of-control child. Whatever his learning issue is, it's so subtle that it's taken to the middle of first grade to even begin to be an issue. He does have strong emotions. This seems so out of character for him .... and yet .....