Dr. Wallace: My 14-year-old daughter says, “I wish I were dead” whenever we get into an argument. I don’t take her comments seriously because I know she’s just trying to make me feel bad.
My husband thinks we should get psychiatric counseling, but I think it would be expensive and a waste of time. What do you think? Our daughter has many material things. We are not super rich, but money is not a family concern. — Mom, Chicago, Ill.
Mom: When a teen says, “I wish I were dead,” the teen most often is saying she wants to live, but is extremely frustrated and unhappy.
But all suicide threats must be taken seriously. I agree with your husband that psychiatric help may be in order. Some factors pushing teens toward suicide are family conflicts, peer pressure, drug and alcohol abuse, a lack of academic success, inability to reach goals and the death of a loved one or close friend.
Consider these possibilities, and monitor her moods when you are not arguing to see if she seems depressed or has made changes regarding her regular routines. If the arguments you have with your daughter would cease, she’d probably stop her suicide threats. But if you discover anything alarming, counseling may be in order.
Dr. Wallace: I’m 12 years old and my name is Daisy. I like my name because it is sort of unusual and unique. But I do have a problem. My parents had a dog named Daisy and they loved her very much. Two days before I was born, Daisy got hit by a car and was killed. My parents were sad at losing Daisy, but were thrilled to have a daughter. Because of their love for Daisy, they decided to name me Daisy, and I’m glad that they gave me that name. But what I don’t like is Mom telling people who compliment me on my name that I was named after their dog.
My mom continues to tell people this, even after I’ve asked her many times not to. My parents also read your column, and we all agreed that I would present the “problem” for you to solve. — Daisy, San Antonio, Texas.
Daisy: I agree with you completely. It’s great that you like the name, but your parents should restrain themselves when they talk about it. The fact that this is embarrassing for you is sufficient reason.
SCrt 2013, Creators Syndicate Inc.