FRISCO (CBSDFW.COM) – Parents are learning to be on the lookout for warning signs of suicide, and now they’re starting as early as kindergarten. Some Frisco parents were shocked to learn at a recent kindergarten readiness class that suicide should be on their radar already.
Kelly Lawson’s oldest son will soon be heading to kindergarten. When his pre-school held a readiness meeting for parents, Lawson was eager to learn what she needs to do to prepare.
“It made the room completely dead silent… the term suicide outcry, and the speaker had said that they’re seeing a rise in the number of suicide outcries in kindergarteners,” Lawson said.
The director of Apple Creek Pre-school said kids are feeling more pressure than ever to succeed. That’s why they want parents to recognize red flags when their kids leave to go to kindergarten.
“Kids these days are taking mistakes so much more seriously, and they’re saying things like, ‘I could kill myself’,” Apple Creek’s Karen Barron said.
At the pre-school level children can learn coping techniques by coming to a designated safe place and using tools like pinwheels and glitter to calm themselves.
“Even here at the two, three, and four level, we’re seeing kids that already have anxiety disorders, and we never had that before,” Barron said.
The problem, she explained comes from an overprotective urge by parents to save children from their own mistakes and never letting them experience failure. She said it’s not something they see as much in families from lower social-economic backgrounds.
“They had their own problems but not the same as the suicide outcries in kindergarten. They’re not seeing that. That’s because they’re held more accountable for what they need to do to get by in life,” Lawson said.
While the thought of suicide this young may seem shocking, Lawson says she’s grateful she still has time to be mindful of the tone she sets for her children.
“Lighten up, for sure,” Lawson said.
Next month Frisco ISD will host an event designed to help parents focus on the whole child with an emphasis on meeting emotional needs to ensure academic and social success.
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