Our expert says:
Its probably more common for an agry and temporarily frustrated kid to shout " I wish you were dead!" or similar sentiments - directed at parents, not at themselves.
As for such suicidal comments, its hard to evaluate them. Depression does occur in kids, and in the younger ages before the concept of permanent death has settled, they may think of being dead, but still being home and available for next week's picnic. Suicide in children does happen, though mercifully it is rare.
Usually there will be a clear demand for attention, and giving sympathetic attention is useful, as well as gently drawing out a fuller explanation of how they feel.
I don't know the book by Dr Dobson, he is not well knwon in medical or psych circles. Purple's caution is wise. I checked on Amazon, and find Dobson is indeed well known in Right-Wing, Christian fundamentalist circles, and, according to respectable reviewers, mean-spirited and anti-feminist, and with a sickly anti-gay bias. Even if one wants a Christian rather than a psychologically informed approach, there are far better and more wholesome books that provide that. Based on the expert reviews I have seen, and quotes I have read, I could not possibly recomment Dobson.
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