Of Tangled Strings and Minds

Ramblings, musings, knitting....

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Hand me my coffee

Originally I was going to talk about the beginnings of the Aran sweater I am doing for the KAL. Then I was going to talk on "Hire a Teenager while they still know it all" as last night the younger male decided to ... oh nevermind...
But rather events lead me to say that my heart is with the family of the young lady who has passed away . She attended the same high school as my kids, and my daughter knew her . Knew her in the sense of who she was and that they had some classes together .
I mention that last part because this young woman , while having some friends and having people know who she was, she was still somewhat obscure. It's the obscurity that should smack EVERY adult in the face to wake up and take a moment to , if nothing else, say I'm here to listen.
At 15, this young woman chose a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and no one saw it coming.. and my question is why. The signs were there. The obscurity, the change in personal habits, the sudden removal of oneself from their friends.....
It seems adults want to let kids have their independence at a time in their lives when they think they know it all, but actually know nothing. There is a big difference between giving them independence and being ignorant of what is going on in their lives. And it is NOT just the parents responsibility, or the schools. It's all of ours.
I spend a great deal of time with my kids and their friends, I've often taken a kid aside and spent time listening.
Teenagers think they know it all, can do it all, and are able to handle it all... As adults, frustrating tho it may all be, we need to take a few extra moments each day and KNOW what is going on in our kids lives, more than what homework they have .
It sounds silly, I know, but TURN OFF the computer, tv, mp3, video game thingy and spend 15 minutes hearing about their day. Ask questions. Impart knowledge and above all - listen. Have dinner as a family, at least once a week, at a table, with no tv in the background.
I didn't know the young woman, but I am going to spend a few extra minutes tonight at my kid's practice with the other kids... I always do, and it won't be strange to them. Suicide in high schools can cause other kids to contemplate, attempt and sadly succeed when one student has.
Spend a few moments talking to your kids about the subject. No, I don't know what to say to them... but today, I think it is more important than ever to listen. Many of us live in small communities here in Iowa, a luxury we all take for granted, but in a small community, how is it a child can lead a life of relative obscurity???
What scares me most, is that this is NOT the only child in the High School who has contemplated suicide recently.
The kids are all... foggy... but its a more maudlin fog than when the last 2 years students were killed in car accidents, tho the kids are making comparisons.. meaning they need to discuss it , try to understand it. School counselors can only do so much.
Don't just hire a teenager while they still know it all, talk to them while they do.


  • At 10:22 AM , Blogger JustApril said...

    Those situations are just the worst. One of my best friends did that when I was about 19 or 20, he was about 18 or 19 at the time and it continues to haunt me even now (at 36). I'm sure that the couselors know that one suicide is often followed by more, hopefully everyone is taking measures against that. It's a really hard issue to wrap you mind around. Thanks for blogging about it, because education can save a life.


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