A parent’s greatest fear is losing his or her child, and unfortunately this fear is becoming a reality far more often than it should. The culprit? Suicide. The solution? Well, there isn’t one answer, but there are signs you can watch for, steps you can take and tools you can implement to protect your children from making the most drastic — and last — decision of their lives. Mom, Dad, meet parental control software. It’s here and it can save your child’s life.
According to research conducted by the American Association of Suicidology, national suicide rates are the highest they’ve been in nearly 30 years — with three times more teens dying by suicide now than 60 years ago. This epidemic can no longer be ignored and — with the recent focus on suicide in the media and through the spread of twisted social media ‘games’ like the blue whale challenge — it’s time we take measures to reclaim our youth.
Here are 4 steps for preventing youth suicide:
- Know the Warning Signs
While there is no key indicator of suicide — it varies with each individual — there are certain signs that may provide a warning to family and friends that someone needs help. These include mood swings, withdrawal from social situations, unstable sleep patterns, talking about feeling lonely or a burden and drug and alcohol use.
Now, at first glance these all sound pretty similar to a typical pre-teen or teenager. You know angsty, emotional, rebellious, never wants to be around the family. But that’s exactly why it’s so important to check in and keep a close eye on your children — because their cries for help may not be loud.
Remember: it’s hard enough for a teen to share their feelings with their parents, let alone those feelings. That’s where parental monitoring software can help be your eyes and ears by allowing you to monitor your child’s social media, internet, phone call and texting behavior to see whether he or she is just being a moody teen or if they are grasping for a helping hand.
- Educate Yourself
As parents, we will probably never fully understand our kids. But we can at least try to understand the world we share — and the external factors which impact them.
The Blue Whale Challenge & Social Media
As mentioned in a previous blog post, the blue whale challenge is an online game whereby administrators target troubled youth and engage them in a series of tasks that ultimately ends in suicide. Originating in Russia, this social media phenomenon has recently spread to other countries around the world — with two teen suicides in the US being linked to the blue whale challenge since May.
Schools around the country are warning parents of the game and asking them to be open to conversations should their children speak about the blue whale challenge. Parents are also urged to watch for signs their children may be involved. Parental control software gives you the ability to target specific key words (like ‘blue whale’) and receive notifications when your child or whomever they are speaking with uses them. Imagine being able to step in at the first sign of danger or risky behavior.
Suicide Is Contagious
We know, it surprised us to learn this too. Recent medical research has concluded that, “Exposure to suicide is pervasive and occurs beyond family.” This means that those exposed to suicide — whether directly through a friend or family or indirectly via social media or another outlet — are more likely to have suicidal thoughts.
In a recent Newsweek article, research found that one suicide now affects roughly 135 people — a third of them being seriously impacted by it — as compared to about 6 people in the past. We have technology and social media to thank for this with Dr. Christine Moutier, chief medical officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, noting teens see the attention garnered by the deceased and in turn feel a desire to also be part of this “romanticized death.”
Other risk factors that can influence suicide include depression, other suicide in the family, financial or personal loss and past abuse or trauma, among others.
- Have A Conversation
Now that you know what to look for — as well as the additional risk factors that can contribute to death by suicide — you are more prepared to have a dialogue with your children. Some experts recommend not bringing suicide up, as it may encourage them to seek out more information. Still, others think it’s important to let keep open communication with your kids about pertinent topics like this.
However you decide to do it — whether it be asking your children directly if they have heard of the blue whale challenge or indirectly by just asking if they are okay on a regular basis — know that your words and your interest in your child could be the difference in what decision he or she makes.
- Use Parental Monitoring Software
Kids and teens don’t always want to talk and parents oftentimes don’t want to overstep their boundaries — because who wants a grumpy teen, right? So, let parental control software be an added layer of security for those times when you want to know, but you don’t know how to ask. Check in from time to time — maybe you’ll be happily surprised that nothing is going on. Or maybe you’ll be able to step in before it’s too late.
For more information on how to download the most powerful parental monitoring software on the market, click HERE.
The Time Is Now
We live in a world centered around technology. A world where people like the Russian blue whale challenge administrators are able to prey on the weak. A world where people we have never met can cause us to make the biggest mistake of our lives.
Parents, we get it — you don’t want your kids to hate you for checking up on their social media or texting habits. And you don’t want them to shut you out because you’re prying. However, you also don’t want to wake up one morning — and every morning thereafter — to find your son or daughter has died by suicide knowing you could have prevented it. So why not let parental control software walk that fine line between invading your child’s privacy and saving their life.
Get FlexiSPY — the world’s most powerful monitoring software — HERE.
If you or someone you know is displaying suicidal behavior, don’t wait. Contact your local suicide hotline NOW!