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Question
Posted by: Scared mom | 2009-04-09

6 year old daughter suicidal?

My 6 year old daughter has recently made up a song which goes:

" I' ve got curtains
Just like me so pretty.
My mother died
Just like me so sad
I called my friends
" Stop bugging us
We' re playing with our ball." 
So I went and took a knife
and killed myself." 

This is highly distressing. Why would she make up such a song? My husband do nothing but love her. How can someone so young even fathom suicide, and why is she talking about me dying? Please help.

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Our expert says:
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Kid gloves would be appropriate, but this must be faced and handled. Kids do think of death and suicide, more than we think and younger than we think. Talk to her, calmly, and simply say that you find her song rather worrying, and want to know what she means by it, and whether there is aything worying her right now. DO indeed think of taking her to see a child shrink if she shows other or continuing signs of distress.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Maria | 2009-04-09

Is she in school? I would start out by speaking to her teacher about whether this is some sort of theme the kids are playing out at school. My 6 year old also comes home with the strangest things, and yes it is very distressing.

Gently try to ask her why she is singing this. Don' t use the word " why" . Tell her that you' ve heard her singing this song and you wonder if she is sad or angry about something. Open the door for her to talk to you. Don' t make an issue out of it otherwise she will clam shut. It' s difficult, I know. Also ask her if she knows what " kill"  means, if you' re up for a discussion about death.

Has there been any changes in her behaviour, sleep, eating patterns lately? Has she had some bad experience? Is she having trouble coping at school?

Young children can get depressed, and if you don' t find any satisfactory answer then I would also suggest that you take her to a child psychologist for an assessment.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Rob | 2009-04-09

You need to handle this with " kit gloves" , yes she is too young to be thinking about suicide or even death for that matter, perhaps talk to her and ask her why she wrote this song? OR if you feel this is just too distressing then take her to see a professional! Other than that kids to make up strange things sometimes as we all know and it might just be nothing, but then again get it checked out!

Reply to Rob

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